Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Before Ironman...

So, a lot of time and effort went into Jeremy's attempt at an Ironman, and on Sunday, all that effort was rewarded with Jeremy proudly crossing the finish line at Ironman Canada. It was a truly amazing accomplishment and one I am just so proud of him for achieving!! So, what exactly happened on race weekend? Well, it went a little something like this...

Got off nightshift, packed the car, and drove to Penticton, with a couple stops along the way in Yoho (for lunch and some running around) and Kelowna (for a Starbucks and a playground!!). We arrived and met up with my mom at our hotel (Apex Resort, a half hour outside of Penticton up a winding mountain road). The hotel was fantastic (basically more like a condo that gets rented out when the owners aren't using it, and by condo I mean 3 bedroom townhouse style unit with kitchen, laundry, hot tub etc... super nice!!). We settled in for the night, had some supper and went to sleep!!

In the morning, we headed down to drop off Jeremy with his coach and group he'd done a lot of his big training days with. I took the boys to the beach and they played in the lake, chased ducks, played at the playground etc. We then met up with Jeremy shortly after and headed to get him registered. This involved signing waivers, getting his athlete bracelet, his pack of numbers (for the helmet, bike, run, etc), a chip, a chip holder and an opportunity to sign up for 2012 (which he did not since 2012 will be my year). It began to start feeling real for him. We went and met up with my mom for lunch at a yummy local burger place called Burger 55. It was very tasty!! In the afternoon, we met up with the staff at SUGOI, the people who made Jeremy's entry a reality, since really, he had only entered a twitter contest multiple times, and that's what led to his entry. They were fantastic and it was so nice meeting the people behind a company we already loved (did I mention their gear rocks!!). In the evening, Jeremy was off to the athlete banquet, to welcome and inspire all the participants. It was primarily a vegetarian affair, but Jeremy said the food was excellent!! (think pasta).

Saturday Jeremy spent the first part of the morning prepping all his gear bags, one for gear before the swim, then gear after the swim to bike, then gear for the bike to run. After that, he was off for a group ride with the Vitalize group he'd trained with in the summer. Post ride he dropped off his gear and then we met up with him for lunch. In the afternoon the boys were in heaven playing at the water park and my mom was in heaven because there was a mini donut place just around the corner. It was nice. Dinner was low key, we just hung out at the resort and made some quesadillas. Jeremy wanted lots of time to just relax and a simple dinner. Mission accomplished. We got the boys to sleep, had a dip in the hot tub, and soon headed to sleep as well. Jeremy slept well, good thing!! I, on the other hand, was tossing and turning, woke numerous times, all worried we'd miss the alarm or not get there on time, or whatever!!

Morning came, and Jeremy had his special needs bags, and away we went. We soon realized, he didn't give himself quite as much time as he'd thought, and as a result, was rushing a bit once we'd arrived (still 45 minutes before race time). He had to drop off the special needs bags, pump up his tires, get in his wetsuit etc. In the end, he had to trust someone else to pump his tires for him, got everything where it needed to be, and with only a few minutes to spare, was in the water and ready to start...

Next up I'll post about the actual race, but want to get some of the words right from Jeremy, since obviously he was the one racing and can say it best what it was like racing to become an ironman!! So stay tuned, have to bug him to get me some notes!! But I will tell you, the adventure was warm (who are we kidding, HOT), there was a wasp involved, tacks, a donut and an Elmo sticker!! But you'll have to wait for those exciting details...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Privacy versus caring...

I work in an industry that is very vigilent when it comes to privacy etc. And, in many ways, I carry this over into my personal life. I always assume things are none of my business and don't ever want to interfere with someone's personal business. This might come across as me not caring, but I assure you, it's actually me trying to give someone their privacy!! I do care, I am interested, but I don't want to be nosy or anything. I need to try and find a better balance between holding true to privacy concerns and issues, and making sure that people in my life know I care!!

