Sunday, December 8, 2013

So ahhh.... What did you do in November?

Ironman Arizona Nov. 17, 2013 - Race Morning

I like spontaneous.
In a discussion after dinner one evening Cathy and I decided it would be cool to go and watch Tushar in Tempe, Arizona complete his first Ironman race.  He's been a training/cycling buddy for the past few years. He has been working with Grant for a couple of seasons to this end.  Flight booked, car rented, hotel booked, gained one more fan (Jane) and we were off to the race.  We also got off the volunteer wait list and were able to get a spot volunteering.  You know where this is heading....

Arrived, shopped, cheered/volunteered, saw all of our gang cross the finish line - very exciting for Mark Jones and Tushar Chitre - who both completed their first Ironman races with ecstatic, adrenaline fuelled smiles on their faces!! The 3rd early morning in a row led us to the volunteer/sign-up line up on Monday morning.  After driving up and down for an hour or so Jane and I finally made it to the line-up. Our fellow volunteers Jen, Felix and Nicki were already in line b/c they walked to the spot.  Yes, I freely admit my navigation skills suck.  It was a loonnngg line up....
Step 1 - The volunteer bracelet that gets you in the "line-up"
Standing in line I had many thoughts and feelings - I think I have a coach, I hope I have a coach, will I have a coach????  Can I do this? I want to do this! I have a year to prepare to do this. I'm not going to India, so I need to do this!!  Maybe I should just go home and quit my job and go to India.  Oh yeah - the mortgage.... I'm feeling more nauseous as we get closer to the point of "no return".  The others have been committed for a while now - they're supportive, but not pressuring me in any way (thanks guys). They keep telling me we'll be training and riding together all summer and in it together - hang on is that pressure??  Getting closer - OK fill out another card, OK go to this lineup, 1 guy in front of me - he seems to be taking forever, we're all in separate line-ups.  Oh sh*t, this is it - fight or flight - I have my credit card out,  I start giving my information, she's telling me things, I've signed the waiver they have my money (and they will not be giving it back - oh wait, I guess you get half back if you die between now and race day)....

Step 2 - The bracelet,and the card
Getting closer - inside the tent now

TAH DAH - done deal!!
L to R = Jane Wong, Jen Begg, me, Felix Rooke
.... And the road ahead has a purpose - I'm committed to a year of training, with all it's ups and downs.  Stay healthy, stay committed, stay focused, one foot in front of the other.

It's on Llew (the Coach)....

Ciao, Cindy
(can't talk now - got a workout to complete)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A New List

Should I or Shouldn't I...

....Complete an Ironman as "Happy 50th Birthday" to me?  I turn 50 in 2014.
Not all birthday's are significant, but for me this one feels like it will be.  I feel the need to celebrate it with a meaningful physical challenge.  Since my employer declined my leave of absence to go to India to ride my bike 4400 km for 10 weeks, I still want to challenge myself with something.  I haven't always been keen to complete a full Ironman, but it seems to me the universe has spoken in regard to what will be (not India).

My list of YES or NO to an Ironman

  1. I want to
  2. I have a narrow window, turning 50 and all, to complete this tangible physical challenge
  3. I've been hooked on triathlon since I completed my first race in 2005
  4. I've had successes and faiures, but have always returned to try to get better
  5. I've achieved success with training for other distances
  6. I have a great support network
  7. I have access to a superb training facility Talisman Centre
  8. I have access to knowledgable Coaching staff, which now includes Llew Edwards through the Talisman Centre
  9. I can dedicate a year of my life to this
  10. Smart training with a goal will lead to success
  11. I love my bike, I'm a good floater, and I can walk (or run) to finish a race
  12. I have the mental fortitude to complete this
  13. JUST DO IT!!
  1. Do I want to?
  2. It's a daunting task
  3. I risk failure without commitment 
  4. I'm too heavy
  5. I suck at running
  6. It will be all consuming for a year
  7. I'm at risk of injury - age isn't helping in this regard
  8. My knees are arthritic
  9. My excuses are endless....
I think the "YES" has it....
Next on the menu is to choose a race.
Stay tuned and happy training!

Ciao Cindy

Sunday, October 20, 2013

2 Weeks In...

Back in the saddle, in the pool and on the road to running....
I love the fall in triathlon world.  You get back to training after a bit (or a lot) of time off and feel rejuvenated and ready to build again.  It's like returning to school after summer vacation - sharing stories of triumph and challenges faced in the months past.

