Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Night Race 2014!

Friday night was the Night Race – a 10 km run in the dark around Stanley Park where all the runners wear head lamps. Or should I say a nearly *11 km* race that they tricked us into believing was a 10 km race!

When I run races, I usually don’t pay too much attention to the route – I take a quick look at the map to figure out where the start line is and to get a basic sense of where I have to go, but beyond that I figure I can just follow the crowd, the kilometer markers, and the volunteers yelling and pointing in the direction of any turns you need to make. If there’s an elevation map, I’ll look at that so I’m forewarned of any major hills. But given that the Night Race was around Stanley Park, I knew the route would be flat and easy to follow.

However, if I’d really been thinking when I looked at the route map:

Night Race 2014 so-called 10 km route

I would have noticed this very important fact: the route didn’t just go around Stanley Park. It started inside the park at the Pavilion and you had to run down to the seawall, all the way around the park, and then back up to the Pavilion. And since the distance around the seawall is 10 km, a route that goes around the seawall plus some other stuff must be >10km! Yet I didn’t put this together, even as the race started and we ran down the path to the seawall. It never occurred to me during the entire time around the seawall. It did not occur to me when I saw the 9 km mark. And it absolutely did not occur to me when the GPS told us we were at 9.8km and started a sprint into the “home stretch”. Which, of course, was not the home stretch – it was just at the point at which we had to turn to go back up the path to the Pavilion. The path that was all UPHILL for nearly an extra 1 km! Which was really difficult to do given the fact that I had just used up the last of my energy and the last of my breath to do that sprint to what I thought was the finish.

And even at that point, my brain wasn’t doing the math to really get that this route was not a mere 10 km1. As I crossed the finish line, I checked my time and saw that I came in at 1:05 and I was very disappointed, because I’d felt like I’d been running fast enough to meet my goal of being under 1 hr. And then it was pointed out to me that we’d run significantly more than 10 km, so I really did break the 1 hr mark!

Night Race 2014

In fact, if you look at my splits:

Night Race 2014 - splits

you can add up the times to run the first 10 km and see that I ran it in 59 mins and 5 seconds – nearly a minute quicker than my goal of 1 hr!

Sadly, there was no acknowledgement by the race that the route was significantly longer than 10 km and they didn’t have a chip sensor at the actual 10 km mark to tell you what your real 10 km time was2. They are only reporting out the time you crossed the finish line, a full 0.85 km longer than 10 km, so the official race results say I finished in 1:05:063. Happily, I was tracking the run so I know the truth!

Much thanks to Daniel who paced me for the race so I could reach my goal, even though it meant running much more slowly than he normally would!

Night Race Vancouver 2014

Look at those awesome headlamps!

Now, as you know, I’m a big nerd and like calculating things. Since the race publishes the results of all the finishers, I was able to do some calcuation-y goodness and found that:

  • I came in 238th out of 673 runners in the race4, or 65th percentile (i.e., top 35%).
  • I came in 95th out of the 437 women in the race, or 78th percentile (i.e., top 22%).
  • I came in 30th out of the 131 women in my age category (30-39 years) in the race, or 77th percentile (i.e., top 23%).

Not too bad if I do say so myself!

Now, as you also know, I’m slightly addicted to race medals, so you may be surprised that I even ran a race where you don’t get a medal5. I did, however, get that headlamp that I mentioned, which is like a medal, only more functional. So I’ve hung it up with my race medal collection!

Collection of race medals

And speaking of medals, I have officially registered for the Rock’n’Roll 10 km race in October, which has one of the most beautiful medals I’ve seen for a race:

vancouver-reveal-885x500

Importantly, I’ve also looked more closely at the route map and it appears that the Rock’n’Roll 10 km is, in fact, a 10 km race:

Rock & Roll 10 km Route 2014

When I was on my spreadsheet to calculate my percentiles, I noticed that the Night Race was my second best time for a 10 km – my personal best is 58:48, which I did in the 2007 Pacific Spirit Run. The math-y among you will notice that this is a mere 17 seconds better than the Night Race – so I’m thinking that setting a new personal best needs to be my goal for the Rock’n’Roll.

