Posted on Jan 22, 2016 1 Comment
egg. Magazine was established in the summer of 2012 by three kids. They wanted to see if they could write, edit, photograph, and print a legit magazine in only three weeks. They succeeded and almost four years later Jack (16/Gr.10), Talia (14/Gr.9), and Ella (13/Gr.8) continue to publish new issues of the magazine at least twice a year. The trio focusses on bringing together personal experiences, Vancouver’s unique businesses and fashion trends. In early September they celebrated the release of their sixth issue which featured an interview with Omer Arbel, a tour of Herschel Supply Co’s Vancouver headquarters, and 4 fashion shoots. They sell each issue at 3 retailers including Vancouver Special, Walrus and The Circle in Whistler. They have a sizeable Instagram following and solid fanbase of readers. They have plans to release Issue nº7 in mid-2016 so keep these kids on your radar!
Posted on Jan 15, 2016 Leave a Comment
This post is comin’ attcha live from my favorite cycling trip of the year: Big Vertical Camp in Thousand Oaks, California. Coaches Jasper + Mike put on an exceptional camp and attract some seriously remarkable cyclists to ride (err, try to keep up!) with. As I jumped on my new cervelo (gleeeeeee!) this morning, it felt like this was the first Kona Camp of 2016. So best I wrap Kona 2015 and get on with it, eh!
Kona: Part 3 – Why I will never step on a scale to weigh myself ever again and more…
As I mentioned, I landed on the Big Island in a solo mission two weeks before race day. The goal was to get out of the rain in Vancouver and get adapted to the heat and humidity as quickly as possible. What actually happened was that I landed in Kona and got the sh*t kicked outta me! I called my bestie and told her I was 40lbs overweight and didn’t deserve to be on the island. I went for a 2hr bike ride and nearly got blown off my bike, reminded by the power of the winds. I was dripping with sweat while sitting under an umbrella in the shade at 5PM, not moving wondering how it would feel to still be running at this time on race day?
One day in the heat of the humidity and a selfie looked like this –-
This might look like a lame self-portrait to you, but you see that curl on my forehead? That curl is a result of me cutting my widow’s peak in grade SIX. I always wanted to wear my hair in a pony tail and was teased for having a widows peak – I was called a vampire, so would quickly take my hair out of a pony tail and try to cover it as best as I could. Until one day, I thought it would be really smart to shave it off. I cut it down as best as I could and then borrowed my mom’s electric razor (remember when mom’s had those?) and proceeded to trim it down. Of course, this was tragic as it grew back very quickly with spikes sticking out of my forehead like some sort of dinosaur. And to this day, those strands of hair have never fully grown out – they protest and curl and remind me that I’m not a vampire and don’t mess with what you’ve been given!
Well, race morning in Hawaii means stepping on a scale. It’s the only IM I’ve had to weigh in at and I vividly recall stepping on the scale in 2012 and feeling okay with the number starring back at me. I was the fittest that I had ever been in my life and I remember thinking if this is how much I weigh, than that is okay! Since Kona 2012, I have gone to see an energy healer and my only question to him was “am I going to be chubby for the rest of my life?”; I did seek out nutritional coaching with a bench mark of success to not feel like “sausage stephy”; and I did make some significant shifts to my relationship with food, especially over the past year. I would say that between more sleep, better nutrition and quality sweat, I was going into Kona 2015 truly in the very best shape of my life. (I think I might have even dropped 2 clothing sizes!) But you know what? When I stepped on the scale on race morning, I was not 2 full pounds lighter than 2012. NOT TWO! In 3 years, I had finished 8 IM races and was embarking upon what I was hoping to be the best race of my life…and was starting the race less than 2pounds down. It’s easy to say that the numbers doesn’t matter…but really really…I’m ditchin’ the scale!
The day after the race, I could barely move my neck from side to side as it was chaffed raw from my skin suit (my fault: I didn’t apply appropriate amounts of body glide). It hurt to walk as my chubby feet were covered in blisters – especially on the tips of my toes. Danielle would carefully apply polysporin which would subside the pain on my neck momentarily until it rubbed off on something and I would beg for reapplication. And Mikey P took a needle and went to town squirting my blisters dry! It was the best feeling! We celebrated with mai tai’s on the lanai and within less than one hour, each and every blister had properly refilled itself. (Lesson from the rower Bro was that we didn’t thread them – check!) I was in absolute awe – we punctured DEAD skin to let blisters air dry and our smart-as-stink bodies just know what to do to prevent and protect. The next day, with my puffy lil feet, we went swimming with dolphins. In and out of flippers and salt water, each blister was yet again punctured and this time, I got off the boat with feet as good as new and a neck rash that felt miraculously healed?! So ditch the creams and the potions and head to the ocean with your friends for real healing!
