Posted by: pursuingsub17 | February 2, 2016

Year of the Monkey – Tear it down, rebuild and back to basics

Okay, my New Years’ Resolution was to get back at this blog again. I’ve been ignoring it. The last few years have been heavy with personal issues that wore me out. I had a good race year in 2014 but 2015 was so-so and with work being super busy, I just didn’t find the time or passion to write. On top of that I had started feeling burnout from training. It got to a point where I did minimal training because I just didn’t care. Somewhere along the line I had lost the whole idea of my pursuit So…let’s start again and see where it takes me.

I found out that as of February 8th, it is the Year of the Monkey. I was born in 1968 – also the Year of the Monkey. So I am taking this as a sign (no pun intended) that this will be a year of bringing it all back to the beginning and aim for great personal accomplishments.

Last year in general

To summarize, the end of 2014 and most of 2015 was riddled with a lot of let downs. I was tested for some frightening health scares that I don’t want to elaborate on but it was scary and enough to drain me for months.

2015 was also the start of the slumping Canadian economy, and subsequently, Marc lost his job in the new housing industry. So money was really tight for quite a few months and we wound up in more debt to cover bills and expenses. I broke my elbow in an early season biking accident and had to cancel all my triathlon races for 2015. The season ended with attempting a 3rd marathon but having to walk it out because my old IT band injury in both legs returned. Then, from about August until now, I have been suffering from some kind of digestive health issue. I’m having lab tests done next week for Celiac disease – but my doctor is pretty sure it’s just all the stress I’ve gone through. Might even have something to do with my decline in training (where my digestive system is usually optimum! Ha ha – to quote a certain doggie food commercial).

But there were positives too so no sense in focusing completely on the negatives. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and all that.

I took my triathlon adult community coaching course in May with the intent to start helping others who were interested in the sport. Over the next several months, I gave a lot of advice and direction to a co-worker who used to be a runner but became very interested in triathlon. I also coached my cousin so that she could run her first marathon. It was a great feeling to see both of these individuals accomplish what they set out to do – to finish their first ever race in both triathlon and marathon running.

Marc bounced back too. He has a great new job and he’s really kicked up the workouts and training. It’s great to see him back at it and his enthusiasm and dedication is wearing off on me!

Oh, and with my broken elbow, I couldn’t swim or bike but the upside is that it allowed me to: 1.  Focus on running – something that had trailed off in the last 2 years when I focused more on the bike and, 2.  Realize that I REALLY missed triathlon. I missed being on my bike and swimming. I missed the art of the transition and testing out different nutritional strategies. So what I thought was a negative turned out to be a positive.

Running more definitely paid off. I got a PR in the 10k Night Race (1:01) and placed 1st in my division at the Veterans Day Heroes’ 5k in Palm Springs, CA. I also got a PR in my 5km on that day – just over 28 minutes!

So what is in store for me for the Year of the Monkey?

Well, January was riddled with anger and depression but after reading my old blog entries, I realized I need to pull up my socks and dive back into the sport that got me through some really rough times in the past and chase away my demons.

Helping and supporting others last year to accomplish their goals was just as rewarding as racing. It gave me so much personal satisfaction that I want to dedicate 2016 to not only improving my time and reducing risk of injury, but continue to help others reach their goals. I plan on doing more self-directed research and education as well as take courses to make sure I’m promoting best practices, while still understanding that what works for me, doesn’t necessarily work for others – it’s just a guideline. I at least want to share what I learned about “me” in the process and encourage anyone else interested in amateur sports to do the same. It’s a learning process – triathlon (or running a 5k or biking a fundraiser) opens the door to yourself to discover who you are – find out what makes up “you” and what your own needs are.

It’s going to be busy, training and trying to get the word out where I can (social media, volunteering, supporting newcomers to the sport). Right now, I’m in the process of joining Element’s Ambassador Program – dedicated to helping both promote the sport as well as good sportsmanship!

Really – that’s what this blog was originally supposed to be about. That is, sharing my story in the hopes that others can join me on the path to becoming better. So it’s time to get back to basics.

As for races, I’ve chosen two key triathlons: Calgary 70.3 (who I am eternally grateful for allowing me to rollover my 2015 fee to 2016 due to my injury) and Challenge Penticton. This year, Challenge Pen is a new distance and a precursor to the 2017 ITU World Long Course Triathlon. It’s longer than a half iron but a wee bit shorter that a full iron distance. So my goal is to finish this distance in 9.5 hours (you have 12 hours to finish). It’s going to be very exciting for Penticton, Canada and North America and I’m going to be thrilled to participate.

I’m hoping to add a third sprint distance triathlon as a practice race, aim to run a sub 60 minute 10k race. I’m also considering a team entry for an ultra-race in September – the River’s Edge Ultra in Devon, AB. Haven’t seen updates yet on the website but we do have a team of 2 so far (one of them is the friend of ours that I had previously mentioned).

So stay tuned all you Monkeys, Dragons, Tigers, Rabbits, Dogs, and the rest. 2016 is going to be full of great stories for all of us!


  1. Love seeing you blog again. Your title clicked with me. This is the year of the monkey. What better year to get a monkey off my back… I’ve got a pretty big one right now and am struggling with it to say the least. But you have inspired me. I also plan to return to blogging this year with a new blog. Past time to stop making excuses and get busy. Keep blogging. Keep training. Keep inspiring. You got this…

    • Thanks! Good to be back. I sort of lost my direction with training…no pun intended.

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