Monday, June 25, 2012

First Road "Race" of 2012 Recap

At the beginning of spring this year Matt convinced me to take up biking this summer. Ok, it wasn't that hard to convince me. I was in good physical shape because of my consistent yoga practice over the last year but I had really been neglecting any cardiovascular activity. So when he mentioned biking I was all "Yeah, why not?". Since I didn't have a bike my dad decided to let me use his (Thanks Dad!!). We got it tuned up at Sportwheels and had new clip-less pedals installed. Having never used clip-less pedals before I was really nervous about trying them out. But Matt kept reassuring me that I would get the hang of it in no time so I had a bit of faith.

My first few rides with the clip-less pedals were pretty nerve wracking. Being physically attached to your bike and having to think about moving your shoe to the side before getting off the bike can be a little stressful. I will admit that I did fall down. More than once. Surprisingly though it was never when I was actually biking, always when I had stopped, unclipped one foot, put that foot on the ground but accidentally transferred body weight into the foot that was still clipped in. And then TIMBER, I fell over. The first time I could not stop laughing once I was on the ground and had done a body check to make sure I was ok. Matt said my face was priceless, complete shock. Where is candid cameras when you need them?

Back to the story... I had to upgrade my biking seat to something with more cushion and then we started hitting the trails a lot more. Sooner than I would have ever expected, we were biking 10km and 15km distances. My body was reacting well to the biking and it was proving to be a lot of fun (except for the sore bum). So we decided to sign up for a race. Well a "race" I should say. We registered for the Valley Lifecycle 50km bike ride. It wasn't really a race, more of a "let's promote health and fitness and all ride our bikes" kind of event.

We had started training for it about a month before the big day by doing shorter rides during the week (20-35km) and longer rides on the weekend (40-50km). Then last week we found out that the 50km ride was actually 62km. I will admit I felt pretty defeated at first. I've never been a cyclist and wasn't sure if I could do that distance as we had only trained for 50km. On top of that I had sore hamstrings from working out too hard earlier in the week and Matt was sore from getting back into badminton Friday night. We got up on Sunday and contemplated not going. Although I really wanted to race (especially since I had told so many people about it) I didn't want to injure myself since I was still sore and I didn't want Matt to injure himself since he was still sore as well. We decided to do a test ride around the neighbourhood and after a couple of laps we decided, what the hell, we're up and feeling ok so we might as well do it.

The experience was awesome. I was surprised with how many people were there and it was really cool to ride through Kentville's main roads and have it completely closed off for bikers. It took Matt and I about 5-10km to get into the groove of the ride but after that I found it almost easy. The scenery was so gorgeous that Matt and I want to drive the route next time we're in the area so we can take some photos. After about 1/3rd into the ride we became spaced out enough from other riders that we were pretty much alone for the rest. I prefer this way more than biking with a bunch of other people because we could be silly and make jokes and chat without people listening in. Most of the bikers tended to be pretty serious too so we probably would have only annoyed them.

We ended up finishing in just under 3 hours (I think, it wasn't timed so I don't have an exact time) which I am overly pleased with. I was guestimating it would take 3.5-3.75hr for us to finish. We only had a few problems on the route. My chain fell off twice and the second time I fell off my bike when I went to stop to put it back on. Thankfully I didn't hurt anything. The last 1/4 of the race was really hard on Matt's muscles since they were so sore to begin with. He has been so supportive of me when we were on some hard rides during training so I was really glad we stuck together for the whole ride and I could be supportive of him. I'm so used to going on bike rides with him now that I think it would be really weird, if not hard for me to ride alone.

All in all it was a super successful day. We went and stuffed our faces at Joe's Food Emporium in Wolfville after the race. The food was much needed as we probably burned between 2000 and 2500cal during the ride.

Started with some cocktails - I had a pina colada and Matt had a long island iced tea.

Appetizer was zatar fingers which is a Lebanese version of garlic fingers
This was delicious! It's called vegetarian m'nazalee and I HAVE to find out how to make it.

Now we're seriously considering doing either a metric century (100km) or a 75km race. Maybe if I have time for the training with my sprint triathlon training :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Come Alive

Terrified. That moment's hesitation right before you grab hold of your dream and run with it. Shortness of breath. The fear of failing, or maybe, the fear of succeeding. That's what I'm feeling right now. If you know me or have read a good amount of my blog posts you'll know that I love having a goal. Something to work towards. I have so many lists in my journals it is actually kind of embarrassing. So is the amount of projects/goals I have started to work towards and have quit. Around 5 years ago I decided to stop attending university. Since then I have worked full time in good jobs but never jobs that fed my soul. I think this lack of feeding my soul has made me become indecisive about my career. Instead of pursuing something that means a lot to me, I've been doing whatever has "fallen" into my lap. What is comfortable and secure.

At the beginning of the year my dear friend Andrea and I went to have our tarot cards read. It was quiet the experience. I even have it all recorded on my phone for me to reflect back on (which I recommend for anyone that has their tarot cards read). Pierre told me a few things that really stuck out to me. He said that currently my career is in a position of non-choice. I have found my way into a job, a good job, but not the job for me. He said that the job I am in is not challenging me enough and is not feeding my creativity. From the cards I selected (I forget which ones) he said that I need to spend the near future researching areas that really inspire me and call out to me. Find a field that interests me on both a personal and professional level and then go back to school or train in that field to gain the knowledge I need to be successful. He ended that part of the reading with, "You are going to be miserable if you don't use your brain and challenge your intelligence."

That has been stuck to the back of my head for months now and I think I have finally found what I want to do. No, I have definitely found what I want to do. In my own life I have been so focused on being healthy, eating well and working out. After a lot of reflection I have realized that when I talk to people about my diet or fitness decisions I completely light up. I get so excited that someone has shown a bit of interest in my diet/fitness which I believe in turn reflects their interest in their own diet/fitness. No matter who the person is I always try to help them with recipe suggestions or types of yoga classes or work out routines, etc. So when the light bulb finally turned on a few weeks ago it didn't surprise me that this is the field that I really want to get into. I want to immerse myself in the field of health and fitness and not only use the knowledge to help myself but to teach others how to be healthy and fit as well.

For the first time in my life I feel like this is really it. This isn't some idea that is going to burn out in a few months or years. Tonight I take my first step down this road with my first night of personal trainer specialist classes. I have some really fun and creative ideas for where this career could potentially lead me and I can't wait to share the journey with you all (hello? does anyone read this?).

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman