Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A New Path

Having an opinionated boyfriend who enjoys updating his blog very
regularly has inspired me to type a few thoughts and bring anyone who may check up on me up to speed.

I can't believe summer is over and it is October already. Even though most people think summer is over at the end of August, in Penticton our weather usually holds to well into Sept.. The first 3 weeks of Sept. this year were absolutely incredible; highs of 25-28C and lows at night of about 8-10. It is perfect weather to be training for some big upcoming event like Kona; or, in Jordan's case, Ironman Arizona; or in, Tom, Olly, and Dave's case, Ironman Florida. Unfortunately I am not training for anything in particular right now, but I am staying active in order to stay somewhat fit??! When I say fit, I am now comparing myself to a regular person's definition of "fit", not an obsessive-compulsive endurance athlete "fit". I do really miss that feeling of being in top-level competitive shape, but I don't miss the fatigue that comes with it.

Even though I am not traveling around to races all over the world anymore, most of July I spent traveling around Italy. My sister got married in Rome at the beginning of July. I decided to stay over there for a few extra weeks, and I traveled solo on the trains through Italy. It was my first trip in Europe without a bike box. I also ventured into Austria (and watched a few friends compete in Ironman Austria), and spent some time in Munich Germany. On my way home I stopped in New York to watch Jordan race in the New York triathlon. It was an awesome event, and really made me want to do it next year.

When I got home, at the end of July, I started taking some correspondence courses through the CHEK Institute in Vista,
California. The first certification that these courses would give me
is that of "Exercise Coach." This certification is similar to a
personal trainer, but with a few more added skills to do some initial
postural assessment in order to create a program that is appropriate for the individual's imbalances and/or weaknesses. I take the hands-on portion of the course next weekend in Vista, California at the CHEK Institute itself. I am really looking forward to it because I find the course material really interesting. I am also taking the Holistic Nutrition course that the CHEK institute offers in Nov. Check it out at

Jordan and I did our annual (hopefully??) migration south last week. Now we are based out of Glendale California. On our drive down we stopped in Boise Idaho, St. George Utah and in Las Vegas, which was a first for me. I thought Las Vegas was a great place to spend time. There really is so much to see and do, for lots of different types of people. I enjoyed wandering around, people watching as well as eating at some of the great restaurants. We also went to the Cirque de Soleil show Mystere. It was amazing, I thought triathletes were great athletes, these Cirque performers were so strong and flexible. It was really inspiring, made me want to work on my stretching!.

We arrived last Friday and are getting settled into a good routine. I am spending my time reading course materials, going to yoga, working out at Equinox fitness, and swimming at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Centre. Not a bad life…


Monday, June 23, 2008

No comeback for now.....

I guess it is old news to anyone who followed the World Championships in Vancouver that I didn't race. It was a tough decision, but the fall I had off my bike in early May really flared up some of my old injuries around my pelvis and hip. After taking a few days off and then trying to get back out there just going easy, the body just wasn't happy. Even swimming wasn't tolerable, because I was so tight around my pelvis and lower back that my shoulders were not cooperating either.

At this point in my career, I have been through too many injuries to push through when I know my body isn't cooperating. So after a lot of thinking and talking with my family and friends, I decided to pull out. I was really disappointed at first, because I have been working so hard to rehab a different injury from last year. I really wanted to have one last chance to make the Olympic team this year, and I invested so many hours into rehab and physios this past year. Now that everything has settled, I don't regret anything, even though I didn't make it to the World Championship start line. At least I did get rid of that old injury that had been plaguing me for over a year. As my tailbone and pelvis loosen up from the crash, I am happy to be able to simply run. I really missed the capacity to just run. I didn't run last year from July 1st to Jan 1st that was a long stretch. I am really enjoying just working out for the pure enjoyment of exercise, instead of for an upcoming race. I think I lost a bit of that spirit because I was too focused on the event that lay ahead.

Thanks to all my sponsors for their continued support and understanding. At this point I am not sure what the future holds for me, but I am happy that I listened to my intuition and have allowed my body the time it needs to heal.

I have to say a big "Congratulations!" to my good friend Sam Warriner. Sam put up with me for the month of May, while I was going through all this emotional and physical turmoil. She trained so hard with the support of her fiancée Stephen Bradley, and training partner Lee, and consequently had her best performance to date at a World Championships. She place third in an amazing sprint finish. I was so stoked for her. It felt good to be a tiny part of such a successful result. Obviously she did all the hard work, but I got to distract her on her easy days. That has got to count for something! (lol)

I am off to Rome for my sister's wedding on July 3rd. It should be a fun event to be apart of. After that I will have to re-assess where I am at, and create some more direction in my life, for now I am just following the flow.

Take Care,


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vancouver half of a half Marathon

This past Sunday, I took part in my first race of the season at the
Vancouver Half Marathon, and the result is a big DNF! I actually knew
going into the race that my chances of finishing weren't great. I
crashed on my bike on Wednesday (yes, again), and I landed really hard
on my back and shoulder. I was pretty sore and stiff Thursday and
Friday. Saturday morning, I ran before getting on the plane to fly to
Vancouver, and it did not feel good. Even knowing that I might not be
able to finish the race, I still made the trip. I wanted to give the
race a try, and I was also going to Vancouver to look with my sister
for a bridesmaid's dress; I am the maid of honor in her wedding this
summer. So not going down to Van for the weekend was not an option.