When it comes to strangers, I often act the same way, and again, I am sure I come across as cold and uncaring. Today though, things were a tiny bit different. After a very lazy afternoon, I finally got the boys out of the house and off we went, as a family with the boys on their bikes. First stop was Starbucks. I probably haven't mentioned this, but with Jeremy working there now, life is a little more caffienated, in the best of ways!! And, on a day when I was feeling lazy, having a mocha in hand, made for a much better ride for the boys, hahaha. When we got to the park, after a nice bike for them, there was another little boy there, on a jeep type vehicle with a motor. Sebastian was very interested in this, and the little boy was willing to let him have a go. It was fun. Sebastian was so excited to try it out, the little boy had a new friend, and Jeremy and I chatted with the parents while the boys all played. Later, when Sully wanted a turn, their little boy got to try Sully's run bike, so everyone was excited!!

It was a fun visit to the park, and nice to just chat with other parents, asking them questions, and generally appreciating life with little ones. I am making an effort to be more social with complete strangers and especially within my community. Even nominated a house for most beautiful gardening etc...

I was inspired by that list yesterday and, in checking it over, here is where I stand:

1. Sending positive thoughts and prayers to someone who recently found out a growth was cancerous!!

6. Last week gave a set of dishes we weren't using to a family that lost everything in a fire, and donated about 8 boxes of clothing and stuff to diabetes.

17. Walked to Starbucks with the boys, and then onwards to the park... no car until I had to get to work!! Love those days when we just appreciate our own area!!

Not bad for the first day!! Looking forward to what the next 30 days have in store!!

Spreading good karma...

So,I'm sure I've mentioned this website once or twice before on this blog, and if not, I know it's come up multiple times on facebook, mostly because Marc And Angel Hack Life, always have such amazing and inspiring posts. This week, the post was called 30 Good Karma Things To Do With Your Free Time.

It's a great list... a total feel-good list. Really, most of these things are so quick and easy to do!! I think I will attempt to do these 30 things in the next month or so... it should definitely be possible, right? Anyone else want to join in? Think of all the happiness you'd be spreading, and how fun it would be to compare ideas etc... I shall let you know how it goes...

On a side note... today I dropped off all the donations I had left for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. It felt very nice to get that done. I went into the ride hoping I'd be able to raise at least $1000 in the next 60 days, and thanks to some pretty amazing people I was able to do it!! I am so grateful to everyone who donated. I wouldn't have been able to do that ride without each person who took the time to donate, give bottles, buy 50/50 tickets... it was a challenge, but y'all made it easy!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Now, the question remains, will it be possible to do this again next year... heck, you could even complete number 18 on the karma list by donating to Jeremy's ride next year!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting rid of stuff...

I live with something of a packrat. Truly, whenever I try and get some reassurance about throwing something away, inevitibly Jeremy will give me five reasons why we should keep whatever it is I am trying to toss. And, he has such a hard time with me throwing anything away!! As a result, he is almost never wanting to try and declutter anything, so it's on me to work on that part of our lives!!

I've worked hard trying to declutter some stuff in our lives, but it sure isn't easy sometimes. Part of the problem, is, some of the stuff I'm trying to toss is toys for the kids, and that sort of thing. The items are in good condition and really, if the kids haven't seen them in awhile, they love playing with them, so even though they have more toys than they need, I feel guilty getting rid of something that they would still use. This is compounded when it was gifts from people. Then, there is even more guilt attached. I'm not quite sure why, there just is!!

However, in the interest of our house, and having an ability to keep things somewhat orderly, I have to keep trying. And, I work to try and find a new home for the stuff as well, rather than simply throwing out things that may be of use to others.

I also made a goal for myself. If I managed to get rid of a bunch of clutter, then I would get a new wii game for the family, but not before the clutter was gone!! And finally, that's happening. It's rather funny actually, we got a call from diabetes asking if we had anything to donate, and I quickly said no and hung up. Then, the next day, I remembered the boxes I'd already packed up and readied in the garage. So, I called them back and arranged a pickup, and tomorrow they will stop by for the stuff. Yay for finally dealing with boxes I got started months ago, and others from sorting through the boys clothes last week!!

I might even take in our old paint cans tomorrow too, after all, visiting a fire station is always fun!! And the one we'd be going to has a mini bronto even (Sebastian LOVES the aerial trucks)... and really, twist my arm, and make me talk with firemen...

So, next up will be the new wii game I it is...

