Thursday, 30 August 2012

Extreme Makeover- Life Edition

I have a confession to make, I love watching EM- Weight Loss Edition.  I love to see these people transform their lives by losing a huge amount of weight over a year and changing their life.   We do not become overweight in a year and the thought that you can make a decision to change your life so drastically is amazing.  It also helps to remind me that even though I did not lose hundreds of pounds, I too made that decision, lost a lot of weight and regained my life, a happier, healthier life. 

The decision to start was in a way the easy part, one photo that showed me what the world saw and I refused too.  

I had no idea that day, June 1, 2009, that I would be starting one of the hardest things I would ever do and the most rewarding.  On May 30, 2010, I was 70 lbs lighter and walking a half marathon for the first time, both unthinkable a year before.  

I remember every km of that first half marathon, I cried the whole last km, tears of joy that I had done it!  

Looking forward a year seems like such a long period of time but it goes by in a flash and if you do not pay attention you will blink and miss it.  Fast forward 2 more years, the weight is still gone, well except for a few pounds (about 5) and I am training to run my first half marathon.  I have done several 5K and 10K races, even an 8K race in a kilt, I have run in +40 and -30, in the sun, in the rain, the snow and the hail.

Running is not natural to me, I have to work at it daily, commit to it and get it done, no excuses.  When we make a big decision, making it is can be the easy part, showing up; every day is the hard part.  There is no easy pill, no fairy God-mother that can do the km and hard work for us, it’s all up to’s our life.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

I am an IRONMAN wannabe

On Sunday we went to Mt Tremblant to watch our friend Stephane participate in his 3rd Ironman event.  An Ironman is a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and then after all that a 42.2km run.  I have to admit, I have gone on the record stating I WOULD never do one of these crazy things.  Just like I said I would never run a half marathon (doing one in Sept) or a marathon (Oct 2013- Toronto).  Well pass the ketchup because once again I am going to eat my words. I have decided my 50th birthday challenge would be one of these crazy things, god help me.

It was so inspiring to watch and see athletes of all sizes and shapes compete in this event.  The swim starts at 7am and it was quite a sight to see 2300 Age Group athletes all attack the swim with enthusiastic gusto. It is quite the production with divers to make sure no one goes underwater, kayaks, boats and lifeguards on surf boards all making sure they stay safe and finish.  The comes the long bike portion of the event.  Around noon we settled in to wait for Stephane on his second loop.  The elite athletes and faster age group athletes were finishing their second loop and there were still others starting their second loop.  I have been there, watching others finish as you are just starting out, it must be hard but they all had a smile on their face.  These athletes will not win, that is not their goal, its a race against themselves, will they survive and complete this enormous task.  I stayed out until I saw the last of them start the second loop, cheering them on as loud as I could.  I know one day, I will be there, slowly making my through the day, taking advantage of the 17 hours allotted for the event.   Finally you get to the run portion, I have yet to run a marathon and I can hardly imagine running one after doing the other stuff.  We saw Stephane as he started the run and he was smiling and looking good.   Most of those who start finish, some due not...some do not make the cut-offs for the swim and bike legs, others have mechanical problems and for some it was just not their day and their bodies gave up.  They all had the courage to dream, to train and to try their hardest,it is not something you start on a lark and figure you can do with little work.  This is a hard core event and when you cross the finish line and they say "You are an Ironman" you know you truly are.

I was watching a You Tube video about the US Ironman Championship and the ending spoke to went something like this.  Life is like a dash and the dash is going to be on your headstone.  It's going to be from the day you were born until the day that you die and that is what people are going to know about you.  I was thinking to myself that you have such a limited time to go out and do as many amazing things as possible, so make the most out of that's your life. 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

It’s a Guy Thing

Don’t get me wrong, I love my running guys, but why is it that guys always start at the end and not work their way up to it in a sensible manner.  My hubby, Neale ran as his first race a half marathon, same with my son Stephen.  At least Neale trained for it, Stephen hardly at all and they did an awesome job.  Even my running buddy Roy went from couch potato to 10K runner in a single bound.  I, on the other hand, started with walking, and then progressed to 5K and then a year later 10K and now after 9 months running 10Ks to my first half marathon.  Same with my Triathlon, I started with a sprint Tri, a shorter distance then the standard Olympic Tri I aim to do next year.  Not Neale, he wants to do the Olympic distance Triathlon with me.  This from a man who cannot swim 20 yard let alone 1.5K.  Is it confidence, bravo or machismo that makes them dive right in with that do or die attitude.  As they say, different strokes for different folks, I will be happy to be the turtle and slowly make my way along and who knows, I might end up ahead of them one day.  