  1. In my brain’s defence, it really wasn’t getting any oxygen at that point! []
  2. When I ran the 8 km race at the BMO marathon in May, the route was also slightly longer than the advertised race length, due to the logistics of trying to have an 8km race where the runners join up with the half and full marathon route in the middle of Stanley Park in such a way as to be able to share the finish line. But they had a sensor at the 8 km mark to record you real 8 km time and then another at the finish line. []
  3. I just looked at the race results now to look up my official time and I notice that they are now listing the race as a 10.5 km race. []
  4. When I say “in the race” here, I’m talking only about finishers. It’s possible there were others in the race who didn’t finish, but I don’t have those numbers. []
  5. Well, the top three male and top three female finishers in each of the 5 km and 10 km races got a medal, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen for me! []

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Walk for the Kitties!

Nearly 8 months ago, I adopted my kitties, Watson and Crick, from VOKRA – the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association. VOKRA is a volunteer-run organization that has been rescuing kitties who are abandoned or surrendered – more than 1800 per year! – and finding them safe and loving “forever” homes for 14 years. It takes a lot of money to do this work – they provide vet care for sick kitties, food and litter for kitties living in foster homes while they await adoption, and they had to create a new intake centre because they have so many kitties coming in that they couldn’t keep operating out of the president/co-founder’s basement. Hence, their fundraiser – the 5th Annual Walk for the Kitties – coming up on Sunday. Unfortunately, I can’t do the walk myself, as I’m already double booked that day, but I encourage all kitty lovers to check it out. And even if, like me, you can’t participate, you can always donate!

WatsonCrick in the tub

Watson and Crick thank you for helping kitties just like them to find their own forever homes!

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Theatre Goer

Apparently I’m really into theatre all of the sudden, as last night I saw Red Rock Diner at the Arts Club Granville Island Stage.

Here the trailer:

The show was great – great music performed by an incredibly talented cast. I am always in awe of people who can sing (and boy, could these guys sing), but then to throw in super energetic dancing pretty much non-stop for 2 hours – well, I just have no idea how that is humanly possible.

*spoiler alert* {Don’t read any further if you don’t want to read spoilers!}

To say that this was a play about “five teens coming of age” is a bit of a stretch. The first half was basically a radio show – song after song after song, punctuated by Red Robinson’s crazy radio antics. Then the second half was a high school talent competition hosted by Red Robinson and in which, you guessed it, there was song after song. That is to say, there was pretty much no actual plot, let alone one about anybody coming of age. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it – it was very entertaining and, as I said, the cast was super talented, which was totally worth watching on its own. But perhaps they could do a better job of their description of the play.

There was some added excitement in the second half where they dragged people up on the stage to join them in their dancing. And can you guess who was the very first person they pulled up on stage for some dancing? That’s right – me! And I am nothing if not an attention whore, so I had no problem with it, though the little girl who got dragged up on the stage next looked like she wanted to be anywhere by on that stage. I’m pretty sure that they chose me because I was wearing my fabulous red dress that I bought in London as it’s not the first time that I was chosen by performers to join them on stage for some dancing while wearing that dress. Actually, now that I look at those photos from Ireland, I see that I was also wearing that dress when I got voluntold to be an whiskey tester at the Jameison factory. I think we can conclude that this dress is an attention getter. Because I have three replications. Hooray for science!

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah – the show. It was tonnes of fun and I totally recommend you go there1. Apparently they extended the show, so it’s now running until August 23.

The audience was told that we weren’t allowed to take photos during the show, but in the but that we’d be able to get photos of the show off their website. However, when I went to the Arts Club website to look at them, I found the link to their Flickr account and all of the photos are up as “all rights reserved”, rather than as a Creative Commons license, so I can’t legally use any of them on this posting. Instead you’ll just have to read my words and then you can go look at their photos on Flickr if you like.