I can hardly wait!!

Jeremy's Olympic Distance Triathlon

So, Sunday was a pretty big day for Jeremy. Originally, back before he won the entry to Ironman Canada, from Sugoi, Jeremy had a different plan. For 2011, his plan was to complete an Olympic distance open water triathlon. The very race he planned this to be was the Lake Chaparral Triathlon. So, funny enough, that's the race I signed him up to do, not realizing his original plans. Once he won the ironman entry, that was no longer a concern for him.

Personally, I felt it was important for him to do an open water triathlon before Penticton. I also thought it was important for him to do a bit longer of a race. This way, he'd get a chance to practice swimming with a bunch of other people. To know what it's like to get kicked and hit etc with so many people starting to swim at once. It also would give him a chance to swim in a race in open water. Up until the race, his open water swims were all swims where he would break etc which isn't really ideal in a race. It would give him a chance to practice siting, and just see how he felt overall swimming for a long period of time in the water.

Signing him up, he instantly got nervous and wasn't sure doing the race was the best idea. He was sort of figuring, "go big or go home". He didn't want to do a race that would possibly make him nervous about swimming ahead of time and potentially scare him off the big race.

Well, in the end, he did great. He was in the water in his wetsuit warming up when I got there with the boys. And he was excited and ready. And the race started and off he went. We watched as he swam off (okay, who am I kidding, I watched, while the boys were playing in the sand). I kept on watching and eventually saw him come around for his second lap. He went on to finish all 1500m and didn't even need to take a break (I knew he wouldn't). Happily, after the fact, he reported that his pace for the swim, matched his pace in the pool. His objective going into the swim was to pace himself and he did exactly that.

I stayed behind at the beach for a bit and saw another friend head off for her sprint triathlon while the boys played in the sand and water. Eventually though, we moved on to the road to try and catch Jeremy on his bike. And, we did. We saw him go by twice (he had to do 4 laps to get to 40 kilometres). He looked happy and strong on the bike. He reported later that he did push on the bike and wouldn't push like that for ironman.

After that, we waited for him to go past on the run. He took forever to pass by and reported after that his transitions were slow and it might be an area to work on in the future. We chatted about how for an ironman, a slow transition is really okay. If you spend an extra five minutes to eat a snack, or body glide all the important places, it's better than crashing your bike trying to eat as you ride or the chafing that might result or whatever other things you might have done in transition.

We were waiting for him to go past for his second lap and ended up on the other side of the fence seeing him as Sebastian needed a pitstop at the portapotties. From there, we headed to just before the finish. Sebastian wanted to run in with his dad, and Jeremy happily allowed this.

The boys were great. We brought our bells and a few other noisemakers. Sebastian was yelling things like "looking good guys", and "nice form" and "run this way" and all sorts of other little things. Soooooo cute. And Sully had fun ringing the bells. Next up we are getting a couple cow bells though, because they are cool too and louder and for those ironman athletes, that's important!!

So, there you have it. Jeremy finished his first open water triathlon. And now, we are less than three weeks away from his epic event... I can hardly wait!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Kid of Steel... open water edition...

Today was pretty neat!! Today someone in our family did an open water triathlon... no, it wasn't me... no it wasn't Jeremy who is busy training for ironman... then who might it have been you may be wondering? Why, our five year old!! Yes, the first person in our family to complete an open water triathlon was in fact, Sebastian. He is definitely a kid of steel!!

We arrived early, got Sebastian all set up in transition, he was body marked, got his chip, had some prerace fuel (Crispers) and away we went to the pre-race meeting. We got the low down, and soon they began, first with the oldest kids, and continued each wave, getting younger and younger, until finally, it was time for the seven and under group to go. They waited until all the 8&9 year olds were finished their bike before the little ones got to start. Before that, Sebastian and Sully were playing in the water,
playing in the sand, and just having the best time. Had to stop a couple times so Sebastian could warm up (the kid has no body fat, and so gets cold rather quickly.

