IRONMAN CANADA. WHISTLER. JULY 30, 2017.

Wow. What a day.

They tell you it’s going to be hard: that there will be highs and there will be lows. I don’t think you truly grasp those highs and lows until you actually experience it for yourself.

Last year, July 24th 2016, I decided it was time to get back into the world of Triathlon and I competed in my 3rd 70.3 distance Ironman, in Whistler. It was a high. I loved the course, the day, the emotions…so why not revel in that high and sign up for my first full in Whistler the following year…so that’s what I did.

Commence training. 

I began picking away at some form of a training plan in September, and joined efforts with Dylan Gleeson (coach, former pro, cousins husband…and after this year a Whistler- WINNER OF IMC 2017) for a coaching plan. I picked my way through the year of training, ramping the mileage and hours starting in the spring. Minimal injuries left me feeling strong and well trained come race week.

Race week came with a wave of emotions; mainly the realization that I wasn’t THAT nervous. This emotion came with its own set of anxieties how could I not be nervous?! Naive bliss is what I am calling it. I have put in the hours. I have put in the time. Now all I can hope is that my body and mind can pull this out for me. Not knowing entirely what to expect leaves a sense of calm… it was out of my control.

Nerves really hit race morning. On the shuttle bus passing the lake that in a few short hours I was going to be lapping- twice. The sudden fear arose inside – can I do this? I continued to echo myself, yes I can. I AM doing this.

Sorted in transition, wetsuit on, I made my way to the swim coral.

I am an okay swimmer. My mantra for the swim here was slow and steady. Find a pace that I don’t peak my heart rate and I can do comfortably without panic. I seeded myself in the 70-80 minute heat.

Walking into the water I saw a familiar face, Auntie Jan. A few smiles, a camera pose 😉 and a familiar face was all I needed to take this thing- and do it!

1:12:26- nailed it. 2.4 miles: I felt great: Did not panic once: Was ready to get onto the bike.

On my way through transition I saw my dad and Ange who commented on being proud of my strong swim. Que some tears. I grabbed my bike- and just post mount line I saw my family. Ryan and the kids were standing there perfectly placed; just as I was about to embark on my 112-mile bike journey…I needed that! I heard a lot of voices yelling my name- THANK YOU as I was beyond fortunate with the amazing support crew I had out there. My mind was in a foggy blur of emotions, all I knew was I had to get from A to B!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am doing this. This was my mantra. I was told a few times over that for Ironman day it is important to find a mantra that works. This one may sound corny as hell- but it worked. I brought this out in many high and low points of the race. It reminded me not only that I can- but that I currently AM.

I am doing this. I said it right out on to the bike. And this time, it brought tears. Not often enough do we say we are proud of ourselves. This is not one of them. I was and am so frickin proud of myself. Tears crept in and out all day. At my high times of amazement and low points where I would come across family cheering me on. Emotions were high.

The bike was great. I had never biked a full 112 miles- my goal was to get around a 6:30hour… while not completely knowing if this was possible. My butt was sore about an hour into the ride- oh god….just a few more hours to go! The weather was perfect to start the bike. From transition through to the end of the Callaghan climb- there was no wind and the sun was starting to shine through. The wind really began to ramp up on the turn around of the Pemberton Meadows. This is where I had to make a conscious effort to keep cadence up, as I had to pedal harder into the wind: And then, the climbs back to Whistler. The wind was in and out: not too bad and then gusts. But my mantra kept me moving forward. Even as I could feel my legs begin to die a slow death on the return- I was doing this. Gut rot was in and out on the bike. My saving grace was the Zantac I put into my bike box. I had to pop all 3 over the course of the bike. But if staved off the severe cramping and bloat and allowed me to still fuel.

The last 4 miles as I came back in to town as Green Lake appeared in the distance, I knew I had done the bike, and that I captured my goal- 6:33:02 on the bike.

Now the realization that I had a marathon to go was setting in and my mind wanted to overtake with negatives.  How was I going to do this?

I made my way through transition, out of the tent and on to the run. Started the first 100 meters with all the familiar faces. Everyone cheering- an emotional boost that turned in to a bout of strength. Passing Ryan and Kai, I got a big hug, and I was on my way to Lost Lake. I kept telling myself to keep running: One foot in front of the other: I can do this. I ran (slowly) for the first couple of miles- hiked a few hills and then the gut rot was back…and this time was accompanied by a strong sense of vomit. I stopped fueling. I couldn’t get anything in. New mantra set in: run, walk, and toilet.

