Saturday, June 25, 2016

Life Without a Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child. 

The title of this post may be slightly misleading. I do have a village. I have an amazing support network of family and friends that are always available by phone, text, FaceTime or email. However, since my village is so far away (approx 4-5hrs by car), some days I feel a little village-less. I suppose you could say I have a remote village, haha. 

Anyway, all this is to say, that life with a baby has been an adjustment. Shane and I are definitely finding our groove, but there are days (weeks even) where I wish I could just phone up my Mom or Dad and say, "hey, could you come over so I can get out of the house for an hour to go for a run, or grab a coffee, and just clear my head."

Since we don't really have an immediate village here in Ukee, sometimes health and fitness takes a back seat to sitting in the couch with Shane after a long day, eating sour keys (or ice cream, or some sort of junk) and watching the boob tube. 

So, as you might expect from the above, half training has not been as easy as I hoped (although, if I'm honest, it is going sort of as I expected. I figured it might a challenge some days/weeks). 

The first couple weeks went great. Runs were short, and therefore, I was able to sneak them in after the little went to bed, or during the day with her in the stroller. But then Shane got sick, and the babe got sick, and we had a couple weekends away, and well, my motivation faltered and there was about a two week stretch where I barely ran. I stated thinking maybe I'd be better off just training to run 5 & 10k races. See if I could work on speed (sometimes that still crosses my mind actually). Anyway, needless to say, my training calendar has a lot of Xs on it. That said, I set this half as a goal, and I'd like to see what I can do to accomplish it. Once it's done, maybe shorter, faster races will be the goal. 

Last weekend, Shane and I had a good chat about making a healthy lifestyle a priority again, and we recommitted ourselves to supporting each other to get out the door and stay active. It means we workout at separate times, and sacrifice a bit of time together, but so far (5-6 days in, haha) it feels good. And sustainable. I know as my runs continue to get longer, they may get a bit more difficult to fit in, but we'll make it work. 

I'm feeling optimistic.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Different, but the same.

Exactly 20 days after I published my last post, Shane and I welcomed our feisty, beautiful, teeny-tiny little baby girl into the world... Hard to believe that was nearly 6 months ago! 


As a friend once said to me "the days are long, but the years are fast."

To say life has been different would be an understatement. Of course it's been different (no duh, right?). Awesome and challenging and fun and (some days) downright hard, but definitely good. Different good. 

I know it's been a long time since I've written anything, so let's jump right back in with a list of sorts. Just some of the things that have been on my mind recently.

1. I'm obsessed with sleep (and not getting nearly as much of it as I'd like). Baby sleep stresses me out way more than it probably should. The funny thing is, I don't think we actually have it that bad in the sleep department compared to some new parents, but I also know how important good sleep is, so perhaps that is why the obsession. I'm pretty sure Shane is tired of hearing me talk about naps, haha. 

2. I've also discovered my overtired response to stress is crying. I've cried a lot since becoming a Mom (happy tears and frustrated tears, emotional-I-don't-know-why-I'm-crying tears and tired tears. But don't worry, I'll survive). 

3. My body has changed. I'm pretty much back to the weight I was when I got pregnant, but I'm definitely a little softer and jiggle a bit more when I run. Not that this is a bad thing, it's just different (like everything else). Some days it frustrates me a little, not being as strong or as active as I once was, but most days, I'm actually pretty pleased with where I am at physically, and know with a little bit more consistent exercise I'll be back to 'normal' (whatever that is) in no time. Not to mention, I've created something pretty awesome (and adorable) with this wicked bod. 

4. I ran the TC10k a couple weeks ago, completely untrained (running right now happens about once every week or two, as exercise mostly consists of walking around hilly Ukee and short strength workouts while le bebe naps). I was actually pretty pleased with my time (not fast, but faster than I was expecting) considering I registered the day before with the intention of just 'participating'. I was also pleasantly surprised with how I felt during and after. So that was a definite win. 

5. I have been throwing around the idea of running the Victoria half marathon in October for a while now, and I've officially decided to train for it. My friend Laura and I are going to be virtual training partners. The good ol' accountability factor. Training commences May 22. I don't think it will always be easy to get my runs in, but the little squirt will be able to ride in the running stroller soon enough, so that should help. Also, no expectations. I just want to have a goal to work toward and to feel a little bit like my old self again for a handful of hours each week. 

