Friday, December 28, 2012

So that happened… 2012

For the past few days I’ve been thinking I should recap the year much like I did last year. I so enjoyed writing that post and remember really appreciating going back through all my old posts and, at the time, feeling nicely nostalgic about all the happenings of 2011.

This year, I’m feeling a tad lazy. Looking at every month individually seems daunting and overwhelming.

What can I say… the year had many ups and downs, there were highlights and there were lowlights, but overall, I think there were probably more highs than lows.

From a racing perspective, I started the year with a bang, cracking off some new PBs at the 5k and 10k distance and feeling really pumped and strong about how things were going to play out. When the actual triathlon season hit, I never really felt like I lived up to my potential and struggled with really pushing myself to the edge. I’m not sure if it was a fear of “the pain” or just a bit of burn out leaving me without the real desire to push myself, but I’m pretty sure it was more mental than physical.

Anyway, that rambling aside, rather than recapping everything, I’ve decided to look back at at least one good thing from each month. So without further ado, here goes…

I finished my yoga teacher training and really started looking ahead to IMC and New Zealand. The “build” was officially underway!

My cousin Cam started off his year of butt-kicking goodness and I predicted we’d see him in London. For the record, I was right.

I set a new PB at the Bazan Bay 5km and enjoyed every minute of it!

I went to Boston with my family to cheer on Kirsten at the scorching hot Boston Marathon. It was awesome. Also, when we got home I managed to set a new 10km PB! That felt pretty good.

Shane and I got really honest with each other and figured out how much fun training for an Ironman can be with your spouse when you don’t make it a competition. Oh, and May 16 came and went once again.

June was pretty great as a whole. Just go back and read all the posts from the month. I dare you.
Oh, also, one thing that has kept me entertained since June is the fact that my post where I told the internet about my ginormous bladder and why I don't generally pee in my wetsuit has apparently led quite a few people to my blog. The following are just a few of the searches that have shown up on my blog ‘stats’ recently:
  • how to pee in a wetsuit
  • little amnesia pool with legs sticking
    (I have no idea what the eff this one means, but it cracked me up. Hopefully the person found what they were looking for).
  • pee in wetsuit
  • peeing in wet suit
  • pissing in my suit
  • wetsuit tickle
  • bladder triathlon pee
Who knew peeing in your wetsuit was such a hot search item?

I had one of my best 160km bike rides ever… and reminded myself how much the Poopie List can truly make me smile and laugh.

Recent Bowerman Award Winner (!!), Cam Levins (another hot search term) went to the Olympics. So Soo Sooo exciting!

Oh, and of course, that little thing called Ironman Canada came and went. Since we are only focusing on the positive, let me remind you how awesome my swim and bike were. Really awesome.

I took a bit of time post-IM to relax, enjoy some time with friends, and then attempt to switch focus to short-course racing.

October & November
New Zealand, New Zealand, NEW ZEALAND.
Yeah, it was freakin’ awesome!

I got my eyes lasered (I can see! Great Success!!), didn’t swim once, barely rode my bike, hardly blogged, and well, I really embraced rule #3 in this article.

This sloth-like existence also helped bring me to the realization that I was perhaps a bit burned-out and in need of a good break from the structure and the pressures we weekend-warriors tend put on ourselves as athletes (or is that just me??).

I also spent my first Christmas away from my parents, instead celebrating with Shane’s Dad and step-Mom in Penticton. It was the first time being back in Penticton since August and it brought about the harsh realization that perhaps I still am not fully over my screw-ups at IMC this year – but that I really should be.

So, here’s to moving forward while still enjoying memories of the past (but not dwelling on them).

Here’s to 2013. A year I expect will be full of exciting new challenges and adventures.

Oh, and did I mention? I gave Shane the best present ever this year.

Rusty is a Boxer.
Rusty as a Boxer.
(Artwork by the fabulous Cat Parker)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pool Party

When I first saw this photo...

... I was all like "Yes. Yes. I couldn't agree more. Yes!" and the cool blue image and the lane ropes and well, just everything about it really really made me want to hop in the pool and swim. I had a sudden and intense craving to get up well before sunrise so I could stare at the black line as I glided up and down the lanes.  

Unfortunately, I saw it about two days after I had my eyes lasered, which meant 2 weeks with no pools, spas, hot tubs, etc. etc. etc.

Saturday will mark 2 weeks, so technically, I am allowed to go for a swim if I so desire. Unfortunately, when I look at the image now, I don't have quite the same pangs that I had nearly 2 weeks ago. Not to mention, the holidays being the holidays, other plans will keep me from the pool for a few days longer, but I'm thinking it is definitely time to get back in the water sooner rather than later. I miss that eau de chlorine smell on my body.

Then, with what seemed like perfect timing, I came across this yesterday and it got me thinking. This could be the perfect way to return to the pool ~ kinda like the workout equivalent of being thrown straight into the deep-end with no water wings.

Now just to convince Shane and Kirsten to join me?  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Run Store Loyalty

Recently it was announced that one of the owners of my favourite local running store (Frontrunners Westshore) was leaving to focus on his other businesses and it got me thinking about the loyalty one can feel toward their local running store.
A running store you are comfortable at is really a great thing. It’s amazing how it can always feel so welcoming and easy to just be there. You can browse without pressure and know that if you have a question, it will be answered with knowledge and honesty.
I tend to be a bit of a cheapskate, but I am more than willing to pay a little extra on a pair of shoes or on the latest running tights because I know the service is going to be great and the banter about your next race or long run is way better than the impersonal service at a big sports store. Not to mention, we all want to see our local running store succeed right?
Obviously, Nick and Mark have succeeded. They have built a great business in Frontrunners (hell, they’ve built 3 great businesses) and while it will be odd not to see Mark sitting behind the front desk, you just know he’s going to do great with what comes next.
Anyone reading this that lives and runs in the Westshore area, probably knows Mark and Nick and I would hazard to guess that they probably feel the same sense of loyalty to the store and the entire Frontrunners crew that I do.
So, with all that said, let’s finish this off with a "funny" story (I use quotations as it is probably only funny to me)…
Last night I popped into the store to do a bit of Christmas shopping. I suppose I didn’t expect to see Mark there, so when I saw him I exclaimed (perhaps a bit too loudly) “YOU’RE LEAVING!”
I immediately felt like a bit of a goober, as the way I said it kind of sounded like I was telling him something he didn’t know (and I’m sure he’s getting tired of fielding the “Why are you leaving?” questions). Both Nick and Mark kinda teased me with a little “Oh, you’re leaving?” “Oh really, I guess I’d better go…” shtick and all was good.
After I left the store though, I got to thinking about one of the first times I went into Frontrunners on my own (before I had even started running/triathlon I think). I was looking for a gift for my Mom for her birthday as she had just taken up running.
When I walked in, Nick asked me if he could help and I think I replied “Oh, I’m just looking for my Mom” (really meaning to say, I’m looking for a present for my Mom) to which he and Mark (rather innocently I think) looked around and replied, “hmm, haven’t seen her”like I was a little kid who lost their Mommy in a department store.
I can be a bit awkward at times - especially when I speak before really thinking (see shouting “you’re leaving” at someone, as above) and I’m sure I blushed and felt like a wiener when I explained that I had not in fact lost my Mom, but was actually looking for a present for her.
No big deal really, but it always stuck with me as a funny initial interaction and last night as I left the store it made me laugh once again. In the 7 or 8 years that I’ve known Mark and Nick, it’s comforting to know that I continue to be a doofus and they continue to be really nice about it.