My low mindset quickly began overtaking my positive thoughts. I knew I had to fuel somehow but didn’t think I could, nor felt like it. I started grabbing sips of Pepsi and taking licks of the salt stick I had decided to throw in the day before (thank god!). But still no energy and a failing mind. I came back through town to start out on my second lap. Passing the family and friend cheer squad- I was now walking and the mind was winning. My dad walked beside me for 100 meters or so asking what I needed, what was wrong. Nothing logical was entering my mind at this point- only that, I am going to finish this thing even if I walk to the finish.

Around the lake I found the girls cheering. Jodi, Cath and Carly were on bikes and cheering me on. Cath came at the right moment. All logic needed to be told to me in simple form. What are you fueling? I’m not I can’t. She told me to just start taking some Gatorade. Every aid station just get some in. The voice of reason was all I needed. And over the course of a few aid stations the sugar and electrolytes kicked in. This was the low of all low points. I didn’t want to be left alone. I was in fear of puking, in fear of passing out. In fear of… I don’t even know! They would ride ahead and wait. I’d see them again and then they’d do the same. And then I saw Ryan. He had ridden up to meet me and he began doing the cat and mouse game with me. This was what kept me mentally strong. Knowing I had support near me. And finally, the Gatorade kicked in, the adrenaline that I WAS DOING THIS kicked in and just like that- I was down to around 16km to go. I made a race friend on the Green Lake stretch. We were both not feeling it. I made a few along the course, but it wasn’t till Melissa that I was in enough of a positive mindset to know that we could finish this. We got through the last together. Talking, taking our minds off of the pain of the current game, choosing the next point to run to until we could walk again. She was just what I needed to finish this race stronger; and she said I was the same for her. (5:46:06 run time- not the imagined time, but I did it).

The first thing I said when I crossed that finish line… “I am never doing that again.” My cousin and I both said that an Ironman may be comparable to childbirth… I guess there is one more thing similar in them both; that with time, your mind invites that “never again” back in- and it becomes a possibility… for a potential in a long distant future.

My favorite picture of the race is the one below. It is the final stretch of the run. I had done it. But the reason this picture is my fav is because it depicts exactly what this race was all about- all the people. My family, my friends- all the incredible support. They were all there with me the entire time. Triathlon, they say, is a single sport. I beg to differ. The support, strength and encouragement you need from start to finish of this sport- from training to finish line-is nothing short of a group effort. This picture captures the entirety of it all. 

THANK YOU. I am so thankful, grateful; fortunate for the village I have in my life.

 

The run wasn’t really the one I hoped for but this day taught me a lot about myself.

When you want something badly enough you get after it.

When your body says I can’t your mind shows you it CAN.

You are stronger than you think you are.

I finally made the red carpet.

I AM AN IRONMAN.

IMC Whistler 2017

13:40:53

Bikini Season

I would like to know how many women DON’T have some sort of issue with bathing suit season. I for one do. I have an insecurity that I am working on- body confidence and self acceptance. I have made large strides personally in my development, but I still have issues that are housed within- and when bathing suit season comes about- I wish I was STRONGER in my confidence and rocking the skin I am in.

There are many reasons why this confidence is important to me – few of which are how I actually look to others. The confidence is one that lies within and the issue at hand is the projection of body confidence and learning how to ensure I project a positive form of it on to my children.

I write for an amazing platform PowHerhouse. Here they focus on female empowerment- be it work, personal, health, body and more. Tomorrow the Summer issue is released and here I focus in on my bathing suit season insecurities and progressions- and pose a challenge for you all as well!

Check out PowHerhouse tomorrow- and then check back here as I fulfill my challenge and hope that you join along too. Lets help empower one another- and begin a change to POSITIVE body reinforcement…and maybe one day, when we open a magazine or turn on the television- we will begin to see an image that reflects the actual world we live it.

#bikiniempowherment

Proud Mom

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This past weekend was a whirlwind of productivity- but so many memories were born from it.

The main event was Sunday’s Dance recital day! It was T’s first concert- and she did so great! She was a little piggy in the ballet performance. Yes piggy. And S was a black horse. The barnyard opened the show. They were so adorable! Proud Mom Moment.  The girls got to be on stage at the same time and their smiles could not have been bigger.

s horse 2015 seymourt piggy 2015 seymourIt was also the first year S had a group Jazz dance, and although bias, she was front and centre remembering the entire thing as she rocked her way through it.

