Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tackling Nationals...and the Rockies

So I figure I am definitely in need of an update now as LOTS has been going on over the last few days.

I raced National Championships in Kelowna on the weekend, winning the race and my 2nd National title. It was wonderful to share this win with my parents, sister, aunt and uncle (as well as quite a few gorgeous standard poodles along the sidelines).

I knew my swim was key in this race as the field was small and there were a handful of strong swimmers. I had a clear start, and within the first 100 metres, hopped on Kathy Tremblay's feet. There was a bit of rough jockeying for position around the first couple of turn buoys (everyone seemed to want Kathy's feet!) By the end of the first lap I was right up there with the leaders and I could see we had a gap on the rest of the field. I was positioned near the back of the 5 other women in the group and had a very sweet draft for the second lap. It was definitely a good swim for me and I was right where I had wanted to be. The six of us worked together on the bike and the pace was steady. Overall, the bike was relatively uneventful and we entered T2 as one pack. I had a great transition and immediately took the lead on the run. Kathy ran up to me and then Paula joined us. I wasn't feeling especially great and as much as I wanted to "hit-it" from the start, my legs just wouldn't let me. I felt better as we went along and even tried a couple small surges to see if Kathy would respond. And she did. Everytime. It wasn't until the final lap that I started to think ahead towards the finish and when I would really commit to a serious surge. With about 300 metres to go I picked it up. We've done some fast 400's on the track and I knew that if I could run fast at the end of a workout on trashed legs, I could probably survive a final push in this race. I opened a small gap on some of the tight turns and carried the speed up the hill on the bridge. I didn't look back until I was nearing the line because I know Kathy is experienced... and has speed!! I didn't have much time to celebrate in the finish chute, but that's ok, because I was just so happy to be able to stop running!!

The full results can be found here. I lost my timing chip during the swim (Ogopogo must have needed a snack), so my actual splits are an estimate based off the other women in my pack.

And, now for the really exciting stuff... Adam and his race partner, Aaron Heidt have just finished day 3 of the TransRockies Run. They had a rocky start on Day 1, but won the stage yesterday and finished 2nd today. In the general classification they are in 4th position with three stages left, so a podium finish is definitely not out of the question. These two have had some a few hiccups along the way (dehydration, deep blisters, smashed-in teeth, stitches,...), but isn't that all part of the experience?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Racing the Rockies!

I thought I'd write an update about what Adam is up to because it's slightly more interesting than the swimming, biking and running activities that fill my days.

Adam left today for the Transrockies Running Race in Colorado. He is going to spend this week getting acclimated to the altitude in Boulder, then meet up with his partner for the start in Vail. It's a 6-day stage race with the lowest altitude of 7,400 feet and the highest at 12,600 ft. Yikes! The total distance they will cover is 113 miles and apparently the exact routes are kept secret until the race to maximize the adventure experience (I'm guessing this is to prevent some cardio-junkie (i.e. Adam) from pre-running the entire course!). They will be camping between stages and all meals will be provided. Of course I was worried about Adam surviving off bars and gels for a week (and I had good reason to be worried: I've witnessed him spreading a strawberry gel on toast at training camp....), so I looked up the info on the race food. Here's a sample menu of a few of their meals and lets just say I am no longer concerned...

Arrowhead Point Camping Resort – 6:00am to 7:30am

  • Hot Oatmeal
  • Diced Fruit & Berries, Whole Bananas
  • Orange Juice & Cranberry Juice
  • Coffee, Hot Chocolate & Herb Teas
  • Fresh Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar Cheese, Country Potatoes
  • Sausage & Bacon
  • Vegetarian Potatoes with Onion & Peppers
  • Mini Bagels, Butter, Assorted Preserves, Peanut Butter & Cream Cheese


Arrowhead Point Camping Resort – 5:00pm to 6:30pm

  • Fajita Bar with Chicken & Steak
  • Warm Flour Tortillas, Onions & Peppers, Shredded Cheddar Jack
  • Cheese, Shredded Lettuce. Diced Tomatoes, Red Onion, Avocado,
  • Fresh Cilantro Cole Slaw, Diced Cucumber & Fresh Lime Wedges
  • Cilantro Rice w/Toasted Pine Nuts

I did notice though that the menu gets a little more basic as they get into the thick of things (in other words, deep into the mountains!):


Nova Guides Lodge – 5:00pm to 6:30pm

  • Dinner Salad with dressings
  • Rolls
  • Spaghetti with sauce
  • Chicken Entree
  • Rice Pilaf

I'm really excited for Adam as I know he has prepared well for this adventure. He's run just about every hill and mountain in southwest BC, as well as joining me on the bike, running and even in the pool...well, until his flippers went missing.... The Transrockies website should post daily updates with results so we can follow along!

