Sunday, September 28, 2008

Math with Haile Gebrselassie


You may have heard that Haile Gebrselassie, of Ethiopia,  broke the marathon world record in Berlin on Sunday.


His time, as you can read in THIS article:  2:03:59.

Some fun Gebrselassie math:

29:22 per 10km  (He did this 4.22 times in a row)

14:41 per 5km  (He did this 8.44 times in a row)

4:43 per mile  (He did this 26.2 times in a row)

2:21.50 per 800 metres  (He did this 52.75 times in a row)

1:10.75 per 400 metres  (This is 105.5 laps of your local track - in a row)

35 seconds per 200 metres  (211 times in a row)

17.5 seconds per 100 metres  (422 times in a row)

20.42 km/h  or  12.69 mph  (try it on your treadmill...)


Nice to know that my fastest 400 ever is only 10 seconds faster than a time he can repeat 105.5 times in a row!


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Classroom Weekend

The overwhelming majority of my weekend was spent in a classroom...  It has been some time since I flexed my scholastic muscles and I won't lie that it was quite grueling to sit there for a day-and-a-half.  The final result is that I am an accredited Triathlon Community Coach.


In my role on the board of TriBC and TriCanada I end up getting a lot of questions from disabled athletes about how to prepare and/or compete.  I have always done my best to answer these questions for people, but it occurred to me that I should at least get a qualification if I was going to dispense information in such a way.

The timing was quite perfect given that the Canadian Forces have expressed interest in my help.  The course basically teaches you generally accepted coaching principles, and prepares you to run safe, effective workouts for individual athletes or groups.  The accreditation also satisfies TriBC's requirements to insure athletes and coaches during your workouts.  

There were some good times outside the classroom this weekend though - Saturday night Sacha, Viggo and I attended two different parties at friends' houses which for us is quite remarkable...  I played Guitar Hero for the first time in the wee hours of Sunday morning and almost needed to be pried off the guitar.  I am staunchly against video games and have been instituting a ban on them at our house...  this has me considering an exemption...

Work calls in the a.m., and I have a heavy training week ahead (with one workout to make up already) so it is off to bed for me....

Hope your weekend was full of good times!


Since I have no photos from the weekend, I thought I would stick with the scholastic theme and provide you with this shot of the school I attended in Ireland from 12-16 years of age.  Campbell College - it was awesome....  straight out of a Harry Potter book or movie.....

And, if you can believe it, we wore uniforms like this in the summer when I was 12.  After 12 we got to wear pants and ditch the cap.... 

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Priceless

Sometimes they drive us crazy.... but when you see your 3 year old daughter teetering around the kitchen trying to carry a stool and a book, setting up in front of her brother, and reading Good Night Moon to him it makes it all worthwhile.


Goodnight room
Goodnight moon
Goodnight cow jumping over the moon
Goodnight light and the red balloon...


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Introducing Canwi Multisport

It's been a hectic few days since I returned from Ottawa.


I launched into a new program after a few relatively unstructured weeks post-triathlon season. It has been awesome to be back on the plan. Having someone else sweating the details of my training week and specific workouts leaving me to focus on performing well and recovering well is a real luxury.

On the topic of people sweating my workouts, I have yet to mention that I have a new coach. There was nothing wrong with the old one - I didn't pound the table and say, "You're Fired!" like the Donald. James got a new job with MyPypeline.com so I wish him the best with it....

Canwi Multisport has taken the reigns... Sean and Tara-Lee coach several friends of mine in triathlon and swimming and have helped them achieve some great results. As you can see from the info below (click to enlarge) they are quite accomplished athletes themselves. The bonus that made it a natural choice for me is that Sean x-c ski raced into his teens so he understands the language, the sport and the training. He will be able to put together awesome programs and stellar workouts in all of my sports. He will probably also understand and incorporate Tony's technical ski mumbo-jumbo (no offense Tony) better than I do.

I am also extremely proud to announce that Canwi will be sponsoring me. Their support is much appreciated and you will all witness the value they bring as coaches when you read about my workouts here on meyrickjonesracing.com.

When you decide to take your game to the next level give Canwi a call.... haha, as if anyone calls these days. Check out their website HERE.

Sean and Tara-Lee will work hand in hand with Tony (my technical ski coach) and Rob and Daryl, my I.F. trainers. Their job is to put together the overall plan for my training, periodization etc. and to organize the workouts to achieve results at my goal races. My job is to do the work. It's great to have a team especially when I compete in these individual sports.


