Tuesday, 27 December 2011

it is the simple things

Today I got to finally spend the day to myself, this is the first time in well over three months!  Believe me when I say I took full advantage of it.

a friendly visitor

first snow of the season

winter red

a lovely new trail

I found the PERFECT new trail for our upcoming Full Moon Snowshoe!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 23 December 2011

And so this is Christmas

So much has gone on since my last blog post, some good, some not very good, but then again, that is what life is all about.  Life has been extremely busy, challenging and complicated.  Learning how to deal with a parent that has rapid dementia and a best friend with inoperable terminal cancer.  God only gives you what you can handle.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Wonderful, Happy, Healthy New Year.  May all your wishes and dreams come true for you in 2012.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Thursday, 1 September 2011

T-minus 2 Days

Goals, dreams and THANK YOU's.

2008 Try-a-Tri

When I started back to running in 2001 my first 5k race was held in conjunction with the Somersault triathlon series, I got to watch swimmer's warm up in the St. Lawrence, I saw people in spandex and helmet's and I saw people staggering towards the finish line.  I even volunteered the following year at a water station on the bike course.  Who knew I'd get so interested in Triathlon's but my interest was truly piqued when a good friend of mine decided to become Iron.  Although I was no where near ready, I tried to keep up with them during their training in 2009.  Even though the running part wasn't too bad, I was NO where near ready to keep up with the Cervelo while I was on my old Norco bike "Ruby", needless to say I was dropped like a bad smell.  Nonetheless, I continued buddying along for the runs until I blew out my knee while trying to do "too much too soon".  I suppose it was all part of the "lessons learned" venue of multi sports but I was privy to playing sherpa at Lake Placid and I LOVED cheering everyone on and was in awe of the ages, shapes and determination!

2011 Olympic Tri
Fast forward to 2011, yes 10 years later I'm still in awe of Triathlons.  When I decided that 2011 was going to be my year to "Tri", I hung motivational sayings on my mirrors, I hung the Banner for The Canadian on my fridge.  Even though it is not under the "Ironman" label, it is still a qualified Half Iron Distance of 113K.

 I've listened intently to my "Iron" friends, both real and virtual.  It has been an Incredible Journey...

My emotions the past few weeks have been a total can of worms (hence my lack of blogging) ... from exhilaration while training, to fatigue and doubt and TOTAL anxiety this past week including "what was I thinking?".  Well, with two days left all I can do is go out and do it.  

I'm not a pro, I'm not young, I'm not going to be fast.  

However, putting all those negatives aside, I'm going to do the best I can do, I'm going to live in the moment and enjoy every second of the experience and I'm going to be thinking of ALL of you who have helped me, encouraged me, guided me, told me I can do this and EVERY ONE of you will be with me on my journey to Half Iron...


and mostly I'll be thinking of this.....

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Wednesday, 17 August 2011


...this would be Wordless Wednesday, but currently nothing in my life is normal nor wordless.

17 days and counting!  The Canadian Half Iron 113K.  I've linked this to the interactive map of the event(s).

I must admit I'm a tad nervous, which is extremely odd for me.  I haven't been nervous about an event since I gave up competitive equestrian show jumping and at that time I was rightfully nervous as my living, lifestyle and my income depended upon my results.  Now, I do not and will not compete against anyone other than myself, so I find all this training for the up-coming event fascinating that I feel the old instincts raising their head.

Currently, I am not following a specific "training plan" other than what I find "doable" for me at this stage of my life.  At 58 years old I'm not going to go out and bust my butt with some hardcore plan, however, should I find that I really like doing this distance I will find a trainer to work with and get a little more serious in the future.  Right now, I'm trying to stay in one piece and injury free, so far ~ so good.

Don't get me wrong, I am serious about this event, it is not a distance to toy with nor show any disrespect. I quit drinking alcohol in January, I've shed close to twenty pounds and started training with diligence in February ~ swimming, March ~ cycling and April ~ running.

