Friday, January 30, 2015

Photo Call

This is just a photo dump of the last 10 days in my #100happydays challenge. I figured yesterday's post was already a little long, you know, since it was a list of 100 random things, so I didn't really want to tack any more onto the bottom... 

Day 2
The scene outside my favourite coffee joint on the way to work.
Day 3
Afternoon matcha.
Day 4
Road trip snacks.
Day 5
A fun & special little piece of artwork I had done for Shane a few years ago.
By the lovely and talented Cat Parker.
Day 6
Morning, seaside hikes in Ukee. 
I could not decide on just one photo.
Day 7
Gift certificate for a new swim suit + everything in store
on sale = new swimsuit and new sweater. 

Day 8
Maggie Mae. aka. Magzilla!
Day 9
Lunch run in knee length tights and a t-shirt = awesome!
Also, pit stains.
Day 10
Apparently this is winter in Victoria. It's a beauty so far.
Day 11
Fifteen early morning kilometers as the sun was rising.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

100 Things About Me

[Straight up, I stole this idea from Erin... and I'm really happy I did, as it was super fun to try and come up with 100 things about me]. 

1) My favourite colour is yellow.

2) My favourite number is 9. I'm pretty sure this is because when I was little, I always used to want my soccer jersey number to be the same as my age (one year I was 6, then 7, then….) until I turned 9 and realized that was 'silly'. So I stuck with 9, and now it's my number.

3) I played soccer and basketball growing up. Basketball was life. I probably could have played in college but I was supremely burnt out on the sport by then.

4) I only spent one year in University. I was completely directionless. Linguistics was my favourite course that year.

5) A few years later, I got my diploma in Graphic Design from a private post-secondary school here in Victoria. I occasionally still do some graphic work on the side, but I never parlayed it into a career. I do enjoy it though.

6) In grade 12, I dropped Math 12 after one week to take a course called "Art Careers". It was one of the best decisions I made during high school. Art Careers was my favourite (although, maybe most useless) course.

7) I still sometimes feel directionless and have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

8) During the super short track season in elementary and junior high, I was a sprinter. The 100m was my event. I don't think my high school had a track team. If they did, the season must've conflicted with basketball.

9) I've noticed recently that my Dad and I share the same habit when looking through the digital TV guide. No matter what number the guide is on when he opens it up, he always takes it back to 200 (the start of the channels) and scrolls up from there. I do the same thing. Always have.

10) I've noticed over the last couple years that my Dad and I share a lot of the same little 'quirks'.

11) Shane and I may have to move away from Victoria in the near future. The thought of living away from my family terrifies me.

12) With Rusty recently passing, this is the first time in about 18 years that I haven't had a dog. Have I mentioned how much I miss him?

13) Rusty destroyed a lot of things when he was a puppy, including but not limited to: a couch, pillows, soccer shin pads and a video camera. We still loved him though, because, quite simply, he was the best.

Caught in the act. 
Oh, the shame!
14) Even though Kirsten and I were pretty different growing up and didn't always get along, she is now one of my best friends and I'm super thankful I have such an awesome big sister.

15) Kirsten and I are only 16 months apart in age. We were both at my parent's wedding (in one form or another).

16) Although I don't really care about football (or understand it), I will proclaim to be a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan until the day I die, because, quite simply, I was born that way. Rider Pride baby! 

17) I have a really bad memory. Sometimes it makes me sad that I can't remember things as vividly as others. Sometimes it scares me that I won't remember important moments as I get older.

18) I have never lived alone.

19) The BBQ kind of scares me. I don't know how to turn it on, nor do I want to learn.

20) 34 doesn't feel like I think I expected it to as a kid. I still feel really young (and immature) and sometimes can't believe I'm in my mid-thirties. Like really, how did that happen?

21) I don't have a lot of friends, and I don't always open up very well to people, but the few really close friends I do have, I cherish so soo much.

22) I'm shy – especially in big groups. But I'm working on it.

23) I would say I'm an introvert through and through. I like alone time.

24) Sometimes I think things through too long before I speak, which means I often miss some really good *zing* one-liner opportunities. But, at least I make myself laugh inside my own head.

25) Sometimes I worry I'm a bit of a pushover.

26) Triathlon makes me so happy and has given me so much confidence.

27) As I've gotten older, I've definitely started caring less what people think about me. It's pretty freeing.

28) I want to ride my bike across Canada. Like I really really want to. What is stopping me?

29) I bungee jumped when I was 17 (maybe 18?) and I don't have any desire to do it again.

30) My Dad and I Zorbed in New Zealand. It was freakin' awesome. I would totally do it again.

The moments immediately after. Priceless.
31) I really love coffee.

