Thursday, January 31, 2008

Busy

I've been super busy the past few days. Much of it doing with training and getting the team's sponsorship stuff taken care of. We've got a HUGE order going through later today to Vassago. The crew down at Vassago are super cool and easy to deal with . . . . and one of them is a Sens fan! Who knew? Will have to get some Ottawa Senators paraphernalia sent off down south!

I'm looking forward to sending it (the order) off, but looking more forward to it being done - a lot of work indeed.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Busy Weekend

Saturday: got out for a long skate ski yesterday, about 22km. The distance wasn't all that great, it was the conditions - very slow snow. First half of the ski from P5 all the way up to the Fortune/Champlain intersection wasn't that bad. It was the south side of the park, mostly in shadows for much of the day, where it really slowed down. Had to fight for every inch of glide and was redlining the heart-rate monitor probably for 85% of the ski. Was pretty tuckered out at the end of the ski. 1 hr 50 min. total time.

Today: After getting Jackie-boy out for a good walk this morning, headed over to Mark's for a repeat last weeks indoor spin session. The focus was on some speed work and pedaling technique (ie. one legged pedaling). I had a hard time getting the heart rate up today and fought to keep it in the range I wanted. Averaged at 149 bpm over the 2.5hr session (Mark went on to do 3hrs of work after I wimped out). In my experience, the day after a hard workout my heart rate is inconsistent. Today would have been better to monitor my workout based on perceived work, rather than heart rate - cause I really felt like I was working.

video

The humidity in the room when we started the ride was at about 50%, when we finished it was up to 86%. Just gross.

After the spin we headed down to the Rideau Canal, the world's longest skating rink (no matter what Winnipeg says!) at 7.8km long, for a skate and hooked up with Stef & Hannah. Only about 4.5 km was open as the NCC work on the rest for the upcoming Winterlude.

Chrissie & I

Chris, Siohban, Mark & Declan (in the charriot)
The ice conditions were really good considering it was the first
weekend for the canal to be open.

Mark, Siohban, Declan, Chris, Hannah and Stef under one of the bridges.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You're Impatient Fattie!

First thing I did this morning was go downstairs, wearing only boxers, go to the bathroom and try to squeeze every little bit out of me that wasn't needed, then go down into the workshop to weigh myself. I've taken only to weighing-in once a week. I don't think that I could handle seeing the slow progress daily - too demoralizing.

So, I sit at 193lbs. That's 13 lbs off my weight on January 1st. Most rational thinking people would say. "That's awesome!" However, in my head it's not enough, not quick enough . . . and like the Ray Steven's song goes:
"more, more, more,
how do you like it? how do you like it?
more, more, more . . .
I'm an impatient person, I know this about myself. Most things I wanted done yesterday. It's not a redeeming quality, ask my wife, but at least I'm aware of it.

I've been very conscious about this whole weight loss thing - you have to be when you've been use to eating whatever you want, whenever you want. It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be, sure I have my moments of craving and insatiable hunger where the thought of gnawing on my own arm seemed like a good idea, but I've just been trying to do this smart: portion sizes, smaller meals, frequent healthy snacks and exercise.

But, I really expected to have lost more than this already. Even looking in the mirror in the morning, as I flex and do my muscle man poses as I recite my daily affirmations, I thought that I've looked thinner. Maybe not as thin as I thought.

I've got until the end of March to get down to my goal of 185 lb'ish. I think it's realistic and doable. Just think how much sexier I'll look for my naked reviews!

Childhood Cancer

Last night, Chris and I met up with Lenny, Tammy, their son Mark & his friend for some Vietnamese before heading off to the 67's game. Tammy has been busy lately raising funds for the Childhood Cancer Foundation. As an event to raise awareness for the charity, fund-raisers have committed to have their hair shaved off - Tammy was one of those gutsy people.

Between periods, volunteer hair dressers were set-up in the hallway of the rink shaving the heads of the fund-raisers. Tammy was in the first group to have their hair chopped off.

