A Travellerspoint blog

A Month of Ontario & Kentucky

I clearly have a knack for picking the most exotic travel destinations...

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As I write this I am jamming out pretty hard to what might be the most random I-Tunes mix this side of the Mississippi. We’re talking Steve Winwood, Eminem, and One Republic, over to Florida Georgia Line, The Naked and Famous and Lorde. It’s a flat out rock out. Good thing I am in my own row of seats and don’t care what other people think about my seated, head bobbing dance moves. Looking around, everyone else on this flight is thoroughly agitated. We were delayed in Lexington for 3 hours, which means everyone missed their connecting flights. But ya know, it happens…it’s out of your control and personally I’d rather sit in an airport with a broken plane that is getting fixed over taking that broken plane out for a cruise. Bring on the delays.

Backing Up. Yes, I said Lexington. Why you ask? Well, why not!? Nell and I ventured to horse racing country to take the USAT Level I coaching certification course. Content wise it was better than I anticipated over all…however, holy shit…let me tell you….being in a room with 38 other triathletes …specifically long course triathletes (because let’s be real, they are a whole different breed) was a very "interesting" experience.
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Question: “How do you tell if someone is an IronMan athlete?”
Answer: “You don’t have to….they will tell you.”

There got to be a point each day where it seemed like the flow of ‘questions’ being asked were simply people wanting to state their 1. Personal Race Resume (as if their M-dot branded shirts, bags, hats and jackets were leaving us guessing in the first place) or 2. Show much they know about the latest and greatest coaching techniques, current trends or gadgets. The presenters were pretty amazing and for the most part pulled the rug out when things were heading in that hope-less direction.

Had a few good runs while in town, and got into a pool twice (for free!) Always a win. Traveling without interrupting training too much seems to come easier and easier, it just takes a little homework in advance.

Backing up even more. Because Kentucky only encompasses 3 days of travel, when I have actually been on the go for more than 3 weeks. I am playing a new game this year…it is called it “How much time can you spend in Canada before the year is out?” It’s actually become a favorite game, since RJ and I just seem to have so much damn fun together. I learned quite a bit this time around…..Are you ready for it?

1. Lesson Number One.
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2. It is called “Grey-Bruce Peninsula” for a reason. Days of sunshine over a three week period= 4. Not joking.

3. It can be as grey, wet and cold as it wants to…(See #1) But Port Elgin is still absolutely beautiful. *It’s growing on me quite a bit.

4. A place feels a bit more homey to me when I have the following three things
a. A mom and pop coffee shop that I venture to daily...or close to it.
b. Set bike routes that are the no brainer go-to for certain sessions.
c. Someone who kisses me Good night & Good Morning. #simplethings

5. I am capable of more than I give myself credit for. Surrounding myself with people, friends and family who push me might be the best thing I can do. Thankful for having some pretty amazing people in my life. #FriendsAreTheFamilyYouChoose
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6. My mom speaking in a British accent goes in my “Top 10 greatest things ever” Vault.

7. Despite what the news tells you…there are still kind people out there. The genuinely kind, want to help you, love you, keep you safe, laugh with you, dream with you, and travel with you kind of kind people. When you find friendships or relationships like that, thank your lucky stars.

8. My style of loading the dishwasher AKA the most illogical, chaotic, jam-packed disastrous mess comes from my mom.

9. You make time for the things that matter. Period. And sometimes what matters is a ridiculous night out with your girl.
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10. My “gotta have it, strip down at mach 5 speed to wear it, comfy outfit” is a 5 year old pair of tattered Westfield State College sweat pants and a (literally) 10 year old cut-up, hole in the arm pit shirt from my paddling days in Costa Rica. #NotSexy #DontCare

11. YOU (Well, specially I mean Nell, but yes, you too dearest Blog reader) You deserve everything you have, the opportunities you have taken, the fun adventures you’ve gone on, the love you’ve found all around you and the goals you are working toward….and the best part of all of that is,,,it is really all just beginning. #BF4evaaa #Goals #LifeIsMadeForFun #NeverSettle #EverythingWorksOut #HashtagsMakeItMoreLegit
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12. Getting a good nights sleep is worth more than gold.