6. Our little family will be packing up and moving once again at the end of August. Shane's next work placement will be Nanaimo. I'm thrilled to be moving closer to my family and think I will enjoy being back in a bigger city with more amenities (hello swimming pool!), but I'm also really sad to be leaving Ucluelet. It took me a bit to feel welcome and comfortable here, but now I really love this awesome little community. For such a small place, there is sure going to be a lot I miss about it. 

Well, I think that is enough for now. If anyone is still reading this, thanks for sticking around. 

Oh! Oh! 

One final thought that just popped into my head. If anyone ever tells you labour isn't that bad, they are a dirty rotten liar. I had some different/complicating circumstances (maybe one day I'll share my story on the ol' blog) but let's just say, labour is way harder than Ironman. 

The medal at the end is way better though

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tick Tock

It's 5am and I'm wide awake. 

A year ago, this would have been normal. Hell, 8 months ago it was still normal. It was around this time of morning that I'd be peeling myself out of bed to go for a swim, a run along the waterfront, or perhaps a trainer ride or spin class. Nowadays, I tend to sleep a little later. 

That said, lots of things are different. I'm also up a lot more during the night. I used to hit the pillow and be out like a light. I'd barely move during my 7-8hours of nightly sleep. Now I'm up to pee at least once... ah, who am I kidding, it's usually at least twice. 

The last few days, at 4am my eyes pop open. My tummy growling, I shuffle to the kitchen for a drink of chocolate milk or a small snack. Once back in bed, I find myself talking to my belly, enjoying feeling the flips and turns of our little girl, soothed by her movements, and within 15-20mins, I'm back to sleep for another couple hours before my eventual wake up for the day. 

Not sure why today is different. I've sung her my version of 'Baby JB' (set to the tune of Baby Beluga... don't bother asking me to sing it to you. It's just for me and the little squirt). She seems to respond to my voice/singing now, which is really cool. I find myself wondering if this song will soothe her once she's actually here in the world, outside of my belly. 

6 weeks to go (although, I have a feeling it will be less) and I guess we'll find out. 

------

I actually wrote the above a couple weeks ago, while Shane was away for work and I was spending some time on my own in Ukee. Then, I promptly forgot I wrote it. (The whole 'pregnancy brain' thing you hear so much about is real, yo). 

So, as of yesterday, I'm now 36 weeks pregnant. This will be my last week in Ukee before having to make the move out of town to prepare for delivery. It seems crazy that, after Saturday, the next time I'm at home, Shane and I will be parents! Yikes. 

[For those who don't know, you cannot deliver a baby in Tofino/Ukee and have to relocate to a bigger city 3-4 weeks before your due date. It's obviously not the ideal situation, having to be away from your home in these final weeks, but thankfully I have a place to stay and great support in Victoria, and Shane has some flexibility with work to be able to travel back and forth. Not everyone who lives up here is that lucky, and often have to rent a place or live out of a hotel. I really can't imagine having to wait out the last few weeks in a hotel in a strange city!]

Anyway, I digress... 
The summer was beautiful. I spent a lot of time walking, beaching, relaxing, and just enjoying this time of relative quiet and freedom. I ran a bit, but it got harder and harder as I got bigger and bigger, and I found I preferred to spend an hour or so walking/hiking the trails, as opposed to running uncomfortably for 20-30mins. My last run happened at just after 31 weeks, when I decided it wasn't worth it anymore, as I really wasn't enjoying it, and so I decided to call it quits on the running until after JB is here. 

We did get a wicked running stroller though, that I'm excited to be able to use once she is big enough.

Anyway, time is ticking along. Life has been good, but very different. The last couple months especially have been a bit of a whirlwind.

Mid-September, Shane got posted to a job in Merritt for 6 weeks, so I split my time between Merritt, Victoria and home in Ucluelet. 

I've had many ultrasounds and doctors appointments (one of the perks(?) of being considered a high risk pregnancy) and everything seems to be going well with the baby. My blood pressure has been a bit high at the last couple appointments, so I've been told to rest as much as possible, and put my feet up. I definitely feel like a bit of a slug, and some days are harder than others to sit around and do nothing, when you are used to being so active, but it's a small sacrifice to make in order to make sure both myself and JB get through these last couple weeks in the best possible shape. 

