Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: The Year of Change

I had lofty goals for 2016.  I was feeling good and felt like I was on track to hit those goals come June.  And then I tore my hamstring and everything kinda fell apart.  I lost my focus and my mojo for a while.   At the time I was devastated.   But looking back I feel like that might have been a blessing. Work was incredibly busy at that point, we were getting ready to renovate our basement in order to sell our house.  The pace of life was getting to a point where something had to give and that something ended up being my training.  Tremblant came and went.  Just before we headed to Tremblant, we listed our house.  Two weeks later it was sold and the hunt was on.  Normally our summer weekends would be taken up with racing but instead we spent them house hunting.  It was a busy summer to say the least.  But it was also a pressure free summer.   As much as I enjoy racing, there is a certain amount of pressure that comes with that.  It's pressure that I put on myself to perform.  My first goal is to have fun and my second goal is to get on the podium.   Once I stopped running,  the desire to race kind of took a back seat.  Probably because the run is my favourite part of a triathlon.

When I can't run, I turn to other forms of cardio activity to keep me active.  Not being able to be on two feet, resulted in me turning to my two wheels more often.  Once I was able to start riding again, I ditched the power meter and just rode.  I paid no attention to heart rate other than to look at it post ride to see how long it would take me to recover from the workout.  I put in some good time on two wheels this summer.  I think the highlight of 2016 for me was the 250km ride I did with my friends Jordan and David at the beginning of July.  We rode from Toronto to David's parent's place in Huntsville.  I was so nervous the night before.  Even more so than before a race!  But I had so much fun.  I was totally ill prepared to ride that distance but I did it, thanks to these two.

We also sold our house the weekend we were up there, ha ha.  So that was a pretty good weekend!

2016 wasn't a total write off in terms of races.  I did three, which is a far cry from my usual 12-14.  But that's ok.  The three I did were a blast.  In March, I did the back half of Around the Bay as a part of a relay team with my friend Kiki.  We ended up in 4th, missing 3rd place by 30s, ha ha.

September was my busy race month.  I did the swim / bike at the Ontario Women's Triathlon in Georgina, which was so much fun.  It showed me that all my cycling had paid off.   I set a new power record and I won the overall race.   And I got to spend the day with some awesome ladies.

Still one of my favourite pics of 2016! 
Two weeks later, I was the swimmer in a relay team at the Barrelman Triathlon.  I was racing with my friends David B and David L.   The double D's.  So of course, we went there, ha ha.

This race was a turning point for me in my open water swimming.  It was the first time I made it through a race completely calm.   No panic attack, nothing.  That was a huge win for me.  I'm going to carry that with me into 2017 for sure.

Athletically this year was totally not what I hoped for.  But all the setbacks and side steps paved the way for some major life changes.  We sold our forever home and moved out of the neighbourhood we loved.  The biggest change came when I quit my job as a commercial photography producer to focus on building my coaching business and getting involved in the fitness industry.  It's a complete 360.  It was a huge leap of faith but the time was right.  I couldn't see myself producing at 50.  I just couldn't.  So it was time to move on and follow my heart.  

I'm looking forward to learning, growing and evolving as a coach and athlete.  I'm pumped for 2017 for that reason alone!  Of course I have a few adventures lined up for 2017 but I'll save those for another post.

Thanks for reading, even though these last few months haven't been the most exciting, ha ha.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!

Coach PK  xo

Friday, December 23, 2016

Winding Down and Starting Up

The day that I never thought would come, finally came yesterday.   It was my last official day as a full time employee.  As I posted on Instagram this morning, today is the first day of the rest of my life.  It seems surreal.  I don't think it will really hit me until the new year when everyone goes back to work. THAT will be when the reality hits me.  For now, I'm distracted with Christmas plans and recovering from G's 50th birthday dinner last night (6 people, 5 bottles of Prosecco = one groggy morning after).   I will be keeping this space online as my personal space so expect to see the usual race reports and gear reviews.  I'll be launching a separate website that will be strictly for my coaching business.  I don't have a timeline for that yet but it will be later in the new year.  Keep your eyes peeled for that!

