Thursday, December 18, 2014


I'm kind of a sucker for list/questionnaire things on other people's blogs, and I've seen this bad boy floating around the interwebs quite a lot lately, so thought I'd throw my hat into the ring and play along as well…

Four names other people call me other than my real name.
Darlo (Shane calls me this occasionally – more often when he is texting me than in person though)
For the record, people don't call me "double question mark" – I'm just suddenly realizing I don't actually have a lot of nicknames.

Four jobs I've had.
Concession Worker
Box Office Manager
Communications & Finance Assistant
Yoga Teacher

Four movies I've watched more than once.
Inventing the Abbotts
A Christmas Story

Four books I recommend.
The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
The Life and Times of the Thunderbold Kids, by Bill Bryson
I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb
Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

Four places I've lived.
I spent a month living in Tofino in my early 20s, and Ucluelet is currently kind of a second home, so umm, yeah, does that count?
I got nothing.
Hmmm... Seems I have never actually lived anywhere other than South Vancouver Island.

Four places I've been.
Mexico, Belize, Guatemala (all on one trip, so I'm counting it as one)
New Zealand
While my list of "places I've lived" is rather small, this list could go on and on. I've been pretty lucky in my travels.

Four places I'd rather be right now.
Europe – any and all of it!
A beautiful beach, with an umbrella drink in hand. Hawaii would do, or Mexico, or Cuba, or the Domincan…
Peru (I really, really want to see Machu Picchu)

Four of my favorite foods.
Ice Cream
Vegetable Medley (a casserole-type dish my Mom makes)
Quinoa (it's just so darn versatile)

Four things I don't eat.

Four TV shows I watch.
The Walking Dead
Modern Family
The Amazing Race / The Amazing Race Canada

Four things I'm looking forward to this coming year.
Time off from work over Christmas
New adventures
Eventually choosing a goal race for the 2015 triathlon season
[Hopefully] cheering on and/or crewing for Kirsten at her first 50k

Four things I always say.
"Colonel." (With a slight head nod greeting when I see Rusty)
"I don't know. You decide."
"I don't know if you know this about me, but I can eat."
"Sorry." (I am Canadian after all)

Want to join in the fun? Leave some of your answers in the comments or on your own blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This & That

HELLO! It's been a while, non?

Oddly, it seems a rather daunting task to keep up with writing on a triathlon training blog when you don't have any clear set triathlon goals for the coming season (somebody make a decision for me, mmkay?) and your training is, ummm – in an extended off season?

The trusty old "do what you feel like when you feel like" training method has been my reality for the last couple months (probably since the half marathon in fact). This is easily the longest I've gone without some sort of structure since I started doing triathlons. Couple that with the fact that I don't have a “big goal” to work toward for next season, and I'm feeling a little all over the map.

Don't get me wrong, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Just a different thing. I think off seasons are a good thing and are definitely needed to refresh and recharge. Unfortunately, it just doesn't leave me with a lot to write about.

Anyway, (as usual) I'm rambling. Let's get to what I have been doing…

Workouts with other people! This is somewhat new for me. I tend to be the type of person who does the majority of my training solo (especially when working toward a big event) as I like to be able to get the workout in at a time that works best for my schedule. My preferred exercise time is often very early in the morning – and sadly, there don't seem to be a lot of early morning groups around these parts.

Anyway, as of late, I've hit up a couple different (free!) classes and am also attending group (run/cycle) sessions with Kelly's group in the evenings two days a week. This means that probably over 50% off my training time is spent with other people. Weird.

One of the classes I've attended a couple times now has been a Core & Stretching for Cycling class at Trek Bikes Victoria's new spin studio The Loft. It's pretty much just an intense 30 minutes of core work – core work that I could probably do on my own at home, but that I do not do on my own at home – so it's definitely nice to go and get that little push that's needed (oh, and did I mention it's free! That's some good value right there).

The day of and day after the first time I attended this class, my whole entire core (and other body parts too) felt so exhausted and sore, but in the best possible way. It was amazing.

I also attempted my first Lululemon Run Club last week – and while it didn't leave me feeling quite as pumped as the core class, that could be because myself and one of the run leaders got separated from the group and got a little lost – so we pretty much just went for a run and chatted. It was nice to meet someone new who shares similar interests though and to have some company for a solid hour long run. Considering this is also a free group, I will most likely give it another shot in the near future.

Mostly, with no schedule tying me down, I'm really trying to stretch out of my comfort zone, maybe make some new friends who share similar interests and try some new/different things. So far, I'd say it has been moderately successful.

On top of all the above, I also ran a very muddy and challenging 16km trail/cross country race in a somewhat under trained state (and it was really fun).

Kirsten and I ran the Harriers Stewart Mountain Cross Country Challenge 10 Mile race on the weekend. 