Sebastian decided he wanted his mom to swim with him. I had been campaigning for dad, as I had NO desire to be in the freezing cold icky lake water. However, despite all my efforts (ask Jeremy, there were a lot!!), in the end, it was me going into the water with Sebastian, brrrrrrrrrrrrr. Believe me when I say, it took every fibre of my being to get into that water and did not really appreciate it when it got too deep to stand and suddenly my whole body was thrust into the freezing cold. However, knowing Sebastian was that much colder, I tried to at least not hate it too much!! He did good. He was cold. But he kicked and doggie paddled and slowly made his way across the lake. Soon enough we were getting out, not without a hand from the volunteers though, that boat launch was slippery!! We ran into transition, and my poor little guy was just shivering. We helped him change his shirt, got his socks and shoes on, glasses, helmet, bike gloves, jersey, number belt, and away we went to the mount/dismount line.

Sebastian got on his bike and was motoring (he calls it his police motorcycle). He did great. I basically had to run to keep up with him the whole time on the bike. And before we knew it, we were back at transition again (I don't think he actually biked 1.5km... it seemed way too short, but he did exactly what every other kid in his age group did.

Back to transition, dropped the bike, helmet and gloves, flipped the number to the front, and away we went. Again, he was just trucking. It was fantastic. He didn't stop for one second, and the look on his face as he crossed the finish line was one of pure joy!! And let's not forget the very cool medal he earned!!

All in all, it was a fantastic race. He did great. He was excited. He said he was the ogopogo (because his swim cap was green). And he just had fun!! It is so cool to see him so excited and happy about something that is so good and healthy for him!! And he is so happy to do these races. I know how important it is to be active, and seeing him be active like this, from a young age, will hopefully keep him going long into the future. I hope he continues to be active. Knowing how he can be quite challenged to learn some things, it's pretty special to watch him accomplish something like a triathlon. Not sure what's next on his agenda, but I do know his brother won't be far behind him (and since he's part fish, I see triathlon in his future too!!). But for now, I will celebrate Sebastian as the amazing little Kid of Steel that he is!! Great job little man, you make us proud!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

My little Sullivan speaks...

So, Sully has taken his time with words. But my oh my, they sure are coming fast and furious now. And, you can pretty much get him to repeat almost anything. His favourite thing to say though is YELLOW, although it sounds more like LELLOW. It's really quite cute. Now, he will point out anything yellow, and pick yellow clothes to wear.

Other things he says:

Bun-bun (his little green bunny)
Bear-bear (his little Starbucks Christmas bear)
Boo - Blue (we go through other colours now since he's so good at yellow)
Mama - yeah, I like this one hahaha
Da - his dad
Nonono - he's very good at saying no... like really really good
Bye Bye Poop - as we slowly start potty training, yeah, well, it's cute to hear him say this as he's waving goodbye and flushing away his personal garbage, so to speak

And he's my little chef. He LOVES helping in the kitchen. If you ask if he wants to help, he'll drop whatever he's doing and go running to the kitchen. He loves using the measuring cups, and stirring, and pouring and using the mixmaster. He just has so much fun. He'll help me find ingredients, and pull them out of the cupboard. It's so fun cooking with him. I just love his enthusiasm. He helped me make chicken drumsticks the other day, and puffed wheat squares, and pancakes... pretty much if you can let him help, he's there and helping!!

And he loves stories now. He'll bring books to you to read and won't leave you alone until you have read to him. His current favourite are the Scaredy Squirrel books. He loves them!! And really, they are such cute books, all about facing your fears etc.

Monkey see, monkey do. Whatever Sebastian does, Sully does. Literally. He is a little carbon copy. Wants to do everything his big brother does. Today, our neighbour came over to ask Sebastian over to play. I said all he needed was his hat, so Sully ran and got his, and was DEVASTATED when he wasn't going over to the neighbours to play!!

Oh, and he is sooooo cute on his run bike now. He's even starting to get a bit of glide happening. It's adorable really!!

And hiking. We hiked to Grassi Lakes the other day. And he hiked the difficult route. We brought the backpack with us, but he wanted nothing to do with it, until about 200m before the lake, then he'd had enough, but he hiked the whole incline and all the hard stuff!! My little trooper!! It was fantastic!!

That's my little guy. He's fabulous. I just love hearing him talk. It's fun!! He is truly a toddler and I love how much fun he's becoming.