The power of Acceptance of these sweet vessels we have been given is not lost on me. Be it a widows peak, a number on a scale or battered feet. No Judgement. Only Love. (and a whole lotta hard work!) On the other side of the mountain of Acceptance, is a sweet town called BELIEF: population 1, you! That’s where you will find me this year.
Posted on Jan 8, 2016 1 Comment
Just like that: the first week of a fresh new year is complete…I’m excited for 2016!
I’m also excited for every darn class that I lead at Method Indoor Cycling. It has become a really awesome community hub where cyclists and recreationalist all come together. (I’ve heard people mocking me at Christmas parties and my Man tries to recite my gear choices when certain songs come on the radio. It’s pure joy…well, pure sweat and JOY!) The reason why I’m telling you this is because to kick off the new year at Method we talked about ditching goals and really committing to what you will FINISH this year. <i could go on…but that is another post.> And after reading Bro’s wise words on completing last year, a gentle nudge from my ever-supportive-Mama and then a full on call out from a fellow trigeek, I am going to hit publish on Kona Part 2 and Part 3.
So here it is…and timely. Because Finding your Tribe and Loving them Hard has no start line or finish line. Your tribe is there for all types of start lines and various forms of celebratory finish lines; my love for the #irontribe is far beyond Ironman.
KONA Part 2: Everything I’ve needed to know I’ve learned from the #irontribe
PapaBear booked his ticket to Kona before the sun set in Whistler on race day. This man flew across the continent to be there. He shows up where no one else is, with his huge Canadian flag and loses his voice cheering right until the very end. He has taught me to always go the distance!
Chad is the definition of impeccable. There really is no other word for this man. His heart is huge, his hospitality is unparalleled, his truth is real and he has welcomed us Corker’s into his life with so much love. I have learned the power in preparing for dinner the night before, so that everyone can feast on love together the next day!
Barb has been my go-to massage therapist in Vancouver. She is usually fully booked between patients and her awesome adventures. What I love about her is that she always finds a way…to bring the massage table along and treat us with her magic hands, while still waking up before 5AM to go for a run. There is never an excuse from Barb. Ever.
Coach Jasper has served as a constant reminder in staying unattached to the outcome and focused only on the present – with integrity of your very best effort. While I’m insanely grateful for his coaching expertise and every interval he had me do leading up to the race, I’ve learned more from his pep talks on ego and the power of coke than I ever learned in school.
Danielle booked her accommodation in Kona in June. #WTHeck! She just believes before you have a second to doubt yourself. She is a beautiful author, artist, poet + Mama; I show up to her house sweaty with protein smoothies – it’s a soul sistahood that just works that way cause we share hearts of equal size, function and passion! She has taught me that our heart truly get what ever our heart desires, and that those moments are indeed best when shared.
Danielle’s son, H was a true champ in the Kona heat, without one chirp of a complaint all day long. (IM is long for adults; I think it might almost be unfair to bring kids out on race day.) That said, it was the day after the race when he was body surfing epic waves and no one could out last him in the ocean that I found so impressive. I wanna have his relentless pursuit of pure joy and play in my life!
Mikey is my training partner in crime. Hours on his wheel, hanging on at the track and sorting thru life-logistics were probably more than a full time job. He is the king of doing WHATEVER it takes. And he has taught me that it really can be fun to work hard together! #funmatters (I’m seriously grateful to his partner Kyle for not only sharing him with me all year but also sending him to Kona as a birthday surprise. That was unreal!)
Matt/ Bro aka Captain Corker is the mastermind behind the #irontribe. He has an uncanny ability to bring people together to get excited about quite literally, anything. Yet what he has taught me is the power in believing in someone else, in their dream, more than they could believe themselves. If you need a dream catcher or believer, I tell you, Matt Corker is your Man!
DaveyF is simply the love of my life. I’m not certain that in this lifetime I will ever be able to properly thank him for his endless support. I don’t take one second of it for granted. He has taught me the power of love, truly.
