December 27, 2009


Many people have been asking me. And yes, Tri It is having another spin-a-thon.

January 10th, 2010 at Rundle College (4336 16th Street SW)

There will be both a live auction and a silent auction. A few special items will be auctioned off during the ride. A silent auction will be a great chance to get a good deal on unique triathlon inspired gifts.

To register: email: or come visit us at the Tri It store!

9am – 12 pm: Spin #1
12pm – 1pm: Break!
1pm- 4pm: Spin #2

Entry fee includes:
-Swag bag
-3 or 6 hrs of riding with top coaches and elite athletes
-Instruction from the best in the local community
-Spolumbo’s Sandwiches
-Nutrition Samples
-Door prizes
-The chance to meet people and other
-Spin a thon races and contests will take place
-Help local athletes get to the next level
-Awesome giveaways
-Great workout!
-Tons of fun
-Awards to best dressed, biggest puddle o sweat, dirtiest bike, and funnest person!

For more information go to:

December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

I anxiously awaited the arrival of my brother and his wife here in Portland (at my parents house) Christmas Eve. Unfortunately after a ridiculous day of delayed flights, cancelled flights and flights that came to Portland but couldn't land due to fog, they finally arrived Christmas day. So, we had Christmas afternoon instead of Christmas morning. You really realize that it is being with your family that all that matters for Chrsitmas.

Since they have arrived we have been playing Wii (which by the way I think I have done something to my shoulder from playing these crazy games), playing cards, shopping, eating mom's cookies, and playing card games. It has been a wonderful break of taking it easy, however my waistline might not agree.

It has been cold here in Portland (well, cold for Portland) and I did not get as much running in as I wanted - I only packed shorts! Luckily today it was warm enough to head out for a great run in the sunshine. It was nice not to have to contest with the extreme cold and snow/ice that I have to at home. I am such a fair weather runner.

Portland is a very cool place to run in and I love it here. Dad and I are planning my trip here in May for the Eugene 1/2 marathon, and all that we are going to see while we are in Eugene. We are most excited to see the University of Oregon and look around there. It is supposed to be an amazing university. I am so excited to go to Track Town, USA (what they call Eugene) and see a few pieces of track and field history.

Back to Calgary and reality tomorrow. I think I will get a run in before I go!

October 27, 2009

As of lately

I am at home from work as I am totally sick! It kills me to know I have laundry, vacuuming, recycling, and bathrooms to clean and yet it takes all my energy just to get off the couch. So, I will briefly let you know what has been going on with me.
-Brian and I have been re-organizing the store (with Rose's blessing) as she has been gone this past month to Hawaii. We still have a few things left to do but we are very excited for Rose to come back and see it.
-coaching is going really well and I am loving my Monday night swim group and Wednesday night spin group. I also have a great group of athletes I coach through Team TriLife who I adore (and who are all doing so well reaching their goals!)
-my mom was here for just over a week and we had a great time. So nice to have her around. We spent 2 days in Banff and stayed at The Banff Springs, which was wonderful!
-spent a fabulous weekend in panorama with Angie - great girls weekend! We were supposed to be working but decided relaxing was far more important. And we despite it was my first time playing Scrabble, we are both very competitive at that. What can I say? We are competitive triathletes - our competitiveness carries over to other things in our life.
-I have not been training much as my energy levels have been so low. With the way I feel today I am not surprised. I have been fighting this sickness off for a few weeks (Jeff has had this). No worries though I will eventually get back to it. I had a fantastic race season and do not feel the pressure to race as hard next summer.

That's the update for now. I am sorry nothing to exciting lately. Will keep you updated once I get better.

October 6, 2009

Interbike 2009 - Las Vegas, baby!

On Monday, September 19th, I headed off to Las Vegas for Interbike 2009. Interbike is North America's largest bike retailers show. The entire Tri It staff attended to learn more from our manufactures and see new products that we may bring into Tri It.

I headed down a day early so that on Tuesday I could participate in the Outdoor Bike demo. Here I am with some of the Kuota boys. I had to ride a Kuota! I love my Kuota Kalibur but, decided to hop on a road bike - I tried a Kuota Kebel. I loved it too and if I could have both I would! For now I just can't part with my Kalibur.

The ride was only 45km but, it was hard! Lots of amazing riders that included some pros. By 9am it was around 34 degrees Celsius and we had a hill to come back up that was over 10km long! I definitely got a bit of a migraine due to the heat. When we got back from the demo, I sat around the pool at the Mirage.

The rest of the Tri It gang arrived that night and I was so excited to have them there to share in all my excitement. Over the next few days there were many highlights:

  • attending all of the seminars
  • visiting all of the manufacturers booths
  • seeing the new 2010 products
  • attending Ka (Cirque du Soleil)
  • seeing my mom
  • attending Le Reve
  • seeing the fountains at the Bellagio
  • playing craps in the casino
  • sushi at Okada
  • just being in warm, sunny Las Vegas!

Alright I really did go to Las Vegas and work hard!
Some of the highlights on products I liked are:
-new Gu Roctaine flavor - Pineapple
-new Gu flavor (for the holidays) - Vanilla Gingerbread
Both are VERY YUMMY!!!!
Power Bar (
Had a number of amazing products:
-if you have not had their Gel Blasts - you must!!! However, only 1 flavor available in Canada so far.
-Energy Bites - delicious and in a resealable package so you can have few without having a whole protein bar. Seal them up and have them after your next workout. Unfortunately, not available in Canada yet.
-Endurance Beverage - love this drink. Comes in Fruit Punch and Lemon Lime. I loved them both but again only limited flavors in Canada.

