Wednesday, December 31, 2014


The house is quiet and I am tucked in by the fire with my coffee and thinking it's the perfect time to blog a recap of this wicked year!  I was blessed beyond measure this year with health, family, friends and fun! Truly a mix of FIT FEATS and WICKED TREATS!

I started the "racing season" with the Manotick Miler a small local race that I love.  The kids come and do the little race and I get to run with my girlfriends.  This year Big Rig was there for the best tasting burgers and beer after! Like I said FIT FEATS and WICKED TREATS :)

A happy preview of what was to come in Pellee :) 

Fit Fam :) I love that the whole family is into sweating and having fun.
With the Miler under my belt and the roads finally clear and dry it was time to get my new ROAD BIKE out for some long distances. After a long long winter of biking in a dank gym it felt amazing to be outside.  2hrs on a spin bike is very very boring!  I have to say that having a bike this year brought me all kinds of childlike joy and weeeeeeeee, as well as exciting firsts.  I am still awfully proud of the moment when I first successfully managed to take a drink from my water bottle while riding my bike!

The first big "scary" was the CHEO 70km ride with friends.  Heck if 70km and riding in a large group wasn't scary enough, I had to drive DT and find parking! I'm telling you this biking thing really pushed my comfort zone in all things this year and helped me own my big girl panties.  

Muriel, Kelly, Josee, Donna, Allyson and I, I loved having these girls to laugh and celebrate with.  WIZARD RIDERS!
70km my furthest distance ever at the time, in the cold rain that turned my feet into ice blocks! I stopped once to take a drink as I wasn't yet comfortable drinking and driving.  My proudest moment was when I finished and one of the race marshals came up to me and said he had been trying to catch up with me but couldn't do it.  He asked how long I had been riding and I said a few months :)

Next up was the Pelee Island Half Marathon with some of my very bestest of friends.  We took off on a 4 day adventure together.  This weekend was amazing for so many reasons.  My phone didn't receive data well so I was essentially unplugged.  The Island truly felt like a retreat, everything seemed to pass by in a slower more relaxed mode.  We rented bikes one day and toured about exploring like kids.  We took a million selfies :) We drank wine, ate deep fried pickles, and had Bailey Lattes.  Oh and then we ran a half marathon!  I love that I got to see Sue-Anne and Liz finish their FIRST half marathons! Oh man the goosebumps! truly one of my favourite moments!  My all time favourite moment was after the race when Liz came over with her plate full of food and her eyes full of happy tears and then we all started crying!  A weekend of soul filling sisters.  

I trained HARD for this race, really hoping that I might be able to pull off a PR but the HEAT omg the HEAT got to me! It was truly the hardest half I have ever run.  I fell apart at the end and walked a lot.  I've never walked in a half before.  Proud that I still managed to squeak in under 2 hrs at 1:57:18 :) 

After a fun and restful weekend away it was time to get back to training and get ready for my first Duathlon! I had a lot of fun training for this race with my running buddy Rachael, we shared some great long rides and jello leg bricks together.  This was my favourite race of the year.  I loved how new it was, I loved the transition zone that made me feel like an athlete.  I know that sounds silly but it did.  The kids did a 2km race in the am, and then hung around to cheer me on.

this makes me all sorts of happy :) 
My Rachael :) oh how I miss our runs and chats and looking at your spit!  

I felt on fire in the 5km, got caught up in the excitement and instead of easing into the race  gave the 5km my all! 24:20....oops :)  I felt that later :)
The bike was my favourite part of the race! I felt like I was flying, I pushed really hard and gave it my all.  I  was so scared going around the corners at the turn around points, and had to unclip one foot each time just in case!  My legs were dead at the end! I have to say that 10km run after was gruelling! and to do 4 loops sucked! I am so thankful my kids were there high giving me at each turn! I can not imagine running a half let alone a full marathon after a bike! WOW 
Got to love small races where you place FIRST in your category and THIRD overall in  your gender :) makes you feel like a super star!
So as you can see there have been many Fit Feats but what about the WICKED TREATS?  We started our amazing summer off early in Norland and carried on all summer with many weekends spent with my family.  Norland summers can be summed up by boating, wake boarding, boat drinks, dock sitting, camp fires and most of all FAMILY.  

