Monday, May 31, 2010

What makes you awesome?

So remember my post about celebrating successes? How I decided that I needed to get back to a place where every little achievement should be celebrated for the success that it is? People have shared their successes with me since then and I LOVE hearing them. From throwing punches in the air at the top of a hill or using the Rocky theme song as your own, people are celebrating what makes them awesome and yesterday I did the samething.

Despite the crapola weather that is sticking around in Vancouver I still got to the pool for a swim with the club and the last technical workout in the pool before we hit the open water next week. It was a killer workout complete with lots of high intensity speed work. An hour and a half later, I considered my butt kicked.

As per the Sunday tradition, I got myself out of the pool, changed and headed out for my long run. My back injury has me a bit behind schedule as far as the long runs are concerned but I'm ok with that because I'm still injury free, feeling strong and on a solid road to recovery.

However, running with a couple of girls that are a bit faster than me made me work that much harder. I was looking forward to a nice easy long (and flat) run along the seawall but my running mates had something else in mind. "We'll just run along the seawall, back up to UBC and along 16th back to the pool". Sounds good to me, a nice easy 1:45 loop. But wait.... seawall to UBC?? There's only one way to get up to UBC from the seawall at Spanish Banks... DAMN IT! For those not familiar with Vancouver landscape - I'm talking about a loooong, giant hill. It's big. Anyhow, standing at the bottom of the hill is too late to change the plan. Plus, I wasn't whimping out while my girls and the rest of the gang have already started up.

Head down, grinding away and ignoring all the convincing reasons why I needed a break, deserved to stop, or should just walk for a minute, I trucked all the way up without stopping. I certainly wasn't the first one to the top, dead last actually. But I made it, I never stopped and that's what makes me awesome. Although I didn't do my "649 Happy Dance" right then and there... believe me, I was celebrating :)

It feels good to acknowledge when you've done something your proud of even if it's just to yourself. In fact, most importantly if it's just to yourself. Big or small, everyday we can find something thats worth celebrating. My focus right now is training so a lot of my successes are found there but not everyone's are. What's important to you right now? Where are your little achievements everyday? What makes you awesome?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

An uninspiring mood

Well, it's been 7 days straight (maybe even more) of grey, cloud and pissing rain. I've been looking for something inspiring to post on my blog as a few have been asking for updates, but to be honest, I've really got nothing all that exciting to tell.

Despite the weather, training has been going well. After a day of rest and yoga following last weekends race, I was back on my bike Wednesday morning. I had great plans for a nice ride over to the North Shore to Honey's in Deep Cove (one of my fave destination rides for coffee and yummies) but instead, because of the threat of down pour, I circled Stanley Park for an hour and forty-five minutes so that if/when the rain came, I wasn't to far from home. Good workout... but booorrrrring. I need a rain bike.

I hit the pool for an awesome workout Wednesday morning. Not just any pool either - the Kitsalano Beach outdoor, saltwater, 137M (longest outdoor pool in Canada) pool. I got into my wetsuit for the first time since last summer and had a helluva time getting into it. I swear those things shrink over the winter. Good thing there were a few other ladies struggling just the same so I didn't feel so bad. I swam 55min constant. Nice and slow, nice and easy.

Later that afternoon I headed out to Anthony's place and we geared up for a run. We wanted to head out to a favourite trial of ours around Buntzen Lake, although we were a bit lazy and by the time we got our butts in gear rush hour traffic had changed our minds and we opted for a high intensity hill workout closer to home. Good on Anthony for workin' out with me :)

Today I faced the ultimate test in training boredom. It's long ride day and of course, I woke up to pissing rain and wet roads. Not wanting to pass up my long ride this week, I pulled out my trainer and jumped on with the TV remote in hand. Two and a half hours and 5 Do-It-Yourself home reno shows on HGTV later and I was bored out of my brain. It wasn't the 3:15 I was hoping to get in, but I couldn't do it anymore. I was looking at the clock every 3 minutes hoping that 15min had passed. At least I got a good sweat in. Plus, I popped in P90X Ab Ripper video immediately after the ride (which was 30min) so I figure I got in the workout I needed.

