Fitty on the West Coast

A daily account of a misplaced Canadian working, living and training on the West coast...

Thursday, February 8

Oh yeah, I've been tagged!

What a great time for me to get tagged! I've been a little down since this injury and have been second guessing whether or not I can train for the half ironman and the STP (200 mile bike ride from Seattle to Portland) this year. Partly because training takes up a lot of time. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the women I train with! But I also miss my friends whose idea of training is going to happy hour 3 nights a week to prepare for the big night out on Saturday night.

I really want to experience the best of everything this year. Training, travel, work, friends, family and yes, even some drinking and dancing on the town. Can I do this, get over this injury, base train and then ramp up to the half IM and STP? Typical Aleks, putting on the pressure instead of enjoying the journey.

So I'm going to put it out of my head and just go with the flow, enjoy myself and the company around me. I'll keep doing what I'm doing as long as it's fun! So as a reminder, I'm going to answer the tag from

P.S. Training has been good this week, but I've been a little low on energy. But I'm sticking to the plan, with lots of strength training. Oh, and PT kicked my butt this week! Holy they work you hard... I'm hoping this pays off in nipping this injury and getting me back to running! I had NO idea they'd have me doing a workout during my sessions! So much for an nice little massage and electrode stimulation! Now I know why they call it "the Shelly love"! ;-)

Now the tag (keep in mind I have only done one tri):

1. Describe a memory from your first triathlon ever.

Spending a FULL day at the expo, racking bikes and dinner with the Princesses. That was one of my favorite memories of all time.

2. Describe a memory from your most recent triathlon.

3. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in a tri?
The girls convinced me that I was a strong swimmer and that I would be ok without a wetsuit. Danielle also managed to convince me that I should stick a little closer to the front because Danskin was full of newbies that would drown me from the back. So I positioned myself close to the front and when the gun went off, I nearly drown. I swam too fast to get out front. The water was super choppy and I took it way too much water. Had to revert to the great backstroke! :)

4. What's the most thrilling thing that's happened to you in a tri?
Beating my goal! Surprising myself on the bike, and even with major aches on the run, still beating my goal time.

5. What is something you discovered about yourself by doing triathlons?
That I can do it?!?!? :)

6. What is The Big Goal that you're working towards?
Hmmmm... TBD? Half IM and STP!

Ok, off to sleep... gotta get up in less than 7 hours to meet Jess and Regan for Danielle's spin class!

Night night!

Monday, February 5


See, like I never skipped a beat. ;-) Ok, one week beat to be exact! And it's not that I didn't exercise last week, but between getting up early to go to the gym, being swamped at work and crashing super early from jet lag, blogging was voted off the island. But after hearing my mom complain 4 days in a row now that I haven't blogged, I figured it was time to be an adult and stay up past 8 pm and get caught up! Plus, I missed you all and had questions like about Wes' job hunt and Jess' boot!

So, I have caught up on some (but not all) of your blogs yet (but I will)! It's 9:20 and I'm fighting to keep my eyes open, so I just wanted to say that I'm alive. I'm getting up early tomorrow to do some cardio and weights. I also have a PT appointment tomorrow so I'm hoping she'll have some good news about my progress and an ETA on running. I have major running withdrawal, it's so weird.

Jess also tagged me on Thursday (this is how out of the loop I am) so I'll get on that tomorrow. For now, all I can think of is sleep. Like I said, I don't normally get jet lag and I can't imagine that it's still remnants of the trip to London. But they say it takes a day to recover for every hour in time difference. That would make today the last recovery day... maybe my body is trying to fight off something that I picked up on the plane? I don't know, whatever it is, my body called, it wants it's energy back. Wow, you know you're tired when you're throwing out really tragic one liners.

P.S. I am a little depressed. Yesterday was both the best and worst day of the year. I love Superbowl Sunday for all of the fun and excitement that it brings, but it also marks the end of the best sports season. Now all I have to look forward to is March Madness and Hockey Night in Canada.

Sunday, January 28

Heading home!

What a great trip! I can't remember the last time I had such a great business trip followed by quality family time! However, I am ready to go home... and be back on a normal schedule and back at the gym.

I am waiting at Heathrow for my flight home through Copenhagen. My flight is delayed and the last time this happened I missed my connection and my bags were lost. I hope I'll have better luck this time!

While I wait I thought I'd jot some things down about the rest of my trip and my week ahead so I don't hesitate to get back on track. I had a couple of wonderful days with my brother (P) and sister-in-law (A). Yesterday we spent the day in
Windsor, followed by an amazing dinner at home and a night in watching movies (You, Me and Dupree, An Inconvenient Truth and Cars). It was the perfect way to end a busy week!