  1. As per usual, I have no affiliation with the theatre company – just recommending it because I like it. []

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Half Marathon #11 – A Belated Blog Posting

This post is ridiculously overdue. I wrote most of it on the plane to (or possibly from) San Francisco, and haven’t gotten around to posting it until just now, what with all moving and traveling and unpacking and various other goings on in my life. But better late than never, right?

In amongst the moving and traveling, I also ran my 11th half marathon, which I haven’t had time to blog about yet1, what with all the moving and traveling and running half marathons.

The half marathon in question was the Scotiabank Half Marathon in Vancouver. I’ve run this twice before – once with Alicia (2010) and once with Kim (2011). It’s a really lovely route that starts out a UBC, where you run around the campus for a bit before heading by Jericho Beach, over the Burrard Street Bridge and then finishing up in Stanley Park. The day was also lovely – it was hot, to be sure, but not insanely so, and there was a bit of cloud cover so that you weren’t running in direct sun the whole time.

Scotiabank Half Marathon Route 2014

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon route for 2014. Note the elevation map – specifically, the lovely net downhilledness of this race!

The one thing that wasn’t lovely was that I was sick. For the third time this spring :S I’m pretty sure that I must have picked this cold up when I was in Ontario2. I was coughing up a storm and I’m pretty sure it was sapping my energy – at least, that’s what I’m blaming my slow finish time on. I finished at 2:15:05 – more than 5 minutes longer than the Hollywood Half in April and a reversal of my trend where I’d been improving my time my last few half marathons (remember, this is finishing time, so shorter is better!):

Half Marathon Finish Times as of June 2014

I ran the race with a couple of friends from work. Geoff was running his second half marathon, having done the BMO half in 2013 and Christina was running her first ever half! I had photos that Christina took of us, but I think she must have texted them to me and then I lost them when my phone went insane and I had to restore it to factory when I was in Toronto. Anyway, great job, race buddies!

After the race, we headed back to UBC on the shuttle bus to get Christina’s car and then we went to Trafalgar Bistro, where we had the most delicious brunch in the history of brunch: eggs benny, but instead of being on an English muffin, it was on a potato latke. O. M. G. D. E. L. I. C. I. O. U.S.

After having done two half marathons in two months, immediately following the running study that I was in, I’m feeling like I need to change things up from just running. I think I want to find a triathlon to train for next – if anyone knows of any good ones in the Vancouver area in the fall, hit me up!

  1. Funny that I wrote that when I typed this up on the plane – more than a week ago! []
  2. Damn you, Ontario! []

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MBA = Most Bad Ass

Last Wednesday, I attended my fourth – and final – university convocation as a graduate1, receiving my hard earned MBA2. It’s hard to believe that just 28 months ago3, me and 50 other brave souls embarked on the intense and life changing journey that is the part-time MBA program at UBC. Taking an program like this – super intense in both the amount and type of work – while also holding down full-time jobs4 takes a special5 kind of person. I knew I was going to learn a lot in this program, as I had no background in business whatsoever, but when I look back on it, I’m still stunned by how much I learned. Entire fields that I knew nothing about – accounting, finance, economics, marketing, just to name a few – are now not only comprehensible to me, but also fascinating. This program has provided not just content, but also new skills that I apply every day in my work and personal life and it has expanded my worldview.

And I feel very privileged to have traveled these past 28 months with the most fantastic group of people. I met people from all sorts of different sectors and backgrounds and learned as much from them as I did from my professors and textbooks. We worked hard together through countless classes and group meetings and Skype meetings and lunch meetings, through study groups and running simulated businesses and writing business plans and doing Friday case nights and the seemingly endless hours of capstone weekend. There were papers and exams and presentations and celebrations. There was a lot of laughter and some tears and some rants and all the things that life-long friendships are made of.