Tri club kicked off with "The 7 Deadly Sins" potluck at Faizel & Karina's beautiful home to welcome us back and meet new members in Sept. Thanks for hosting a great get together!!

Next step - showing up for the classes I signed up for. Why do I not learn from previous years - avoid burnout and act sensibly??
  1. I like the camaraderie of classes.  
  2. I like the social atmosphere.
  3. I like to see/chat/get motivated by the various coaches.
  4. I have a new strategy for Sat morning classes - no 2 classes in the same spot.
  5. I think I just like making lists....

No definitive plans for 2014 since my original plan of 3 months of cycling in India has been thwarted by my employer - why do they talk about life balance, but are unable to follow-through and support it? Blah, blah, blah...

On a positive note - had my performance appraisal at work and it went well. Still gainfully employed. Just having second thoughts on the new carpet (may have been replaced by shopping in Las Vegas - but I got the coolest leggings and only paid $1.35 for GU gels, snagged a whole box of Salted Caramel).

Stay focused - happy training.

Ciao, Cindy

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Agony leads to disappointment.... but not the end of the world

The answer was no to my 3 month leave of absence from work.....
No India for me in Jan 2014.  Quite a blow since I've been running on about it since 2011.  India is not going anywhere, just disappointed as it seemed to be a great way to celebrate my 50th birthday in 2014.
Back to the drawing board.  I think a 6 month LOA in 2015 to complete one of the longer rides through Tour d'Afrique will be a discussion with my manager in the next 1 - 2 weeks.

Plan B - quit my job and go anyway.  Reality dictates that I keep a job since I have a mortgage to pay and jobs aren't as plentiful with AHS health budgets these days.

Plan C - new carpet to replace the gross carpet I inherited from the previous owners.  Seems a little more "value added" than purchasing a Rolex, or Tag Heuer or a Breitling watch - frivolous and unnecessary.  I did just purchase the coolest purse made from the pull tabs of pop cans though.

So there it is.
Had a great ride with Pauline and Melodie on Sat and enjoyed the "7 Deadly Sins of Triathlon" gathering this evening.  Training will continue with a probable bike holiday in the spring.

Happy training and I'm excited to see how Cathy and Heather make out at Lake Tahoe next weekend. Burn it up out there girls!!  Oh wait it is burning up around Lake Tahoe, never mind.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Agony will not end....

..... for another 2 weeks.  You've got to be kidding me.   And so I wait.

I've had an unexpected rest, due to injury, but not from running or training - not sure if that's good or bad.  I think when I teach body mechanics as part of my job, this might be considered bad.  Too short to lift a heavy picnic table "using my legs" I did in my neck and upper back.  Dave  to the rescue, again, still, thank goodness.  I don't know why Tower doesn't have "frequent flyer cards" - 10 treatments, then a free one.  Went from a very painful "dead, numb arm" to recovering arm.  Thanks Dave.

Going to try to take in the Tour of Alberta cycling race this weekend.  Closest I've been to a peloton was last year at the Banff Gran Fondo when they altered the course to have 2 loops of Minnewanka and I was passed by the peloton - fast, the sound a big WHOOOSH, and they're gone.  So cool!

Happy training - keep your fingers crossed for me.
Ciao Cindy

Friday, August 30, 2013


Will it be a yes or a no.  I have to wait 4 days --> agony.  If I was on "Twitter" that would be #agony.

Tour d'Afrique - Indian Adventure 2014

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Can you call it a race if you don't break a sweat?

It was a beautiful hot('ish) day on Sunday for Lake Chaparral Triathlon.

My Dad came to stuff (I mean "help") me into my wetsuit pre-race - thanks Dad!  Had my usual mediocre swim, but I always start at the back and pass people continually, so at least I feel like I'm gaining time.

Had a great bike - was able to keep my speed up on everything (pushed myself to keep spinning on the uphill), so was pleased.  I've discovered doing a sprint distance allows me to go all out on the bike and still survive the run, so that's what I did.  But whose idea was it to put a 90' turn at the bottom of a nice downhill??

The run started fine - got through the first couple of km's; I'm thinking of everything Llew tells us - strong core ("zip it up"); heels to bum; relaxed shoulders - pull the rope; and most importantly 2 inches shorter!! This is what I appear to have forgotten as I went along and felt the twinge in my calf, that progressed into an "Oh crap - this AGAIN":(  And I walked the remaining km's.... and I didn't break a sweat.

