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Friday faves

Thank you for all your kind comments on my Oliver Half Iron race report. My armpits and heel are healing nicely!

This Friday I thought I’d write about a few things I’m loving lately.

1. Guess what I got in the mail this week? A gorgeous bracelet from Breanna at The Soul Shakedown! She makes beautiful bracelets and sells them on her Etsy shop, Bracelets by Breanna. I won one the other week and had a tough time choosing which one I wanted. I went with the turquoise and elephant bracelet since I adore elephants.


Love it!

2. Babies. The goslings have finally arrived! Harold and I found them on a walk the other day. There is something so amazing about all the baby animals in spring.


We haven’t seen ducklings yet, but I’m on the lookout!

3. Family. My parents watched Harold for us this past weekend and always take great care of him.

When we pulled up to our house early Monday morning, we were shocked to see my mom weeding our yard!  Talk about kindness. I’ve completely neglected the weeds this year and they were out of control.

4. Nike. Kelly bought me this Nike Touch Tailwind tank the other day. Not only is orange my favourite colour, but I also am in love with the soft texture and the cute back!

Click photo for source.

Click photo for source.

5. The sky. One of the things I love most about cycling is being outside and being in awe of everything I see, from wide open fields and soaring mountains to farm and wild animals to beautiful skies.


I had to stop during my ride last night to snap this photo. Beautiful, right?

Happy Friday!

What are you loving lately? 


This weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada. Not only did this mean a three-day weekend, but it also meant time to spend with family and to reflect on all we have to be thankful for.

I had a great weekend, complete with dinner with my parents, a Thanksgiving feast with almost all my extended family, and time with the hubby and pup.

In no particular order, here are some things I’m thankful for:

  • A kind, loving husband who I have so much fun with regardless what we do.

  • A pup who can run like the wind, loves the outdoors, and greets me like he hasn’t seen me in months whether it’s been five minutes or nine hours.

  • A hilarious niece, fabulous parents, compassionate sister and brother-in-law, and in-laws that I actually love!
  • Health, and a body that carries me through many adventures.

  • Time to travel.

What are you thankful for?

IM Canada 2012 – the bike

180km/112 mile bike: 6:49:12
T2: 4:59

The Ironman Canada bike ride has been touted as gorgeous with challenging terrain and one of the most spectacular bikes on the Ironman circuit.

I think I have to agree with the first point- it was stunning and the hills and rollers were breathtaking!

I was so happy to be finished one discipline and starting the second.

I realized I messed up my Garmin so spent a while with my head down trying to figure it out! I also wore my jacket, knowing I’m always super cold. I ended up taking it off quite quickly, but was still glad I had it in my back pockets in case the elevations were stormy.

I saw my aunt and uncle soon after I left transition and was so grateful they were there cheering us on!

We started riding through Penticton and I got passed by what felt like hundreds of people. I read a lot of IMCA race reports from previous years and they all said to go slow at the beginning when it’s flat and your adrenaline is pumping. Also, although my biking really improved this year, biking is still my weakest leg. And I had a long distance and lots of climbing to tackle.

The whole time I was hoping Kelly would pass me soon so I’d know he safely made it out of the lake. I got my wish soon enough when I heard him calling me! He slowed down and we talked for a couple minutes before he flew away!

The first 60km were pretty uneventful. I was passed a lot, I tried to fuel up, and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

The first major hill is Richter’s Pass, climbing 1,270 feet in elevation over seven miles with grades ranging from 5-9%. There were tons of spectators on the climb, and they were so encouraging! I had a smile on my face the whole time. I also passed quite a few people on the uphill, which was a good confidence booster. I was really happy I decided to use my road bike for this course to better ride the hills. (Most people I passed flew by me as soon as we declined, as I am too scared to go faster than 50km/hour!)

This is also where I saw my parents! I can’t stress enough how great it is to have spectators during an Ironman. It is such a boost!