I am so proud of my girls! The sense of enjoyment and accomplishment they find in doing such things couldn’t make me prouder.  Feelings they are finding at a young age, and i hope continue through life.

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It is amazing all that dance can teach a child. The patience, challenge, adversity, nerves, passion, love… the list is endless, and priceless.

The confidence they gain in self, if the only thing they truly walk away with in the end, is one of the most important life lessons they can learn through doing.

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i started reliving a past-time passion a few years ago- and this year i was in the recital for our adult jazz group. the family got to see all 3 girls in one place. its all for fun 🙂

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Mom Brain

What I have discovered through Motherhood is that ‘mom brain’ is actually a thing. There are different levels to this feeling – but my best description of it is a fog. I feel like my brain doesn’t completely function on a clear level- there is a sort of haze/fog that resides within.

I was at my Doctor today to see if the fog is in anyway related to hormones and how I can feel more ‘refreshed’…if that is even possible! Today I had a vitamin and amino acid IV drip. I have had these injections before, but never have they given me any form of a boost. So today we took it to the next level. I sat for a good 45 minutes as I was boosted up with a concoction of goods that in turn will hopefully up my energy levels, helping the mom brain, only temporarily but a place to start to see if this is in fact the reason for the spacey head. We will see if the energy soars from this magic potion I am hopeful but not holding my breath.  IMG_0393

I realize that sleep is a hot commodity that comes and goes depending on the day and the child. I can’t remember the last time I actually felt RESTED. This is such a foreign concept to me that I can’t remember the last time I woke up NOT TIRED. Is it actually possible to wake up feeling rested!? I’m serious. This is not a feeling I can remember.  I know that parts of this come with the territory of, M.O.M. But I also realize that without ever feeling truly rested my body can’t actually restore.

So now, with Doctor by my side, we are in search of the reason for my fog. And hopefully through the search, I will find restorative energy and mind.

 

Balancing Act

~“Life is a Balance of holding on and letting go” ~ Anonymous

2015 is all about BALANCE. This is represented in SO many different ways- and oddly enough- a fairly knew concept to me. I am one that can’t sit still very well: Guilt actually consumes me when I feel I am not doing enough. Hence why BALANCE has entered my mind…and vocabulary.

“An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady” is how Google defines Balance.

To some, balance may be an obvious; I am going to go out on a limb here and say that at some point, everyone had to check himself or herself in order to find their balance in life- a type of “Aha” moment for the likes of Oprah.

Prioritizing my life to ensure the important gets done and allowing what is not to move aside, is already allowing me better balance in life.

At this time of year, the word RESOLUTION keeps circulating. I am steering clear of this word as, yes I have a list of things I want to achieve and do better at, but every step that I have taken in my 32 years of being has brought me to this place and time. I am going to integrate these personal goals into my way of life. They are apart of how I want to better myself, who I want to be. I feel like a grown up finally. Yes, that may sound funny, as I am married (for almost 10 years) and have three children, but I finally feel that I can live MY life: I can say yes when I want to and no when I don’t. That if I like ME, than I am being the best ME I can…and that’s all right! My husband seems to think so too. ;-p

Is this a form of balance? I think so.

Balance is a word that even by definition speaks of weight. Weight is something that most people struggle with in some form. Be it wanting to lose some, gain some or maintain. I am no exemption to this. I have struggled with weight on many levels through my years. Recently I came to a realization that, without finding balance within myself, I truly feel I wouldn’t have come to. There is always going to be something about me that I am going to want to change- something that I wished was different. These things however do not define me. Especially when it comes to weight and image. A number on a scale does not define me and I will not to allow this to rule my mood and life. I will take those hours that I could sweat it away solo in a gym and enjoy the moments with my family and friends. I will hit the trails for a run with some girlfriends- because not only does the exercise make me feel better, but also I am able to catch up with friends. I will hit up my local fitness facilities because I have FUN there! I will be healthy and active- forever and always- but the number that it shows on the scale is irrelevant when I know I am doing the best I can. I will never be a size 0, and I have learnt that I also never actually want to be! I have been home to three babies; I enjoy eating and drinking- and although all in moderation is a good motto to follow…the truth is, I ENJOY LIFE!

I have an amazing family. I have wonderful friends. And I can honestly say, that I like the person that I am. 2015 forward is about finding the balance to do and to accomplish all that I want to have in my life. Life isn’t going to end as I learn to say ‘no.’ I am going to love my way through life, maintaining a happy balance along the way.

Stand Up Paddle Surfing In Hawaii

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