Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I came across this article the other day. It’s good right? Funny even.

I’ll admit, I’ve read it a few times now and each time I come away feeling a bit sad.  I suppose it just makes me think (maybe too much) and makes me wonder. Then I think “maybe I’m reading too much into this, maybe I’m missing the point”. But ultimately, my feelings are my feelings and they are real. I suppose it just makes me a bit sad because it is so true, for so many of us.

It is definitely true for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a good job. I like my job.
Do I love my job? Is it my passion? Ummm, no.

My co-workers are awesome and I’m lucky that they are the group of people I get to spend 40hours a week with, but my actual job isn’t something I always dreamed of doing. It was just something I kinda fell into. It is a paycheque. It is a means to afford the house where I live, the simple luxuries that I take for granted every day and the toys that complement the sport I so love.

That said, I never had a super strong conviction when I was younger about what career I wanted to pursue. Hell, I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up (even though I guess I am [kinda] a grown up). So perhaps I was destined to just 'fall into' a job?

I love triathlon. I love running. I love being outdoors. They are my passions. Not only do I spend my evenings and weekends pursuing my passions, I also spend most mornings and even the odd lunch break, chasing the endorphin laced thrill of a good swim, bike or run in the great outdoors.

When I was younger my passion was basketball. I breathed, ate and slept basketball. The reason I went to school (other than the fact that my parents made me) was so I could play basketball. That was pretty much it. I got good grades and did well, but it was sport that always had my attention.

So now, this article, it has left me asking why?
Why did I never let that love of sport lead into a career that I’m passionate about?

... and how?
How do I do this now? When life seems to be so “set” and comfortable, how does one make a bid to finally do what they are passionate about? How can I incorporate my sport, and my passions, into my career?

Anyway, reading this back, I hope it doesn’t come across too whiny. I definitely have a great life that I am very thankful for. I suppose I just wonder what it would be like, if one day, my passion was able to pay my bills?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Random Thankful Friday

1) I don’t usually love the whole “spring ahead” time change, as I prefer to have some daylight in the early mornings, but will admit, the ‘longer’ evenings this past week have been quite nice. So I think I might actually be thankful for the time change.

On top of that, it feels as if spring has sprung in Victoria, and the other night while out for a nice easy 60’ along the waterfront, the sweet smell of cherry blossoms that wafted through the air was absolutely amazing.

2) I’m thankful my work sends me to a conference every summer and I get to go to fun cities throughout the states.

This year, the conference is in San Francisco in July. I’ve been there a couple times before, but always for fairly brief visits. I’ll be there a little longer this time (albeit in a conference for the majority of it) and am really looking forward to getting to explore the city a bit on my own.

I also decided to look for running races in the area while I am there and came across this. Thinking it could be a good way to kick off my conference time and a good little tune up for TRR.

3) I had a lane to myself for my entire swim this morning and was definitely thankful for that. It was absolutely magical. When I walked into the change room and it was silent, I knew that was a good sign. Even the swim club only had two members show up. I’d say it was definitely a hazy lazy start to the day in the Capital.

4) I’m thankful that the sun was shining on my run at lunch today. Just last night I said to my Dad as we ran under grey rainy skies that I was kind of tired of running in the rain. Today, the rain let up long enough for me to get out and enjoy some bright skies and warm air.

5) I’m thankful that my parents are fit and active and young and that I have such a good relationship with them.

6) I’ve been teaching yoga at VI Fitness for Women for over a year now. Some nights I find it hard to get myself out the door to get to class, but usually once I am there, it is great. All the women are really friendly and I’ve been getting a pretty good turn out to class over the last couple months (which is a nice little confidence boost).

Anyway, I tend to go through these cycles of about 4 or 5 weeks where I feel like I’ve taught an awesome class and everyone looks blissful and relaxed as they are leaving at the end of the night – and then *BAM* out of nowhere, I’ll have a night where I feel like I just taught the worst class ever and can only hope that no one noticed. Last night was one of those “yikes, that was awful” classes. I’m thankful that the majority of classes don’t fall in this category.

7) I’m thankful that Shane and I discovered one of the easiest, most delicious treats last week at our friend’s birthday party. A simple dip of cream cheese, covered in caramel, covered in Skor bits. Dip some green apple slices in it and ~voila~ sugary heaven.