I hate the rain. I used to love it. Coming from Toronto where you can count on the nice weather in the summer - always sunny and HOT HOT HOT - one rainy day was a nice relief and excuse to stay inside and watch movies. In Vancouver, the novelty of the rain has worn off, and my patience for rainy days is wearing thin (not to mention my levels of Vitamin D reserves). Now that I've decided to take all this time off to enjoy the summer and play in BC, all this rain is putting a serious damper on my big summer plans.


Well, there is some good news to share. Powered By Noie, has now raised $5,505 for the Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation. That's incredible! If you're still looking to pledge your support, please visit Kierstie's page and contribute through her. We still need your support!

Also - my sister Jen has decided to do the Orillia Triathlon in Ontario! Congratulations Jen!!! You should be proud of yourself just for signing up - that's usually the toughest part. Now that your committed to it - your training will come with more motivation than ever. I'm so proud of you! I wish I could be there to cheer you on. This will be Jen's first Sprint distance Triathlon since doing her first Try-a-Tri a few years ago. I love it! Way to go Jen.
That's all for today. Rumour has it the sun is going to make a short appearance tomorrow. I'm so excited I can't contain myself (said with rainy, cloudy,droopy sarcasm).

I hope where ever your training your doing it happy and healthy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

North Shore Triathlon report

Today was the first race of the season. The North Shore Triathlon is always a great start to the year, it's a short race, fun and always well organized. This was also a special event because after three years of training together and supporting one another, this was the first time my fellow TriHard Tash and I were actually racing against each other. We've travelled to races and raced the same race, but always different distances. Today we went head-to-head.

I had a few goals for this race, but really only one important one. Have fun. Because of my recent revelation in my approach to training, this was a true test of my progress. I decided not to train with the club all the time because I found that it created too much of a window for negativity for me. Comparing myself to others in the club left me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied with my progress. I've been feeling fantastic the last few weeks and taking it slow(er) coming out of my back injury. I've scheduled training sessions around when I feel my best and when I can workout with friends (especially Kierstie as we train for The Ride).

Today, my time goals set aside, I focused on having a great day, staying positive throughout and keeping my intentions internal. This was a race for me.

Turns out that it wasn't a bad way to approach it. I had an an incredible day. It was fun to race against Tash even though she beat me by 3 minutes in the end. We started our swims in different lanes and slightly staggered so she was a bit behind me to start. Although I felt a little "hunted" the entire race, it was great motivation. Tash is a really strong runner and all I wanted was to finish the run still ahead of her. I held her off until the last 200M or so through the trails when even though I couldn't see her.... I had an eary sense (probably like how prey feels when their being stalked in the woods.... ) then just as expected about 50M from the finish I hear her yell out at me. I turned up the heat and we sprinted to the finish. I physically crossed the finish line before her, and technically she didn't pass me, but individually her run time was 2 minutes faster and she did beat me. But, I had a ton of fun, it was great being out there with her and I can't wait to race again.

Swim - 14:56
Bike - 39:20
Run - 25:02
Overall - 1:19:16 (8th in my age group)

In the end I had an incredible day. All goals achieved and huge smiles all around. Mission accomplished.

Next up: The Ride to Conquer Cancer - June 19-20.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my Ride To Conquer Cancer campaign. I am so happy to tell you that I have reached my goal of raising $2,500 for the BC Cancer Foundation and continue to receive support.

Today I have received a total of $2,845 in donations.

Kierstie and I have great ideas for POWERED BY NOIE starting with trying to get at least 10 riders on the team for next year. With 10 riders, we can raise $25,000 to help the fight against cancer.

To keep us looking sharp and to encourage others to join us, Kierstie hooked us up with a designer friend of hers who graciously donated her creative talent and industry hook ups to create custom cycling jerseys that we think represent Mom well and are a reflection of why we started to do this. They will be here in just a few weeks.

POWERED BY NOIE is at 87% of our goal this year of raising $5,000. If you are still looking to lend us your support, we still need your help. Please use the link below to make your donation via Kierstie's page. All the support goes to the same place so it doesn't matter if you donate through my page or hers (because I've reached my goal, I'd like to help her reach hers).

Click HERE to support POWERED BY NOIE.