Some exciting new things from these folks:
-new easy-to-open resealable pouch bag
-new formulation that includes, all natural flavors and colors, tapioca syrup, naturally sweetened with evaporated cane juice, and six real fruit juices
-two new varieties:
Berry- a refreshing blend of blueberry, raspberry and strawberry flavors come together in a single bean.
Assorted- includes Lemon Lime, Orange, Berry and Fruit Punch all in one bag

The 2010 line is amazing and I love the colors and prints they have gone with while keeping the same amazing skirt pieces! I finally got to meet Nicole (Nicole DeBoom - aka the genius behind Skirt Sports. Here we are both wearing Skirt Sports.

September 18, 2009


Tattoo #1 - Ironman tattoo
This tattoo was designed by my staff Joanna and Heather. Joanna gave me the idea and within minutes Heather was drawing it up on the computer. I love this original tattoo that incorporates Ironman, me being Canadian and of course the fact that Ironman Canada was my first Ironman (yes, there will be more Ironmans for me).

Tattoo #2 - Everyday is a gift
Sorry Mom! I know it is big and mom's typically hate tattoos. My mom handled the one I got on my foot when I was twenty very well (just don't ask about what my dad thought!). My heart actually jumped into my throat yesterday when my mom emailed me and asked me about it; it is funny that your mom can still make you *gulp* over certain things. So, this tattoo was actually inspired by my dear friend Terry Toma. I am not going to elaborate at this time other than saying that I never really appreciated every day. like I do now. I now wake up every day and take a look at the opportunities presented to me. I am thankful for everything I have, my friends, my family and more.

Note: Thanks to Jordan Bryden for taking these amazing photos to help me show off my new tatoos.

September 15, 2009

Short Hair - what was I thinking!

OK, so ever since I had cut my hair shorter before I went to Australia this year, I have really liked my shorter hair. It was chin length so not too short but definitely not long. And no more freakin' ponytails! So, before Ironman I wanted to cut it short but, my friend Lyndsey Clapperton convinced me to do pigtails for the race (which I did and loved!). But I really wanted to try even shorter; inspired by Tracy McQuillan - a friend/training buddy also on Team Tri Life who simply rocks her short hair. So last week I decided it was time to be brave and go short.

Well, I kinda like it but am really unsure. I maybe didn't want to go this short but here I am! I finally was brave enough to get Jeff to snap a few pictures at the request of many of you. So, here are the pictures of my new short hair. As my mom said, "hair grows".

And if you do have any styling tips, please let me know! I simply can't figure out how the heck I am supposed to style it yet!

September 13, 2009

Eugene Marathon

OK, so yesterday Rose was saying she was going to do the Eugene Marathon at the beginning of May next year. I really wanted to do a marathon in May (I was looking at Vancouver) and I did one day want to do the Eugene marathon as I can combine a trip to see mom and dad in Portland with this as I did last year when I ran the Portland marathon. Mom and dad are an amazing support crew with getting me whatever I need pre-race, cheering during the race and taking care of me post-race. So, I called dad and he had a hotel in Eugene the night before the race (as it is a 2.5 hour drive from Portland) booked within 10 minutes! I then went online and registered for the race! We have to still book flights but now with direct from Calgary to Portland, which I will be flying at Christmas, it makes for easy travel down there.

I am very excited! -

September 11, 2009

Ironman Canada 2009 (Race Report)

When my alarm went off the very thing to pop into my head was "today I am doing an Ironman". I had slept really well which is surprising for the night of my biggest race ever. Jeff and Annie got up right away with me. I even managed to eat breakfast which I usually can't do before a race as I am usually so nervous. Today, I was just plain excited! We made the dark walk from the hotel down to race start with the other triathletes and supporters. Annie said her good-byes early and then Jeff and I walked to the athlete transition entrance. I thought I would cry when it came time to say good-bye to him before the race but, I gave him a big hug and headed in. I dropped by bags off and saw Cindy's husband, Scott. He pointed out that I was about to put my run special needs into the bike special needs bin. Whew! Nice save Scott! I then headed up to body marking and saw Cindy and Carla. Quick pictures and it was off to my bike. It was alot darker than I expected but, I saw the unmistakable TTL jacket standing by my bike. Rena was right beside me in transition. It was so nice to see her. She loaned me her pump and then I saw Carla Jackman (big hugs!), Jane, and Susi. Susi had a few tears and we had a moment for Terry. She would be our Iron Angel today. I know she would be with us! With my bike all good it was time to head into the porta-pottie line.....luckily I found my friend Carolyn for this 45 minute wait. When I finally had that taken care of, I found Danielle Genung and we got our wetsuits on together while her husband Jeff chatted with us through the fence. It was so weird as it is usually Jeff Genung on this side of the fence. When I was ready I walked over the timing mat stating my intention to participate and walked onto the beach. I shook my head in disbelief that I was actually doing this. This is crazy! Normally I am on the other side of this fence - spectating. My day was finally here!

