Nobody likes to read about the weather, myself included. But I’m going to write about the weather anyway, since it seems to be the only thing anyone up here is talking about. Apologies if you live in a part of the country where it’s been raining 24/7… but for the last 10 days or so, Pemberton has been somewhat comparable to the surface of the sun.
Personally, I like it. I may not like it as much when I’m trying to sleep, but it’s been back-to-back days of lake time, a steady diet of freezies and popsicles, workouts in the heat of the day where your body just doesn’t sweat because it’s too damn hot.
And to think… in 2 months it’ll probably be snowing.
I was drinking my coffee in the kitchen the other morning when Anja stumbled in, bleary-eyed and clutching her blankie. As she mumbled her breakfast requests to me, I glanced down and then did a double-take.
“Did you… Anja! Oh my god. Did you… CUT YOUR HAIR?”
Anja, now wide-eyed and guilty-looking, answered with an emphatic “no!”
I started pawing at her forehead, and sure enough discovered that she’d given herself uneven bangs in a top-secret, middle of the night self-haircut.
“Anja, you did! You cut your hair! Where are the scissors? Where’s the hair?!”
Through tears and a wobbly lower lip, she answered (induced purely by my panic):
“In my bed…”
Oh boy. Once we both recovered from the shock (do spare me the “it’ll grow back” speech), we agreed that she didn’t do such a bad job after all. Mama Marnie cleaned it up a little, and as we walked home I said:
“So Anja, let’s remember. Who cuts your hair?”
“Only our hairdresser, mama. I get it now. I totally get it.”
I haven’t DNF’d a race since I was racing mountain bikes in 1999-ish. I broke that streak on Sunday when I pulled the pin on the run portion of the Victoria 70.3. I wasn’t at all happy with having to make that decision, but when I got off my bike and hobbled through transition to rack my bike, looking for all the world like a human leaning Tower of Pisa, I knew that it was the decision to make. That was me, being mature and all that.
I may or may not have shed a tear of frustration, disappointment and yes, even a little embarrassment. I guess deep down, my heart just wasn’t into hurting myself for the sake of running around the lake twice.
Still, it sucks.
On the bright side, I had my fastest ever 1/2 iron swim (not fast by fast standards, but who cares. Fast for me. And if you tell me the swim was short, I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you.)
My bike was very average and the indicator that I wouldn’t be running started to become apparent to me when my leg went numb and my back flared up again. I told myself I’d pull out of the bike after the first loop but as I rode right past the turnoff, but I guess my stubbornness kept me going. My internal dialogue at that time went something like this:
“Hey, aren’t you turning?”
“Nah, might as well go ’round again.”
“Ok. But still. Ow.”
“Oh shut up.”
Let me tell you, I’ve see suns set faster than the time it took me to ride that 2nd loop. Sheesh.
So now, time to heal this crooked body of mine and really try to figure out what’s wrong. Being injured just plain sucks.
My partner-in-crime and I decided on a 2 week “don’t-sign-up-for-anything” period to prevent the whole “that was awesome, let’s do it again/that sucked, I need redemption” thing. This does not stop me from googling races and planning out adventures. A girl needs something to look forward to, ya know?
Big, huge thanks to my brother for coming with us and holding down the fort as I rolled out of bed at 4:30am for this silly hobby… Big, huge thanks to Liz for always being up for anything… Big, huge thanks to Steph and Chrissy for the pep talks… Big, huge thanks to the kids for being exhausting humans who make me laugh/want to tear my hair out.
And that folks, is my pre-race mantra. It’s working well so far; I successfully stuffed my face today. I think I need to have a shirt made.
It’s Ironman 70.3 Victoria tomorrow. My morale is… meh. I’d better get my mental act together since the alarm goes off in about 8 hours. Frankly, I got exactly what I wished for when I said I wanted my next race to be in more moderate temps – I froze my ass off today.
Coach Suter said that I’m to swim as hard as I can (haha), bike as hard as I can (ok, sure) and then see if my foot holds up on the run. It’s going to be a long walk if it doesn’t.
This means I’m going to take the opportunity to try all new things in this race and see how it all works out. I mean, on the one hand I can argue that I am rested because I haven’t overtrained. On the other, I can argue that I am severely undertrained. So really, what have I got to lose?
FAMOUS LAST WORDS.
Speaking of trying new things, I brought these along with me. It’s their first time at one of mum’s “big races”:
They’ve added a whole new dimension to race prep.
I wonder how this is all going to shake out tomorrow?
It’s been hot these past few days and it’s awesome. Feels like someone turned on summer, suddenly. The kids don’t adapt that quickly — they love it but it seems to sap their energy at the same time. I spend an inordinate amount of grocery money on popsicles.
Why can’t I find these anymore?
