Saturday, January 31, 2009

Officially Official Week

Wow what a week! This week was great - lots on the go of course, here's the run down:

Monday: Off (sweet, sweet Mondays)
Tuesday: GREAT swim (about 1400m), but missed my gym workout during the day
Wednesday: 45min spin with coach/club, felt great.
Thursday: Run with coach/club; 1km rectangle block, full out on the long side, easy recovery on the short sides - 30min continuous (10min warm up and cool down)
Friday: I missed both workouts today -BUT- that's because I went out skating at the Richmond Olympic Oval!
Saturday: Easy ride 1:10min

Today I took another step in completing yet another project I had on the go. I took a CPR and First Aid course today and with the completion of that course, I am now officially a Certified Personal Trainer!

I completed the Personal Training course late last year, but because of work commitments I didn't complete the exams until just last week. Becoming CPR certified was the final step! Yey me!

Also, yesterday I registered for my first Half Ironman! August 2, 2009 I'll be heading out to Calgary to race. I'm not sure if this will be my first one, or if I will try to do a Half Iron before then. There are a few I have my eye on a few others, but this is the first I've actually registered for. No turning back now!

The best part of racing in Calgary? My Mom will be there!! It was definately a factor in my choosing Calgary to race, I can't wait to have her at another one of my races!

The course made for a long day today, I was up and doing my ride before 6am! Thank God for indoor trainers - they make life SO easy! Now of course I'm pooped and will be going to bed uber early to that I have lots of energy for the swim/run tomorrow. I think we're doing time trials for the swim which means I'll be working hard than normal. Time to start wrapping things up for the night.

Happy training everyone!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yes I Can

A quick post before I head to bed tonight. Today during our run workout, my fearless running partner, triathlon nemesis and dear friend, Tash and I had a great conversation about the metal challenges of tough runs (or any other workout for that matter). The middle portion of our run today was up a very long, very step, and did I mention, very long hill. When we made it to the top, we chatted about these words- Yes I Can.

A simple statement. So much of what we do challenges us mentally as equally as it does physically and as our bodies get stronger, we have to also find ways to make our minds stronger. We have to find ways to overcome fatigue, pain, boredom and a list of other obstacles that stand in our way. Today, the simple statement "Yes I Can" got us through it.

We found however that the trick is first to never allow any negativity into your mind. When you are tired and you want to stop, even the thought "No, I can't stop", while it has good intentions, brings negativity with the "No" and the "don't". These open windows of opportunity for other negative thoughts. You have to interject the negativity before it starts and before you even allow the thought of "I'm hurting", "this is too tough" or "I have to stop", you cut it off and say "YES I CAN" - there really isn't anything else to question.

When your legs are tired - Yes I can
When your lungs are burning - Yes I can
When your shoulders ache - Yes I can
When your bored and you beg for something else to happen besides more running - Yes I can.

I found the need to say this once to myself on the way up that hill today, and by the time I had finished saying it, I realized that the statement wasn't convincing me that "Yes I Can" - No. In fact, it was a celebratory "YES I CAN!" I never doubted that I could make it up that hill, I never allowed myself to think that there was any other option, and before I knew it, there I was at the top saying "Yes I can."

I hope that translates to you and your life. It's so simple and yet is incredibly powerful. Next time you're challenged in your life, try saying "yes I can" before you even entertain a negative alternative and just see what happens.

Until next week..


Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've very quickly fallen behind in my quest to blog on at least a weekly basis. Seems that the training program is taking up most... scratch that.. all of my time.

I'm getting used to the 2-a-day workout schedule. It's busy, really busy. Seems every time I turn around I'm on my way to the next workout. The intensity is still pretty low, but it's the volume that I'm having to adjust to. Here's what this week looked like:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 45min Strength/Core (gym), 40 min swim (evening)
Wednesday: 50min intense spin, 30 min easy run
Thursday: Run (track workout - speed drills)
Friday: 40 min easy spin, 40 min Strength/Core (gym)
Saturday: 1:30 min easy spin, 1:30 min Hot Yoga
Sunday: Crazy kick-my-a$$ swim workout followed by a 50min run.

