Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Happy Things #1

These happy moments are things might be things I am digging right now, events that are happening or a past memory that is on my mind.

Our treat after Challenge Peneticton's 34 C 1/2 Ironman  triathlon.

Vancouver, you took my breath away!

Lunch with my guy at Jericho Beach. 
Ironman Canada- what a day!

River fun

Supper in the field with the kids and Grandpa and Grandma out visiting from the hospital.

A family pic before the 3 older kids left for school.

Apple pie making day!

An easy Sunday morning fat bike ride with my husband.

Walking in the backyard, enjoying the fall leaves.

Spent 15 min in 12 ish C water helping get the dock out at the lake.  So peaceful.

A Thankful Heart

I have missed this little cyber space of mine.  Posting, blogging, journaling, expressing myself, making connections.  Corny but true.  My whole social media life has taken a ride in the back seat the past while.

Change, going with the flow and adapting have been front and center.  This September was the first time in 13 years I have not returned to the classroom (as a teacher).  This change has been on my mind for a couple years and this past June, the decision was finalized.  Many reasons for this and it didn't come easy as anyone who leaves a steady job they enjoy can atone to.  But it has been the right choice for me.  The simple story- I just couldn't be superwoman anymore.  A leap of faith, scary and some fumbling involved as I find a new normal.  I am planning to pick up some teaching days when things around the farm right now so I won't be entirely out of the classroom.

So my office view looks a bit more like this these days.

Using straight cut header to combine wheat

Using pick up header to pick up canola swaths

I'm certainly not the clean up hitter but have been promoted from pinch hitter to being on the batting list full time.  It has been different.

I had full intentions of sharing a few of my frustrations on how long it has been since my last post, complain about my internet that doesn't seem to work with MY computer, whine about how exhausted I am -

but I won't.

Compared to the people who have endured terrible hardship and have lost everything in one of the many hurricanes, compared to those who are recovered from injury and those who lost a love one after the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, compared to the troubling incident in Edmonton Alberta and compared to my aunt and cousins who are just down the road, grieving the sudden loss of my uncle yesterday -

 there is a bigger picture and it doesn't have anything to do with my small inconsequential inconveniences.

In a few days, Canadians will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  Despite the difficulties we face and the turmoil in our communities or countries; we are blessed, we have many things to be thankful for.  

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I came up with an idea for Thanksgiving Bags to anonymously leave for our neighbours. (I'm pretty sure none of my neighbours read this blog!)  We will be putting these bags together in the coming days and plan to deliver them on our bikes (no noise) very early Sunday morning (like 4-5 am).

So, in tough times I am choosing to do what I always do to get me through.

 Run, trust and do good

and then repeat that tomorrow.  

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Quick Catch Up

Oh my gosh has it ever been a long time since my last post!  Vacation, training and races, lots of catch up when I got home then moving 3 kids off to the city.  So just a few words about each as teasers.

1. Vacation was a 2 week, 25th anniversary trip, with only me and my guy to British Columbia.  Lot of fun in the mountains and by the ocean: 2 of our favourite places.  No kids for about 9 or 10 days- I love my kids but it was heavenly.

2. Races kept us busy for 3 weekends in a row.  A tad bit ambitious I know.  Maybe common sense missed me when it was being handed out.  Maybe even a bit more unbelievable is the fact that we didn't really taper for any of them but swam, biked, ran, hiked everywhere and anytime we wanted to.  So hard to let an opportunity to explore pass me by.  Challenge Pencticton for a half ironman triathlon the first weekend followed by Ironman Canada then Spoke 'n Hot Grand Fondo.  Race recaps for each of them coming soon.

3. Catching up.  Funny how the weeds in my garden didn't go on vacation like I did.  Nor did the grass stop growing or the house stay clean.  I always think it is a good thing I have a mental break from the everyday when I go away.  A bit more vigor and enthusiasm to handle the challenges when I return.  We also took over a rental house from my in-laws.  A lot of cleaning, painting, removal of trees etc.  I am pooped just remembering everything I did.  No criticism intended to anyone in terms of cleanliness but man it sucks to have to clean up someone else's grime, grease, dirt and junk.

4.  Kids moved to the city.  We have always tried to get the kids settled in the city mid to late Aug.  Later than that is really busy for us on the farm and it is so much nicer to get the moving out of the way a bit earlier.  A weekend of loading, hauling, unloading, cleaning, organizing, more cleaning.  But it is done.  Normally, in my part of the world, school in the public system as well as most post secondary starts the beginning of September usually after labour day weekend.  Now we can get home and concentrate on the start of our farm harvest.

Have a great week, enjoy some sun and laugh.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Training Update

Happy Monday!

Another wonderfully sunny day here in the Canadian prairies.  I'm in the process of packing the camper to head out sometime in the next couple days.  2 triathlons in the next 2 weekends.  Hubby and I getting away for a bit without kids was our anniversary plan.  Always makes me both excited and nervous at the same time.

Nailed the last long ride of the training plan this past weekend.  Didn't nail my hydration/nutrition plan though.  Big bonk that took me almost 20 miles to get back on the good side.  But I covered the 100 miles I wanted to, it was hot and I needed to find a way to pull myself out of the bonk.  Lots learned and experienced.  And as always, lots of mental hurdles to overcome.