 I know I will do it, it might not be pretty, but it will be done!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 12 August 2011

113km or 70.3 Half Ironman distance...

...either way it is a long haul!

Most people start all this nonsense when they are much younger, but I have to say, that after totally trashing a full decade with over indulgence I'm now a full decade into health and fitness.

I started back running just over10 years ago.  I was Very over weight, just out of an unhappy relationship and struggling on a single income and owning my first house.  Not too much stress there!  Needless to say it has been a long haul, but one that needed to be done and I've learned so many lessons about who I am and what I needed to learn about "owning" a positive life.  Every day has been an adventure and for that I am and will be forever grateful.  Having positive people in your life is so very important, and although I'm still single, still working (and will be until I'm freedom 90, due to front loading my life with way too much fun), still struggling with some major family issues, my life is the best it has been in a very long time.

A few years ago I tried my first Try-A-Tri and fell in love with the multi-sport.  However, due to financial constraints I had to learn patience to be able obtain a suitable bike, I had to learn patience while recovering from a ruptured meniscus.  I have had to learn patience for so many of life's experiences she is throwing my way lately.  As I mentioned, I have had to learn a lot of things that most people learn at a younger age.  Trust me when I say that when I wake up every morning I say a Great BIG Thank You to the Man above and to the Universe for giving me this opportunity to learn...

This year I decided to:

So I started training....

Early spring put me out on the road cycling getting ready for the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour...then running getting ready for my season of tri's.

Swimming started in February in anticipation of the 3k Open Water Swim, Bring on the Bay.

Bring on the Bay
June saw the first Sprint Triathlon in Smiths Falls...

Age Group - Silver
On to July with the Olympic distance.

OLY Finish - Age Group Silver
Which brings us to four weeks until the Canadian Half Ironman Distance on September 3rd.  Am I ready for it?  Who knows, do you ever feel ready for such a big event???

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Friday, 22 July 2011

a day of 3k

Last Saturday was a perfect day, hot, sunny and without a breath of wind, just perfect for the 3k Bring on the Bay.  There is just no way to describe the day, so if you are on Facebook, you can see in photo's what the event looked like by linking to Bring on the Bay

the medals

the bags

a 3k finisher...guess who?
Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Bring on the Bay has been and gone

Nepean Sailing Club
Friday night was the kit pick-up and the club house was bustling with the regular "sailors" and their mates, along with the folks from Easter Seals who in conjunction with Bushtukah were hosting the Bring on the Bay as part of their regatta weekend.  Tables were laden with the silent auction items and I must say, some of the items were to die for!

The kit bag is literally a bag!  A fantastic swim bag which will be put to great use in the future.

I arrived bright and early (well, not that early) to the sailing club for my first ever 3k Open Water Swim.  Many of the 284 swimmers were already there and awaiting the start.  I met up with some friends, obtained my chip timer, gave my swim bag to one of the many helpful volunteers and made my way to the water.  Most folks were in wetsuits but just as many were not.  (I was not)

Since I really wasn't sure what to expect I seeded myself well to the back and off to the side as it had been suggested.  (Note to self, you don't need to be that far back!).  We waited for sometime in the water because they hadn't anticipated so many swimmers this year and it took forever for everyone to get their chips on and ready to go.  There was a bit of delay but really it didn't matter...this event is for such a good cause and most folks were in party mode.  

The gun went off, the sirens were shrieking and the on lookers were cheering.  We were OFF

The course was well marked and well supported with kayaker's, catamaran's, police boats and other Emergency Rescue Boats.  The really fast swimmer's were gone and I just started my swim.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Hot, hot, hot and sunny, there wasn't a breath of wind.  The river was so calm it was almost eerie.   I've seen that river show her true self but today she was behaving.  My swim was steady and peaceful, exactly the way I had wanted it to be.