I'm doing the yoga class for two reasons: I didn't get my gym workout in on Friday and I'm feeling a little bit of a bug coming on and I want to sweat out whatever it is before tomorrows workout.

So a few things came up this week that I wanted to blog about...Something I was thinking about alot this week was the volume of workouts in the program and it's toll on my regularly busy schedule. It's definitely not going to be easy to adjust to.

Life is busy. There's work, friends, family, errands, birthdays, baby showers, sport events, getogethers, dinners, dating and the list goes on. Fit this all into one week and "POOF" time flies by and you haven't even found a minute to call your own mother (yikes - sorry Mom!).

I guess what it comes down to is priorities. Once you've decided what it is that you value, what you want to make a priority, the obligations that come with that priority come easier and you "find" the time.

On top of my priority list right now is training. For the next year and a half, I want to dedicate my energy and myself to preparing physically and mentally for what I see as the biggest, toughest achievement I will have ever gone after.

There is no part of this I expect to be "easy". I've found quickly that this club, these coaches, and the people I'm training with don't take this lightly. There is no such thing as taking it easy in the workouts. I mentioned it in my last post.. when you're out there for a 40-50 min workout, it's 40-50 minutes of laying it ALL out there. If you have ANYTHING left at the end, you didn't work hard enough. That's not easy to do.

I guess I was thinking about this during a run last weekend. No matter who you are, what your "thing" is, what's going on in your life, if you make something a priority, you'll make time for it. It's that simple. If you have a goal (and goals can be anything, maybe you want to spend more time with your family, or really want to be in a relationship, or you want to get a promotion at work), not having time for it is an excuse. Make it a priority, decide it's a priority, and you'll find the time. Sacrifices will be made, that's a guarantee, but you will sacrifice things that are not priorities.

Those are my thoughts this week, and this is the purpose of the blog. To document my thoughts and feelings through this whole process. This will be an interesting post to read in a few months or next year when I'm burnt out and making all kinds of excuses to miss workouts!!! haha.. hopefully that's not true.

I'm off to grocery shop... even that has become something I now have to think about.. Saturday mornings after my ride and before my yoga class is the only time I have to buy enough food to get me through the week (seeing that there's NO WAY I'll have time to do it during the week!)

Happy training everyone!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week 1...into the swing of things

I just finished my first week back into a routine in 2009. Back to work, back to long days and into a training program. And what a program it is. Each week consists of 3 swims, 3 bike workouts, 3 runs and 2 strength sessions in the gym. That's a total of 11 workouts a week (for those us keeping count.. and believe me.. I am).

Keeping in mind that these will vary from a 20 min easy run to a serious butt kick on Sundays. Everyday, with the exceptions of Mondays, which is my day off, and a looong ride on Saturdays, has two workouts a day. Here's an example of what this week looked like for me:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 1000M swim, 45 min strength and core (gym)
Wednesday: 45 min bike, 20 min easy run
Thursday: 45 min drill run
Friday: 45 min strength/core (gym), 30 min easy bike
Saturday: 1:15h bike
Sunday: 3800M swim, 45 min run

Luckily there's a really great gym at my office, so Tuesday's and Friday's I get the strength workouts in at lunch time. I've invested in a bike trainer, so I'm able to set my bike up in my living room and during the winter months (rainy season) I can still get in the workouts no matter what Mother Nature is doing. The pool is about a 20min walk from my house, so I usually will go down for a swim in the evenings after dinner (when it's less busy). There is one swim workout that logistically I just can't fit in. My program has a swim on Thursdays along with the run, but this is the run with the coach, and since I can't get to the pool in the mornings, I have to sacrifice the swim that day.

It was a pretty busy week, but I have to make this program my routine. It's busy, but manageable. The workouts change every week, getting progressively longer and tougher. Training, training, training. It's all about the training and these are the workouts that are going to get me where I want to be. The workouts are only going to get tougher, and the ONLY way I will be able to keep up is to show up to every session. Not only show up (which really is half the battle) but I have to give 110%. That sounds cheesy. But if I show up and just go through the paces, it will not get easier, and it will not do me any good and I'll be wasting alot of time. I have to show up and for that 30 min, 45 min, 1:30h, whatever it is, give it everything I have. What's 30min? No matter how tough it is, I can give it 30min. 1:30h? So what?? In the long run... 1:30h is nothing and I can certainly afford to give it all for a measly 1:30h.