Otherwise, the nursery is finished. The newborn sleepers are purchased, and well, now we wait. 

Much like when I found out I was pregnant, I'm both excited and terrified, but mostly, I just can't wait to meet our baby girl. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This and That

I've sat down and attempted to write on the blog a few times over the past month. Each time I get about a paragraph in, and realize that I'm not sure I have anything to say. I think this happens because I originally created this blog to chronicle my training and life as I worked toward different athletic pursuits and the goals attached to them. This year, there aren't really any athletic pursuits on the horizon.

Anyway, while I'm not really training, I am definitely on a pretty huge journey to a pretty big adventure, so figured I might as well start jotting down a bit of what is happening in life these days... even if it does involve far less swim-bike-run than in years past. 

So yeah, keep reading if you want to hear about things like 30' easy runs where I have to walk up almost every hill, or the fact that popsicles and ice cream have taken up permanent residence in our freezer, or random hormone surges that cause me to cry over dog food commercials. Of course, if that's not your thing and you're only interested in my swim, bike, run adventures, well, check back in about a year.

Ok, with all that said, let's get to it. Apologies in advance if this gets a bit rambly, but well, lists and rambles seem to be what I do best. 

So, here goes... Let the brain dump commence!!!

I'm definitely missing triathlon a bit this summer. For the past 8 years or so, it has been a staple in my life. This year, obviously I've taken a step back (what with this whole baby growing thing).  

Anyway, my Facebook feed seems to be filled with status updates about long rides or runs, group swims at the lake, people crushing their local races, and well, this week... the dreaded taper! I have quite a few friends and acquaintances racing Ironman Canada this year, and I so wish I could be there to cheer them on (but unfortunately it's not going to work out). I will however, be glued to my computer checking updates like crazy throughout the day. I'm pretty sure they are all going to crush it. 

As far as my life and exercise are concerned as of late, I'm running 2-3 times per week, for about 30' or so each time. Honestly, I'm not loving running as much as I would like to right now. I find I worry about every little ache and pain, and so it's just not always quite as fun as it should be. That said, I did have a great run the other morning, so all hope is not lost, and physically, I am still a-okay to keep doing it. I'm slower and breathe a little heavier than I'm used to, but it's all good. 

I also just found out my Mom is going to do the 8k on Victoria Marathon race weekend, so if things are still going well for me, and I'm still able, I think I will run it with her. It will give me that little motivation I need to keep lacing up and getting out the door. 

Otherwise, when I'm not running, I'm walking. A LOT! And with the amount of hills in this town, I still get a pretty good workout doing it. I try to get out for at least an hour in the morning on every non-run day, and then most afternoons (regardless of my morning activity) I get out for an easier 30-45' stroll through town. 

I've also started attending a group fitness class once a week. It's a low impact strength conditioning and core activation class. It's pretty good, and the instructor is nice enough to modify exercises to accommodate me. I also try to do a bit of range of motion and strength work on my own once or twice a week, so you know, there's that. 

So yeah, I'm definitely still moving, just in very different ways compared to what used to be normal, haha. 

On the non-exercise front, well, I'm settling into small town life. I'm attending a group at the community centre once a week for moms-to-be/new-moms and am really enjoying it. It's been great for just getting out of the house and meeting people, but I'm also learning a lot and am starting to feel a little bit more welcomed and comfortable within the community. The resources and support offered here for pregnant women are really amazing considering it is such a small community. I feel very lucky to have it all at my disposal. 

Some other things I've learned/noticed over the last little while...
1) I'm pretty good at spending time alone and I don't actually mind it. I'm often surprised at how good I am at finding stuff to do. That said, alone time has also made me realize how much I do enjoy a good conversation and just being around other people. Evenings and weekends when Shane is home, or times when people come to visit, are a real treat! 

2) I really like the feel of the baby moving. I always thought it would be uber creepy, but I find it so reassuring. She's moving a lot these days, which is awesome. You can even see and feel some of her bigger kicks and jabs from the outside now. 

Yep, I'm officially now that person.
3) I have a tendency to worry. I worry I'm not getting enough protein, I worry I need more iron, I worry if I do this, or that, I might hurt little JB (side note: Shane and I call the baby JB. The way that nickname came about is a story for another post, but if you hear me reference JB, now you know what I'm talking about). So yeah, I worry about a lot of really silly things that I actually know are totally fine. But hey, it's just good practice for the rest of my life as a parent, right? 