When I arrived at the ladder to exit the swim, I felt around for the first rung to put my foot on and I immediately got a full leg cramp.  Un-freeking-believable!  I made the swim in an hour and eleven minutes and had to wait what seemed like forever to get up the ladder to stop the timer.   A very kind gentleman said to me as I stood on the bottom of the ladder "great swim my dear, but you need to climb up to stop the timer"....I had several reply's rolling around in my head, but luckily not off my tongue.  I politely looked up at him and smiled and said "I seem to have a leg cramp".  Finally it subsided and I made the climb to the top to receive my medal....chip time 1:12.

to be continued...

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Thursday, 14 July 2011

This week...

...has been flying by.  I had to actually do a double take on the calendar this morning and when I didn't believe that it was already Thursday I checked my watch.

Last weekend was busy with training.  I won't bore you with too many details but I am very happy to report "I OWN Stewartville Hill".  Never again will this hill kick my butt while I'm on the bike!

Stewartville Hill
Tuesday night was the July Beaver Chase 4 Mile Race, man it was hot, hot, hot!  I started off running with a couple of friends who ended up only running half of the course, so once they bowed out I continued on my own through the forest trails and ended up with a good negative split.  Since I'm into some serious training I picked up the pace and even though I'm not terribly fast I was happy with the end result.

Tonight is our Running Room clinic night followed by a 5km run.

Friday night, I pick up my race kit and swag for the 3k Bring on the Bay swim race.  I'm actually getting excited about this!  My main concern, believe it or not, is whether I can climb the ladder to get out of the water at the end of the race!  Hopefully my knee will be able to support me up the ladder.

If not, I truly hope they have a crane!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

It has been Ages!

It HAS been ages...

So much going on in real life, but also tons of things happening in my sports life...

Here are a few moments in photo's;

200k Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour - June 

Switching over to Triathlon's;

Smiths Falls Sprint Tri - Age Group Silver

on to the Kilt Run and look who found me!

Andrew Opala - fellow blogger!

This weekend is Bring on the Bay,  an open water 3k swim (with the fishes).  Hopefully the weather gods will shine down on us.

And to finish up, training has been going well for the Olympic Distance Triathlon July 30th, how I feel after that will determine whether or not I sign up for the Half Ironman on September 3rd.  That's all the time I have for now.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Soggy says it all...

after a very soggy ride
This has been an absolutely soggy week and there doesn't seem to be any change in the foreseeable future. If it was a warm summer rain, okay, I could take that, but no, it is cold, yes it has been cold enough to have the fireplace on yesterday, oh and did I mention windy???

Unfortunately I'm too stubborn to sit back and tell myself it is okay to bail on training.  I just can't, the season is way to close and if I'm not ready for it,well let's just say I'm not ready to deal with injuries.

Monday was a recovery swim which I'm so grateful for. After pounding away running and cycling, being at the pool is a God send.

Tuesday was the first of the Beaver Chase series.  It is a really fun trail run through the Monk Environmental Park, however our regular route has been modified due to a controversial situation of clear cutting the forest and endangering various species of plants, animals, amphibians and trees all in the name of progress.  This is a really hot topic for me, so I won't continue on the subject.

Monk Environmental Park

Our run took us on two loops of the partial trail that is away from the heavy equipment used for clear cutting.  A few of us ran together and got a chance to catch up and chat, much to the race directors chagrin.  I'm sure that we were the last to cross the finish line and by the time we had returned from our little recovery run, the finish line and timers were already torn down, packed away and only the water station remained...okay, we promise the next time to actually race!!!

Wednesday, Thursday were cycling / running days.  Have I mentioned the wind?  Grrrrrrrrrr

Saturday's ride was soggy, soggy, SOGGY.  After riding 30k in the pounding rain I said enough.  I know that I have to HTFU on the bike but when it is raining so hard it hurts your face, I'd say that's a good time to stop. I quickly changed into some dry clothes and headed off to the pool for a coupled of km's of laps.

Today, I'm looking out the window at....you guessed it, rain and wind.  Well, better go and get my running gear on...

HEY, at least it isn't snowing!!

Lily in the snow
Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Busy, busy, if this training doesn't kill me I might do all right this summer!