Honourable mention to:
+ the #teamtrav posse who hung out with a really rad lululemon crew. They were there to support their pro athletes of team BMC and of course, I was so insanely grateful for their cheers – Trav’s words of never taking a moment for granted and Lauren’s virgin Ironman delight!
+ to the power of technology cause every last text, facebook message, TeamFranti’s video message, squeals from my Mama…they all meant something in the moments of butterflies leading up to the race.
+ friends and familiar faces of Vancouver – Britni + Warren are a power duo that really know how to make the dream work and I don’t know anyone who trains as beautifully + religiously as Britni!; MJ + Steve are the example of neverever giving up (I might have passed Steve in a portapoty and MJ’s cheers are always of pure surprise! I love that about her.); Barry + his family …cause once that man decides to go for something, not even a broken foot will hold him back. His relentlessness is one of my favorite qualities
+ TeamBicicletta – Graham + Kevin bring a level of calm, cool and collected cause GFox can ride circles around trigeeks, so I’m certain he thinks Kona is really no big deal! It keeps us real. ;)
This was the crew who made the week in Kona something special. Thank you! If this is the crew who I get to make memories with for the next 39weeks en route to Kona2016 and then for the next 390weeks thereafter, I consider myself so totally lucky. I’ve found my tribe and I promise I’ve got so many heartbeats of love for these people!
Now go find your tribe… xo
Posted on Dec 30, 2015 Leave a Comment
1. Just start. January is a great time to get fit. Heck, January is a great time to kick off a training camp in the sunshine! Big Vertical Cycling Camp was some of the most beautiful riding I’ve ever done, with remarkable human beings, hanging on for dear life. Can’t wait to go back to kick off 2016.
Posted on Oct 16, 2015 13 Comments
Ironman Hawaii was my 3rd IM finish line in the last 3months, so to declare that I’m properly cooked is an understatement. As my blisters subside and the chaffing heals, I’m reminded just how remarkable our bodies are. I want to capture the facts and more importantly the feelings of this really special event, I want to share my gratitude for all of the cheers and I want you to know what it feels like to weigh in on race morning. I have 3 posts compiled and I hope you will stick around for the aftermath of Ironman Hawaii 2015.
Kona: PART 1 – IRONMAN HAWAII Race Report
I landed on the Big Island 2weeks before the race in an attempt to get acclimated and out of the Vancouver rain. Two weeks was great and, I think next year it might be longer. I spent the first week getting my patoot kicked by Madame Pele and the Kona sunshine, which didn’t leave a ton of room for confidence going into race day. Yet I knew I wasn’t going to be alone in the battle against the lava fields and there is something sort of grossly comforting knowing we will all be suffering. Race week arrived and so did my sweet Man. There is alwaysalwaysalways a certain kinda peace with him around. I know he wants the best and I also know he will love me just the same if I completely implode. Coach Jazzy also arrived with bro-in-law Chad and the pre-#irontribe was complete. We had a week together before the rest of the crew landed. They shopped and cooked and beached and ran and laughed and lanai’d. It was awesome. And by the end of the week, despite a few moments of serious pre-race nerves, I was feeling really darn grateful and ready to do what I love to do so much…race!
