Monday, August 29, 2016

Vegan Spelt Nut Bread, Kale Almond Pesto, and the Terry Fox Run!

Alex introduced me to Elana's Pantry online recipe site last weekend.  Today I made the Kale Almond Pesto.  It was SO easy and so delicious.  On the weekend Alex and I attempted to make grain-free carrot cake cupcakes for Brent's 30th birthday party, and lets just say they didn't exactly cook all the way through (but we left them in 20 minutes extra!)  Not to blame Elana though, we didn't exactly follow the recipe to a T and I think my flax eggs were flawed!  The icing was also a bit of a disaster but we managed to fix it with copious amounts of icing sugar and almond flour haha.  The good thing was  after a couple glasses of wine they tasted absolutely delicious so nobody really noticed the raw center or overly sweet icing :)
I also made Vegan Spelt Nut Bread today and it was delicious too!! Recipe HERE.

 FIREMEN? Helllllo.

The most impressive part about the Terry Fox run in Whistler last weekend were the firemen who ran the entire 7.2km in their fire-kit!!  Good thing it wasn't a hot day!  The run was on trails around lost lake. I ran it hard just because I am incapable of not trying.  I think I was the only person actually "racing" it though which was funny.  Then we went to the Sunday market and got some vegan pumpkin bread and fresh veggies :)  hmm I love Whistler :)

2010: A Year to Remember

May be this story long time ago at 2010. A season wrap up blog post is well overdue. My year in Ireland was definitely the craziest year of my life to date.

In November of 2009 I packed my bags and flew across the world into unknown territory. A new country and a new training environment were inevitable, but what I didn’t know was how truly supportive and amazing Triathlon Ireland would be - the coaches, the athletes, the support network, the “fairness” of their system, and the standards and quality of all the members involved in their successes. For such a small nation I was blown away by the quality of the high performance environment.

Aileen - my best friend for a year :)
Chris on the far left - the best coach I've ever had.
For the first time in my life I was given the opportunity to work with individuals so talented in their fields of coaching (Chris Jones), strength training (Michael Johnson) physiology (Declan Gamble and Ricky Baker) and physiotherapy (Dierdre Burrell and Dave Minion) that I learned more about training in less than a year with these individuals than I had learned in my entire 8 years as a triathlete.

Michael and Declan in Portugal
The 3 Irish Girls!
Dierdre introduced me to a whole new world of physiotherapy... amazing.
I’m not going to talk about my 2010 racing season, I had a lot of bad luck and injury. I went to some amazing places and met some amazing people (see above) and friends. I realize how lucky I was to be able to do what I did and it is definitely an experience I will never forget.

Martina, Me and Conor.
 As for now…

I have been living in Whistler for 2 months now and LOVE it. I mean I already knew it was my favorite place in the world, but to have the opportunity to live here is really incredible. I wake up every morning feeling like the luckiest person alive. My decision to come home to Canada was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. The west coast of Canada is paradise to me.

My life has really changed since I got back. I am in school on Sundays in Vancouver – taking an MCAT prep course as I’ve signed up to write the exam on April 9th. So yes I know it’s still 6 months away, but I still study about 3-5 hours a day. I love it. I love school. I will be applying for medical school in the fall so I guess it’s important that I love it! On top of that I am working at the Trattoria di Umberto Italian restaurant. It’s pretty fun and a great way to meet locals. I go running pretty much every day because I love it, not cause I have to. Last week I did my longest run ever of 1 hour 45 minutes and ran a total of 73km (in the week that is). Oh and NOTHING is flat here so I guess I’m getting pretty good at running uphill. The trails are incredible too. What I do not have though is any speed. I ran a 9.5km road race in Vancouver yesterday and wow… that was interesting. After 8 weeks of nothing faster than 12-13km/hr, 3:45min/km pace felt like death. After 2km I slowed it down to 4min/km and decided a “tempo” run was a better idea HAHA.

As for training, it’s off-season so I’m doing what I please. I do have a strength trainer so am lifting weights 2x a week, and obviously running. I am trying to get to the pool as well but my sciatica has been bad so my heel goes numb pretty quick when I swim and I have to get out. I was biking but it’s got really cold now. The snow will be here soon. The mountain should open for skiing in a few weeks time. I am stolked. I will stay fit with lots of cross country skiing this winter. Maybe you’ll see me on the 70.3 scene next year.