The views throughout the climb and up top were a great distraction from the challenging nature of the course. There were countless vineyards and large fruit farms with their rows of trees. Luckily, it was really hot out as there have been pretty bad storms at the top of Richter’s in the past.

I didn’t mind the heat, although I was worried about how I was doing with my nurtition. I didn’t have a plan and tried to take in liquid and other fuel often, but it wasn’t easy with the constant climing.

The middle portion of the race is seven somewhat challenging hills in succession, known as the seven sisters or seven b**ches. I didn’t mind them, but I was definitely starting to tire at this point and wonder how I’d finish the bike and then run a marathon.

I broke the bike into three 60km sections to help me out mentally. I think it worked pretty well. I knew special needs was around 120km and then Yellow Lake, the final climb, was at 140km.

Before the special needs you do almost an L of two out and backs. I ended up seeing Kelly here after his second out and back just before I hit my first. (This was after he ate and drank at special needs for about 15 minutes!) We yelled a quick hi to eachother before he zoomed away again!

As you approach special needs, there’s one more tight turn. A girl in front of me bailed, but thankfully was going slow. Turns out she fell again and took another rider with her when she was grabbing her special needs bag near where I was.

In my opinion, take your time at aid stations and turns. It’s so much safer to lose a bit of time than to be careless (especially if your biking around where I am=not fast)!

I stopped completely to take my bag and grab a water from an aid station. I had rice krispie squares in my special needs that I was craving so I ate a couple while standing there! I carried all my own fuel (salted pretzels, Honey Stinger Chews, PowerBar Harvest Bar) and only took one water from them, as I had all my own liquids (Nuun), too. However, the volunteers at all the aid stations were awesome at cheering!

A little while after the special needs I stopped to use the bathroom before getting back on, ready to finish the last leg of the bike!

We had one more climb to conquer: Yellow Lake. Apparently it’s about 20km and you climb over 1,000 feet of elevation.  It’s not nearly as steep as Richter’s; however, at the late stage of the bike it was supposed to be tough.

It was the hardest part of the day for me. My lady parts were sore, I was tired, and I was ready to get off the bike. I persevered and kept pushing when I really just wanted to take it easy.

A guy and I went back and forth a few times and we both lamented how we thought we were at the top a couple times before realizing we still had climbing to finish!

After Yellow Lake, it’s a lot of downhill into Penticton. I braked a lot but still really enjoyed the rest for my legs! Once we got into Penticton, I was all smiles again knowing that once I got off the bike I only had my favourite part to go.

There’s a part near the end of the bike where you see the runners heading out. It was crazy hot at this point and the runners looked like they were pretty exhausted. Yikes- I wondered what the run had in store for me.

I kept my eyes out for Kelly and ended up seeing him again!! He called out for me to come and catch him and I thought there is no way in heck.

The crowds were incredible the closer you got to transition. The energy really helped to finish strong! Into transition I saw my parents and aunt and uncle and couldn’t wait to get out onto the run.

They had so many volunteers, so one grabbed my bike to rack for me. I must have had the biggest grin on my face when I let go of my bike!!

I hobbled to get my special needs bag and went back into the female tent. I changed my shorts, emptied the pockets of my shirt, changed socks and shoes, put on a visor, and put some fuel into my shirt (salt pills, a gel, and Sport Beans).

Again, I went and got sunscreen put on me. The volunteer seemed taken aback at how burnt part of my back was. But I couldn’t feel a thing and left transition SO happy to be running.

Next up…the 42.2km/26.2mile run in the blazing sun!

Previous posts:

Oregon awe

Family time. Runs on the beach. Smuggler’s Cove crepes. The sound of the ocean combined with gulls crying. An adorable cottage. Naps in the sand. Bike rides on the beach. Dinner on the dunes.

That pretty much sums up the holiday, but here are some pictures to show the beauty of it!

First stop – Seattle sightseeing

First run on the beach – love the hard-packed sand!

Perfect beach for flying a kite!

Kelly went for a dip, but I just couldn’t brave the temps


Have you ever been to the Oregon coast? What do you love most about the ocean?