8) I’m thankful for Rusty. He is such a great little beast.

I was going through the photos on my phone the other day and would say 99% of them are Rusty and probably 89% of those 99% are of him sleeping.


9) I’m thankful my lovely friend Laura got a new job this week. She works so hard and so deserves it! While it means she won’t be coming back to Victoria any time soon, I’m still super happy for her.
10) I’m thankful for the new sweater I bought the other day. I love it, and I got a tonne of compliments on it when I wore it to work – from people I know and from complete strangers. Compliments have a funny way of making you feel good.
11) I’m thankful that there was a board meeting at work today and that there were leftover sandwiches – especially because I forgot to pack a lunch. Free lunches are the best kind of lunches.
12) I’m thankful it is Friday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bazan Bay 5km 2013 - Race Report

So, as planned, I ran the Bazan Bay 5k on Sunday.

Mentally I have a hard time with 5k races. I love them, because they are over quickly and a good measure of speed. I hate them, because they hurt like hell and I’m always afraid I’m going to be way slower than the last time I ran one.

So, naturally, as Shane and I warmed up and then stood at the start line, waiting for go-time, I was uber-nervous. Even though I had absolutely nothing to prove and no one was going to judge me for my time (I hope) my guts flipped and flopped and I internally fretted about the ‘pain’ that I was about to put myself through.

The "gun" went off…

22 minutes and 7 seconds later it was all over.

I had wanted to go under 22:00 (my current PB is 22:01), but it wasn’t meant to be on Sunday. Besides now it gives me motivation and something to work for on my next 5k race (whenever that may be).

So yeah, overall, the race felt pretty good. Quick and painful (which is exactly what a 5k should be I think) but fun.

My splits were freakin’ ugly - in that they were, oh you know, just a touch uneven (oops). [Approx. 4:10, 4:40, 4:31, 4:24, 4:22]. I'm not sure what I was doing during the 2nd km (spacing out apparently) but I’m not really tore up about it. If anything, I am happy that I was able to refocus and get back on track for the second half.

Anyway, it’s a 5k – how many details can I give. In the end, it was great fun, Shane kicked some serious butt, my nerves were (as always) totally unnecessary, and the post-race food was amazingly tasty.

Yippee to a great day at the races!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ups & Downs

Two weeks ago every workout I did was a struggle.

I didn't necessarily realize it at the time though, as I only had one workout that really stood out to me as being a struggle. At the end of the week though, when I read back through my notes in my training calendar, I realized it was definitely one of those weeks where getting pumped up to get out the door was a struggle. Each and every comment in my training log showed a lack of enthusiasm and was overall kinda “blah”.

Thankfully, it was a bit like a switch flipped the next Monday, and the week following felt pretty great. My motivation was back and I felt like I was running strong.

This past Sunday I ran long with Kirsten, Shane and TRex at the Lakes.

My motivation was still high and I actually felt pretty good through the run (and despite my next sentence, I still think it was a good workout for the most part). Unfortunately around the 15k mark, my ankle/achilles area got quite tender and I felt like I was really heel striking (but couldn’t seem to stop myself). It’s not like I tripped or rolled my ankle or anything like that, and definitely wasn’t to the point of needing to stop, I just could feel the movement in my ankle lessening as the run progressed, and well, it was kind of painful.

Post-run Sunday, everything was pretty tender.

I iced it a little, put my feet up and didn’t really worry about it too much – or I guess, more accurately, I knew it was likely the same issue I dealt with for a bit last year.

As my RMT Lysanne said the other day, I have the strangest “injuries”.

In this instance, my talus bone kinda slips/rotates and lodges itself out of place. Usually when this happens, I can still run and it tends to loosen up a bit as I get warm, but I definitely can’t just leave it, and usually need to get into massage or physio to have it adjusted and put back into place.

The earliest appointment that fit my schedule was Tuesday after work, so I did my runs on Monday and Tuesday with my wonky foot (luckily they were both just base runs). Neither outing was terrible, but I did feel kind of awkward the whole time and never really felt as if I actually did warm up.

Thankfully, miracle worker Lysanne got my foot adjusted, did some major work on my crazy tight calves, flushed my legs and even taped me up to help take a bit of pressure off my ankle and tib post for a bit.