Oh and I was a candy cane for Halloween ☺

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Whistler GranFondo and my summer

My first summer in Edmonton is coming to an end. Unfortunately I spent most of it working and studying and wasn't able to enjoy riding my bike, running, racing, and attending festivals as much I would have liked, but I'm sure the hard work will pay off.. one day.
Rainbow Lake post Fondo.
I wrote the MCAT in mid-August and since then have been really enjoying getting fit again on my bike and getting back into running. Last weekend I joined 5 friends for some camping in Jasper and I rode a total of 11 hours (285km) over 3 days. This was by far the biggest trianing block of my summer. It took me the entire week to recover, but I think it was worth the fitness boost for yesterday's Whistler GranFondo, and definitely worth the mental break from work, exams and medical school applications!!

Riding out of Jasper to climb up to the hotsprings.

Standing at the base of Marmot.
The GranFondo, for the second year in a row, turned into the best day of my summer. Nothing beats standing on Georgia street downtown Vancouver at 6:30AM with 7000 fellow cyclists about to ride one of the most scenic highways in the world from Vancouver to Whistler. I rode fairly conservative because after 10 weeks of studying and only 3 weeks of consistent cycling in my legs, I didn't trust where my fitness was at. I ended up pacing myself pretty perfectly because I was able to keep going strong right into the finish (last year I blew up with 40km still to go), and with 8km to go I tried to stand on a climb and my legs almost gave out from underneath me.. good thing I was almost done! The ride included 1700 meters of climbing and 1000 meters of descent, for a total elevation gain of 700 meters. I averaged 31.5km/hr, not too bad all things considered. Hopefully one year soon I'll be confidently fit going into this ride and I can really challenge myself to go faster.  My mom also had a really great ride coming in at 4 hours, 43 minutes, successfully not letting me beat her by more than an hour (last year I beat her by 1 hour 40 seconds)!! I'm sure I'll never hear the end of it, but that's okay she deserves it!

Mom and I at the finish.

At the finish I had the pleasure of handing out free Vega samples to promote the products and got some fun pictures.

These two were a little too excited :)
The rest of the day was amazing as expected. I hung out in the beer tent with 3 of my best friends Julia, Steve and Meghan, drinking beer obviously, and then hung out at the lake for the first time this summer before hitting up a patio in the village. It was an amazing day all around and I'm so lucky to call such an amazing place home!!

Meghan and I on Citta's patio.

Some other photos from my summer:

With my mom in Sedona, Arizona

With Patricia Walsh at the 2012 Paratriathlon Pan Am Championships in Edmonton.


This morning was like Christmas come early: it was DUMPING snow outside my window!!   I tried to get a picture but snow flakes don't really show up that well on camera!  Anyways Whistler mountain officially opens on Friday (2 days!!) so I am very excited to get up on the hill VERY SOON!

I guess my outdoor running will be decreasing substantially over the next few months to be replaced by cross country skiing and the treadmill (which, thankfully, I love).

I applied and got accepted as a volunteer with the Adaptive Ski Program this winter.  It's a learn to ski program for disabled skiiers.  I will be a volunteer instructor and as a result get a free season pass up the mountain.

I also was nominated into the Golden Key International Honour Society for academic excellence (graduating in the top 15% of my Kinesiology class) at UVic, which is pretty cool and sounds fancy!

Fun Fun and more Fun!!

I haven't been updating my life story recently.. I guess I've been really busy and having too much fun!!

Above are my tracks down Lakeside Bowl on 7th Heaven a couple days ago with a friend. We traversed for about 10 minutes for these fresh tracks.. but it was so worth it - what a great powder day!  We're having tons of snow in Whistler right now, and lots more to come in the next few days which will make for a super duper day of skiing on Christmas day :)

Today I skiied with a girl who is totally blind in one eye and partially blind in the other.  She was amazing.. great attitude and amazing skiier.  It was pretty neat to see.

I wasn't sure how much fitness I would be able to maintain this winter.. so far it's been no problem at all!  The pool is always empty, I can xc ski outside my doorstep, AND I just discovered YakTrax and am so enjoying snow running right now!! 

Ooo and "Locke" from Lost was dining in the restaurant where I work last night!  That was pretty cool!
Happy Holidays :)