I found Annie, Jeff and my parents along the wall among the thousands of spectators and said a quick "HI" and then headed into the water. I swam out just as the pros started and knew I was 15 minutes away from starting the race. I found a customer from the store and we chatted away the remaining time. She was really calm so it was nice to just chat with her before the race; it kept me calm and relaxed. Suddenly Steve King announced 1 minute before we started and before I knew it we were off. I didn't really think about it. I just started swimming. The swim went fast out to the houseboats and the turn-around point. I got a bit beat up but not too badly. I got kicked in the face but my goggles stayed in place! (for the record I was wearing the Kayenne goggles from Aquasphere). The swim back felt like it took a very long time. I tried not to look at my watch but, I did and knew I still had about 1/2 hour to swim. I just swam and finally saw ground and realized I was very close to exiting. Wow! I actually made it. I put my feet down but it was too deep. My calves cramped. Ouch! I had to keep swimming and finally hit ground where I could actually stand and walk out.

I flew through transition (thank-you amazing volunteers!) and was on my bike. I headed down Main street and saw my family. I waved as they all screamed "Go Richelle!". So exciting! I was actually heading out on my Ironman bike! I took it easy (as Angie says "easy cheesy") as many racers flew by me. I knew enough that if I was conservative here in the first 60 - 70km, it would pay off once I hit Yellow Lake. The ride was fairly uneventful. I saw alot of people that I knew who were spectating which was honestly very exciting. I waved and said HI to everyone I knew and rode very happy. I was having so much fun! The biggest challenge though was working to stay out of people's draft. So many people were passing me I had to keep dropping back. At the out and back I finally got to see a few friends up ahead and get special needs. This was not very exciting though as all I grabbed was my fresh bottle of concentrated Infinit and put some Vaseline on my neck as it was chaffed from my wetsuit. After that point (120km) I really started passing people on the bike. Many of these people were athletes who had passed me early on during the bike. I was feeling fantastic and was excited when I hit the climb of Yellow Lake where many of the TTL crew and Cochrane spectators were. This gave me a huge boost as I climbed and pushed on back towards Penticton. As we headed down with only 10km left on the bike I got passed by pelotons of men! Yes, pelotons that were 5 across and 3 deep! It was unreal! Where were the freakin' draft marshalls? I continued to ride clean back into town and was ecstatic to see all of my friends and family as I headed into T2.

T2 was fast and again had an absolutely amazing volunteer who helped me make that smooth transition. These volunteers really are amazing! And just like that I was out on the run. I came around the corner and saw Jeff and stopped for a quick kiss. I then headed along Lakeshore Drive and saw a tonne of friends, store customers, and my parents. I stopped and hugged my parents and thanked them for being there. And I was off to run out of town. I hit Cherry Lane mall and saw Angie. I gave her a big hug and she laughed at me over the fact I was still so happy. I really had to watch my pace and control it by slowing down so I would not blow-up by the half way point of the marathon. I hit Skaha beach and was still thinking this is so surreal, I am doing an Ironman! I continued to feel great but for some reason I suddenly wanted nothing to do with my gels - bad situation because these were my calories for the run. I stopped taking them and tried a banana but, started to feel sick so I stuck to water and Coke. I continued to keep an eye on pace and slowed myself down as I headed out to OK Falls (the turn around point of the marathon). When I hit OK Falls there were alot of spectators which again gave me a huge boost. Jason Chow yelled "come on Love" as he usually does at races and I hurried to get my special needs bag. Although I had gels in there I did not really want to take them as I knew I was done with gels for the day. However, I took them anyway (hey that's $8 worth of gels!). I came up out of OK Falls and was feeling great with renewed energy from my friends and other supporters.

When I hit the 25km mark and I distinctly remember that my excitement and fun on a scale out of 10 went from a 10/10 down to about a 7. I know I ran past that sign but it felt like I stopped and stared at those large sign, "25km" for an hour. I knew I could finish this 17km though - and it was a good sign that I could still do math! Although my stomach was hurting I knew I would finish today. Angie's words came back into my head, "on an Ironman day, if something goes wrong you have to deal with it and fix it right away". OK, I had let this stomach issue go on for 8 km and I need to figure this out. So, I saw 2 guys running together up ahead of me with multiple Ironman tattoos on their legs and I ran up beside them. I explained my situation and asked for advice. Not only was I in alot of pain from my stomach, the thought of a gels made me want to puke and I was a bit hungry! They told me I most likely needed salt and to go for the chicken soup broth or pretzels. They even offered one of their gels to try a different kind of gel! I thanked them and ran off to the next aid station. (I really can't thank these men enough. I don't know who they are, and I unfortunately did not catch their numbers but, I owe them BIG time!). So the next aid station I tried the broth. I took one swig and asked the kind volunteer if I could give it back. He laughed at toook it and got me some Coke instead. I them grabbed a handful of pretzels and got those down. I ran to the next aid station and got a few more pretzels in. I saw Rose Serpico (my boss at Tri It) at the 30km mark and I vaguely remember saying "I was having fun until 5km ago" which she reminded me of later. She gave me a big hug and away I went. I hit Skaha beach and I knew I only had about 7km left to go! There was an amazing crew of spectators there including a bunch of Cochrane folks and other people I knew. When I ran though they were playing "I'm in a hurry to get things done"and I got a huge lift! I was so close now. I then saw a bunch of customers from Tri It not a kilometer further down the road - Colin, Kendall, and Tanya! Tanya ran beside me for a minute and chatted and Kendall told me to get my ass to the finish line. I was working on it!