Today's pool workout kicked my a$$. It was long, it was tough, I was choking water at one point. It burned. It made me feel weak. And it was awesome. When it was finally over, I put on my running shoes and ran 45 min. When it was all over, it was fantastic and I was so thankful I went the distance. I felt great, and I wasn't surprised. I don't think I have ever finish a workout and said "I wish I had stayed in bed this morning". It's always worth it.

That being said, I'm exhausted and it's time for bed. Tomorrow is my day of rest and rest I will.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Welcome to 2009!

Welcome to my new blog. Live Free, TriHard. Fitting I think, and a great new motto for 2009.

It was 2006/2007 the last time I blogged, on a page called . I had a great laugh as I took a trip down memory lane reading a years worth of great memories. What a great experience the Honolulu marathon was - the fundraising, while it was a huge undertaking, was an incredible adventure and something I'm still very proud of. That was a such year of learning for me. It was when I learned to turn "someday" into "today". I figure out how to take those things that you would " to do someday" and do it. Maybe not exactly today but now I understand (without sounding terribly cliche) "a journey of a thousand miles, starts with one step". Today, I can take that step. Tomorrow, I will take another.

So where am I now? What's been going on since Honolulu 2006? Where do I start???? Way too much tell everything, but here are the highlights:

  • I moved to Vancouver

  • Raced in Kelowna, Sooke, Vancouver

  • Moved up to the Olympic distance

  • Ran a personal best half marathon

  • I took up surfing (however unsuccessfully)

  • I started a new job

Ok - so ALOT more has happened in a year and a half, but that's all I can think of for the time being. So what's the deal with the new blog you may be asking? Well, I found that blogging my journey with Honolulu was such a great way for me to reflect on how I've progressed down a road I had never travelled. At times it was really tough and reading back at my previous posts was a great indication of how far I had come and in turn, motivation to keep going. It was also a great way for family and friends to follow along with me providing support and sharing my ups and downs. Plus, now with me on the West Coast, many of those supporters are miles and miles away. I miss them and would love them to continue being a part of what's going on in my life.

In 2006, Triathlon made a significant introduction into my life. It was love at first fight. Yes, fight. As any marathoner or endurance sport athlete will tell you, as taxing as the sport is on your body, the real challenge is in your mind. I was well into my marathon training when I figured out that this getting less and less about what my body can do, and more about what mind will let it do. The body is an amazing thing and it will do incredible things for you, what you have to overcome is the mind. Boredom, pain, loneliness, stress - all these things are obstacles you face alone while enduring the long distance of a marathon. When you shut these things out, or better yet, learn to overcome them, and you continue, and you finish what you set out to do..... well, there is a pride and self-respect earned there that can not be described and better left available for anyone who wants to find out for themselves..

So here it is - my new blog and my new journey. Ready?

IRONMAN CANADA 2010. For those who don't know, check out the video below. It still gives me goosebumps.

3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, 42.2 km run

Crazy? Maybe. That video is from the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I'm planning on doing IRONMAN Canada in Penticton BC. I was there this past summer to watch and it was absolutely incredible.

Anyone who's known me a few years may know about my list. The "list" is something like a "bucket list" (a list people make of things they want to do before they die), mine's not quite the same, but nonetheless, is a list of things that I want to accomplish. It's a short list, but the journey en route to achieving these things, if anything like my marathon, will be memorable and full of adventure.

The List:

1. Run a marathon (check)

2. Ironman

3. Write a book

4. Own a business

5. See the world

Here it is written on my hand in Hawaii. I glanced at this a few times to remind me of all the great things to come after I completed this one.

So with 2009 comes the beginning of a new adventure. I've joined a new Triathlon club, one that provides me with two coaches that work with me, dedicated to helping me achieve my goals , and peers that have similar, if not much more ambitious goals. A few of the members I'm training with are going to Worlds in Australia in October, another is racing her first season with an Elite (Pro) status and others are already Ironmen.

I am really excited (and a little scared) to start this new chapter and welcome you to come with me through the challenges and triumphs I will face as an amateur athlete on the road to Ironman 2010.

Happy training!