After the appointment, my ankle was pretty tender and a bit swollen (as it always is after an adjustment like that) so I opted not to get up and run on Wednesday morning like I usually do. I wanted to give everything happening in my lower legs a bit more time to chill out. However, that meant I would have to run after work, right before bike trainer class (not super ideal, but whatevs).

I’ll admit I was kinda scared to attempt my run workout on Wednesday night. My runs the previous two days had not felt great and my leg was still definitely a bit tender from the beating Lysanne gave it. I think I was worried about having a bad workout and taking a hit to the motivation.

Thankfully, and somewhat unexpectedly, it actually turned out to be a really great run!

I was pretty conservative at the start, as I could really feel the work that had been done on my calves the day before, but my ankle - while tender - actually felt the best it had all week and was definitely moving better. As I ramped up my pace for my planned efforts, my ankle just continued to feel looser and looser! It was awesome.

So that’s where I’m at right now. The rest of the week gears down a bit so that I can race Bazan Bay 5k on Sunday with somewhat fresh legs.

I had actually forgot that I told Adam I liked running this event, so was a bit surprised to see it on my calendar this week, but I think it will be fun to go out and, you know, just give’r*.

Anyway, this has been a pretty boring ramble (so thanks for hanging in there if you are still reading). I suppose I just like to document times like this for myself, as every year, I end up going through a period of ups and downs.

Like usual, I’d say there were probably more ups than downs, and one major bonus is that I am really finding myself looking forward to long hilly runs on trails – probably a good sign for the months to come.

Function: Verb
Etymology: Canadian, particular to rural areas, especially Lanark County Ontario and most of Alberta; An amalgam of the words give and her; made popular by movie "FUBAR"
Definition: Going all out and/or balls to the wall to take care of business as quickly and as awesomely as possible.

Also, just because…

RIP Stompin’ Tom

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fear and Anger

A female jogger was attacked in Victoria on Wednesday afternoon. Luckily, she got away from her attacker, but who knows what damage he did to her – if not physically, what about emotionally?
When I heard this story on the news last night, my first reaction was fear. My thoughts turned to the run I had to do this morning, which I knew would be done alone, in the dark. I’d be out pounding the pavement before most of the city fully wakes up.
My emotions then turned to anger.
I’m angry that I should ever have to be fearful when I go running alone.
I’m angry that sometimes I’m afraid to run in the dark.
I’m angry that I should ever have to look over my shoulder when I run past someone who makes me feel even just a little uneasy, to make sure they aren’t following me.

I’m angry that my gut reaction is to cross to the other side of the street when approaching someone in the dark if there is no one else around.

I’m angry I have to think about what route I’m going to run and if there will be enough traffic, or other people out walking, or houses nearby, should I get in trouble.
I’m angry that I sometimes avoid awesome trails because they are secluded and I don’t have anyone to run with that day.
I’m angry that I’m told it is safer for women to run in groups.
I’m angry that I’m afraid to run on one of the most accessible running routes from my house out of fear. Fear because of one time 4 or 5 years ago, when a guy in a truck kept driving back and forth past me, leering at me, and following me. Thank goodness I had Rusty and my phone. I remember calling Shane who was working not far away asking him to come get me as I sprinted toward the main road. I'm angry that the panic I felt in that moment is still there after all these year.
I’m angry that I have to even consider if Rusty would protect me if he ever had to. (I know the answer is yes, while it has thankfully never had to be tested, I know he would rip anyone apart who tried to harm me).
I’m angry that there have to be articles in Canadian Running Magazine directed at women, about how they can and should protect themselves when they go out running.
I’m angry that most men likely never have to think about these things.
But, unfortunately, these are all realities.
Running with my Dad last week, I think I mentioned that if I have to run in the dark, I prefer the dark of the morning to that of the evening, as I know the sun will be rising. "Morning dark" somehow feels safer than "night dark", with daylight feelings the safest... And yet, the girl who was attacked at UVic the other day was running in broad daylight.
I’m angry at the asshole who did that to her.
I’m angry, for myself, and for all the other women out there who maybe didn’t run quite as carefree as they would have liked this morning.
I’m angry that lowlifes like this guy even exist. He is nothing but a coward.