I had absolutely no expectation and really only signed up because Kirsten talked me into it with the promise that she would stay with me and not ditch me (which she actually held true to – this might be a first). 

For me, it was a pretty solid effort – not my hardest fastest race pace ever, but definitely an honest effort and a really fun time. The mud puddles and stream crossings were pretty high and it was great to just splash away. Running around through a park on trails that don't get used that often, up and down a mountain, splashing through mud and muck, definitely brings out your inner child.

Next on the agenda of new things – I'll be trying out a power meter at trainer class this week. It both excites me and makes me nervous. Stay tuned for an update on how that turns out.

Trainer Class in the Pain Cave (aka. Straight Up Cycles)
Oh, oh! Also, speaking of new things and stepping out of your comfort zone… If anyone wants to drop large sums of money on me for Christmas/birthday this year, umm, I think this would be awesome!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tee Gee Eye Eff

Since I haven't been doing much blogging lately, I thought a fun little meme was a good way to get back into things on this chilly Friday, and so, I borrowed the idea for this post from Amber over at Girl with the Red Hair.

So, without further ado here is just a little glimpse of the week that was…

The high of my week was spending a beautiful few days with Shane – exploring Ucluelet and Tofino, hiking to the crashed Canso bomber, eating delicious food and well, just being together. Also, a 2 day work week was a pretty sweet deal as well.

The low of my week was saying goodbye to Ukee and all that remains there. Not to mention, the incredibly long Tofino Bus journey home on Wednesday. I'm not really sure there is anything “express” about the Island Express.

A blog post I loved was... Hmmmm, I'm sure there were a few, but can't think of any specific posts off the top of my head. The Bloggess never fails to make me laugh - any and all of her posts. Oh, and I've recently discovered Shut Up + Run and definitely enjoy her take on things (and her potty humor as well). Also, I always enjoy Susan Lacke's “Out There and “Triathlete Love” columns.

That said, let's talk books instead. I'm currently reading The Glass Castle and am definitely enjoying it. Also, while not this week, I recently finished The Art of Racing in the Rain and absolutely loved it.

For my workouts, I completed a 1:40ish (15k+) run on the road and trails (aka HILLS!) of Ukee, followed by a couple hours of leisurely walking around town and an hour long yoga class at the community centre on Monday.
Tuesday was the hike to the bomber (which took about 2hrs round trip) plus a long walk on the beach (haha, sounds so cheesy, but it happened).
Wednesday was a pretty easy 45-50' run before boarding the slow bus home.
Thursday was LAZY. I ate chips and watched TV. Speaking of, I'm totally digging Gracepoint right now. It's super cool to see Victoria & Oak Bay in all the scenes, but it's a great story too. It's definitely got my attention in a big way. 
Friday (aka. today) I dragged my lazy butt out of bed for a 35' bike on the rollers + 35-40' strength session immediately following.
This weekend I plan to do a little biking, a group run session, a long trail run and perhaps a CX clinic. (Trying to make up for my relatively lazy week I suppose).

With views like these, it's easy for an intended 10k to turn into 15k(+). 

Trail porn.
The best money I spent was on a super yummy dinner out with Shane at the Wolf in the Fog. The Butterscotch Brulee was all sorts of delish.

My plans this weekend include (see above) biking, a group run session, a long trail run and perhaps a CX clinic. Also, lunch for Grandma D's birthday and lots of hanging out with the Rustbeast. Oh, and getting the wheel stud on my car fixed. Fun times!

Happy Friday y'all!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lost in a Sea of Change

It's weird, I don't think I truly ever went through the post-IM blues this year.

We had specifically planned for an early season IM with the intention of taking the summer 'off'. To swim, bike, run – all for fun – without the structure of a training plan. To be in the moment and enjoy all that our beautiful island had to offer.  And… if I'm honest, in the back of my mind I knew that I'd likely race the Victoria Half Marathon in October, so really, I did have a goal to look forward to.

The summer was great. The half in October was great. But now that it's done, I feel kind of lost.

Post-IM blues 3.5 months later? Or is it post-half mary blues? I dunno, but it's definitely something.

Shane and I have a lot of big changes happening in our life right now. I'm sure these changes are part of the reason I'm feeling a little off-kilter (hell, I know they are)… But, I think the fact that I have not set any sort of specific plans or goals for next year is contributing to this lost feeling as well.

Pretty much since I started triathlon, picking a goal and training for something specific has been a constant in my life. I've always had a pretty good idea of what was coming next in my athletic life even when I was taking a bit of a break or soaking up the off-season. There has always been a New Goal for a New Year to look ahead too.

Now, when I'm asked “what's next?’ (which is still a question I get a TONNE) I don't have an answer. I have a few things in mind and a few things I'd like to try (learning to mountain bike, joining a running or triathlon club, etc. etc.), but nothing concrete.

