Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My first triathlon

I have been envisioning this day since the summer of 2012. It has taken me a long time to increase my fitness level, acquire the equipment, and gain the confidence to get to this day, but it's finally here! June 14, 2015.

I started my morning at 500am to allow adequate 'digesting' time after my breakfast of champions.

A nice little oatmeal and tea delight to fuel this cardio machine. 

We arrived at the lake with plenty of time to spare. The whole place was buzzing with energy. I checked in, got my timing chip, and began setting up my stuff. You need a lot of stuff for a triathlon... More than I had thought. I had my cycling shoes, running shoes, socks, sunglasses, lip stuff, my helmet, my bib number, and my foot towel all laid out nicely, ready to go. 

My total time was 3hrs24mins19secs. This isn't a super spectacular time, but for my first one, I'm happy with it. I plan on doing this race again next year to see how much I can improve :) 

The swim ( 1500m in 32m57s) went great! I made a last minute decision to take off my wetsuit and just swim in my tri suit. I'm so glad I did. The lake was unbelievably warm for mid June, and I don't know how the majority of the wetsuit wearers didn't over heat. 

Transition #1 3m46s

The bike (40km in 1h38m41s) was the longest ride I've ever done. My ass was sore and I earned a decent sunburn but nonetheless it was a lot of fun. I have quite a bit of work to do to improve my time, but I think it's doable. The course was definitely more hilly than I expected which contributed to my slower time. 

Transition #2 2m36s

The run (10 km in 1h6m21s) started off a bit shaky. My legs felt like jello getting off the bike and I was seriously doubting my ability to run 10k! Luckily the path was a beautiful winding trail around the lake which made the time pass quickly. 

Crossing the finish line the announcer said my name and recognized that it was my first tri... I couldn't control my emotions and started crying happy tears... I was overwhelmed with pride, happiness, and exhaustion. 

I had such a positive 'first' triathlon experience and I'm really looking forward to the next one. It'll only get better from here! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Calgary Marathon - 10km

Why would I pay to run 10km, when I could just as easily run in the park for free?

There is just something about running with 2899 other people at 7am on spectacular Sunday morning that makes the entry fee totally worth it... (and obviously, I do it for the shirt).

I really need to work on my 'running-face'... 

I successfully achieved my goal for this run... finish in under 1:00 hour. My time was 59m42s and I finished 74/201 in my gender/age group.

My next goal... run 10km in under 58 minutes by the end of August 2015. I imagine I'll be quite fatigued by the time it comes for me to run my triathlon... I'm hoping for my tri run to be under 1h10m.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Blew some rubs'

The only thing I needed to do on Saturday was a brick workout. I had prepped for a lovely 2hr bike ride exploring Fish Creek Provincial Park followed by a 30 minute run. 

I started out and it was downright chilly outside! My ears were freezing and I was slightly underdressed. About 10km into my ride I thought I was getting bombed.,.(the only reason this was my first thought was because I had recently finished binge watching homeland). Anyways, once I figured out that I blew a tire, I gracefully dismounted from my clip ins and analyzed the situation. 

Not too shabby of a place to get stuck. 

I didn't have a spare tube or pump on me but luckily I had an iPhone and a sexy pick up man. Pete to the rescue!  

When I got home I figured it was time for me to learn how to change a tire. I consulted with the ever knowledgable YouTube and re-familiarized myself with how levers work.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hangin' out

The first time I heard about aerial yoga I thought it was kind of silly and something you only see stick thin, bronzed, bohemian-fit girls do on pinterest. Buuuuuuut then I found out there was a studio in YYC and I couldn't resist gaining the experience. Thank you Fit Republic

My good friend Talia joined me on this little 'sunday funday'. We walked into the small studio and I instantly felt out of my comfort zone. There were 7 or 8 other members of the class already hanging monkeys and looking like professionals. Let's call them the professional monkeys. Anyways, the first thing you do when you're at a class like this is size yourself up a stretchy satin hammock. Once you're all ready, the instructor starts directing you through various poses. Some are simple stretch poses, others are more physically demanding, and some are inverted like in our pictures. 

It may look like we're zenning out in this picture, however, not all poses were incredibly comfortable. One pose referred to as 'tweety bird' was particularly uncomfortable for my bunions  (ew...). Other poses intensely 'massaged' hip flexors and shoulder joints. 

I look forward to going back to #fitrepublicyyc. It was a great way to try something new and mix up my regular workout routine. 

Bicycles and sweat

I tried out my new kicks a couple of days ago and I loved em! This was my first time trying out clip ins on the open road and contrary to all the 'advice' I previously received... I didn't fall! There was one close call with a civic, and another time I forgot that my shoes were attached to the bike so there was an awkward wobbly situation. But after an hour exploring the wonderful trails of Calgary, I got it figured out. 