Here's what I'm planning for this upcoming week to get my body detoxed of this British food and booze!

Monday - 6 am cycling and weight training (hopefully I get some sleep at home tonight!)
Tuesday - Swimming (and maybe yoga?)
Wednesday - 60 minutes of cardio and weight training
Thursday - Swimming (and maybe yoga?)
Friday - Danielle's cycling class and weight training
Saturday - Something fun that is easy on the legs

Still no running... not while I'm still feeling knee pain just walking around. I hope this doesn't last.
Jess is also out from running for a while so it's a *little* easier to stay away from running.

This week I'm also going to return to eating similar foods to what I ate at my parent's place in Canada... no calorie counting, just wholesome foods that worked well. Oatmeal and berries, fish, lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, LOTS OF WATER and nuts, apples with peanut butter and flax. And no alcohol... I have been on a bit of a bender since Jan 7th which is a long time for me. Besides the extra calories, I don't get enough water in and I now feel completely dehydrated (good time to get on a plane, NOT!) :)

Here are some pics of the three of us yesterday, see you all soon!

P and A at the gates of Windsor Castle. I can't properly describe how gigantic this place was.

Mmmmmm... beer. Ewwww... Guiness. Taken for effect only, and for the beer mustache. :)

Me and P...

Me and A... the reflective tape on my running gloves lit up half of the pictures taken yesterday. :)

A... 13 weeks pregnant. She's going to kill me for posting this, but I had to... I wish I looked this good pregant!

Friday, January 26


Last I posted I was fighting the effects of jetlag here in the UK. I don't usually get it, but Tuesday night it happened again. I slept from 10 pm to 1 am and that was it. I tried everything, bed, couch, floor, pacing, eating, working, reading and watching TV. Nothing, it was like a bad joke and I was getting more and more stressed about the day ahead. Finally I just got up out of bed at 6 am and went down to the gym.

We had a full day of meetings Wednesday and I was fighting to stay awake in the afternoon but we had a great day of sessions! That night we went out for a night of drinking... boy can the English drink! And when all good things collide, good friends, good atmosphere and good music, I can hold my own too. We had an amazing time, bar hopping and dancing the night away! There are few things in life I enjoy more than cutting a rug... and singing so loud that I can't talk the next day. No matter how bad the hangover is. :)

I woke up the next day and felt great! Why? Because I finally slept! Apparently that was the cure for the jetlag, drink so much you pass out! Not the healthiest solution but I needed every minute of the 7 hours I got! :) Another afternoon of meetings followed by another evening out! When in Rome, do as! My friends finally put me in a cab and I got to my brother's place at 11:30.

I love my brother and sister in law, I feel so blessed to be able to come here for work and get to spend time with them too. I wouldn't see them nearly as much if it weren't for the trips for work, so this makes the hard work so worth it! We got to sleep last night around 1 am, and I didn't get up until 12:30. I haven't slept that long in months, I obviously needed it! But I feel polluted, the drinking and crappy eating makes me feel gross. My two day bender is going to quickly turn into a detox here shortly... but I am not going to fuss about it while I'm here. For now, I'm going to enjoy every single minute of my time with my family.

Spending time overseas collaborating with the other MS subs ignites that feeling of wanting to spend a couple of years working for a smaller sub in Europe. There are some really smart folks here and when you have limited resources, you are forced to be much more creative to get things done. The work coming out of Europe is so fresh and exciting! It's a little like working in the Canadian sub, but with many more accents!

Ok, I'm off to enjoy a little bit of this wonderful city! Hope you're all having a great week, can't wait to get home and see the girls. I promise to update you princesses on the boy drama... do I have a sign on my forehead that says "PLEASE mess with my head?" First Canada, then Seattle last week and now here in the UK? Exactly why I'm not dating, who has the time to deal with this crap? When it rains it pours... I'm going to hide permanently in a hole to stay dry. :)

Tuesday, January 23

Hello from London!!!

I left the house Sunday at 4:30 pm Seattle time and we arrived at the hotel last night (Monday) at 7 pm London time. I was hoping to get in 30 minutes of cardio but our flight was 1.5 hours delayed and I just wanted to shower, eat and sleep!

