Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tick Tock

It's 5am and I'm wide awake. 

A year ago, this would have been normal. Hell, 8 months ago it was still normal. It was around this time of morning that I'd be peeling myself out of bed to go for a swim, a run along the waterfront, or perhaps a trainer ride or spin class. Nowadays, I tend to sleep a little later. 

That said, lots of things are different. I'm also up a lot more during the night. I used to hit the pillow and be out like a light. I'd barely move during my 7-8hours of nightly sleep. Now I'm up to pee at least once... ah, who am I kidding, it's usually at least twice. 

The last few days, at 4am my eyes pop open. My tummy growling, I shuffle to the kitchen for a drink of chocolate milk or a small snack. Once back in bed, I find myself talking to my belly, enjoying feeling the flips and turns of our little girl, soothed by her movements, and within 15-20mins, I'm back to sleep for another couple hours before my eventual wake up for the day. 

Not sure why today is different. I've sung her my version of 'Baby JB' (set to the tune of Baby Beluga... don't bother asking me to sing it to you. It's just for me and the little squirt). She seems to respond to my voice/singing now, which is really cool. I find myself wondering if this song will soothe her once she's actually here in the world, outside of my belly. 

6 weeks to go (although, I have a feeling it will be less) and I guess we'll find out. 


I actually wrote the above a couple weeks ago, while Shane was away for work and I was spending some time on my own in Ukee. Then, I promptly forgot I wrote it. (The whole 'pregnancy brain' thing you hear so much about is real, yo). 

So, as of yesterday, I'm now 36 weeks pregnant. This will be my last week in Ukee before having to make the move out of town to prepare for delivery. It seems crazy that, after Saturday, the next time I'm at home, Shane and I will be parents! Yikes. 

[For those who don't know, you cannot deliver a baby in Tofino/Ukee and have to relocate to a bigger city 3-4 weeks before your due date. It's obviously not the ideal situation, having to be away from your home in these final weeks, but thankfully I have a place to stay and great support in Victoria, and Shane has some flexibility with work to be able to travel back and forth. Not everyone who lives up here is that lucky, and often have to rent a place or live out of a hotel. I really can't imagine having to wait out the last few weeks in a hotel in a strange city!]

Anyway, I digress... 
The summer was beautiful. I spent a lot of time walking, beaching, relaxing, and just enjoying this time of relative quiet and freedom. I ran a bit, but it got harder and harder as I got bigger and bigger, and I found I preferred to spend an hour or so walking/hiking the trails, as opposed to running uncomfortably for 20-30mins. My last run happened at just after 31 weeks, when I decided it wasn't worth it anymore, as I really wasn't enjoying it, and so I decided to call it quits on the running until after JB is here. 

We did get a wicked running stroller though, that I'm excited to be able to use once she is big enough.

Anyway, time is ticking along. Life has been good, but very different. The last couple months especially have been a bit of a whirlwind.

Mid-September, Shane got posted to a job in Merritt for 6 weeks, so I split my time between Merritt, Victoria and home in Ucluelet. 

I've had many ultrasounds and doctors appointments (one of the perks(?) of being considered a high risk pregnancy) and everything seems to be going well with the baby. My blood pressure has been a bit high at the last couple appointments, so I've been told to rest as much as possible, and put my feet up. I definitely feel like a bit of a slug, and some days are harder than others to sit around and do nothing, when you are used to being so active, but it's a small sacrifice to make in order to make sure both myself and JB get through these last couple weeks in the best possible shape. 

Otherwise, the nursery is finished. The newborn sleepers are purchased, and well, now we wait. 

Much like when I found out I was pregnant, I'm both excited and terrified, but mostly, I just can't wait to meet our baby girl. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This and That

I've sat down and attempted to write on the blog a few times over the past month. Each time I get about a paragraph in, and realize that I'm not sure I have anything to say. I think this happens because I originally created this blog to chronicle my training and life as I worked toward different athletic pursuits and the goals attached to them. This year, there aren't really any athletic pursuits on the horizon.

Anyway, while I'm not really training, I am definitely on a pretty huge journey to a pretty big adventure, so figured I might as well start jotting down a bit of what is happening in life these days... even if it does involve far less swim-bike-run than in years past. 

