Since I've started working out, it seems that the clock no longer ticks so loud. I have found peace and happiness and I am having a blast, every single day that I let those endorphins run free. These pictures are proof that there is a way out.
|Happy New Year 2012!|
|Icy baths trigger my Raynaud's. D'uh!|
|I love running tights, oh the freedom!|
Then we get snow!! It's a miracle, so I go snowboarding with my older son after a 5yr interruption and I don't break any bones or get a concussion, another miracle!
|I look much better than I board|
|Chloe in her element|
I start swimming regularly, discover a few pools around Brampton, big and small. I try Total Immersion, but find my groove with Swim Smooth. I watch a LOT of swimming videos on You Tube, I make a few of myself as well. I really look like a turd in the pool.
I finish the month conquering Heartbreak Hill at Around the Bay relay race with hubbs.
|On the way to the top|
I go rollerblading for fun. I still can't believe how great that day was, we need to go back! Once a year is definitely not enough.
|Roller skating old skool|
|At my mom's home in Paris|
|Riri call home|
The travels continue, I go to Los Angeles for work and visit my favorite spot, Santa Monica pier. Too bad it was pretty cold, because I could have jumped in the ocean.
|Santa Monica Pier|
Usually during those travels, I try to walk everywhere and run as often as I can. I didn't run that time though, I was tapering for the Mississauga Marathon. Coming back home though, I felt like running again and I remember those skies when we dropped my sons to sport camps and we went out for a run. I love me some dramatic skies.
A week later, I run the Mississaga Marathon - y'all know by now how that went. Below is a pic from when people could still be seen around.
|Running Mississauga - it's a beautiful day!|
My pet fish Chloe dies unexpectedly, and we welcome Calypso. She is tiny but feisty!
|Calypso is in the house!|
I also welcome Neo, my Cervelo One tri bike and I have my first (and only) professional bike fit done. Neo is also tiny, 650c wheels, 50" high, but it fits my 5'3" frame perfectly. We've been happy together so far.
|Riri meet Neo, Neo meet Riri|
June was rainy and hot. I met my friend Troy's dog Max. Puppy butt.
|Did I just say puppy butt?|
Dork face after a run in the rain.
|Does this wet tshirt make me look hot?|
|Full body flotation device|
My husband buys me THE triathlon watch, the mighty Garmin 910XT. And I go nuts.
|OMG OMG OMG!!!|
Oh, and did I mention that I start biking a lot?
|Breaking the Velominati's Rules.|
I feel the happiest that I've been in my life. This triathlon training did the trick! I needed to capture the moment, so I took a pic, which became my new avatar.
|I can't believe this feeling|
I keep on swimming and I fall in love with Professor's Lake where I do 2-3 loops every Thursday with the Brampton FMCT Tri Club.
|Crystal clean Professor's Lake|
I still love my bike and I buy an aero drink bottle so I stop falling on my face while trying to reach for the other bottles while I ride. Look, ma, no hands! I also ride in the rain and I feel confident that I can do this!
|I'm legit, bitches.|
I even conquer Horseshoe Hill multiple times for fun. Ok, not really for fun, but because coach Dave said so.
|Horseshoe Hill, complete with sunshine and deer flies.|
Eventually, it all leads to this. I become a triathlete. Hell yeah!!
|I'm still standing|
And then I relax in Algonquin. We hike a lot, we swim, bike, run a little.
|Coffee, compression socks and sandals.|
We geocache wherever we go because it makes it even more fun.
We even jump from bridges into the water with our clothes on because we'd be fools not to.
I buy myself a new swimsuit because all the previous ones turned into parachutes. Not sure what else we do aside from the usual. It seems like a blur. It must have involved some running though, since I prepare for the Toronto Scotiabank Marathon.
|Spinning round and round high above ground|
I meet Chrissie Wellington and I get inspired to keep on triathloning.
|Chrissie and I, all smiles|
Then I do the immersive experience, volunteering as a "catcher" at Ironman Muskoka 70.3. I have a blast, I get to meet the "stars" such as Rachel Joyce and Tom Lowe and witness some very dramatic situations. This is definitely harder than it looks!
I promise myself to go down this chute the following year.
So I bike some more...
and I run some more...
And mornings are hard... do I really need to go out at 5:30 am??
|Who turned on the light?!|
Thankfully there are protein bars to keep me going because it's way too early to prepare breakfast.
|Guess my favorite|
And the long runs become really long, like the 32k one I did in France (again!) on the Coulee Verte du Sud Parisien...
... plus a "recovery walk" the same day to visit a castle and smell the flowers (and munch on apples) with my friend Frederique.
|Castles are everywhere|
Continued my European visit with another trip to London for work and came back with an ingrown nail thanks to running too much on heels between trains and meetings. It hurt. A LOT.
|I was supposed to run here, dammit!|
To add to my stupidity, I also buy my first pair of minimalist shoes, the New Balance Minimus WR00 and I overdo it, that is I run 1h40 the first time I wear them because they feel so good, like running barefoot. Oh well, I keep on learning from my mistakes. A week before the Toronto Marathon, oops.
Anyway, I take on a good dose of painkillers and line up for the marathon anyway, with hubbs nonetheless.
My third, his first, and we both cross the finish line with a smile on our face. Mission accomplished, we can now put a seal on this season, but not before...
We sign up for Ironman Muskoka 70.3 and celebrate with Muskoka beer, wheee!
And coach starts giving me treadmill and indoor bike workouts, which really hurt.
|Intervals, intervals, intervals.|
But then in December, I start spinning again and I have a blast.
|Spin, baby, spin!|
And find new trails around the office, which keep me sane... most of the time.
|Let the sunshine in|
As well as a new gym, which I start frequenting on my lunch breaks.
When the weather permits, I put my Ninja on, my purple sweater and my tights and I go out and run again... The loop is looped. Another year awaits, the warrior in me is ready to fight.
This is my life, this is who I am now. An athlete, a mom, wife, cubicle slave and business traveler. I could not be here without the support of my family, my friends and the online blogging community, as well as Facebook, Runkeeper, Twitter and Fitocracy. Many thanks to all my friends, near and far, I feel that together we can move mountains.
I am really happy to have found this passion for running and triathlons, which turned into a lifestyle that keeps on shaping me inside and out every day. I am also deeply humbled by all your efforts and seeing you giving your all in races and personal challenges. You are my inspiration and I hope to be able to inspire you in return.
In Memoriam : Ron Gehring
Ron was one of my reasons to get out of bed every day. He was a great friend, always kind and supportive of my efforts and even if we never met, it felt like I'd known him forever. He was an avid cyclist and trail runner and he was looking forward to A Bigger New Year. We motivated each other to finish our first marathons last year and we even had a friendly competition between us to do an Ironman first.
Ron was in a bike accident on Wednesday and he suffered extensive brain injuries. He left this world last night at 6pm. RIP Ron and heartfelt condolences to his family, wife Debra and son Ashton. I will keep on racing you, Ron!