Thursday, December 4, 2014

All I want for Christmas....

Ok everyone - I know that it is supposed to the season of giving and such but I really, really, really want this.

A Confirmed Race Registration for Challenge Roth Full Distance Triathlon Race for 2015.   

On early Saturday morning (dec 6) - REALLY EARLY  - 3:00am PST early - I have one last chance to grab a slot through on-line registration. What I like about this is that I will also get to make a donation if successful to a worthy charity as part of my registration - which I think is a really great thing the Roth group is doing.

Here is the issue there are only 300 spots and I am as anxious as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs that I again will not be fast enough again.  I just HAVE to do this race. 

The last time I was this anxious about something was when I was waiting to see if I had gotten one of 10 coveted spots for Team Nathan in 2009. 

So if you could all do a power hum, fingers and toes crossing thing for me I would really appreciate it. Oh and if you don't mind when you sit on Santa's lap could you mention that your friend Shaun (Shaunene - just in case he does not have the shortened version on file) really wants to race in Challenge Roth in 2015  I sure would appreciate it. 

Thanks everyone- now to go double check my wireless connection speed and  work on my typing speed

Peace out

Shaun


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Top 10 reasons Felix should let me register for Challenge Roth

Challenge Roth is on my bucket list

While training for my last Iron distance race - Challenge Penticton in 2013, I decided that I would do 1 more solo Iron Distance race and then I would retire from that particular distance:
a)  to chase my bucket list goal of doing an Ultra  -the time needed to train for that meant I could not train for Iron distance
b) because if you do 3 Iron distance races no-one can say it was a fluke
and
c) I like the number 3 - it is an OCD thing. 

Now I had not thought much about which one I would do, I just knew I would do one more.  At the wrap up dinner for Challenge Penticton in 2013, Felix kept talking about Challenge Roth.  He kept talking about its roots and how it was similar to Penticton and the community spirit.  It resonated with me because I know some of the founders of the Original Ironman in Penticton, I love the Penticton race and I keep going there because of the community spirit and the volunteers.  I turned to Joe and said I am doing Roth in 2015.  To which he sighed and said well you have not been to Germany yet so why not.

To get into Roth is a on-line registration.  I went home and did my research - I found out the date and then calculated the time difference.  I would need to be up a 1am on Sunday, July28 to register.  That meant go to bed at 9pm(i get up at 4:45am for work), set alarm for 12:45am, register, and back to bed.  I would need to be fast - the previous year it sold out in 2 minutes.

Well July 28, me and Joe and I were up and ready - 2 laptops, 2 ipads and 2 iphones.  There was no way I was not getting in.  1am  - GO - 1:00:30  Joe - I am in;  1:00:35 - Shaun - I am in.  Yeah - hi fives and off to bed.  Super excited with dreams of training plans and such.  I woke up at 4:45 am excited to get my confirmation email and pay my registration - but alas no email - that is weird - check Joe's and he has an email.  Check my history and it says I will get an  email.  Check again nope not there - and the panic sets in.  I told  people I was going - I ANNOUNCED it - this is embarrassing - I check my junk mail - nothing, phone Shaw -my email provider - no nothing,  email Roth and they say it will come.  Ok.  I kept checking all day long getting sadder and more upset as the day wore on.  Then the email from Roth - we are sorry not sure why but you are correct your husband is in and you are not.  Please try in December.  I am not going to lie - I shed some tears.  Joe offered up his spot - I told him NO -you will race - you have to race - this is bigger than KONA - I would not give up my spot for you.  (actually I would if he really wanted it but shhhh). So he registered and I am waiting for December.

Now I know I can try on December 6th but I am scared what if I don't get in again?  I can't risk that so I have decided to start campaigning Felix  the CEO of Challenge.  I know they provide guaranteed entries to sponsors and VIPs so I am going after one of those - or at least I am going to try.

I thought I would be able to pin him down in Penticton at this year's race but he was not there -- I even made a special shirt!  So my next move is to shamelessly beg via my blog.  So without further ado here are the top 10 reasons Felix should let me in to Challenge Roth for 2015.