I slept like a baby and sprung out of the bed as my Bro + Mikey had arrived at midnight the night before! It really did feel like Christmas morning and Santa was waiting in the living room. This has become some sort of routine – coffee, peanut butter on a bagel with 2chubby bananas, grab a bottle of electrolytes and get out the door! Mikey, Bro, Davey are the pre-race Ateam. #nextyearmikeyraces (there will be more on the #irontribe in the next post…)
We got in the water early and were waiting around for the age group men to go off 15min before hand. (FYI: 15min on race morning, treading water feels like an eternity!) Once it was our turn to swim out to the start line, a group of women took off from shore and it was in that moment that I was oh-so-quickly reminded that this was the World Championships and the best of the best were there. I was quickly pummelled and women were swimming on top of me in short order. When we stopped at the line, I looked up and who was beside me but B78’s very own Britni! Every time we race together, I swear we end up seeing each other side by side at the start and it is just so cool. She is an athlete that I very much look up to and this was her 10th Kona experience. Alas, the gun goes off and the water battle begins. After about 400m a few packs had formed and by 1500m we were catching the men. I tried to stay on the toes in front of me yet found my sighting to be horrible and by the first corner my neck chaffing was really bugging me (which made sighting even more challenging). No excuses – I wasn’t swimming in a straight line and I wasn’t swimming as well as I know I can. I always focus on swimming as well as I can from buoy to buoy and that was all that I could do. I exited the swim and look down at my watch in disappointment. OY! Well, it happens…and there was nothing I could do except scurry thru transition (wait…why were there so many ladies in the change tent with me?! Oh right…Kona!) and focus on a great bike. The volunteers at every.single.event are truly remarkable, but I gotta say – the volunteers here were NEXT level. I had 3 people, speaking different languages, getting my shoes on and sunscreen lathered and out that door as fast as can be. #mahalo
I had an agreement with Bro + Davey that if I was top20, I wanted to know my placing, however, if I was more than 20th, I didn’t care to know. (And the deeeeep deeeeeep down goal was that if I could finish top10 in my AG I would be utterly elated!) I also had an agreement with Coach that nutrition and effort were all that I could manage on the bike. So I whipped my Sugoi Speed Suit up over my shoulders (the BEST decision on outfit choice, ever!) while running to my bike, with a calmness that as soon as I hopped onto that saddle, it was time to hunker into the “game plan”. With SERIOUS gratitude to the Cervelo team + Velofix Hawaii, I felt very confident that my bike was ready to ride so it was only going to be a question of my lil engine. I got out onto the highway and realized I was in the middle of the men’s race with not many ladies around. And sure enough, by the time I hit the #irontribe, I saw Davey holding up 8 fingers! I was 8th! That got a fist pump and a big “heck yes”…and out to the highway I went. I wasn’t smart enough to know what race numbers corresponded to what age group, which was an absolute blessing at this stage(!!) of the race. A few ladies would pass me and then we’d pass some more men, so it was a proper game of cat and mouse. I knew my HR wasn’t to creep over 155 (I beat high!), I knew where my watts should be and I knew I was going to drink every 5 minutes/ eat every 10minutes – I made that agreement with myself. My ride was going well out to Hawi – I saw Pops at the turn around waving his huge Canadian flag and I saw the famous speedos with a jumping LaPorte in Waikoloa which was the last happy moment of the bike.
Because moments later, Ma Pele let the head winds rip and despite my best efforts to stay positive and maintain my agreements, it felt like a furnace of hot air being blasted at my head and the idea of “a fast bike split” was quickly disappearing. I was really bummed because my swim had already been slow, enough women had passed me that I thought I surely had slipped into 30th and the only thing I thought I could control would be a best time and that too was slipping away.
T2 in Kona is a mean joke – because nothing feels quite as great as hoping off your bike, yet nothing hurts quite as much as running bare foot around the entire perimeter of the pier to get to the change tent. However, yet again, volunteers FOR THE WIN, as they draped my shoulders in an ice cold towel, vaseline’d my chaffing/ sunburnt neck and didn’t tell me how hot it was. I saw Lifesport’s Dan Smith as I was coming into T2 and wanted to exit quickly to try to run with him – at this point in the day, misery certainly loves company! Surprisingly, I got out on my feet and felt pretty okay physically, but the mental battle was a challenge. I promised to give it my best on the final IM of the year and I really wanted my times to reflect that effort…and I was feeling down about that not being my reality. However, within the first couple of miles, I passed the #ironboys who were all cheers and Jasper who made me feel like I was having an “okay” day. I also passed lots of people walking. And it hit me then that this was not a day about being top10 or a best time. This was a day of remembering how hard I had worked to have the PRIVILEGE of running down Ali’I Drive. And with that, I was off to trot my way thru this marathon. I saw TeamVancouver on the out and back – the men of my hometown were all in fine form and TeamBicicletta were all smiles despite the carnage. I actually think I recall GFoxxy trying to take a picture after an aid station where I couldn’t throw water on my face fast enough – thank goodness that didn’t make the instagram feed! By the infamous Palani Hill, there was just not a lot of grace left in my heart – it was gonna be a whole lotta grit to finish this race. I pride myself on usually being able to go to a happy place, a grateful place while suffering and it was realllly really tough on race day to find that special place. Thankfully, I hit the top of the hill and was greeted by none other than TeamMcKenzie – Trav + Lauren were in full force. Lauren was the ultimate and I looked at Trav and said “please tell me something” – I will not forget the look on his face that just said “ be grateful you are doing something that I wish I was doing right now”. We’ve raced in TeamTrav hats all season and there was something really special about seeing them out on the race course – it was like the belief in the dream to race in Kona, this year or next year was a united force. Moments later, Coach Jazz was out on the Queen K on his bike and I don’t have words for this experience. He rode a km or so ahead of me and had the best combination of encouragement meets tough love, but ya know what else he had was the attitude of a champion. Women would run by me and he’d ride up on them to offer them words of wisdom and encouragement. I’d watch him cheer for every single person. His IronSpirit runs deep and he is so there to see everyone cross the line.
And when I hit the Energy Lab, the boys popped up with tunes + new custom t’s that brought the first smile of the run to my face! Oh these guys! I knew they had to travel to get out there and they were the icecube to a warm drink – they made it SO much better. The energy lab was a hot, soul sucking journey as it always is. Climbing out of it really makes you question if you can make it home? I swear it was at least 6degrees hotter at the turn around. Well, yet again, I see the #ironboys…they ask me how I’m feeling and to be honest, at this moment in time, I fight back tears of defeat and say “I feel like I’ve got 10km to go”. I see the look on Mikey’s face as he proceeds to take a team selfie running alongside me and I know that his heart beats to be racing Kona2016.
So I rallied those final 10km, like I was racing with my Mikey. I tried to walk for less time at the aid stations. I took in more salt. I tried to just…keep…moving…forward. With 1mile to go, ONE MILE, I had run back to TeamMcKenzie – I was hoping Lauren would run with me and truthfully, I was nervous to see Trav because in that moment, I just didn’t have the capacity for the best kinda tough love he knows how to dish. And ya know what he said “savour this moment, take it all in on Ali’i”. Of course he knew exactly how I was feeling – he’d been there the year before – and he knew the sufferfest. This is when I really recognized how raw and vulnerable it is to race “your best”. It takes guts. Lauren was all love and trotted along side of me shouting sweet words of GO, while I heard Trav say “you are top 10”. #WOAHWOAHWAOH I asked Lauren to look behind and see if any girls were running up on me. She promised me that there was no one in sight*. I thought that I would give it my everything and hope Trav was right that I was closing in on Top10. That last mile is the second meanest joke of Kona because it feels way too long.
Well, guess what? As I turned the corner onto Ali’I Drive – the cheers went from “go steph” to “go girls”….I was getting passed with 400m to go! And I was getting passed with intention – she turned back and looked at my race number and took off! I screamed “how old are you?” to which she said “your age” and I knew the race was not over yet. The story of my season has been getting out-sprinted. 2nd OA amateur at IM Whistler just isn’t quite the same as WINNER and 11th is just not the same as Top 10 in Kona. So with all of my might, with a very calculated guess of how long I could sprint, I waited 50m and went for it. I went ALL IN, like a Tuesday morning track session. And I beat her!
(*To Lauren’s credit: this chic was 90sec back with 1mile to go, so she was seriously hunting me down!)
I crossed the line 10th, as the first Canadian in my AG and the second Canadian female of the day! (Unfortunately, our two Canadian pro’s didn’t finish.) I crossed the line with absolutely everything I had in me. This might not have been a best time, but it was indeed my very very best effort. And for that, I am both insanely grateful and mighty proud.
Stay tuned…coming up next:
Kona: Part 2 – Everything I’ve needed to know I’ve learned from the #irontribe…CaptainCorker, my Davey Frey + their tribe make for the most special experience. (And it is a LONG day for spectators, yo!)
Kona: Part 3 – Why I will never step on a scale to weigh myself ever again
Posted on Sep 30, 2015 Leave a Comment
I missed the “2weeks to go” entry because I was getting my tail handed to me on the Queen K with some seriously mighty winds that had me questioning my fitness completely. Alas, I’m settling into life on the island and the heat becomes more manageable each day.
I’m off for my last long ride today – my last taper of 2015 is before me. I find it hard to believe. Being back on the Big Island feels like a dream come true. Really. (Especially after last year when it felt so darn far away…)
I needed to drop off my car to be picked up after the ride (logistics of getting a 4hr ride in from home!). And with my aero bars sticking out of the back of my convertible, because they ran out of SUVs, sitting in my tri suit like a proper tri nerd, I realized that this pic really sums up this year of triathlon – DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES! Having a lot of fun along the way…DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES to get the job done.
