Looking Back at 2013

Yep, this post is kind of late.  But better late never.  2013 was a different sort of year for me.  I've always said each year of my life has been better than the past.  Some really great stuff happened in 2013, but some really sucky stuff too.  So now I'm not sure if I can use that saying anymore. However, I still recognize how fortunate I really am (I don't say lucky because Jason and I work really hard for our life, what we have and what we do) and overall, yeah 2013 was another year that smashed it out of the park, with a couple of exceptions.  So here's looking back at last year:

The year started off inauspiciously enough, kind of some same-old-same-old.  I ended up volunteering with the senior boys basketball team at work, and at the time I didn't realize it would turn into a few months and about a million hours... but I did get to know a fantastic group of guys that I'm honoured to have shared that time with.  

Despite my earlier proclamation that I'd be self-coached, I started with a new coach in February (Noa at PT Performance Training).  I learned soooo much from Noa over this past year, as she does things differently than I had in the past.  I really looked forward to waking up to my daily Training Peaks email outlining my training for the day. 

Jason and I put on a beginner's tri clinic at the local aquatic center.  We just ran into one of the participants the other day, and he'd finished his first half-iron distance event in Thailand - Challenge Phuket!  Well done!

Things started going off the rails a bit at the end of the month, with our greatest-dog-ever Humu getting sick, and it took about a week of tests to get it sorted out and diagnosed.

March was a sucky haze.  This was the lowest Jason and I had ever been, as it turned out Humu had an incurable tumour on her heart.  We were able to make her comfortable for a bit, then it was time to put her down.  A lot of tears that lasted for a long time.

We went to Maui for spring break, and while we had the excellent time that can only be had in the "Islands of Aloha", we were still really sad, and there were still lots of tears.

One highlight in March - we swam our first 100x100m!  I also ran a half-marathon and was on my way to a PR until the mile of sand hit.  Yikes.  Jason won his age group, and was 2nd overall.

Both Jason and I did the Westshore sprint tri, a new experience for me racing an outdoor tri in March. It was really warm that day, so not quite what it could have been.  Jason won his age group (you will see that this is a theme for 2013), and I was 2nd in mine.

Training ramped up in preparation for Boise 70.3  I ran the TC 10km.  

I went with some colleagues to a conference in San Diego, and got to visit some friends while there.  Which meant I got a workout in an outdoor pool, good enough to hold me over until the outdoor pool at UVic opens in May.

I swam a lot.  I did the Shawnigan sprint tri.  I was 4th in my age group, Jason won his.  Jason got me tickets to a Victoria broadcast of Q - my favourite radio show with my most favourite radio host ever.

Things got weird and stressful at work, as there was some major restructuring that closed a lot of schools and reorganized several others.  Mid-May to mid-June was the most stressful month of my career.  I ended relatively unscathed in the end but a good many colleagues didn't.

Knee injury really started bugging me.

Boise 70.3 - where I ended up with a bike course PR (despite brutal winds) and Jason won his age group.

Summer holidays couldn't have come soon enough.  July was going to be a crazy month of cycling given the events I chose to do.  So we figured we start the summer off with a vacation to California, get some long rides, and get some literal distance between us and the stress of the year so far.

We had some great rides with friends.  A day at Disneyland.  Then to Seattle to meet Corinne for the Seattle to Portland - 325 km in a single day of riding.  That definitely goes down as my longest day in the saddle.

Jason drove over to Lake Stevens for the 70.3, where once again he won his age group.

The end of the month I headed to Fernie for the Trans Rockies TR3 - and was way over my head in terms of how technical the course was that year.  But I finished each day (not bad, as only 3 of us in our group of 6 that went did), laughed a lot and only cried a bit.

I started a new (sort of) job.  Same school, but as the Vice Principal, temporarily filling in for the current VP who went on maternity leave for this school year.  Still doing lots of training as my next big event, the Leadman 125, was coming up.  We went to Whistler to watch, and volunteer at, the inaugural Ironman Canada there.  Felt like an IM in our home town (we do love to go to Whistler)!

Jason went to Vegas for the 70.3 worlds.  Didn't have his best day dealing with the crazy weather conditions and two flats on the bike.  Still finished 13th in his age group... not bad for a WC!

We completed the Leadman 125 on a cold day in the Cascade mountains.  Jason won his age group (and was 2nd overall).  Bend is a great little town, and I know we'll be back.

Finished my tri season, and therefore finished being coached by Noa.  Kind of sad about that, as I miss the swim workouts! (And other reasons of course.)  I just finished writing them ALL out by hand in a waterproof book so I can use them again.

Quiet month around here for me.  I took a bit of time off training, and tried some new things like Bikram Yoga.

Jason went to Austin for the 70.3 and you guessed it - won his age group.  He also qualified for the 70.3 worlds in Mt. Tremblant 2014.

Did a cyclocross race for the first time in a few years.  Sorted out what the problem is with my knee and a treatment plan.  Started thinking about what events I may want to do in 2014.

We found out that Jason finished at the top of the men's 40-44 WTC rankings for the 70.3 distance.  How cool is that?!

Went to Portland for a work trip, and Jason tagged along.

We promised ourselves after Humu died that we'd go on a holiday trip this year.  While we do travel frequently, we didn't usually go away over xmas as we liked to spend that time with her.  So we booked a flight to southern California, leaving xmas day.

We spent a few days (in unseasonably warm temperatures - it actually hit 31 degrees C [88F]) at Disneyland.  It actually wasn't as busy as we thought it would be on xmas day (we had an early flight, so were in the Magic Kingdom by the afternoon, that's how we roll) or Boxing day.  But the 27th was off the charts in terms of crowds, so we split and did some relaxing by the hotel pool.

We then went to visit my parents in the desert for a couple of days.  Jason and I hiked in Joshua Tree National Park, found an amazing pool in Palm Desert, and had a fun drive through Borrego Springs.

2013 ended off for us with a few days on the coast. We spent some time visiting friends, swimming outdoors, running along the ocean, and spent the very first day of 2014 relaxing in the sun on the beach.  All day.  For reals.  Great start to the new year!


  1. Sounds like a terrific year despite the work trouble. Huge congrats to you both on a great year of racing. That's awesome that Jason was first in his age in 70.3s, and already qualified for the 2014 championships!
    I don't even know what to say about Humu. I hope you guys are healing.

    1. Thanks Abby. Losing a pet is always so hard, yet that's the way pet ownership always ends. But as you know, it's worth it. There will be a new dog soon in our future!

  2. Glad we could see you several times throughout 2013 and will start the new year with a great average by seeing you this month!