I was out for a run the other day, just kind of plodding along, feeling a little down on myself  and like the run had no purpose. I shook myself a little and tried to remind myself that not every run – not every workout – needs a purpose. Sometimes, just getting out the door and being active is enough. 

So I'm holding onto that. Trying to find my new rhythm. Swimming, biking, running, just because. My purpose right now is fun. My purpose is to stay active and to stay healthy – both physically and mentally.

It's a work in progress.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 Victoria Half Marathon - Race Report

I started writing a post on Friday (and then again on Saturday) about the fact that it was Thanksgiving weekend – which of course also means MARATHON WEEKEND in Victoria!

Whether I'm racing or simply spectating, this is probably one of my favourite weekends of the year. I feel like it sort of signals the end to one “season” and triggers the start of the next – in athletics and regular life. (Plus all the obvious Thanksgiving-y goodness of time with family and friends and lots of yummy food).

This year, I was trained up and ready to run the half marathon. It would be my first time since 2010 that I've done anything longer than the 8k on marathon weekend. For the past four years, cheering on friends and family has been higher on the priority list.

Anyway, my now abandoned post started something like this…
“Confession. I'm nervous.”

I didn't get much farther than that.

It seems the nerves I was feeling leading into Sunday's Victoria Half Marathon were enough that the idea of writing about the race – before it happened – was just too much. And so, that blog post got ditched.

Funny how a distance you've run countless times can suddenly feel so intimidating.

Actually, that's a lie; the distance wasn't intimidating at all. I knew I could run it just fine. I suppose the fact that I had declared a time goal, and knew it was going to take some work to achieve it, well, maybe that was the intimidating part?

Anyway, as usual, I'm rambling. Let's get to the race report, shall we?

After a restless ‘sleep’ on Saturday night, I woke up way too early and did my usual pre-race routine before heading down to meet up with the parental units and Kirsten so we could all drive into town together.

I was quiet and a bit grumbly and a little unsure of why I was feeling so anxious.

When one of my folks asked if I was okay and I nearly started to cry I had to remind myself that my best races this year have been when I haven't given a crap about time (or, should I say, time wasn't the main focus), but instead was more concentrated on finding the joy and fun in the day… because let's face it, I do this for the fun and the challenge, I'm never going to make a living running races.

Thankfully, this little thought snapped me out of my nerves (for a brief moment) and reminded me that the world was surely not going to end if I didn't make my goal time. No one would care, other than me. As my Dad later said, he would have been disappointed for me, but certainly not disappointed in me.

Almost as soon as I stepped into the starting area and found the 1:45 signage I heard my name and looked back to see fellow-triathlete Lesley. It was a nice distraction to have someone to chat with while we waited for the official start.

Soon enough, it was go time.

I bobbed and weaved a bit through the start. Cursing the few walkers who really should not have been starting so close to the front and wondering how so many people were so bad at self-seeding, but soon enough I had some space and was moving along at a comfortably strong effort.

As the first few km ticked by on my watch, I noticed I was slightly faster than my goal pace, but nothing too too crazy. I was feeling good, so I decided to just go with it. I was running strong but comfortable and I was feeling confident.

To be honest, most of the race is a bit of a blur in my mind now. I know the course so well, that I knew when little inclines were coming and knew when I'd be able to relax into a bit of a downhill, etc. etc. I think I was in autopilot a bit.

I attempted to take a gel around the 12km mark – not because I wanted it, but because I felt like I probably needed it. But, it was actually kind of grossing me out, so after sucking about half of it down, I tossed it at the next aid station.

My pace was steady and about where I wanted it to be right up until 16/17k. I knew the hill on Dallas Rd might slow me down a little, and sadly, it did  just ever so slightly, but enough to sap a bit of my energy and momentum.

Through this little uphill stretch my brain just kept saying “Maintain. Get to Terry. Maintain. Get to Terry.” [The road starts to hit a bit of a downhill at the Terry Fox statue and I knew I could make back a few seconds per km on that downhill stretch – I just needed to get to Terry first!].

I also saw Shane along here. It was nice to see him, but I was definitely in my “Maintain. Get to Terry.” world, so I think I pretty much just grunted at him as he cheered for me.

I pushed as hard as I could through the final few km and did my best to keep a consistent pace. I tried to pick it up a little, but just didn't have a lot left to give. I crossed the finish line in 1:44:28. I was definitely happy to come in under 1:45 as that is the goal I laid out at the start of this year and again at the start of this training cycle.

Oddly enough, post-race, I did feel a slight disappointment. I'm not sure if it is because deep down I maybe thought I could run a little faster (I feel like I had a 1:43:xx in my head) or if it was just because I knew I slowed a little in the second half and think I could have executed a slightly better race.

