Training : AMA Ask Me Anything
Life : All this Air You have to Breathe
Racing : Where I Went, Highlights, and Most Recently
Gear : What am I Riding?
Gratitude : My Peoples
As you can tell my previous winter’s training of long, hard hours model posing has definitely paid off with that beauty of a cover shot. What can I say; hard work pays off, but I digress.
As my first monthly update I’ll be going over a bit more of the year than just this past month. But my life is pretty rad, so I’m sure it will totally be worth it. Yep. For the sake of brevity though I will keep things short. There is always more to the story (especially at the points marked with an asterix*), so please feel free to reach out if you’d like to hear more about anything!
Training is training. Training is life.
It’s not everything, but everything right now is definitely a part of it. So I’m putting it out to you, ask me anything! Let me know what you would like to know about my training and I’ll do my best to give you an inside look at what I do!
“How was it?” They ask.
“It was a grind.” Definitely my number one response to that questions this year. It was a grind, and it still is, haha.
“It never get’s easier, you just go faster.” – Greg LeMond
So what’s been happening this year?
– I moved back down to the Vancouver area from Kelowna
– Started to build my Lower Mainland team
– Continued my transition into distance work
– This years competition schedule allowed for some really nice big training blocks
– Always tracking my development with testing at PISE
– And I even squeezed in a training camp last month
The move back down to the Lower Mainland was a big one. Kelowna holds a special place in my heart, and I’ll miss the team I had built to support me there. You guys will always be a part of my team!
One of the big reasons for the move was to work with one of my coaches in a more hands on daily training environment. Something that was needed to take my program to the next level, and has shown it’s value with the growth and results seen this year. I can’t say enough about the two humans I get to call “Coach”, and how fortunate I am to have them behind me on this journey.
Vancouver also brings me closer to a network of friends and family, people that are there for me to support my training full time, which isn’t always the most financially sustainable path. At least not yet. #amateurathletics #brokeathlete
The next two years are definitely going to be something else, with a full and heavy schedule* building up to World Championships in 2019 and the Olympics/Paralympics in 2020! Lots to look forward to!
Okay, this is about to get a little personal. But it’s a huge part of what I’ve been through the past year, if not much, much longer.
For those of you that follow me on the regular, you’re probably aware of my coming to terms with my mental health and recognizing the importance of practicing self-care. It has put me in a position to learn so much about myself, about the ways I think, about what I’ve done to myself, and where that has taken me, and how to begin the journey out. As difficult and painful as it is and was, it is without a doubt the most important step I’ve taken in my life, and for that I am so grateful.
I had no idea what depression really was until that moment. I found a quote that I think puts it into an interesting perspective:
Telling someone “Why are you depressed, look at how great your life is,” is the same as saying “What do you mean you have asthma, look at all this air you have to breathe.” – Unknown
Granted there is situational depression, when it becomes clinical however, I can now say that it is an entirely different beast.
It’s unfortunate that only by looking back at all that I had done could I see the damage I was causing. It was a long journey, a life of low self-esteem, to get to that bottom. I don’t like the person I became, and I hurt a lot of people.
It’s a little, a lot, more complicated, but a lot of it comes down to habits; bad thinking habits, self-talk, self-doubt, external validation – the act of placing the responsibility of your own happiness onto others, how they feel and what they think of you. And I found ways to ignore it all. For the longest time, I could find reasons for my feelings, what someone else was doing to me, validating my own self-hate. Unknowingly, I was in the habit of surrounding myself with people I saw as suffering more than I was, someone I could “save”, someone I could pay attention to, so I didn’t have to pay attention to myself. I thought I was being a good person, but the analogy is true, you can’t be good by loving others if you don’t love yourself first.
Giving myself every reason to ignore myself, and the years of damage I had caused, it all came down to that one morning for my eyes to be opened. It was a beautiful sunny morning in the middle of August, I was surrounded by good people that loved me, the day before had been good-times, and there I was, in a space where everything felt gray, I was lying there and I didn’t even have the energy to lift my arms, all I wanted to do was to fall asleep and never wake up. It was then that I knew something was wrong.
It’s been a long journey out of that space, and there are days that I am back there. I have to accept that it’s a journey that I may always be on. But I know now what it is, what I was doing, and what I am doing now. I’ll try and talk more about that journey in future updates. For now though I want to thank the people that saw what I was doing to myself and helped put me on this path to being better and just being me.
