Monday, October 21, 2013


This summer this happened:

It's true.  After, promising, threatening, goal-setting, and several cajoling conversations from friends that thrive on time spent on two wheels on the triathlon course, I committed to a goal that's spent a lengthy amount of time parked in my brain and, more recently, on paper.

I purchased a bike.  A tri bike.

As a result of said purchase, this summer this also happened:

I'm currently all sorts of excited for a variety of reasons, in no particular order:
I have a tri buddy!  The beautiful, talented and tri-experienced LC (not Lauren Conrad, in case you're wondering) has committed to making the trek from the mean streets of #YYC to join me for this adventure.  Thanks, LC!  Nothing seals a friendship like 6 odd hours or so of sweating it out on a triathlon course. #miserylovescompany
Next, I'm certain that the cross training I will accomplish for this triathlon adventure is going to mean great things for my running goals: a sub 3 full,  and a consistent 1:25 half.  Yes it will and yes I can.
And also, new training, new adventure, new PEOPLE!  Look out #YEG triathletes, I'm here and I'm pumped.  Let's create some magic together.  Let's swim.  Let's bike.  Let's run.  Sometimes all at once, too. 

Mixed in with the excitement and the commitment and the planning, however, is a tiny bit of nervousness.  Maybe more than a wee bit.  Why?  The truth is, I don't know how to bike, at least not in the technical sense I need to if I am to complete a 90k pedal over the course of the tri.  I know how to bike in the sense that one gets on a bike and pedals forward.  But that's it.  That's all.

Shit just got real.  For real.

However, I'm a gal that likes a challenge, and this one is no different from any other seemingly daunting physical challenge I've undertaken in the past few years.  I know that I have great support from peeps that have danced this dance long before I decided to undertake it and I hope they're prepared to be hit by a barrage of endless questions in and around putting my ass on a bike and getting it all trained up by the 7th of July.  I have no doubt that I'll do the work and I'll get there, but, truthfully, one small item of concern continues to nag at my brain.

And that is, unlike the running and swimming portions of this race, the concern for the bike portion comes less from the training required and more from the idea that I am introducing a MACHINE into the mix.  A machine with parts like gears and brakes and screws that could fail at any given time on any given point of the ride.  A machine over which I have no control.  Repeat, zero control.  And this bothers me greatly. 

As I runner, I am seasoned and prepared to rely on my body, and my body only.  I know my body will preform if I train it to perform.  I know with certainty my body has done amazing things on the marathon course, particularly when my mind shuts down and I am lost in a continuous and beautiful moving meditation, guided only by the sound of my feet on the pavement and the flow of my breathing.   With the introduction of the bike, a certain amount of control is surrendered, and I've struggled to remove this doubting, negative thought from my brain.

And then I remember.  That this is what I know to be true: control is an illusion and none of us have it.  Not in any moment of any day.  The bike may fail during the tri, just like my body may fail during a marathon, no matter what I've done to prevent it.  The only option then, is the choice I have in how I show up in any given moment of any given situation, regardless of the circumstances that brought me to that point.    ALWAYS about the journey, NEVER about the outcome.  No matter if applied to a triathlon, a marathon or any situation in my life.

The real truth of it all for me lies in this.  I love to push myself.  I love to set a goal that requires my mind to get the fuck out of my way so my body can do the incredible things it was built to do.  I love the physical challenge that training for an endurance race of any kind will bring.  And I simply cannot wait to get lost in the training, whether its in the pool, on the bike or on the pavement.  That's it.  That's all. 

Great White North Tri.  January 1st training begins.  YES.

Until then, tri biking tips.  Hit me, triathlon friends.  I'm ready.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Get By.

So simple.  So beautiful.  And so very true.  As I find myself in my second new city in under a year, I find these words work their way into my psyche often.  A small but very important reminder that even though it may be a new adventure, I am never alone.

