Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what the heck?!

I've moved.. head on over to my new and improved (ok the writing isn't going to be any better and I suck at decorating) blog.

Oh come on, I know you want to, "so I was" is going to be up tomorrow.  Please?

Please change your readers to www.shesaidineedagoal.com if it didn't automatically update and you'd still like to follow me.  I'll pay in beer!!  JUST KIDDING!!! I don't share beer.

Note that it may take 24 hours for the link to work for everyone.

And a big thanks to Kevin over at www.ironmanbythirty.com for ALL the help.  He's a superstar!

Monday, October 24, 2011

4 girls, 3 nights, 0 bears

Highlights from my weekend away with the girls in Mattawa Ontario.

Our home away from home

We stayed at Nature's Harmony.  It's an off-grid experience and while I am no camper and going without a hair dryer for a few days in a row is a super challenge for me I really really liked this experience.  No cell service, no running water, barely any electricity.  We had to 4wheel drive it up to the cabin from the main house. 

We arrived around 7pm on Thursday night and relaxed, had dinner, a few drinks and got ourselves acquainted with the place.

front of the cabin 
Friday morning we woke up and after getting 'cleaned up' we went into town to check messages and find breakfast.  We ended up stopping at the first place we saw, Drapers where we met Theresa who worked there and two other guys that were having breakfast, Mo and James.  Everyone was super friendly and they told us about the the three crosses and said we should hike there.  You would have to find a boat to take you across or you could walk across the railroad bridge (which was illegal).  Breakfast was fantastic by the way.  They also told us to go check out Mel's place, Moosehead Estates, another BandB in the area. 

sadly we didn't get to use this, too wet

We went to see the local art gallery where we got to see the "magic paintings" and then headed over to Mel's place where we were welcomed in and shown around her 11 bedroom, 6 bathroom estate.  The place is spectacular.  It has all the amenities a person (like me) would need, running water, flush toilets, cell service, an enormous lot, right on the lake and the most amazing kitchen I have ever seen and on and on.  I think we were there looking around and talking to Mel for at least 2 hours.  We are definitely going back there next year to stay, maybe after IMMT.  The place is gorgeous and Mel has worked hard to make it really comfortable.  Plus the stories about the house itself and the history could keep you busy for days. 

10 can sleep up there
We headed back to the cabin to wait for the other girls and had a great time chatting and eating before bed.  We slept in a loft, the cabin could sleep at least 12 people, 2 in the bedroom on the main floor and another 10 in the loft. 

Saturday we headed back to Drapers for 'the ususal' and then decided to tackle the bridge/hike to the crosses.  We heard differing stories about the train schedule.  No, there's no trains on a weekend, yes there's trains but you should be ok, the trains run in the late day around 6pm, the trains are stopped for construction.  I really had NO idea and this made me nervous.  Nevermind the train schedue then we heard about the trail to the three crosses.. It's just over there to the left of the bridge, that is the easiest way up, my 3 year old grandson did it, the guy at the outfitters said he had never done it and was too scared, someone else said you really should go up with someone that knows the trail. Oh and of course the bears.. we heard we better get a bear horn just in case, then no, you don't need a bear horn, the bears will leave you alone and on it went.  Incidentally there is a bear horn iphone app too.  

you can see the 3 crosses in the top right
There is never any stopping Michelle and Tracey was a super trooper but Heather and I were less convinced.  Getting across the bridge was bad, I can't believe how scared I was.  It wasn't horrible at the beginning, there were steel walls to block the wind on either side and if you kept your eyes focused on the ties you could step easily but when we got to the part where there were no walls my heart rate went up up up.  By the time we got across it might have been 10-15 minutes later but I could not stop shaking and all I could think of what having to go back across the bridge.  We weren't sure how to start up the trail, it looks different when you are standing there rather than looking across the lake from the other side.  It was slippery and wet and quite a climb straight up and at that point I called it.  Nope, not going.  I was too worried about bears and getting back across the stupid bridge and since we didn't even know if we were on a real trail I knew I was way out of my element. 

view once we made it across
Heather was with me but Tracey and Michelle kept on. Heather and I headed back across the bridge as quickly as we could and parked our butts in a vantage spot where we could watch for the other girls.  About an hour later sure enough we saw Tracey's red jacket and they were texting us that they made it.  Then they had to come down. When we finally saw them wandering along the railway path they were with a guy, it's not unlike Michelle to make friends everywhere she goes. What an interesting guy. His name is Tim and he lives in a makeshift tent on the mountain alone and this was to be he fourth winter up there.. (really???!!)  He met the girls at the top and offered to help them down via the actual trail which they had missed the entire way up, Michelle said ABSOLUTELY!!  The girls said he was a real help on the way down and very interesting to talk to.  They offered him money and he flat out refused, he said god would take care of him.  He typically comes down on Saturday night so he can go to church early Sunday morning. 

inside Moosehead Estate
When we go back next year I promised to hike to the crosses but we'd need to boat across and I hope we meet up with him again. 