I had a very inspiring chat with Jason Dorland, a decorated Olympian + High Performance Coach, on the lanai yesterday. He mentioned that he is working with athletes beyond the sport of rowing now and beyond the confines of sport because corporations need the same high performance training. We discussed outfits. We discussed Love. He believes Love trumps Grit! (“Love is the most powerful, sustaining form of motivation that we have.” – #truthbombfromthelanai
What was really clear was regardless of what suit you wear – if it is a tri suit made of spandex with only 2 lil pockets or a proper cashmere 3-piece business suit, you dress up to be your best on that day. It might be race day or it might be a Wednesday. It doesn’t matter what type of suit you wear, as long as you are dressed to BE YOUR BEST…doing what you LOVE…cause then you will DO WHATEVER IT TAKES!
The count down to Kona is on…tri nerds unite…suit up!
Posted on Sep 20, 2015 Leave a Comment
Ironman Muskoka was 3 weeks ago. I shared over here that the going got a lil tough for me on the run, as it does. What I didn’t share was that as I turned the corner for my second lap of the marathon, Lisa Bentley was along the side of the road. She gave me a cheer and I gave her a smile. I remember so vividly watching her race and WIN Ironman Canada in Penticton! With all of my might, I said to her “Lisa…can you please give me some sage advice right about now?”
And as I ran into km22 this is what I heard from her…
“Run the road you are on. Stay within the mile you are running. Keep a happy heart. Remember how lucky you are to be out there racing.”
I stuffed those words into my Stuff It Bra (cause those things can carry everything!) and kept drinking coke, apparently the liquid fuel for a happy heart!
So here we are 3 weeks later and 3 weeks away from Kona and while I’m not drinking coke, I’m still drawing on her wise words. This whole notion of living in the moment may seem cliche until you realize that whether you are running a marathon at the end of Ironman or running a business, it is the most efficient way to get anything done. I’m also certain that it is THE most effective way to enjoy the journey! With endless to-do lists/ get sh*t done lists/ make this happen lists…I’m practicing one thing at a time; one moment at a time; one mile at a time.
21 days to practice this excellent habit. Let’s hope for less than 629moments (err, minutes!) across the finish line on October 10th!
Posted on Sep 12, 2015 Leave a Comment
Two weeks have passed since IM Muskoka and we are now four weeks out from IM Hawaii – really, the most dreamed about start line of the year.
I set a goal in January to find a start line or a training camp (ie. increased training volume to push me outta my comfort zone!) once a month for the year of 2015. And now, the night before my September start line – the Vancouver to Whistler GranFondo – I realize that I’ve delivered on this goal for 9months. Kona will be my 10th start line and quite certainly, my last start line for the year. 10/12 will be just fine!
You see, I’ve spent the last two weeks hovering a very (very very!) fine line of utter exhaustion and pure elation. I’ve called Jasper feeling like I’ve been run over by a train and cannot possibly imagine doing anything physical, let alone a structured workout. I question how will I be able to run another marathon?? I’ve felt on the edge of a mental breakdown where the only words I can mutter are “will these feelings pass? My brain just really hurts.”. I think Jasper secretly loves it when I call him in this state because 98% of the time, be it a great training session or a not-so-great training session, I’m puking rainbows! Grateful to be doing what I love and seeing some steady improvements. But it all changes after an Ironman…recovery is a beast.
I’ve also demanded dinner and sleep at home with my Man on some serious terms as though I would die of complete starvation if we didn’t eat dinner immediately. Bless Davey Frey who usually just chuckles and says “we can talk about that after you eat” or “how about you go have a nap”. #pointtaken #heisSUCHakeeper
Training, preparing and starting an Ironman race is no joke. But I believe that therein lies all the hype. We don’t talk about the dark days on the other side of the finish line. Physiologically we are toasted – hormones and adrenals are the farthest thing from balanced and psychologically our brain chemistry is rather outta wack. (These are the things you learn with a coach when your brain doesn’t work properly!) So here I am in this mess…day dreaming about Ali’i Drive. Quite literally, I awoke two nights ago dreaming about suffering from heat stroke and looking down at my garmin to see if I could run just 5seconds faster/km cause this would be IT! The last finish line of the year.