32) I usually only drink one coffee a day (occasionally two), but if I don't have that one by about noon, I get a headache.

33) I have had at least one cup of coffee a day since May 17, 2009. That was the day after I was diagnosed with my PE. As I sat in the hospital feeling like I was breathing shattered glass into my lungs, my head pounded with an extreme caffeine headache. I realized in that moment, while I could not do anything about my lungs, I could do something about my head, so I drank a cup of coffee... and so began an addiction.

34) I love ice cream. Ben & Jerry's 'If I Had a Million Flavours' is probably my favourite – even more than 'Half Baked'.

This freezer in Colorado was a little slice of heaven.
35) I didn't really like the Barenaked Ladies growing up and couldn't figure out why, of all the awesome Canadian bands, they seemed to be the one to get a foot hold in the states. But now, I can't go on a road trip without the sweet sounds of 'Gordon' on the iPod.

36) Speaking of awesome Canadian bands, Shane agreed to go see the Tragically Hip with me before we started dating (pretending he loved them and thought they were amazing), even though he had no idea who they were.

37) On that trip to Vancouver to see the Hip, we stayed in a hotel room with our friends Matt & Ash. We ordered late night pizza to the room from some sketchy hole-in-the-wall and when the delivery guy arrived, and we opened the door, he said "Pizza for Ass". To this day, that story still makes me giggle.

38) Sometimes I do things and am like "holy crap that was my Mom" then I realize that's actually pretty awesome. She is one of the strongest, most giving, and most caring people I know. She would do absolutely anything for my sister and me. I'll be lucky if I turn out half as amazing as her.

39) When people ask me what my favourite sport is in triathlon (re: swim/bike/run), I never know how to answer. I think they've all been my favourite at different times.

40) When people ask me what my strongest sport is in triathlon, I always answer that I'm pretty average at all of them. I truly don't know what my strength is.

41) I almost always type triathlong and then have to go back and remove the 'g'.

42) I can't spell the word gaurantee guarantee on the first try – ever.

43) I am lucky enough to have met all my grandparents and to still have my two grandmas in my life. I really need to make more of an effort to see them on a regular basis.

44) I was on warfarin for the better part of the last 5 years. I saw a new hematologist back in September and am no longer on anticoagulants. Since then, I've only had one anxiety driven visit to the doctor thinking I had a DVT because my calf hurt. Thankfully, all was good. I've been less anxious since then.

45) I used to tease my Mom for crying when we watched a sappy movie or TV show. I probably shouldn't have done that, as I'm totally a crier now.

46) I drink a lot of water.

47) I pee a lot.... and funny enough, the most hits I get on my blog are from people searching some variation of "pee in wetsuit" - because of this post.

48) I did not want to get my driver's license. My Mom made me get my learners, and then made me do my driver's test. I failed my first time. Passed the second.

49) I drive a standard. I prefer it to an automatic most of the time, although sometimes in rush-hour, it really sucks.

50) As I've gotten older, I've realized how little I care about having 'stuff'. I'd way rather have awesome experiences.

51) Like traveling. I want to travel more. Lately, Iceland has really peaked my interest. Although, it might just be because I really like saying Reykjavik.

52) traveled around Mexico, Belize and Guatemala with my good friend Adrienne in 2008. We did a lot of really fun stuff that took me way out of my comfort zone. I'm so grateful for that experience.

First time on a horse, in the jungles of Belize, with one of the country's top jockeys,
and my friend who was raised riding horses. It was quite an experience.
53) Shane and I have taken separate vacations a couple times since we've been married, which I think is a really cool thing, you know just that we're comfortable enough to do that. That said, he's the first person I want to share most of my adventures with, and I totally miss him when he's not around.

54) My Dad and I auditioned for season 2 of The Amazing Race Canada. We did not get on the show – obviously.

55) I love candy. And chocolate. And baked goods. I have a huge sweet tooth.

56) My Mom made my lunch for me every day growing up – even in high school. Except for that one day when my Dad let us eat potato chips for lunch. To this day, he still hasn't lived that down.

57) I believed in Santa until I was really old. Like probably too old to truly believe, but I just wanted to believe so badly.

58) Christmas is my favourite time of year.

59) Triathlon season is a close second.

60) I played the saxophone in elementary school. I picked that instrument because my awesome babysitter played it. It was really heavy. I stopped playing in Grade 8 because I thought the band teacher was scary and mean. I'm sure she's a really nice lady.

61) I haven't eaten meat since I was about 12 years old.

62) I prefer to work out in the morning. By the time work is finished, my motivation is usually pretty low.