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Words I Hate

A mid week post, I must have something to rant about.  I have been reading some new blogs and have been on some new Facebook group pages which I love.  Reading other peoples blogs are so inspiring and humbling, and Facebook groups are awesome.  I was having an exchange with one FB group member and she said she was just doing a Try-a-Tri next year when I asked what distance she was doing .  I heard myself telling her what everyone said to me all summer when I said the exact same thing...there is no such thing as just or only..I also say I only run 10K and not marathons like my husband.  We all do the best we can and should be proud of what we accomplished or hope to accomplish.  In 2009 I weighted over 220lbs and if anyone told me I would be training for my first half marathon and doing Triathlons I would have laughed in their face, loudly.

Another word I hate is DNF-did not finish... OK it is 3 words but you get my drift. I read a post by one blogger how her husband asked her for a divorce and she realized she did not want a DNF for her marriage.  Another blogger had a post about what she says when people ask her how many marathons she ran, she got a DNF for her second one.  We all get DNF's in our life, it's how we deal with them that counts.  The first blogger and her husband are working it out, he does not want a DNF either, the second blogger went on to run 3 more marathons.   I got a DNF  in 1987 when I failed Statistics and did not get my university degree but went back in 2005 and finally passed it and got my degree.  I got a DNF in my first Triathlon but I am going to be there to try again...and again and again if I need to.

Everything we do is important and deserves to be treated as such so I have decided that 'just' and 'only' belong in the dictionary and not my vocabulary and DNF really means Did Not Fail...because I had the courage to start.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

This girl just wants to have fun

Well it was back to running training this week, the half marathon is getting closer so it's more miles on my legs, less on my wheels, anyway the bike was in the shop being fixed until Thursday.  I made up my LSD run on Monday, 14K and ran a quick wet 5K tempo on Tuesday. Yes I said wet, after a dry hot July, the first full  week of August was wet with 4 straight days of rain.  Today, Saturday, I joined a group of five other ladies for our 16K run, this would be the first time I did this distance and I was happy to get it over with.  Last Saturday I ran in sun and 40C temps and today it was overcast and 19C, it was a welcome change.

It was a fun group to run with, I had a great time and it reminded my what I love about my running clinic and how much I missed it. I did all my Tri training on my own and quite a few of my runs in the last few weeks were solo and I missed the fun of running with a group.  Since I do not have a traditional job, I do not get the daily interaction of colleagues and most of my human contact is on Facebook or by text.  In the 2 + hours it took us to run the 16K, we shared our week, running adventures, summer holiday plans and traded running advice.  I found out another runner writes 2 blogs and went to a convention for Bloggers, who knew there was such a thing.  I heard about the Graffiti Me 5K Run the day before the Army Run (still thinking about it) and a few of the ladies were doing it as a warm up to the half the next day.  Before I knew it we had run 16.5K and I survived, my longest distance to date and more important enjoyed it.  Today reminded me why I started to run in the first place and I thank my fabulous running buddies for that.  I now feel energized for the next 6 weeks of running...

Monday, 6 August 2012

If at first you don't succeed try a Tri again

So I attempted my first Triathlon this Saturday, it was a hot humid day and I was very worried I would not be able to complete it.  As it turns out, I was was fine, my bike was not.  My rear tired blew not once but twice and I got a DNF (did not finish) for the race.  The heat was a factor but so was faulty tires that are currently being replaced by the bike store I bought it from three weeks ago.  After 8 weeks of training it was a bit of a bummer but I did the best I could under the circumstances.  I did the swim and first leg of the bike on pace and  I did the run almost on pace, one min slower due to extra water stops.  I want to give a huge shout out to Bruce who rescued me not once but twice and gave me my first and second ride on a motorcycle, the guy from Pecco's bike shop who fixed my first flat and the kids and their hoes who sprayed me down twice and made the run bearable.  It was about 40C with humidex when I did the run at noon on Saturday, really really hot.  I will attempt a Triathlon again on Sept 1st, I will not give up until I succeed and I am totally hooked.

After a day off I got right back to training for my half marathon and my next tri with a 14K run today.