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ARMY Run - Injured Soldiers - Ottawa Trip



I was explaining to a friend from I.F. the other day how losing my leg was like a gift.  Odd, I know.  Admittedly, not the kind of gift you ask for at Christmas...  but let me explain.

Last weekend I was given the opportunity to address injured soldiers from the Canadian and U.S. Armed Forces.  The occasion was the first annual Army Run in Ottawa, and my mission was to provide some motivation and inspiration for a group of men (and a few women too) who have seen what hell looks like and want to book a seat on the next Air Force transport back there.

The story of how an individual winds up missing a limb, or blind, or otherwise "disabled" is usually not a pretty one, I have heard many different tragic tales and I have my own, which I have told a thousand times....  but this was a room filled with some stories that made me feel like a rookie on the first day of training camp.  In my preparation for the talk I sometimes wondered how the victim of a suicide bomber, insurgent attack or roadside bomb would relate to a guy who lost his leg touring San Francisco with his college sweetheart.  Would we be speaking the same language?

Perhaps in response to this concern, the Armed Forces had provided an interpreter for the event.  I couldn't help but imagine her interpreting my words like this:


ME: "Hi there, my name is Meyrick"

INT: "His name is Meyrick."

ME: "I lost my leg bla bla bla, cable car crash, San Francisco, bla bla bla."
INT: "He is barely a man and you could all eat him for breakfast."

ME: "Let's talk about goals."
INT: "The pretty boy wants to talk to you men about goals"


I am still not sure she didn't say those exact words to the francophone soldiers from Quebec.

It is difficult to assess and appraise the effectiveness and entertainment quality of one's own speech...  I was encouraged when I noticed several heads nodding in agreement as I spoke.  One such head was attached to the sturdy neck of a General.  He seemed to be digging my message, and his approval, assumed as it was, buoyed my confidence.  I successfully coaxed a few laughs out of the audience, usually at my own expense.  Everyone enjoys a tale of utter disaster on the racecourse and I have no problem indulging them and sharing the lessons.  

By and by, I found myself on a roll...  The message I wanted to convey was never in doubt - I live it, so it's hard to forget - getting the tone right is the all-important element of the talk.  You can flap your lips all day long about goals, having a plan, challenging yourself and relishing the adversities of a good hard challenge, but if you get the tone wrong it will all be lost.  If you TELL THEM HOW IT IS, or if you TELL THEM WHAT TO DO, or god forbid, if you seem to think you are THE MAN it is all over (or at least you will wish it was...)  Conversely, if you TELL THEM NOTHING or WASTE THEIR TIME you might as well provide each audience member with a pillow.

In the end nobody fell asleep and I got many fine compliments on my words.  There is no doubt that I will need to spend a lot more time with these guys before I will understand all of the challenges they face - mental and physical - if I ever will.  Fortunately, it seems as though they may have me back sometime in the not to distant future.

AFTER THE TALK

We adjourned to the Officer's Mess where beer is cheap and tales of distant battle fields (real and figurative) are told.  It was a perfect way to wind down from a speaking engagement and I partook in the beverages along with everyone else.  There was minimal talk of the next day's run - nobody seemed overly concerned.  As the beers went down I received a crash course in all things military.  Feeling a bit like a tourist amongst locals, I nevertheless felt privileged to get a view into a world not many civilians see.  Dinner on the town was to follow and more beer was consumed.

THE RUN

The clock beside my bed at the Sheraton read 8:24 when my eyes opened.  

It has since been suggested that I "slept in".  I prefer to think of it as "preserving energy" for the half marathon which started at 8:45.  After scrambling into my race clothing I dashed out the door and arrived at the start line in time to hear the national anthem...  I found Jesse and Frank - two of the soldiers who mercilessly fed me beer the previous evening.  In truth I had nobody to blame but myself, nevertheless, I secretly hoped they were somewhat dehydrated as I was...

The race organizers had arranged for a ceremonial start for injured soldiers and athletes with a disability - 15 minutes ahead of the main pack.  We took off and settled into an easy stride.  As the first few kilometers ticked by we wound our way along the Rideau Canal - which is beautiful.  I felt pretty good but was certainly harbouring a bit of trepidation for the latter stages of the race...  excess beer, minimal sleep and no breakfast are not my usual pre-race routines.  Aid stations were critical to my success and I guzzled gatorade as if it were beer at an Officer's Mess.  Around the 9 or 10 km mark I procured a couple of energy gels from a gent who had a fully packed fuel belt.  I was in good shape.