As Kelly said when we chatted after, “positive splitting a race always leaves one wanting for more.” I think he is probably right, had I run stronger in the second half, I may have felt a little more complete.

But all that said, at the end of the day, I really cannot be disappointed with a 5+ minute PB!! I set a goal and I accomplished it, and for that I am absolutely thrilled.

Once I had my finisher photo snapped and collected some chocolate milk, Shane, my parents and I headed out to cheer Kirsten on along the marathon route. She didn’t PB (but wasn’t trying to) and ended up running a really great, well-paced marathon, accomplishing everything she set out to do.

Really, she said it best on Facebook post-race “Sometimes not fading from the front and not crying in Oak Bay is as good as a PB! Overall a great day at the Victoria Marathon, stand-alone marathon #10 done!!”   

Yeah, it was a good day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I looked at my training calendar today and kind of had a *gulp* moment. The Victoria half marathon is in less than 2 weeks. How’d that happen?

As I was sitting there in that shocked *gulp* state, I also realized that I really have not written much about my actual training through this cycle. I suppose that could be due to the fact that is hasn't been a particularly long training cycle, or perhaps because it has been rather uneventful (in a good way)… but still, a little word here or there on how's it is going is never a bad thing. Right? Right.

I suppose the fact that it hasn't been a particularly long training cycle could be why it feels like all of a sudden it is upon me. I haven't had time to really get tired of running or training or overwhelmed by thoughts about my goals. On top of that, I still haven't really given much thought to “what's next” so my focus has actually stayed fully with this race. I'm present in this moment, focused on this goal, with no worries about base training for next year, etc. etc. Staying focused in the present. Hmm, what a crazy notion that is eh?

Anyway, I ramble.

For the most part, training has been going very well. I'm putting in the work and having fun while doing it. I've been running quite a bit (as you do when training for a running race), supplemented with some cyclocross (which I am loving so so much), as well as hitting the pool for the odd swim here and there.

On the running front, I think some speed is creeping back in. After months and months (years and years?) of long slow, iron-distance pacing, it’s been nice to go out and push myself at a 5km or 10km effort and see what happens. I think my body is adjusting and adapting, which is good.

My long runs have included a lot of “goal race pace” efforts/tempos and while there have been a few days where I question how I am going to hold that pace for 21.1km and not just 7 or 8km, it is getting easier. Looking through my training calendar, I've noticed I've used the word “controlled” a lot lately, which I think is a good thing. I've been in control of my pace, in control of my breath and really, in control of my mind when I might be hurting during a workout. I hope to carry this through to the actual race.

As for cyclocross, I'm so incredibly happy I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined the Cross Club. I still don't really, truly know anyone, and I still get a little anxious on Wednesday nights as I head to the venue, but the joy I get while ripping around on my bike outweighs any of the nerves and anxiety.

I did my first actual race (since 2011) on Sunday and had a blast. I placed about mid-pack in the beginner women's category, so there is still definitely room for improvement, but I find my main focus with cross is to improve my bike handling skills, get in a good (short but hard) workout and have fun, and you know, each and every time I've been on my cross bike this year, I've accomplished those things, so I think that is a win.

But yeah, I'm rambling again.

So, let's recap…
Running is going well. Cyclocross is super fun. Life is generally pretty darn good.

Until next time. Peace out homies.      

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Day in the Life ~ Yesterday

5:03am  Wake up and look at clock. Hmm. 10mins until my alarm sounds. Think about getting up and instead lay there and wiggle my toes and flex my ankles in hopes of awakening my legs first.

5:11am  Finally suck it up, turn off the alarm (before it actually starts blaring) and sleepily wander into the washroom. Take care of all the usual business that needs to be taken care of first thing in the morning and then get dressed into my run gear. Flick on the light in the loft so I can actually see (it's so dark!) and notice that Rusty is cutely curled up on his dog bed. Tip toe back into the bedroom to say goodbye to Shane (I always try to be super quiet and gentle while saying goodbye, but I'm sure I startle him awake every time I do this, haha). Once I've said goodbye to Shane, it's time to go give Rusty some cuddles and then coax him out of bed with the promise of breakfast.

5:15am  [As noted in a previous “Day in the Life” post, I actually take longer than 4 minutes to do all that needs done in the washroom, but I set my alarm clock ahead by approx. 12-13 minutes – so I often make it downstairs with the same time on the clock as the “time” I get up]. Get Rusty breakfast; finish packing my lunch for the day while pounding a huge glass of water and give one last check to make sure I have everything I need for the day ahead.

5:25am  Load Rustbeast and my bags in the car and roll out of the dark driveway for the drive down to my folk's place.