Some advice for new cyclists:
  1. If you can, practice clipping in and out of the pedals on a trainer first. 
  2. For the sake of your pride and well being, practice in a low traffic area. 
  3. Don't make any sudden movements... 
  4. Avoid steep hills... I don't know what I'm going to do if I have to dismount on a steep hill. 
  5. To dismount on flat ground, you unclip one foot then swing your leg over to the other side and hope like hell your other foot unclips :) easy peasy... 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Nothing say spring time like a nice bowl of fresh peaches. I love peaches... I love peaches in pie, in tarts, in smoothies, in cobbler form. I've never had a peach that I don't like. I attribute my love for peaches to Roald Dahl's children book, 'James and the Giant Peach'. His wonderful novel glorified these fuzzy fruits  for me and I've never looked back. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Real Life Moment: the 'hand up' street crosser

Walking to work this morning I realized a moment in life when my ability to be indecisive reaches an all time high... I was standing on the street corning waiting to cross the road with 4 or 5 other city dwelling workers. Then one bold person decides to start their journey across the road EVEN THOUGH the 'do not walk' hand was still showing. Now, there was no vehicles coming. This defiant 'hero of the crosswalk' was perfectly safe.. aside from the possibility of getting a $500 jay-walking fine. Instantly I'm torn between joining this fast walking fella, or waiting like a sign post with the rest of the 'waiters'.  I wonder if this 'crosser' is smart for doing what he's done, or stupid and a rebel? Maybe he is in such a hurry he couldn't possibly wait the extra 20 seconds for the 'hand' to turn into a 'walking man'. Am I conforming by staying behind with the others? Or would I be conforming if I followed this man, just because that's what he's done? I don't know...

Anyways.. by the time all of these thoughts have run through my head the sign has changed and I shuffle my way across the road.

I wonder what everyone else thinks when that one guy crosses the street without the signs permission...  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Everyone's sick...

I rarely get sick. But for the past month, I have been fighting off some terrible 'lingering' illness. You've probably had a lingering cold yourself... you know, the ones that don't get better or worse, they just stick around for ever.

I keep pushing myself to exercise despite this hacking cough. Even though I usually feel better after each workout, I wasn't sure the toll it was taking on my recovery.

I found this great resources from Precision Nutrition that lays out some great information in an infographic.

Check it out here.
'tis the season

Shake Shake Shake

I haven't been much of a 'smoothie' person lately. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good smoothie... if someone else makes it for me, but I'm not much for making my own. However, since starting Juiceplus I have become hooked on the Complete Shakes.

Vanilla shake with frozen berries
These shakes couldn't be more easy to prepare. All you need is one scoop of the powder, ~400mls of water or almond milk and my Bamix blender. I like these shakes as is with limited ingredients, but I'm starting to include more 'stuff' into each shake. The picture above shows a vanilla shake with a few frozen berries thrown in.

Yum yum yum!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Just keep running...

I don't know about you, but I regularly want to quit when I'm 10 minutes into a run. I'm not in pain and I'm usually not out of breath at 10 minutes so it's not a physically limiting urge to quit. Instead, it's obsessive thoughts about quitting or justifying a shorter run. 

Today's run was tough... My mind was consumed by thoughts of 'just quit' for 20 of my 40 minute run. Usually when this happens I picture myself in a bikini or a dress and visualize how I want to look in that 'outfit'. I know if I want to look like how I picture myself, I am going to need to work out. Therefore I keep running. 

But that didn't work for me today... Instead I thought of how proud I will feel when I complete the entire 40 minute run without stopping. I pushed throfufh and completed the run. My motivation to exercise is slowly shifting to become more internal. It feels great! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

This body's sore...

This picture perfectly sums up how I feel lately. I am about 6 sessions into a bootcamp and I basically feel like it's leg day every day. 

If you've ever thought about taking part in a bootcamp I would recommend it. Boot camps are a high intensity, group workouts that require very little 'mental prep' on your part. I love that I can show up for a class and just follow along with whatever the instructor says. Before you know it, your muscles will be shaking and you'll be sweating like crazy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A triathlon a day...

Here I am, getting all amped up for ONE triathlon in June, meanwhile this guy is completing ONE TRIATHLON PER DAY in 2015!!! Whaaaat?

Photo taken from Cycling Weekly 
He isn't doing a full sized Olympic distance everyday. Swim 400m, run 10km, and cycle20 km. But, the great part is... he's raising money for Positive Action on Cancer.

Good on ya, fine sir. Our 'tri-a-day' friend is from the lovely United Kingdom! Keep up the great work! May you always have enough anti-chaf cream.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Intrinsic Motivation

Let's talk about intrinsic motivation....

What is it?

Intrinsic motivation is a very simple concept, that is quite difficult to understand.

