A Van Awesome Journey

Hi thanks for finding my blog! I am a wife of an awesome husband and proud mother to two amazing boys. I just quit my job to stay at home with our children and now have all the time in the world to play play play!!! Play with my children and play some games of my own...hence this blog. I entered a contest to be part of an Adventure Race something I have never done before. So I am required to blog weekly on my journey...so here goes..thanks for sharing it with me :).................So what has started out as a blog for reasons mentioned above has now continued into an on going journey that I have been asked to continue to share...and you with me! So thanks for coming along for the ride :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Canoeing, Keys and stroking....

So another awesome wickedly wild day training with the team!

We were at Kelso today in the canoes and I tell ya I don't know what's more fun the rush of the race OR making Shane and Neil from Racedayrush.com uncomfortable with our comments LOL!!

We were put in boats as teams of two and I don't think that I could have been teamed up with a better person...you ROCK MEL!!!! Once we realized that we worked better with her in the back yelling out instructions and me in front just given'er on the paddle we were good :)

First things we learned was different types of strokes, which gave us many times to make the guys blush with some double meaning jokes 8-). Mel and I just couldn't get the stroke down where we had to spin the canoe on the spot. We were both paddling away with all our might but we just stayed in the same spot LOL!

Of course the racedayrush boyz bring out some fun and games...but no chocolate milk ;)...So up next was a 'race challenge' and a lesson in transitioning from running the getting in the canoe and out on the water. Right away my game tiger comes out...I was talking with Mel about how we were going to get in the boat the best and fastest way. We started at the top of the hill and had to run down then get in the canoe and get a beach ball that they put out in the lake. We weren't the first down the hill, but we weren't the last either but let me tell you once we hit that canoe it was power house Van Awesome up front and given'er!!!! WOOO HOOOO!! It was great. I just looked down and watched the water rush by the boat as I dug in the water hard with my paddle. Mel would yell out to me to switch sides and I would do it and keep going. We were the first to get a ball but 5sec afterwards I heard Shannon say "Ya!" that's when I knew they had gotten a ball and the race back to shore was on! My arms were getting tired and I was getting hot and even starting to breath heavy but I just clamped down and kept paddling. We made to the shore but were going so fast that we almost hit another boat with a family in it LOL...so I jumped out at that point and heaved the canoe over and up on shore all the while hearing Shane who was standing on the shore yell , "Both people out of the boat and run to me to win!!" I yelled, "Lets go MEL!!! because Amy and Shannon were right beside us at the shore.....we ran to Shane and by second and inches WON!!!!!!! OMG I LOVE that!! I use to think that winning by a mile was great but winning by an inch is awesome!!! It shows that people were pushing me and I was able to squeeze out that last drop.

Of course the day couldn't end without some drama. We did have some of the teams tip in their canoe and go for an early swim :) Only problem was one of the bags that went in the water had half the teams car keys it it....ooopppps they are all now swimming at the bottom of the lake. The good thing is that with a few phone calls to husbands to bring the extra keys and rides home from others on the team the situation was fixable :)....it's the curse of the keys I tell ya! Tracey lost hers in the woods on one of our training days too :z

I was dropped off at my moms were my family was having a BBQ and when I walked in they all looked at me and said,"What have you been doing?!" LOL I was in my wet clothes and sandy wet shoes still and was sun burnt to a crisp from standing around waiting to fix the key problem at the lake. I said, " I'll tell you later I just need something to EAT!!! and some water!" Every ones stuff was in their cars including my bag that I had packed extra water and snacks in. I piled everything on my hamburger, didn't look at the box to see how many calories it was, didn't check it out to see if the portion size was right I just rammed that thing in my mouth and next I hit the potato salad....sometimes a girls just gotta eat!!!

As a side note I have to add. As I do these things I can not help but compare to how I use to be when I was over 250lbs. I NEVER would have been out there doing this stuff, having this fun, winning these races and believing...truly believing, for the first time in myself! WOW! how things have changed and it all started with me sliding off the couch one day and doing sit-ups during the commercials. I am SO grateful for my new healthy way of life and ALL the adventure it brings me.