10. I made a shirt already and told my buddy Avery I would Tri4 her - I can't let her down
 9. Financially it would be helpful for me and my husband to do the race  at the same time
 8.  I hear Germans invented beer – I like beer -enough said


7           7.  Felix and I are Facebook friends now
            6. If you don’t let me in I have to do the Canadian death race next year –  I would like to delay this -  it  has DEATH in its name... 
            5. I am a type A personality – I can’t plan my training/races next year until we confirm my registration.
           4.  Half of my cheer squad and relatives are of German descent – I need to represent.
           3 .As a back of the pack athlete - I love that Challenge caters to all the Athletes and just once I want to now what it feels like to  run into a stadium with the stands filled - I think that would be cool
           2. Running on a red carpet at the finish line is an experience like no other and I would love to do it in Germany
             AND FINALLY.... THE NUMBER 1 REASON :
             1.  I will learn all the words to Challenge Girl in German and get the Shaunettes to sing
                  it in  a YouTube video for you. - Sorry girls you need to take one for me here (luv ya)

  So there they are Felix - 10 reasons to let this wee Canadian Girl into your race.  I promise to train and race hard and most of all have a whole lot of fun at your race.

P          Peace out Shaun

  
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Exercise is a Lifestyle, Not an Event

So first I will be completely honest - I stole the title from another article on wellfesto.com  because I loved it and I have been searching for a title for this post.

I have been thinking about this post for awhile now based on a lot of conversations with different people over the past few months and more with the change in my personal mind set. 

In a previous post I mentioned that I had an epithany during my 2013 Oliver Half Ironman.  So I had my "ah Ha" moment but now to learn from it, share it and implement it.

I feel like I need to start back in 2000 when I decided with some friends over many beers at a camp out that we would do a marathon.  Had always wanted to do one and it seemed like a fantastic idea.  I even got up the next morning feeling a little rough and went out for a 10km run with the guys and when we got back promptly crawled back in my tent and collapsed.  However the seed was planted - I did some research and found out that there was a marathon in Vancouver.  Hmmm.  This is crazy - I went to the website and oh wait what is this a 1/2 marathon?  Okay I know I can run 10km so 21km should be okay and seems much more reasonable. 

I pondered it a few more days and thought let's do it - I registered for the half  right away so I got the super discounted price and called my buddies - lets do the half instead - I have registered!  Well basically they all told me I was nuts and on my own and that they were drunk at the time, they did not actually think I was serious.  Turn coats!  So I went and I found a free run group at the Running Room because I knew I was going to need people to keep me honest - the bloody registration fee was NON-REFUNDABLE so either way I was doing the half marathon now.  I went down the next night for the free run - I mean I run on the treadmill all the time for 20 minutes so I would be fine.  HAH - I was dropped like a bad habit in minutes.  Now lucky for me I also noted that they had a running clinic for the half marathon and it was starting the next night.  So when I finally got back to the store I registered right away.  I was going to need more help.

Fast-forward to 2014 and I have done more half marathons then I can count, I have led clinics, been a pace leader, been a pace bunny, done marathons, all distances of triathlons,  gran fondo's, time trials and swim races.  I have not stopped except for injury.  People are like wow - and my answer it's a hobby. 

So why have I told you all this?  I want to promote the lifestyle - I love being active and I want others to love it.

In my 14 years of pursuing my hobby  I have seen more people come and go than you can shake a stick at and it always makes me sad.  I know not everyone is up to running marathons or doing full distance triathlons.  It takes a lot of time and dedication and we all have jobs and families.  Let's face it most of the time when you get home from work the last thing you want is to put on your runners and go for an hour run.  On your day off everyone wants to sleep in, it is not a lot of fun getting up at 6:00am Sunday morning in January when there is freezing rain and you are going out for a 16km training run.  OH GOODY - no one said EVER.  Trust me I know - there have been times when the last thing I felt like doing was running, swimming or cycling.   I feel like people focus on their Race and once it is done that is it.  They want a Great time and once they get that they are done with the sport.  I feel like there is too much emphasis on the end product and not the journey and how to keep growing and participating. 

