It’s been a really REALLY long time since I’ve updated this blog. Every once in a while I write a post and then it sits in the Drafts section of the black hole of this blog. I still have a race report that I haven’t finished for IM Coeur d’Alene. I plan to do that at some point, but I thought for this first post “back” that I’d focus on the present and future.
I’m not going to sugar coat this – 2018 was a shit show. There were obviously some good things too, but there were major bummers that happened over the year. These included a stress fracture and being in a walking cast for 6 weeks and then messing up my knee while wearing my cast and my beloved grandma passing away at the beginning of August. There were other small things that just added up. I think I’m even stronger for getting through them.
My grandma was a rock for me and my family. Even though she hasn’t been her full self for a few years now, she was always that symbol of strength. She reminded me who I was, where I came from, and what unconditional love and loyalty looked like. Almost every year she came to watch me at the Frank Dunn Triathlon, even last year when she was almost 97. Over the years she sat through sun, rain and wind to watch me do this crazy sport. She was at my first one and this year my aunties came to represent her and my family at the race. I wasn’t in any kind of physical or emotional shape to complete the race and I knew I wouldn’t. I figured I’d try to finish the bike, but I wasn’t going to push myself. Before the race, I had swum maybe 5 times over the 3 months prior, biked about 100km total, and run ZERO. I did the swim in a decent time considering how little I’d swum and I wasn’t wearing a wetsuit. I did one lap of the bike and then got off and went for a veggie burger and beer with my family. I tried not to cry throughout the bike ride as hole in my heart was still too big. The healing had just begun.
Here are a couple of photos from my first Ironman in 2007:
After Frank Dunn, I got some energy back and felt like it was the beginning of my season instead of what would typically would be the end. Emotionally I was (and still am I think) healing, but physically I was ready to move. I started out slow and loosely followed a post-stress fracture running plan. I walked without my cast and would run for 10 seconds at a time. I worked up to 1 minute of running and 4 minute walking, then I worked up to 4 minutes running and 1 minute walking. That took me to December 1st.
Every year Brainsport, a running store in Saskatoon, has a group of people (on Facebook) that participate in a December Run Streak where they run at least 1 mile over the 31 days. I’ve tried it before and have gotten to 10 days before. This year I was more dedicated. I needed it more. So I did it, a mile every day. It is so unlike me to be so consistent, but it felt good and I got faster in my running. On the 31st, a really freaking cold day, I finished it up with a 5k run in 35 minutes. It destroyed my lungs because of the cold air, but I did it. While I’m not running every day, I will definitely be doing more short, fast runs in conjunction with my regular longer runs.
After the 5-k on December 31st:
I also made some new triathlon goals for 2019. I’m going to do another half Iron distance triathlon. A friend of mine wanted to do one with me and I told her there was no way I was coming to the USA (I take my boycott of them and their insane President seriously) so she’d have to come to me. We settled on an independent race (as in NOT Ironman(c) ), which is flat and a really great event. I’ve done the Great White North triathlon before and it was always really good. I’m excited to do it again.
My local triathlon friend and I bought passes for the city facility so I am committed to 3-days a week minimum at the pool and/or pool. I also signed up for a couple of runs over the next few months. I have some really great goals that are reasonable and will help me stay motivated over the winter.
Another one of my goals is around this blog. I have a plan for it that I’m not ready to share yet as it’s not fully developed. I’ve become shy the last few years about having an online presence, which has stunted by ability to write openly about my life and where I’m at. My mental and physical health are intertwined so writing about triathlon and my physical endeavours have to include my emotional and mental health. I’m generally really open about my mental health stuff, but it’s hard not to feel ashamed of having an illness. If I had diabetes it would be a huge part of this blog, but a mental illness is not fully understood and has such negative connotations. But like diabetes, how could I talk about training and racing without talking about it? I think it has been one of the reasons why I’ve stayed away from updating here as well. Alas, I’m here writing and I’m planning on writing more, and apparently I’m really good at being consistent now. Thank you December Run Streak for showing me that I can be consistent! I was beginning to worry.
My 2019 event schedule looks like this so far:
- Brainsport Brain Freeze 10k – March 3, 2019
- Bridge City Duathlon (3k run-20k bike-3k run)
- SaskMarathon half marathon – May 26, 2019
- Women’s only sprint triathlon (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) – June, 2019
- Great White North Triathlon (half iron: 2k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run) – July 7, 2019
- Frank Dunn Triathlon (olympic+: 1.5k swim 62k bike, 13k run) – August 11, 2019
I’d better get training!