Hello all!

How was your weekend? I hope you had a fun one, and to those of you who participated in any races, I hope you had a great time! It was really nice here in Vancouver, so I spent a lot of the weekend out and about, exploring downtown, shopping for some more suitable ‘walking to work shoes’, brewing kombucha, cycling while watching TED Talks and running a new-to-me route. The time absolutely flew past because I was so distracted by the gorgeous scenery…. and sidewalk art.

False Creek street art

Enough weekend chat for now, we’ve got some goal biznazz to talk about!

monthly goal check-in

April was a big month full of big change, lots of learning, and adjusting to my new surroundings. Goals-wise, I’d say it was a big success. Specifically, here’s how I did on the 3 targets I set for my first month in Vancouver:

1. Transition into my new job successfully – A

While every day still brings forward new-to-me experiences and projects, I feel like my first month has gone really well. For the first couple of weeks I felt completely exhausted at the end of the day, but now I know that my tiredness is most likely due to my low iron issue, not mental overwhelm. Getting to know my new teammates and co-workers outside of my immediate team has been great and I feel really lucky to have landed within a group of such hard-working, smart, and totally hilarious people. We also have some absolutely adorable furry friends in the office, like this one:

Furry friend at the office

How can you not love that!?

2. Get settled into my new condo – A

I think I can finally say that this is done! There are a few things that I’ve thought about purchasing over the past couple of weeks but rather than going out and buying them right away, they’ve just gone onto a list on my phone. Moving into a smaller space has made me very conscious of how much stuff I bring into it, and it’s amazing how putting the items on a list and reviewing it a day later can make you reconsider what’s actually needed. There are some items, like a bed frame and bedside lamp that I definitely do still need to get, but they’re low on the priority list right now.

my kitchen

Some of my favourite things about my new home:

  • Being within a 10 minute walk from work
  • Having all the essentials nearby, including several juice bars, my gym, the best Whole Foods I’ve ever visited, other grocery stores, beautiful running routes, and even more awesome places I’ve yet to discover.
  • A crazy amount of natural light beaming in through the windows. I’m still working on finding the perfect setup for blog food photography, but the light shortage I used to experience is no longer an issue.
  • Lots of kitchen storage
  • Having a garburator in my sink. I know that the ideal, most eco-conscious situation would be to compost all my organic waste but in a condo setup, this isn’t exactly practical.
  • My bedding, which I picked out on my first day here while shopping with my aunt, and love collapsing into every night
  • The shower, which has a rain showerhead that I could stand under for hours

my kitchen table

My Brodie Pace set up on a CycleOps trainer

After having only been in my previous condo for 4 months, I’m really looking forward to making this my home for a longer period – or at least for a solid year!


3. Take some time to relax – B+

Ok, let’s just start by saying that relaxation has never been my strength. As I mentioned when I first set this goal, I knew it would be difficult to move here and not want to do ALL the things, ALL the time. And it has been. The weekends seem to disappear before my eyes, even when I get all my training out of the way before 9am. Lately they’ve been consisting of lunch dates, seeing friends, foodie conferences, hikes, walking around downtown and along the water, and of course, cooking up recipes for the blog. But I’m not complaining about any of that because it’s all been amazing.

Trendspotting at CHFA West, Vancouver

I love spending time with my friends and family here, and plan to continue filling my weekends with activities done in their presence. But at the same time, I’m also very much an introvert. That’s not to be confused with being shy or unconfident – it just means that constantly being around of lots of people tends to tire me out. The strategy I’ve put in place for avoiding this is to keep my weeknights fairly quiet so that I can enjoy my ‘me time’, then do the majority of my socializing and out-and-about-ing on the weekends. It’s tempting to fill every night with activity, but I know I won’t be at my best if I do.

sunset at kits beach

Having friends and extended family here in Vancouver has made the transition a squillion times easier, and I’m so thankful for every bit of help I’ve been given since arrival a month ago. As excited as I was about the move, there were also plenty of things that worried me, and heaps more that didn’t even cross my mind at the time but have come up in retrospect. I’ve come to the conclusion though, that worrying is one of the biggest wastes of our time. The way I see it, there are 2 types of worry:

  1. The kind where you can somewhat control the outcome – For these, you can make a plan to reduce, remove, or otherwise get rid of the worry, then follow through on that plan.
  2. The kind that is completely out of your hands – In this case, since you can’t control what happens, there’s no sense in spending time worrying! (An example is all the worrying I did once my car was en route across the country – more on that story here.) It’s just a waste of energy that could be better directed at something more productive and enjoyable.

Hiking around Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Over the past month I’ve worried about things like getting my car insured (still a work in progress), getting medical coverage, moving expenses, packing, unpacking, and learning my way around the city. While my to-do lists have been overwhelmingly long, I feel like I’ve learned in the process to break down seemingly overwhelming projects into smaller tasks, keeping things in perspective and celebrating small wins. Getting from home to Costco without using my GPS – yay! Taking public transit downtown without getting lost? #winning! So if I could sum up in 3 lessons what I’ve learned this month, they would be:

  1. Ask for help when you need it. You’d be amazed by how many people are willing to lend a hand.
  2. Don’t be afraid to say no in order to take time to look after yourself
  3. You don’t have to do everything at once. In other words, Rome wasn’t built in a day. There are still tons of things I need to learn about Vancouver, plenty of people I still need to catch up with, tons of restaurants I want to try, and countless trails I can’t wait to run and cycle. But I don’t plan to leave any time soon, so there’s plenty of time to make it all happen.

Overlooking False Creek

And so, with all that said….

3 goals for May 2015

1. Have a GREAT time at my first trail race of the year

This Saturday I’ll be running the Enduro course (14km) at the 5 Peaks Golden Ears trail race. As I mentioned on Friday, I had a brief introduction to this organization last year in Ontario and I’m so happy that they also have a series here in BC. Given my recent iron struggles, I may not be able to go as hard as I’d like, but my plan is to have fun with it and enjoy the experience. If you’d like to join me, shoot me a message and let me know. I can save you some moolah on your entry fee!

5 Peaks Medal - 3rd place

2. Boost my confidence on the bike by completing a cycling clinic

Each Wednesday of this month, I’ll be taking my wheels out for a spin with a local cycling club in hopes of developing some better bike handling skills. Cycling is HUGE here in Vancouver and now that I’ve got a bike to get me around (and to train for my triathlons on) I’d like to be a lot more savvy in terms of mechanics and technique – how to change a flat, how to troubleshoot problems, how to ride in difficult conditions, etc.

smashfest queen irock cycling kit

I’ve also signed myself up for the MEC Spring Century on May 10th, which has 50K and 100K options. It’s a ride I stumbled upon via the MEC website and really like the idea of being able to ride outside for a long stretch on a pre-marked route – especially since I still really don’t know where I’m going! The plan is to do the 50K, then continue on if I’m feeling good that day. The way I see it, this event and the clinic should make me feel a whole lot more confident on the race courses I ride this spring/summer. Anyone fancy joining me!?

3. Expand my social network

This one includes getting to know more of my co-workers, as well as making some new friends outside of work. One of the things I heard within my first couple of weeks here was that Vancouver can be a bit of an unfriendly city if you’re new. This absolutely has NOT been my experience, and I can’t wait to meet even more people with common interests. Speaking of which, if you’re a Vancouver-area triathlete, speak up! I’d love to hear about where you train and what races are on your calendar.

So tell me:

  • How was April for you? Any big accomplishments or life wins?
  • What’s coming up for you this month?