So yeah, keep reading if you want to hear about things like 30' easy runs where I have to walk up almost every hill, or the fact that popsicles and ice cream have taken up permanent residence in our freezer, or random hormone surges that cause me to cry over dog food commercials. Of course, if that's not your thing and you're only interested in my swim, bike, run adventures, well, check back in about a year.

Ok, with all that said, let's get to it. Apologies in advance if this gets a bit rambly, but well, lists and rambles seem to be what I do best. 

So, here goes... Let the brain dump commence!!!

I'm definitely missing triathlon a bit this summer. For the past 8 years or so, it has been a staple in my life. This year, obviously I've taken a step back (what with this whole baby growing thing).  

Anyway, my Facebook feed seems to be filled with status updates about long rides or runs, group swims at the lake, people crushing their local races, and well, this week... the dreaded taper! I have quite a few friends and acquaintances racing Ironman Canada this year, and I so wish I could be there to cheer them on (but unfortunately it's not going to work out). I will however, be glued to my computer checking updates like crazy throughout the day. I'm pretty sure they are all going to crush it. 

As far as my life and exercise are concerned as of late, I'm running 2-3 times per week, for about 30' or so each time. Honestly, I'm not loving running as much as I would like to right now. I find I worry about every little ache and pain, and so it's just not always quite as fun as it should be. That said, I did have a great run the other morning, so all hope is not lost, and physically, I am still a-okay to keep doing it. I'm slower and breathe a little heavier than I'm used to, but it's all good. 

I also just found out my Mom is going to do the 8k on Victoria Marathon race weekend, so if things are still going well for me, and I'm still able, I think I will run it with her. It will give me that little motivation I need to keep lacing up and getting out the door. 

Otherwise, when I'm not running, I'm walking. A LOT! And with the amount of hills in this town, I still get a pretty good workout doing it. I try to get out for at least an hour in the morning on every non-run day, and then most afternoons (regardless of my morning activity) I get out for an easier 30-45' stroll through town. 

I've also started attending a group fitness class once a week. It's a low impact strength conditioning and core activation class. It's pretty good, and the instructor is nice enough to modify exercises to accommodate me. I also try to do a bit of range of motion and strength work on my own once or twice a week, so you know, there's that. 

So yeah, I'm definitely still moving, just in very different ways compared to what used to be normal, haha. 

On the non-exercise front, well, I'm settling into small town life. I'm attending a group at the community centre once a week for moms-to-be/new-moms and am really enjoying it. It's been great for just getting out of the house and meeting people, but I'm also learning a lot and am starting to feel a little bit more welcomed and comfortable within the community. The resources and support offered here for pregnant women are really amazing considering it is such a small community. I feel very lucky to have it all at my disposal. 

Some other things I've learned/noticed over the last little while...
1) I'm pretty good at spending time alone and I don't actually mind it. I'm often surprised at how good I am at finding stuff to do. That said, alone time has also made me realize how much I do enjoy a good conversation and just being around other people. Evenings and weekends when Shane is home, or times when people come to visit, are a real treat! 

2) I really like the feel of the baby moving. I always thought it would be uber creepy, but I find it so reassuring. She's moving a lot these days, which is awesome. You can even see and feel some of her bigger kicks and jabs from the outside now. 

Yep, I'm officially now that person.
3) I have a tendency to worry. I worry I'm not getting enough protein, I worry I need more iron, I worry if I do this, or that, I might hurt little JB (side note: Shane and I call the baby JB. The way that nickname came about is a story for another post, but if you hear me reference JB, now you know what I'm talking about). So yeah, I worry about a lot of really silly things that I actually know are totally fine. But hey, it's just good practice for the rest of my life as a parent, right? 

4) I used to be skinny. I mean, dang, when I look at photos we took at the beginning of this pregnancy, compared to the ones we took last night, well how on earth did I ever worry about my body? It looked pretty good if you ask me. You could kind of even see my abs! Shockingly, I don't really care though. I know my body is doing something pretty amazing, and while it may not ever be exactly the same as it was before, I know my strength and my endurance will be back, and I'm cool with that. 