Sunday morning I ran to the start from my sister's apartment, and I
actually thought there was a chance that I could finish it. All the
shopping the day before must have loosened up my back and tailbone.
Even with these few small glimmers of hope, I was ready to pull out if
I felt that I was putting my body at risk because of the accident.
Just being part of the morning race routine made me happy, and I was
simply excited to finally take part in an event. I forgot how much I
missed simply participating. It has been quite a while since my last

The first four miles of the race were decent. But as the pain
increased around my tailbone and glutes, I gradually had to slow down.
I made it to about the seven mile mark, where I stopped at an aid
station for some Gatorade. The Gatorade tasted so good (and my butt
was hurting so badly) that I decided to stay and drink more and cheer
other runners on. I knew that if I finished, it would be more of a
setback than a success as I probably wouldn't be running for a while.
As it is, I still have a few more days before everything comes right.
Oh well, it was cool just to attempt to do a race. And next time I
will finish it; that is my goal anyway. I think I may ask the Bike
Barn to put some training wheels on before the next one for some extra

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Latest Race Plans

Spring has Sprung? Let’s hope so….. ‘When it's cold like this the body is not moving like it should." That is what Festus Langat, the winner of this year’s Vancouver Sun Run, said when he finished the race. I have to agree with him. This past week will go down in my history books as one of the more challenging weeks of the year so far. I am going to chalk it up to cold weather not letting my body move like it should. (Maybe it was just that simple.) Training has been decent up until last week. I even went so far as to say, “this is the best week of training in a long time.” But after last Friday, I guess I spoke too soon.

I think a combination of factors led to me hitting a bit of a mental, physical, and emotional wall this past week, and I sort of blew up. The snow we had to deal with on both Saturday morning and then again on Wednesday morning made things even worse. Of all 10 years I have lived in Penticton, I have never experienced snow so late in the year. I think the last snowfall we had this year was in late February, but don’t quote me on that. The good news is I sorted through all my problems and had a really great training weekend with the help of a bunch of guys from town. But they are not just any guys, though, but a group very talented men - Tom Evans, Olly Piggin, Dave Matheson, Greg, Harold, Marty, Des, the other Tom, Scott and the list goes on. I am pretty lucky to have such high caliber local athletes here, and I am even luckier when I can manage to hang in since they don’t take pity on anyone.

I was planning on racing earlier this season, but things don’t always turn out exactly as you plan. Instead of traveling to far off countries, I decided to keep building my base fitness and put all my eggs in one basket in terms of trying to qualify for Beijing. My first World Cup race this year will be the Madrid World Cup, and then I will compete in World Champs in Vancouver. To have a bit of race prep before I hit those major races, I am doing a few local ones. Next weekend I will run in the Vancouver Half Marathon. I don’t have any expectations for this race except a really great workout. With only about six weeks of solid running under my belt, it will be interesting to see how a half feels. I always like to do the longer stuff because then it makes those 10 km in the triathlon feel like nothing. The following weekend I am going to take part in the Bare Bones Duathlon (5km run/32 km bike/5km run). This race takes place in Penticton. Ouch, I can feel the pain as I type this. It will be great to see how fast I can run those 5 km legs.

The other great thing happening this week is the arrival of my good friend and fellow competitor Samantha Warriner from New Zealand. She just won the World Cup race over in South Korea on the weekend. We always have a lot of fun training together, so I am excited to have her around for the month.

I hope you are all enjoying the longer days of spring. Jill

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Darcy Norman, Truckee California

I have had another interesting adventure recently; I spent 5 days in
Truckee, California visiting a great physiotherapist - Darcy Norman of
Norman Kinetics ( I met Darcy last September
at the Tigger Point Therapy ( Ultimate 6 Clinic in
Seattle. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with him again
recently when I was training at the GTC in Pasadena.

I had never been to Truckee before. Actually, I had never been
anywhere in the Lake Tahoe area. I flew into Reno, Nevada and drove 30
min to get to Truckee. That area of the US is spectacular, and I had
a great time training and getting daily therapy after every training
session. Darcy is a real expert in running and cycling biomechanics.
He has been helping me understand how to run and ride with proper
mechanics, so that i use the right muscles. For me, that always
seems to boil down to me being able to fire my glutes properly. I
guess this makes sense when you consider that the glutes are one of
the biggest muscles in the body. Before I train, I now religiously do
running drills and movement preparation exercises to make sure my body
is all wired and firing properly.