5:45am  Pop into my parent's house so I can put Rusty's dinner in the fridge and grab a poo bag – trying hard to be super stealthy and quiet so my Mom doesn't wake up. Fail! She has supersonic hearing and I can't get in and out undetected. I've woken her. Have a quick chat before heading out to walk with the Beast.

5:48am  Walking with the pup. The streets are super quiet and dark. Usually it doesn't bother me, but something feels slightly eerie today. Try to put it out of my head and just keep trucking along, enjoying the silence and the furbabe's company.

5:52am  The skies open up and within moments, Rusty and I are drenched. Keep walking.

6:13am  Arrive back at the parental units, towel dry the beast, say goodbye to Mom and get back in the car to head into town.

6:32am  Park downtown by my office, locate satellites on the trusty ol' Garmin and head out for an easy 30min+ run (+ = hill strides). It's a mostly good run – a nice out and back past the parliament buildings and toward the water. My calves are a bit tight, and my easy pace feels a little harder than I would like or expect it to, but the rain has stopped and downtown is quiet and calm. I stop for a quick bathroom break on the way back before heading down to the causeway and finding a nice hill to do my strides on.

7:10am  Arrive back at my car, grab my work clothes and towel and head into the office building for a quick shower. It's time to try and make myself look somewhat presentable for the day ahead.

7:32am  All clean, hair brushed, smelling a little fresher than 20 minutes ago and I'm back at my car. Hop in and drive up to see the wonderful and amazing Lysanne for a much needed massage.

7:39am  Eat my yogurt and granola while sitting in my car listening to the radio before it's time to head into the massage clinic.

7:50am  Massage time! Bliss (and torture and pain) for one full hour.

9:03am  Now that my massage is done, it's time to get to work. Once parked, I wander to the office, grabbing a coffee on the way. Drop my lunch off in the fridge in the lunch room, and finally plop myself down in my desk. Work. Work. Work. Twitter. Facebook. Read some blogs. Work. Work. Work. It’s a pretty typical morning, although it is definitely a bit quieter than it has been the last few days.

12:02pm  Can't wait any longer. Must.Eat.Lunch. Head down to the lunch room, heat up my leftover quinoa casserole from the night before and proceed to inhale it in about 2 seconds flat.

1:05pm  Decide to head out for a short wander as the sun has broken through and the need for some fresh air and a little leg stretch has taken over my thoughts.

1:32pm  Back at my desk (it was only a short walk today due to my late start this morning). More work. A bit more slacking (yep, it's super quiet in the office today) and more work.

1:58pm  A co-worker and I are both so hungry we decide that afternoon treats are in order. So, I guess that means it's time for another little break. We head to the box office first to drop off some stuff and then onto the coffee shop. I clearly didn't bring enough healthy snacks today.

4:26pm  Sneak out a few minutes early to change into my CX gear so that I can get a bit of a jump on traffic and make it to tonight's cyclocross "race" on time.

5:04pm  Pull into the parking lot at Layritz. Get the ol' bike out of the car, helmet and shoes on, and hop right into the course for a warm up loop.

5:30pm  CROSS CLUB! 'B' group 'race' start. I hang back a bit as usual so as not to get in anyone's way. This was a long course compared to the last couple weeks, but it was a super fun course with some awesome mud puddles, lots of twists and turns, a couple little ups and downs. I definitely feel like I'm improving at this whole CX thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not great, but I definitely think I'm getting better. Tonight was the first time I found myself wishing I had started closer to the front of the group, and getting a bit frustrated as I was feeling a little "stuck" behind people that were taking the turns slower than I would have liked. That said, it did give me the opportunity to make a few fun and fast passes and I definitely ended the night having passed way more people than passed me.

5:57pm  Not quite done my final loop, I have to pull out of the course a little early, as we have company coming to stay for the night and I know I need to hit the road if I'm going to make it home on time.

6:15pm  Stop and pick up some take out for dinner. Feel an overwhelming happiness in my heart every time I look down and see my mud soaked legs. I think I love this crazy cyclocross thing.

6:30pm  Home, home at last! Laura, Ash and Bradley have arrived as well (yay!). I quickly rinse my bike and bike shoes (have I mentioned the mud?) and hop in the shower before dinner.

6:42pm  A lovely evening at home visiting with awesome friends begins. We eat, we chat, we try to keep Rusty from licking Bradley's little hands and feet and just relax and enjoy a long overdue catch up.  

10:30pm  After a few hours of visiting and catching up on all that has happened in our lives over the last few months, we all head off to sleepy-time village. I think I'm asleep within about 3 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.


Friday, September 12, 2014


I'm now firmly into week 2 of a more structured training regime again. Following a plan that Kelly has laid out for me, and actually introducing some speed work into my life ~ and let me tell you, that first fartlek hurt! < --- and this sentence totally just made me giggle.

