TO Island Give-it-a-Tri Recap

Well… I survived!!! Yaaaaay!

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A couple days before the race, I was starting to become alarmed that I had not received any kind of notification of my wave time. When I went to try on my wet suit, I was telling the person helping me out. He said not to worry about it and just proceed as though I was going to be in the first wave. Considering that the wave times were every 15 minutes and between 8am and 9am, this seemed like a good idea. A couple days before the race I got my email with all my info.

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I picked up my race packet and got body marked on the main-land then Alanna, Paul and I took the ferry over to the island. Those would be out bikes, just chillin’  out. The body-marker people wrote your bib number on your arm and your age on your calf. I feel like this engendered a strange sense of honesty and intimacy that you don’t usually find in races. PS that person in the background of the photo above did NOT look 53. I found a lot of people did not look their age at all. I kept thinking to myself, ‘they wrote their numbers the wrong way around!’

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Yes that would be the rising sun hitting our faces! We took the 6:30am ferry so we were there almost two hours before our wave time (8:20am). When we got to the island, Alanna and I headed over to sort out our transition area. I didn’t realize that all the transitions were happening in the same area; when Alanna tried to explain this, it took much longer than it should have to sink in… I hadn’t had all that much coffee, sue me. I didn’t have to worry about making sure all my stuff was in the right place because there was only one area.

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One of my biggest concerns for the upcoming race was nutrition. I had been having problems with low blood sugar crashes and in the days leading up to the race I wasn’t feeling properly. Since the Wednesday before, when Chloe passed, I had been too upset to eat much. I was completely justified in my concern that I was just going to pass out cold on the ground. To make sure this DID NOT happen, I brought four gels with me. For such a short race this was definitely overkill, but better to have it and not need it.

TO Island Race Recap-3621I had watched a lot of videos about transition areas and what to put where. I wrote down a list and carefully packed everything that was going to be in my transition. There is a neon green towel that held my run stuff, but you can see it better in my first transition area photo. I shoved my sunglasses in my helmet to make sure I would have them for the bike. I don’t normally wear, or like, sunglasses. Something about them being over my eyes and semi-inpairing my line-of-sight really bothers me. I was really glad to have them on this bike because the sun was shining directly at eye level; and it was useful to protect me from the wind.

TO Island Race Recap-3624The race was having little info sessions down at the beach before your wave time. Just important safety information and basic race course directions. After figuring out where all the in’s and out’s were, we put on our wetsuits and sunscreen and headed down to the beach. The timing anklets were to be picked up on the beach so we grabbed those and then got into the water. I don’t remember what the exact temperature was, but they announced it and used the word ‘balmy.’ Under no freaking circumstances was that ‘balmy!’ I know what you’re thinking, but you had a wetsuit on! The wetsuit lets in a bit of water next to your skin and your body heat warms up that bit of water. It is still freaking cold when it hits you!

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So that is me attempting to claw my way out of the wetsuit that attempted to coke me to death in the water. I am not sure what happened, it may or may not have been me just having a small anxiety moment, but it felt like the collar of the wetsuit got tighter and tighter as I was swimming. I feel I should mention that I have some kind of irrational fear of open water. I have no idea where it came from, but I get nervous in open water. I swam most of the 400m on my back and seeking a happy place that was not the water. When I was finally close enough to shore to stand up, my head started spinning and I was just trying not to fall back down. I find that this usually how it happens with swimming though, you don’t realize how hard you’ve been working until you get out of the water.

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The transition went well, by the time I had wandered back to the transition area and peeled off my evil wetsuit I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out. I walked my bike out and took off. The biking portion was easily the strongest section of the race for me. I pushed myself a little bit and passed a couple people, then all of the sudden was over taken by a lot of women from the wave after mine. It was humbling to see these women 20 years older than me totally kicking my ass. I really hope I am in that kind of shape when I get there! When I finally got back to the transition area, I did the sweetest rolling dismount you could possibly imagine. I used to do this as a kid all the time. Living on a farm, you ride your bike a lot and I  am well practiced. It still felt good when the race volunteer said ‘nicely done!’