I rounded the corner and was back on Main Street - so close! I struggled as this is finally where my hip flexors started to really ache, my stomach pain was excruciating and I realized my lungs were hurting so bad I could not take a full/deep breath. I was so close though and I knew it. I got cheers from Tony Smith, Joanna from Tri It and then Grace, Michael and Sylvia Wetherup which was amazing. I stopped quickly get a hug from little Grace and her dad, Michael leaned over and said "in 2km, you are gonna be an Ironman". I smiled but, I am not sure I even believed it at that point. I ran onto Lakeshore Drive where the main crowds were to finish my last 2 km. I heard so many people cheering and saw so many people but, I was hurting so bad there were no smiles. To be honest at this point I finally realized I could go sub 11:50 and I pushed the last little bit with my husband and friends yelling, my parents screaming and so many others encouraged me on. At the last pylon I made my final turn to head to the finish it was still very surreal. Annie was there and ran along and yelled. I unfortunately couldn't even crack a smile or say anything at this point. "Get to the finish" was all I could think about. I ran as strong as I could and hit the blue carpet of the finishing shoot. I ran and jumped over the finish line though the tape. I was an Ironman!

Some nice volunteers ran up to me and started to walk me away from the finish area. Shannon from TTL suddenly appeared and I threw my arms around her and let my weight go. She held me up and told the other volunteers that she had me. I was so excited to see her! She was with Brian (my other boss at Tri It) and they walked me through the finish area. They got me organized with finisher gear, pictures, and made sure I was OK. I couldn't believe I was walking, talking, etc. I didn't want food and did not need medical so we found Jeff and they left me in his capable hands. With the help of Jeff, Leslie, Heather and Jae we walked to get my bike and all of my gear. It took us over an hour to walk that 1.5km as I kept seeing people I knew and stopped for a quick chat. Tonnes of hugs and congratulations all around. It was an amazing day!

Thank-you to all of my friends and family who helped me finish my first Ironman. With your support I have realized my dream of calling myself an Ironman.

Note: there were so many other stories and moments of my Ironman day that I could not list them all. Thank-you to all who cheered me on, gave me hugs, talked to me pre-race, talked to me on course and congratulated me post-race. You all helped to make my Ironman day so special. And thank-you to all of those who encouraged me throughout the year, gave me anvice and pep-talks and swam, biked and ran with me! You helped me here and I will never forget that! Thank-you!

September 10, 2009

Ironman Canada - leading up to the race

The few days leading up to Ironman are very busy. You always have some thing you should be doing or could be doing! It is a fine balance between doing everything you need, some of the things you want and resting. I tried to do my best not to do too much and stay out of the heat. There are lines wherever you go and like I said always someone wanting you to do something, or something you should or could do.

Here is my attempt at doing as what I needed to do and a few things I wanted to (in a very short recap):

-worked at Tri It until late afternoon
-flew to Kelowna and drove with Kori and Mike to Penticton
-checked into the hotel and tried to organize the mass of gear and stuff I brought with me
-went to Salty's for late night snack and chat with Annie

-open water swim
-stood in line to get race package (almost 1.5 hours)
-stood in line to get free Crocs (almost 1.5 hours)
-went back to hotel to relax and again try to organize gear and start organizing gear bags!
-went to dinner with Annie


-did the underwear run
-rode my bike and went for coffee
-went for lunch with Peter, Elaine, Sarah-Jane and Jeff C.
-attended the IMC pre-race dinner and meeting (couldn't stop thinking....WOW! I am really going to do an Ironman in 2 days!


-met the team for a swim (that I did not do so I just talked to everyone who was on the beach) and a team meeting; we talked about Terry and shed a few tears
-finalized all of my gear bags
-Jeff worked on my bike and got it working perfectly!
-put my bike and my 2 gear bags in transition (swim-bike and bike-run
-went to the IMC expo with Jeff
-drove around looking for lip moisturizer/sunscreen as I had lost mine
-made dinner and had dinner at hotel with Jeff (thank goodness for the kitchenette)

Xterra Alberta

Many people thought I was crazy racing Xterra 1 week before Ironman. In fact, I did nopt tell my coach until after it was over. Luckily I was not hurt so she didn't get mad. I had a great day and LOVED this event. For those of you who do not know, I came from a mountain biking background. I raced mountain bikes and one day bougt a road bike to cross train. Well after I started riding road bikes, I knew I could swim and run so thought I would put it all together. I did and the rest is history!

OK, back to Xterra!

The day started off early as I had to bring some of the registration packages from Calgary out for Tony. I got there early and headed down to transition to meet Colin who had kindly brought my bike to Canmore for me as I had all of the registration stuff jammed packed in my car. I got settled asnd I had a few comments that went like this "Arn't you racing Ironman next weekend? Are you NUTS!!! You shouldn't be doing this race!". I laughed and commented on how life is to short. "Seize the day!" I said.

I was very calm about this race as I wanted to race hard but knowing with IMC 1 week away this was not a priority and if I felt pain, got scared, didn't feel like doing it that I would pull out at any point. I don't normally race like that but given my Ironman dreams for the past 5 years with 2 years prep I think it was warranted.