In the beginning registering for events was the way to ensure I did the training -that darn non-refundable entry fee can be a big motivator.  But after awhile you don't want to register for events -it can be expensive and your family wants to go on vacation. Not just a race vacation but a vacation where you don't have to pack a bunch of gear for a race (weird I know) . Also if you are always racing you will burn out - because you never give yourself a break from the intensity.  So how to get to that place where it is just a part of your day and something to enjoy.  

Well this year I have registered for very few events and usually at the very last minute.  I have found that this has allowed me to not feel the pressure of I NEED to do this distance.  I am still doing the distances but it is because I want to and if for some reason I don't want to do that distance I don't sweat it and I change it up.
This is my social life - I meet with friends and either do the work out with them or run/ride to them and then have coffee/breakfast/lunch and then run/ride back home.  It is a way for me to stay connected and feel alive by being outside enjoying the fresh air and natural beauty.  I don't feel the need  to run long distances or ride for hours on end but even an hour hike with friends will get the job done and I thoroughly enjoy it.  For me there is no pressure - it has been awesome. Fart too often I think people feel that every work out should be part of a race goal or training plan and if not then why do it. I challenge you to do it because no-one ever regretted going for a run or ride but a lot of us have regretted not going.  

Be willing to change it up and make it as short or long as you want to - don't put expectations or limits on yourself.  For example this past weekend I was thinking of running 23km with friends on Sunday but the weather was so fantastic and I wanted to have coffee with a friend in another suburb.  We are heading into rainy season soon and I  just felt like I needed to capitalize on the weather and go for a ride.  I much prefer to run in rain than ride in it.   So I decided to do a great 6km trail run with the puppy on Saturday and take advantage of the gorgeous weather to ride out to Pitt Meadows and have coffee with my girlfriend and then ride home on Sunday.  It was great - I had no time restrictions - I have no idea what the distance was and was not focused on time - I got a great  ride in and enjoyed connecting with my friend.  Often I will run at lunch time - honestly it is the only way I actually take a break from work - I always feel better and rejuvenated for the afternoon.  I also often ride to and from work - it is an awesome way for me to decompress from the day and honestly it takes the same amount of time and I am not stressed out in traffic. 

Don't get me wrong I still register for events because I love the atmosphere at them and it does keep me consistent in my distance training but it is an EVENT now not a race.   It is something to look forward to - as June Bug says it is catered run or ride. I like to think of it as a reward for maintaining my hobby. 

I guess what I am saying is don't get too tied up in the event and focus more on the journey and the friends you make along the way.  If you can do this and be consistent then hopefully you will be still doing this for many years to come as well.  Recently a friend told me she had a 80+year old runner in to talk to her group and she asked him what motivated him at this age to still do it and he said 2 things - "it was better than sitting on a flagpole!"  and - "start out nice and easy and then ease off" 

I sure hope in 35 years I am saying the same thing. 

Peace out Shaun

Friday, September 5, 2014

I am not amazing

For those that know me I am confident - I know who I am, I OWN it.  I don't hide me and my views and quite frankly I am an opinionated, stubborn, strong Bitch.  I know this and I own it - I make no apologies for it.

I however am not a braggart - if you ask I will tell you and I see nothing wrong with talking about your hobbies and accomplishments.  I earned my tattoo and wear it proudly but I don't walk in each Monday morning and announce what I did on the weekend.  (Now facebook and the blog are a bit different so I guess maybe I do brag - sigh)

I try to do some physical activity every day - ride to work, run at lunch, swim, stretch (OK THAT WAS A FIB)  but honestly I do try to do something.  I do it because I worry about my weight - any woman over 40 pre-menopausal does and because it makes me feel better. 

Lately at work people have noticed that I run at lunch or ride to work.  A few know I race and ask about it  - I don't advertise it, the conversations just happen.  More and more it gets out about my adventures and a few times people have said you are amazing. 