Our platoon of three stuck together and gutted out a victory as Jesse completed his first half marathon (and first real race) since being wounded in Afghanistan; Frank, his classmate at the RMC in Kingston, who had come to run with him as a guide/buddy, put in a training day for his upcoming marathon; and I managed to avoid embarrassing myself (barely) and survived the run with nary a hangover at the end.  I actually felt fresh as a daisy by the end of the run - it gave me some pacing ideas for the next time I tackle a half or a full marathon.  A little bit of effort saved over the first half can really help in the latter half.

HOME NOW

The overall experience is one that is tough to sum up for me.  I feel proud, I feel humbled, I feel excited about helping the armed forces and the injured soldiers in the future, as it seems I will. The strongest feeling of all is that I am doing something important, something that helps people directly.  It is incredibly rewarding and I would likely not be in this place in my life if I had two legs.  Losing my leg wasn't an event I would have chosen at the time, but it sometimes feels like a gift now.  There is a proverb that says "calm seas never make skillful sailors", and I feel like it is no coincidence that my roughest moments in life have contributed so much to the development of my strongest attributes.

I will be posting more photos and thoughts from this experience over the next little while...  For now, I would like to express a huge THANK YOU to the Canadian Armed Forces, the Soldier On initiative and the Injured Soldiers Network for asking me to be a part of their weekend.  I would also like to thank Capt. Kim Fawcett for suggesting me and arranging my trip.  Most importantly, I'd like to thank our soldiers, wounded or not, for being willing to make enormous sacrifices in the name of duty and freedom.  

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Home from Ottawa - Mission Accomplished!

I got back from Ottawa this evening.


Made it back just in time to catch the tail end of Mattias' soccer practice.  Then we came home for a piece of cake to celebrate Sacha's birthday.  There's no place like home...

I will write something meaningful about the trip in the coming days, but for now all I can say is that it was one of the most interesting, rewarding and exciting weekends of my life.  I have so much to write that I need to give it another day to settle in my mind before I begin to record my thoughts.

I ended up running the half marathon not the 5km - due to unexpected and overly-exciting circumstances....  there's the cliffhanger to lure you all in for the next post!


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Terry Fox vs. Dean Karnazes


For about a week now the certificates from the Terry Fox Run have been sitting beside the computer.  Every time I sit down I read the quote...  Eventally I realized that I actually knew very little about Terry and the Marathon of Hope.  With my trip coming up (and 53 injured soldiers to motivate) I did a little brushing up on Terry this week - I got really into it.


Appropriately, a lot has been made of the vision he had to raise money and to find a cure for cancer.  You'd have a hard time finding anyone who didn't know about the huge contribution Terry initiated for cancer, and the fundraising that has resulted over the intervening years (though I didn't know it was $400 million+) but I somehow think many people (including myself) have forgotten, (or at least can't relate to) the enormity of the physical feat he accomplished.

Terry's run lasted 143 days.  His goal was a marathon-a-day but he fell short and ran a little over 23 miles/day if you averaged it out.  Details.  

By comparison, Dean Karnazes, a current superstar of running, known as the "Ultramarathon Man", recently recorded 50 marathons in 50 days (in 50 states)....  and the running world pretty much bowed down at his North Face runners.  He was even voted #27 on TIME magazine's World's Most Influential People list!

Some facts:

Terry - 143 marathons
Dean - 50

Terry - one leg
Dean - two

Terry - Cancer (tumours the size of a lemon in one lung and a golf ball in the other)
Dean - No Cancer


Terry - 5,376 km
Dean - 2,110 km

That's Terry 5, Dean 0, for those of you keeping score at home.  Now don't get me wrong, Dean isn't a pansy.  I just wanted to put Terry's run into perspective.

I love these TF quotes, check out the fire in the belly:

“Some people can’t figure out what I’m doing. It’s not a walk-hop, it’s not a trot, it’s running, or as close as I can get to running, and it’s harder than doing it on two legs. It makes me mad when people call this a walk. If I was walking it wouldn’t be anything.”

“I’m running on one leg. It may not look like I’m running fast, but I’m going as hard as I can. It bothers me, people coming up beside me. I want to make those guys work. I can’t stand making it easy for them. I’m really competitive. When they run with me, they’re usually running for only two or three miles; for me it might be my twenty-sixth mile.”