And as if my thoughts are not enough, people – bless all the wonderful people – who ask “when will you be done with this?” and “why why why do you keep going?”. There is no better time than right now to answer that question – in the thick of it, when people are calling it off-season and I’m calling in the troops for one final build. I’m doing it for the LOVE of it! I’m doing it because start lines and triathlon have become a hobby I’m passionately obsessed about. Truthfully, I hope that I never stop being this passionately obsessed with a hobby – I look forward to every training session, every healthy meal and I even look forward to the humidity that awaits on the big island. I look forward to pouring my heart into something that may never be able to be properly quantified or qualified…yet what I know for sure is that you can’t argue with LOVE. #dotiforthelove
PS – Michael Franti is marrying his beloved Sara Agah tmrw night. Check it out at #teamfrantiagah xo
Posted on Sep 9, 2015 1 Comment
Two things I know for sure because of…Kara Nortman:
1. Ruthless focus. Hustle. Resiliency. –> her secrets to success!
2. It’s all about great people. She said it best: “I don’t think I will ever work with an asshole. I will probably miss out on working with some billion dollar people and ideas, but I’d rather work with people I like.”
I attended the GROW conference in Whistler a few weeks ago and hearing Kara speak was indeed one of my highlights. Her poise and no-BS approach, while being perfectly (and beautifully!) feminine is super attractive to me. This VC world can easily be disguised as a boys club.
Kara was one of the early investors in tinder, before it was meant to be a dating app and was simply going to connect “people and places in the business world” – ha! She spent several years as a young force at Battery Ventures , she has landed dream jobs and resigned from perfect jobs because she had ideas of her own that kept her awake at night (ie: like up until 2AM while 6months preggo with her 3rd child, cause she was just that excited to launch a new children’s brand. Whaaaaat!). She is now a partner at the largest fund in southern California.
I really dig her secrets to success…and promise to never work with jerks!
Posted on Sep 2, 2015 6 Comments
Disclaimer: I often feel way too narcissistic writing race reports and think the social feed explosion on race day is surely enough triathlon talk for a while. However, I’ve really come to realize how special these finish lines are as I know my life will not consist of 3+ Ironman races a year forever, or even perhaps much longer. This is a chapter that I’m insanely grateful for and super passionate about. And my book of life has more chapters to be written as well. The best part of all of these chapters will indeed be the common denominator of amazing friendships. This race really felt like a race among friends.
The race was put on the calendar from MikeyP. When it was announced last year, he was IN and I was very on the fence. Yet training partners don’t let partners race alone, so when mapping out the race season, it seemed like a great idea to back up Whistler with Muskoka. And Mikey and I have shared nearly every bike mile this year together. It has been a training season for the memory books, for sure! My buddy Fawn and I have really known each other at a distance, but what she might not know is that I looked forward to every morning swim practice that I knew she’d be at. Her tenacity is wildly inspiring. Racing with her really is such a treat and I’m grateful to be able to be able to give her a good luck squeeze before the gun goes off – it’s rare and I get that. And serious love goes out to my childhood friends – Asher Maan (+ his rad man David) and Kate Hunter – we have been friends since elementary school and seeing them on race day made my chubby lil heart burst!
So with that, here is my recap of Ironman #12. As per always, my list of gratitude does not falter and in fact was spot on to Ironman Whistler, with the addition of the Corker + Frey families that showed up on home turf. #hometownfamilyadvantage (My Bro wasn’t at this race, but I knew that he’d check in on the day. His energy is contagious, even across the country.)