And in other news, Adam's brother, Matt, who lives in Sweden, has also been involved in some endurance activities of his own. Matt competed in a 1.2 km lake swimming "race" (a family tradition). His stroke of choice? Breaststroke. HEAD-UP. For 1.2 km. In board shorts. Yep, I'd say that is VERY impressive!! 

AND, Wendy and Randy have been busy with dragon boat competitions. We went down to the inner harbour to watch the races this weekend. Go Blazing Paddles!!

One of my favourite poodles happened to be on patrol that day....

Monday, August 10, 2009

I know it's time for a blog when...

...Adam has updated his blog about a hundred times in the last couple of days. Yes, Adam does have a blog, a great one, but it has been dormant since about 2007 (and amazingly not removed by Blogger), so all the more reason for me to feel the pressure to update! 

After the mini-holiday at Whistler, it has been back to hard work and back to routine. I love traveling, but honestly, there is nothing I love more than being at home. Speaking of homes, Adam and I have started to look into buying a place. We started our search with condos and came to the conclusion that we cannot comfortably cram ourselves and our belongings into any of the places within our price range. We've realized that living in Fairfield might be a bit of a pipe dream right now so we've forced ourselves branch out a little (as long as the waterfront is still running distance...or at least a short drive away!). With the start of school on the horizon, we realize that we need to find a place reasonably soon (our current apartment is SMALL and there is no way Adam can study while I am quilting/sweating on the rollers/cooking/gossiping in the same room :) So, we've started to search for rentals for this fall. But, if we are going to rent, we want to be in this area. Well, a 2-bedroom is not cheap and after looking at a few, we were back to the drawing board. Rent or purchase? It seems as though we can purchase a place, even on the upper end of our price range, with the mortgage payments still being less or equal to the cost of renting something big enough. But, we need to consider that in two years Adam may be articling elsewhere....and then what? 

We were driving through Fernwood the other day and came across an open house. Oh dear, this is the trouble with open houses...we fell in love with this place the moment we walked in. Built in 1890, this place had serious character! We were both speechless as we walked through, admiring the original hardwood floors, the high ceilings, the amazing garden and then I saw them... the chickens running amuck out back! And, YES, the chickens come with the house!! We were both anxious to check the listing price and sure enough, it was out of our price range. But, it got us thinking, what if we look for older homes, smaller in size? Afterall, a house would have enough storage space to keep our living area clutter-free (but who are we kidding, that would only last about 2 days...max..). We've come across a few places in Fernwood, Oak Bay and Vic West that are a perfect size, in the price range, and have plenty of character. But, owning a house is a different story than a condo, especially an older home. So much to think about!!

Anyway, we are not sure what we're going to do but if anyone has any suggestions or stories to share, please do so!

As for training, it's going well and we're rolling along in this final training block. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time goes by. In less than two weeks we will be in Kelowna for Nationals and in just over a month, we will be racing the Grand Final in Australia. Can't wait!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


So, I think it's official: Adam and I are not very trendy people. We were invited over to Wendy's for a delicious BBQ last night and we tried our best to look nice. Honestly, we did try. But, stopping at the ocean en route for an icing session was not the greatest of ideas. Thankfully Wendy's garage is still packed with just a "few" of our excess belongings (understatement of the year...) so we had no trouble finding warm clothes. So much for looking presentable.

Notice Adam's wool long-johns, over compression socks. He always has the "camping" look dialed-in. I would make fun of myself here but I'm at a loss for words...

Thank you, Wendy!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A few more Whistler Pics

No surprise that summer is my favourite time to visit the mountains. Warmth and beautiful alpine flowers!

Peak 2 Peak Gondola: nearly a 4km free span between towers. I was skeptical with all the hype around this, but we were both very impressed. 

Paddling the River of Golden Dreams. I have loved this river since I was a kid but I didn't realize quite how long it was (7km) and very slow-moving... that was one long paddle!

The wildfire started on Blackcomb while we were on the mountain, but we didn't realize this until we were out on the kayaks. 

Beaver dams!

Watching the waterbombers.