“Maybe that’s why I’ve made it as far as I have – 2,521 miles. If I ran to a doctor every time I got a little cyst or abrasion I’d still be in Nova Scotia. Or else I’d never have started. I’ve seen people in so much pain. The little bit of pain I’m going through is nothing. They can’t shut it off, and I can’t shut down every time I feel a little sore.”


Conclusion:  Terry was a certifiable bad ass.



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Ottawa here I come....



I leave for the nation's capital tomorrow.  The photo of Ottawa above is by Tennerka - she has an amazing number of beautiful shots on Flickr.  Check them out HERE.


I will be delivering a "Motivational Speech" at the Injured Soldiers Network brunch on Saturday and then we will have a Q & A / running clinic in the afternoon.

Sunday we will be toeing the line for the ARMY Run 5km Road Race.  I think I will stick with the least experienced soldiers - the ones that may need help to get to the finish line.  

I have been thinking a lot about what to talk to these guys about.  In preparing I have asked some people around me to tell me what they remember about my recovery and my progress.  It is interesting to get the perspective of others.  If you've never asked people what they think of you, or what they thought of you years ago - you should.  It is interesting and it reminded me that things have not always been as smooth as I remember them.  I guess I have an internal editor that erases a lot of the difficulties and leaves only successes.  

My mission:  

To energize, inspire and motivate these soldiers to set goals and leave them with some tools to accomplish their own personal and professional missions.

My Rough Plan:  

Use Stories (mine and others) - Tell them about the times I failed, and the times I succeeded - the differences and what I learnt.  

Power of Attitude - Excitement about life and the courage and drive to accept and look forward to the challenges life can present and to overcome them.  A challenge is the seed of an accomplishment.

Share Knowledge - I lost my leg in 1995.  The lessons of 13 years have been hard won at times.  I look forward to helping these soldiers "drive around a few potholes" that I had to hit to learn.


The preparation for this weekend has been a very rewarding process....  It has been very useful to analyze the things that have worked for me in life and to recognize the things that didn't.  I may convert a lot of it to writing for this blog over the coming months.    

Wish me luck!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Amateur Hour - Sports Photography

Yesterday Rob and I hit the trails at the Capilano River Park.


Our plan was to go for an easy run of about an hour.  I decided to bring my camera along to see if we could get some cool trail running shots.  We fooled around with the camera, running up and down hills for a long time.  We ended up having to hightail it out of there at high speed to not be too late.  We ran HARD for the last 15 minutes to get out of the Park.

Sports photography is difficult.  Unless the sport is very slow and occurs in a well lit place.  For instance, I imagine curling is probably not too difficult to photograph.

I would take a few shots then give Rob the camera with the settings fixed and he'd snap off a few.  Unfortunately, we came away with very few good shots because the forest was SO dark (and we were moving so fast!)

I had to get artistic on the computer to make some of these work.... As a hobby though I am still working on this... will get better with practice I hope.

Welcome to Amateur Hour - Sports Photography... (click images to enlarge)

Hair flowing.... it's not fair because his hair makes him look a lot faster....

I like the lean in this one.... wish the other shoe wasn't blocked

Driving up the hill...

Gotta tuck my elbows in...

That's a bit better...


I like this one Rob took....  seems candid even though it is obviously not.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Gift - Book Review


Rating:


Prior to unleashing this review (and in the spirit of full disclosure) I should mention that I have an unnatural love for books about running.  They really work for me, and I often find myself willing to overlook serious literary flaws when those flaws happen to be related to a subject I enjoy.  It was exactly that way with The Gift by Paul Maurer.

Maurer's book chronicles about a year in the life of Brett Rodgers, a collegiate runner in the U.S. striving to overcome personal demons that have prevented him from making full use of his immense natural talent.  The story revolves around his teammates, training, racing, and his relationship with a new flame and with the aforementioned demons.

Suffice to say that from a storyline perspective the book isn't earth shattering... not that you would expect it to be.  This is a story about running and runners (the people not the shoes) first and foremost.  There is easily enough drama in the events told to make for an entertaining yarn...

This is Maurer's first novel and it appears that it was self-published.  With this in mind it isn't too surprising that the writing is a little amateurish.  At first I found it off-putting and annoying - the dialogue especially was unnatural and clich├ęd.  As I progressed through the book it became less grating - almost as if the author's skills improved as he wrote.  Unfortunately, his editor, if there was one, did not improve much from page 1 - 247 - there were frequent typos and grammatical cock-ups that did the book no favours.