Pre-race was great. I headed back up to the day lodge at the Nordic Centre and chilled. I had 2 athletes racing so we just hung out and talked. I was so relaxed it was wonderful! It was finally time to get on the bus and head down to the lake. I actually realized the girl sitting next to me (Amy) was a girl who I used to mountain bike race with. So cool! We got into our wetsuits and I helped about 10 girls who knew I was from Tri It and asked for assistance and headed to the lake - I love how small Quarry Lake is. A quick warm-up and we were off. The swim was great and I didn't even get banged, hit, kicked, etc. once! This was great! When we came out it was a LONG way to run to T1. Whew! I blazed through T1 and manged to get ahead of many of the girls who beat me out of the swim. When will you learn? Keep transition simple!

I headed off on the bike and realized something was wrong with my bike. Doh! I forgot to put my seat back up after it had been transported. Ok, there is such a thing as being too relaxed before a race. Maybe that uptigt triathlete side of me is not such a horrible thing. I jacked it up and away we went (this is after many girls passed me back). I was then on Amy's wheel which was a perfect spot. We passed few girls who has passed my when I was fixing my seat and I thought "This is great". Then Amy realized we were off course. We turned around just to see the girls we had passed head up the trail before us. Rats! I stayed near Amy for the rest of the bike. The bike course was awesome. It wasn't too technical but it was so fun! I encouraged people as we rode the hills (some of which I had to walk). I made a few technical errors such as gearing due to not being on my MTB for almost 3 years but I didn't care - I was having so much fun! I also played with my seat a few more times (up, down, up , down; thank goodness for quick release). The second lap was a bit better but we slowed up as the duathlon people headed out right before our second lap and many of them were not as experienced on the MTB. So I chatted with another racer and it was nice to get my HR down a bit.

We headed into the stadium for our run. It was great to see so many spectators! I took a second to look where I was; it is beautiful here! I am so luck to be here and doing this! I headed out on the very hilly run course. I was sucking wind pretty hard but was still having so much fun! I got passed by quite a few girls on the run but I was laughing. This was the most intervals I had done all summer. When you do 30km runs you are just not at the speed for these short 7km runs. The girls who all passed me were wonderful and encouraging. Such a friendly environment these Xterra folks! On my final lap I haeded into the stadium and heard my Tony call my name over the PA system. I crossed the line and threw my hands in the air. Mike Whittle and Greg Bradly were there to laugh at me and tell me I was lucky I wasn't hurt.

I cheered my friends, other athletes and my athletes for the next bit until everyone was in and we headed for a delicious lunch.

I loved Xterra and can't wait to see what Tony has in store for next year. I hear registration is already up and the date is September 5th. See you there!

September 9, 2009

Ironman Race Report

I am working on it! I hope to have it up by the end of the week.

August 3, 2009

Calgary 70.3 (better late than never!)

I had no expectations (other than to have fun) going into the day because I had not tapered due to the fact that Ironman is just 4 weeks away! On the Thursday and Friday before the race I was exhausted and had a 3 hour bike on the 70.3 course with a brick and a 4km swim where I was so tired I couldn't even hold form - I flailed in the water. I was done. When my husband asked me to check my gears on Friday night after he had worked on my bike for race day, I was out of breath riding around the block. Crap. I really didn't want to go to the start line on Sunday. Then on Saturday Angie reminded me I only had 2 more weeks until I get to taper for IMC! That coupled with a full rest day on Saturday (I did not even have a pre-race swim workout to do - a full rest day!) did my mental state and my body wonders.
So for 70.3 I and then was hoping to have fun, and ride and run as hard as I could (I will be honest - I always just hope to survive the swim). I wasn't nerveous all day which was nice for a change. The morning was fun as my friend Carrie came to our house to catch a ride out to Ghost Lake. I tried to eat but all I could get down was coffee. I brought a PB and bannana sandwhich hoping I would eat it before the start of the race. We got our bikes set up quickly ht the porto-pottie line which we stood in for almost an hour and then it was time to put our wetsuits on. I tried to think about food but couldn't as I really was not nerveous. I ate 2 sharkies and put the rest of the bag away...nope, no food for me today. The swim was great as because it was wave start it meant all the people around me were women my age! Carrie and I snapped a shot before we started and I knew it would be a fun day. I hardly saw anyone during the swim and swam mainly by myself. At one point a girl grabbed my leg and we were the only 2 girls around. I kicked her hand off my leg, turned around and yelled at her "that was uncalled for!". She apologized and we continued on. I hit land and was happy. As I hit the boat ramp I saw my wonderful husband cheering me on and taking pictures.

T1 felt slow but I went through as fast as I could. As I approached the dismount line to haed out there was Jeff again taking pictures and cheering me on. "Have a good ride babe!" he called as I clipped in and headed out. The ride was great! This is where I ride all the time! My home turf! I felt so comfortablle and pretended I was out training. I started passing alot of people and that is what I did for the next 94km! All in all, I think about 8 men passed me and I passed several hundred people! The course was fun as I said before, this is what I usually ride. And I felt great. I kept thinking that I shouldn't be feeling this good. My legs should be hurting but they didn't!!! I saw so many people on the course and the highlight of the ride was going through the aid station that Team TriLife was handling. I got to see a bunch of my friends and teammates which was amazing. It toatlly pumped me up as they all cheered as I rode through.

