Tuesday, June 28, 2011

T Rex, caught on video in full tar pit struggle

However, I will leave it to your imagination. The reality of knowing I'm running almost in the retaste zone, and looking like I'm in slow motion is a little disheartening. Oh all right, one image Katie caught was totally by accident, since the whole video clip is only a few seconds long.



There, you see?

We've been trying to get this organized for a little while. I seriously believe that in addition to having barely any cardio fitness at all, I do not have good form when running. I feel very heavy on my feet, and the video shows it. Gawd. My thinking is that if I ran better, I'd run faster, given the same effort level. So what with one thing or another, it finally worked out for tonight.

I rode my hybrid bike about a half hour up to the Glenmore track, only to find that it was occupied by eye candy of both genders. Wow. So we moved off to the side, out of the way, and disturbed a whole lot of mosquitoes. I'm glad I brought bug spray.

I warmed up a bit, then she made me run faster, then faster again. Then some other stuff. Then the other direction. Then some accelerations. There's video of one, the last one, and you can't really tell I'm running faster and faster. It FELT like it, and my lungs thought so, but it sure doesn't look that way. It's really clear that I'm very stiff in my shoulders and hips. No, I'm not going to post the video. Any of them. Are you kidding? If you want to see it that badly, you'll have to drop by, with cookies.

She had lots of things for me to think about when running. I hope I remember them all. We watched some of the kids running on the track, looking at strides, and arms. Just amazing. One guy his heels come up almost to his butt every step, and each step is like 8 feet long. Overall it was about an hour of running, or recovering from running. This is about as hard and fast as I've ever run, and it's certainly harder than I would have ever pushed myself. I didn't puke.

Then I rode home nice and easy, another half hour. Blogged. Now I have some work reading to do.

Monday, June 27, 2011

An unconventional workout

Yes, I was vertical, at least for most of it. I know what you were thinking. Sigh.

We are deep into monsoon season here. Sometimes it rains all day, but the usual pattern is to have a nice hot day, then a brief but intense rain shower during the late afternoon, then a nice evening. For those of us in the office most of the day, it becomes difficult to keep the lawn under control. Mowing wet grass is no fun at all.

What with rain and other things it's been a about a week longer than I like to let the lawn go. Tonight was the night. I use a push mower because I don't like the noise and smell and vibration of a power mower. But today I would have cheerfully put up with it. Normally with a push mower I go over things once and it's done. I was over most of the lawn twice, and three times in some places, and there are still spots where it looks like I missed a spot. Plus we've got some ground cover weeds, the ones with the tiny yellow flowers, and they are tough to cut. Maybe I should sharpen the mower?

Then weed whacker time, taking longer than usual. Then, actually having to rake the lawn. Geez. Times like this I become seriously tempted to have it all ripped out and have a nice gravel desert scape put in. Maybe with some cactus, you know, the ones with the huge long spikes, planted just where people cut across the lawn. Then I wouldn't need to mow at all, would I? Then I could train more. Or go to the office more and earn money. Decisions, decisions.

In any case, I'm totally counting this. Aerobic and core, all at once.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ran instead of watching IMCDA

This morning was cold and wet. Katie and I talked, and decided today wasn't the best day to be doing a run critique. Maybe we should have gone for it anyway, since it stopped raining and was actually a nice day for a run. Tried to get the video for IMCDA, since several buddies are in it, but nothing. So I figured I'd run. Later Julie reminded me it worked on Firefox and I watched a bit.

Once I saw sunshine I got my buns into gear. Downstairs for 15 minutes of stretching and leg exercises. Then out, heading north towards the reservoir. I last did this route with Cath, but today I went further with much less effort. Today I went just past the boat docs, for a total of 12.8 K in 91 minutes. That's 7:05 per K, (11:26 per mile) and even better, my average heart rate was 131, breathing was even and regular. The max heart rate was only 144 bpm. That is a big improvement over even just a few weeks ago. My legs felt strong and steady, if not quite light and fast. But steady is what I'm aiming for here. Out was 45 minutes, back was 46. Out is generally downhill, but today was into a stiff wind.

