In 2008, I began to document my journey to become a triathlete. A couch potato most of my life, I began cycling as a means to weight loss in 2006 and over that year, fell in love with biking, and lost 20 lbs. As my fitness level increased, I began to wonder if I could run, and in 2007, I ran my first 5K in 26:16!
That August, I was down in Penticton watching Ironman Canada and when I saw 80 year old Sister Madonna Buder cross the finish line, I thought to myself, if she can do it, so can I. I finally stopped saying "I can't" and began to train for my first triathlon.
So in January 2008, I returned to the pool after a 35 years hiatus, took some lessons, and then practiced on my own three times a week with a goal of completing a sprint triathlon in August 2008. And I did it with great personal success! Meeting my time goal (1:30), coming in 4/11 in my age group, and exceeding my goal in the bike portion was tremendously fullfilling and made me finally realize – I AM an athlete! Who knew!
In January of 2009, I started the Kelownagurl Tris Podcast so that I could document my training trials and tribulations in audio format and hopefully inspire some of you to try something you never thought possible! I did 2 more sprint triathlons that year - the Oliver Sprint Tri in May and again, the Apple Sprint in August. I struggled with running injuries throughout the year, and in the fall, I met with a run coach, Rob Swan, who showed me how to land more on my mid-foot/forefoot instead of heel striking which was likely causing my constant shin splints.
I focussed on my running form all winter and then in 2010, I did 2 more sprint tris and my first half iron distance race in June. It was VERY challenging but that did not dissuade me. In the fall, I ran my first half marathon in Victoria and kept on running all winter, running the Okanagan College Half Marathon at the end of March, 2011. I also did two more sprints and took another, more successful shot at the Oliver Half Iron in June.
By the end of 2012, my podcasting slowed right now and I have only produced a handful of shows in 2013 and 2014. I ran my first full marathon in the spring of 2012, as well as the Apple sprint and Victoria half marathon in the fall of 2012. However, my focus began to change and I become much more interested in staying fit and racing for fun rather than for speed.
I did a few races with no time goal in 2013, but no races in 2014 at all. Instead, I've turned to hiking instead of running and haven't done a triathlon in the last couple of years. I still like to run but I continued to be plagued with back issues which affect my running so I've found hiking to be more enjoyable and easier on my aging body.
In addition, my husband have done more travelling and have included long distance hiking/backpacking as a part of our travels. In July of 2014, we backpacked for 5 days along the Cotswold Way in England, and our goal is to walk to Camino de Santiago in Spain in the fall of 2015 or the Spring of 2016.
As my life evolves, so does my blog. Thus, I've made some changes to the look and format and will likely continue to do so over the years.
Thanks so much for reading my blog, and/or listening to my podcast. And remember, as George Eliot said. "Its never too late to be who you might have been!"