Before
(is that a look of hesitation in her eyes?)



During

Almost done

After
Nicely done Tammy . . . and the whole time smiling!
Worth noting is that Tammy was the sixth highest fund-raiser and the event raised well over $45 000 for the cause! Whoot!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Moonski

  • Ottawa: - 16 degrees celsius
  • Gatineau Park: - 24 degress celsius (not including wind chill)
I'm not sure exactly how there could be such a temperature difference between Ottawa and Gatineau Park tonight. It's like a 30 minute drive and yeah, you get some elevation gain . . . . but eight degrees difference? Man it was flipp'in cold!

Despite the frigid temperature, it was an absolutely beautiful night to ski. The moon was nearly full and lit up the sky. At times it seemed like someone was behind you with a headlamp on. When you looked back it was to the moon shinning over a rise and through the trees.

I was able to convince Mark to ski the trails using "the force" (sans headlamp on). Made for a fun ski.

This photo doesn't do it justice. This was an open section on a pond on a backwoods trail. Van Morrison would have loved this ski - a marvelous night for a moon ski.
(First caller to identify the reference made to a Van Morrison song wins a copy of Super Tramp's 'Breakfast in America'. What song am I referring to? That question again is, what song am I referring to? )

Frosty

Frostier

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bike Blog Collection


Bike Blog Collection . . . . check it out. Lots of cool blogs. Gwadzilla and me were just added. Coolio.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Knee

I'm taking tonight off any kind of training and am skipping out on bikram yoga. It appears that Spak isn't the only one going through some knee issues. Mine started to develop a couple of weeks ago. The outside part of my left knee sometimes flares up once I start back up with training, however this time it's the inside of the same knee. I don't remember hurting it, but it hurts nonetheless.

I wanted to be proactive about this, so I contacted Mary last week to set up and appointment. Not only is she the best bike fitter in Ottawa, she's also a damn good occupational therapist. She's worked on my knee and elbow in the past.

I saw her first thing this morning. There's some swelling and she thinks it might be my meniscus acting up a bit due to perhaps the yoga and new funky moves I'm doing. Mary did some ultrasound, hooked me up to some alternating electrical stim and finished with some interferential electrical stimulation. In case you don't know what this stuff looks like, imagine using jumper cables to get your car going . . . . . same idea, but using electricity to make the muscles respond. (interesting article that explains it here)

Mary also gave me some muscle exercises to do at home. The injury, or flare up, doesn't sound serious and should be treatable with some muscle strengthening exercises. I'm glad I went - my knees always worry me when they start to hurt.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend Training

Got out and up into the Gats for 2.5 hours yesterday with Gilles, Stef, Tobin and Dr. Kim. Probably skate skied steady for two of the hours, point five hours spent bullshitting and getting lessons from Dr. Kim (thanks by the way John!) Tough ski keeping up with the boys - but I am glad I went. Just like cycling, you become a better skier by skiing with better skiers/riders. Sorry no pics.

Today, went over to Mark's place for a trainer ride. Good day to do it too with temperatures dropping to minus twenty-one degrees celsius. The plan was to duplicate Mark's marathon ride on Thursday and get three hours in.

Doing his best Pantani impersonation.

I can't see the difference.

Just trying not to get dropped.
Killed some time watching 24 Solo - if Eatough and Gordan can ride themselves into the ground for 24 hours, we should be able to sit on the trainer for a few hours.

Just before the two hour mark - my arse was starting to get sore at this point.
Ended up with 2.5 hours, average HR = 153bm.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Popsicle

I underestimated how cold it was the other day when I went out for a skate ski. First half of the two hour ski was mostly uphill, so no worries about what I was wearing. However, the return trip was a bit chilly to say the least. I soon found out that I wasn't wearing enough below the equator as the family jewels, especially Mr Happy, started to get pretty damn cold. A quarter of the way back to the car I had to stop and take off my balaclava and stuff it down my pants for some extra warmth and wind protection. I think I was a little too late.

