This Week’s Triathlon Good Things


Three things from the week making me a better triathlete:

1) Wednesday Night’s Disappointing Swim

This is the time of year to establish a baseline for swimming, and at Wednesday night’s session, Pacific Spirit Triathlon Club swim coach Liz gave us 5 x 200’s to determine an average for future pacing. She instructed us to push ourselves to a sustainable, hard pace, but I didn’t. I was too conservative. I hung back. I wimped out. My average does not reflect what I can do. I was frustrated with my performance, but in the past two days, that frustration has turned to determination in pushing myself to my true limit in the future.

2) Sleeping Late

Instead of leaving my bed at the typical 5:00 a.m., I stayed under the covers for an extra hour several mornings this week to accommodate a tired body and mind on the fritz. I blame increased training, a lingering cold, and the rain.  With recent articles describing the physical and mental benefits of adequate shut-eye, I enjoyed the 60 minutes of sleep without guilt.

3) Vancouver Running Festival

This fall’s inaugural Vancouver Running Festival sounds fun. The event, more than a simple replacement of the canceled Rock-n-Roll Vancouver races, will feature several running races through the city, an expo, and perhaps more important, an organized effort to promote Vancouver as a thriving running town. From October 20th to 22nd, the full spectrum of local running – clubs, teams, pros, amateurs, events, services, vendors, histories – will be on display. If the multi-day format inspires a similar triathlon or multisport festival, that’d be cool too.

More Reasons Why Triathlon Is Good For You

I ran across this terrific summary of the qualities that athletes bring to their jobs. I sometimes sound vague when describing the positive link between my triathlon thing and my career thing so this article is going in my “Career” folder on Dropbox.

Any other traits you would add?

Why Your Next Hire Should Be an Athlete


This Is Not A Hill

Blog Title

When I first ran up this road in Stanley Park, I struggled to breathe. My lungs and legs burned. I doubted that I would reach the flatness of Prospect Point, doubted my decision to try this triathlon thing. That was me five years ago running the BMO Vancouver half marathon when the climb to and over Prospect Point was the most cursed section of the course.

About a month ago, in the final weeks leading up to IRONMAN 70.3 Cabos, I completed six up and down repeats of this hill (plus run warm-ups and 6:20 sprints at the end). There was some discomfort, but I mostly felt the hot satisfaction inside my gut for seeing my legs and arms move in good form. My training through the spring and summer was paying off, and completing the race under the Mexican sun seemed possible, satisfying, even enjoyable.

Thanks to my improved physical fitness, the hill is no longer a hill.

Instead, other hills spread in front of me.

It is not the hill of doubt about my decision to shift my career sideways and launch a freelance writing service in my early 40s.

It is not the hill of summer loneliness that left a canyon each day, swelling up in the afternoons after the rested mornings, crumbling when the busycookingcleaningbrushingmyteethtakingdogoutgoingtobed evenings started.

It is not the growing hill of financial worry every time I do my budget.

It is not the hill of boxes entombing my books, my family photos, my stuff from Seattle, all now stacked in our living room.

It is not the hill of never-ending steps and jumps to Canadian permanent residence.

It is not the hill of sadness with its mean switchbacks of depression when Luddo, my canine companion, stumbled and fell close to death.

One of the reasons I love triathlon is its requirement to physically and mentally push yourself to make yourself better. In the past, its training had been my way of injecting challenge and growth into my day.

Now, triathlon is a comforting refuge with its predictable pain and needed endorphin rush. Its hill is no longer my hill.

Some days, when I ungracefully and doggedly scramble over the professional and personal changes stacked  around me, I wish I could go back five years to that churning burn of Prospect Point.

To feel relief by seeing a definite peak, feeling solid wherever my feet land, stopping my running, walking a bit, and catching my breath.

First Ironman Since 2005?

Are you training for your first Ironman after a five-to-ten year break?

How’s it going? What has surprised you the most about the changes in training and racing since you last did the 140.6 swim-bike-run?

I am writing an article about what athletes now can expect when they return to Ironman after a hiatus, and I’d like to interview you.

Comment/reply below and I will follow-up with a few questions.

Thank you and happy training!

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

1) Wear, Swim, Rinse, Repeat, Recycle.

My Blueseventy Reaction wetsuit is one of the best investments in my triathlon training, and I hope to fit inside it for several seasons. When I am ready for a new suit, I will check into Blueseventy’s wetsuit recycling program to pass on my suit. Great way to be green and make triathlons/open water swimming more accessible.

2) Heirloom Vegetarian

Baja Burrito, Heirloom Vegetarian 

Vancouver has many restaurant options – fancy, takeout, casual – for nutritious and creative vegetarian and vegan meals. I am enjoying Heirloom Vegetarian and its comfortable upscale cafe/neighborhood pub vibe on 12th and Granville. I ate its delicious Baja Burrito with quinoa nut patties last Saturday and planning another visit this weekend.

3) Strength Training Makes Me Strong Sore

Strength training is returning to my weekly workouts. The side planks, hamstring curls, and other exercises focused on core and upper body are worth the time. I am sore.

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

Three things from the week making me a better triathlete:

1) The Low Down on Low Sodium

I am craving salt. Right now. Yesterday. After Wednesday’s run test. Probably tonight before bed. It’s a new and odd feeling. I am grateful to have found this blog by nurse practitioner/triathlete Susie, and her response to my question about salt-loading was helpful.

2) Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

TO2015 Notification

TO2015 Notification

Last night, I receive notification that my application to volunteer for this summer’s Pan Am & Parapan Am Games in Toronto was approved. YAY! My assignments with triathlon and cycling competitions make me even more inspired with my training.

3) Speed Theory

Speed Theory is a triathlon store on 4th Avenue in the Kitsilano neighborhood. I stopped by this week to buy a tube and cartridge, and was impressed with how much tri-goodness is crammed inside the store: bikes, bike gear, workshop, nutrition, googles, sunglasses, sitting area with tea and tv, and friendly staff.