The day of graduation, though they were calling for rain, actually turned out to be sunny and beautiful! One of the graduates from the full-time MBA cohort with whom I had a class6 and next to whom I sat at grad (due to us having surnames that are alphabetically similar) noted that this was because he’d worked his skills from the MBA – Master of the Black Arts. The convocation ceremony was nice, full of all the pomp and circumstance that a university convocation entails – the speeches were great and since I knew all of the part-time MBAs and a bunch of the full-timers (as I’d taken a couple of classes from the full-time program and some of them took some of our part-time classes) the seemingly endless parade of graduates crossing the stage was more interesting to me than my previous graduations, where I’d known far fewer of the people graduating.

This is the sea of graduates as seen from the balcony of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, where convocation is held:

MBA Graduation 2014 - A Sea of Graduates

You can spot me in the fifth row by the fact that I’m in a pink robe instead of the black MBA robe – one of the perks of having the PhD7.

In other news, I totally underestimated how long I’d be on stage when I said 7.4 seconds – it actually turns out that I was on stage for nearly 20 whole seconds! Here’s the video to prove it:

Here is 4/5ths of D2NA, my group from school. One of our big project in the Core part of our program was to write a business plan and our company was D2NA, and our product was the Double Device (you may recall our mascot, Marty The Moose.)). From left to right we have Bronwyn, me, the guy who holds the ceremonial university mace8 (not part of our group), Emily, and Tyler. Missing from the photo is Edmond, who wasn’t at the ceremony.

D2NA at MBA Grad!

And here’s a photo of me with Fran, the most helpful person EVER! When I first started my MBA, UBC had some difficulty in figuring out how to process my scholarship, as it’s a rare type of scholarship9 and they didn’t appear to have ever had a student with one of these before, so no one in the finance area could figure out how to deal with it. But Fran came to my rescue and after about a billion emails with Finance, she was able to get it sorted out for me so that I could get my scholarship money and thus be able to pay my tuition fees. She came up to me after the ceremony and introduced herself because, despite the aforementioned billion emails, we’d never actually met in person. Needless to say, I gave her the biggest hug!

MBA Graduation 2014

Because I’m spoiled, my mom and my Aunt Eileen came out from Toronto for my big day:

My mom, me and Aunt Eileen

They were here for the whole week and we had many adventures, which will have to be the subject of another blog posting as this one is already getting way long!

Speaking of spoiled, I was spoiled by my mom and aunt, who not only came all this way for my grad, but also showered me with gifts, including the beautiful shoes I wore to grad10 and the beautiful flowers that you see me holding11

And as if I weren’t spoiled enough, my Aunty Gwen sent me this MBA grad present – a gorgeous blanket that she crocheted herself, made specifically to go with my beloved purple chair:

Handmade afghan - an MBA grad present from my Aunty GwenThe picture does not do it justice – it’s an exquisite stitch that she used an the colours in it as so beautiful and it totally completes the chair!

All in all, it was a lovely day and I am very pleased that I can now officially put the “MBA” behind my name. For the record, I am now legally entitled to write my name thusly:

Beth Snow, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, MBA, CE

So that’s 18 letters after my name – and only 8 letters in my name! Even if you were to use my full legal name “Mary Elizabeth Snow” instead of just “Beth”, that’s only 17 letters in my name – still one fewer than all the ones I’ve earned the right to be put after my name!


Image Credit: Specially thanks to my Aunt Eileen and my friend and classmate, Emily Graham, for the photos and video!

