Friday, November 25, 2011

the Beauty of a Challenge

Seems like the greatest challenges of our lives
~once we have aspired to them~
bring the most beauty.

This was taken at the top of a mountain trail race last August.
I had never run 29km before in my life...hardly trained for the race, 
and yet- 
there I was- 
on the top of the world (albeit hardly breathing)....
and capturing a photo of one of the most beautiful scenes imaginable.

This winter is seeming like a challenge to me already. Not quite as difficult as that particular trail run, but a mental as well as physical challenge.
The snow, ice, wind...have already made their appearance,
and I am not a particular fan of any of them.

My run the other night was a treacherous one....slipping over the icy roads and walkways.
The next morning it wasn't any better on the icy gravel.

Winter is my challenge at present.

But as with any challenge....bring it on.
I'll battle my way through the elements- and when spring hits...I will look back and forget the miserable parts...
(and be extremely happy it's over!).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Arizona Running

Alberta....where I normally live:
currently covered in snow and -4 degrees Celcius.

Arizona....where I traveled to on the weekend, to hang out and absorb heat for a week:
+18  to +25 degree Celcius, sunny. 
With palm trees.

In the mornings I head out on a 4-5 mile trail.
I wear a tank top and shorts.
It's perfect running weather.

Strange thing is...people here look at me like I've lost my mind. 
While I run in summer-wear, they are walking, biking, running- in layers of clothing and toques and gloves.

Funny thing how climate affects us all:)

I do believe I could stay here all winter to run.

I don't miss my toque or mittens.

In the least.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Beauty(?) of the sport

 My internal alarm clock got me up at 3:45 am today.
And once I'm up there is usually no point in trying to get back to sleep...for my mind starts to work the minute I open my eyes. Then I'm in trouble.

This morning's mind conversation went something like this:

"Should I go run?
Or maybe I should just go bike for a bit on the trainer before the swim?
Or maybe I should drive to town and do my long run and forget the swim today....
Should  I just swim?
Oh I WISH I could just sleep 2 more hours...."

The Bike Trainer in the basement won first place, swim came in second.

I started biking at 4am- and as it was so early - the only things on TV were some re-runs of a craft show and advertisements for Beauty Cream.
Wouldn't you know it...a super model was trying to sell a rejuvenating skin product which was supposed to make you look and then stay- YOUNGER.

Now really. When one gets out of bed at 3:45am and throws on shorts and an old T-shirt, no makeup, hair up in a you want to sit and watch a super model flaunt her youthful Beauty?

For anyone who has worked on a can be nothing but a Sweat-Fest.

And then there's the swim sessions.
Those swim caps can make you look like a bald eagle, not to mention owl-like when the goggles are in place.
And how about the eye rings until lunch time? My eyes look as though they were both hit by something until at least noon.

Then there's the feet.
Oh...the feet.
 I have pictures of after-training-race feet....but as so not to churn weak stomachs- I will refrain from posting.

In the summer one can sport beautiful tan lines from Tri-shorts and tops, and shoulders and noses are usually burned from the hours spent on the bike outside.

Most of the time, my Triathlon/Running involvement makes me feel like this:

(this picture was taken of me after an outdoor running session)

After cycling through yet another round of Beauty Cream advertisements and how one can maintain their youth by only spending $59.95 plus shipping and handling....
and watching the super model swing her un-pony tailed  tresses and smile with no goggle rings around her eyes...I turned the t.v. to off.

I was content to listen to the beauty of the wheel on the trainer, spin as I tried to make it go faster.
Listening to the sound of my music on the ipod- pump through my head as I tried to keep in time with my pedalling feet.

And when I got to the pool...I proudly donned my bright green swim cap and super-google-eyed glasses to swim for an hour....
pretending to glide through the seemingly blue (chlorinated) water as though I was a fish in the sea being chased by a predator, 
(which was actually the man next to me using  fins and paddles).

By 7am I had completed almost 40km of beautiful training time.
And at the end of it all...I felt like I had slept for  12 hours instead of 5.
I felt energized and ready to tackle my day.
My mind was finally on track and thoughts didn't feel so scattered.

All this, and I saved $59.95 and shipping.

There are some things Beauty Cream just can't do for you.