13. If the human body is 75% water…my other 25% is likely comprised of almond butter.

On a completely separate side-note shout out: For all you super fast, super active, super awesome athletes in the Boulder area….If you need to get yourself 1. Back to living the Injury Free life or 2. Address any of those little miserable trouble spots that tend to flare up….NOW IS THE TIME! And the guy to get the job done is hands down Tracy Byarlay over at Rally Sport Health & Fitness. #HealingHands #Seriously

Countdown:

Key West Sprint: 2 weeks, 6 days

Quote of the Moment:

As long as you are passionate about your vision, you should keep moving forward
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Helllloooooo Wonderful

If you are looking for the best coffee in Boulder....look no further. Seriously. It's good. AND their support is making a big part of my 2015 race season possible. If you like being active, racing, espresso or me...stop in and say hi to these guys. I can't thank them enough for all they do...#SupportBusinessesThatSupportOurSport
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Here’s to peace, getting ducks in a row, and frequent flyer miles,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 18:33 Archived in USA Tagged me beaches home travel vacation airport friends fun family events bike friendship cycling airports preparation coffee traveling training fitness action strength laughter dreams learning goals inspiration recovery triathlon fantasy motivation choices best_friends progress multisport. caffeine priorities being_strong live_big open_water_swimming swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water Comments (0)

I'm Officially Going Nuts..

..with a little help from an amazing new sponsor!

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Changing of seasons is a great time to take a step back and do some self reflection. As the landscape around you changes, look at how you have changed and GROWN over the past weeks, months, years. One of the greatest gifts of life is that we are constantly presented with new opportunities. Opportunities to change, or stay the same. Opportunities to embrace your own successes and share in those successes of others.

A few months ago I stumbled upon a companies "mission statement" - I had tried their product before (courtesy of good friend and amazingly talented swimmer, Christine Jennings) so I already knew they were 'to die for delicious'....but what really got me hooked was reading about their values and outlook on life. I thought "YES! This is what it is all about!"

So. If you like nut butter...hang on to your boots because you have no idea how good it can really be.
With that warm introduction, I introduce you to KOLAT SUPERFOODS! #boom

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Five for Friday

My fav 5 from KOLATs Manifesto...and of course my little ramblings as to why they are my favorite.

BE UNCOMFORTABLE
take risks and find comfort in the discomfort, for this is the only way you grow. *As an athlete this place of discomfort in a strange way almost brings comfort. Push yourself to new places, you might like the view.

BE TRUSTING
all is perfect as it is, everything happens in its own time when the conditions are right, trust in this; of yourself, you are capable of handling anything that comes your way; of life–happiness does not depend on anything outside of yourself. *This one reminds me of my moms advice 'listen to your gut, trust your instincts' Our body has a way of knowing perhaps more than our mind allows us to see...trust your heart, and create the life you have imagined.

BE CURIOUS
seek knowledge, seek truth; view others as if they were a gift, waiting to be discovered and listen intently. *Family is family, they are your number one, your backbone. Friends are the family you choose. Strangers could become your newest friends. Be thankful for those in your life, and open to those who might walk in when you least expect it.

BE DETERMINED
never settle, never give up, setbacks are just a universal test to see how badly you truly want it and how far you are willing to go to make it happen;
success comes to those who are willing to fail many times & adjust their strategy along the way; when told you cannot, let that be a driving force to prove that you can; have an unshakable belief in yourself. *I have a quote taped to my fridge that says 'When she undoubtedly believed, everything became possible'. You are your own CEO, with limitless potential...and it's up to you to realize that.

BE EXTRAORDINARY
dream big, you have the power to create what ever it is you truly desire; do the impossible and when you are told it is, know that there is always a way, it just hasn’t been done yet; be the exception, be a visionary, be a pioneer. *There is nothing better than hearing "you can't do it" or "you won't make it"....it's all fuel for the fire baby. Whatever 'it' is, you should do it.

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In Other News...

At The Gym. WTF

There are certain things that just baffle the hell out of me.
Maybe you can share some insight as to why people do the things they do.

1. Why is there a huge population of older women who choose to put body lotion on while in the sauna? I feel like this would be nothing but the most unpleasant and sweaty experience.