Week one = pure awesome. I was pretty stoked to do every workout and was generally just really excited to be back in a routine. Hitting my paces during my Sunday long run was just icing on the cake.

Week two however, well, it started off a little rockier. On Tuesday I was scheduled for a 55-70' aerobic run. Nothing crazy and really, it should have been totally manageable. But man, I could not drag myself out of bed on Tuesday morning! I was so tired.

I packed my run gear and brought it with me to work with the vague notion that I would run when the workday was done, but by lunchtime I had tossed that plan clear out the window. Even the idea of changing into my run clothes made me feel exhausted. My desire to run that day went from almost none to completely below zero. Nada. Nothing. Wasn't going to do it.

So, I didn't.

Wednesday things started to turn around. While it hurt, I managed to put in a pretty solid effort on my morning speed workout and then spent the day anxiously awaiting my Wednesday night plans.

So, what were these plans and why so anxious?

Well, I've decided to do some cyclocross this year. I tried it a few years ago, and even though I actually really loved it and had a tonne of fun, I always seemed to find a reason (aka. excuse) not to do it again in the following years.

So yeah, Wednesday. There is a Cross Club in Victoria that meets at various locations around town and does fun little "races" on Wednesday evenings. I realized the only thing holding me back from going out to Cross Club and doing something I actually enjoy was the fact that I didn't know anyone (I'm fairly shy around new people, so while it may seem like nothing to most, this is a big thing for me).

Anyway, I decided to suck it up and join – and I'm so glad I did. It really is SO.MUCH.FUN!

It's funny, because I was probably one of the slowest people out there, but I didn't really care. I enjoyed the challenge of the course and just how different it is from my everyday activities. And you know, even though I didn't really know anyone and was probably one of the last people to finish, it was all good and I was so happy with myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something that scared me.

So, my goal for next week is to be a little more fearless and push a little harder. I can tell I have good enough fitness and endurance to easily handle the courses, but I'm definitely a bit timid about crashing or getting in someone's way, and so I found myself holding back a bit. Give me a few more weeks and I'm sure I can overcome that.

Moving on...
Thursday's workout was good (but nothing really to write home about). 

Then today happened!

Today (Friday) was supposed to be a day off, but I ended up having to come into town with Shane this morning so figured I might as well do my Tuesday run that I had skipped, today. I hadn't really intended to swap my Tuesday and Friday on the calendar, but I felt like running this morning and had the time, so I went with it… and HOT DAMN – best run I've had in ages!

It was one of those runs where absolutely everything felt great and was totally clicking. I was floating. Endorphins were flowing and everything was absolutely right in my world.

As I was running I even found myself thinking about my goals for the half marathon and saying "Ya, I fuckin' got this!" (complete with bad grammar and swears, haha).


I guess sometimes it pays to listen to your body and just go with the flow.

My post-run, high-on-life, Facebook gush.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Beer Gut

I bit the bullet today and registered for the Victoria Half Marathon. I've been saying for a couple months now when asked “what's next?” (which is a question I get A LOT!) that I'm “thinking about the half in October, but we'll see.”

“We'll see” has turned into an actual training plan and a desire to get back into it. It's turned into a time goal and a desire to push myself as hard as I can in this race.

I've learned a lot about myself over the last two years in terms of what my body is capable of [so much more than I think] and also, the realization that the best races might not be the fastest races. Most of my goals have been very much the opposite of wanting to see a time on the clock. They've been about so much more. About joy and fun and determination. It's been awesome. I had my happiest and most successful IM to date. I've felt stronger and more confident on the run than I have in years, and well, now I want that same feeling of happiness and confidence, but I also really want to see a certain time on the clock.

So, my goal for this race is 1:45:00 or less.

Is this a lofty goal for me? Yes.
Is it one I think I'm capable of? Yes.

If I don't achieve this will it be a failure? No.
Will I be disappointed? Maybe, but it will totally depend on the day and if I've given it everything I'm possible of giving.

So, I'm putting it out there. Telling the whole wide world (or maybe just the world wide web) what my time goals are in hopes that the universe will listen, and hell, if I say it enough, my brain and body will hopefully start to believe as much as my heart does, right? Right.

Other than that, life has been trucking along. Summer has been full of fun times (friends, food, weddings, conferences, etc. etc.) and sunny SUNNY weather (Victoria has had it good this year).

My 'training' regime has consisted of doing what I feel like, when I feel like.
  • My commuter bike has acquired a lot of kms.
  • My running legs have gotten very comfortable with 45-60min runs (although there have been a couple longer outings thrown in as well, which I'm happy to report went very well).
  • I ran a very hot and humid 5km in Grapevine, TX (more on that in a bit).
  • I hit the trails this past weekend and realized it's been far too long since I've done that sort of running, as I was/am far too sore for my liking.
  • I've swam a bit, but not enough. I miss the pool.
  • I've gotten into a much more consistent walking routine with the pooch now that he is becoming a frail old senior and can't run as much. I think it’s been good for both of us. We're developing good routines that will hopefully make some changes that are coming this fall a little easier to maneuver.
  • Also, I've drank a lot of beer. Both my INR and my weight have been a little higher than I typically like due to that fact, but that's okay. Just means, well... Sober-September here we come!