Disappointing, but as Cathy said - you must practice to get better.  Fair point, I'm not running between classes with Llew.  Or, someone could just ride beside me (or let's be realistic - walk fast, while I "run") and tell me to do all this stuff.  Maybe I'll put it all together at some point.

Came home feeling frustrated and thought maybe this is a sign that triathlon really isn't for me.  Then I thought about all the races I've completed and even though I won't ever win anything - I'm out there. I finish even when I feel like I'm wasting my time and the coaches time.  I don't think I'm ready to give up just yet.  

So you can still participate and not break a sweat.  Signed up for tri club stuff in the fall - may have to talk to Jon about this - I've gone overboard with classes again.  I'm not quite ready to surrender and I may take Cathy's advice....

When I compare this triathlon to the performance (and the aftermath) I had at a mountain bike race - 24 Hours of Adrenalin in July, I think triathlon is the safer bet for me.

Ciao and happy training.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It Came in Twos

Well, I completed two rides this weekend....

First one on Saturday

  • uneventful

Second one on Sunday

  • stung twice by a wasp
  • 2 flat tires
  • changed 2 tires
That is all.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Have Returned....

WOW, close to a year since my last blog.....

A lot ....or not much has happened since then, depends on how you look at it. The fall turned into winter and the loss of 3 kind souls/friends in October and November had me very depressed by Christmas.  Lost a young (37) co-worker to her 3rd recurrence of breast cancer, my friend lost her son to suicide, and my best friend's dad was diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer - diagnosis to death was 12 days.  Depression sucks.  On the road to recovery with great support from family and friends.

A Top 10 List to get up to speed:
  1. I continued training through the fall, had a quiet Christmas holiday with family - which helped immensely with my mental health.  Returned to training in January along with the trauma of turning forthy nine in January - not sure how I feel about that (oh wait, I was traumatized).  ..."27" seems to still want to fit.
  2. Signed up with running coach, Llew Edwards, in January through the Talisman.  Wonder if Llew was warned about Cathy and I??  Llew's amazing and focuses on run technique which I'm really enjoying, but he's obsessed with core, core and just a little bit more CORE....
  3. Experienced biathlon at the Canmore Nordic Centre.  It was so much fun - I had never shot a gun before!  The gun I got to use belongs to a former Olympian, had a custom paint job, and had been to the Olympics twice!  I bought myself some cross country skis this year and got out on them a couple of times - something else I'm slow at.
  4. 2 weeks in Mallorca, Spain for Tri-Club Camp in May!!  Beautiful rides, warm weather, great resort and getting sick (boooo) in the middle.  Decided I might be more of a "bike tourist" than a "camp geek", since riding yourself into the ground for 2 weeks looking at the bum in front of you in the  pace line was trying....
  5. Wasa sprint was first race in June.  I had a 5 minute PB (which included a potty break in T2).  Very happy with my run - thanks Llew!
  6. Detour due to the crazy floods in June. Talisman pools are out of commission.  Fear not triathletes - Lake Bonavista is our temporary home for swimming, compliments of one of our members - thanks Faizel.
  7. First Mountain Bike Race ever - 24 Hours of Adrenalin at Canmore Nordic Centre!!  Obviously the dream of a "27" year old....  I was on a corporate team with my brother and nephew and 5 others, so only had to do 1 lap, at night - it wasn't pretty.  I have more bruises from that one lap than all bruises combined from last year.  I love my bike helmut.
  8. Get to volunteer and witness many fellow triathletes complete the Calgary 70.3 tomorrow - some for the first time and others with repeat performances.  Good luck everyone!!
  9. Next up for me - Lake Chaparral Sprint Triathlon.
  10. AND.... the big question - Who's going to come out on top tomorrow - Jon or Grant??  Waiting with baited breath as I'm so impressed by both of them!!  Good luck guys.
Happy training,
Ciao Cindy

I don't have an iPhone

I felt so alone.....
The group stopped at the store, everyone took out there iPhones, stood in a circle - silence.  Is that the same as navel gazing?
I refilled my water bottle with tap water - is that scandalous?
Oh wait, I have lovely Italian bike shoes, whew that was close...
I liked the irony of the silence, while they stood in a circle.

I now own an iPhone....