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Swagged out biker chick

Ok so I just had thee BEST night of my life!!!

Was great to start the night off with Suzie-Q from Phat Chicks jumping around on the field with us as we did some warm up exercises.

Then we were off!!....on our bikes to do some bike trail training. I was so excited about what we were going to do tonight that I had a hard time falling asleep last night cause I was thinking about it, LOL!!!....Although I also had a little tingle in my tummy to...that was the fear, but I wasn't listening to that tonight. As Neil and Shane from Race Day Rush sign off on their e-mails "Onward!"

Our first skill we learned was going down and back up curbs. This skill will also help us in the trails going over logs, rock and who knows what else. So I made it over my first curb by holding my breath, leaning down into the bike (like we were told to do ) and pulling up to go over.....and closing my eyes!...I made it and it wasn't that hard, I was surprised and I'm happy to say I can do it now without having to hold my breath and close my eyes :)

Next skill, going down and then back up a hill with roots and rocks. Neil showed us how to do and the dude was like a hot knife thru butta. The need to have to go fast in order to get to the other side scared me I must say. I didn't make it all the way up the first time, but the next two times I did. I learned that I had to let the bike kind of go a little...without loosing control and just trust that if I keep pedaling it will work itself out...and it does, very cool!

We continued on to do a fun relay race with each other through the forest and back. I find it REALLY makes a difference in me when I have to race someone or something. The killer in me kicks in and I'm off! I jump high mounds, take sharp curves with ease and love every min of it. My killer in me came out again when we stopped by the river and then were shown a Suunto heart monitor,

We were told that the first 3 that carried their bike across the river and back would win one.....I was off my bike and in the river before Shane finished his sentence LOL, it was so fun and the water was refreshing. So my heart monitor is pink woooo hooooo (thanks Joyce for trading with me!)

Then it was time to head home, my feet were soaked and gushy, my pants right thru to my underwear were soaked and I LOVED it.

Now the hill.....awww the hill. We had a crazy hill to bike up in order to get out of Lions Valley. Matt Merko from Saucony had already rocked our world with free shirts, hats and shoes bags but he turned to us as we were heading to the hill and blew us away by saying,"Who ever rides the hill the whole way up will get prizes from Saucony!" AWESOME!!!!.......I couldn't do it :( but I tried HARD!! But one girl out of the 8 of us did, my frigg'n hero Shannon!!!! Matt said that if she did it again he would make the prize new shoes....so what does the girlfriend do?!....goes back to the bottom and rides the whole way up again!?!!!!....unfrigg'n believable!

The ride back to the car was AWESOME, I love the speed the wind in my face and blowing in my ears...I was on a high and still am. This may be the second time in over four years on a bike but I was SO thankful that I was fit enough to, first be able to even do this tonight and that I was strong enough that I didn't struggle much and therefore was able to have FUN :)

Now this swagged out biker chick is going to go do a face plant into my pillow...thanks for coming along for the ride :D


Monday, May 17, 2010

My heart is two steps behind...

I don't think of Mer every min of the day like I did when she first passed but I still think of her at many points during my day. I contuine to exercise and do my homework that is given to us for the race, but as I physically move through the motions I feel like my heart is still back there with Meredith.

I never use to need to hear peoples words of encouragment while I was exerciseing to keep me going before. They were nice to hear but I wasn't in need of them...these days I seem to need them!?

We did our trail run training on Sun and it was just a beauitful day for it, the only thing that would have made it better is if all the ladies of the team could have made it :(....we missed you chicks for sure!

But we needed to run the whole way...and I didn't. Not because I couldn't...I guess just cause I gave up. Which is REALLY strange for me. One of the times I was walking I was thinking to myself about the reason why I stopped running...this is when I realized that I can physically move but my heart seems to be two steps behind me.