Normally this part of the path is doggie central, but I only saw a few dogs today, and even fewer runners. I guess they're afraid of rain or something. I thought a lot about posture and run stride today, especially after the hour mark where I was getting  a little bit sloppy. That helps. I counted my cadence a couple times, the first was 85 per minute, and the second was 83. Walked and stretched afterward.

What's more important is getting into the groove of running 3x a week, and starting to see improvement. It's been a bit off and on over the last while. I'd run, and it would feel good at the time, but then it was several days before my legs felt up to running again, even though my knee wasn't hurting. There were several times where if I'd been on the training mill, I'd have probably gone, which might have led to another injury.

This last week I've had 3 good runs and a strong bike. I'm still not back to where I was last year, but I'm getting there. Life is good.

Weekly Summary
Bike 2.0 hrs
Run 2.5 hrs
Core some.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I watched a great workout

Today I saw one of the best workout routines ever. My neighbour a couple of houses down is getting his roof reshingled. There was a guy dragging a bundle of shingles out of a truck, putting them on his shoulder, then going up a ladder to the top of the garage, then up the slope, a big step up to the main roof, then up the slope to the top. Then down. Then up again. Repeat many times. It was hot. I've no idea why he wasn't using the rack elevator like most roofing companies, or a zoom boom like some. Maybe he's an independent just starting out. Either way it made me tired watching him.

I was hacking and chopping at some weeds in our front yard, then doing errands around the house. Mainly puttering and tidying, while he was going up and down. Thinking of some of my buddies, one running a relay up Highwood, another biking Highwood, one being knackered by a super-duper workout, 2 going through last minute prep for IMCDA (Go Chris and Heather!) and me generally feeling a bit like a slacker.

Tonight I took Linda to BoxWood for her birthday dinner. This is a tradition of ours, where the birthday person picks a place. It doesn't always happen on the actual birthday depending on schedule and other considerations. Sometimes it's a fancy expensive place, sometimes not expensive. But the main criteria is good food. And this is. Wow. Not even terribly expensive, dinner for two, including appetizer, wine, and dessert for under $100. We don't do dinner out much any more, so this was a nice treat.

We used to eat out a lot more, but then came to realize that Linda can cook better than most restaurants. Since we know what nice food costs, it began to seem more expensive. While I appreciate that almost all wait staff are hard working, they've usually got lots of people to take care of. Which, combined with my fussiness about being served, makes it tough. You see, I hate having people hover over me, waiting to pounce on a half empty glass or a stray crumb, asking me if everything is ok. I hate it even more when I actually do want something, most often the cheque please, and can't catch the waiter's eye. Yes, I realize those are contradictory.

Once I started making my own wine, most commercial wine stopped tasting good. Linda had two tasters of white wine, and I didn't like either of them. (Wine tasters are a great idea, by the way.) My red was good, but nothing special, and one glass costs the same as about 2 bottles of my own wine. I like wine with dinner; I don't go out to have dinner with wine.

The other thing about restaurants is that they have other people in them. Most of the time that's ok, but sometimes those other people are walking advertisements for retroactive abortion. Like the woman with her family at the next table. The woman with the piercing voice, indefatigable tongue, and an empty brain. A bad combination all round.

None the less, a very good day. I'm hoping to meet up with Katie for a run tomorrow, so I need to get my beauty sleep.

Friday, June 24, 2011

T Rex, trying to run faster

Thursday. What happened Thursday? I don't really remember. There were some leg exercises in there, but I went to bed early.

Friday was more ambitious. About 15 minutes of leg exercises and stretching. Then an easy 15 minutes running gradually faster as my legs gave up trying to talk me out of it. Things were a bit clunky. Then 5x30 seconds (trying to be) fast, 2:30 very easy recovery.

