Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


Once in a Lifetime

photo montage

Photo montage of the day

I survived the triathlon training day with my triathlete hero Simon Whitfield!

Some of you may recall my last post about the said day as I was just a bit nervous.  If you would like your memory refreshed, just go here.  In a nutshell, it was a day for 10 folks (they added one more so it was 11) to hang out with the talented Simon Whitfield and others and a learn a bit about triathlon from the pro’s.

Prior to my departure I was a bit behind schedule, not unusual for me as I work best under pressure.  I needed the clips off my bicycle as they were going to lend me a bike for the big day.  One YouTube video, 2 phone calls to husband, one probable broken clip on my one bike and 45 minutes later I was still clipless.  I tackled my other bike and had no trouble removing the clips.  Why didn’t I just start with that one??

I then scrambled to get the house clean as for some reason I must clean the house before I leave it for a night or two.  Not sure why, but hopefully the cats appreciated my efforts.

Oh yeah, one small incident at the airport on the way.  I guess my bike clips looked suspicious (in my checked bag!!) so the security dude pulled everything out of my suitcase to find them, but wouldn’t tell me what he was looking for.  It’s great that he knows what all my underwear looks like now just like everyone else who happened to be standing around in the waiting area.  This is a small airport so security is quite intense, go figure.

I arrived in Vancouver Friday night to rain.  Saturday morning it was still raining.  Now I’m getting nervous about the bike part as I have ridden a bike in the rain once, by accident, when a storm caught me off guard.

I made my way over to  the north shore and we hung out at Thomas Haas for a bit first.  OMG best hot chocolate and croissant I’ve ever eaten in my life.  If I were to have died that day (say in a bike crash), I could say I had truly lived life just  through that taste experience alone.

Then we piled into the International Triathlon Union  (ITU) office, Simon arrived, and we all got an opportunity to introduce ourselves through our stories.  There were a few folks who had done Ironman (one who qualified for the Worlds – go Diane!), a few just getting into triathlon, and a few who loved the sport and wanted to learn more.

After the stories, folks headed out on the bikes with non other than Allan Prazsky.  Turns out they didn’t find me a bike to borrow.  I was kind of relieved as I was worried I’d either cause a crash or crash myself.  Instead I ate more Thomas Haas chocolates and hung out with Loreen Barnett (first Canadian chic to do Ironman in the early 80’s and just an amazingly awesome lady), Ed Rice (photographer with a cool accent) and Simon Whitfield (!!!!) and his awesome little girls.  I’m not complaining.

Then we headed to the pool for the swim session.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in a high school change room and I can’t say I want to be in one again for a little while.  Why are teenagers so messy and smelly??  Regardless, the pool session was the most amazing session which was great as I quickly overcame my fear of wearing a bathing suit in public.  I honestly learned so much in this session.  I also nearly froze to death, the water was sooooo cold.

After the swim we had the most delicious lunch provided by Nourish Market and then had a super informative talk by Dave Vukets (Prima Bars) on real food nutrition for training and competition.  I took notes on my energy bar wrapper.


That’s Simon way in the front with the hat on holding the little girl’s hand. His kids ran with us too.

We were pretty far behind schedule by this point and spent about 10 minutes on the run component (outside in the wind and rain).  Simon provided a few key points and then we headed to Level 10 Fitness to learn from Anthony Findlay.  This guy is the head strength and conditioning coach for nearly every Canadian elite athlete and team.  So cool.  He showed us all the moves we need to know to stay strong as triathletes.

Then we had an awesome unwinding yoga session with Christine German and we were done!

Phew!!  There is so much more I could write, but I don’t want to tie up your time anymore than I have.  I’ll just say it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so glad I went for it.  Everyone was so cool and fun and keen and the ITU did such an amazing job organizing the day.  It was surreal to be hanging out with this caliber of athlete and trainer.

triathlon training day

Here we all are at Level 10 Fitness. I’m on Simon’s right.






What did I get Myself Into

Everyone, at some point, has probably signed up for something without really thinking it through.  I’ve done this quite a few times actually.  Most recently I did just this back in December and now I have to deal with the consequences of my actions this weekend. 

Here’s what I did…

I had just returned to town after a work trip and my friend called and left a message that I should listen to CBC Radio.  It was BC’s Food Bank Fundraising Day and if I donated a bunch of cash, me and nine other lucky people could spend a day with Simon Whitfield (this was just one of several packages being offered).

Those of you who know me, know I am crazy about Simon Whitfield.  Not crazy weird, but crazy in awe of his athleticism and coolness.  I’ve met him twice very briefly and he kindly let me get a photo with him each time.    

Simon Whitfield

This is the first time I met Simon – Victoria BC – prior to the marathon/half. I didn’t really like my hair that day.