Back to the cabin for our last night.  We were able to use the showers at the main house and they even put a sauna on for the girls around 9pm. 

I am definitely going back next year and want to stay at Moosehead Estate and I'll be excited to go back to Nature's Harmony and see the changes.  They are working very hard on expanding AND for you off road types they host an off road cycling race and a running race as well.  Jen and Tzach are fantastic hosts!  I wished I had spent more time hearing about their story. Maybe when we go back we can convince them to come and have dinner with us.

a few more pics and that's all I got...

our sunroom at the cabin

the wood stove, kept us extra warm

friendly dogs that decided to hang out with us

"The" place for breakfast, thanks Theresa!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Later gaters...

Hiking boots - check
Hiking socks,  which are shockingly comfy - check
Long johns - check
Yoho jacket - check
Packing list for the morning - check
Laundry done - check
Kitchen cleaned - check
Alcohol, don't even ask, trust me on this - check 
Books to read, iPad and old school - check
Bandaids - check
Grocery list - check
Baseball hat, cause my hair is gonna be interesting - check
Running shoes, gotta clear my head, see 'alcohol' - check 
iPod and speakers - check
Bathing suit, cause they have a sauna - check
(and yes I'll be singing Finnish sauna songs and did you know there is a Facebook page just for Finnish sauna songs?)
Tylenol - check check check check
Prayers for sunshine - check

4 girls
3 nights
my money is on the girls, NOT the owners of the BandB

that's all I got, I should be sleeping already!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nancy, fancy pants….

I have mentioned my coach often in my blog and if you haven't gotten it by now, she is frigging amazing! I have also said many times about how everyone related to the sport of triathlon are amazingly helpful and motivating.

There are two types of 'athletes' in my view. You guys and the rest of us. "You guys" are the unbelieveably dedicated, hard core, never let a little rain or I don't know, tornado, get in the way of your training for the day. You train HARD, race HARD, live your life in the best way possible. You eat healthy 99% of the time and you are always positive. You always have a moment to hang out with the rest of us and offer up some great advice, support, show us some tricks.. You guys are awesome!

The rest of us don't want to stand on the podium, we want to finish and have a great time doing it. We are looking to balance our lives, eat better, train hard more often but it's not really our passion. Running, not my passion, cycling, not my passion, swimming, not my passion BUT I love the variety of training that triathlon gives me, the people I get to interact with and how I feel whenever I finish whatever workout I am doing.

never without a smile
Lots of people have coaches. My coach works with many elite athletes but she also works with the rest of us. I think "we" are her passion. She GETS us. She motivates us to keep going, push harder, get the best out of our workouts and ourselves yet when life deals you a blow that sends you running from the world she's there with a hand, quietly waiting for you to come back. ALWAYS encouraging, never condescending. Hardly a week has gone by where she doesn't send me a text or email checking in on me. Every month she provides me with a program and checks in to see how things are going. If she gets frustrated with a lack of progress due to 'insert any old excuse here' she NEVER shows it. She is always looking for where are you now, how are you feeling, what do we want to work on next. I love every person that I have met in the sport of triathlon but Nancy… SHE is truly the best. The best competitor, motivator, supporter.. EVER hands down.

Always making everyone smile!

I pay a monthly fee for my personalized program and it also gets me into most of her running, cycling, swimming, yoga and party (haha) clinics. Occasionally there may be additional fees but not often. I also get to be a part of the Mommy's in Motion team and Iron Canucks (additional fees there), we spend an hour every month one on one working on a discipline, whatever it is I want to do. With the running/cycling/tri clinics we have guest speakers that come in to talk to us about things like injury prevention, nutrition (loved that girl), heart rate training etc.  Hell she even had Brian come in and talk to the team one time.

I'll never get to the podium, I only want to get to the finish line and have her run me in like she does for every single member of her team.

Who is Nancy Hastings? She is an athlete, an amazing coach whether you are elite or one of us AND she is a great friend. I can tell you without her especially these last 6 months I wouldn't be here and I definitely wouldn't be back training.

with her trusty bullhorn at a race simulation

that's all I got...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

so I was

loving this weather this past weekend

hoping you all had a great Thanksgiving

jealous of the American Thanksgiving because it's several days off and the shopping, oh the shopping

excited for a week of vacation!!! 2 more days and change til I'm FREE!! (let the bad jokes commence coughMattycough)

planning to sleep in for the first 3 days, or maybe the entire time

starting a yoga class with the IronCanucks in a few weeks. This is going to be funny, me+yoga=ridiculous

almost enjoying running.. Almost…

thinking I need to get out for a bike ride before it gets really cold, it's been too long

waiting impatiently for the NBC version of Kona, even though I know what happens I love that show

wondering if I am the only that records the show and then watches it several times

remembering when I first moved into the house and my kitchen counters were not cluttered.  Now it looks lived in

predicting that tomorrow (which is actually today) I'll be very sorry I forgot to stretch after my run tonight (which was actually last night)

that's all I got...