Let's get this straight I am not amazing  - I am doing what hundreds and thousands people are doing - and quite frankly most of them are considerably faster.  Nothing I am doing is amazing, I am doing stuff I have always loved to do. Run, swim, cycle.  I am just consistent and persistent.  I do it because it makes me feel good and because race fees are non-refundable.   It is my "hobby".  There is nothing amazing about what I am doing -anyone can do this  - you just have to want to. 

I have always loved being active and this is a way for me to get away from the stress of a work day by cycling home. Okay it is 25km each way, but it takes just as long to drive or sit on a bus so might as well ride.  I don't take lunch unless I go for a run - it is a way for me to decompress from the morning.  Don't worry I eat, just I eat while I am working at my desk.  This is a way to ensure I actually take a break. 

I am not doing anything spectacular - I am going out and being active and trust me there are lots of days I think I don't wanna .  Where I have the internal debate but then I think how much better I will feel and I go out and I do it.  I guess one could note that I am a little more determined about it but again there are 80+ year olds running marathons and doing ironman's. I just passed 45 years.  There are folks with missing limbs. running marathons and wheelchair athletes doing Ironman's - these folk are amazing. 

What about blind runners running ultra marathons or my buddy Avery West who at 6 years old with Downs syndrome dreams of swimming in the Special Olympics?  She is amazing - these folks are amazing - me I am just me with a hobby that gives me some exercise and a wonderful social life with some fantatstic people.  plus it gives me a reason to drink beer!

I am not amazing - I am just me trying to stay healthy and have some fun along the way on some crazy adventures.  But thanks for thinking it - it is kind of nice to hear but not necessary.

Peace out. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We took up the Challenge and OWNED IT!



Cole's notes version

Joe CRUSHED his 2011 time by 1 hour and 39 minutes. - Final time 12:19:06

Team Gets Better with Age rocked the course finishing 29 minutes behind Joe  12:48:04

Okay for those interested in details here they are.

Joe and I got up at 4:45 am so we would have time to eat and digest before going in the water.  The weather reports had been sketchy all weekend calling for rain, thunderstorms, wind, sun - it was changing from hour to hour so we had no idea what we would get. 

We were hoping for calm water and warm to hot temperatures with no wind.  Thankfully when we headed out the door at 5:45am the lake looked  calm, the sky clear of dark clouds and it was nice and warm.  We made sure to wake up Joe sr before leaving and I reminded him I hoped to be out of the water around 8:40 am so be there for the chip handoff. 

It was quite a bit quieter walking down to Transition than previous years but with only 1400 athletes in all races combined not unexpected.  It always amazes me how fast that hour goes until you are in the water but the next thing we knew we were standing beside each other in the water waiting for the gun.  The Joseph Witnesses were on the beach in full ensemble with their Joe Head sign which was great because they were easy to spot. 

The swim for me was awesome - it is my weakest part of triathlons and the one that causes me great anxiety.  However from the first stroke I was okay and calm.  Maybe knowing I was only doing this portion helped but the water was gorgeous.  Thankfully it was cool enough that we got to wear wetsuits one degree warmer and we would have been like the pros.  They were not allowed to wear their wetsuits.  I was very relieved when they said age groupers were still in wetsuits.  My time in the swim, which was 100m longer than the 3.8 km, was 1:37.  This is a great time for me and a personal best by at least 10 minutes!!!!  I came racing out of the water hoping Joe had beat me and was out on his bike.  He was very anxious and wanted to beat his dad on the bike.  When I ran into Transition I could not see Joe Sr but I found June bug right away - the multicolored rainbow wig was easy to spot.  It took another few seconds before we found Joe SR - I handed off the chip along with my little envelope of Bishop's fur that I had carried in a water proof bag on the swim and shoved it in the back of his jersey and told him Bishop and Mom will keep you safe - ride safe and be careful - no speed wobbles - see you on the course.   The bike he has been using has had some issues and if he goes to fast he goes into a speed wobble - I wanted him to use my bike since we are about the same height but he said it would be fine. June and I hugged him and off he went to his bike while we zipped back to the hotel so I could change in to my cheer gear.

On the way June told that Joe had come out about 15 minutes ahead of me so I knew he was on the course - I said a short prayer to keep him safe, no flats and let him ride fast and strong.  At the hotel the Cheer squad regrouped and we talked strategy - we would head out to the bear and check on wear the leaders were when we got there.  At the Bear I got to chat with an official and he gave me the update that the leader was probably about 30/40 minutes away which let me know we had some time.  So we decided as a group to head to the out and back and start chalking messages on the road.

We got to the first aid station on the out and back and jumped out to write some messages - Beer this way with an arrow and Ice Cream this way with arrow.  Go Joe x 2 with their numbers.  THen an official came and asked what we were doing so we told him and he went to his vehicle came back with a spray paint can - it was chalk paint - AWESOME.  AND THEN HE WENT OVER OUR SIGNS AND MADE THEM BETTER - how cool is that we were like you are the best and he just laughed and said we need more spectators like you ladies.  So I hugged him - high fived him and said we are off to Special needs to do more chalking and away we went.  But before we left we got to see the leader Jeff Symonds ride by and we yelled and screamed for him it was awesome. 

In the car and to the Special needs corner where we continued to cheer for people while we wrote messages on the road encouraging people.  Athletes were super excited to see us as we had cow bells,  pom poms,  tamborines and of course our Giant Joe  Head on a stick.  You could not miss us that is for sure!  I checked the updates online of times and Whats App'd the family as they were chattering like mad on Joe's phone.  And then there he was my boy riding into Special needs looking happy and full of energy.  He jumped off the bike to go to the bathroom and came out and said where is he?!?  LOL I was like about 30 - 40 min out maybe.  In actuality it was about 15 minutes - woops.  A quick hug and he was off and I said to the others June and I are going to bolt so I can get her back to town.  They were staying to wait for Joe Sr and continuing cheering.

I had pondered stopping at the top of Yellow Lake but I knew that June had to change and wanted to eat something so decided it best to just get back to the hotel so she could get changed. Turns out this was the right decision because Joe Sr was only 15 minutes behind Joe and looking strong! 
June got ready and we booked it down to transition because we did not want to miss Joe coming in.  We got into transition and had about 15 minutes to wait before I saw Joe running into transition - we was looking a little tired but still smiling and he shouted at me - he is only 15 min behind!  Bike time for Joe 5:59 and change I told him well best get a move on if he is only 15 minutes behind.  LOL   He changed his shoes came hugged me and June and was off for his wee run.  Now to wait for Joe Sr.  Sure enough 15 minutes later a happy but tired Joe Sr came strolling into transition.  Bike time 6:04 and some change - not bad for 72 years young.  Boo Yah and the race is on.   LOL - meanwhile the rest of the Joseph Witnesses had called and were on the race course cheering - Joe had just gone by and was on his way out of town.   I told them June will be out on course shortly. Quick hugs for June and off she went for her "catered training run". 

Back to the room again so Joe sr could shower and change into cheer gear and then into the car to "break" onto the run course.  It was much easier to get onto the course this year than past years.  I know the runners appreciated it - the smiles that would come on their faces as we drove slowly by -tunes cranked, cow bells and tambourines going with our cheering were the best thing to see.  Having been out there - it can be lonely and you are soo tired that any type of encouragement is deeply appreciated.  

We found Joe around 18km and first words out - where is she?  Yeesh - no hi, hey what's up - LOL.  About 15 minutes behind - and he was like gotta go and away he went.  Sure as heck June, 15 min later June was on the horizon - go girl - we yelled our hearts out.  Hugs all around and back in the car - off to the out and back/turn around.  We were able to park for a bit there.  I cranked the music opened all the windows and doors and athletes were happy for the distraction and said thanks as they went by. 