Friday was some much needed pool time.  The pool had been closed for maintenance for the month of April, putting me really behind in my training.  It felt great to be back, I never realised just how much I missed swimming!

Saturday was hill training on the bike.  We upped the speed and cut out some of the rest breaks and hit the hills.

a cold spring ride out of Burnstown - UP the hill

Stewartville Dam Hill ~ yes it just keeps going UP!
I've found that the more you push yourself, the more you find out about yourself.  I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm feeling more comfortable on the bike (not getting cocky), just more confidence.  This was a good solid ride.

Sunday was spent on the bike again, however, it was as a backup for my friends running the 32k K2B run.  It was a cold morning to be on the bike, but a perfect overcast, cool morning for the runners.  This is the last long run they will do before the Ottawa Marathon on May 29th, and yes, I'll be there that day too ringing my cow bell!

Monday was back to the pool for more laps and some recovery in the sauna!!

Tonight is the first of the Beaver Chase Race series.  A nice 4 mile trail run through the Monk Conservation area.  Hopefully my running passion will resurface now that the temperatures are on the rise and we are starting to enjoy some blue skies.  Tri season is quickly approaching, so I'd better get my running mojo back soon!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Friday, 6 May 2011

A quickie ~ post that is...

Finally we are getting some warmer weather and sunshine.  The SUN, I think that is what they call the glowing thing in the sky is shining brightly, it has been so very long since we've seen it, it is hard to tell.

Today starts the Tulip Festival in Ottawa, lets hope that Mother Nature gives all the bus loads of tourists some warm weather and dazzling sights!  I'll be riding the bike to down-town on Sunday as it is the 32K run from the Running Room in Kanata to the Bank Street store.  I have done this run before and it is an absolute blast!  (it is the last long run before the Ottawa Marathon).  There are several friends running the 32K K2B, so I want to be there for moral support.

This past week has been really rainy and cold, so no, I didn't get out on Blizzard, however, this weekend I'll be pedalling my ass off in preparation of the Rideau Lakes Century Tour.

preparing the sag wagons

 Last year was an amazing journey down to Kingston, Ontario.  The way home the next day, not so great...I'm not even going to think that craptastic weather will happen again this year.

cold, no, VERY cold and rainy
Saturday, Blizzard and I are off to tackle the Stewartville Dam Hill again, I'll take along the camera too.

Whatever you are up to this weekend, stay safe, have fun and be the best you can be!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Take two on coming back to blogging...

Life has been busy with real life commitments.  Things are settling down or should I say becoming more manageable.

As for getting any training done,well,  it is happening between the cold temperature, the rain drops, rain storms, wind and major wind storms.  Mother Nature is certainly showing us that she is in charge and won't be giving up winter like weather any time soon.    Luckily I took a change in venue, I've rediscovered my love of swimming and because of this it has given me the chance to get out of the inclement weather and be inside swimming laps and enjoying the sauna.  This has certainly helped me get a head start on the triathlons and swim events I've got on my 2011 TO DO list.

Blizzard has been out racking up the kilometres, lots of kms in and around home and weather permitting, a few of the Wooo Hooo's have been getting together for some hill rides "up the line", as it is affectionately called here, meaning heading deeper in to the Ottawa Valley.

Anyone who knows me, knows that hills on a bike are not my strength, but I've been working hard trying to HTFU about hills, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right?

Burnstown Hill, Ottawa Valley

Well, here is a photo of one of my practice hills, and no I don't mean going down it!!  This photo is obviously taken in the fall, but I promise to take one when we go out again this weekend.  Believe it or not, this is the baby hill leaving Burnstown heading towards White Lake which takes us on to Stewartville.  The Stewartville Dam Hill has been my nemesis for three years.  I can happily report that I finally conquered that hill this past weekend again, I promise to take a photo of the Stewartville Dam Hill.

There is a lot to catch up on, but I'll close off for now.

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

ABC's of me

Life's been busy ~ family stuff....