2018 WHERE I WENT
UAE Meets: Dubai & Sharjah
2018 Commonwealth Games: Gold Coast, Australia
Sun Run 10k: Vancouver BC
Harry Jerome Track Classic: Burnaby BC
Canadian Track & Field Championships: Ottawa ON
Boilermaker 15k: Utica, New York
Quebec Meets: Montreal & Laval QC
Berlin Marathon: Berlin, Germany
Chicago Marathon: Chicago, Illinois
Sharjah is notably one of the fastest tracks on the planet (I’ll get into what a “fast track” means in a future update). Sharjah and Dubai came together as an amazing warmup on route to Australia for the Commonwealth Games. More than that though, I mention it here because it was the first sub 3:00 1500m of my career!* I pushed a 2:59.59 (2 minutes, 59 seconds)! Super stoked on that, and a huge turnaround from where I was last fall!
2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia
There is so much that I could write about this experience. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to earn a spot on a team like this, sharing that competitive environment with my Olympic teammates!
On the track, I advanced to the 1500m finals and made the deciding move that forced the race.* Big ups to Alex for pulling out the win on that one! Nice pushing!
Then on the road, I finished fourth in a tight, split second, 3-way race for second place in the Marathon.* Pushing a 1:31:44 (1 hour, 31 minutes)!! Then, a new personal best!
Sub 3:00 again! Crushed this one with the boys. 2:57.38! Moving that fast on the track is something else. Such a good feeling. Fifth fastest 1500m time in the world at that point in the year; ending the season in seventh fastest position! Kind of a big deal.
My Abbott World Majors Marathon debut. Beautiful course, solid field, and a new marathon PB! 1:29:53! Finished in 10th position, only 12 seconds behind first place! I was pretty stoked on that. On a separate note, I may have lost my passport on the way home.* So much gratitude, to friends especially, as well as my travel agent, the Bundespolizei, and the Canadian Consulate for getting me through that!
Before I say anything I have to offer a big thank you to the organizers of the Chicago Marathon for the invitation to this years race. You made my being there possible!
Coming off of Berlin I have to admit I was super excited for Chicago. Chicago was what I had been training for, it was what I had told everyone I was peaking for, my performance target for the year. On paper it looked like a course suited to my strengths. It didn’t exactly end up that way.* Let’s just call it a character building experience. Those conditions definitely showed me I have a lot to learn. But things to work on is always good!
It wasn’t all bad though. The first half of the race was solid. I managed the course and stayed with the pack. I even pulled off the front for a bit! The lead pack then broke up. The group off the front later broke off into two. I came around from the back and lead the chase, pulling a few along with me, and leaving everyone else behind. It wouldn’t be enough though, and my efforts couldn’t close the gap. I burnt out putting all of my effort into the chase, and slowly deteriorated. The last 10km was rough. Hitting every wall you could think of and watching the gaps grow in front of me. In the end I pulled it together though, for a cold and wet 10th place finish.
WHERE I’M GOING
November Oita International Wheelchair Marathon: Oita, Japan
2019 Details to come!!!
WHAT AM I RIDING?
Good question! Haha!
I am riding what I can afford mostly. I currently don’t have any ongoing relationships with product or equipment sponsors (hint hint… nudge nudge).*** But I would love to offer the opportunity to feature product here as well as on my growing social media platforms, while providing engaged exposure and honest reviews on how it’s helping me perform!
A shout out to Revolution Sports though, based out of Clarenceville, Quebec, run by fellow Canadian racers! They have been incredibly helpful as a distributor for tires and wheels, as well as having manufactured my training rollers and a protective travel case for my racer. www.revolutionsports.ca
THE LOW DOWN
Tell me how you found this update!*
Did you like it?
What worked for you?
This is just version 1.0. It will be an evolving creation, and I want it to work for you guys, the people that make what I do possible, the good humans that are on this journey with me!
COACHES: JENN and KELLY (you have no idea how fortunate I am to have these two behind me)
ROCKSTAR IST: DAN (S&C), MARILOU (PHYSIO), EMANUEL, JEN (RMT’s)
FRIENDS: if not for everything else that you do than simply for being there so that I can be somewhere else when I need to be
I appreciate what you all do for me more than I could ever let you know
ATHLETICS CANADA: Team and NSO
BC ATHLETICS and BCWSA: My PSO’s
CSI CANADIAN SPORT INSTITUTE PACIFIC, PISE PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF SPORT EXCELLENCE, and FORTIUS SPORT & HEALTH: Providing me access to local, world-class sport science and facilities to support my training needs
SYNERGY PHYSIO & PILATES: Helping me move better and keeping me healthy
CAMOSUN INNOVATES: New and exciting things to come!
ASPIRE HEALTH & PERFORMANCE (Shane),
VALEO HEALTH (Richard and formerly Ben),
PACSPORT OKANAGAN: My Kelowna Crew!