At first my breathing was out of control fast while I was barely moving, and my heart rate was really low. Things gradually came around, but this was never a light happy footed run. I felt heavy the whole time. The 30 seconds were a fairly brisk acceleration to about as fast as I can run with good form, though I'm sure glad nobody was there taking video. It probably looked horrible. I was pretty pleased that my heart rate came down nicely for all except the last one, which reinforced that it was time to stop. Ran very easy and walked to cool down. 30 minutes running. Knee felt fine.

Stretched after by doing some weeding. Our garden is over run with this clinging weed that has purple flowers. Evidently it spreads very easily, so we likely aren't ever going to get rid of it. And remember last year I took the tools to the Alberta Wild Rose? I trimmed it back to below ground level, and it's come back better than ever. I think I need another effort to repress the worst of it. I don't mind it being there, but it does tend to get out of hand.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Salutations out the ying yang

I am happier than you can possibly know that my course was shortened today. It took the instructor 1.5 hours to show us an example of what the software actually produced. It's Metastorms ProVision, if you're interested. OMG. I was ready to slit my wrists well before the end of it. This is a complicated piece of software that will do lots of things, and there is much configuration to take place. So at one point he was actually explaining to us how to zoom in or out to see more or less of the diagram, as if it was something we should be impressed by. And though I was supposed to be all set up, I'm not. I can't get into it on my pc. They're so clever they stored the manuals inside the software. Sigh.

Right after that it was get changed and walk over to Olympic Plaza to stand in the hot sun for a little while. Then the boss man talked to us about the United Way. Then we ran. They said it was 5 K, but it's not, so I was gypped. It was only 4.75 K. Still, I ran hard enough to be pushing the pace just a bit faster than what I'd comfortably do, but not so much my breathing was out of control. I got back in 29 minutes flat, which I'm pretty pleased about. That's a 6:06 K pace, if you're wondering.

Then a team meeting where they were explaining overall team progress and introducing new people to the team, of whom I'm one. They handed around a microphone. With a few exceptions, my new team mates are named mutter mutter mutter, and most of them work on retrofit. The main host had his own microphone so we could hear him, but all his stuff is blither. Then the managers talked about their teams and their progress to date. 4 out of 6 was mutter mutter mutter, with a few clear words at the beginning. My boss was one of the people that didn't need a microphone, but I already knew half of what he was going to say. What boggled my mind was the Q&A session at the end. They were all going out for a beer after, and people insisted on a few questions, and then wouldn't let the meeting die. There was always one more quick thing to say. If I was running that meeting the gavel would have been down someone's throat by then.

Zoomed home, dealt with the package that FINALLY arrived. Linda's Christmas present finally arrived! That's the Christmas present from almost 6 months ago. It's her birthday soon, and I'm in my usual panic, wondering what to get.

Then it was out to yoga class. No goober-breath! But we started with Sun salutation, and kept right on. Earth, moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. I was saluted out, and a wreck by the end. I think I fell asleep in about 3 seconds flat in savasana. And that's what I'm going to do now, go to sleep. Been a busy day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Estela up and over 75 Kph for the first time since IMC

Well, good things happened today. My training course was shortened up so now I can do the 5K United Way lunch time run after all, and go to a team social meeting later in the afternoon. The only downside to the run is that the shirt isn't what you'd call an optimal fit. Short and wide seems to describe it best. In the elevator after picking up the shirts several people were discussing what to wear under it. There are going to be a lot of people out in front of the Y at lunchtime, and then we're going to take over the path!

Until that was on, I had been planning a run tonight. It's beautiful out. So I rode down Road to Nepal instead. People that have been reading me for a while, or have been biking in south west Calgary know what I'm talking about. For my new readers, this is a very hilly ride with new pavement a couple of years ago. From my house down to the bottom of the road and back is 52K. Like I said, it's very hilly, as in no level spots at all, and it's a totally awesome ride. The views from the top of the hills are amazing on average days, and stunning on some days. There's very little traffic. Some days there's more bikes than cars.