Intrinsic motivation is doing something that is driven by internal rewards... or something that makes you feel good and gives you purpose. Relatively speaking, the majority of behaviours and actions in our lives aren't internally driven. Take, for example, reading a book. If you pick up a book and read it because you genuinely want to learn more you are intrinsically motivated. However, if you're reading a book to pass a course you are extrinsically motivated. Some other examples of extrinsic motivation may be familiar to you... exercising to lose weight, going to work to make money, studying to pass the course, or driving within the speed limit to avoid the fine. Are you mostly extrinsically  motivated?

A behaviour that is driven by intrinsic motivation lasts longer and becomes a lifestyle change. Why is this type of motivation seemingly so difficult to experience? Why is this type of motivation so hard to come by?

Perhaps this blatantly stereotyped comic is part of the reason. That is, there is a huge 'grey area' of motivation. Some people may be intrinsically motivated by external things. I tend to believe that our society, one of overindulgence, is making this seem like the only type of reality. For instance, from a very young age we are taught to 'go to school' so we can get 'good jobs' in order to 'support a family'. Society fills in the blanks by shaping perspectives into thinking that 'good jobs' are those that are stable and high paying. Society shapes the perspective that 'supporting a family' means buying them things and going on nice trips. All of these perspectives are based on the fundamentals of external motivation. No doubt intrinsic motivation seems so foreign. 

I think the most effective way to 'find' intrinsic motivation is to explore what is most important to you. Not just why you want something... but what is most important to you. Is your health most important to you, or is not having love handles important to you? Is getting a full nights sleep most important to you, or would you rather be able to gossip about the latest 'Bachelor' episode? Whatever it may be, you have to be entirely true to yourself when you answer these questions. The answers may surprise you.

Once you determine what is most important to you it will likely become more clear as to what behaviours you truly want to stick with.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Internal vs External Motivation

Why do you work out? Is it for an upcoming event, a new years resolution, that 'thigh gap, or snazzy blazer? All of these things are external motivating factors. In other words, you're not working out for yourself, but rather you're working out for 'something else'. This can be a rather difficult concept to grasp mostly because our world is bombarded with external motivating factors. 

Now, if you are motivated by something 'external', this is not 'bad'. The thing is, once you achieve your goal, or if that factor loses it's importance to you, you will stop working out. 

Luckily for me, my extrinsic motivation is spaced quite a ways apart. See, prior to Christmas, I was working out for my swim suit body for an upcoming trip. Once the trip was over it would have been easy to just make all that hard work go away one fuzzy peach at a time. However, I got engaged over Christmas and I definitely have some body 'things' I'd like to sort out before the Big Day! So now I have 1.5 years to work out 'for' the wedding. :) 

Check out the vacation and engagement video I made...
p.s. its basically the most cute proposal I've ever seen!!

So what's the difference? Basically, if you can see, touch, or attend the thing that motivates you to work out, you are externally motivated. Intrinsic motivation comes from within. Being motivated intrinsically will typically result in changes that are long term. You may hear people say that they only lost weight, or started eating better when they REALLY wanted to change. This 'really' wanting to change is a shift from extrinsic motivation, to internal.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I need a new seat....

I want to love cycling... I really do. But my ass hurts!

Yesterday was a swim and bike day. The swim was great, as per usual. However, 59 of my 64 minute ride was uncomfortable and very 'shifty'.

Next step in my cycling journey... buy a new seat and clip ins.

... do people even say this???

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Here's to a Healthy 2015... right after this heaping plate of Nachos

I kinda, sorta, took a month off... and I'd highly recommend it. Over the holiday season I was travelling in Costa Rica and soaking up as much sun as possible. Turns out that flipping myself over every 20 minutes to ensure an even tan, leaves no time for working out. 

 But, here we are early in 2015 ready to have the most healthy year yet. Some of you may not think that January 21 is 'early' however, my birthday is January 18, and therefore I start my year after treating myself to treats such as this ridiculous plate of nachos. Happy Birthday to Me!! 

What we see here is sour cream atop turkey, con queso, tomatoes, re-fried beans, guacamole, and yes chips are in there! This was my birthday dinner. It was lovely.

So, yesterday was my first official day of training for the triathlon on June 13, 2016. I went for a run outside (which I haven't done since summer!). While I did miss watching trashy TV on the treadmill, it was sooooo great to be outside in the fresh air. Not that muggy, sweaty gym stuff.  Sidewalks were a little slippery, but the weather was glorious.

(... I wish I took this picture...)

I didn't run very far, only 3.2 km (24 minutes), but that's what this training plan called for. I've chosen a 3X/week training schedule which I'm hoping isn't too hefty, but I've got 20 weeks to make some serious changes. Alright, now that we've got the nachos out of the way... let's get healthy!