Any book about running had better contain some awesome racing scenes and this book delivered.  If Maurer isn't a runner I would be shocked - he described races, and the feeling of racing so well that I experienced heart rate increases from lap to lap....  These were by far the best passages in the book.

In the end I was sad to be finished.  It made me happy for Maurer.  All through the book I kept rooting not only for Brett (the protagonist) but for Paul (the author), I could sense the passion he had for the topic (and I bet he is a better runner than he is a writer) - I wanted him to "win" by writing a good book - and he did.

It's not going to be recognized by the folks handing out Pulitzers, but if you are a runner it will make you want to sign up for a local 5km race and run till it hurts, and that makes it a book worth reading. 

(As an aside....  what is up with the foot on the cover?  I spent a long time trying to figure out if it was an optical illusion or if the thing is deformed.  That is a BIG groove for the big toe....)

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Terry Fox Run


About 20 of us tackled the West Vancouver Terry Fox Run this morning under sunny skies.  It was a lot of fun to mix different groups of our friends together out there.

People chose their own distance - 2 or 5 km - and we went for it.  Mattias dug deep and turned in an excellent performance in the 5km event (his longest official event thus far.)


It was nice to get a bunch of friends together, raise some money for the Terry Fox Foundation, and enjoy a beautiful run along the West Vancouver Seawall.

After a great breakfast at Milestone's we came home and I decided to do a little education about Terry with the kids...  

"I'm not doing my run to become rich or famous.  To me, being famous is not the idea of the run.  The only important part is finding a cure for cancer.  Don't forget that.  I'm no different from any of you - I'm no better, no worse.  You are cheering and clapping for me but if you have given $1, then you are part of the Marathon of Hope.  Even if I don't finish, we need others to continue.  It's got to keep going without me."
- Terry Fox - July 11, 1980

Please enjoy this YouTube video which will remind you why Terry is the greatest Canadian ever* (make sure you have the volume up and a kleenex handy at about the 3:30 mark.)



Our photos from today:

Jones Family along with Gary (Sacha's Dad)

Mattias looking spry at the 4.98 km mark

Most of our group....  5 or 6 still on the course.

Chantal, Parents, and kids....

Mattias and Aia with their certificates


Viggo helping me write this blog

*I suppose you could debate my assertion that Terry is the greatest Canadian... but you would probably lose...

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday

The West Vancouver Soccer Club started up today with action at the Hugo Ray field at 9:30am...  The Red Dragons, Mattias' team, were ready to rock as evidenced by the fact that I barely had time to park the car before Mattias had slotted his first goal of the season with a shot just inside the near post of the green team's net.


To put the magnitude of this goal into perspective, consider that it took him all of last season before he finally scored in the final game.  A soccer season is 6 months long with games every Saturday...  so that's a long wait for goal #1.

He was pretty pumped and proceeded to threaten the net for the rest of the game...  It should be a great year for him.

He is also tapering for his 5km debut tomorrow in the Terry Fox Run...  I knew he was ready after this conversation:

Me:  Mattias, do you feel like doing another race this Sunday?
Him:  Sure.  Which race?
Me:  The Terry Fox Run.  Have you heard about Terry Fox?
Him:  Are we running across Canada?
Me:  No.  Not quite.

Kids are awesome....  I love those moments.  He was totally into it.  We'd just get up on Sunday have some Cheerios and head out to run across Canada.

After soccer we chilled out around the house for the afternoon, I found time to take a few pictures of the kids and to kick back and read a nice little article about myself in Triathlon Magazine...  I like the quote they chose to feature in bold... (click to enlarge)



Maybe I'll see some of you tomorrow?




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Friday, September 12, 2008

He Junquan


We all know the Paralympics are full of athletes with amazing stories of perseverance and determination yada yada yada....  Often the athletes' "stories" become the story that gets reported - not their performance.


I won't make the same mistake here - because I actually know almost nothing about He Junquan's background or how he came to have no arms.  What I do know is that he has won 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal in the pool (so far).  The bronze was in the 50m Butterfly.  BUTTERFLY!!  His time:  37.07 seconds!

I sometimes opt out of kick sets at Masters.  I'm painfully slow on a kick set - I have only one leg to kick with so I usually do drills or something else while the others kick.