My goal is always to empty my hydration bottle every 1- 1/2 hours.  It has a combination of Generation UCAN Hydration, HydraMag and BCAA powder.  I also planned to empty my nutrition bottle of Generation UCAN Superstarch 2x for the ride.  I had a banana, peanut butter honey sandwich and quest protein bar.  So what did I actually do and what would I do differently?
I didn't feel like eating before leaving in the morning and I should have had something.  Terry ate some overnight oats.  Should have had some too.  I also needed to get on the hydration right away until the first stop almost 2 hours into the ride so that bottle was empty.  I didn't eat my sandwich until the 1/2 way point and that was also too late.  Needed that second stop sooner.
I did bring along a cooling cloth for the back of the neck and it worked awesome.  It really helped me from overheating during my slump.  It didn't get me over the wall but it did keep things from getting worse.  We stopped 4 times to get water/bathroom.  I did eat at each stop but needed to have had more right from the beginning I think.  I should have also had a gatorade at our last water stop.  I think that would have helped also.

Still planning to get 1 last long open water swim in today or tomorrow.

With my health being so uncertain the past couple months, I wasn't sure what to expect or hope for going into these next 2 weeks.  I felt like I turned a corner to the good side about 10 days ago and so far it has been holding.  For the first time, I have felt like being able to race both these triathlons is a very good possibility.  I use the term "race" very loosely.  In some ways, I am better prepared this year than for the ironman last year and in other ways, I feel less prepared.  I do feel very confident though that for me, I am better a bit under trained than over trained.  My energy is good, obviously there will be tough moments mentally; this is Ironman Canada which has 5000 ft of elevation change.  My ride on Saturday was 3000 ft, pretty good for a prairie ride.

My goal is what will always it: enjoy the journey.  Savour every moment and not wish time away and not let what is before me get the best of me.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dear Diary

Anyone else out there want to confess they kept a diary like me when they were younger?  I found those old diaries years ago in a box of my old stuff and tried to read some.  I repeat tried.  It was painful.  The melodramatic ups and downs of teenage-hood of who was being rude to who and what guy was looking especially good or bad that day.  I lasted 5 min.  Decided to burn those books.  They served their purpose I guess in the younger days of getting my thoughts and frustrations out but they certainly seem to have no purpose anymore.

Today's diary version looks a bit different.  Most nights, just after I have crawled into bed, I reflect on my day.  I have encouraged all my kids to do the same.  In your heads I say to them start with "Dear diary, today I ........"

I have grown to love this 2 min conversation with myself.  There is so much to gain and I am appreciative of how it has centered my thoughts and made me grow as a person.

Last night, this was my conversation with myself.

"Dear diary"
What a fantastic day today!  Warm breeze from the lake blowing through my window and a gentle early morning 1/2 hour rain to lull me back to sleep a bit longer.  No regrets that I wasn't on the trails somewhere running or biking, I am thankful to be up getting breakfast ready saying good morning to all the kids as they got up.  So much fun to sit on the dock all together eating our breakfast and shooting the breeze.  The lake was perfectly calm.  I am thankful we have a cabin.
Had a great swim then just soaking some sun.  Swim feels good after the gravel bike ride yesterday.  Legs feel good and that makes me happy.
Hard to not get too sad about the fact this is the last time our family of 6 will be together for awhile.  Precious moments.  I am so thankful for these times with the kids.  They are supposed to move on,  take life by the horns and find their paths.  I just miss them.
Said goodbye to some friends of ours from out of town, here visiting.  I had a blast last night at their cabin (invited for supper).  Friends like this, where you see each other 1 time a year and can pick up so easily where we left off- those are great friends.  I think the dull ache in my side today was from so much laughing last night.  Good pain.
And speaking of pain- today is the first day in a long time that I haven't had pain in my stomach.  My ongoing fight with the intestinal infection and now just this week, a bladder infection has made for constant pain and discomfort.  I am frustrated with my physical barriers, of being tired, of being in pain and most of all, of feeling I will not get past this and get better.  The weight mentally feels overwhelming.  But today, I feel so much lighter and happier mentally and physically.  Worried it will not be like this tomorrow but thankful to have a reprieve today.  Thank goodness I haven't also had my period this week:)
Reminded of how precious life is while visiting Terry's mom in the hospital this evening.  She is so weak and secretly, I can't imagine how she will ever be able to go home.  Home is such a safe place for all of us.  I have to think of things to do or bring her to keep her spirits up.  Also found out Terry's uncle was in emergency dealing with some difficulties after an accident he had a few weeks ago.  Internal bleeding is never good.  And on the congratulatory side, I marvel at another Aunt and Uncle and their celebration of 60 years together.  His health has been really poor for a few years and yet has persevered.
My list of things to do tomorrow runs through my head:
people to call
emails to send
things to do
kindness to share

My internal diary entry once again fills me with gratitude.  I am thankful that despite the fact things aren't always going the way I want them to go, I am undeniably blessed.  There are so many hurting people and the trials don't pick and choose only some.  I need to take care of business items, daily chores but more importantly, I am once again confirmed with the decision to love and take care of those around me.  Touch others with kindness, enjoy every moment and live fully no matter the circumstances.  I think ahead to the camping trip my husband and I are taking together in a week to celebrate our anniversary and I am filled with excitement with the adventures we are going to have.  The desire to live a life abundantly and overflowing is all my eyes can see.

I know having teenagers and young adults means they have their own ways and thoughts  and there is a good possibility they think their dear old mom has rocks in her head, but I hope they have the "dear diary" conversation with themselves and look at the day with gratitude and thankfulness and then choose to live the next day with purpose: to not waste time nor take it for granted.  

Remind me to sometime share with you my "food analogy for dating story" that is a popular eye roller among the kids around here.