T2 felt fast (I had an amazing volunteer help me) and I headed out on the run feeling great. I wasn't going fast but I felt steady. Suzanne Boyd went by me at about 4.5km as we headed down into Weaselheadand. She told me to go with her as I do to her so many races. I did for about 200m, and knew if I held that pace I would not last. Darn! I eased back into my pace. The hills were challenging but good! I actually liked them - even though I walked up all of them. My stomach still was not cooperating so I started alternating Coke and water so I could at least get something into my body. At the 9 km mark I started to feel strong and worked my way through the field, finally passing some people. One of my staff, Ciara ran with me for a bit and encouraged me on. I started to see alot of people I knew both racing and spectating. I started to feed off the energy and felt strong running....that is until the hill to come back out of Weaselhead. I walked up it as fast as I could. At the top I knew I was just 4km from the finish. I pushed on until just 2.5km left when I found myself walking. Suddenly a girl ran past me and said "Come on Richelle, you can do anything for 2.5km". I started running with her and tried to hold her pace. I started to fall off until "Come on girl, let's go!" she said. I got beside her and held her stride. She was my saviour! I looked at my watch and if I held this pace I would do a sub 5:30. I did not want to see taht clock roll to 5:30. I would get a 5:29!!!!! I pushed on and passed her. I saw Madi and Heather. They started to run with me and some guy yelled "just 800m to go". "800m!?!?!?!?!?" I screamed. Madi and Heather quickly pointed out he was wrong and it was 200m. Madi told me to run hard to the finish and I went as hard as I could. As I hit the last 50m Rose yelled that there was someone right behind me. I looked back and saw no one. I flipped her the bird (OK, not a great idea to do to your boss) and ran to the finish. I saw Leana with a big smile as I hit the timing mat. Next thing I knew Susi grabbed me and I put all my weight on her. The volunteers at the finish were amazing (actually the entire volunteer team for Calgary 70.3 was amazing!!!) and helped me get food, water, and my finisher shirt before I headed to find my husband. I chatted with many competitors as I made my way to my #1 cheerleader/supporter, my husband. My mother-in-law also came to cheer on and was so excited. It was neat for her to finally see what it is I do and am so passionate about.

We gathered my thinks and headed home for an ice bath. I then showered and got out to over 8 messages on my phone. I had qualified for Clearwater (70.3 World Championships) but missed my spot as you have to be there to claim it. I shed a few tears and after Angie calmed me down let it go - in the cards another time.

I had a great race though and highly recommend Calgary 70.3!

July 6, 2009

GWN Triathlon

This is not a race report. I will post soon. I am feeling great today and extatic about yesterday's race. My biggest success of the day was that I had no shin pain (ie. from my stress fracture) and no IT band pain like last year.

I swam strong, biked hard in the head wind and ran almost as fast as I did last year (except I took more walk breaks this year due to the heat) with having 10 weeks off of running.

GWN 2009 Results
Swim 36:04 (:31 seconds faster than last year)
Bike and Transitions 2:46:36 (1:59 faster than last year)
Run 1:51:27 (:34 seconds slower than last year)
OVERALL TIME 5:14:06 (1:55 faster than last year)

Age-Group Placing 15/95
Overall Female 23/300-ish (we were told that there were over 300 females registered)
Overall Placing 162/672

Here are some pitures for now (as for the picture of transition - I am in there if you look carefully at the first rack; I am wearing purple and orange; I am bent over trying to get off my wetsuit!).

Race report to come!

Getting into my wetsuit - it takes so long!

The swim start - always chaos.

Into transition and out on the bike! I love the bike!

The final stretch of the run - I felt so strong!

June 22, 2009

Chinook Olympic Distance Tri

As I drove down Macleod early race morning I had no idea where I was supposed to turn to get to Lake Midnapore (aka race site for the day). Feeling very unprepared for this race - not usually like me. I was just about to call Rose to figure out where I was going, when I saw her car. Phew! I got behind her and followed her to the lake. I parked and followed the heard of triathletes. I got into transition, chatted......chatted some more, and more until someone told me we had to be out of transition by the time the 1/2 Ironman started - that was 10 minutes away! Crap! I stripped to my race suit, grabbed my wetsuit and headed to the beach.

Waiting over an hour to race start without access to transition was less than desirable. Thank goodness Kelvin lent me his sweater or I would have been very cold. I was starting to get more nervous too as my first tri of season got closer. When it was finally time to get into my wetsuit, I did and Brian and Ang from Tri It were there for hugs and to help adjust my wetsuit. Brian joked that if I disgraced the store with a bad race that I should not bother coming into work later. "Is that motivation enough to go faster?" he asked. Brian is hilarious! I am pretty sure he was joking, cause I still work there. Oh did I mention I forgot my earplugs in my tri suit under my wetsuit!? I realized this was about 3 minutes before race start. I found Brad's girlfriend and told her my predicament and we managed to get them. Boy, do I ever owe her!