Footnotes:

  1. If I get any more university degrees, they will have to be of the Honorary Doctorate variety, as I have no plans to actually do work for another degree. Though apparently you have to do something honourable in order to be granted an Hon Doc, so I guess I’ll have to figure out something honourable to do now. []
  2. A.k.a., graduating from grade 25 []
  3. And three years ago I don’t think I’d even started studying for the GMAT yet! []
  4. Not to mention having families, social lives, etc. By my count there were 11 babies born or conceived during the 28 months of our program, along with 6 weddings. []
  5. Translation: Crazy. []
  6. Healthcare Management. []
  7. You can spot the other PhD from my class – Keith – in the bottom left of that photo. []
  8. I have no idea why the university has a ceremonial mace. []
  9. Mostly because you can only get it if you hold a health sciences-based PhD and are doing an MBA, and there aren’t many people who have done a PhD that want to go back to school! []
  10. See photo above. []
  11. The flowers, sadly, have had to live on my balcony as the cats seem to think they look most delicious and I have no idea if these particular flowers are poisonous to cats, so to be on the safe side, I’m keeping them outside. []

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BMO 8 km – Another Day, Another Medal

Today marked the first time since before my MBA program started that I *wasn’t* in class during the BMO Vancouver International Marathon. Since I just ran a half marathon less than a month ago, I didn’t think it was wise to run another half marathon so soon, and thus I registered for the 8 km race instead.

photo 4

Also, as you may recall, I discovered that by running the 8km race at BMO, you get a nearly identical medal to the one that the half and full marathoners get1, but you only have to run 8 km! So for running only 38% of the distance of a half or 19% of the distance of a full, I can get practically the same medal. Clearly, it’s a much more efficient choice.

The way the 8 km was set up this year, we started in Stanley Park along the half marathon route such that we ran the last 8 km of the half marathoners’ route. But the actual start line was on a side street that joined up with their route, so our race was actual 8.15 km, as we had 0.15 km along that side street first. The finish line was over by Burrard and Cordova and that’s where the gear check was, so they had shuttle buses to take the 8 km runners from the gear check to the start line. The last shuttle bus was at 8:30 am and our race wasn’t until 9:30 am, so it meant we had to start around for an hour waiting for the race to start. In the pouring rain. Had it been a nice day, I might not have minded, as standing in Stanley Park on a sunny day cheering on the half marathoners as they ran by would be fun. Standing around in the pouring rain and cold was less fun. But eventually our race started and by that time it wasn’t raining that hard any more, so for our race, it was actually just a gentle rain, which is actually quite nice to run in.

My partners in crime for today’s event were two of my coworkers, Geoff and Christina. Here we are before the race – looking surprisingly happy for three cold, wet people!

PH Observatory Race Team - 8 km - before the race

The race itself was pretty good – the route is mostly through Stanley Park, so it’s quite beautiful and once I was running, I totally warmed up. I was pretty happy with my finish time:46:522! It’s my second best time ever for an 8 km race3. Other fun stats:

  • I came in 24th in my age/gender category (out of 168), putting me in the 86th percentile
  • I was the 151st female to finish (out of 1291), putting me in the 88th percentile
  • I was 357th overall (out of 1858), putting me in the 81st percentile overall

Day 301Not too bad if I do say so myself!

Here are my co-workers and I after the race, proudly displaying our hard earned medals!

PH Observatory Race Team - 8 km - after the race!

Good job, Observatory team4! Congrats also to my friends Candace and Julie, who both ran the half marathon this year. Great job!

After the race, Christina, Geoff, and I went to Forage for brunch. I’ve always said that post-race brunch is the greatest thing that you will ever eat in your entire life, and Forage  did not disappoint!

Next stop: Scotiabank half marathon!

  1. The only difference being that it says “8 km” instead of “21.1km” or “42.2km”, but that’s barely noticeable! []
  2. That’s for 8 km. They also recorded your finish time for the full 8.15 km of the race – that was 47:39. I’d signed up so that BMO Marathon could live tweet my result, but it tweeted that I took 48:15, which was not only my 8.15 km time (despite saying that I “completed the BMO 8 km” race, which is misleading enough), but gun time instead of chip time. For the uninitiated, gun time refers to the time from when the starter gun goes off until you cross the finish line. But since I’m never right at the starting line when the gun goes off – I’m further back in the crowd, I don’t actually start running until my part of the crowd gets to the start line, at which point your own personal timing chip registers your start time. In this case, it actually took me 36 seconds before I got to the start line. []
  3. Mind you, this is only the third time I’ve run one. []
  4. I work in an Observatory, but not the kind with a telescope. It’s a long story. []

