Friday, January 29, 2010
I was just reading some blog entries and notice how many of us have such emotional times right now. In those emotions emits a sense of honesty and truth about ourselves, and I am loving that these are being shared on blog posts in the Spark world.
As I prepare for Sunday's sermon, reading about love from 1st Corinithians and the rejection of Jesus at Nazareth, it reminds me of how close those scriptures lie in the real world today... in our own lives, in our homes, in our hearts. Rejecting ourselves for who we've become, attempting to share love with others... but not realizing that we have forgotten to love who we HAVE become. Who we are right now, in this time of transition, will be a huge chapter in our lives. Accepting it will also be the climax of that chapter. And what we do next, will be a great lead in to the next chapter in our lives. Embrace who you are... reject the negative things you feel about yourself and replace them with some, possibly surprising, things that you love about yourself.
If there was one thing I could share with my Spark friends today, it would be that God loves you. But not just that... that the community of Spark, near and far, all battling and struggling with somewhat similar issues in life and body, feel that loving connection to you too. Don't be afraid to reach out to others on the journey to better health. It may be more than health that saves you...
Jan - just enjoying the journey...
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I completed my first 2KM swim yesterday! 2KM!!!!! That's huge for me! I've been working on 1KMs for the past few weeks and have moved it up... and under an hour!
My concern is my running though. I have no problem running 2 or 3KM at a time, but need to get my body into running longer distances. Because of our lovely Canadian winters, I was trying a treadmill and then a track (realizing the track is much better for me as the treadmill to track transition was so unreal! So, back to the track it is). But the track gets a bit boring. To run a mile at our track, we do 8.75 laps. Ugh! Perhaps if it was a longer track it would be better... but wondering if anyone out there has any tips and hints. I usually don't run with music as I like to try to run with a clear mind (the only time my mind is still), but am wondering about a adding a podcast or audio version of a book or program to keep me going... any tips?
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Well, well, well. Isn't it nice to see you. Yes, that's right. You're no longer with me. Be it 20 lbs or a mere .6 lbs. I'd rather see you there than here. Yes... you were right here along side me, weren't you? So, what have you been doing lately? Ah... looking for a place to snuggle in to, aren't you? Hmmm. Well, you'll have to look elsewhere. And while you're at it, you'd better find a big place for the rest of these pounds to live as I'm very motivated to see you gone.
That chocolate bar that helped you to get here is now replaced by this juicy clementine. That hour watching Days of Our Lives (sorry soap fans) is now consumed with gym or Wii time. You know those dumbbells and other equipment? The dust is cleared so I can start making new dust... on the sofa.
So, I'm not terribly upset that you're not with me any longer. But, do come back and visit as I need to be reminded that you WERE here, and you are gone. It will be the best motivation ever.
Your old comfy and doughy friend.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Windsor Triathlon 2009 was, without a doubt, the worst event I've been to yet. Though they had to change the venue to Tecumseh, due to a long strike by workers with the City of Windsor, their 14 year record of this event was unbelievable.
The night before... we went to the swimming section. What? A breakwall with one, single person ladder? Are you freakin' kidding me? Well, we'll be asking a question about that later. The 15KM bike route - wonderfully flat and the 3KM run as well.
Race Kit pickup - the 'gift bag' was just that. A string back pack type of bag with a water bottle and a blank swim cap. No shirt, no promotional materials, notta. I get it... the money will be better used for the charity the money is being raised for. BUT it would have been nice to know ahead of time. We left on the Friday as the event was 3.5 hours away from our home, and stayed the weekend.
Oh, the pre-race pasta dinner. Totally forgot about that. Perhaps a last minute communication reminding us about it would have helped. As well, instead of us having to ask questions on rules or how the event was going to start in the water would have been a big help and enhance the event quality. Alas, upon asking, 'you'd be walked out 20 meters, told to start and come back up the ladder.'. Really... I mean.... really... come on. We thought about it more and thought, well, okay, if everyone is spaced out in the swimming abilities, it could work.
Race day - humidity begins (believe it ended up being 43C that day). We watch the first set of Elites and real triathletes. It all seems to work out just fine. We get up there. Here are the rules folks. NO Dolphin Diving. No Walking (it is shallower, but you will HAVE to swim). Hmmm. I'm okay with this. I should mention that their pre-race rule on the website mentions no wetsuits for this division, and as you an only imagine, there were a few. Were the rules enforced? Heck no... arg. But the water was a nice 77F.
So, we get out to our 20 meters, the horn blows and as I start swimming (though the water is a frustrating level of waist deep), the majority of athletes are walking and using their arms to pull them through the water. Event staff are in the water, and no one says anything. I repeat an earlier statement... Really.... come on.... Really. So, why the heck should I be working my butt off? Again... really... come on.... And you can only imagine what happens next! 98% of the athletes finish and get to the ladder at less than 6 minutes in. Yay! Really... Yay! And as some people push and shove to get to the ladder first, no staff is there to maintain the crowd. We stand in the, maybe, waist high water, chatting about our frustration, cooling down because, well, we had enough time to fully recover from the swim, and stand in the slimy bottom, seaweed filled water.