I am so grateful to have met the greatest people in my short but very sweet stay in the city that rhymes with fun.  To say that they played an important impact on my growth over the last little while is an understatement of gargantuan proportion.  Saying good bye is never easy, especially for someone like me.  I thrive on people and relationships; I love being surrounded by my peeps, my family and my community.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  The people I love, I tell them.  When I hug someone, I mean it.  I hold on for too long each and every single time, but my experience in the past year has solidified for me what we all know to be true, and that is our time here is very short.  Because it is so, I have an incredible and overwhelming desire to always let my people feel just how much I care, even if it means holding on for just a second too long.  And while I may have just landed in a new city that certainly doesn't rhyme with fun (I don't think it rhymes with anything but give me time) I am so fortunate to have already been the recipient of some great hugs that serve as an important reminder.  That a place is just geography and the heart and soul that you connect to and dig in with are the people.  A comforting thought when times get tough and maybe, if I'm being honest, a tad bit lonely.

And now, because this is a running blog, let's get down to it.  The nitty gritty and the dirty.

First, a confession.

My level of fitness is at an all time low.  For serious and for real.  My health is something that I value greatly, and fitness is certainly something that cannot be taken for granted when you are going to embark on multiple marathons.  I don't let it slide.  At least not usually.  At least not until now. 

I could spend time outlining the reasons why, and believe me, there are plenty!  But an excuse is an excuse no matter what way I choose to look at it.  I was busy...most people are.  I was in recovery post marathon in Regina...there are other ways to maintain fitness in recovery, I just chose not to engage in any of them.  I had a few long (albeit incredibly fun) evenings on the town in the bubble; the 5 block radius around my former diggs which included several great places for wine and beer and food.  50% off wine all day every day- gets a gal each and every time.  I attended football games where the beverage of choice was certainly not water.  Summer in a can (Coors light to the average person) tastes great every time but is maybe not the motivating force required to get my ass out of bed and into the gym, yoga studio, or onto the pavement. 

And so, I find myself in a place I haven't been to for quite some time.  I'm sure I've got abs under here somewhere and my junk in the trunk is carrying just a little more junk than is typical, yes, even for me.  Typically, this might weigh on my mind more than the average runner (an extra 5 doesn't feel awesome when you hit the pavement for a  run of any length), but while I'm in the mood to confess, here comes a second one.

I am motivated by the challenge of winning my fitness back.  Super motivated, actually.  So motivated I find myself referring to my fitness like it was human.  Telling it to take that.  Telling it I am owning it like a boss and telling it that not only will I earn it back, I will surpass it and it will be taken to the next level.  And so the challenge #45in30 was born.  Simple: 45 workouts in 30 days.  Because I'm an aggressive and goal oriented gal by nature, I originally intended for a #60in30 challenge.  A little voice outside of my head (named Siebz with long blonde hair and an affinity for all things football and adventure) informed me that 60 workouts in 30 days was maybe just a wee bit aggressive (or fucking crazy if we're being truthful) on the bod.  Thank goodness for reason, even if its not my own.

So where am I with this whole #45in30?  I'm 7 days and 8 workouts in.  Which means that I have 23 days to complete 37 workouts.  Which also means that on 14 of those days I will have to double up.  Unless I triple up some days.  Never say never, I tend to be crazy like that.  And, in case you're also wondering, I'm feeling pretty fabulous.  This challenge has reminded me of something that I don't usually forget, but seems to have gotten away from me in the past 30 days of moving madness, marathon recovery and good times in the bubble.  That is that when I show up on my mat, in the gym and on the road, I show up for my life in the way that I want to show up.  I show up BIG.  Life marches forward, faster and faster, and I have far too many goals to accomplish, dreams to actualize, people to inspire and adventures to have to show up any other way.  An important realization in light of my brand new adventure. 

And so, with my peeps behind me, and my fitness in front of me, onward and upward.  I will not just get by.  I will crush it. 

With a little help from my friends.