As I finished off the trail, I was walking it and planned to finish it walking. But Amy who had already finished turned around and yelled, "Come ON Gail!!!"...and I thought, "AW crap alright" and I finished the trail running. I realized it was a strange feeling that I needed thouse words of encouragement....strange and I don't really know where I'm going with this but I'll have to do it one step at a time I guess. Good thing the 'big guy in the sky' knows what he's doing and put me in with a great group of ladies who are very encouraging...dude knows what I need before I need it :D

So our homework has increased and we will be needing to be working out 6 days a week, good thing I already workout 4-6 a week already GESH!

But as a stay at home mama with two little kids who are with me pretty much 24/7 I'm going to have to get creative...so the plan tonight is take the kids out to the field behind my house, plop them in the middle of the field with some balls and other toys while I run and do my exercise. Then head home to bath them put them to bed, give my hubby a high five in the hallway as he comes home from his second job and I head out to do swimming training at the pool for the Tri that I am doing in Sept....man I feel tired just typing it!

Ok I better head out before I change my mind :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Long time no blog

So it's been awhile since I have blogged but it's been for good reason. I have been speechless, which NEVER happens but unfortunately it was for a sad reason that rocked me to my core.

After showing up two Thurs ago to the Phat Chicks boot camp only to find Suzie and Meredith weren't there I got a bad feeling in my stomach. I found out the next day that Meredith had been out biking and had an accident and she was not going to survive the injuries..........I was speechless. This is NOT supposed to happen! She passed away Fri afternoon....I was in shock (and still am)

WOW! I could go on forever about all the thoughts that were in my head but in the end I am speechless.

On that Fri afternoon I texted Suzie saying, " It doesn't feel right just sitting here. Can I do something?" Her reply was, " Go for a run Mer would like that"....cue the water works.....but once I got the kids down I put on my Phat Chicks shirt and went for a 5k run, it was the right thing to do to honour such a beautiful person.

On the Sun all the Phat Chicks gathered at La Salle park for a meeting. Meredith's sister and mother and other family members came out and it was great to see Suzie so I could give her a hug........

.....ok whoa see this is why I haven't been able to blog, I'm crying as I type this.....

I just want to say that on the day of her funeral in honour of Meredith I woke up at 5:30am...ok it was 5:40am and went for a 6k run...straight down to the lake and back. As I was running I let Meredith know that I was breaking one of my rules for her....rule #1 I don't do cold! rule # 2 I don't do EARLY!!!....however the run was awesome and beautiful and I totally see why Mer loved them. So I'm thinking for the future.....screw the rules :D

The funeral....speechless. I feel like I'm going to see her again and be able to tell her all about what has happened...but I'm not.

Now the fat chick inside me...and yes I mean fat with an F. Well her voiced popped up on that Fri night and she was saying, " Just eat a bunch of crap food, shove your pie hole as much as you can, sit on that couch and wallow. Don't move don't get up" But because Meredith and Suzie have been such a positive influence to me in this new healthy way of life I just knew that was not the right thing to do and would make them very sad, that's why I went for that first run. I was glad to see that was my reaction because I always wonder/worry that something will happen that will trigger me to go back to my old unhealthy lifestyle. So the score is Phat chick 1 and fat chick ZERO!!!!!

So I continue on.... I missed the next training session with the team and I'm sad I did it was one I was looking forward to. But I brought the workout homework that we are supposed to do through the week with me on my vacation and every morning I went running on the beach one way, got down on the sand and did my inch worms and planks then ran back the other way and did the workout in the sand again...it was awesome! and I got a lot of looks but I didn't care I felt great :) My sister couldn't believe that I was exercising on vacation but what she doesn't get is that I enjoy it and it made the trip even better....I mean the last time I exercised on vacation was...oh....NEVER! LOL. I LOVE my new life and the people it's lead me to meet.

During one of my runs on the beach I was thinking that what ended up happening to Meredith was because she lived her life and put herself out there.....I've decided that I would rather die while putting myself out there then be safe and unhealthy sitting on the couch!

R.I.P. my running angel....