Hey there, friends!
How was your weekend? As I mentioned in my last post, I spent yesterday up in Whistler at Ironman Canada. Despite it being a very wet, soggy day, it was still a lot of fun! In addition to being able to see first-hand what an Ironman race looks like (minus the whole actually competing in the race bit), it was a good motivational booster to send me into the final month of training for Challenge Penticton Half.
Speaking of triathlon, doing my first olympic-distance one was a goal I had for July. So let’s get straight into that monthly goal check-in, shall we?
1. Successfully complete my first Olympic distance triathlon – A+
As I said in my full Subaru Vancouver Triathlon race recap, I couldn’t have asked for a better first attempt at the sport. Everything just seemed to fall into place nicely that day, and I can only hope that the same will be true in Penticton at the end of August! With the Subaru Vancouver triathlon behind me and with just over a month to go until ‘the big one’, I’m feeling good about my training and confident that the on-course nutrition I’ve been practicing is going to work.
While I’m not so sure what I’ll be thinking about the half iron-distance after I’ve completed it, one thing is for sure – the olympic was a ton of fun. There’s absolutely nothing set in stone race-wise for me next year, but another olympic tri or two would be some of the first events I’d toss in.
2. Incorporate at least 15 minutes of meditation, 2x/week – B
I didn’t always manage a full 15 minutes per day, but instead, I found it more manageable to take about 5 minutes every other day or so to work on this one. Some of these little sessions took place lying on the floor on my yoga mat, and some were a little less traditional, more active meditations that I did while walking.
I’d repeat the same thing over and over in my head as I inhaled and exhaled, and this was really useful when it came to staying focused. It also made me realize how short my breathing gets when I’m not focusing on it. It’s amazing how much more energy you get from one big breath that goes all the way down into the belly, in comparison to a short one that stays in the chest. Seriously, give it a try!
Another interesting and less-traditional way I worked in a little meditation was while swimming. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but I later found out that it’s a real thing! When all you have to look at is a long black line at the bottom of the pool, why not use it, as well as the repetitive movement of your arms and your breathing pattern to get your meditation groove on? After some of my swim workouts, I’d tack on a few super easy cool-down lengths to bring my heart rate back down and focus on just one word or phrase. If sitting still is a challenge for you, this just might be a good alternative.
3. Volunteer at 2 races
Done! Both 5 Peaks Cypress Mountain and Ironman Canada were great experiences. I loved seeing these events from a volunteer’s perspective, which is not the side that I’m usually on. As I said when I initially set these goals, I’ve competed in plenty of races in the past and felt the need to return the favour. Knowing very well what it’s like to be an athlete full of pre-race jitters, it was easy to imagine what the people competing in these races were going through. I figured being as positive, encouraging and supportive was what I’d want as an athlete, so it was my goal to be exactly that at both races.
My volunteer role at 5 Peaks was the registration table, which I loved because it meant getting to wish everyone good luck. At Ironman Canada it was a much more minor position (checking wristbands before letting people into the VIP area), but still, I’m glad I went. Given the sloppy weather conditions, I had enormous respect for every athlete competing and hope to have the same mental fortitude for my upcoming race too!
3 Goals for August 2015
With July nearly behind us, I bet you’re absolutely dying to know what’s coming up for August, right? 😉 Well I’ll tell ya.
1. Finish a blog-related project and launch it by the end of August
Yes, I realize this is an incredibly vague goal, but it’s supposed to be a surprise so you’re not going to get any big hints! Many of you (especially those that are mums, teachers and students) would probably agree that September is sort of like a second new year because it marks the beginning of the school year. And because of this, a lot of people use it as a time to refocus on goals they’d like to reach by December.
If taking your nutrition up a notch is something you want to work on in September, then I think this project is one you’re going to be totally on board with. (And don’t worry – even if September doesn’t have much significance to you, I think many of you will still enjoy it. This project a very small step in the direction I want to move with things here on the blog, but you’ll just have to wait a few weeks to see! 😉
2. Ring in my 27th birthday in style.
The other day one of my new friends asked how old I am. Perhaps it’s just because this is a question that hasn’t come up in a while, but the answer actually required a few seconds of thought. 26 has been a BIG year with lots of amazing opportunities, memories, and major life changes – some easier to make than others.
This month, a couple of my besties will be flying over here from Ontario to run the Lululemon Seawheeze half marathon with me on my birthday, and we’ve got plenty of other celebrations happening around that time as well. I’ll be taking a couple of days off of work, spending time with some of the people who have gone out of their way to make Vancouver feel like home to me, and generally, celebrating how fortunate I am to be where I’m at. There will be great people, delicious food, lots of laughing, and I can’t wait. Come at me, 27!
3. Complete Challenge Penticton Half.
This one must come as a huge shocker….. not!
It’s a goal that has been in the works for a long time – 8 months to be precise. In fact, as I write this, it’s occurred to me that this is the longest and hardest I’ve ever worked towards an athletic goal of any sort. The good and not-so-good days still come and go, the training hours continue to stack up, and all along the way I’ve spent plenty of time exploring the inner workings of my brain, thinking about everything from what I’m going to wear when I get home from my workout to what it is I really want out of life. (#sodeep) 😉 I’ve also met some fun training buddies who make the hours and the miles far more enjoyable.
I’ll be doing my 6th triathlon training check-in soon (you’ll find all the previous ones here if you’d like to catch up), and it’ll be the last one before the big race. I’m excited, a little scared, and I’ve got butterflies in my stomach. It’s all good though, and it’s what’s keeping me working hard right up until taper time starts. I’m planning to do a pretty extensive post on what I’ve learned throughout all of this at some point in September, but for now, my plan is to just continue to focus on being at my best when August 30th rolls around. The countdown is on!
Now it’s over to you. I’d love to hear…
- What are you looking forward to in August?
- What was your most memorable birthday?