Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Merry Christmas everyone!!
I hope you are all very busy elaborating some lovely dream ideas for 2010 and spending some great times with your friends and family.
Christmas in St-Sauveur my clan has been so fun! Although, I must say...there was a rather surprising amount of -dog talk- going on around here. I was amused to see mom and the other dog fans (Ariane and Sean) exchange...DOG STOCKINGS!!!...
(Ariane at the dog stocking exchange)
And that is all that I am going to write on this blog but it gets much, much more extreme. CHILDREN I SAY!!! This is just the beginning of an idea of what it was like:
(Ariane and Sean, imagining that Lucas is the hushpuppy that they are getting in January)
(Simeon, all dressed up for the evening????!!!!)
Oh and there was some holiday training! (Apparently we each have our obsessions...haha). So I don't know if you remember that getting back to training had been rough! I mean I bonked twice on some relatively short bike rides and gave out some long (though not so intense) efforts. That got my body back to work! And Lance rewarded me with some active recovery between Christmas and the new year. He gave me an idea of the quantity of training I should do but other than that, I was FREEEEE!
So I played around lots and made it ....different...I had fun, that's for sure. And I am staying focused on my weight and core strength program though! Loving it.
Here, I was going to include a video I did about my core strength routine, trip overview, fun at the pool and winter sauna activities but there seem to be a problem with formatting and I can't upload it to the blog. :(
My friend extraordinaire gave me a flip cam. I plan to post more videos from now on. Having plenty of fun with that!
Today is my last day back in St-Sauveur. Tomorrow morning early, I am heading back home. And tomorrow night, I will be celebrating the new year with my friends in Victoria.
I wanted to think of a memorable thing to do on january first...so I wrote Denise and Hillerie and told them it would be fun to do a Jan first ocean swim (wetsuit allowed) in front of the beach house for who ever dared to join. BUT it turns out the people in Victoria are my kind of people and there are already such races organized. They named me like four fun races that I could choose to do on Jan first, at least one of them included freezing our bums off WITHOUT a wetsuit in a lake (YYYYYEYEEEAAAHHAHH!!!!). There is even a run race around the lake where you have to make it passed a certain point at 11 am, or as close to that time as you can, you leave whenever you want from point A and have to make it to point B by 11am. That is how you win the race. PACE YOURSELF. That should be a good one to try although I am not sure I will win that. Maybe I should race Lance and if I beat him, he will never, ever be allowed to tell me that I don't pace myself well!!! (Well, I can't complain, he has never actually said anything that negative to me anyways, but Ironman training will come and I get the feeling I will hear something about pacing one day!).
Anyways, I will make sure I report about what we actually decide to do on January first. LET'S HAVE FUN AND START THE YEAR WITH SOME ADVENTURE!!!!
I have to leave now, I am going downstairs with mom, she wants me to show her my strength training routine and compete with me.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Heading back to my family is today’s mission... and I know I will soon be stepping out of the airport in Montreal , flipping up my furry hood and breathing in some –more than fresh- air.
These past two weeks spent at the mouse pad (in case you are not familiar with the term, it is what my coach has decided to name my place on the ocean), have been fantastic. Many things have happened and in the last days, things have changed. And again, they have changed for the best.
First, (drums please), I HAVE SENT OUT MY THESIS and it has landed on Dr. Pearsall’s desk. You should have seen me at the copy counter in Victoria, as I waited for my three copies to be born. Two years later, I was finaly standing there with my beautiful 3 piles of the 97 most important pages of my life. So pleased, even as I had to poke the wholes manually through the three copies to bind them. Shipped out friends!
Stepping out of the post office, empty handed felt delicious. A January first kind of feeling, a couple of days in advance. Since then, I am finaly living the way I always dreamed to: I have found one thing that I really love to do, it has become my job and I am finaly feeling like I can let my self just freely live a passion.
What feels different?
There is something very tasty about a little excess....especially when it can be the pathway to success. I am letting myself lose a bit of balance. And I have decided it would be like this for this part of my life, it is the time for that right now, so I will savour it. It is the time to become truly absorbed with what I do. I feel like I can finaly freely give in to passion. I have been savouring every single aspect of my new life.
Now, It feels like every minute climbing hills on my bike and every minute that goes by with running shoes or goggles on is just so much more....precious.
Mount Dug run trails...
There is no feeling of urgency because the priority is in the moment. No more of that part of my attention that thinks about other studies than the important one: To train in the moment, to find a way to make my dreams happen. The good thing about passion is that it is very contageous .