He Junquan only kicks - he never does anything but kick.  No opting out....  no looking for an excuse.  Care to think about how he touches the wall to stop the clock?  How he does a flip-turn without arms?  He hits the wall with his head!  How many lengths do you think he has done to get to the Paralympics??  Thousands and thousands... at the end of every length - cranium meets tile.  

I'm going to let that be a lesson....  the next time I am about to complain about ANYTHING I will think about He Junquan doing the FLY with NO ARMS and smoking the end of the pool WITH HIS HEAD.

Was that a complaint I heard?  Didn't think so.....

Watch him in this video:

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200th Post


Wow.  That didn't take very long!


This is the 200th post since I started this blog back in late November 2007.

Originally I thought it would be a good way to keep in touch with people that I don't get to see too often.  I also liked the idea of creating a record - complete with photos and thoughts.  I want to do more video in the next 200...  my own video, not YouTube.

I actually kept it a secret for quite a while because I wasn't sure I "deserved" a blog.  As if having one meant that I was King Big Shot or something...

It has taught me a lot:

- I love to write
- I love photography
- I love my sports more when I write about them and photograph them
- There are people crazy enough to read the things I write

So that's why this blog has had some staying power.  I have re-invigorated a few old passions and added fuel to a current one.

And a lot has happened:

- There is a new guy living in my house!
- I crossed 26 finish lines.  Can you say obsessive?
- I was on TV.
- An article I wrote made it into the paper.
- I had some successes (here, here, here, and here.)
- I had some failures (here, here)

But the best part about writing the blog is when people tell me they read it, enjoy it or felt inspired by it.  I would probably write it just for myself but it is a lot more fun to know that people stop by to check it out.

Thanks for reading!

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Thursday - Dryland Training

Last night Tony, Andrea and I rollerskied around Stanley Park.


It was nice to ski on flat terrain as most of the rollerskiing I have done has been uphill.  This session we worked on skate technique.  Tony has me focusing on the "Two Skate" - one pole thrust for every two strides.  He thinks this will be a good "high gear" for me - something I didn't have last season.  I think I am close to having it dialed.

I am also trying to develop the "One Skate" - one pole thrust for every one stride i.e. poling on every stride left and right - it is by far the toughest technique with my uneven left and right strength and glide capability.

This is what it is supposed to look like:



His name is Per Elofsson (which automatically gives him better skiing genes than me...) 

The "Cypress Incident" has left me a little cautious when rollerskiing on tarmac.  On the track I go for it - the track is forgiving in a wipeout - but on the road I have a hard time really committing to each stride (in case I overcommit and plant my face on the pavement.)  Despite my caution I managed to wipeout gently (on grass beside the path) last night while working on the one skate...  It's not a rollerski session unless I am skidding across the ground at some point.

A good time was had by all.... 

Tony dispensing wisdom...

Can you believe we get to train here?


Back in the parking lot (how do you like my sweet new lid?)

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lance is Back...

I was shocked the other day when it became public that Lance Armstrong would try for an 8th yellow jersey.  


I have serious mixed emotions over it.  Lance is one of, if not my favourite, athlete of all time.  He truly went out on top after 7 victories of the hardest race in the world.  

I remember being nervous the last few times he entered the tour because I didn't want the final chapter in his cycling career to be a loss.

Now this!?

37 years old.  3 years off.  2000 miles......

On the other hand I can't wait to watch.  I feel like a kid before Christmas and I sort of wish I could go to sleep and wake up in July 2009.

You can read all about his perspectives HERE.  It is a Vanity Fair article (and you know what that means...  LONG).

And here, clothed, is Lance to tell you in his own words:



P.S. The photo at the top of the post is by Annie Liebovitz and was the cover of Vanity Fair in December 1999. It is the first (and almost certainly the last) photo of a naked male to grace my blog.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Compromise and Plan B...

At the best of times compromising is somewhat irritating...  In most cases I would rather just get what I want.  


Selfish?  Maybe.  Realistic?  Definitely.  And don't try to tell me you are any different.

So, I compromised with myself about racing next weekend - a twist on the usual "compromise" that takes place with someone else.  

I really wanted to race.  I could actually feel it....  the desire to race.  It was strong.  That is a feeling that I need to keep.  I have to make sure I don't "satisfy" it - or I might wake up and not feel it anymore.

