Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016

I don't like New Years and I'll tell you why.

My father died thirty years ago.  I was seven years old and shielded from the severity of his illness.  I understood something terrible was wrong but I still didn't understand his death.  I felt pain but didn't cry.  I was scared.

It is hard to believe that 30 years after he died I still miss him.  The pain is still there and it still hurts to think of him.  It hurts in the pit of my stomach.

I wonder what life would have been like had he lived.  Would I be living in Vancouver?  Would I have become who I am today?  What would he think of my life?  Would he be proud of me?

I wish so much that I could see him, talk to him, tell him what I have done...every single day.  For thirty years I have thought about him everyday, day after day.  

My mother and father went on a trip to Europe when I was quite young.  My grandmother stayed with my siblings and me when my parents were travelling.  The evening they arrived home I was allowed to stay up late to wait for them.  When they came through the front door I either jumped into my father's arms or he grabbed me and gave me a big hug.  His face was rough from not shaving and he smelled like old spice.  I cried from happiness that my dad was home to keep to protecting me.

I will never be able to capture the emptiness that will always live in my heart.  I miss him.

May 2016 bring joy, happiness and fresh start for all of us.  Let us learn from the past, appreciate the present and work hard for a better future.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rough Waters

Smooth sailing ahead?

Tonight I swam open water in the beautiful Northumberland Straight in Northern Nova Scotia.  The water was rough though warm and I must confess I got a bit sea sick.  In total around 40 minutes of freestyle in a heavy sea.  It was fantastic.

I love swimming open water.  I have written about swimming open water before.  I believe I love it so much because it is as close to running as I can get while swimming.  It really is lovely.  I have been lucky to be living beside a lake in Halifax and live close to the ocean in my family home so I get the best of both worlds of open water.  It is also nice to be in warmer ocean water than the Pacific and without the fear of getting hit by a speedboat or eaten by an orca.  These open water days will not last much longer though as I can feel fall coming soon!

Thinking of fall...I start real training in September.  It has been a slow build up over the past few months and I am thinking about races again and looking forward to training hard.  I am getting in the pool with a new club this week which will be interesting.  I have never swam on a straight swim club so it ought to be an adventure!

I have been running and am actually holding myself back from training and starting tempos and intervals.  I am up to seven mile long runs (which blows my mind for many reasons).  What I am enjoying about running is enjoying accomplishing the little goals.  Running seven miles, three years ago, would not have seemed like more than an off day easy run.  Now it is a real accomplishment and feels hard.  I'm excited for when running is easy and fast again and I am craving getting onto a track but I need to be patient and work on my cycling.

My focus for the next two months will continue to be cycling and swimming.  I weirdly can't wait for the swim workout when it will be hard to get out of the pool because of exhaustion.  I think I am ready to go!

Happy Training!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crepitus

I have had my first injury!

It is a fine line when training between training enough, too much or too little.  After a few weeks of getting some base under my belt I was hit with right foot pain.  I was unable to walk for a week and feared a stress fracture however with the tell tale sign of tendonitis, crepitus, I was relieved.  After some rest, lots of ice and some good swimming I am pain free and ready to get back on my bike and run.

The weird thing about getting tendonitis in my foot has been that I was a bit excited about it.  It is a sign that I am actually training hard and putting some good work in.  It is hard to tell whether I am training enough as I have lost a great deal of fitness over the last two years.  I have to build slowly and be patient however I also need to take advantage of my time being off work and get fit.  I feel fit enough to start training with a team in the pool however cycling and running are a work in progress.

I am motivated and excited to train.  Now that I have been in Nova Scotia for almost two months I am feeling my spirit and energy returning.  I have lost weight and am getting back to looking like an endurance athlete again (not the goal, I guess a side effect of training).

Happy Training!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Laying the Foundation

Here we go again.

I have made it to Nova Scotia and I am back in training.  I am not working and do not have any job prospects so I might as well spend my time working out.  I am far from fit though I am totally enjoying training.

I am not counting mileage or pace times or effort yet as I am doing what feels good and stopping at that.  I set little goals for myself.  Today I rode for 2 hours and ran for 20 with drills and strides.  Yesterday I swam to the falls and back from the wharf.  Tomorrow I hope to swim but maybe I will run or bike instead.

I have less than a week here in the country and then off to the small city of Halifax.  I'll be back in a 50 metre pool and will have a new set of roads to learn and navigate on my bike.  I'll also have some new trails to explore to get me inspired to run again.  I am excited!

I have a feeling this move will give me fodder for blogger.

Back in the game?  I hope so!

Happy Training!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cross Country

All good things must come to an end.

I am moving to Nova Scotia!

