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Double your pleasure. Double your fun.

2 Races. 2 Weeks. 2 Countries.

sunny

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

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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)

Racing Ghosts & Near Death Laugther

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It feels very strange to be writing an entry from a place other than sandwiched between two large men in the middle seat somewhere on the back-half of a Southwest flight. Got to L-O-V-E having boarding position C48 every. damn. flight. Anyways.

Massachusetts

Swim openwater, ride bikes, run track, run trails, boston harbor, american authors / the script / one republic show, grilling out, playing with puppies, holding hands, mrs. murphy coffee, little sisters, staff meetings, Nonnie's home-cooking, riding the "T", hugs from Nick Davis, lay on the beach, briefly trespass to enjoy the lazy life of the rich and famous, long walks on the beach (cliche as it is), the beauty of small town Southwick, gossip with the girls, sushi, red wine, more red wine, lobster chowda, the worlds best salad, following your heart and working toward your dreams.

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Cohasset Race

Great weekend for the crew. RJ was 2nd pro, I was first amateur, Dad was 3rd in his age-group and Nick was 2nd in his age group. Not a bad morning.

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It started a bit interesting though.....at swim start for the 2nd wave I noted lots of women around me a wearing caps with their hair sticking out, still in flip-flops, race number tattoos were backwards and upside down. Being a little unsure I asked what wave this was, and got the bright eyed blue-bell answer of "GOODMORNING! This is the Beginner Wave. It's for novice racers. This is my very first triathlon! Are you nervous too!?" Uhhhh. Oh Shit. There was some confusion at check-in and I was given a random number, ended up being assigned to rack with the 45 year old men and apparently a start with the newbies. My actual wave of EA's and pros had gone off 10 minutes prior. It was no doubt the friendliest open water swim I had ever done, zero body contact with anyone. This brings me back to the title "Racing with Ghosts" After half way through the bike and catching the back half of the first wave, I was on my own. Nobody in sight behind or up front. The run course was just as lonely. It was a good mental game of staying motivated and focused knowing my competition was out there..somewhere....working hard and moving fast. Better splits than last year so no complaints. But the icing was being able to share the day with family and friends.

The east coast has a huge chunk of my heart on reserve and getting to spend time on the shore is priceless. But it is great to be back to the 303 where I truly belong.

So this brings us through June. (Sometimes life just gets crazy, busy, fun, and there isn't time to blog. Deepest apologies. Sarcasm)
Next post will be much more exciting.....much. more. exciting.

Quote of the moment:

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Here's to peace, laughing until it hurts and then laughing more,
Aubrey

Posted by AubreyJ 19:14 Archived in USA Tagged home nature travel colorado friends family swimming massachusetts coffee running laughter quotes learning goals triathlon east_coast cohasset open_water Comments (0)

Mid-Season Break

3 days OFF and then on Day 4 I walked for 90 minutes.

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In a Nut Shell

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Thursday - Day 1

The first 24 hours of 'down-time' revolved around Deely being incredibly sick. I'd get into details but that would just be shitty...ha. Get it? Venturing out for a walk every 30 minutes through the night was certainly draining. Poor little baby.
Which reminds me...NO. BABIES.

After that riveting experience I went antiquing for the first time, bought pink nail polish (just because) and for the first time in a long time had ZERO dirty laundry. Sigh. Productivity.

Friday - Day 2

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Friday became the new Sunday. Made the most amazing breakfast with Liz, drank a solid 3 cups of coffee and watched the first 2 episodes of "Orange Is the New Black". That lazy endeavor brings us up to noon on Friday. Went to work with the little guy, played on Pearl Street and ate way too much Almond Butter. #MYVICE

Saturday

I practiced being a home owner today. A role which involves Home Depot and results in a very long receipt. Lots of repairs and home-improvement projects in the works. Things are getting comfy over here. Had fabulous coffee with a friend and then drove to Denver for an APEX BBQ where some of us discovered our true calling....BASKETBALL. If there is no future in multi-sport at least we can each easily sign multi-million dollar deals playing hoops. #SoMuchAir

Sunday

Amongst other things, I WALKED with Deely for 90 minutes. Want to hear my conclusions about walking? It's not running & when it's not hiking...IT SUCKS. Thank god tomorrow is back to the groove. Looking forward to getting back into training. Feeling motivated and fresh. This was the first recovery break that I A. Didn't cheat (sneak in a workout) and B. Didn't even have the desire to cheat.