Okay, so with all that energy, be prepared to still have slime on your feet as you climb the stainless steel steps of the ladder and, as we saw in previous waves, slip and fall on the first step. I would think that by seeing one person do it, staff would have had done something to provide grip on that first step. Again... really!? Come on... really!
We get to the bikes. We run the bikes out on the grass to the road. Okay. Now it feels like a race. So I'm off. I've been doing a bit more practicing on the bike, so am feeling a burn, but can do it. Was passing some people. Yay. Look at me go. And then you hear *honk*. You can imagine my reaction... Really? Are you freaking kidding me? Really? Come on... who the heck are these event staff and exactly what are their roles? Are the police merely on a coffee break? Two of us biking at a good pace being forced off the paved road and onto a very unstable gravel area, even though four cars have two lanes fully open to them. I'm not happy. In fact, if I wasn't Christian, I would have said a few choice words and stopped in front of their cars, throwing my time and theirs. I was livid. But, alas, I continued. I mean, how much worse can it get? I continue on, learning how to deal with traffic though it wasn't part of the event. I get to the turn around point and think, yay... wind at my back. Not so much. It's just turned and now we have a 7.5KM bike into the wind.
On the way back, we still find cars driving. The wind in our face, needing to find the right position to be able to keep momentum up. Hey! I see the transition area! Yay! Oh wait... a car decides to pull out and try to turn. Really? Come on... really? That wasn't preventable? I mean, did they tell the owners and residents of these houses about the event? So, I hesitated for a few moments to ensure my personal safety. I was not happy.
So I'm in transition, get to rack my bike. Oops, I'm one row too far. Oh well, have to go down it and rack in my spot. Really?!??!?! Come on, really? Bikes thrown astray all over the rows, very few racked them, they didn't care where their stuff was. I had to hop over things with bike in hand. But, I made it and started the same transition route out to the run. I get out to the road and again, there must have been twins out on the road today, driving... I wonder why event staff and police couldn't, at the very least, detour cars COMPLETELY away from the start/finish lines of the transition area. I hesitate again for a few moments as I'd rather live to see my children than win this stupid race. The race was hot. The water station, I swear, boiled their water... the staff had no forsight to perhaps keep water on ice or something. My goodness.
And the race finishes. Thank freaking heavens! I had just about had enough. I did alright, but my mental state won over my physical state on this race. There were people that would have been an easy 10-15 minutes behind me on the swim that ended up beating me entirely. When I went to check the times, was I surprised that the chiptime had not recorded my bike or run times? Really? No... but was happy to hear they had back up people doing timing (whatever that meant). There were no medals, no acknowledgments at the end of the race. Just a nice, flouride size, cup of hot water to cool you down. No shade, nothing.
The draw prizes were okay, but they didn't even start that until 1:30pm (our race was supposed to start earlier in the day, and we didn't get out to start until about 10:15. Awards were supposed to start at 11:30). Grass infested with flying/jumping spiders, swarms of ants and even larger swarms of grasshoppers as we sit under a tree and wait for them to get organized.
And what to the winners get? My sister, who won 1st place in her age category, received a certificate in a frame. No name, no specific age category. I was disappointed for her. Every other race we've been to, you'd at least receive a bronze/silver/gold. But alas, it was for the best as truly, this wasn't a race at all... it was merely a very poorly organized timed workout.
So, for 2010, this event will have a big NO GO in my books. Yay for the many volunteers... nay for the many volunteers who were either sunbathing instead of doing their job, or listening to their i-pods not caring about the athletes and their safety.
I'm glad it's done...
Now I can return to my happy mood.... and look forward to Saturday's "Mistubishi City Chase" in Toronto.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
By golly! If you have a chance to enter the Women's Triathlon in Kincardine, I strongly encourage it. The event was well-run! Aside from the 64 degree water temperature and the rain that appeared before the race, we had fabulous weather. The swim was a huge mental obstacle for many of us who had preconceived ideas of how we were going to get through it. Well, that went out the door as soon as we entered the water. If you're going to do a triathlon in open water, be smart and rent a wetsuit. Not only does it keep you warmer, it will keep you afloat while you figure out how to get through it. Another tip - take a bucket so you can rinse the sand from your feet. The bike was fun. I know I could have biked a lot harder, and will make a note of that for the next one. I am weakest on the bike which means I have 3 weeks to get these legs strengthened up for the next 'tri'. I took Tree's advice and tried to spit on the little but very steep hill. I learned quickly that Karma worked on that hill's behalf. I switched gears and thought my chain had come off. Then realized that now that I'm a third way up the hill, I have absolutely no momentum. The volunteers at the top of the hill had company - two women OPP officers. They were getting a chuckle out of my folly. And no, they would not give me a police escort to the finish line *sigh*. I made it, but know I could have done better. The transition area was fun. My brain wasn't functioning properly and the volunteer helped me rack my bike. The wobbly legs were not appealing at all. But the run ended up being more of a walk while high fiving and encouraging others. The bike and run were absolutely beautiful for scenery... right on the water. All in all, I completed the 350m swim, 12K bike and the 3K run in 1:18. I was hoping for 75 minutes... but am quite okay with this time. The last tri I did, I relent, the 15K bike took me 75 minutes alone. So, I'll give myself encouragement where it is due. Countdown to Windsor ~ 3 weeks. This time, I'll make time for training and see where the results lie. Yay to the women!
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