5) I get to look at scenery like this everyday... I'm pretty lucky I get to live here. 

Rocky bluffs and ocean swells. Just your typical daily walk.
A big ol' rainforest drenched in sun.
This is what Saturday and Sunday often look like.
Okay, I'm sure there is way more I could ramble on about, but this post has gotten pretty long already.  If you've made it this far, congratulations and thank you for reading! 

Until next time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Getting Fat.

Well, I survived the Edge to Edge half marathon on Sunday. 

To say it was hilly would be an understatement. To say it was hard, also, an understatement. 

You likely won't be surprised to read that it was very much a personal worst as far as time was concerned (by a long shot!).

That said, I'm actually really proud of the finish, because you know what, it's sure not easy carrying another person for 21.1k (even a teeny tiny one). 

So yeah, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm knocked up. With child. Pregnant. 

It was planned (because when you have a clotting disorder, everything to do with getting and being pregnant must be very well planned), but it happened a hell of a lot faster than we expected. I'm just at the start of my second trimester. The first one definitely took a little more energy out of me than I expected (who knew the fatigue could be such an ass kicker) but otherwise, so far everything seems to be going well, and I've got a great team (yes, a full team) of doctors looking after me. 

Anyway, along with all the changes to do with our move and the newness of life in Ukee, adding in all the excitement and changes that happen with a new pregnancy (and the fatigue, have I mentioned that?) have definitely been a contributing factor in the lack of anything resembling training these days... but that's okay. Every big goal requires some sacrifices and adjustments to what you've previously known, and making sure this baby gets delivered healthy is my number 1 priority for the year. 

And on that note, I'm gonna go find something to eat and put my feet up. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


We have internet!!!! 
As of yesterday, Shane and I are back connected to the outside world via the ol' world wide web. It probably makes me happier than it should.

But, that's not really what this post is about is it? Let's talk about Ucluelet (since I don't really seem to know what training is anymore).

I've been in Ukee for a little over a month now. The house is unpacked (mostly), pictures have been hung (mostly), and we have even welcomed our first house guests for a weekend. In fact, you might even say our little space is beginning to feel a bit more like home.

Over the first few weeks, I didn't get to spend more than 4-5 days in a row up here, as I was having to go back to Victoria regularly for different appointments and things, and to finalize all the little details around our house before the tenants took over on June 1. I know everyone does it, but it's so crazy how we fix up our homes and correct all the little imperfections that we've lived with for years, just in time for someone else to take it over. Thankfully, I feel like we've left our home on the Malahat in good hands. *knocks on wood*

It's interesting moving to a new town, especially one that is a tourist town, at the start of tourist season. The locals assume you are either a tourist or a transient worker, and don't really seem like they want to bother to get to know you. Of course, the fact that I am not super outgoing and tend to be a bit shy, probably doesn't help. But let's just say, I haven't always felt entirely welcomed (I'm looking at you, bitchy Post Office girl). Thankfully Shane works with a couple of great guys, so we've got a bit of a built in social circle through them.

Anyway, I didn't expect to make friends right away, so I'm not sure what I complaining about, but I will admit, there have been a couple days where I have felt very lonely and isolated. That said, when/if I find a job, I'm sure it will help.

Also, I'm trying to put myself out there a little bit more. I attended a yoga class at the community centre last week, and intend to go back. Funnily enough, I'm pretty sure the yoga instructor lives directly across the street from me, so I've got that in my back pocket as a bit of a conversation starter for next time.

Other fun Ukee happenings... I saw a wolf while out walking one afternoon/evening.  It was pretty terrifying in the moment, but after the fact, a pretty cool thing. A few days later, Shane and I saw a woman walking a giant pig. It snorted at us, haha. It was quite the contrast from the wolf. We also spent some time a couple weekends ago checking out the Rip Curl Pro Tofino. It's not everyday you get to watch a surf contest just down the road from your house.

Otherwise, I spend a lot of time walking and exploring the town and surrounding beaches, running errands and finishing off things around the house (although I think I crossed the last thing off my to do list yesterday) and poaching Internet from the big resort in town while I sit on the beach out front (well, I used to do that I suppose). I'm still doing the odd bit of running and biking, but it's definitely not very consistent at this time. 