So many amazing memories made this summer, our best summer yet! 
Even I got up for about 30 sec's! 
We also spent many a weekend with our camping buds the Jenn/Darryls and even ventured into the sweet life of Trailer Living! 

Nothing like sitting in the lake, waves lapping on your legs chatting away with your girlfriend :) 

So many more adventures to come in this baby :) 
We were very blessed this year and treated ourselves to a membership at a local outdoor pool.  The girls spent so much time in the water this year.  Kasey literally became a little mermaid.

It was a crazy summer and we were away SIX WEEKEND IN A ROW from the start of the summer with trips to Norland, Camping and a week's rental at Sandbanks Summer Village! And with all that fun I took my bike with me everywhere!
she's a beauty 
I managed to keep up with my Half Iron Duathlon training despite all the fun we were having.  I trained HARD!!! and I partied hard!  I had the fluff to go with it :) I might not have always been able to follow my plan perfectly but I did my best and I was getting in long long rides, and hard runs.  I would get up early and do my best to get the training out of the way so that I wouldn't miss out on the fun with my family and friends.

It was all worth it when I got to enjoy views like this!  I was certainly in my happy place :) 
The ride I am most proud of was doing just over 100KM's (109 I think?) with my friend Josee.  We tackled this ride together, cheering each other on, encouraging each other, and near the end moaning and grumping together as we struggled to keep pushing.  My ass felt like it melted over the seat at one point!
This curly girl got me through my nerves and anxiety and helped me push outside my comfort zone! 
It was right after that ride that we headed to Sandbanks to for a week and I forgot my running shoes! I had never done that before! I ended up taking a week off of running for the first time in years! It was the first of a series of eye openers that told me that I had burnt myself out.  Run's ending in pain limping.  No longer finding any joy in the things that I once loved.  I ended up making a very hard decision and for the first time ever, didn't follow through on a race I had signed up for.  I backed out of the Half Iron Duathlon and it was like a huge weight was lifted.  I joined the Athelctic Club and made my mission having fun!  I started taking classes again.  I still had the Army Run Half Marathon to do but I wasn't training HARD for it.  I didn't do speed, tempo or hill work. I figured my Half Iron training had left me with enough fitness to get me through.  I have to admit as the race came closer I was DREADING IT! I even thought about not doing it.  But I sucked it up and went in with the attitude of just having fun!
still managed to just squeak in under 2hrs at 1:58:58 :) 
After the Army Run, it was truly time to just let go and have fun.  We headed to Las Vegas with our good friends and got CLASSY/MESSY for 4 days!
Oh Yeah!! 
Seriously living it up with my girl Laura! 

drunken 2am getting my awkward dance on! 
Oh Vegas! you were so naughty :) I will admit by day 4, I was done and very anxious to get home to clean Barrhaven and my girls.  Once home I continued on my journey of letting go and rediscovering my joy.

let it go 
I took my time healing so to speak.  I didn't put any pressure on myself to sign up for any races in the new year.  I slowly got back into running, even leaving my garmin at home.  I took my time and let my body and mind rediscover my love of running.  Then when my heart was ready I took the plunge and registered for the Ottawa Marathon.  I am both excited and nervous, but I have something going into this race that I have not had before.  I am at peace with myself (mostly lol).  There is no pressure and I am going to just do my best and truly enjoy the journey.  