4) I used to be skinny. I mean, dang, when I look at photos we took at the beginning of this pregnancy, compared to the ones we took last night, well how on earth did I ever worry about my body? It looked pretty good if you ask me. You could kind of even see my abs! Shockingly, I don't really care though. I know my body is doing something pretty amazing, and while it may not ever be exactly the same as it was before, I know my strength and my endurance will be back, and I'm cool with that. 

5) I get to look at scenery like this everyday... I'm pretty lucky I get to live here. 

Rocky bluffs and ocean swells. Just your typical daily walk.
A big ol' rainforest drenched in sun.
This is what Saturday and Sunday often look like.
Okay, I'm sure there is way more I could ramble on about, but this post has gotten pretty long already.  If you've made it this far, congratulations and thank you for reading! 

Until next time.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Getting Fat.

Well, I survived the Edge to Edge half marathon on Sunday. 

To say it was hilly would be an understatement. To say it was hard, also, an understatement. 

You likely won't be surprised to read that it was very much a personal worst as far as time was concerned (by a long shot!).

That said, I'm actually really proud of the finish, because you know what, it's sure not easy carrying another person for 21.1k (even a teeny tiny one). 


So yeah, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm knocked up. With child. Pregnant. 

It was planned (because when you have a clotting disorder, everything to do with getting and being pregnant must be very well planned), but it happened a hell of a lot faster than we expected. I'm just at the start of my second trimester. The first one definitely took a little more energy out of me than I expected (who knew the fatigue could be such an ass kicker) but otherwise, so far everything seems to be going well, and I've got a great team (yes, a full team) of doctors looking after me. 

Anyway, along with all the changes to do with our move and the newness of life in Ukee, adding in all the excitement and changes that happen with a new pregnancy (and the fatigue, have I mentioned that?) have definitely been a contributing factor in the lack of anything resembling training these days... but that's okay. Every big goal requires some sacrifices and adjustments to what you've previously known, and making sure this baby gets delivered healthy is my number 1 priority for the year. 

And on that note, I'm gonna go find something to eat and put my feet up. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Observations

We have internet!!!! 
As of yesterday, Shane and I are back connected to the outside world via the ol' world wide web. It probably makes me happier than it should.

But, that's not really what this post is about is it? Let's talk about Ucluelet (since I don't really seem to know what training is anymore).


I've been in Ukee for a little over a month now. The house is unpacked (mostly), pictures have been hung (mostly), and we have even welcomed our first house guests for a weekend. In fact, you might even say our little space is beginning to feel a bit more like home.

Over the first few weeks, I didn't get to spend more than 4-5 days in a row up here, as I was having to go back to Victoria regularly for different appointments and things, and to finalize all the little details around our house before the tenants took over on June 1. I know everyone does it, but it's so crazy how we fix up our homes and correct all the little imperfections that we've lived with for years, just in time for someone else to take it over. Thankfully, I feel like we've left our home on the Malahat in good hands. *knocks on wood*

It's interesting moving to a new town, especially one that is a tourist town, at the start of tourist season. The locals assume you are either a tourist or a transient worker, and don't really seem like they want to bother to get to know you. Of course, the fact that I am not super outgoing and tend to be a bit shy, probably doesn't help. But let's just say, I haven't always felt entirely welcomed (I'm looking at you, bitchy Post Office girl). Thankfully Shane works with a couple of great guys, so we've got a bit of a built in social circle through them.

Anyway, I didn't expect to make friends right away, so I'm not sure what I complaining about, but I will admit, there have been a couple days where I have felt very lonely and isolated. That said, when/if I find a job, I'm sure it will help.

Also, I'm trying to put myself out there a little bit more. I attended a yoga class at the community centre last week, and intend to go back. Funnily enough, I'm pretty sure the yoga instructor lives directly across the street from me, so I've got that in my back pocket as a bit of a conversation starter for next time.

Other fun Ukee happenings... I saw a wolf while out walking one afternoon/evening.  It was pretty terrifying in the moment, but after the fact, a pretty cool thing. A few days later, Shane and I saw a woman walking a giant pig. It snorted at us, haha. It was quite the contrast from the wolf. We also spent some time a couple weekends ago checking out the Rip Curl Pro Tofino. It's not everyday you get to watch a surf contest just down the road from your house.