I must say, my life is pretty relaxing these days and I'm just soaking it all in as I find my new rhythm. 

This weekend Kirsten and I run the Edge to Edge half marathon here in Ucluelet. I'm undertrained. It is an extremely hilly route, and I have very little in the way of expectations. If fact, I'd just like to finish. 

More news and another update to come next week following the half. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We Have Arrived!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted on the blog. To say stuff has changed would be an understatement.

The last month has been a whirlwind of change!

I had my last day of work on April 24th. It was our AGM that day, which was kind of a good thing as it kept me busy and out of the office, as I had absolutely nothing left to do, and I was feeling rather emotional.

I had some tears on the drive into work, and then felt like I spent the whole day hard swallowing and trying to push the tears back into my eyes. In fact, there was one moment as I was sitting on the stage of the Mac, watching a (somewhat boring) AGM presentation, that I looked up into the balcony and a big flush of emotions hit. I've been at the theatres off and on since 1998. I've essentially grown up there. They've treated me incredibly well and the crew in the office have become great friends. Hell, I've made some of my best, lifelong friends, through the RMTS. So yeah, don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the all the new stuff on the horizon in mine and Shane's life, but it was hard to say goodbye.

The day ended with a nice dinner out at one of the local brew pubs with all my coworkers, where I managed to suppress my tears just long enough to get in my car.

The following week was spent packing up our house, painting it and just generally getting it ready for the new tenants. We were really lucky to find a great family to rent the entire property, which was a huge relief and definitely will take a little bit of pressure off as I look for work in Ukee.

Really though, life has been all about packing and moving and unpacking and cleaning and everything else that goes along with changing cities and almost everything in your life.

My parents were a huge help in all of this, as Shane was away at school and so everything fell to me. Without them, I'd probably be curled up in the fetal position on my floor covered in a pile of boxes. I'm not sure I can ever say thank you enough for everything they have done for me.

All of the commotion surrounding moving meant very little time for exercise or 'training' of any sort. I got out for a couple runs and rode my bike once or twice, but mostly, huffing boxes up and down the stairs of our house was my workout most days.

Now that we are getting settled in Ukee, and with Shane back at work, I've made getting out the door every morning for at least an hour of exercise my priority. On top of that, I haven't driven my car since we've arrived, as it is super easy to walk everywhere - even for groceries (although, I may need to take a better backpack for lugging them all home next time, as it was a bit heavy yesterday, haha). Hopefully I can get back into a good routine in the coming days and weeks.

Actually, I'd better, as Kirsten and I are signed up to run (notice I didn't say race) the Edge to Edge half marathon here in Ucluelet on June 15. Since I'm kind of out of racing shape, and Kirsten will still likely be recovering from her first 50k (Sun Mountain), it should be a rather slow outing, but I'm okay with that. This one is more about exploring my new town and spending a couple quality hours with my favourite sister.

Speaking of Kirsten's first 50k, it is this weekend in Washington State. I'll be heading down with her on Friday and acting as her crew/cheer squad. I really have no idea what to expect, but she is well trained and is going to rock it I'm sure. It should be a fun little getaway and hopefully a nice chance to relax (for me at least).

Some other notables...

We don't currently have Internet (as Ukee is out of bandwidth until 2016 and the options for satellite internet are kind of crappy, so we're still deciding what we want to do) so I'm currently sitting in the local coffee shop plugging away on their free wifi. It's super slow and well, I really hope this actually posts, haha. So, that said, posting may be slightly more sporadic (and I have no idea how my formatting is going to turn out) the next little while because of this fact (not that I've been really on the ball lately regardless).

Also, photos. The last of my 100 happy days are currently on a memory stick somewhere is a box, and our computer is not yet plugged in. So, you know, they probably aren't going to make their way to the blog anytime soon. But let me assure you, I did take the photos, and they were fabulous, haha. 

And I think that is all that I can manage for today, as Blogger doesn't seem to want to cooperate with my iPad and the free wifi. Until next time. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I've been a pretty lackluster blogger lately.