By the time I got back to the car my unit was numb and hurt and I was frightened. Images of Everest climbers with frost bitten fingers, ears and toes came flooding into my head - images of blackened body parts. Once in the car I was able to get my pants down for a look. Whew, didn't look any different from the last time I had seen it! But man did it start to hurt. The freezing started coming out and it stung. I was in so much pain, and perhaps due to it's location, I started to get nauseous. The only way to deal with frost bite is to slowly and gradually warm up the body part. So I cupped my tally wacker with both hands and held on gently.

Gradually it got warmer, the stinging sensation subsided and the nausea passed. I'm not making that mistake again. Going down to MEC to buy me a pair of the undies above for today's ski.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weight: V.2

Seems lots of other bloggers/riders are talking about weight too. 'Tis the season I guess.

Was just over on Adam's blog last night and he's going through the same thing. He got the idea of posting his daily weight at the end of each post. I'm not going to steal that idea, but I might do it from time to time - just to let you know where I am at. And, again, like Adam said . . . .

"You then can heckle or encourage me as is appropriate."

. . . . say what you must. Both the positives and the negatives are going to inspire me. I may be wearing a muumuu now, but just you weight (like that play on words?).


Before I go, I'd just like to say 'thanks' to everyone who wrote me e-mails/comments with great advice and support. Much appreciated!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Weight

I've been dogging this post for a while now.

A couple reasons I guess . . . .

The first being that part of me which hates to fail and is bit of a perfectionist. If I don't get my weight down to where I want or think it should be I'll feel like a failure and my whole race season will be ruined. On the other hand, it's a great excuse to hide behind. Getting a glimpse into my sick little mind?!

Second, it's so hard to do! I've always struggled to keep my weight down. Food is just so damn good. I wake up in the middle of the night craving food. An hour after I eat supper, I'm hungry. Maybe I've got a tape worm? But if I did, I'd be skinny. . . . . Know where I can get a tape worm?

Like everyone else (almost everyone else), I put on some weight over the holidays. Got up to 206lbs. Holy cow - that's F'ing fat! [editor's note: some of that is muscle - bulked up a bit at the gym in October/November]

My goal is to get down to 183lb'ish. I've already lost 6.5 lbs (but who's counting?!) and it hasn't been too bad. Just eating smaller portions, eating regularly, eating smart - no empty calories, and exercising lots. The nights are the worse, cause there's nothing else that I'd rather do than eat a big bag of chips or a couple of peanut butter sandwiches.

However, I'm pretty motivated and it's been going well. Just got to keep on keepin' on with it. Say it with me . . . .

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nordic stepping, hiking, bounce about . . .

I refuse to call what I did today Nordic Walking.

Mark and I made plans to hook up today to do a classic ski, however, conditions weren't the best with all the warm temperatures and melted snow (which turned the track set to ice). So instead, to take advantage of the beauty day we had today, we decided to hike Wolf trail in the park. It was too beaten down to justify using snowshoes. Sections were so wide and hard in spots you could drive a car on it without fear of sinking in.

Mark on top of Wolf.


I bought these to use on icy trails while walking Jacks, so I don't fall down and go 'boom'. They came in real handy today scrambling up some icy, hard packed sections of the trail. And yes, I used my snowshoe poles to help with the hiking - there was no attempt at trying to be trendy!

This new 'sport', Nordic Walking, is popping up everywhere as the new thing to do. All around Ottawa little old ladies and men walk about with ski poles. There are groups who get together and do it together. Places over lessons on how to do it and you can even take a course on how to become an instructor. Can you believe that?!? A lesson or a course on how to walk with xc ski poles in your hands!?!! Nutty. With the way the Olympic games are going, this might end up being a demonstration sport someday soon, right along side of underwater basket weaving and rug hooking.

