A family trip to Sicilia

I would go back to Sicily in a heartbeat. Great food… Friendly people… Amazing weather… Beautiful and diverse scenery… History all over the place… Not overpriced… It’s got it all. Our travel itinerary focused more on the great food and amazing weather side of things.

It was the first time Dan, Tayl and I have been to Sicily, and it was my Dad and Jan’s first time in Italy all together. The rough plan was spend time in Cefalu, Taormina, and Mount Etna. Big shout out to Dan’s Dad, Tony, for the recommendations!

Highlights of the trip:

  • Sicilian Cooking Class in Cefalu
  • Boat tour in Taormina
  • Hiking Mount Etna

Must Try:

  • Granita for breakfast
  • Arancini for lunch
  • Pasta alla Norma for dinner
  • Etna wine all the time

More below on our day-to-day itinerary …

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Outlaw Half – 20/05/2018

The Outlaw Half, is a middle distance triathlon/ half Ironman distance in Nottingham. For me, the Outlaw Half is a race in preparation for a race – later this Summer I’m racing the full Ironman distance in Mont Tremblant.

A few years ago, a Half Ironman was a terrifying thought… Approaching it for only the second time in my life, and as a “training race” rather than “focus race”, felt strange. When I trained for the Zell em See Half, it was my sole focus for the year… I put all my effort into training and being as ready as I’d ever be to get through the race and perform to my best ability.

This year, I don’t necessarily feel like I put that same amount of focus into my training. I’ve been training don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been doing so with a stressful job that involves a lot of travel and overtime, and with social plans not always taking the backseat. So training isn’t my sole focus… and when training isn’t my sole focus, I don’t feel as confident in myself ahead of a race.

I wasn’t nervous, but I wasn’t confident either… I knew I could get around the course, but I didn’t know how fast… or if I’d be faster than my race in Zell am See. It didn’t help that I was ill for about three weeks leading up to the race either, so though I knew I wanted to approach the race as a fighter, I was also just happy to treat it as a solid block of training and just saying to myself “let’s see what happens”. My mind was all over the place ahead of it all. I figured either way, my competitive self would take over day-of, and that’s pretty much exactly what happened.

Overall, super happy with my race… I felt smarter than the last time I raced this distance, I was comfortable on the TT bike, I learned A LOT in almost every stage of the race, and it was a good kick in the butt to make training a focus for the next 12 weeks so that when Ironman Mont Tremblant comes around, I am excited to race and ready to see what happens!

It was also amazing being able to share this with someone. Jodie and I signed up together, started together and cheered each other on when we crossed paths on the course. It helps a lot seeing a familiar face on the course! I’m glad that Mont Tremblant will be similar as I’ll be racing with Brenna, Alistar and Dan.

RACE SUMMARY

Total time:  5:47:03
Age group rank:  12/35
Gender rank:  53/332

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Semi de Paris 2018

My first race in over 10 months! Such a relief to see that my fitness is coming back after only a few months of training. Since December I’ve been focusing on getting back into shape in preparation for Ironman training this year. This race was either going to be a reality check on how unfit I’ve gotten, or an encouraging “pat on the back”. I’m much better with positive reinforcement, so I’m thankful it was the latter!

The Summary

  • Fastest 5k, 1-5km: 23m 23s
  • Slowest 5k, 10-15k: 24m 13s
Total Time: 1h 39m 52s
Average Speed: 4:44 m/km
Gender Position: 414 of 12,498

I totally thought this result was a personal best but my post on the 2016 Kingston Half Marathon has reminded me otherwise… Either way, I’m within seconds of my PB and I’m pretty stoked about it!

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India – Take me back!

My final stop in Asia – visiting our team in Hyderabad. It was the best! We video conference together all the time so it was amazing being able to meet everyone in person.

The team were incredible hosts and gave me a great experience – a ride in a rickshaw, delicious Indian food, and ridiculously sized dosa’s! 

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Street Food Scooter Tour, Vietnam

3 Days in Ho Chi Minh City for work. Must see more than the airport, office and hotel.

If you’re on a tight schedule and want to experience the Vietnamese culture – book the Foodie Tour with XO Tours. I was with my colleague from Hong Kong, who I had just met. Our XO Tour guides were two very cute Vietnamese girls. They picked us up at the hotel and drove us through the extremely chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh.

There were scooters everywhere – a constant flow of traffic from all directions. It was definitely unnerving being on the back of a scooter with a tiny Vietnamese women who was about half the size of me. While on the scooter she told me that she had to learn how to drive on these roads. Could not even imagine.

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Great Wall of China

Of course the first time I travel alone is also the first time I travel to Asia! I must have gotten comfortable traveling in Europe… you can go to so many different countries with the same phone plan and credit cards. No need to exchange money beforehand, just figure it out when you land. I tried the same thing with this trip. Figured I could research everything on my “jet lag day”…  massive mistake haha

Google doesn’t work in China. Neither does Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter or Uber. And turns out Visa and MasterCard are not accepted either.

Hmmmm. Now what?

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