I realize over the last while I haven't had much to say – partially because I haven't been training for anything specific, and partially because there has been a lot of change and uncertainty swirling around in mine and Shane's life. I know at times I've made some vague references to these changes, but I suppose I just hadn't been in the headspace to share all the nitty-gritty details on this little slice of the internet.

So here it is... a long story made very short (in bullet points no less!)
  • About 6 months ago Shane got a new job – nay, a new career! (and a dream he's been chasing for the past couple years)
  • This new job was not in Victoria.
  • He moved up to Ucluelet and I stayed in Victoria.
  • We've been living separately since October/November, only seeing each other on weekends.
  • This has been hard. I miss him like crazy when we aren't together and found myself regularly dreading Sunday nights.
  • Why didn't I go with him right from the start you ask? Well, there was a small chance he might get relocated back down to Vic and it seemed foolish to leave my job if I didn't have to.
  • He didn't get relocated, and so Ukee will be home for at least the next year.
  • But… His job is going great and he loves [almost] every minute of it.
  • So, in May I'm moving up to the wild west coast – where we can start our new adventure together!
  • It's a bit scary.
  • But it's also really exciting.
  • I have no idea what I'm going to do for work, and in just over two weeks I will be unemployed for the first time in my adult life.
  • There is no pool in town, so triathlon training is out for the next little while.
  • Trail running, cycling and kayaking are probably going to be my go-to sources of motion.
  • Really, there is so much wonderful outdoor stuff to do in the area and I can't wait to explore it.
  • Again, it's all a bit scary… but I figure that's okay, because life would be pretty boring if you never did anything new or out of your comfort zone.

Otherwise, over the last few weeks, life has been rolling along. We've been working hard to get our property and house cleaned up and ready to rent (it's a big job!).

[Side note: If you know anyone interested in renting a beauty cedar home and/or carriage house on 4.5 acres, lemme know!]

I've been exercising regularly, but probably can't call it training at this point. I make sure I move every day, not because there is a goal on the horizon, but because I enjoy it and want to stay healthy. I'm obviously nowhere near Ironman shape, but I think I could probably hop into a sprint or Olympic triathlon and still turn out a respectable performance.

Some other random tidbits…

I taught a couple yoga classes in March at the gym I used to regularly teach at. It has been almost a year (or maybe even slightly longer) since I last taught a class, and to be honest, my own yoga practice has not been very consistent. That said, it was great to be back, and I really enjoyed myself.

Each week after class I got some nice compliments and even had a few people ask if I taught anywhere else because they wanted to come to my classes! Needless to say, that was a definite confidence boost and made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside.

I volunteered at the Westshore Triathlon and Duathlon on Sunday morning. I was stationed at the run turn around, so didn't get to see a whole lot of the action, but it was still a lot of fun to get to cheer people on as they were nearing the end of their race. Some looked great, and some looked like they needed a few extra words of encouragement.

The crew at Westshore Triathlon do a great job of organizing and running this race. It's got a wonderful sense of community and the atmosphere is low-key and welcoming. I think it would definitely be worth checking out their inaugural Langford Triathlon in July if you're looking for a race to put on the calendar.

And I think that's all that's fit to print. Now, photos…

Day 64
An empty space post-yoga.
Day 65
This delicious find. Took me back to NZ.
Day 66
This brought me so many giggles.
Day 67
Post-work visits with the Magpie.
Day 68
It was a good week for dog visits.
Day 69
Flowers from the property.
Day 70
The stuff I see on my lunch time walks.
Day 71
Early morning run inspiration.
Day 72
Just another day at school/work for Shane.
Day 73
This amazing burrito was so good at the time.
I felt so bad after. Probably shouldn't have eaten the whole thing.
Day 74
Easter treats from the parental units. They are the best!
Day 75
Just a snippet of a good looking garden.
Day 76
The view to the finish at Sunday's Westshore Tri.
Day 77
A tunnel of trees on the run.
Day 78
Post workout icy-cold Rumble = the best!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Some Snaps

I've nothing important to share, but felt it was time to empty my phone of some #100happydays photos. So...