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Last but not least! The run! This was difficult for me because you’re not allowed to listen to any music. I usually try to loose myself in the music for the first 2K of a run, that is just how long it takes to find my groove. Unfortunately, this was a majority of the run for this race. I feel I can say with certainty, I am a distance runner. I tried to keep myself occupied by yelling encouragement to others, good-naturedly heckling the people who were watching (but not cheering) and making sure I was going the right way. You had to do two laps of the running course, which kind of sucked because it was the same view as the first time, but I understand they can’t book off the whole island. By the time I was doing my second loop and coming to the end, I was finally hitting my stride.

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The best part about this race in particular was the chocolate milk after. This triathlon series was ‘recharge with milk’ by Multisport Canada. There were photos and also free food for the athletes. No medal though. There are fewer and fewer events handing out medals and I would TOTALLY pay extra just to get one. We got t-shirts along with the various kinds of swag and samples the sponsors hand out.

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All the photos from the race are free, which I thought was a REALLY nice touch. I’ve done other races where the photos cost an arm, leg, pound of flesh, first born and you had to guess what the race co-ordinator’s third cousin, on their mother’s side, was named.

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Not too terrible for a first tri. My goal was to come in around an hour and I made it!

Tri Tri as Hard as you Can.

Well a couple weeks ago I actually signed up for the Give it a Tri on Toronto Island August 22nd. The money is paid; there is no going back. We have passed the point of no return. Remind me again why I do these things?!

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Oh yea… because I LOVE IT!
I’ve been training in a pretty round about and general way for a few weeks, but when I actually filled out the forms, I had to get my act in gear. I promptly added training to my calendar and figured out what workouts I am doing what days; run, bike, yoga, swim, run, brick, repeat.
I recently picked up some new triathlon lingo. A ‘brick’ refers to a workout when you stack two disciplines one after the other with little to no interruption. For example, I have been working on the bike to running transition because I’ve heard it is the hardest.

Rail Trail-2007

The very first time I tried to do a bike/run brick, Paul and I went to the rail trail in Hamilton. It’s a really lovely bike on a trail that goes all the way from Hamilton to Brantford, a good 32K (approx. 19.8 miles). Don’t worry, I wasn’t doing the whole thing. In the actual Triathlon I have to bike 10K then run 2.5K, so to train we biked 16K. We had to go from our car, 8K up the trail and then come back again. You might be thinking this is slightly excessive, but Paul and I are decent cyclists and the first 8K is all uphill.
This is one of my absolute favourite bike rides because when you get to the point of turning around, your legs are on fire and you don’t know how you’re going to make it back. You turn and glide the whole way back, so really, our 16K bike ride isn’t as impressive as it seems. By the time you reach your car again, you’ve flushed the lactic acid out of your legs by pedaling so light and fast.

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Knowing this, I popped off my bike and started running… I thought I was going to die. My legs felt like lead, I hadn’t even made it back on the trail and I was breathing very hard. It was embarrassing. I just had to remember that this was the first one and the first one is always the hardest. Luckily I’ve been keeping so busy, I didn’t really have time to dwell on the bad run.
This past Sunday was my second bike/run brick and I CRUSHED IT! It was difficult, don’t get me wrong, but I felt a lot better. I felt strong, like I could definitely muscle through and optimistic I would get better. Since then I have felt really REALLY optimistic about this race. Like I can just handle anything that will come at me, I’ll be able to get over it.
I’m not sure if the feeling will last, but I really hope it will. I am going for my first swim of this week today (early Thursday morning). Swimming is not my forte so we will see if my optimism is waterproof!

Getting Warmer!

With the warm weather coming in, my urge to be outside and free is alive and well. Especially since the virus that has been plaguing me for the past couple weeks is beginning to subside! This week I decided to go for a short run, just to enjoy the weather. This would be the part where someone says something like ‘what could go wrong?’

Beach Day

Seeing as I don’t have any particular pictures for this post, I am going to post random photos that I think carry the theme of this post. This one is from our trip to Cuba last year. Missing that weather!


After work, around five or six pm, I decided to make the first outdoor run of the year! I came in the house, dropped my purse, various water bottles, general detritus I haul around with me and went to get dressed. It was the warmest day that had come in a long time and I wasn’t about to miss out on an opportunity. The weather was actually warm enough to wear shorts, so I figured that it couldn’t hurt and threw a pair on.