I have this theory that I really can't be going much faster downhill. I need to improve on the flats, and I need to get stronger going up hills. The wind resistance equations say that an extra 10% effort will be far less effective over 40 Kph because you're mostly pushing air out of the way. But that 10% could significantly reduce the time spent going up hill. So I'm working on that, and RtN is the place for that.

Today I was still mindful of my knee, not wanting to push it too hard, but I was working it going up the hills, and what do you know? My lungs crapped out first, while my legs were willing to keep going. Several of the hills I was in harder gears than I remember being in, or staying on the big ring longer. I was planning for a 2 hour ride. I was not terribly hopeful I'd get all the way to the bottom, but I did get most of the way there, and had a GREAT time doing it. Did I say something about a beautiful evening for a ride?

Even though I wasn't pushing it on the downhills I still got up and over 75 Kph (46.6 mph). Last time I did that I was dodging bikes, cars, and trucks on the backside of Richter's Pass. Today was just me. Loving it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Do you have short arms?

No, not a short arm. Arms. You. Guys.

Once upon a time I won a set of aerobars for being the very last person to cross the finish line. Except that it wasn't even there anymore. I guess they figured I needed all the help I could get, and they're not wrong. Here's the story.

However, per the photo, you can see these aero bars are much too short for me. I gifted them to my buddy Lori, but she's a tall girl, and they were too short for her too. So, who has arms short enough that the balance point for your forearms are only 7 inches from the hand grip? Send me a story, and the bars can be yours.


Day 1. I was good! Downstairs for 45 minutes of leg exercises and core, including pushups, low and slow squats, bicycle crunches and other stuff.

I'm seriously bummed about work rescheduling a training course to this Wednesday. There is a 5 K lunchtime run for United Way or something, and I was looking forward to it. I've never run at lunch downtown. Now I won't be able to make it. And the bigger team I'm part of is having a social starting early afternoon and I won't make that either. Sigh. I always thought time was invented so everything wouldn't happen at once.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chinook stuff and a great run

I have this relationship with Chinook. It was the very first race I did, way back in June 2008. I've done that Half IM twice now, and neither have been what you'd call good days. I finished both, and that's about all that can be said for them. I expected the first one to hurt and be slow. It did, and it was. It wiped me out for about a month.

Then in 2009 I had hopes for a much faster race. Not. I bonked coming out of the water, so the bike and run were a long nightmare. I didn't do it in 2010 because the timing was awkward leading up to IMC. I'd thought of going back this year and try to get the monkey off my back and have a good day. My knee took a lot longer to feel strong than I thought it would. About a month ago I decided there was no use pushing it. I wouldn't be ready to have a good day, and the last thing I needed was another bad day, and possibly re-injure my knee doing it.

So yesterday I showed up to cheer on some buddies. It was a cool windy day. The thermometer said 10 but it felt colder than that, especially down at the water. In that sense I'm glad I wasn't in the race. Neither were a couple of buddies, Leaha and Deb had to drop out. Lorraine totally kicked ass in the half! She was the first girl out of the water. I saw her starting the run, and at the 10 K mark, and she looked so strong. I saw Todd from spin class, and he was looking good too. My buddy Kelly R saw me at the same time as I saw her, but she got the first hello in. I saw her in T2, looking good, and after the race. I hadn't seen Tessa's name on the race list, but she was there.

I was mainly there to cheer on my buddy Lori in the Oly distance. You can see her in the video below of the Oly start. She seemed pretty pleased with the result but I haven't seen her results. I'm not sure what time the finish clock was displaying, but it didn't seem to have anything to do with the start time of either race. By the end of the day I was actually pretty tired, even though I wasn't jumping around cheering, like some people I know. Afterward we went to a BBQ at a buddy of Linda's, and holy cow! So much food. It was good that I went in hungry.


