Thursday, February 26, 2015

First race of 2015!

Wow.  Can you believe that March is right there?  It is so close that we can touch it!  And, here in Vancouver, it feels like it.  Bright, sunny skies. Flowers blooming (?!?!) No snow on the mountains.  Outside riding already!  Hooray!

This winter has been quick, spring is right around the corner, and the summer… well, let’s pretend it is still far away. I will be returning to my job at Primary Outreach Services, in the DTES, on Monday.  I have been away for about 8 months, and there are many things I am looking forward to in returning.  This time in public health has really served to teach me many things, and has really served to show me what components of public health nursing that I love, and which I don’t.  However, that is a whole other post, for a whole other day.  Maybe next week, once I am back.

This past Sunday, I ran my first race of 2015 at the Fort Langley Historic Half.  Unfortunately, it was after having a month of BLEH in terms of training.  First, there was that flu. Then, there was that knee injury.  Then, there was being in Prince George.  If felt like my fitness was going out the window, even though I know it doesn't quite work like that. What I certainly knew, was that I was not going to be breaking any half marathon personal bests.  It would be great if I could just run the whole thing.  The week of training was challenging, hard, and heavy.  I think going into the race, I had about 17 hours of training in the days before: including my first long ride on my cervelo & a brick workout. The first 14 km went fine.  It was steady, I was motivated, all was a-ok.  Then, my legs said “no more!”   It was a jog-walk-jog all the way back in. 

I’m ok with that. Sure, it would have been nice to be in the 1:40's, but it was not my day. It's about trusting in the process, much of the time.  Not wishing for bigger, better, faster, than what you are ready to achieve at that direct point.  Sometimes you will be, other times you will not be. The process is hard... its not meant to be easy. Today is 5 months out from Ironman Canada/Whistler!  The journey continues to get more exciting, and I will only get stronger, fitter, faster from here. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Strong powerful women!

II'm sitting in the airport right now, waiting for my delayed flight to Prince George.  If you know where PG is, there are not many reasons that you would choose to go there in the middle of February.  Right now, a ton of athletes are going there for canada winter games... But not I.  I am using vacation days to go for the workshop portion of a rural nursing course. My only hope is to come back with awesome nursing knowledge, and successfully get at least a good handful of workouts in, now that I am past my flu slump.  I'm not in the clear with my knee as of yet, but... Fingers crossed for continual ability to train.

Yesterday, My friend and former coach, Mary Eggers, posted an incredible pic on Facebook.  Now, many is pretty much a social media queen, and her photo garnered dozens (way over 100!) likes and comments.  Other people posted photos. It was a frenzy.  What was the photo she posted that garnered such a response?  It was a photo of her abs and stomach. Complete with an umbilical hernia. Complete with low tone and some stretch marks. Complete with her layer of healthy fat. 

This woman has competed in numerous iron and, coached athletes, bore a son, swam in collegiate athletics.  and she has no six pack.... Nor did the dozens of other women who posted ab selfies as a response. 

This whole thing touched a deep deep tone with me. As an athlete, it is frequently on my mind: how can I be better? Faster? ... Errr... Leaner? Gulp... Skinnier? As a "quiet feminist," it is frequently on my mind: how can I empower women (and myself) to be stronger? More confident? More secure? Happy with their body? And it's tough.  We see athletes... Actually, we see magazines or online images of people... With these incredible, likely unattainable, bodies. And we think "I need to be that way. I want to be that way. If I look like that, I will surely be faster, stronger, better looking, better liked, more successful..."  Have you ever bought into that? I know I do.

No longer. It is not ok to objectify (Mary used a much stronger word... Pornify) athletic bodies. Stong, fit, healthy bodies come from consistency and dedication.  Sure, be inspired by fitness and health.  But don't be discouraged by it, in attempting to obtain the (likely) unattainable.  Your body has done amazing things, and it should be celebrated. My body has done amazing things, and it should be celebrated. 

So, with that it mind, I introduce you to my six-pack-less core. It's hard for me to post this... Because I wish it looked different... Because I'm self conscious... Because it's easy to objectify athleticism...

I train many hours a week. I do my core strengthening. I eat predominately clean. This core has gotten me through division 1 rowing, two ironman 70.3 world championships and more than 10 half irons. It has not bore babies, but it will one day.  It's not perfect. But it's me.  And it's beautiful. And it should be celebrated. 

#badassisbeautiful #fuelanathlete #amodoesIMC 

Sent from some sort of handheld electronic device

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

3 kicks of the can

This week has been a bleh week!

Even during my last post, I had NO idea.  I was sick last Monday, and I was struck down by the flu.  3.5 days off work in order to cough and hack in bed, and binge watch things like... the bachelor. *cough cough.*  I went from and AWESOME training week, to one where I got nothing.  seriously, 1.5 hrs of exercise all of last week. Some dog walking, but other than that.... zilch. I wished that I could do it, but I was not able to do it.

Then, I had a job interview.  I lost my voice the morning of the interview, and thus, I was an octave lower, scratchy, and whispery throughout.  Despite that, I felt like I did well.  Despite the fact that I felt like I did well, I did not get the position.  Which, was disappointing, as I felt like it was a role that I would be able to grow into and do very well at.  However, I don't yet have the required experience level for it... unfortunately, I pretty much agree with them.  I have the knowledge, I have the ability to put theory into practice, I also have the ability to learn quickly.  But, for the position and location, I need to be able to "take the bull by the horns," so to speak.  I'm not there yet.

Then, last night, when finally, I have been starting to feel better and get training again, I was sidelined by two 70+lbs dogs.  A german sheppard cross tried to hump Ilala, when we were at a local play field.  She swerved to avoid him, and they nailed me in my left knee, causing a ridiculous hyperextension of the joint.  I immediately felt light headed due to the pain, and nauseous.  After laying down for a bit, I was able to eventually get up and weight bear, which was a good sign.  However, that was the decision to not run... again.  I thought that Ironman and I were good for a breakup for a bit.

Fortunately, the seems that it is going to be OK.  A little bit of some ligament sprains, but, after a few days of rest, it should be good to go again... kinda like a twisted ankle, but my knee.  I am so grateful, as it could have been much, much worse.

I am itching to get back to "normal."  Both with training (I have a 1/2 marathon in less than a month, and I want to rock it), and with my job (I will be heading back to outreach nursing at the beginning of March).  I was really looking forward to a new employment possibility, but I am now at least focused and knowledgeable about where I am going to be in a month.  It's been fun at Raven Song public health, and a good change for a while. I will be going back to outreach, having learnt a lot during my line.

Here's to moving through this little slump, and stepping forward. 2015 is still going to be the best year.

Also, a plug: Betty Designs is having a 15% off sale for today... you still have 3.5 hrs to get your order in.  Click HERE!