2. In an entirely empty locker room, as I have my 3-sport life sprawled over the bench and the floor....why would you choose the locker immediately next to mine? I get that we are creatures of habit...but seriously, live on the edge. #StopSteppingOnMyShit

3. The things I have seen people doing with free weights as of late has grown scary. Literally doing the YMCA with dumbells. #wtf

4. Dear Crossfit Man: You are still my favorite. Please continue to walk around with your gallon of water, ripped t-shirt (because your biceps are clearly too big for sleeves) and do some of those kipping pull-ups. So hot. #sarcasm.

Training and Such

Getting back to the grind this month. AND LOVING IT! It certainly doesn't feel good to realize the loss of fitness that occurred after season end....or the affect of one (or nine) too many icecream and wine nights....but here we are, October, and with a serious sense of direction! #patience #progress #potential.

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Well. Folks. There you have it.
Grab a spoonful of KOLAT Superfood (I am digging the Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut these days) and do whatever it is you do...and do it well!

And because sometimes you just need to eat some sushi and watch a whole lot of zombies.
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Cheers to peace, the icing on the cake and big visions for 2015,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 15:06 Archived in Canada Tagged home travel colorado friends fruit fun family share bike friendship cycling coffee training competition resting boulder fitness action nutrition laughter independence dreams goals inspiration recovery triathlon stretch inspire motivation choices best_friends people_watching progress almonds priorities bike_racing live_big self_reflection swim_bike_run athlete_problems nut_butter sponsorship healthy_fats Comments (0)

The End of an Era.

Pack it up September.

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There I sat, on my bedroom floor. Deely dog snuggled up on my lap, looking up at me with those "I know something is wrong" eyes. My packed suitcase was next to us both....Deely despises that suitcase. She knows it means I am traveling. What she didn't know, was this time she was coming with me. Instead of traveling thru DIA with a bike in tow...I would have a pudgy yellow lap. Explanation: *After a lot of thought and looking ahead as to what my next year will likely involve, I decided it be best if Deely go back home to live in Massachusetts with my parents. It certainly wasn't an easy decision, but when I took emotion out of the equation it was clearly the right choice for us both.

Anyways. There we sat. Her in my lap and me starting to cry. Then I really started to cry. One of those, it just kept coming. I had panicked thought where I was certain 2014 was going to be my "best year ever"...and the unraveling would now begin. I thought "Wow. In this summer alone...I got to live with my dog in Colorado, move into MY house, train with the best, reach what was up to this point my biggest goal, experience what it is like to win lots of races, AND stumble into a fairy tale when I least expected it....yikes, it was a hell of a summer." I looked at all those pieces and thought that it just couldn't get any better. So, clearly it would have to fall apart...and Deely leaving was the kick off. Then I realized.....actually, this year was like "set-up". Everything happened just as it should and the foundation is laid for work to be done, new goals to be set, and memories to be made...So I reigned in that little emotional outburst and said outloud to Deels "The best is yet to come". And I believe that is the truth.

Now begins a new chapter...where with some of patience and heaps of dedication you can have it all. Oh and a side note: Now that I've been back in CO without a pup to care for....HOLY SHIT is my day to day a thousand times easier. #gooddecision

At this point Hyvee 5150 Champs was a month ago so we'll just not even get into it. Aside from saying the race was changed to a sprint course (eh, it is what it is) and I finished 2nd place Elite Amateur. More importantly our High Altitude Triathlon boys BOTH won 1st place in their age groups. It was a pretty epic cap-off to a fun summer. Nell and I were pretty proud. Oh, and I also had someone pretty special waiting for me at the finish line after having a great race himself. I felt #blessed that weekend (I really hope you detected the elevated sarcasm there with the whole hash-tagging of 'blessed'......)

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Clearly not happy....at all.

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In Other News:

Instead of racing Galveston 5150...I spent the day running with a friend on his birthday, mountain biking with my dad, doing yoga with mom, eating blondie brownies with Nonnie and Pepe and not worrying about a damn thing. I think I made a good decision.

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So, clearly after Hyvee there was some time off off for recovery. I ate icecream 4 days in a row....ok 5 days....but I put just a littttttle bit of granola on it and would tell myself it was just really cold protein packed greek yogurt....That works right? Eh. Fuck it. I fully committed to this month of taking a break. Dusted off the bottles of TRIFECTA WINE to celebrate a great season. So delicious! You really should check them out! Trifecta Wines It took a bit to want to even think about getting back into training. Losing momentum is tough for me.