Today it was nice out in the morning so I decide to go while the going was good. Half hour of leg exercises and a bit of core, then out for a run. I ended up running 11 K in 1:20, almost perfectly even split, and what's best about it is that my heart rate averaged 136 bpm. That is getting to be a more reasonable number for the pace I was going, and it was pretty consistent throughout the run.

I can feel my legs getting stronger and more comfortable with running again. It was only in the last 10 minutes of the run that I could feel my stride getting sloppy, and having to work a bit harder on my form. So it's coming along well. I've already begun to work in some strides or accelerations into my runs, and I'll be working on that a bit more in the runs to come.

It was very nice to finish the run, stretch after, shower, and eat a second breakfast all by 10am.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Listened instead of running

It stopped raining, and was nice enough to go for a run this afternoon after work. But there wasn't time. We had decided to go to a free talk by Adres Duany at the Glenbow. He's a guy that designs spaces that allow for a closer interaction between urban and agricultural spaces. There is a lot more to this than I thought. Here's a link to his web page.

The space has 225 seats, and the fire code says max 210 people, which is bizarre, and there was a small crowd outside wanting in. After some discussion they decided to do another talk tomorrow night as well. If you're in Calgary, are interested in a more natural way of living, you might want to consider going. I found it well worth my time.

The only downside for me is that my knee stiffened up pretty badly because I was trapped in an inside seat. I couldn't straighten my leg. Toward the end it was really beginning to throb, and not in a good way. Then it spread down into my calf. I've been stretching it out a bit, and it's starting to feel better.

Tomorrow is the Chinook Half and Oly IM. I'm so happy I decided not to sign up. I might be able to get through it, but there's no way I'd enjoy it. I'm just not in the shape to do it this year. Several of my buddies are in it, so I'll show up to cheer them on. With any luck I'll get a bunch of photos, maybe video too.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

He's back. Louder and closer than ever. Grrrr.

I'm feeling pretty good after the longish run yesterday. Somewhat stiff hip flexors are the worst of it. I was looking forward to yoga tonight for some good stretching. Our instructor has what I need as often as not.

Unfortunately goober-breath showed up. Sigh. I tried not to let him get to me, but he moved one mat closer again. There are lots of people pushing big weights in the gym that breathe quieter, and grunt less than he does. 2 more classes, and with any luck he won't show up next year.

Even though there is a postal strike happening, good things should be coming soon via UPS or Fedex. My bamboo case for the iPad, and a case for Linda to store jewelry in.

I took a look at my blog stats lately and was astonished. It seems that either my existing readers have decided to catch up on all the blogs they've missed. Or I've got a bunch of new readers on June 7 all of a sudden that are not leaving comments. But SOMETHING sure changed. I'm pleased and happy, and welcome my new readers, if there are new readers. Thank you for dropping by. Please leave a comment and say hi. Here's a graph to show you what I mean.



I'm mildly amused by the postal strike. We don't get much real mail anymore, and this strike will have me converting what little mail there is to come as email. Bills mainly. And then the mail box will become like our house phone. We'll check it once in a while, but that's all. We don't ever answer the house phone unless someone has arranged it. We wait for the answering machine, and if nobody talks to it, we don't pick up. Even if someone does talk, we might not pick up. I have to be convinced that it's someone I want to talk to. It's worth the $20 a month to have a phone number to give to people I don't want to talk to.

Unless I'm in the mood to torment telemarketers or pollsters. Sometimes I love to play with their brains. I'll start by asking if the information I provide is valuable. They always say yes. Then I tell them my going rate is $10 a question, and can I have a PO number or a credit card number. That flummoxes them good, and then they go away. Even if I talk to a pollster, I routinely lie to them. Told one guy I was female, and when he complained I cut loose a tirade on sexism and gender politics that would have made my buddy Anne's day. Or, if I have lots of time, I'll keep them on the line as long as possible. Or if they've dived right into their spiel, I'll lay the phone down and walk away. Sometimes I'll ask the pollsters about the scientific validity of the poll, and how they are compensating for bias, and all sorts of other stuff gleaned from a stats class way back in the day.