I barely remember the gun going off but into the water I went. It was a rough start and I got hit and banged and could not find my rhythm. As we hit the first buoy I realized this was not going to be just 1500m. I am not sure how far extra we swam but, we swam extra. I hit the beach after lap 1 and heard a number of cheers for me (which was so appreciated) and headed back for lap 2. It was mildly better for lap 2 in terms of congestion but still a fair bit of contact. I was so relieved to be done the swim and as I popped up onto the beach I looked at my watch and saw 30:08. Augh! I was less than thrilled but knew it was a longer swim.
I ran into transition beside my friend Caitlin who luckily informed me I had run by my bike as we flew through. I did a 180 turn and ran back to find my bike. I can't believe I did that! I have never done that before. The bike went by fast even though I was tired. My quads pushed as hard as they could, which wasn't as hard as I liked. It was my first race with my new bike and my aero helmet. I love them both! (Note: since that race I have adjusted my seat with a new seat post and like my bike even better - I feel like I have another gear!). I ht the turnaround and tried to see where I was in the pack. This cost me focus when I should have been focused on pedaling harder.
I heard my name being yelled as I hit T2 but could not see anyone as I was so focused on getting onto the run course. With T1, the bike and T2 my time came to 1:15:09. I had no idea at the time and just wanted to get out on the run.

The run hurt. I won't lie. It hurt the entire 10km. I felt like I was going so slow and struggling to hang on. I walked the water stations as it was so hot and I was tired. I never normally walk water stations on a 10km....grrr. At the 8km check I actually wanted to stop and be done with the race. I finally got to see who was behind me and saw a few people right on my heels. Crap! I picked it up as best I could...until the hill. I walked up part of it, chatted with James Keeval who was spectating and jogged the rest of the way up the hill. I was at a mere jog at this point and I just couldn't push any harder. With 0.5km to go Jason Chow yelled at me to pick it up and I really just wanted to stop and again, be done with the race. I really was only around the corner from the finish and ran it as Caitlin who had finished already ran it in with me for a run time of 51:25 and an overall time of 2:36:41.

I know I sound disappointed with my race. I was tired, mentally and physically and still am. I do start to taper on Sunday though for GWN tri. When I put it in perspective though it is not my time I am disappointed with it was how unprepared I was, how I was tired (this is the first triathlon I have not tapered for) and how I let my mental state get me down during the race. The reality is that I should be happy that I am healthy enough and lucky enough to do this wonderful sport. I really do love this sport!

The best part of the day was that I promised that after the race I would head straight to work at Tri It right after the race however, transition was closed until after 1pm so I couldn't get my bike and stuff out. So, I stayed and chatted and congratulated everyone I knew. I loved it! I can't imagine a better place to hang out other than at a race in the sun! Congrats to everyone who raced. Especially all you first timers - I welcome you officially to this wonderful sport!
If anyone has pictures of me from Saturday (other than Carla who caught me on camera with my shirt on backwards - oops) please send! Thanks!

June 17, 2009


Ok, where do I begin? I have been so bad at updating my blog - all due to training, work, coaching, eating, sleeping, and repeating. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining but I have just been bad about updating my blog and lately housework. I am really a clean freak but with increased training volume, Ang has told me I have to "let it go" for the next 3months (hope my parents understand when they visit next month!).

So, on the Tri It front, the store has been busy and I love it! I get to see so many of my friends all the time! Don't tell Brian I hardly consider hanging out at the store all day talking about triathlon work. Ha!

On the coaching front. My athletes are in race season now and doing well. I am so proud of them all and many of them have been racing hard, overcoming fears and having fun being in the sport of triathlon. I may have mentioned before that I also helped coach some KOS (Kids of Steel) camps which I loved! Here is a picture of one of my athletes and I at the Footstock KOS race last Sunday (LEFT). Probably one of the coolest kids I know! I was the swim captain for the race and it was great to see a number of the kids that I did the camp with race (RIGHT). They all did so amazing! I am again so proud. Swim coaching and my run clinic all end next week. I am sad but a bit excited to be able to focus a bit more energy to my Ironman training. Oh, and in case I forgot the Aquathon (swim/run) we put on 2 weeks ago went really well. No catastrophes, everyone had fun and we plan on doing it again next year. The big success of the day was that all the kids had fun and succeeded.

On the training and racing front. I am tired. Ang is happy about that and wants me to race tired this weekend for the Chinook Olympic. "great!" I am thrilled about it as you can tell. I raced last weekend at the Footstock 10km. My legs were tired but I ran as hard as I could to a 49:35. Although it is 2 minutes off my PR I promised my self I would be happy with anything sub-50 after not training hard on the run due to my stress fractures. I raced without pain, was pain free post-race and pain free the next day!!! BIG SUCCESS! Yeah!! Ross took this great picture of me during the 10km last weekend. Although I am suffering - alot - I actually really like it. Thanks Ross!

Ok, I know that is a short crappy update (and I am tired and have to go to bed now) but I will try to update more regularly and maybe even get a race report up from this upcoming weekend at Chinook....

May 24, 2009

I love my bike!!!!!!!!!

Here is a picture as promised!
2009 Kuota Kalibur with SRAM Red
I LOVE my bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 22, 2009

Blog slacking again

Seriously? I haven't blogged in a month!? Sorry! Life has been extremely busy. The store is crazy everyday, which I love as I just get to talk about triathlon non-stop all day, every day. On top of that coaching has been super busy as we head into race season. And still on top of that my training. Training has been going well and the highlight to date was riding in Penticton on my birthday last Sunday. We rode the course and Jane and I rode so well together and had a blast trying to beat the boys (Jason, Jeff and Peter). I could not have asked for a better day.