I realized we had no water bottles around, so drank some water at the house and decided not to bring any with me. The last part of getting ready was to pop in my headphones and start my ‘RUNNING PLAYLIST OF AWESOME 2015’; it helps me stay motivated…. Mostly because of the name.


I took off running. Now, with me, running doesn’t indicate a speed so much as general description. Running, yes! Fast? Definitely not. There are probably glaciers that move faster than I run. I usually liken my speed to a stampede of turtles that hit a puddle of molasses… in the dead of winter.

Regardless of speed or technique, I’m out there. I’m running and doing healthy things for myself. It’s better than sitting at home saying ‘ah well, I’ll run tomorrow.’ As exciting as it sounds, I actually run in a large circle and when I reached the approximate halfway point an uneven bit of sidewalk jumped up and tripped me.

Completely impressed gym selfie. Capture that progress!

Completely impressed gym selfie. Capture that progress!

With more than 10 years of martial arts training, you would think I would be a little more graceful than this, but alas, it is not so. This wasn’t a little stumble, WHAM right to the ground. Scraped my palms and knee decently. Before I let out a huge slurr of curse words, I happened to look to the side. There was a teenage girl standing in the driveway across the street with a cell phone pressed to her ear. I don’t think she was listening to whoever was on the phone anymore; she was now staring at me with open-mouthed shock. I remember being that age and I remember how cool I thought people in their 20’s were. Totally infallible right?

I wouldn’t want to destroy this poor girl’s world-view, so I jumped right back up, with as much dignity as possible, and kept running. I think this is one of the few situations where is socially acceptable to run away after! I scrammed, vamoosed, skedaddled, got the hell out of there and started around back home.

Back at home, before dealing with the carnage that was my hands and knee, I checked my running app. I like to keep track of my distances etc. When I looked, it said I did 8.2km. I was only gone for 25 minutes and I had walked some of that time. There was no way I had just run 8.2km. As it turns out, my running app was possessed, but I like to think it was trying to make me feel better for falling while running. I took a screen shot of the map and traced a blue line where I actually ran.


The morals of today’s story are as follows!

  1. Don’t blindly trust running apps and never trust the ‘calories burned’ counter
  2. Keep telling yourself that it totally looked like you dropped into a burpee
  3. Buy some gloves to run in because heaven knows this won’t be the last time you trip

You Should get that on a T-shirt

The latest thing I have been completely and totally obsessed with is going to be really good. I found this website that sells t-shirts and other merchandise. I normally love t-shirts with really clever sayings and this all started when I was looking for shirts with clever sayings for the gym. ​


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On my first perusal, I read a lot of shirts that had straight up, funny, gym sayings, such as the one pictured above. There are so many that I honestly could not choose just one. I really liked looking at the gender specific ones and imagining them on the opposite sex they were intended for. As well as the really general ones; of the general ones I think the Burpee one is my favourite, because really… who likes burpees?

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At this point I realized that were were shirts for the gym that have been inspired by some of the fandoms I participate in. I started looking up Doctor Who ones because it was the first thing that occurred to me. Things really snowballed from there.

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Once I got into searching the Harry Potter ones and texting them to my fellow gym-goer and fangirl, Sara, I knew I had stumbled upon something of a black hole. This is where all my spare time and money is going to go…I can feel it already.

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I know this might sound like a foreign concept to some people, but I am not a procrastinator. I usually don’t put things off to the last minute, ever. When I know I have something to do, I get it done and out of the way. Hence, when I have a report due at work or a blog article to post, I get it done as soon as I have time to sit down and work on it and BAM, done.

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A few days ago, I spent at least an hour looking through more and more of these t-shirts during time I had decided I was going to write. I had several things to get done and I really wanted to work on them, but I couldn’t look away from the screen. It was absolutely ridiculous.

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Mind you, I did come up with a plan to set aside change and save up to purchase one of these shirts as a reward for actually going to the gym. I am going to get a jar set up for it and make a list of the top shirts I would like to get. Making the list is going to be the hardest part because I am having a lot of trouble not BUYING ALL THE THINGS!!!