Did I ever tell you how much I like to get muddy? (Curt got real fast on the bike, I draft him now, or at least try to. That helps me get all muddy! )
Thank goodness Passion adds to passion. And I have been enjoying not only doing what I do, but also sharing it....sharing it with my friend, with those that are following a parallel path, with those that are working on it with us (my coach, our coaches). The more passion you share, the deeper you are absorbed, the better it feels when you lace up your running shoes and go out on the everyday mission. Seems like every day spent living like this is a true blessing.
I have had a good week in that state of mind, riding my bike all around , along the ocean, in the mountains, riding with Curt. Discovering amazing hilly forest trails, running to the top of Mount Dug. Swimming at the pool and crossing paths with fellow athletes ....all on the same mission. Most of the time, a very brief exchange, like that wave and water toss that Simon gave me with a smile as he caught his breath before heading into another fast interval. Then was gone, on his own mission.
I am also enjoying having time to think about other details that I hadn’t focused on before...like getting to know my equipment better. Curt and I went to a bike mechanic course at the bike store (pro city cycling) that was amazing because Bill tought us pretty much everything you should know about a bike in two hours.
He even embarrassed me to come in from of our class of five to show him that I could adjust my gears on my own now. Hey! I took it seriously and was very proud to give myself a style when I adjusted the rear derailor... HA! See!!!just like the guys at the bike shop!! Hehehe....Anyways, I am now on a mission to find out pretty much every thing there is to know about my bike. I am also working on my nutrition and trying to figure out a good plan for this year. I am also finaly organizing myself with my Garmin equipment and softwear, Computrainer, all of that fun stuff....loving it!
Today, I am heading back home to the snowy, Christmassy atmosphere of St-Sauveur. I will get to see my family again and celebrate some more! Looking forward to it!
I hope you are all enjoying your time getting ready for some fun holiday adventures.
Cheers to all!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
There are now just two more days of -everything and anything- left before training begins again!
Since I had said I should go out and party, I stuck to the plan and went out the other night with Curtis and Jen. I really enjoyed myself. Discovering the Victoria night life with them was good and a -different-, yet fun experience for a girl from Montreal. The evening started out at a store called Freedom that they turn into a bar about once every month. You can actually purchase clothes and shoes during the evening and make pretty good deals (oh my! Toronto was not good for me. Here I am going on about shopping again!). Anyways, I met some interesting people and enjoyed the more layed-back atmosphere of the Victoria night life. There is a natural feel to it. We later went to a bar called Element, which I enjoyed as I got to dance all I wanted to some good music. Jennifer and I were also very lucky as Curtis seemed to be our personal body guard during the evening. -Pleased to meet you, and this is our body guard, mister Champion, Curtis Champion.-hahaha... We girls have strategy! Closed the bar, and were left hungry for more!
And as it is always great to taste the extreme, the next day, I got up late and stayed at home on my computer and FINALLY went for my first walk on my little beach in the afternoon.
Here is what I had envisioned for my first walk on the beach: Just me clearing my mind of technical thoughts, filling it up with big dreams, walking slowly, feet in the sand, teasing the edge of the waves, taking breaths of the fresh ocean air, looking for shells, listening to some good songs, meditating and walking all the way past that point that I have always been curious about.
Now here is what it actually was like: I opened the door and seized when I took my first breath. HOUH! cold. Went back in to get my tuque and scarf, came back out looking like a snow man, walked down to the beach in my running shoes, never even considered taking them off, turned to the left to start walking , smiled, got whipped violently by the first cold bit of the -wind storm-, stood there surprised, searched and found the smile again, started my precipitated walk leaning against the wind, eyes on that point at the end of the beach.
The dream had suddenly become a mission. I WOULD hear my divine music even though the wind was blowing my speakers off my ears and making it inaudible, I WOULD be able to meditate even if it meant counting the rocks and shells I followed on the fastest line to the point at the end of the beach, I WOULD feel nice and relaxed even though my lips and finger tips and ears were to turn blue, I WOULD get that feeling of freedom I was seeking on that beach walk...but....unfortunately, I WOULD not make it to the point at the end of the beach. When after fifteen minutes of shell following and shoe watching, a big frozen wave caught my toes (so much for my teasing the waves huh!), I suddenly fell out of denial and ran back home on the deserted, grey beach, chased by the frozen sea breeze. Ha! And that was the best part of the beach walk! I was feeling cold YET..... FREE!
I went back home and later heard they had a name for this kind of freezing windy, meteorological situation here in Victoria. It was a -wind storm-, these are very common during the winter here, and that one was pretty big. I was invited to have dinner at Hillerie and John's place, they mentioned that a -Wind Storm- was coming! OUH! (I thought to myself: you sure it has not come yet? ha!), after dinner Curtis and Jen thought it would be great to go see the wind rise the waves over the breakwater.