I am excited too as over the next 2 Sundays I will be coaching a KOS triathlon camp in Cochrane. It will be great to see these young kids who already have been exposed to triathlon at such a young age. Triathlon truly is a life-long sport and I just wish it had been bigger when I was a kid!

For those who have been asking, the shin is finally able to hold up to some runs so things are looking up for me actually running the run at GWN. Fingers crossed.

And yes, I promise I will snap some pictures of my bike very soon and get those up. I really love it and all I want to do these days is ride. Angie has had to remind me several time that I am a triathlete and not just a road biker. I just got my power tap today and am excited to have watts on the bike - I am such a numbers geek.

OK, that's it for me for now. I promise I will try to be better at blogging in the weeks to come - especially as race season approaches.

Now stop reading my blog and go get on your bike or something!

April 19, 2009

Back to it

Well, I am home now and it has taken me a full week to feel like myself again (get myself sorted/get things organized, catch up on sleep and get back into my regular schedule). One thing I realized after taking 2 weeks off is that: I have a very busy life! My schedule is always full and I never have a down time moment to spare! I am not complaining though, as for those of you who know me well, know that when I do have "down time" I end up trying to fill it anyway! So in any event, I am very happy to be home! I had a wonderful trip and I really loved it but, I missed my regular life.

On the bike front, it still has not arrived!!!!! I a crossing my fingers for tomorrow or Tuesday! Today I borrowed Ang's bike (we are the same size and her bike is exactly like the one I am getting) and went for a 2 hour ride with Ken and Phil. We headed out early enough that we only saw 1 other cyclist on our route. Afterwards, I attempted a brick run which I have not done in about 3 months due to my injury - let's just say it was less than spectacular. But, it takes time to come back after an injury and I know that; however patience is not something I have. Not much I can do though but stay positive; at least I am running again - even though it is slow. I do know though if I stay calm and keep at it, it will come.

Well, lots of work to do (swim planning, athlete programs, clinic planning, etc).

When my bike does come in, I will post pictures. Fingers crossed it comes this week!

April 11, 2009

Heading back home

Just a quick entry before we leave for the airport in a few minutes. Yesterday (my last day in Australia) was a great day. We slept in after a late night at Easter dinner and then got up, went for a run, went for a swim and then we came home and hung out and packed. We then headed of to watch an AFL game (Aussie rules football, or "footy"). It was so much fun. I love this game. It is fast paced and rough! I could very much be a fan and go to many games if I lived here. I do have pictures but no time now to post the so I will do so when I get home. 

Ok, I am off to sit on planes and in airports for 30 plus hours bow! See you soon!

April 9, 2009

Past few days

Here is what we have been up to:

Wednesday - We got up and went for a morning swim (in the outdoor pool of course). We then headed to Southbank for the afternoon. This is basically Brisbane's equivalent to what Eau Claire should be in Calgary. We found some cool shops and I managed to find an Australian bike jersey.  We wandered along stopped for lunch and then Carole wanted me to try some Hokey Pokey Ice Cream (Hokey Pokey is a flavour of ice cream, invented in New Zealand and consisting of plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of sponge toffee)

It was delicious! So we sat in the sun for a bit and then headed back home via the Cat to go to Carol's spin class at the university. It was finally sunny as almost everyday that we have been here it has rained. 

Thursday -we went to Carole's friend's house and had a traditional Aussie Barbie with rissoles (hamburgers) with beetroot, and snags (sausages).  We also brought marshmallows from Canada for them to try and they loved them as they are quite different here in Australia. We taught them how to perfectly roast a marshmallow, how to make ghost gum, and we made S'mores.

Friday - today is a bit of a mellow day as it is Good Friday and most things are closed.  Tonight we are having a big Easter dinner at another one of Carol's friend's houses. She is amazingly talented and a fantastic cook and baker - so I was told to go hungry! We might head up to Mt Coot-tha today as well; this is apparently Brisbane's best lookout point.

Tomorrow we are not quite sure what we will do during the day but tomorrow night for my last night in Australia we are going to AFL game (Aussie Footy)! I am so excited!!!!! The Brisbane Lions are playing the Sydney Swans. I have heard it is quite a brutal game. It also seems this is the league the bad boys play in as every paper you pick-up here has a headline about something either illegal or stupid/extremely controversial a pro footy player did. 

I can't believe my trip is almost over! I will enjoy these next few days as much as I can before the 30 hour journey home on Sunday.

April 6, 2009

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Yep, I got to hold a kola today! We went to Lone Pine Sanctuary today. It is a sanctuary with koalas, kangaroos, wallaby's, wombats, and more Australian animals. 

Up until now I had no idea that koalas can be so active. They still sleep 20 hours a day but, we happened to be there at feeding time. These little guys are so cute and inquisitive when they are awake. They love their food (Eucalyptus leaves) and love jumping from branch to branch in search of the very best leaves. We watched them for hours. We were so fascinated with the koalas, and we hung around them most of the day. There were so many of them in various parts of the grounds. In total there are over 130 koalas at Lone Pine. And the handlers can tell all of them apart.

Today I also saw a spider that someone had to say "stay away from that one!".  It was a Green Jumping Spider that is not toxic to humans but, has a very painful bite. Yikes!

To Janice (my mother-in-law) - I haven't emailed because I don't have your email address! I am really missing you though!!!