When we had seen Joe at 18 I knew he was in some pain and struggling a bit.  I had anticipated this and had thrown a running hat and my shoes into the car.   It was time to payback the favour from last year when he ran with me for a while to help me.  I took off the wig, changed shoes, grabbed my hat and tossed the keys to Karen.  Joe was jogging up the hill and I jumped in beside him - his legs were cramping pretty bad.  On the way back there are some big climbs back out of OK falls so I just jogged with him and talked to him.  When we hit an aid station I rubbed his calves and the backs of his knees, grabbed him whatever he wanted for nutrition and just generally kept encouraging him.  I stayed with him for about 5km and I think it was a good plan because he started to pick up his pace and I was having to start working hard to stay beside him.  So I told him I jumping off - go you got this - see you at the finish line.  Then I waited at the next station for my possee.  We parked and cheered for everyone until June came by.  The station was about 34km.  June had fallen to about 25 min at this time so when she came by we all hugged her and did a photo op and then I told her - we are off to the finish - we will see you there - you are doing great. 

We zipped to the finish line and headed to the chute - after about 20 minutes of cheering there he was  - my Joe - right on schedule.  Challenge encourages loved one's to cross with their athletes - it is an amazing gift to the families and athletes to allow this.  Sadly Ironman does not allow it.  Joe sr and I argued who should go and in the end I went out and ran in with Joe.  It was so great to be part of that moment with him.  I stayed with him for a few moments for some finish line pics and stuff and to make sure he was okay and then bolted back out to wait for June bug. 

The wait was not long and there was our girl - we jumped in beside her - me in my colored wig, Joe Sr in his viking helmet - dancing and jumping beside her all the way -  yelling at the crowds to cheer.  People said we had the best finish  - it was awesome.  So much fun. 

But it was not over  - Challenge has a beer garden at the finish line so after getting food for and bevvies for all we settled in to stands to cheer till the very last finisher crossed. And we did not leave until the last person crossed.

The other great thing is for the last 20 minutes they set up an athlete tunnel so the last finishers get to run under a tunnel of arms into the finishers chute - I jumped in there and had a blast - the winners were there along with other pro athletes and it was just so much fun.  These people know how to make this about the athletes and the family!  They throw out prizes to spectators and when the last person crosses - they have fireworks which were amazing to watch.

I can honestly say that I will be back to Penticton - they did not let us down.  I encourage everyone to try this race if for nothing else then the atmosphere.  They care about the athletes - Joe was walked to the massage tent and was  put in right away - while he was there they went and got him food and a drink  Oh and the food - no crappy pizza but the option of beef, chicken or veggie burger with 3 types of salads - greek, greens and pasta salad.  That was a special surprise and so delicious. 

Next years registration is open and they have lowered the entry fees.  Depending on if I get into Roth or not will be dependent on what race I do but I do know I am going back.  We need to support this race and this organization - options are half ironman relay or solo and full ironman relay and solo. 

Peace out

Shaun


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Challenge - Are you up for it?

Only 6 more sleeps until Challenge Penticton - aka the original Ironman Canada. 

Yes for all of you that think the Penticton race is no more you are wrong.   SO VERY WRONG it is alive and going strong. 

Without bringing up all the drama and yada yada basically the folks in Penticton rebranded their race.  They wanted it to be about the community and athletes again and not so corporate which is where it had been going in the last few years when IRONMAN became a brand and a corporation.

The group that won the contract is CHALLENGE - not well known in North America but huge in Europe and elsewhere in the world.  Their mandate is athlete and community first.  They run the biggest Iron Distance race in the world - Challenge Roth which is my dream to race in but that is another story.

So back to Penticton - the course is the same as the old course,l the volunteers are, as always, amazing and yes the iconic Steve King is still calling the finish line.    New things - they have a relay option which is a fantastic way to introduce newbies to the distance and this year they have added a Half-Ironman distance both individual and relay options.  Another great way to introduce people to long distance triathlon. 

I had the pleasure of racing in the inaugural Challenge full distance race last year and it was everything Ironman had been and more.  I  was quite anxious last year as I had some struggles with nagging injuries and really did not get training until the beginning of March again.  To add another wrinkle I was doing it without a coach - financially it was not feasible for us.  Joe had been in a car vs bike accident (he was on the bike) in February and suffered a very bad concussion - so bad that he was off work for several months and then on restricted duties until this year.  This meant he was not training and my other training partner had a lot of work issues so I really was doing this  one solo.  Fortunately I had my training plan(s) from last time and I took them and created a schedule. 