As for the hot and humid 5km mentioned above. It is a fun run/race that takes place at a conference I attend every summer with work. This year, the conference was in Grapevine, Texas. I love the heat, but I don't get much of a chance to work out in it (let alone humidity), and it is definitely both of those things in the big state.

Anyway, the TLCC Fun Run/Race. AKA: probably the only race where I ever have a shot at winning.

The conference usually holds the 5km fun run/race on the Tuesday morning of the conference. I usually participate as I'm up running or swimming anyway, so why not. Also, see above: ‘probably the only race where I ever have a shot at winning.’ While the competition isn't super stiff, a win is a win and it still feels pretty darn good. Plus, there are Starbucks gift cards on the line.

I'd guess there were about 100-150 people participating on a two loop course. It's very casual and low key and just a nice chance to try and run harder than I would if I was plodding along the running trail or treadmill on my own.

Right off the bat I settled in at the front of the pack with another girl. The pace was hard, but not too too hard. It was 6:30am and probably already about 30*C (aka. not Victoria-like weather). I suppose I could tell that I hadn't pushed myself harder than Ironman pace in quite some time, but figured, it was 5km, so maybe I could hold on.

Through the first loop I was holding on well, about a step or two behind the lead girl, but as we turned the corner for loop two, she dropped the hammer and gapped me in a huge way (while she looked like she was working hard, I have a feeling she was just playing with me on that first loop) and while she never got too too far ahead, I just couldn't close the gap. I checked over my shoulder a couple times to make sure 3rd place wasn't closing in on me (she wasn't ~ phew) and happily crossed the finish line for 2nd place female.

I grabbed some water (have I mentioned how hot it was?) and ran back out on course to meet one of my coworkers and finish her run with her. We then got the best post-race treat ever – the hotel opened their water park early (yes, the hotel had a water park) and we got to take a lap in the lazy river. It was magical.

And that is that. Onward to Victoria Half! 
Happy September Friends.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I'm heading back in time for this post today, and well, the title is courtesy of my friend Derry from when I posted this #tbt photo the other day. 

Derry: "You had the Napoleon Dynamite costume before the
movie was even invented. #DibbsIsATimeTraveller"
He was of course referencing my best Halloween costume ever... 

Not the greatest photo of it, but I really did make an awesome Napoleon Dynamite.
Anyway, I was looking back through old Facebook notes the other day and came across this gem from January 2009 (before this blog ever existed, before my PE, before Ironman, etc. etc.)… aaaand, since I've been very slack on writing anything for the ol’ blog since my triathlon season is essentially over for the year, I thought I'd have a look back and see what's the same and what has changed.

Current notes in Blue!

1. I'm having a really hard time thinking of 25 random things about myself which is making me feel self-conscious and boring. Thanks to this blog, I now know I can often (and usually fairly easily) come up with random things about myself to share with the internet.

2. Which brings me to number 2... I worry too much about fairly insignificant things. I think I've gotten better about this. I still worry occasionally, but not nearly as much as I used to. I think this is an age and confidence thing.  

3. I'm slightly obsessive compulsive when it comes to wiping down my kitchen counter tops at home, but my bathroom is a complete dirty mess. Some things never change!

4. I would like to (and plan to) ride my bike across Canada in 2010, I just need to save some money. Hmmm, well, I guess this didn't happen. Best laid plans and all that shizz. I would still one day like to do the cross-country ride. Unfortunately it seems this big goal keeps losing out to Ironmans and treks across the Colorado Rockies. Maybe 2015 is the year for it?

5. My ideal dog family would consist of a Boston Terrier, Rusty and a Mastiff, so that they all kind of look the same but are of a small, medium and large variety. Yep, I still love me some flat faced snorty dogs. I’d probably add an English bulldog to the mix as well.

6. I've never seen or had a zit that I didn't want to pop. Still true. Still a problem.

7. I compulsively hit send/receive in my email and worry when I don't hear from Laura like every other hour (although I'm working on taming this worry now that she has a new job and can't be on the email every second of every day like me). Ahh, lovely Laura. We used to communicate all day every day when we had jobs/lives that were a little less busy and more carefree. Life has perhaps gotten more hectic over the years and our hourly check-ins have turned to weekly or bi-weekly checks. I still eagerly await every email or text from her though. Also, this made me feel really nostalgic.

