Category Archives: Diabetes

“Why Not?!” once again leads me into the Unknown

I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind since the event was announced earlier this year. I toyed with going. Not really sure if I was going to get in over my head with the conditions. But it didn’t take much of a nudge to put me over the edge and sign up just before the registration deadline for the first ever Canadian Surfski Championships.

I’ve raced the course on an outrigger a few times so I was familiar with the cold water and the potential wave size, I figured that I’ve learned a lot about wave riding since the last time I did the course 4 years ago. I had the chance to play in some big waves here on Lake Okanagan and was comfortable. So …. Why Not?!

And what a blast! Lining up with the biggest names in the surfski world! Wow!

The biggest names in the surfski world were here ... talk about star struck!
The biggest names in the surfski world were here … talk about star struck!

I had no expectations for my performance. I just wanted to go out there, have fun and see what I could do in my first real surfski race. It didn’t take long for the competitive juices to kick in. I played it safe off the start but then I started to pick targets to catch and pass one by one.  There was a little bit of wave play but nothing that was fast enough to ride for any length of time. I was moving faster than the waves 🙁

about 1.5km from the finish up river
about 1.5km from the finish up river

I felt good crossing the line, I had about  250ml of my Vitargo left in my hydration pack and hadn’t touched any of my gels. 20.5km in 1:46 crossing as the fifth female but first Canadian Woman.  It was a big surprise for me at the awards ceremony to find out that there was money awarded for the Top Canadian Woman. Even bigger surprise was the giant novelty cheque!

Totally caught off guard that there was a prize for Top Canadian Woman!
Totally caught off guard that there was a prize for Top Canadian Woman!

Vancouver SUP Challenge

And this year was about redemption at this race.  I didn’t fare so well last year, I swam a lot so I’m proud to say that not only did I stay dry this time but I also felt a lot better during my races than I have in recent memory.  I started a new supplement after last weekend’s Outrigger Nationals called Vitargo and with the guidance of Dr. Susan and team we are going to see what happens to my training, my performance and especially with my Type 1 Diabetes by increasing my carbohydrate intake. I love Science! 🙂

Anyways, after roadtripping to Van in a van with Gypsy and Matt, I got to catch up with amazing people that I met at this race last year and also met some new folk that I’m super stoked will be in Vernon in a couple weeks.

Racing wise, I was 2nd all round. In the 5km 14′ race. In the 3km (which thanks to the superbuoy was actually 3.6km) 12’6′ race. In the sprint race. And 2nd in the relay race as well with my wicked team of Peter and David. I played it safe with my buoy turns this weekend since they burned me here last year and it paid off. I was able to set up wide and cut inside on the end of turns and stay away from a lot of the carnage that was going on.

Another super fun day on the water! Thanks to Lech Dolecki for the amazing photos of the event that are posted here.

Last year we were third, this year second ... next year we win!
Last year we were third, this year second … next year we win!

Fantastic Weekend in White Rock

Man can Sundog Surf Shop put on an event!

I attended this race last year and had an absolute blast! I met so many amazing people, got to sleep in a park on the waterfront and then race with many of the best paddlers in the Pacific Northwest.  Scott and Kim totally outdid themselves this year with a bigger and better event for the 3rd Annual Semihamoo SUP Classic.

I picked up a new race fin for my board on Saturday afternoon before making my way down to the waterfront to check out the festival. There were vendors, live music and lots of yummy looking food.  I had time to kill before dinner at Uli’s and ended up having a nap on a park bench in the shade only to wake up to the train blowing its horn right in time for dinner 🙂

The 10km race was up first on Saturday.  I raced my 14′ THINK XoR with my Quickblade Magic. After getting caught in the start line chaos last year, I decided to start wide. I had clear water for a lot of the race which made reeling in the guys ahead a little less exhausting. The course had three arms, one of which took us out around a marker that indicates the 49th parallel. In the final couple hundred meters was a zigzag that we had to go around before heading into the finish. After the last buoy I managed to pass one last racer in front of me. I finished as the second woman.


Afterwards I was debating about doing the 5km race. After having a recovery drink and feeling a little less beat up I figured “Why Not!” Any day on the water is a good day, so why waste the beautiful day.  The 5km course was designed to be “spectator friendly” and to have “a lot of carnage”. In other words, there were a lot of buoy turns very close together. I’m proud to say that I managed to stay on my board for the whole race, avoiding most of the drama at the turns worked in my favour as I managed to pass a few boys in this race too and finished as the first woman.

People are starting to post up their pictures so keep checking Facebook for pics.

Oh, and to top it all off, aside from the sweet tiki mug and hand carved paddles, I got to come home with an amazing door prize ….

Playing with my new toy
Playing with my new toy

Bring on the Worlds!

So Rick and I have been here in Calgary for the past few days as I have been on the World Sprints race course with my Open Women’s 1 crew and out in V1 as well. Competition starts tomorrow with my V1 heat followed by my V12 heat.

This World Championships I’m seeing with a different perspective. I’m not just a no-name like I was in 2008. Or a medal hungry gal that gave up life in Ontario to pursue a dream in 2010. This year I was set on individual gold; that gold would be the ultimate determinant of success. Little did I know that watching six master women grow as a crew, as paddlers and as individuals would inspire me to think more about my Open 1 crew then about myself and to take pride in how the masters girls perform.

Watching the girls experience this event has given me a fresh perspective. It’s refreshing to watch them relish in the festivities and still focus on their jobs in the boat. They are helping me remember the fun social side of paddling which often gets overshadowed by the paddle-tics (politics). All year they have been inspiring me. From early mornings in the gym with lots of giggles to shopping with the group in mind and getting Cdn flags painted on our toes.

No matter what happens on the race course for me over the next five days, I know that when I get home to Kelowna I will be happy with the event. Win or lose I prepared the best I could. The accident on July 13th definitely made me re-evaluate what I wanted to accomplish here in Calgary. Going from ‘two a day’ workouts to ‘two a day’ treatments was a big adjustment. I have not been publicly honest regarding the extent of my condition, only those closest to me know what I’m going through. No matter what I’m going to “give my everything” and whatever happens happens. As long as I paddle the best that I can and do my best, that’s all I can ask for.

Check out my old BLOG for more info about the Kelowna Experience at the World Sprints as well as check out Kelowna Outrigger website for updates on our paddler’s results!

Usual stuff:

I’m loving my job here in Kelowna but still miss my Boylen kids even though it’s been a few years. Thanks to those that have caught up with me on facebook and twitter (@type1kanu).

Over the winter I was named coach of Kelowna Outrigger Club. We started the year with some members of the club doing Tues/Thurs Dryland training at Okanagan Peak Performance for three months and many that continued on in the gym as we hit the water with regular practices in April. Currently we run two programs: Novice/Learn to Paddle and Race Groups.

I have been using my KayakPro Mulitstroke since the start of the the new year as well to train new and experienced paddlers (as well as myself). This is a great training tool as I can manipulate a paddler’s body and paddle to give them the feel of where their body should be and what it should be doing at each phase of the stroke. Also it’s handy on those cold days when I just don’t feel like getting cold, soggy and wet!

I’ve had the pleasure of running paddling clinics in Penticton and Kamloops already this season as well as a training camp in Kelowna. If you or your team is looking for a guest coach or a clinic, I can definitely fit that in to my schedule!

Also, Levas paddles are available in the west! Marathon paddles (8″ blade width) and outrigger (9″ – 10″ blade widths available) blades in stock. The lightest, strongest full carbon blade you’ll find with palm grip and an unbelievable catch! You have to try it to believe. Contact me for a free demo!