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Me & Momma hiking in the Berkshires on our yoga retreat day at KRIPALU

Getting back to Boulder was like the flip of a light switch. I think the plane touched down and I was instantly feeling excited, focused and ready to set my sights on next season. Taking some time now to get back into training a little bit more, but still just whatever feels good. Reminding myself that this year of training is a marathon, not a sprint and I need to slowly build back into things. Spending some time on the mountain bike has been a blast, good for the soul.

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Yep. My dad is pretty freakin' cool.

3 Signs You Are Surely In Boulder...

-You see a woman running intervals around the park with a neck brace on....
-During a lunch play date one 5 year old asks the other if they are "gluten intolerant" or "just enjoying glutenfree crackers"
-There are more than 3 milk alternatives at any given coffee shop...not counting soy

Quote of the Moment:
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Cheers to changing aspens, climbing mountains and lots of check marks,
Aubs

ONE OTHER THING:

My girl AMANDA WILSON is following some pretty amazing dreams and has moved to middle of nowhere ALASKA for a year. Her and her hubby are freakin' amazing. You should maybe check out her blog too.....CRAZY ALASKA LIVING BLOG O' FUN #moose #norunningwater #abillionbelowzero #catonaleash (<-yes, a cat on a leash)

Posted by AubreyJ 07:52 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Double your pleasure. Double your fun.

2 Races. 2 Weeks. 2 Countries.

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Life. Living it and Loving it.

August 9th. I'd been awake for nearing 20 hours, was still on the high of earning a 3rd place age group and top ten overall place at Nationals, and was now in line for Customs in the Toronto airport. "Well...there is this guy here....(huge stupid smile) we met after a race in April, (smile gets bigger) and I'm hear to spend the month with him (giddy sigh of elated happiness)...." This was most certainly not the answer the unassuming customs agent was expecting when she asked "What is the purpose of your visit". I'm sure "vacation" would be been suitable. Anyways. I couldn't help it and for better or worse with a confused blank stare she stamped my passport and let me in.

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First off. I must be honest and admit....I wasn't looking for it, didn't think I wanted it and still don't really know what 'it' is....but looking in the rear-view mirror of this year. Man, am I glad that I stumbled upon 'it' at the St Anthonys race. People often say "things happen when you least expect it" I guess there could be some truth to that statement after all. Who knew, eh?

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Anyways. Back to Nationals. The morning started around 4am, eating a tupperware of white rice and smashed up bananas in a dark hotel room...I mean if that doesn't sound f-ing exhilarating all in itself you don't know what you are missing. Race morning was pretty typical....except for the 2 1/2 hour wait between transition closing and my wave start of 9:25am. I'm usually done racing by that time....but not this morning. Swam well, was able to get out ahead of the messy start and be up around the front group of girls - what a great place to be. Cranked on the bike (The bike leg is soooo my heroin), got into transition to a practically empty bike rack, a huge empowering indicator of where you stand. Run felt good, built throughout. It wasn't anything spectacular but it got the job done. I say it often (almost after every single race) but
"I had never had that much FUN racing before"

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After Nationals there was no time to waste! It was a quick breakdown of the bike, a far too aggressive attempt of scrubbing off my race tattoos (I think I will end up with a scar of my left calf.....) a cup of coffee and off to the airport! A 4pm international flight on race day might have been a little ambitious but we made it happen. Oh did I mention that my 48 hour whirlwind in Milwaukee was another race that I got to do with my Dad? #coolestthingever #he'sprettybadass

Canada is incredible.

Crazy beautiful. Fantastic training.
Great company. Insane laughter.
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The grotto. Water as clear as the Caribbean, except slightly cooler.....48 degrees

Training has been great. Always nice to get away from the routine. I love Boulder and I miss my Rallysport...but man, a get away and spice up to training has been fabulous. Open water swimming is a 10 minute walk, pool and track 5 minutes, cycling along the coast, brick workouts by the beach that end with a farmers market stop, sunset swims and long trail runs.
Everything is right at your fingertips here.....
I did not expect to genuinely love the area, but I can't deny it.