I've been logging miles on the road thanks to my trusty running pal.  I don't normally have a problem getting out and getting it done on my own but having someone to run with makes it much more fun.  I'm up to 13km and tomorrow I'm going to tackle 15km.   I have no hamstring pain any more (yay!).  My knees still bother me from time to time but I think that's just going to be the story of my life from now on.  That's part of aging that I have to learn to accept.  

I've slowly gotten back into the gym and am starting to feel stronger.   What I've been neglecting is the bike.  I finally hit my 5,000km for the year mark last week.  I'm still riding but I'm not logging any more than 50-75km per week right now and most of it is base mileage.  I'll start to build that back up after Christmas so I'm ready to hit the road when we get to Florida at the end of January.  Speaking of which, can I just say after all the snow we've had, that trip can't come soon enough!  I'm going to have two whole months of sunshine and no snow!  WOOHOOOO!

I was going to recap 2016 but I'll save that for post Christmas along with a sneak peek into 2017 plans.   Until then, this is Coach PK, wishing you all a very Happy Holiday!  xo

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Catching Up

Wow.  December.  Here you are.  I'm not really sure where November went.  Like the rest of this year, it flew by in a blur.  My dad had a heart attack, we spent weekends trying to get settled in the new place and then BOOM, it's December.  Work ramped up to crazy again a couple of weeks ago but at least I'm winding things down to make way for my replacement.  I just wrapped my last big project at Westside and it was a doozy.  To top it all off, I got sick just before we shot and had to spend a 15 hour day running around an airport hangar with a box of kleenex in tow.  But I survived.

So a wee update on life......

My dad is doing somewhat better.  They kept him in the hospital for a while as he had blood in his lungs.  There was a lot of damage done to his heart so part of it wasn't working, thus the blood wasn't getting pumped through and ended up pooling in his lungs.  He was finally sent home but ended up back in the hospital last Monday as he was having trouble breathing.  They kept him in for a few days to monitor him and then adjusted his medication.  He's now back home and taking it easy.

On the running front, I have finally made it up to double digits!!!  And I got the all clear from my physio to continue building up my mileage.  I can't even being to express how happy that has made me.  Of course, I have a race in mind, but we'll see how the next few weeks go.  My goal is to get up to 16km by the end of this month.  If I can do that pain free then I'll hit enter.  I've been warned that I absolutely need to be careful when adding in any speed.  I need to continue to strengthen my hamstrings so I'm diligently doing my deadlifts and single leg curls.  I know that once you tear a hamstring, you're more susceptible to tearing it again so I have to be smart about this.  I think I have to accept the fact that my very speedy running days are over for me.  Just the thought of being able to race makes me happy so I'll go with that!

I've also been testing out a few different shoes and so I will be posting a couple of reviews in the coming weeks.

On the home front, we have almost settled into our new place.  The kitchen is finally done!  I still have a few boxes of things that have to be unpacked and there is a bunch of stuff in our storage space under the stairs that needs to be purged.  That will be task number one over the Christmas holidays.

Speaking of Christmas, the tree is up and things are starting to feel pretty Christmas-y around the Kennedy Compound.  Amazingly I've gotten almost all of my shopping done already!  I think I did most of it on Black Friday, ha ha.  I only have a few more things to get and then I'm done.  I do need to get started on my Christmas baking though!

Only 2 more weeks until I'm officially no longer a full time employee.  It's kinda scary but it's also very exciting.  I'm looking forward to working with some new clients and getting back into the swing of things with some previous ones.   My BBT athletes are going to kick some BUTT in 2017!

All around I think 2017 is going to be pretty awesome.  And really, after this year, I think the only way to go is UP.    Here's to bigger and better things in 2017!