Both Kierstie and I have been overwhelmed by your support. We've received so many well wishes and are inspired and motivated more than ever. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A story of successes

Comfort and confidence. Two things I'd like a little more of these days. I'm inside of 4 months to Ironman and with the unpredictability of the last 5 months, I'm doing everything possible not to let the unruliness of my life lately accidentally hit the panic button on my Ironman dreams.

I started this post recapping exactly how tough the last 5 months have been, but I've just deleted it all and decided to continue with a different perspective. Here's something that I read in a Tea Shop (of all places) this morning.

"Writing our goals and intentions down on paper is a powerful act. By simply naming and visualizing our dreams and desires, we move closer to realizing them. As we discover what it is we really want, we attain the power to create our own destinies and change our lives."
"Change isn't easy. Readjusting patterns that we have had for years takes work. Don't waste time blaming yourself or anyone else - neither will get you closer to your goal. Remember to take time to celebrate every one of your successes, something too few of us do, in order to stay motivated and positive. Be sure to recognize when circumstances change and shift direction accordingly."

These two montra's of "intention" hit home for me. The first one because it's something SO SIMPLE and has such a huge impact. I have a board in my front hallway that has random clippings of magazine articles, photos of places I'd like to go, things I'd like to do and most importantly, things that inspire me to keep going. When I say "things" they are just that. I printed a comment that both my Mom and Dad posted on my blog a long time ago where both of them say how proud they are of me. I have that pinned up there front and center. I have inspirational quotes/articles from magazines, and of course, I have my Ironman registration confirmation page pinned right up at the top.

I don't stop and read these things everyday, I rarely re-read them after I post them. But there they are, a part of my every day life just as much as anything else in my home.

Stumbling upon that second quote was the universes way of telling me that I'm on the right track. Being on the slow road to recovery with this back injury, I've reconsidered my approach to training moving ahead with my Ironman preparation.

I train with a group of triathletes through a club here in Vancouver. The athletes in the club all vary in abilities and experience, but for the most part, these are fairly accomplished athletes with serious fitness and racing goals. Where their triathlon goals and successes lack, they usually make up in many years of running/cycling/swimming experience which still makes them contending athletes all around. This can make this a daunting group to train with on my best of days.

I've always struggled with the conflict between being highly competitive and lacking natural athletic talent. This has gotten particularly worse since I've started training harder, and taking my triathlon goals more seriously. I can't seem to shake off the negativity when I get lapped, passed or dropped in the workouts. The screaming thoughts of "you've been doing this for how long?? and you still can't keep up with the pack?" "Why is this so hard? Everyone else is breezing through this workout and I'm dropping back" "I put so much effort in.... how come I'm still so far behind?"

I know and understand the concept of "run your own race" "train for you, not for them" and that everyone is at different levels. But it's still really devastating to me not to be the athlete that I wish so badly I was. I've tried, I can't seem to shake it.

So... Here's my point. I've been starting to panic about my progress training this year and when I look at my clubs training program seeing that I should be going out for a 3.30h bike ride on Saturday and after a swim workout Sunday morning, I should be heading out for my 2.00h easy run, I'm already disappointed that today I am only back running 45 minutes after my injury.

Ok, ok, before you remind me that I'm recovering and that I should take it easy... I know. But it just doesn't help to keep me positive and motivated when I'm reminded exactly where I'm supposed to be... and where I'm not.

Here's where the change comes in. I've decided that I won't likely be training with the club much more. I need to get back to a place in my mind where Ironman isn't about a race or a sport, but what it's always been about to me - a crazy dream and the journey getting there. I'm setting myself free of the self destruction of mile repeats on the track or keeping up with a pace line. I'm going back to celebrating every little success in a way I deserve (and need).

When I started this journey I could barely run a mile. I did my first triathlon on a mountain bike and breaststroked my way through the 750M swim. Now, when I climb up Cypress Mountain I'm disappointed because (usually) I'm the last one to the top. WHAT THE HELL?? I just climbed a mountain... that's worth celebrating!

The last thing I want is to cross the finish line at Ironman and look back and think "I could have been faster. I should have made up more time. Everyone I trained with finished hours ago." Like hell I'm gonna let that happen. From this day forward, mine is a story of successes.

I ran 45 minutes today. I'm on my way baby. See you at the finish line.