Race #2

Parry Sound Triathlon
The perfect tune-up for Hyvee next weekend. Pretty course, nothing but fun and a new 5k PR (18:58) ...finally. RJ won the race by...I don't even know...a lot! He'll be in good form next weekend for sure. I finished 1st woman and 3rd overall....it's pretty damn fun to beat the boys. Nice little cool down after the run, ate some homemade cookies from heaven, then took a cruise in the 1966 Galaxie convertible to spend the afternoon playing on the worlds longest fresh water beach (Wasaga Beach). Yeah...this life is certainly not for everyone.

Things I Think:

1. Time is the most valuable thing you can give to someone
2. If it isn't fun, don't do it. Life is too short.
3. Small steps forward are still moving you forward. Keep at it.
4. Stop yearning for perfection. Perfect is boring. Embrace the crazy, the complicated and the challenging. #liveboldly

Quote of the moment:

"Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in"

That's all for now.

Cheers to peace, the simple things and sunshine,
Aubs

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Posted by AubreyJ 11:37 Archived in Canada Tagged me beaches home travel vacation airport friends fun family events bike friendship cycling airports preparation coffee traveling training fitness action strength laughter dreams learning goals inspiration recovery triathlon fantasy motivation choices best_friends progress multisport. caffeine priorities being_strong live_big open_water_swimming swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water Comments (0)

A little help for the guys out there.....

Oh & Boulder Peak

rain 70 °F

Started writing this one.....a month a go. Oops.
Better late than never?
The next one will be rockin' and on-time don't you worry.

Yo. Bro Brah. Here's the scoop: I know I am wearing athletic clothes at the coffee shop....please do not confuse this with an invitation to come over and talk crossfit to me. I do not care about the WOD you're "on the way to smash" (probably not) and the "fact" that you can put-up 350lbs ONE time means nothing and is not impressive to a girl like me. How elastic is your fascia, whats your 10k off the bike, hows your functional stability and mobility....? Yeahhhh.... I'd normally apologize about not even being able to at least pretend I was interested...but I think your ego needed the deflation. So. You're welcome. #pickthingsupandputhemdown..somewhereelse

Phew.
Actually. You know what, while we're at it, here are some other inappropriate ways to flirt with a girl:

1. If you're riding a $10,000 bike (or a $10 bike for that matter) and can't shell out for a helmet my brain tells me that you're clearly too stupid to engage in meaningful conversation. And just so we're clear, as you ride up on me I don't want to hear that you are on a tempo effort, and you're pushing 290 watts. Seriously. Keep tempo-ing darling, just ride away....

2. I had someone buzz me close in their car and literally wash their windshield so I would get sprayed. The inner Massachusetts in me utilized some select gestures, prompting the guy to slow down and get this....apologize (The slow down almost made me pee my bibbs...I thought I was going to get shot). "He didn't realize it was a girl he sprayed"....." Seriously!? So, Let me get this straight. If I was a dude you're arrogant behavior would have been acceptable? If he was to ever ride bikes, he wouldn't be the wearing helmet type.

Moving On.

Boulder Peak Triathlon

Also called the "Boulder Peak-Less" Since the removal of the Old Stage climb from the course. (Flood damage) Solid race. My college adviser told me that "the mark of an elite athlete is consistency" I have got that going in spades this season. Each race has been a slight improvement upon the last, and with one (at least) HUGE learning lesson in each. BoulderPeak kept that going, my swim was the best of the season, bike was strong and my lesson learned was "even if you know what your leading gap is....don't settle in on the run, keep pushing like someone is on your shoulder" The highlight of the day was waiting around for 3+ hours for the awards ceremony to begin. At least I had some good company to lay in the grass with...but oh man, talk about record setting empty award stages. #crickets

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Spent the rest of July training, working a lot, making ends meet and running around a little bit crazy. Essentially the countdown for Nationals began and that is where the focus remained.

Somewhere in there I raced Mt. Evans, Rode the Peak to Peak/Brainard Lake Route, Got food poisoning / something that resulted in a day of fetal position and misery, coached a ton, dusted off my passport (in preparation for another very huge countdown to begin) and watched great friends including my girl, Elizabeth West kick some ass in IronMan Boulder.

Next Up:

Age Group Nationals Recap
Boulder to Wisconsin to Ontario in 48 hours.

Quote of the moment:

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Cheers to peace, opening up and setting new goals,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 14:30 Archived in USA Tagged travel colorado family run swim men living bike cycling boulder racing laughter advice ironman races goals triathlon crossfit funny_story mount_evans hill_climb Comments (0)

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