Busy on the training scene too.   There is a Century ride in June, 8K Kilt Run in July, followed later in that month with a 3k swim race (I know I just get crazier as I get older).  August may bring a Half Ironman, it depends on Life is busy ~ family stuff.  September brings the Oasis Zoo Run and October the Prince Edward County Half Marathon.  In the middle of all this Kate and Wills get married and I'm still waiting for my invite.

Since I've been gone for so long from blogdom, I'll leave you with this...

ABCs of me:

(A) Age: 58
(B) Bed Size: Queen
(C) Chore You Really Dislike: dusting \ vacuuming
(D) Dogs? none, but one cat -  Lily
(E) Essential Start Your Day: Coffee!!
(F) Favourite Colour: I love green of any tone
(G) Gold or Silver? Platinum but will wear gold or silver
(H) Height: 5' 10"
(I) Instruments You Play: unfortunately none
(J) Job Title: Construction Cost Consultant Office Manager
(K) Kids: unfortunately none
(L) Live: Constance Bay, ON
(M) Mom's Name: my mother is deceased - her name was Jean
(N) Nicknames: none that I am aware of
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? oh ya, 
(P) Pet Peeve: insincere people
(Q) Quote from a Movie: "you can't handle the truth"
(R) Right or Left Handed? ambidextrous
(S) Siblings: 1 older sister.
(T) Time You Wake Up? ~5:30 am
(U) Underwear: maybe!
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: I'm a veggie, so I love all of them
(W) What Makes You Run Late: slow drivers
(X) X-Rays: multiple times each for knee, skull, fingers, elbows, ankles, teeth, spine, collar bone, (I love tough sports)
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: any veggie dish
(Z) Zoo animal, giraffes

So, there you go ~ I'm back!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Sunday, 30 January 2011

not much going on here...

Not too much activity happening, the weather outside has been frightful...well, not compared to other parts of North America, we have been given a reprieve at the moment from Mother Nature.  I confess to being a total slug this week, my snow-shoes have been sitting patiently at the front door, but haven't seen a snowflake yet.  Maybe later today.

Monday night I did however, go downtown to the Bytowne Cinema to see the Banff Mountain Film Festival.  All I can say is WOW!  The evening was action packed with independent short films of extreme sports and one feature film which left me in awe.  Crossing the Ditch was the world's first Trans-Tasman kayak expedition from Australia to New Zealand.   Take the time to read about this adventure, it will truly amaze you!

As I sit here reflecting on my quiet little life, there are those out there living their's.  Sometimes you just need a little push to get out the door....don't waste a second of this life...it is a gift, not a given...

Life's fun if you don't weaken,


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Monday, 24 January 2011

frozen eyeballs...

Ottawa shattered a 41-year-old record Monday, when the temperature dipped to -28.6 C

You know it's cold when Calgary reports this...apparently a woman was skating on the Ottawa canal yesterday and had to be hospitalised because her eyeballs froze.  I can't find anything to substantiate this claim, other than hearing it on the news this morning.  I'm certain you'll be reading other folks blogs who write about running or skating or skiing is this craptastic weather, but you won't find it here.  Me, I spent Sunday in my jammies with the fireplace on...

that's not really me, I don't look that good in a snuggie
The only time I went outside was to see what was blocking my gas furnace air intake, yes, in my jammies with my down coat & winter boots on, I waded my way through the snow at 6:30am to unplug said intake valve.  Luckily for me, once the obstruction (a hunk of frozen ice) was removed, my furnace sparked up right away and it seemed as though it never shut off!   Lily was quite happy to snuggle up and sleep in the sunshine while I read, napped, played on the computer, read, napped....well, you get the idea of me doing absolutely nothing!!

This week I start swimming, yes, I'm joining the Greyfish three days per week, to try to keep my cardio up.  

I've also just registered for the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour.  This year is the 40th Anniversary and they are offering (to purchase) a commemorative cycle shirt.  You know me, I'm all about the bling...so I ordered one!

Well, there you go, a momentary frozen hiccup of doing nothing in the challenge of moving every day!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,