Do you ever torment the junk callers? Any fave tactics you'd like to share?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First time in 1001 days

Yes.

I know my readers are an educated bunch who are up on their symbology, and are wild with curiosity with what exactly I'm trying to say here, and have no doubt assumed something that can't be discussed in such a fine, upright, high-class blog. Some of you may remember what happened about 1000 days ago. If you want another hint, click (NOT YOU SUSI!!!!) here. Don't be eating anything. I'm just saying.

That's enough hints. That is the first apple I've eaten since my bike crash that rearranged some front teeth and broke my elbow. I didn't plan for 1000 days. It just happened that someone at work brought in a huge tub of organic fruit. I just thought it had been a while since I'd eaten an apple, so I grabbed one. It was only when I got back to my desk that I realized why, and how long it had been. Now, I've had apple since then, it's just that it's been sliced up into a salad, or on a fruit pie or something. This I ate, holding in my hand, the way apples were intended to be eaten. It was amazing!

When I was walking in to work this morning I nearly turned around to go home for a bike ride. It was that perfect out. I sort of assumed it would cloud over and rain by this afternoon, but when it turned out to be another nice evening I decided I had to go out for a run. Especially since it's supposed to rain for a week.

After not quite a half hour of leg exercises, and some core which included 10 pushups!!!! (yay) I headed outside. Still nice. Sunny, warm, light breeze, it was PERFECT for a run. I didn't wear my watch or monitor, I just wanted to go run at whatever pace felt comfortable.  After a few minutes getting settled, I noticed my right knee was a bit sore across the top of my kneecap. Shortening my stride  and trying to relax my run seemed to help, and it didn't bother me again.

I even ran in sock feet for a few hundred metres, which felt oddly pretty good. My feet don't seem to mind, but you won't see me running any great distance without shoes any time soon. Without even thinking of a route, my feet took my down to bridge one (the very west end of Fish Creek Park). The water is way up. Normally during the summer it's no more than ankle deep in many places, and with any luck you can cross without getting your feet wet. Now, you couldn't pay me to wade through it.

From that bridge I ran through the trails to bridge two and crossed. From there the path goes up on top of the escarpment, and it's a bit of a tough climb in places. Lots of trees are down. There are two places where there are huge sink holes that have eaten part of the path. Do not go running through there at night. I crossed back over bridge three, pretending each of the bridges was an aid station, so I walked for a minute.

From there it was up the hill and back to the house. What with walking the last 5 minutes or so, I was back to the house in 1:20. Running 1:15, no idea at all how far, and I don't really care, is the longest I've run in some time.

This is what running is about in my mind. Getting out in the fresh air, to move and be active, and just plain have fun, is something to be treasured. I don't often get onto the paths I was on, so it was nice to see, and smell, and hear all the stuff. It's good to be careful with my footing, adjusting for roots, and rocks and stuff. Ducking under trees. Scrambling up a steep slope. This was great!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I beat the time lapse rain

The forecast looked like rain all weekend, so I gave up on the thought of going for a bike ride. I still had hopes of getting out for a run. Other than my leg exercises I've been a slug since Wed yoga.

This morning started cloudy and then gradually got nicer. But at some point I noticed clouds were building off to the west, and figured I'd better get off my butt and run if I was going to. So I did. Stretched and did my leg exercises in a sort of perfunctory way, since I was thinking of the run.

Out and it felt great! I ended up running an hour, but no idea how far I ran. The first 5.5 K was 39:40 running fairly easy, breathing in control but not singing an opera or anything. My legs felt good. My heart rate was consistently higher than I'd have liked, and didn't recover even when I slowed down for the last 10 minutes. That was sort of depressing, actually, barely plodding along, hardly breathing, and yet my heart was pounding away. With any luck that will improve as I get more regular about running.