Simon Whitfield after the Sun Run

Me and Simon after the Sun Run. I recall I had a pretty good grip around his waist.  He was probably freaking out.

Back to the story…I decided to sit on the idea for a bit as I had a few errands to run, had to pick up Kobi from her godmother’s house and had to get home.  I decided I’d call hubby and run the idea by him. 

I get home, talk to hubby and totally forget to run the idea by him.  That was my subconscious consciously telling me not to run the idea by him as he knows my obsession with Simon and is way too practical (and maybe concerned Simon will have to get a restraining order placed on me).    

I waste a bit more time and then text my friend and ask, “should I do it?”  

“Of course!” she says, adding something about regret. 

I make the call and when I explain I’d like to make a donation for the day with Simon, the lady on the phone says she thinks the last spot was just taken.  “Oh darn,” I say, but I’m thinking, “oh thank god.”  She says to wait one second and she’ll go confirm. 

At this point I am debating just hanging up and then wondering how much I’m going to donate if I don’t get the day with Simon.  She gets back on the phone and says, “you’re in luck, there is one spot left!” 

“Awesome!” I say, but in my head I say, “what the heck was I thinking!?”

I take some time to digest what I’ve just done and the money I’ve just spent (not counting the money I’m going to have to spend to get my butt to Vancouver). 

Then I convince myself that this will be a very cool experience and Simon will just chat with me and the other lucky nine folks about his Olympic experiences, maybe show us his medals, talk a bit about training, all over tea and yoghurt. 

Wrong.  It’s an actual training day!!  Like biking, running, swimming, yoga, and weights with some healthy eating thrown in.  Wait a minute, swimming?  That means I have to wear a bathing suit in front of Simon Whitfield!  I think I am going to die. 

To make me even more nervous, they emailed asking for my triathlon experience.   Oh dear, I don’t have a lot of triathlon experience.  I did 2 maybe 3 triathlons back in the Jurassic age (1993) and more recently, 2 in the last 4 years plus 1 half Ironman 3 years ago.  I haven’t even ridden a bike outside since last October. 

On the upside, I will make the other nine look pretty good.  Did I mention I also get quite clumsy when I’m nervous?  Like trip-and-fall-down clumsy? 

Besides falling down lots, I may also attempt to distract this group of athletes from my lack of triathlon-ability with my brilliant humor.  I have this survival mechanism of resorting to humor when I get nervous.  I’ve actually surprised myself at how funny I can be when scared out of my mind.  Well, I think I’m funny (which is probably just another survival mechanism).    

Writing about this doesn’t seem to be helping much so I’m going to stop now.  I just hope Simon doesn’t Google his name and come across this blog…

What’s your funniest “regret”?  Do you rely on humor or other mechanisms of survival when scared to death?  Want me to pass on any messages to Simon for you? 


2013 Most Memorable Moments

Seeing as 2013 is on the way out, I felt compelled to do a little blurb about my most memorable moments of 2013.  So here they are and I warn you, it’s all about me!

January to March – running during the early morning hours with my friends.

runners in the winter

My favorite photo of me and my friends running with our dogs in January

April – me and Simon Whitfield (Google him if you don’t know who he is) after the Vancouver Sun Run in April.

photo with Simon Whitfield

Me and my hero Simon Whitfield

May – Vancouver BMO Half Marathon – ran a personal best and the weather was stunning!

June – local triathlon – won my age group – I was the only one in my age group –  lol!

August – I started this blog and ran the Emperor’s Challenge mountain race (20km).  Came in 2nd in my age group and 6th overall out of the women (and there were more than 10 women, 376 to be exact – 46th out of 586 runners).

finish line of the Emperor's Challenge

The finish line at the Emperor’s Challenge in Tumbler Ridge, hottest day ever!

September – bought my first SUP/kayak and fell in love with paddling…

kayak on a lake

The maiden voyage of Nalu my SUP kayak

September cont’d – lots of bears and Kobi’s birthday party – she turned 2!

Dog and bear poop

Kobi and bear poop

October – Goodlife Fitness Victoria Half marathon.  Ran into my cousin Nate at the start line (totally random).  He passed me at 18km.

November – Vancouver Historic Half, came in second in my age group.

Siwash Rock Vancouver Seawall

This is the view on the run – Siwash Rock on the Seawall in Vancouver – so beautiful.

December – snow…

snow in the trees


and more snow…

dog in the snow

Kobi is turning into a snow mole

And I ran 1,004 miles in 2013.  The last 6 miles were obtained December 28, 2013!!  I haven’t run since, but I will run tomorrow.

Happy New Year, happy running and all the best in 2014 everyone!