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There are even shirts, totes and phone cases with yarn and fiber arts sayings on them. I ENDORSE THIS SITE FOREVERRRR! I am really, very excited about everything this page has to offer and can’t wait to make an order!

More on Mason Jars!

Every Sunday I prep my Mason jar meals for the coming week. It’s really awesome to have breakfast and lunch made for the whole week and I’ve received a lot of interest about what exactly I put into these jars. I’ll give you the short answer first.


I make Paul’s and mine a little differently because he likes his granola to be mushy. I don’t want my granola crunchy, but definitely not mushy. I use vanilla Oikos Greek yogurt for mine and mix Greek yogurt with regular yogurt for Paul’s. For granola, I use the Complements brand, but I find granola is a very personal choice; everyone has their favourite.


Last I pick some kind of berry, usually it is blue berries, but I’ve done raspberries as well. Strawberries tend not to last as well as others. The strawberries get kind of mushy… in a weird way, when raspberries get mushy, it’s delicious.
I layer yogurt, berries then granola one after the other in the Mason jars until they are full. Lately I’ve been layering on some flax seeds in mine; the iron could always use a boost.


The first time I did the salads, I did way too much work. I cut everything and put it all in bowls etc until it was ready to go in. Now I’ve got this down to a science. You want to put the moist veggies on the bottom then any veggies that won’t go mushy just above those, then your layer of protein and the lettuce goes last.
Now I chop things and put them in as I go. I start with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, celery and carrot. I will admit that I cheat a bit with the carrot. I buy baby carrots then put them in the food processor until they’re minced.

Salad Mine

The protein for my salad is roasted pumpkin seeds. If they’re unroasted from the store, I coat them with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper then roast them on a cookie sheet fro 20 minutes on 350 degrees. They’re soooo good.
For Paul’s I use a little bit of turkey and two hard-boiled eggs. I’ve been hard-boiling my eggs in the oven and I strongly suggest it! You put the eggs in a muffin tins and throw them in the oven for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.

Salad Pauls

After the protein goes in, I just put the lettuce on top. I use romain lettuce and mix mine with spinach because if the lettuce isn’t the freshest right from the grocery store, by the end of the week, it looks like it is THINKING about getting soft. The spinach lasts much longer.

Inspiration and the Attainable

Since my headaches have been going away, I’ve been trying to get back into the gym. Things go okay, there are bumps and pain-in-the-neck’s along the way, but I am doing okay. As I mentioned last post, the weather is getting warmer and for me… that makes me want to get out and do things!

Yoga Stress

When I am trying to motivate myself to go to the gym or do athletic things, I need incentive. Normally I sign up for a race or obstacle course because nothing motivates you like the thought “if I don’t train for this, I am going to die.” A lot of people will mull over signing up for a race, but that is a pitfall you must avoid. The first time I signed up for a 5K race, I was not a runner at all. I just signed up for it because a friend of mine was doing it and it sounded like fun. After I paid, I realized I would actually have to train for this. Complete madness, I know.

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It was really motivating though. Every time I thought I would prefer to sleep in or something, I just thought about running the race and being trampled by all the really fit people behind me. THAT will get you out of bed in the morning.
Since I don’t have any races coming up, I haven’t been able to use that against myself, but I have found I really enjoy going onto Etsy or Pinterest and looking at all the wise-ass sayings on some workout clothes. Any of the photos I’ve posted in reference to this link back to the pages where you can purchase them. I keep setting little goals for myself and saying, “if I get to this point, I am going to buy that workout shirt.”

Sweatin Church

This kind of works double for me because not only am I striving toward a goal where I get a reward, I get a cool shirt. I am going to want to go work out just so I can wear that shirt.
I’ve read quite a few articles with interesting and sometimes crazy things to keep you getting to the gym. One of the ones I thought was funny yet clever, is to wear your work out clothes to bed. If you’re trying to get to the gym in the morning you sleep in the work out clothes. This way you only need to drag your sleep deprived self to the gym and don’t have to worry about getting dressed and all that jazz. This is especially true for women; have you ever tried to fight with a sports bra in the pre-dawn hours?
I’ll do another post full of awesome motivating things. It might not be obvious, but I try to apply the same principles to completing knitting that is really fighting me. Goals… and buying yourself something pretty!