However, if it gets people outside exercising, it can't be all that bad. To each his/her own.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Spinning with the Taliban

Well not quite the Taliban.
Headed over to Warren's this afternoon for a two hour training session on the trainers. Great to catch up - talking riding, bikes and training. Warren has become quite the 'roadie' over the past few years, leaving mtn biking behind him (that's how we met) to become a road machine here in Ottawa and Ontario, for that matter.

Earlier in the week, when the weather look like it was going to be nice for riding outdoors, he suggested that we should get outside for a ride. Glad that we opted to stay indoors - he wasn't able to drop me!

He gave me lots to think about and use this winter that will certainly help out with my upcoming race season. Thanks again Warren! Will have to do this again soon.

Two hours on the bike and two sweat soaked handkerchiefs later.
Avg. HR = 153 bpm for 2 hrs of riding.

Coffee

Chris had this handmade mug done for me for Christmas by a local artist. I love my mug!

Just getting my stuff to go this morning, enjoying a big mug of dark coffee, before I head over to Warren's place for a 2hr indoor training ride, then some core body work. Warren is a road machine and is very knowledgable in regards to training. Looking forward to picking his brain and getting some ideas to help with my training over this winter and lead up to spring.

Report and pics later.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rest Day

Ever since New Year's day I've worked out everyday, either skiing, snowshoeing, spinning on the trainer or yoga. I'm taking today off and will find some time to so some stretching and let the body recover a wee bit.

The weather here in Ottawa, right across Canada for that matter, has been absolutely nutty. A week ago Mark and I skied in minus thirty degree temperature, today it's plus ten. It's been raining heaps and needless to say the skiing as gone to shit. Got to go with the flow and stay focused on training.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bikram Yoga


Bikram Yoga, also known as Hot Yoga, is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury and a Los Angeles, California based company[1]. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90-minutes.

Christine has been trying to get me to go to this for quite a while now. Finally gave in last night and went. I was expecting it to be some airy-fairy, touchy-feely, artsy-fartsy thing. It was sort of . . . walked into this lighty dimmed room, filled with people laying on yoga mats on the floor in stifling heat (it was F'ing hot!), listening to some east Asian chanting and music. However, as soon as the instructor started it off, I was impressed.

I was flexing, stretching and straining muscles that I didn't know I had, all-the-while trying to keep the body balanced and breathing properly - a complete body workout. I lost buckets of water as I sweat the entire time - I was surprised by how much fluid I lost.

It is quite the workout and something that I am going to add to my training this winter - Monday night's are bikram nights.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Year

Seems lots of folks who blog are doing their year-in-review posts. I thought about it myself. I didn't start this blog until last February, so that's where my year starts. Here's my attempt.

February
- the start of my blog and getting my new Desalvo

March
- North Carolina road trip

April
- Uxbridge Icebreaker & hypothermia

May
- Mansfield 8 Hr Race

June
- Summer Solstice 24 Hr Solo

July









- ate lobster and had a bath (and I wonder why I'm fat!?!)

August















- Kindgom Trails road trip & Hot August Nights 24 Hr Solo

September














- Kingdom Trails road trip (part II) & Paul's Dirty Enduro

October











- registered for The BC Bike Race & formed Big Ring Racing team

November
- rediscovered the Chelsea trails and rode for fun

December













- obtained sponsorship for '08 season from Ergon and Vassago

Friday, January 4, 2008

Backcountry Night Ski


Last night's backcountry night ski with Mark was a stark similarity to the staggering, sprawling gracefullness of a Clouseau-like-French waiter. Nothing like trying to xc ski in the dark on narrow, ungroomed trails in the woods. Our downhill technique was something to marvel at . . . . really.



yup, it was just like that, but on skis.
Friggin cold out last night.

Turned my light off (wasn't getting very good light from it anyway) after ten minutes into the ski.

Headless xc skier? Freaky.