Quote of the Moment:
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Here's to peace, playing 'catch-up', and 14 bottles of juice,
Aubrey

Posted by AubreyJ 18:41 Archived in USA Tagged travel fun run swim bike friendship coffee training nutrition basketball recovery triathlon stretch home_depot kharma athlete_problems Comments (0)

Phase One: Snow to Silicon

You are not in the bubble anymore little one....

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Thursday morning started with New England like snow. The heavy, thick, slushy type of snow that is just plain gross. Timing for the South Beach Triathlon couldn't be more perfect. Nell & I were outta dodge just in time and onward to the land of sunshine.

Now. I have never been to Miami.
I will start with the blanketing statement of "This place is F-ing crazy"
I will follow up with the promise that an entry dedicated to capturing the sheer mayhem is in the future.

The SuperShuttle Reality Show

Us: "Umm.....so maybe if you take the half a dozen suitcases out of the van and load the bike boxes first...."
meanwhile: SuperShuttle attendant takes i-phone pictures of our cases.
Us: "The boxes will fit no problem, they just need to get loaded first......"
meanwhile: SuperShuttle attendant has thrown her hands up in the air exclaiming "I just needed to take a picture of dat, I don't even know how to describe what I be lookin' at over herre"
Us: "Ok....Sooooo, can we do some re-arranging....?" subtle laugther
meanwhile: "I'm gonna need to get my boss over here to check this out"
Us: Blank Stares

{Enter Boss Man} (*who is maybe pushing 20 years old and still obviously working on balancing that 'professional yet still thug' look)

Boss Man: "Is this all your bags"
Us: "This is everything we have, 4 bags"
Boss Man: "Cuz I was getting the story that you had some bags on da other side....and that was causing the problem"

  • We are still slightly uncertain as to what the "other side" was referring to. Perhaps some guests frequently like to scatter their baggage all around ground transportation so when it is time to load it up it's more of a scavenger hunt adventure?

In any case, after 30 minutes and two shuttles who threw in the towel on us we were on our way.

On our way to a private tour of Pine Street.....
Which is apparently where Justin Beiber got arrested for racing cars and blowing coke not too long ago.
"Hashtag O-M-G"

Assorted Incidents / Experiences

Our hotel is pretty far away from transition.....a solid 10 yards.
We'll have to set our alarms extra early to get down there in time.

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Walking distance to a pretty great outdoor saline lap pool. Got in a nice PM workout Thursday after some bike shop adventures, because what fun would travel racing be if you didn't have to problem solve something!?!

A scantily clad bachelorette party attempting various 'selfies' while on their segways....yeah, visualize that for a second....caused a near death experience while out on the bikes today. Skateboarders 'doing tricks' also get the blood pumping. But we got a good shake out spin in and nobody was pancaked to the boardwalk in the process.

Being down on the beach in our race kits drew some attention. It was like people didn't know whether to check us out or give us the awkward disapproving glare. So we got a little bit of both, including some photo requests....

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I love the mountains. But my heart sure has a soft spot for the ocean.

Up Next:

Phase Two: "So you think you can Miami" & Assorted Race Prep
Phase Three: "48 Hours of Ecstasy"

Quote of the Moment:
“Having a Vision is not enough. It must be combined with imagination, determination, faith, hope and passion. It is not enough to just stare up at the stars..." Victoria June

Here's to peace, finding a genuine Italian espresso cafe, and some old school Micheal Jackson,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 21:48 Archived in USA Tagged travel sunrise cycling airports preparation miami partying triathlon south_beach motivation trainining open_water_swimming Comments (0)

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