You can read a lot more about this in Mark Verstegen's book Core
Performance or Core Performance for Endurance Athletes (Darcy wrote
the section on running biomechanics) or check out the website Simply doing these simple exercises before
each workout has made a big difference in my training over the last

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I have a hard time keeping up with these blogs! Last time I left you,
I was spending 3 weeks down in Pasadena California. I was actually
staying in Glendale CA, and now I fondly refer to Jordan's Uncle David
and Aunt Jan's place as the Glendale Training Centre (GTC). We had a
great time and did lots of solid training. It was such a treat to be
able to bike outdoors in weather that barely required arm or leg
warmers. I had left Penticton in the middle of a deep freeze (-10C)
and was greeted by weather that was consistently 18 to 23 C. The time
down there went by much too fast, and before I knew it I was headed
back home, and Jordan was off to Flagstaff.

Originally I was going to Flagstaff as well, but it turns out that in
my "older " years I am a becoming a real home body and have such a
great support network in Penticton that it is really hard to be away
for too long. Especially coming off a few years of injuries, I am
really careful about being close by to people who can help me quickly
and know my past history really well.

Penticton has been ideal over the last few weeks; spring is in the in
air, and the weather has been sunny and mild. I really haven't spent
a spring training at home for a long time. I usually head somewhere
warmer, but I am really happy to be here this year and am appreciating
very much all the great roads, trails, and scenery that the Okanagan
has to offer.

Not too mention, I have a huge support team here that takes such good
care of me.

Where to start?

the Bike Barn (Chris, Lisa, Will, Gerry, Marcus, Ally, Art, ),
automatic friends whether they like it or not, they can't get rid of
me! And don't tell anyone but in my humble opinion they have the best
coffee in town

Team Impact – Kev , Barb and baby Danielle-best friends, coaches and
triathletes extraordinaire. Team Impact let me drop into any workout
and treat me like part of the team.

Kisu Master's and Age Group swim team. Coach Tina Hoeben, thanks for
putting up with my swimming quirks!

Physiotherapists: Mark Kildaw (premier ART practitioner), Sheri
Shelton (MAT master!), Frank Timmermans (IMS provider)

Chiropractor/ Naturopath Dr. Alex Mazurin

Massage therapist: Dale Maclean, Steve Picton and Chris Corfield

Fitness Trainer: Brent Dobie

Life Councilor: Steve King

I am sure that I have missed someone (please forgive if I did) but in
a nutshell that is my team in Penticton.

Training continues to go well, and I am really enjoying waking up each
morning taking on whatever challenges lay ahead that day. Day by day
I am getting fitter and stronger. I can't wait to race. I am hoping
that will happen sometime in the near future. I will keep you posted.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

My Favorite Workout

I am back into consistent training, and it feels really good. I have had some tough days where I had to take it easy, but for the most part things are progressing in the right direction. And yes, I am getting use to the fatigue, but I am really good at taking naps. ☺
I have also been good at not doing too much too soon and have been very conservative on the amount I am doing right now. Hopefully this will all change, and I can let loose and join in with Joel’s group.

I didn’t do a lot of training this past fall for various reasons, most of them related to the injury I sustained. To stay fit, I worked out in the gym more consistently. I have never loved working out in the gym - in fact I didn’t really like it at all - but I always knew it was something that could be a huge benefit to all aspects of my triathlon training. In the past I have done little stints where I would be motivated for a short period of time to go to the gym, but I am sure I was never consistent enough to make any major improvements.

In September I started going to the gym on my own and was doing a lot of core exercises and rehab exercises that my physiotherapist Sheri Shelton gave me. Then a friend of mine, Chris Hawkins, started to tell me about his trainer, and he explained to me how working out with this trainer helped him over the last 2 years. He figured the sessions were providing him with large strength gains and, more importantly, injury prevention for the upcoming season by strengthening all those very important but often neglected stabilizing muscles. I have always wanted to find a good trainer to workout with on a regular basis. My excuses for not doing this sooner were that I wasn’t ever in one place long enough to commit to a trainer and that I never found the right person to work with who lived in Penticton. I do know a few great trainers who live in Vancouver and North Vancouver, but that does not help me in Penticton.

I started training at the beginning of October with Brent Dobie from Synergy Fitness at the Lakeside Fitness gym. I have now completed three and half months with him. I can honestly say my weight workouts have turned from something I would skip or avoid to something I look forward to doing each week. We have worked on a variety of strength and conditioning components to help me become a more well-rounded athlete. It has been so much fun to look forward to these workouts and to take on another challenge. It is especially challenging for me when he switches up the exercises. Just when I think I have mastered the lateral side hop onto the Bosu Ball with a dumbbell lateral raise, he changes the exercise to a single leg lateral hop. It makes me frustrated that I can’t do these things right away, but with a little patience, practice, and coordination training I pick it up really quickly. It is very rewarding to challenge myself in a different area of athleticism. We start the workout with a little SAQ (Strength Agility and “Quordination”), some balance work, and footwork. It helps to activate the right muscles before we dive into the bulk of the hard work; then we finish off with some core exercises. It has made me stronger, more powerful, more connected and given me even better body awareness. Now the goal is to keep up these workouts on my own while I train outdoors in the sunshine in California. It shouldn’t be too hard as I really do like to go to the gym now. Thanks Brent! (And thanks Chris for suggesting it)