We went to chilly downtown Victoria and the tide was down, we didn't see much. No, nothing but the beautiful Christmas scene, the tide was too low. I went back home to find out...the party was at my place!!! It was crazy, I struggled to get through the wooden door that the wind was pushing against me before I was able to head down to my place. I woke up during the night, thinking my house would be ripped off the beach and driven into the sky just like in the wizard of oz. The next morning, I woke up as captain Mags, having breakfast in a crazy ocean storm. Looking out my kitchen window to see stranded shipmates
This place is EPIC! I LOVE IT! AND WOULD GO BACK FOR A FROZEN WALK ON THE BEACH OR DOROTHY EXPERIENCE ANYTIME. MY LITTLE HOUSE ON THE BEACH MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE!!
In other news...for the dog lovers: This little guy's name is Lucas. Mom got him from Calgary. He is the new addition to the family.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I have been on Tri-vacations for two weeks now with just a few trainings to do. Nice and easy, all in liberty!
To me, this part of the year is just as important as the rest for performance. I believe that in order to achieve great things, you have to savour and remember every little achievement on the way, then use it as a pillar for building the rest. And also...be able to remember the importance of BALANCE.
Right now, I am savouring the last step I took this year, taking some time to give myself a pat in the back. I am taking some time to visit the other extreme, the other parts of me that I have put aside and can't explore freely when training hard. The parts of me that I go back to when I need strength and inspiration later in the year.
After Clearwater, there was no more structured training. I am afraid to say, the first week was not so resourceful, as my bum didn't really enjoy being on (such a hard) chair for long hours, working on the final details and corrections on the thesis (YES! I KNOW!!! I AM PRETTY SURE IT IS DONE NOW!!!! F-I-N-A-L-Y!). Still, I enjoyed studying from that hard chair since it was in my little house in the beautiful valley of my favorite little ski town. I was with mom again and with her wiener babies.
Yess....some people really like their dogs...
I love the country, it helps me feel free. I enjoyed little escapes, walks with mom between chunks of studying, going to get food at the village in the already Christmasy atmosphere ( I love the holidays). I enjoyed going to the pool, just to play as I wished. Just playing, loving to swim, stopping whenever I wanted, just a little revenge for all those times I didn't allow myself to in the year. Now WHENEVER I WANTED, sprinting WHENEVER I FELT IT! And nobody would tell me to keep on pushing, not even myself! ha! Oh! how I enjoyed training with a little evil grin on my face!!! I got into some games....sure you have played: Racing each of the 25m sprints that the mystery man in the next lane declared once in a while. Seriously! I did lots of that with a big smile on my face. I once also got a couple of 25m sprint men that relay-raced me good! (In case you don't know, those are the dudes that get in the pool, stay on the side, watch you get tired, and make you a sprint victim once in a while, ever met any of those, they can be very useful, actually I might have been one of those myself when I first started swimming with the big fish!!!).
I even had some fun with great music on the trainer rides!!! Fun and play in training. No stress.
Oh...here I am talking about training again! STOP! The title of this blog is balance (maybe that is why!) and this is the off season!
So....I would prefer to tell you about how, on my way back to my little beach house inVictoria, I stopped in Toronto to visit my sister Ariane and her new husband, the amazing Sean. I love them and ..they spoiled me rotten. First, they flew me there. I talk to much to get into details but I should say the week-end started with champagne off the plane, included a taste of Sake the next day to enhance the taste of the best sushi in Toronto and ended with a delicious brunch....that left me wanting more mimosa....ehheheeh. (What? Remember the words! -Balance- and -off season-. Thank you.) Now, unfortunately, we did not spend all our time eating as we HAD to get to work: So much hard work my friends.....Playing princess with my sister Ariane. Shopping, Toronto style. AAAAaaaaah! Bringin' out the -girly- side this week-end for sure.
And....since training must always be considered, I also went running with Sean, Ariane and the dogs at the beaches. Good times doing what I love with the people I love.
Oh and also...I must tell you that I realized that it was not only my mom that had a thing for dogs. Sean and Ariane have a boxer and also took me -shopping- for a new baby hush puppy on the week-end. The next addiction ...oh sorry....I meant addition to their new family.
So I am back in Victoria now.
Wanting to train but thinking that I will enjoy being LAZY ME for a few more days before I put it aside for another -long- time COMBAT! heheeh. Tonight! To the movies with Curtis and Jennifer. That will be fun. I also want to go out dancing later this week. Here as some other things I want to do: Surfing, snowboarding, riding a motocross again, playing violin again, going to a Spa, going on a club med dream vacation, reading more, learning things, cooking, discovering new recipes! But only a few more days before work starts again! I'll make sure I take note of these ideas for later.
HAVE FUN EVERYONE!!!!!