The swim takes place in a classic cottage lake and ends in a swamp-like shoreline. The water was calm, the course was straight forward and I knew there were a handful of remarkable swimmers so if I could get outta the water within the top5 girls, I’d be happy. I exited T1 and kept my wetsuit on for the run UP hill – this transition is no joke – figuring I could take it down while moving which would keep me a little warmer and also ensure I didn’t burn a match on this 400m climb. #coachesorders
I moved thru T1 as swiftly as I could, feeling quite excited to ride 180km as I hadn’t ridden that long in a month! This course was brand new – Mikey + I had ridden 20km of it and the remaining 160km were going to be a total surprise. The rumours were it was “hilly”, but for Vancouverites, I wasn’t quite certain what that would mean. Well, call the rumours true – it’s bumpy and definitely not flat. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it is not fast either. All of that aside, I was ready to have a bike split that was indicative of my training. I was first and foremost considering this to be an excellent training day for Kona. So I rode the course as though it was straight out of Training Peaks. My HR was never a beat too high, my power was spot on. I went for consistency and didn’t miss one 5min window without drinking. Jasper always tells me to ride my own race and good things will happen. He is constantly drilling me to be deliberate and stay in the moment. I find this is top of mind for me on the ride when I get ahead of myself, I come back to each 10km section. I ride 10km at a time – it’s the fastest way to get thru 180km! TeamParents were out in full force with great cheers and of course, Davey was right at the sidelines shouting out splits. My Mama had found the steepest hill and chalked it up with words of cheer. It was simply great. And, it was indeed hilly. It was actually rather lonely in places as I’d ride without anyone in sight for quite some time. The volunteers at aid stations were absolutely incredible. When I hit 160km, feeling rather fresh, I thought I’d try to maintain my effort so if Mikey was going to catch me, I was going to stay with him (legally, of course)…
Well, into T2 without Mikey just yet and holding 4th OA/ 3rd in my AG. (As I came running out of transition, Mikey was on his way in — we exchanged a few words and I shouted at him “come and catch me!”.) I knew 1st + 2nd (Robyn + Fawn) were exceptional runners, so I was going to try to hang onto 3rd without getting caught. (remember: it wasn’t that long ago that I spent the bike getting passed silly and then constantly getting run down. the downside of being a swimmer! so, improvement!) I actually thought about Dylan Gleeson who raced IM Mt Tremblant and said he got off the bike and really went for it – I was up for going for it! And by km7, I thought my day was over. Dave’s Mom said it best: “it was really early on in the run and you didn’t look very good.” #motherstruth And ya know what, I didn’t feel very good either. My spot on nutrition plan for the bike was not working for the run. Each km I tried to get something in, it was not interested in staying. The fog has cleared and the sun was coming out. My confidence from feeling strong on the bike only took one big hill on the run to quickly evaporate and the only thing worse than your nutrition blowing up is when your mind blows up! Within the next few km’s, I saw both of my parents who were bursting with cheer for me. It really hit me – they didn’t give two hoots, I mean, I say this with love, they just do not care how I finish and it is the best feeling in the whole world. And then I saw my Dave and sweet friends Asher + David who were cheering their hearts out – I knew I mustn’t be having too bad of a run because Davey was in fine cheering form! And then, out from the sidewalk was Kate Hunter! My childhood bestie, who is a new Mom and no one cheers like Kate Hunter. In my sweaty state, I stopped to give her a hug and saw her man who was shouting words of “keeeeeep going!”. I could play that entire marathon km to km for you, because I remember every single one of them. But you get the picture – my mind went dark, my nutrition went out the window, my unrelenting cheer squad never gave up and when Davey would throw in an update from Jasper, I knew coach was watching this unfold. “Keep fighting, right until the very end” – I only needed to hear that once to believe it. I decided to run aid station to aid station, coke cup to coke cup – with my whole heart and while it might not have been fast, I just didn’t give up! I was so (so so!) thrilled to turn the corner and see 10:29 on the clock…I was closing in on a PB and breaking the infamous 10:30 threshold, while still holding onto to 3rd in my AG. Sweet Fawner had held onto 2nd to secure her spot to Kona with an amazing day + Mikey hung on for his first back to back IM experience like a champ! The lesson from this run that I mustn’t ever ever forget: it is never as bad as you think it is + LOVE WINS…
I’ve been asked quite a bit “when will it be enough” and “if you’ve already qualified for Kona, why do you want to go again?” And in the moment, it is usually quite difficult for me to articulate the feeling that gets me out of bed every morning. But that finish line – the guts and the glory, the sheer grit for 42.2km – is a feeling that you just can’t make up! I consider race days opportunities to practice how you wanna feel every single day — grit + grace, wrapped in aloha with a whole lotta love. I also appreciate that days like Sunday remind me to go after the “what if it’s possible” vs. the “what if you fail”…cause Kona2016 is officially in the bag! That is some serious ALOHA for the summer of 2015!
Next up: Ironman Hawaii – the 6week count down is on. Follow along for the truth + the tales of 3 Ironmans in 3months…(teaser: not every day is sunshine + pineapples!)