Remember smacking them on the counter and splitting them with a friend? Or shafting your sibling by eating 3/4 of it and giving them the piece that fell off into the package in the smacking process? Ah, the good old days.
Summer means lots of time biking here. BMX started last night. By no means are my kids competitive at this sport, but they do love going to the track. They ask me for tips and all I can provide by way of insight is:
“um, yeah. Don’t stop pedaling.”
“But what if I’m in the air?”
“Then don’t pedal.”
“But you said –”
“Never mind what I said. Just go have fun.”
I’ll be on the start line at Victoria 70.3 next week, no matter what. Which of course means I did this yesterday. Someone needs to save me from myself.
This guys has provided entertainment, companionship and lots of headaches these last few weeks. He’s adept at escaping from the backyard but I can’t figure out how, despite spying on him (yeah, I spy on my dog. So what?) If you see this friendly face on the trail, take him for a ride/run. He’ll love you for it.
Any bets on how long this Teacher’s Strike will go on for? Kids are enjoying the 4 day weeks. Parents… less so. Summer vacation starts early, I think…
Last weekend, I was on the start line of yet another race, but this one was a little different. Rather than the usual swim/bike/run or girls trip of late, I lined up behind Will and Rory as they prepared to run the Loop the Lakes 8k in Squamish.
Race mornings for me tend to be somewhat methodically planned out – at least mentally. Not so when trying to usher 3 sleepy little people out the door by 7:15am. It was more like “I have a coffee, everyone has clothes on and a sandwich, let’s go!” The rest would somehow fall into place.
We arrived at the start, signed in and then spent the next 20 minutes before the start trying to keep the boys away from the food table. No mean feat since the offerings included donuts.
We started together and as we crested the first hill, Will took off and that was the last I saw of him till we crossed the finish line. He would tell me later that he had lots of fun high-fiving people, passing whoever he could on the uphills and drinking the blue Gatorade. He did also mention that he got a little lonely in the woods at times…
Rory and I played caboose and it was awesome. He went in fits and starts – as you do when you are 5. Sometimes he went fast and laughed and jumped. Other times, we held hands and talked and walked. “Mama, I have a crank.” Cramp? “Yeah, that’s what I said. Crank”. He got pretty tired at the end but magically recovered after eating 2 donuts.
As for Talky-Talkerson? She was pretty mad I wouldn’t let her do the 8k with us. She and I did the 1K and “Mama that was so fun, I am pretty fast eh?”
I can confirm that wrangling between 3-6 kids (we went with friends who also ran with us) to start a race/put on that number/come here!/ where’s your brother?/ Have you peed yet?/come here! combined with not eating properly (or at all? Who can remember) and running at a pace that is vastly different from your own is pretty damn tiring. I was punched at the end of the day.
They played soccer till dinner.
Lest you think I push my kids to do these runs, the opposite is true. I mentioned it in passing to a friend, and they overheard me. “Can we do it, too?” I said I’d think about it and ask them a few days before to see if they were still keen. They were. Given the alternative of spending the day at home or “an adventure in the woods”, the adventure wins every time. I never set the pace or push them. I remind them to watch where they are going and leave the rest to them.
“Mom! I’m thirsty. I want some water.” (said standing next to a water bottle).
“I want to go outside, where’s my hoodie?” (said standing next to his jacket hook).
“Have you seen my (insert item here)?” (said usually standing next to said item).
I can’t remember the last dinner we had that didn’t feel like a squat workout. I wipe more bums than I care to admit. I’m pretty sure my fitness is due in large part to the fact that we have so many stairs in our house because I am up and down like a yo-yo, retrieving items for kids, or just plain retrieving kids.
But something snapped in me yesterday on the long drive home, as I leaned into the back seat to fix something or give someone something. I barked “That’s IT! No more!”
I now have a new goal: no more enabling. How can 3 sometimes fiercely independent little people be so helpless?
Actually, helpless is the wrong word. So is needy. I think the actual word is lazy. And the fact is that I don’t think that they mean to be lazy. I have just enabled them to be so. Sometimes, it’s easier on me to do everything for them – it’s faster, things get done my way, my patience gets less of a workout. So you see? I’ve taught my kids that if they ask me to do something for them, I’ll usually do it, thanks in large part to my control-freak tendencies and need to get things done quickly. Voila! I have created kids who expect me to do everything for them.
So now, I want to teach my kids to take care of themselves, teach them when to ask for help when they really need it and teach them to better help each other.
I think that’s a loftier goal than trying to qualify for the 70.3 world championships. Training starts today.
We’re driving home from the final day of ski school yesterday. Anja’s in a booster, asking if she can sit on her knees. I said no.
“Oh ya right mama cause on the highway no one sits on their knees because if I did, PFFT, Anja dead. And then the birds would come and get me and pick me up by my t-shirt and fly me up and PLOP, drop me in the heavens.”