The holidays have always been one of my favourite times of the year. I love Christmas. Everything about it, from the twinkly lights and the festive trees to the mistletoe hung with care. I love all of the decorations – from the beautiful and ‘sophisticated’ to the goofy and the gaudy; it all makes my heart sing.
I love all the sweet treats and the mass quantities of food (even though my waistline doesn't), but most of all, I really love the endless hours of time spent with family and friends.
Another little bonus to the holiday season is the fact that my birthday falls just two short days after Christmas. (It's pretty awesome, as it definitely helps to extend the festive feeling of the season).
This year, I had a really hard time deciding what I wanted to do for my birthday (and it felt like EVERYONE kept asking me what my plans were). Since the pool had been closed for most of December, and was reopening on my birthday, I had told Shane I wanted to swim 3300m in honour of my 33rd birthday.
When he didn't refuse the idea, and then Kirsten and my parents showed interest in joining too, the wheels starting turning in my head and suddenly my birthday plan started to grow. Soon enough, I was plotting a little 33-themed birthday ‘triathlon’ of sorts.
The plan: 3300m swim, followed by 33km on the bike, topped off with 33mins of running (and, I would hazard to guess, probably close to 33mins of transition time too, haha).
The day started at the pool with Kirsten, Shane and my Mom (my Dad will be learning to swim in the New Year, so opted just to join in on the bike/run portion of the event). I ticked off 3300m at a consistent and comfortable pace. I feel like I have been a bit sluggish in the pool lately, but this swim felt pretty good. I had a few moments of feeling oddly clunky and spastic, but mostly, I was clicking along, nicely rhythmic and fluid.
We suited up into our rain gear and warm clothes for the bike, and rolled out onto the Goose for a nice 16.5km out and back. The pace was comfortable and the company was great. We pedaled away with the wind (unknowingly) at our backs for the first half of the ride. Shane and I had new fenders on our bikes and we happily teased everyone else for the large brown streaks up their backsides, while we stayed clean and dry. The way back was a little tougher as the tailwind we enjoyed on the way out turned into a headwind (shocking, I know), but the rain stopped and the sun even started to poke through the clouds.
I rolled into the parking lot with my odo showing 33.23km. (I probably should have ridden the extra little bit to make 33.33km, but c’est la vie.)
With a quick change into our runners, it was time to hit the JdF trail for the final leg of my birthday triathlon. The first few steps surprised me a bit, and reminded me what it feels like to run off the bike (it’s been a while I guess) but soon enough, we were trotting along, up and down the little hills around the rec centre. In no time, 33 minutes had passed and my birthday triathlon was complete.
Obviously, there was no race clock and no sense of urgency to compete with one another; just a great day spent doing what I love, with the ones that I love most.