Day 53
A nice sign.
Day 54
Obviously an old photo, but the discovery of it made me happy.
Day 55
Bedtime tea.
Day 56
Early morning runs along the waterfront. The photo doesn't do
it justice, but the mountains were stunning!
Day 57
Early morning spins.
Day 58
A delicious red coconut curry from Foo.
Day 59
Such a high energy dog!
Day 60
#FatGuyFriday (or in my case, #FatGirlFriday I suppose)
Day 61
Mt. Fin summits and awesome trail runs with the sis.
Day 62
Sunday morning strolls.
Day 63

Friday, March 13, 2015

Run. Whales. Shattered. Photos. Friday.

1) I did a fartlek workout a little over a week ago that I'm still thinking about – because it went really well! It's nice when that happens.

So, the workout. Essentially it was about a 1km loop (just over?). On the first section of the loop we were to hit half marathon race pace. Next section was 10k race pace, 3rd section was 5k race pace, and then we closed out the loop with a short little easy section. The half and 10k portions were pretty similar in length I think, and the 5k and easy sections decidedly shorter.

I wasn't wearing a Garmin, and actually never looked at my watch the whole time I was running, I just hit the lap button on my Timex at the start of each section, and well, here is how things shook out:

Loop 1 = 1:54 ~ 1:40 ~ :39 ~ easy
Loop 2 = 1:55 ~ 1:40 ~ :39 ~ easy
Loop 3 = 1:50 ~ 1:41 ~ :39 ~ easy
Loop 4 = 1:54 ~ 1:40 ~ :39 ~ easy

When I looked at my times after the fact, I was pretty pumped and pleased with myself for how evenly paced and consistent I was through each of the 4 loops. Definite win!

2) I was up in Ucluelet this past weekend with Shane. On the Saturday, we went out on his friend's boat for a little west coast adventuring.  We explored some beaches you can only get to by boat, wandering the quiet trails and taking in the atmosphere of the area. We saw sea lions and seals and eagles and cormorants (I think) and all sorts of nature.

The highlight however was coming across a pod of maybe a dozen gray whales. We cut the engine on the boat and sat drifting as the whales got closer and closer. At first you could just see the spray from their breath in the distance. Eventually you could start to make out their backs and tail flips as they surfaced. They grew bigger and bigger as they got nearer and nearer and before we knew it, they were all around us. It was a really cool and stunningly beautiful experience. I'm not sure I've ever said “WOW” so many times in one afternoon.

3) On Tuesday morning I went to the Loft for a bike workout + core session, as I usually do on Tuesday mornings. I'm not sure if it was the time change or just fatigue from a weekend away, but when my alarm went off that morning it startled me awake, and honestly, if I hadn't preregistered, I probably would not have gone. So, needless to say, I went into the workout a bit tired. Couple that with the fact that it was a pretty challenging workout, and well, I was absolutely shattered at the end of it!

As such, it's been a bit of an easier week for me on the workout front. It was nice to leave a workout feeling like I gave it absolutely everything I had, but my body felt pretty ko'd after the fact and my motivation to do much other than easy workouts since has been pretty nil.

Perhaps I'm actually getting better at this whole "listening to your body" thing.

4) I'm over half way through #100happydays version 2.0.

Day 39
New shoes!
Day 40
The arrival of a photo album I made of the Rustbeast.
Day 41
Remnants of one delicious candy apple.
Day 42
Winter (Spring?) blooms.
Day 43
Socks with no holes - oh yeah.
Day 44
After weeks of driving past DQ every night and massive
blizzard cravings, I finally gave in and treated myself.
Day 45
A good reminder.
Day 46
Early morning trainer rides.
Day 47
Just one of the reason I'm looking forward to life on the edge of the island.
Day 48
And another. We need to get some kayaks, stat.
Day 49
I've seen lots of these little libraries popping up around town
lately, and well, I think they are very cool.
Day 50
Drizzly morning walks to work.
Day 51
Looking through old photos is always fun.
Surprisingly my weekend 'around-the-yard' attire hasn't really changed.
 Day 52
A lovely evening walk with Maggie Mae. She's been nice
enough to fill the dog-shaped hole in my heart this week.