63) Running downtown Victoria before the sun rises and the rest of the City wakes up is one of my favourite things.

64) I have really stinky feet. My bike shoes could clear a room.

65) I sweat a lot.

66) I currently have a Lululemon gift certificate for $90 and it is burning a hole in my pocket, but I can't decide what I want to buy with it.

67) I'm so proud of myself for being a 3x Ironman finisher. (2010, 2012, 2014)

68) I'm so proud of myself for completing the 6-day TransRockies Run. It was harder than Ironman.

69) My race at the Age Group World's in Auckland was probably my worst performance in a sprint distance event ever, but it was still an absolutely incredible experience.

70) I tend to like training better than racing.

71) I don't like confrontation. At all.

72) When I set my alarm clock, I can't bring myself to set it on a '0' or '5' and I usually end up setting it on a '3' or a '7' (ex. 5:33 or 5:47).

73) I've gotten a lot less competitive as I've gotten older, but playing Sorry over Christmas up in Ukee made me realize I've still got a pretty solid competitive streak in me.

Old photo, but the results are usually the same ~ I WIN!
74) I like Ucluelet way better than Tofino. Sorry Tofitians, Ukee has my heart.

75) I took a knee to the head going for a loose ball while playing basketball in Grade 12. My eyebrow split open and there was blood everywhere. I had a pretty rocking black eye and some stitches. I still have the scar.

76) I once gave myself a black eye opening my car door into my own face after an early morning swim workout. Not my finest moment, haha.

77) I broke my finger in Grade 8 playing basketball – like a split-the-knuckle-in-half kinda break. Not long after it was healed and I got the splint off, I jammed it (again, playing basketball) and chipped the bone again. I spent a lot of time with my finger in a splint that year.

78) I don't really wear a lot of makeup. Maybe a little eye shadow and mascara to work. On the weekends, usually nothing at all.

79) I really like popcorn.

80) I had laser eye surgery to correct my vision. It was a great investment in me and I'm so happy I did it.

81) I just started watching Friday Night Lights. Holy hell, I'm hooked.

82) Shane and I also just started watching Orange is the New Black. So good.

83) We just got Netflix (if that wasn't obvious by the above two points).

84) I go through cycles where I read a lot and then cycles where I barely read at all. Lately, I've been struggling to get into the reading rhythm.

85) I was afraid of fire growing up. Now we have a wood stove to heat our house and I absolutely love it. I don't fear fire the same way I did as a kid, but I still have a healthy respect for it.

86) I burn my hand at least once a year on the woodstove. How I still do this, I have no idea.

87) I really like watching Jeopardy. But I only really do well at the pop culture categories, or during Teen Week.

88) I sometimes think I should pay more attention to the news, and be more up to date on current events, but I sometimes also really like living in a state of blissful ignorance.

89) I think my Road ID is my favourite piece of training gear. If you don't have one, you should get one. 

90) For me, sometimes getting changed for a run is the hardest part of getting out the door.

91) I used to get really car sick – like epic car-clearing barf-fests. I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but the ol' motion sickness still gets me from time to time. Boats seem to be the main culprit now.

92) After a while, all of my socks get a hole in the right big toe. Nowhere else, just at that toe. It's really annoying, as I now have a lot of left socks.

93) I hate thong underwear. There I said it. Hate it!

94) I like the look of a fit man in spandex. (And to my surf loving husband Shane, yes, I'm counting neoprene as spandex).

95) Women who hate their bodies make me sad. Not saying I don't have parts of myself that I sometimes dislike or am self-conscious of, but as a whole, I think we should be happy in the skin we're in and work with what we've got. There is no benefit to hating ourselves.

96) I was a pretty good teenager I think. A bit naïve maybe, but spending Friday nights watching TGIF with my Mom and Dad was my idea of a good time.

97) I really love a good fart joke. Like, a lot!

98) I have not run with my Garmin yet in 2015. That's not to say I haven't plotted a few of my runs on Gmaps Pedometer after the fact just to see what sort of pace I'm running.

99) Writing lists like this (and this) make me oddly happy.

100) I'm a work in progress.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Saying Hello

I've not felt much like writing lately.

Actually, scratch that. I actually have felt like writing, but each time I sit down and attempt to write something – anything – I find myself without words. My fingers grazing the keyboard – perched perfectly on the A-S-D-F-J-K-L-; keys – but nothing happens. I seem to be at a loss.

So today I figured it was as good a time as any to just start rambling. To say HELLO! to the big wide world (via the world wide web) and see what comes out.


I've been contemplating the idea of doing another #100happydays photo challenge for a couple weeks now, and I think it is time.