8. I easily drink 2 to 3 litres of water every day and sometimes wonder if I'm over hydrating. I still drink this much. I don't worry about over hydrating anymore though. Water is the miracle cure for everything.

9. Some of the jobs/career paths I've thought would be fun (but am not sure why I've never just taken the leap and done it - aside from money of course) are: hair stylist, outdoor adventure tourism guide, bike or running store lackey, makeup artist or esthetician, massage therapist, barista... umm, and pretty much anything that doesn't consist of sitting behind a desk all day. Yep. Still holds true. Still sitting behind a desk.

10. I truly wish someone would nominate me for "What Not to Wear" already. Come on people, you know I need the help. It seems my dream of meeting Stacy and Clinton and getting restyled will never become a reality, as the show no longer exists. 

11. I would love just to be some weird hippy bum and live in a shack on the beach in Mexico or Belize or even Tofino. Hmmm… oddly enough, one of these things could potentially become a reality. I’m going to leave that vague for now.

12. I sweat a lot - like profusely no matter what I'm doing or what the temperature - I like to think its cause my body is efficient, but really it just ruins a lot of my shirts and make me worry about pit stains (which I have right now). I still sweat a lot, but I don't give two shits about it anymore. My body is just an efficient machine and I embrace that.

13. I sing pop songs in "opera" style to Rusty when no one else is around. I still serenade the beast occasionally, but perhaps not as much as I once did. I leave most of the Rusty singing to Shane these days.

14. I secretly love the show "Bromance". Gawd, what a masterpiece this was! I totally forgot this horrific train wreck of a show ever existed. What ever happened to Brody Jenner anyway?

15. I would like to complete an Ironman in my lifetime, but have no desire to do a marathon on its own. Check. Check. Check. IM x3. Standalone marathon also complete… although I don't really have a huge desire to do another standalone marathon anytime soon. Funny how that is.

16. Whenever I see someone I know but haven't seen in a long time, I am never sure if I should say hi or not because I'm not sure if he/she will remember me... which really means - I never think anyone remembers me. Admittedly, I still suffer from this.

17. I have never smoked in my life (cigarettes or pot). This continues to hold true.

18. I don't play the lottery, but am convinced that the one time I finally do decide to buy a ticket I will win.... it's my destiny :) I’ve bought a ticket. I did not win. However, someone in my area is $13 million richer. Why-oh-why didn't I buy that ticket?

19. I was pretty good at basketball once upon a time (if I do say so myself). I'm pretty sure I would suck now, but yeah, once upon a time I was pretty darn good.

20. This summer when I was listening to headphones at work and told everyone I was just listening to the radio and was only using headphones cause I didn't want to disturb them, I was really watching the live feeds of the Olympics. Haha, that was an awesome summer. I'm sure they were probably on to me, but whatevs… I don't work there anymore (for the record, I left on my own accord).

21. This February is Shane and my 3rd wedding anniversary, but in fact our 10th anniversary (since we started dating) and I love him more than words can express. I still love-love-love him, after 8 years of marriage and 15 years together.

22. I will kick ass at the Shawnigan Half Iron in May! F*ck. Crazy how things happen. One week before that race, I had my PE and ended up watching from the sidelines between hospital visits. The unused bib from that race still sits in my dresser drawer where I keep all my workout gear, reminding me how quickly things can change. In the end, it took me an extra year to make it to the start line of that race, and when I finally did, it was part of a bigger journey to my first IM. It was one of the most emotional starts/finishes to a race I've ever had.

23. I am incredibly superstitious - please don't ask me to walk under a ladder. Nope. Still won't do it. Why risk it, am I right?

24. Recently I've had to come to terms with the fact that Joaquin Phoenix is looking dirty and crazy and I should probably remove him from my Freebie Five List even though I will always love "Inventing the Abbotts Joaquin". Should he start to look like he doesn't stink like patchouli or even if he just tones down the crazy, he will be back on the list. Alternately, I think Zach Braff will now move into spot #2 behind Johnny Depp... I think this addition should be okay with Shane because I know he likes to stare at Elliott's boobs when we watch Scrubs. And in conclusion - I put WAY to much thought into this :) My Freebie Five list has changed a lot since 2009… although I still have a soft spot for good ol’ crazy Joaquin.

25. And finally, as cliched as it sounds, I really truly do believe that everything happens for a reason and that at the end of the day - everything, no matter what, has a way of working out. True dat.

Alright, back to the present. That was a fun walk down memory lane (for me at least). Regularly scheduled blog posts will resume once I decide what the next big goal is or I just feel like rambling again. 

The Victoria Half Marathon in October is on the agenda I think and Ironman Canada (Whistler) is seeping into my thoughts far more than it should be these days (Dad??? *wink wink*)… but apparently I've also got a cross-country cycling adventure that needs to get ticked off the bucket list too.

Decisions. Decisions.