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A Familiar Face

Hey, remember that time I played hockey for 10 days to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis? Well, yesterday when I picked up a copy of the Royal City Record (my local paper), I saw a familiar face from that game: Bill Markvoort. Mr. Markvoort was a great supporter of our game. His daughter, Eva, was an amazing young woman who died four years ago from Cystic Fibrosis, but her legacy lives on through her work to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and organ donation, and through the ongoing work of her family to carry on her legacy. The family generously allowed us to use Eva’s striking image for promotional material for our hockey game:

IMGP3212

According to the article, Mr. Markvoort turns 65 this year and he’s taking part in the GearUp4CF 1,200 km bike ride from Vancouver to Banff, with a goal of raising $65,000 for Cystic Fibrosis! I don’t know Mr. Markvoort, aside from having met him at the hockey game, but I feel like I have a sense of what he’s putting himself through – a nine-day bike ride sounds comparable in its level of gruelingness to 10 straight days of playing hockey! And I know that it really helped me out to be supported in my efforts, by both friends and strangers alike, so I figured I should pay forward all the support I got by contributing to his fundraiser.

Won’t you join me in supporting this worthy cause?  You can donate at his blog: http://65for65roses.blogspot.ca/

 

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How to be a Vancouverite

You’ve probably already seen this, but that last posting about stand up paddleboarding totally reminded me of this video1. If you’ve already seen it (which I’m sure is pretty much everyone), feel free to move along. If not, enjoy:

  1. Which Alicia first introduced to me when we were talking about going stand up paddleboarding for her birthday. []

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Paddleboarding!

So this posting is very, very overdue. Way back in the days of yore – i.e., September – a bunch of us went stand up paddleboarding for Alicia’s birthday1. Our guide was Kathleen from WazSUP Stand Up Paddleboarding and Surf Shop2. She taught us the safety rules and the basics on how to get around and then we set off from Yaletown and paddled all the way to English Bay and back!

Here’s Alicia, starting out first on her knees:

Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

Here’s the group of us starting out:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

And here we are standing:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

Once we were all standing, we managed to group together and hold paddles to form a group so we could listen to Kathleen tell us about more advanced stuff, like turning:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

And off we go:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

It was very cool being out on the water – the water was calm and it was very peaceful floating along like that. Also, it was an interesting experience to be going along False Creek on the water, as Alicia and I often go running along the paths on either side of False Creek – the Kits side or the downtown side – where we run and look out on the water, but with this we were going along the water and looking out onto the path – quite a different perspective! We also got to see a baby seal… or was it an otter? I can’t remember – this was a long time ago, after all. But I do remember it was a baby and it was barking. So cute!Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013The fearless crew of paddleboarders!

Thanks for much to Kathleen from WazSUP for being such an awesome guide and taking us out for such a fun trip!

  1. You might remember Alicia from such adventures as the Fall Classic Half Marathon 2013, the Edge-to-Edge Half Marathon 2013, Victoria half marathon 2010, Scotiabank half marathon 2010, Vancouver BMO Half Marathon 2009, and surfing in Tonfio 2007. []
  2. I only just now as I was writing this post clued in that the “SUP” stands for “stand up paddleboarding.” []

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Hair Extraordinaire!

And now I’m just on a roll of talking about businesses that I like, so I think that I’ll make that the theme for today. Which brings me to my hair stylist, Jenny Lynn, the owner of Oh Hey Style1. She works at Red Square Salon, she’s the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, and she makes my hair look fabulous!

Let’s look at some pretty pictures of my lovely hair:

Day 19

Day 138

Day 1

Day 97I highly recommend Jenny Lynn to anyone who wants to have beautiful hair!

  1. As with the other postings, this comes straight from my heart – it’s not a paid advertisement and I don’t get anything free. Just blogging of my own free will! []