Friday, September 28, 2012

Le Tour De Canada....Partie Quatre...Le Chapitre Final

See? Even my French is getting better! I failed to mention two other momentous moments of the previous days in my Canadian Journey...

1) Solange, Anne's maman, was instructed to speak to me only in french while I was there because I requested the total immersion tour of Canada. That lasted just through the beginning of lunch on day one... and then abruptly ended because all I could say in response was "oui, oui" and then drink heavily. Conversation was limited. I will practice more for our next meeting.

2) Big John gave me a motorcycle ride through the hills of Muskoka on Saturday. This was actually one of the highlights of my trip (although I think he thought I was kidding when I told him that). There is nothing more freeing than riding a motorcycle with a big good-looking burly guy through a foreign country. Ok, that sounds weird, but owning a motorcycle was always on my bucket list until I had kids, then I gave it up. This was my replacement. Thanks Big John. Thanks FreeBird for loaning him to me.

Ok, so on to Sunday ~ race morning. I hate to say that I am such an experienced triathlete now that there is not much more I can write about my pre-race ritual than has been written in the past, but it is true. But there were a few differences this time. I actually got a good night's sleep the night before the race, likely due to my emotions of the day wearing me out. In addition, I had been trying not to snore all week long so I wouldn't disturb my roommate. Finally my body gave in to exhaustion. Sorry Crowe. Apparently my return to snoring interferred with her sleep that night.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Le Tour De Canada - Part Trois - Have You Ever Seen The Rain?


I have a problem sometimes with being overly open about my personal feelings, and I am not afraid to be honest about things that probably should be kept private. In blogging about my trip, initially I thought I would omit many of my personal experiences and focus only on my race report, keeping the writing light and funny. It may be the wrong decision, but initially this blog was created as a personal journal that I opened up for the world to see. In keeping with that, I have decided to acknowledge some of the more personal moments of this trip in order for me to one day reflect on my journey.  Having said that, if you prefer light and funny, you may want to skip ahead to the next posting!

Friday morning we awoke to another breakfast feast, this time consisting of green eggs and ham, and of course more bacon. We all took our time getting up, but once awake we organized ourselves for our pre-race ride. I scrambled to find water bottles and re-attach the bags that belonged on my bike that had been removed for travel. Once everyone's bikes were ready, we headed out to Deerhurst Resort for a short 12 mile ride.

I'll admit it. I was a bit anxious. I hadn't been on my bike in weeks, and the last time I rode it my ride was cut short from a planned 56 miles to about 30 miles...and that was the longest I had ridden since Gulf Coast Triathlon back in May. My neck issues had never resolved and I just didn't have the drive to push hard through the pain anymore. I had plenty of new excuses too ~ I was adjusting to a new diagnosis of insulin resistance and the combination of drastic dietary changes and medication just made me want to sleep all the time. And let's be real - needless to say - I was badly out of shape.

Even with the obstacle of a tough bike leg looming ahead in Sunday's race, I felt optimistic. I had decided to give it a go and was convinced that I had enough inner toughness to push through. I was better in tune with my body, and realized that it was my mind that limited me most of the time, not my body. In addition, I had recently received some external motivation in the form of a betting pool that challenged me to beat the odds. I always respond better to external motivation than internal, and when people bet money it motivates me to try just a little harder.

Le Tour De Canada - Part Deux - Living Large

We awoke early Thursday morning to the smell of bacon. It didn't take long for all of us to crawl out of bed and track the smell to the table where we were served fried eggs, bacon, fruit, and juice by Coach. We inhaled the breakfast and went back for seconds. Soon after breakfast, Maman and Papa showed up with multiple cups of Tim Horton's coffee to jump start everyone with caffeine. We re-packed our bags, cleaned up, and helped Coach re-load our bikes onto the back of her vehicle.

Today was going to be a big day for me - unbeknownst to most (including my family), I booked a sky-diving trip in Toronto before I left Louisiana. I was excited and eager to experience the rush. I didn't want anyone to worry so I left it on a need-to-know basis. It's always easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.

Coach wanted to get to the cottage in Muskoka early to prepare for our afternoon arrival, so she agreed to drop me off at Sky-Dive Toronto on the way. Once I settled in to watch my "Don't Even Think About Sueing Us If You Die" video, she excused herself and left me to check off my Bucket List item alone. I sent the necessary "I Love You" text to my husband in case I crashed into the ground with my face, and then took the obligatory thumb's up picture of myself to leave time-stamped on my iPhone to prove I was not coerced by anyone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Le Tour De Canada - Part One

It's been an interesting summer. Training took a bad hit after the Gulf Coast 70.3 as I tried to fix my neck issues, re-introduce myself to my children and husband, open a new business, continue to grieve the loss of my father, and on and on and on. My impending trip to Canada loomed ahead and panicked me as the closer it came the less I seemed to be doing to prepare for it. I struggled with the idea of pulling out of the trip all-together, or going with the sole intent to vacation and not race, or just winging it and seeing what happened. I decided on the latter. The trip was mostly paid for and if nothing else I would enjoy the scenery and the company.

Crowe, Jay, Thunderbird
I've always wanted to travel internationally but have never had many opportunities, so I was excited to make the most of it and enjoy the experience of something new. The Fabulous Four (Jay, Crowe, Thunderbird, and myself) set out on Tuesday morning from the New Orleans airport and embarked on a long day of flight delays, layovers, and laughs until we finally made our arrival in Buffalo, NY where we picked up a rental GMC Acadia. It was the first lucky turn of events as Jay got a free upgrade on the reserved van and turned it into a sweet and loaded SUV.