People always say I could never do an Iron distance race - YES YOU CAN IF YOU WANT TO.  3 things are needed - perseverance, dedication and desire.  You have to want it, you have to commit to the training plan and you have persevere and keep going on days when you just don't want to.  As someone said once - "do when others don't and you will be able to when others won't.  Anyone that knows me will tell you when  I make up my mind and decide then I will do what I need to do to get to my goal. 

Last year's goals - Finish faster than the first time and after Oliver - HAVE FUN doing it.

 I am thrilled to say both accomplished - coles notes - swim  - very windy - slower than I had hoped.  Bike - had issues with nausea from swim and tummy settled down around out and back - bike was faster.  Run - well I got it done and finished strong dancing.  Probably would have been faster but I was determined that I was going to have fun on the run so I spent a lot of time hugging volunteers at aid stations, dancing with spectators when there was music and getting my photo retaken because I was not happy with the action shot of me running along the road.  Seriously - I made the poor photographer take it 3 different times to make sure we got it right - he thought I was nuts - LOL.  Was I as fast I had hoped - like I said I spent alot time goofing around on the run - but I was faster by over 15 minutes and more importantly I had a lot of fun - so much that we are going back this year.  Joe to do the full and I coaxed Joe's dad and June Bug to do the full distance relay with me.

Our team is called - Gets better with Age.  It was a toss up that name or "what would you do for a  glass of wine"  (spin off on the Klondike bar ad).  I went with "Gets better with Age"  because June Bug is a smidge older than me - running the marathon and Joe Sr is a young 72 years  young as my cyclist, and yep me the swimmer. 

I will fill you in on the race reports - but let it be known that the Joseph Witnesses/Shaunettes will be back on course cheering and screaming for all with a few suprises up their sleeves.  It is going to be AWESOME.

Peace out

Shaun


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Epithany

I have been "racing" in half marathon, marathons, short, middle and long distance triathlons as well as cycling for about 14 years now.

I say "racing" because the leaders/winners are in no way threatened by me.  For those that know me I am a smidge competitive.  This is more for me and maybe the 5 or 6 people in my time zone on the course but yep I am competitive.

I don't quit, I train religiously and I race hard.  My friends will tell you I am different animal when the gun goes off in a race as opposed to a training day.  I am intense and the I push - I always say there is no such thing as a "training race"  It is a race- throw it down and go!

2012 was not a great year - I had a torn calf muscle, I bounced myself pretty hard off the pavement and got a nasty concussion out of it and the start of 2013 was not going much better.  I had registered for Challenge Pentiction - just a renaming of IRonman Canada, Penticton - same course, same distance so in January 2013 I had healed up and was ready to start training. 

I started with a bang - I was in a swim clinic to work on my stroke and endurance swimming great coached workouts Sunday morning and after Jude and I would go do our long runs.  I was riding to work and back and running with the full marathon clinic on weeknights.  It was going great and then.... I was getting off the bus start of February and my  right leg sort of siezed up.  No worries but by the next day I could hardly put any weight on it let alone walk.  Thankfully working in a hospital I was able to go to the Urgent Care and after xrays, bloodwork, ct scan all coming back negative I was given a set of crutches and told possible fracture of the femur, we will order a bone scan tomorrow.  Stay off the leg.  WHAT!?!?!?!  I am not going to lie I hobbled to the bus stop crying the whole way.  Called Joe and Jude crying.  I was devastated and scared.  Again because I work where I do and I used to be a Nuclear Med Tech I was able to go down and talk to the team there and get in that afternoon with results 2 hours later because I used to work with the physician.  It pays to know peeps.  Good news no fracture bad news califcation deposit from all my crashes so I had to get that broken up and worked on.  Back to Physio.

Okay well I have been here before and knew that my marathon was benched but my Challenge was still viable if I rehabbed properly and trained within myself.  I was on crutches for another week and by March I was given the go ahead to do runs adding 5 min each day and rides but no hill repeats for at least a month. Swimming and water running once again my main training.  My rehab went so well that I was able to run the half marathon in May and decided to still do my Half IRon the first week of June. 

The half ironman was where i had the epithany.  2013 was the year of wind - seriously every darn race was windy.  The morning of the swim I got in the water and there were whitecaps and waves.  Okay you can do this I actually did not have too bad a swim but when I came out I was not feeling great my stomach was not happy and I ended up throwing up twice once on the way to transition and once in transition.  Shake it off.
I jumped on the bike and out on to the course and boom headwinds.  Not just little headwinds but strong headwinds all along the course did not matter which direction.  That was the hardest ride I had done in a long time and by the time I got off the bike I was tired and pissed.  My time sucked.  I changed in to runners and still in dark cloud headed out on the run course - my peeps Special K and Pam were there yelling way to go and I just barked at them I WANT MY PHONE!  I needed to call Joe - he would understand - so I did and I can't remember all I said but I was ranting and bitching something fierce.  Joe said it is a training race - me more ranting, and then he said if it is that bad walk off the course.  What?  You need to change your mindset this is supposed to be fun and a training race.  Whoa  - I started to calm down we talked a bit more and I hung up.  I thought about what he said and looked to the side and saw a little girl with a dog cheering people on and it hit me - he is right - when did this stop being fun?  So you know what I did - I stopped I walked over and I sat down beside the little girl and asked if I could pet her dog.  I stayed probably 2 or 3 minutes and we chatted about her dog and such.  I then thanked her for cheering and said I better get going.

Joe was right this was a training day but more importantly doing this stuff was supposed to be fun.  So after that I made sure to chat with people and high five the spectators,  I petted  a few more dogs and just generally started to relax and enjoy the moment again.  I think it was probably my slowest half marathon in a long time but by the end of it I felt so much better about the race.

I even afterwards when we got back to the hotel sat down with the Special K and Pam and proceeded to have several celebratory glasses wine.  Which I would not have done before as I was in training.  I ate chips, drank wine and just relaxed it was the best and made me realize that I needed to keep this whole "racing" in perspective.

I will tell you how Challenge went later but since my epithany all my races have been great.  I am enjoying doing these things again and since I have taken the pressure off myself  they are fun again. 

Peace out Shaun

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hello Its been a while.

Ah lets just admit it I am not very good at this blogging stuff but I will try again to be more consistent in my blogs. 

I guess I just feel like I don't really have a lot to say most of the time.

SO lets see since Oct 2012 what has happened.

Had an epithany at the Oliver Half Ironman in June of 2013

Finished another Iron Distance Race - the inaugural Challenge Penticton - 2013 - it was awesome.

Travelled to N. Ireland and Amsterdam and fell in love with the cycling culture in Amsterdam.  Met my step-grandson and generally got to catch up with family in Belfast.

Ran some great trail races. 

Lost my running partner - Bishop after 13.5 years  :(   but gained a new running partner in training Blue.  Still miss Bishop - always will but love Blue more and more each day. 

Lost my mother-in-law to cancer at Christmas back to Belfast for the funeral.  I hate Cancer! 

Because we want a well adjusted puppy I have been low key on the racing and training just doing the occasional trail race.

I also have a buddy - her name is Avery and she has Downs Syndrome.  I joined this great group https://www.facebook.com/IRunFor  and Avery is my buddy.  I have not told her mom about the blog yet so I won't talk too much about her until I chat with her mom because I want to respect their privacy.  But suffice it to say that I use Avery as motivation to get out and train.  I remember that she can't do all the things I do and I should be grateful and I hope that it helps motivate her a bit to know that someone is out there each day sending a positive thought her way.

I guess the other big news is Joe is doing the iron distance at Challenge Penticton this year.  I have a relay team in - Gets Better with Age - I will be swimming,  Joe's dad (72 years old!) will be our cyclist and June Bug will be my runner (older than me but it is not polite to publish a girl's age :))  We are doing the full-distance.

And lastly Joe got into Challenge Roth in Germany next year.  This is my dream race - I did not get in but will try again there is another chance to try and register.  I really want to do this for myself and Avery. 

So there you are caught up on the highlights.

I promise I will post more often

Peace out

Shaun