As a final fun :)  I had a lot of fun dressing up this year!  Despite living in workout clothes and leggings and rarely doing my hair or make up, I really do love to get girly! I had lots of fun dressing up this year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

26.2 Again

It's been a while since I've blogged, truthfully, I was feeling a little burnt out.  Not from blogging of course but from trying to push for bigger and better all the time.  I had lost the fun.  I stopped enjoying the thing that has brought me so much joy since starting this fitness journey.  So this summer after running the Army Run I decided to take a break from running.  This summer on vacation, when I forgot my running shoes and took my first week off in 4 years was a bit of an eye opener.  So I decided to go on a Mission: Operation Find the Fun Again!  I joined The Athletic Club in Kanata as a treat just for me.  Instead of waiting for a year for it to open in Barrhaven.  During my orientation when they asked me what my goals were, I said to HAVE FUN!  I started doing classes again, something I usually didn't have time for in my training plan or was to afraid of hurting myself to do.  I started going to an Anti Gravity Yoga Class and letting go literally!  I started doing a barre inspired class and even the occasional TRX class too.

First day at GL May 2010 and First day at TAC Aug 2014, despite the physical differences both these pictures have the same inter excitement at all the possibilities ahead! 
Along with playing and enjoying classes again, I decided to start a strength training program and really give strength training my focus.  After a summer of biking and running for very long distances my body was in dire need of getting strong and building muscle again.  When I started my hamstrings were so weak that a regular body weight bridge was difficult.  Now I'm loading up the bar from the squat rack and doing hip thrusters!  I had forgotten how motivating it was to focus on strength and to see gains week after week.  Where as with running I feel like my pace is now my pace, I don't seem to be getting any faster LOL :) Biking I saw myself get faster but again it was new.  

Aug to Sept, 14 pounds and 17.5 inches lost!  
I so enjoyed the rhythm of going to the gym and following a strength program, every now again I would look at the treadmill and feel a little sick to my stomach.  I was worried about spring and feeling like I needed to get back to running but the thought of doing so filled me with dread.  So I told myself that I didn't even need to think about it till December.  I took the anxiety and pressure off my plate and when I did a funny thing happened.  I found myself in November wanting, actually wanting, to go out for a run.  I wasn't running much maybe once a week, and when I went I would leave my garmin at home.  I felt like I needed to reconnect with my inner runner, and rediscover why I loved it.   It worked, and I found myself enjoying the run with JOY!  It had been so long since I had enjoyed a run without a negative inner dialogue.  I still wasn't quite ready to make the big decision yet though.  Would I do a half or a full in the spring?  If I was going to run a marathon in 2015 it had to be spring because I was not spending another summer  training for a big race.  I fully plan on enjoying our new trailer and summer adventures this year without the stress of a training plan.  I won't be inactive by any means, I will travel with my bike and running shoes but will go as far as my heart desires and not because I HAVE TO.  BUT a spring MARATHON, means WINTER training!  Last winter I barely ran outside in the cold/snow at all! You can get away with that with a half.  Training for my first and 2nd marathon, two winters in a row did me in.  It made me hate winter.  So despite feeling the joy and urge to run come back, I wasn't feeling very motivated to sign up for a FULL.  So I said, just wait, just see how you feel. 

now let's just double that and we are back in the game! 
Then one day I went out for a long run, a 10 miler, and I came home riding the high! I knew then, that I was back, that it was time.  The credit card came out and  I registered for the May Race Weekend Full Marathon.  This was the race where my life long dream of running a Marathon came true.  This is the race I ran crying almost all the way, and listing to little messages from girls cheering me on.  This was my best race ever! So I kind of feel that it's fitting to be going back now, feeling renewed.  

I dare say I"m actually enjoying my winter runs so far, mind you that might change when the -20 hits lol
My plan for this Marathon, is to recreate the feeling I had during the first one.  I trained hard but didn't really have any expectations for time.  My goal is to run happy and with as much JOY as I can.  It's a blessing to be able to do this and I don't want to take that for granted.  

I also plan on blogging the journey, I'm hoping it will help me stay focused on the joy part and away from the garmin stats LOL.   

So here's comes Marathon number FIVE! EEEEEEEEEEEEE

PS. Discovered this magic sauce while making bacon roll ups with friend last night and I am already dreaming about a grill cheese sammie slathered in that sauce after a 20 miler!  Almost makes me WANT to run it :) LOL.