After months of contemplation and reflection I have decided to move back home.  I have decided to move to Nova Scotia.  Although I am filled with excitement and anticipation I am also nervous to be living in a new city, starting a new job, making new friends and starting a new life.  I am also very sad to be leaving my friends I have made in Vancouver and this beautiful city.

There are many reasons I am moving with the most important being family.  When I moved to Vancouver I had the goal in mind of starting my own family here.  I wanted to work, train and fall in love.  I worked and I trained but the love did not show up.  I miss my family and without a family of my own it is vital for me to have their grounding.

I must also be honest about my experience in Vancouver.  It has not always been positive.  This is a hard city to live in despite being one of the most livable places in the world.  With it's beauty comes a superficial appreciation of what is around you.  It is not how well one does something or their intent behind what they are doing but rather how it looks.  It does not matter what the content is so long as it looks good.  I have encountered this in sport, work and especially in the gay world.  People here are superficially nice or not at all.  I have been yelled at for using a side walk.  I have had people repeatedly close elevator doors on me.  I have had doors slammed in my face. I have been yelled at skiing at Whistler several times.  I have been pushed off my bike.  I have been yelled at for running in Stanley Park.  I have been harassed walking down the street and I could go on.

I will look fondly on my years in Vancouver and I think it is important for me to leave as I start to hate living here.  As this city begins to grind on me and I begin to resent not being able to afford a home or a car it is best that I return to my homeland where life is simpler, more affordable and very friendly. 

I feel a spark lighting within and sport is a great way to make new friends and meet new people.  Who knows, maybe I will have a masters level comeback!

Happy Training!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Under Water

Swimming is going great!  Everything else is...

First the good news, swimming is going well.  I am getting stronger and a feel for the water again.  What is most encouraging for me is being able to swim Medley and actually hold my spot in the lane.  Typically in the past I would be able to keep up for fly, fall back for back and breast and then sprint the free to make the pace time.  Tonight I was able to take it easy during the back stroke and was still able to stay on pace.  Very exciting!

For as good as my swimming is going cycling is not going at all.  I have little desire to get on my bike even though once I am on my bike I have a great time and enjoy my rides.  This is my classic issue with cycling, I cannot manage to get on my bike.  I need to whip my butt in gear and get training.  June will be here soon!

Happy Training!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Process

I often hear the phrase "trust the process" but what about enjoying the process?

I am a very goal directed person and the goal or outcome is what motivates me to work hard.  Whether it is at work or at play I usually like to have a goal to work towards and I trust the process to get to that goal.  What I am trying to do now is enjoy the process.

I have to be honest, I enjoy training.  For me the challenge is not being able to train as hard as I want.  I am not fit enough yet to push the way I like to and this causes me to get frustrated with the progress I am not making.  I find myself wondering if I will ever get to the point where I can push myself to total exhaustion and then complete another interval and then run home.  The process that I am trusting at the moment can quickly turn to torture when I ask my body to go and it just cannot.  I need to be kind to myself, smile and enjoy the process.

There is more to enjoying the process than just maintaining my sanity for the months it takes to get fit enough to train how I want to.  The last few races I competed in were not enjoyable for me.  I was focused on the outcome of the race to the exclusion of everything else I was doing.  I was not enjoying the training or appreciating the work I was doing.  I was not satisfied with blistering fast workouts as I was distracted by the prospect of upcoming big races.  I wanted to win and that was my focus.  I decided I would not be happy unless I won and when I did not win I was miserable.  I did not enjoy the process and when the outcome was not to my liking all the work I had done seemed pointless and stupid.  If I enjoy the process and appreciate what my body is able to do then by the time race day comes around I have already had success.  I still want to compete well and by enjoying the process the outcome will be the cherry on top of the delicious ice cream sundae.

I wish I could put process into other parts of my life however the concept is not necessarily universal.  After a couple years of making a concerted effort to get a boyfriend and facing failure at every turn I cannot think of a process to embark upon let alone one that I could enjoy.  Cleaning is a process I detest though the outcome is always satisfying.  Laundry is the worst chore ever.  That process is something that will never be enjoyable.  I am fortunate to love my job/profession so I can report I love the process of work.

I very much focused on enjoying the process this weekend with a 3 hour BRICK (2.5 hours cycle, .5 hour run), a great 3600 m swim workout Saturday night, spin and weights Sunday morning and 2500 m in the pool in the evening.  Today is my normal day off but I felt like running when I got home from work so I listened to my brain and went for a super 6 mile run.  I still run the same pace as always as I ran an old route and checked my watch at my normal pace spots.  I do not have the endurance but it is good to know I still have the easy pace for running.

I am getting into the rhythm and trying to enjoy the process!

Happy Training!