I can't complain about jet lag, my coworkers usually suffer more than I do. The tough part about this trip is that you're tired around 10 pm (Seattle afternoon nap time), pass out and wake up at 2 am bright eyed and bushy tailed. Then you're in meetings "bobbing for apples" all afternoon, fighting the urge to fall asleep. :)

I forgot my melatonin at home so took a couple of Advils hoping that it would help me sleep through 8 am. I know, who was I kidding... 10 pm to 8 am? I woke up at 2 am thinking, HEEEEELLLL NO and forced myself back to sleep! I woke up every hour after that, and finally giving in at 5:30. An hour to kill before the fitness center at the hotel opened... giving me time to unpack and get organized for the day.

I made my way down to the gym which was nice and big. It is right next to the pool area so it was pretty humid in there and watching people swim made me regret having forgotten my swimsuit! It was nice though, I was the only woman surrounded by about a dozen men... mmmmm... some were darn cute!

I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes and was feeling "that pain" right away. I want to focus on healing so I'm going to spend time cross training and stop running altogether for a couple of weeks. I followed up the treadmill with 30 minutes on the bike (pain free!) and then 30 minutes of strength training. I officially began base training today and didn't let my heart rate go over 155, except when I wasn't paying attention at some point lifting weights and managed to get up to 173. Oooops, I'll keep a closer eye on that next time. It was obvious to me that I've been away from the weight room for 2+ weeks, so it will be good to get back to a consistent program. It felt so great getting back to the gym today, I'm jazzed to get my day going!

I showered and ordered some breakfast since we're not meeting until noon today. Oh, something is up with the water here. My hair feels yucky, like I didn't wash it at all... almost greasy. It smells good so hopefully people don't think I skipped the morning shower altogether! :)

I haven't ventured outside yet, so you'll have to settle for pictures of the hotel room this morning! Here you go!

Who's this? Chris McCormack in my bed? Lucky me!

Random rooms pics... followed by breakfast and morning coffee. Poached eggs on wheat toast, kiwi, grapefruit, banana, cereal... I have to hide the fruit and cereal so housekeeping doesn't take it away while I'm at the office!

Cheers, Starbucks and McDonald's outside my hotel?

Saturday, January 20

Working from London

I'm excited, I am leaving for London on Sunday night! Normally I don't look forward to traveling for work but my brother lives in the UK so I actually get to see him while I'm over there! Our meetings run through Wednesday and I'll be staying with him Thursday through Sunday. It's not a lot of time but I'll take all I can get! His wife if pregnant and I'm looking forward to seeing her and sharing in their good news.

I'll be blogging to track my workouts and to keep the diet under control while traveling. I'm not sure when I'll post my first (probably Monday night), so here are a few half marathon pics to fill the time. Oh, one more thing... Tosha tipped me off to the RSS feeds in Outlook. I have been really busy and haven't had time to catch up on your blogs... NOT ANYMORE! They are now all downloaded to my RSS folders so I can read them on the 16 hour trip to the UK!

Thursday, January 18

No Running?!?!?!

I received some tough news after my first visit with the physical therapist yesterday. I cannot under any circumstances run for longer than 20-30 minutes for the foreseeable future. No, not even if I’m say… running from a predator to save my life!

She is going to treat the injuries to my hip, hamstring and knee. She is also going to have me work on exercises to strengthen the hip muscles to prevent this from happening in the future. ETA on being back on the long distance “circuit” is Vancouver in May (Mercer Island in late March if all stars align). That being said, I won’t mess with success. My PT is a 34 year old, 2:42 PR marathoner who is trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials. SHE owns me. She has come highly recommended by a number of my friends so if she says jump, I will ask how high. I won’t sacrifice my long term goals and well being to satisfy my immediate desire to run and have fun with my friends. Do I sound like I’m trying to convince myself? Probably cause I am. I guess I’ll have to do with cycling, some cardio equipment work and strength training. Sounds ideal for base training now that I think of it… the upside of being injured if there is one!

Not that I wasn’t amazed by Michelle before, but I am now in greater awe of her ability to remain injury free as a marathon maniac! By the way, I was looking at what it takes to be one and Jess, you qualify based on your 3 marathons in 2 months gig! I hope you’ve applied for your official membership!

So I have been a little down because the injury combined with travel and impossible work schedule has kept me out of the gym. Isn’t it amazing how not being able to workout impacts your life! I used to have to force myself to get out and run, these days I feel this weird “blah-ness” when I don’t get out to do something! I’m sure you know what I mean.

Maybe I’ll do some pilates at home tonight to combat not being able to get to the gym. Anyone can spare 20 minutes for Mari Winsor on DVD right?!?!?!