Since Rusty has been gone, I've noticed I'm in a bit of a happy slump. Don't get me wrong, I'm not walking around in a pit of despair or utter sadness all of the time, but there are definitely some days where I find myself focusing more on missing him, and missing seeing Shane every day, and just missing the normalcy of what our life once was. On these days, I find myself [unintentionally] looking past all of the awesome things and amazing people in my life.

So I think it's time to jump-start my gratitude a little, and taking some photos (and in turn being more alert and aware of all the good in my world) seems like a pretty easy way to do this.

Day 1
A solid morning spin class at The Loft.
[Added bonus: Coach Mical's adorable boxer dog made an appearance]

Now, let's talk ‘training’…

I'm still firmly in do-what-you-feel-like-when-you-feel-like-it mode. I've gotten into a pretty solid routine though, and most weeks I am getting in at least 2 swims, 2-3 bikes and 2-3 runs. Some weeks have more. Some weeks have less. It's all good though, as I'm actually feeling pretty fit and healthy right now, and am enjoying the workouts that I am doing.

That said, I still haven't picked a goal race for the year. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I guess it's just a thing.

I've had brief thoughts about maybe a marathon and going for a PB, which then makes me think, perhaps I should try and chase a BQ. It would take A LOT of hard work, but I age up this year to 35-39 even though I will actually be 34 for the entirety of the year (minus a few days) so it seems like as good a time as any to try… and yet, I'm not sure I really want to train that hard right now, haha. Talk about motivation eh.

I'm also really digging riding my bike right now. Granted, most of my rides have been on the trainer lately, but it's been great to push myself in some pretty intense workouts, and I find I'm craving the thought of exploring on two wheels more than I'm craving other activities. Maybe a goal of a Hurricane Ridge ride in the spring/summer or some other fun non-race challenge is in order? A long weekend bike-tour of the island perhaps? I dunno. I'm open to any fun cycling related ideas, so if you have one, send it my way.


Other random bits…

1) Like most of the rest of North America, I got seriously sucked into Serial. It was my first intro to podcasts, and I'm now officially hooked. Listening to podcasts makes my commute so much more enjoyable! Currently I'm really digging Invisibilia.

2) I didn't set any resolutions this year, but a lot of the ladies in my office were looking to get a little more active as the calendar rolled over to 2015. Since I'm the resident endurance junkie in the office, I got nominated to help get them up and moving throughout the day. I've had a little reminder to ‘MOVE!’ set on my computer for quite some time now (it goes off once an hour), and now instead of just getting up and moving a little on my own, I send out an hourly reminder to all the gals and we get up and do something active – from walking the stairs, to push-ups and planks, to stretching, to… you get the point. It's pretty awesome and really helps break up the day.

3) I've been looking at a lot of dog rescue websites lately. Neither Shane nor I are really ready for a new addition yet, but I definitely miss having a pup around, and so, I figured it can't hurt to keep an eye out. You never know when the right little furball will come along.

And on that note, I think that's enough for today. Happy Tuesday All!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Saying Goodbye

As the calendar rolled over to a New Year, I tried to think back to all that 2014 had to offer. As with any year, there were some incredible highs and there were also some not-so-incredible lows.

The early part of the year rolled along in a manner to which I'm accustomed. The ins and outs of daily life happened as I've grown to know them. There was an Ironman to train for and I was in the zone! Everything was happy and comfortable.

Ironman Coeur d'Alene came and went – that day continues to be a highlight of my year and will forever be one of my favourite memories of 2014. (Recaps here, here & here)

And you know, reading back my first post from last year, I realize that I conquered a lot of the goals/fun things that I said I would like to accomplish over the course of year (about 6 or 7 out of 9 in fact)

So yeah, like I said, some pretty awesome highs. Some pretty great accomplishments.

The later part of the year has been different. Not bad necessarily, just different.

A health scare with my Dad (he's fine now, thank goodness) shook me up a bit and brought me to the stark realization that my parents aren't going to be around forever. (Yeah, yeah, I'm 34 and I'm now just realizing this - or should I say, allowing myself to realize this).

As well, a lot of the really big stuff in mine and Shane's world is changing, and we've been living life in a bit of a holding pattern as of late. All of this change will hopefully be for the better, but in the interim, it's definitely a challenge. I've not always been good with change, but I'm working on it.

The biggest low of the year however came on Christmas Eve when Shane and I had to say goodbye to our little Rustbeast. Adjusting to life without the little furball these past couple weeks has definitely been hard.

The amount of unconditional love & utter happiness he brought us over the last 9 years can't fully be put into words.

So I will just say this…

He was my most loyal friend, my fiercest protector, my favourite snuggle buddy and one hell of a running partner.

I miss him.