Moreover, there are the "what ifs" - what if I crashed and couldn't run in Ottawa?  what if I injure myself and have to use crutches in front of the soldiers I am there to inspire with my running?  what if I overdo it and feel exhausted by the time late season ski races roll around?  

I am normally not a fan of "what ifs" (as they closely resemble excuses) but there is a point to be considered here.  You draw up a plan for a reason.  The plan includes slow times, heavy intensity periods and lots of fun racing.  The idea is to have fun, perform well and always be hungry for more (and physically able to handle it all.)  Plugging in serious efforts (races) at the last minute is akin to letting the inmates run the asylum.

So I compromised.  Our whole family will be lacing up for the Terry Fox Run on Sunday the 14th in West Vancouver.  There are three distances 2, 5 and 10km.

Here is the call out:  If anyone would like to join us for this run we'd love to see you there.  Drop me a note in the comments or through the right hand column on my blog - come out and run with Mattias, Aia, Viggo, Sacha and I...  we can accommodate almost any desired pace!

Ambleside Park at the west end (13th Street) in West Vancouver - Run starts at 9am.  Be there by 8:30am. 

This is a pretty good fall back plan.  I feel a certain kinship with Terry....  it's not just the absence of a leg... but he did his Marathon of Hope out of a camper van which draws Terry even nearer to my heart.  Talk about the best way to create a legacy and become a household name - doing sports out of the back of a camper van!  

By the way, his van is getting quite a bit of attention these days (it was found and restored and is touring the country).  And the Oscar for Best Van in a Supporting Role goes to.....  Terry's Marathon of Hope Van!



We hope to see you on the 14th for the run!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

A decision is in....


In the case of:


One More Triathlon vs. Resting, Training and Focusing on What Lays Ahead

We the jury (me), find One More Triathlon to be reckless and guilty of attempting to seduce a third party (me) into athletic events that are not part of the "greater plan" and therefore are irresponsible and illogical.

We sentence One More Triathlon to jail time equivalent to:

One ski season plus a few weeks of holidays.  We expect that in the case of exemplary behaviour early release may be granted in time for the UBC Triathlon in March 2009.

Resting, Training and Focusing on What Lays Ahead is free to continue with all activities that do not interfere with the master plan as visualized and periodized with the help of professionals.

Court is adjourned.

(Translation:  I am not traveling to Sooke to race this weekend.  Thanks Matt - discretion is the better part of valour.)

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Coho Run - Sacha and Mel



I only took a few of the Coho Run as my hands were full with three kids...  and of the few I took this was the only one worth sharing.  Sacha (in yellow) and Mel (in black) look pretty fresh at about the 5 - 6 km mark.

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Innovative Fitness Canuck Place Adventure Challenge - photos!!


OK. I have finally finished uploading all the photos from the weekend. It is kind of laborious work but far better than how it would have played out only a few short years ago....

Cast your mind back 10 years....

1998 = Start up the car. Drive to London Drugs with 8 rolls of film. Drop off. Drive home. Wait a day or two. Drive back. Realize you forgot the damn keychain discount thing so fork over $50 and pick up an 8lb bag of photos. Eagerly flip through the results of your efforts and realize that 90% of them suck. Go back and order doubles of the 20 decent shots. Throw the rest in the garbage to await transfer to the nearest landfill where they will reside for the next 3000 years. Drive home. Put photos in a drawer and forget them forever (unless married in which case there is a 10% chance they will be album-ified.)

2008 = sit at your computer for a few hours organizing, uploading, editing, arranging etc. Only had to swear a few times when the uploads to Flickr mysteriously got interrupted. Distrubute to all friends with a few clicks of the mouse. Post on blog and show the world.  Nice.

So the next time you are about to complain about gas prices escalating remember: you're saving on photo finishing. It helps. A bit.

Without further ado.... HERE is the link to my IFCP Adventure Challenge Flickr page with 178 photos for your perusal.

A couple of favourites:

Kris and Candice taking the victory in the short course event.

Team Unbreakable (I think).

Angry cyclist. Ready to rock!

Malcolm pointing the way...

Curtis - with bicep implants.

The Young Guns - Got lucky with this one.... love the slope and timing on the left leg swing.... exposure could be better but I'll take it.

Johan and Paul - Father and son

Young Guns again... Marshall not visible in the tail-gunner position.

Willie and John Henry Sr. - Another father/son combo...

The Start!

Richard - the Thinking Man's Mountain Biker

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