Otherwise, I spend a lot of time walking and exploring the town and surrounding beaches, running errands and finishing off things around the house (although I think I crossed the last thing off my to do list yesterday) and poaching Internet from the big resort in town while I sit on the beach out front (well, I used to do that I suppose). I'm still doing the odd bit of running and biking, but it's definitely not very consistent at this time. 


I must say, my life is pretty relaxing these days and I'm just soaking it all in as I find my new rhythm. 

This weekend Kirsten and I run the Edge to Edge half marathon here in Ucluelet. I'm undertrained. It is an extremely hilly route, and I have very little in the way of expectations. If fact, I'd just like to finish. 

More news and another update to come next week following the half. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We Have Arrived!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted on the blog. To say stuff has changed would be an understatement.

The last month has been a whirlwind of change!

I had my last day of work on April 24th. It was our AGM that day, which was kind of a good thing as it kept me busy and out of the office, as I had absolutely nothing left to do, and I was feeling rather emotional.

I had some tears on the drive into work, and then felt like I spent the whole day hard swallowing and trying to push the tears back into my eyes. In fact, there was one moment as I was sitting on the stage of the Mac, watching a (somewhat boring) AGM presentation, that I looked up into the balcony and a big flush of emotions hit. I've been at the theatres off and on since 1998. I've essentially grown up there. They've treated me incredibly well and the crew in the office have become great friends. Hell, I've made some of my best, lifelong friends, through the RMTS. So yeah, don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the all the new stuff on the horizon in mine and Shane's life, but it was hard to say goodbye.

The day ended with a nice dinner out at one of the local brew pubs with all my coworkers, where I managed to suppress my tears just long enough to get in my car.

The following week was spent packing up our house, painting it and just generally getting it ready for the new tenants. We were really lucky to find a great family to rent the entire property, which was a huge relief and definitely will take a little bit of pressure off as I look for work in Ukee.

Really though, life has been all about packing and moving and unpacking and cleaning and everything else that goes along with changing cities and almost everything in your life.

My parents were a huge help in all of this, as Shane was away at school and so everything fell to me. Without them, I'd probably be curled up in the fetal position on my floor covered in a pile of boxes. I'm not sure I can ever say thank you enough for everything they have done for me.

All of the commotion surrounding moving meant very little time for exercise or 'training' of any sort. I got out for a couple runs and rode my bike once or twice, but mostly, huffing boxes up and down the stairs of our house was my workout most days.

Now that we are getting settled in Ukee, and with Shane back at work, I've made getting out the door every morning for at least an hour of exercise my priority. On top of that, I haven't driven my car since we've arrived, as it is super easy to walk everywhere - even for groceries (although, I may need to take a better backpack for lugging them all home next time, as it was a bit heavy yesterday, haha). Hopefully I can get back into a good routine in the coming days and weeks.

Actually, I'd better, as Kirsten and I are signed up to run (notice I didn't say race) the Edge to Edge half marathon here in Ucluelet on June 15. Since I'm kind of out of racing shape, and Kirsten will still likely be recovering from her first 50k (Sun Mountain), it should be a rather slow outing, but I'm okay with that. This one is more about exploring my new town and spending a couple quality hours with my favourite sister.

Speaking of Kirsten's first 50k, it is this weekend in Washington State. I'll be heading down with her on Friday and acting as her crew/cheer squad. I really have no idea what to expect, but she is well trained and is going to rock it I'm sure. It should be a fun little getaway and hopefully a nice chance to relax (for me at least).

Some other notables...

We don't currently have Internet (as Ukee is out of bandwidth until 2016 and the options for satellite internet are kind of crappy, so we're still deciding what we want to do) so I'm currently sitting in the local coffee shop plugging away on their free wifi. It's super slow and well, I really hope this actually posts, haha. So, that said, posting may be slightly more sporadic (and I have no idea how my formatting is going to turn out) the next little while because of this fact (not that I've been really on the ball lately regardless).

Also, photos. The last of my 100 happy days are currently on a memory stick somewhere is a box, and our computer is not yet plugged in. So, you know, they probably aren't going to make their way to the blog anytime soon. But let me assure you, I did take the photos, and they were fabulous, haha. 

And I think that is all that I can manage for today, as Blogger doesn't seem to want to cooperate with my iPad and the free wifi. Until next time.