My buddy Cath had a great result at the Boise 70.3, going about 5:17, which is good for a trip to the 70.3 Championships. And my buddy David, in what I think is his first half IM, went 6:15 or so, which is a super result! He was actually my manager a few years ago at a company that neither of work for anymore. I take my hat off to him for the changes he's made in his life, what with dropping a ton of weight, and taking up triathlon, while maintaining a family, work, and social life balance.

Often we hear about the people that win their age group, (hi Katie doing Escape from Alcatraz!) but I think it's equally important to celebrate the accomplishments of the people in the pack, and at the back of the pack. And not just because that's where I am. All of these people have put in the hours training, and hope to have a good day on the race course. Some have mechanical or other failures, and that's too bad.

What's important to remember is that everybody is out there trying, and most are pushing themselves into uncharted territory. They are trying to balance all the conditions of the day while meeting the needs of their body for an extremely strenuous day. They are all champs, and deserve to have their achievements recognized.

While I was out for the run I set up my iPhone with a new toy. I've always liked time-lapse photography, and recently downloaded an app that does that. It's called iTimelapse, and it's free at the moment. I wish I'd had it when I did my decorating the Christmas tree video last year. Here's what the clouds were doing on my run. Oh, ignore the couple seconds of me making coffee at the beginning, I hadn't figured things out. This is a photo every 10 seconds.



That set of clouds passed with barely a spatter of rain, and now another set of clouds are building. I've got the camera running again. This is fun! If it's good I'll post that too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Totally twisted yoga

Yeah, I know you are all wanting to know about the "drop and give me 20" yoga class, but too bad. Only two people are going to get the joke.

Once again the wonder yoga instructor Fiona knew what I needed. Lots and lots and LOTS of twists, complete with little thing ball. It was great. Even better, no goober-breath, though his wife showed up.

How many of you do yoga regularly?
As part of a class, or on your own?
Which pose is your happy place, and your unhappy place?

I'll surprise and shock you all by saying child pose is torture.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sometimes I almost miss winter, a rant

No, I'm not a pervert. During the winter hardly anyone is outside on the mall between my office and my car. The ones that are outside are focussed on where they are going. During the nice weather the mall is filled with shambling idiots who have no idea where they are going, or what they'll do if they ever get there. Today it's like people saw me coming and strolled into my way or stopped along the path that my body language indicated I was going. Much as I'd like to trample them it's not polite to do it. Unless necessary, and let me tell you, there are times I'm beginning to think it IS necessary. As an example if nothing else, and having the average IQ go up slightly is a good thing.

Inside the building isn't much better. I can understand people not rushing back to their desk, but really, if you don't like your job you should get another one. Parenthetically if you don't like any of the jobs you've had the fault is likely internal, and the only cure is to grow up or kill yourself. But you'd think they'd walk at a reasonable pace going TOWARD the coffee. But no. Sigh. To be fair, I should note that I cut the handicapped all the slack they need, and maybe a bit more. Anyone on crutches, or using a cane or is in a wheelchair doesn't need any extra grief.

The worst part about outside now is the smokers. That horrible smell is really getting to me. One guy this evening was smoking an actual cigar. I thought I was going to puke. People were hustling to get upwind of him. My solution is to make tobacco products very hard to get, very expensive, and register smokers in a database so they can pay higher taxes. Very hard to get means that a store can only sell tobacco related products, nothing else. They have to get ID from the buyers (how do you think the database gets populated) and the minimum age goes up evey year. Sell to people below the minimum age and you lose your license. I'd send in ringers to try to trap them, oh say, once a week or so. Taxes on tobacco producers goes up dramatically. Smoking should only be allowed in specially vented places where the fumes are scrubbed before civilized people have to inhale them. Smoking around children should be prosecuted as child abuse. Grrrrrrrrr. Why, yes, I had red meat for supper, why do you ask?

After work I got stuck into my leg exercises, then out for a run. I was thinking it was going to rain, so I ended up over dressing. Started really easy, and quickly found a nice stride. Last time my heartrate was high but my legs and lungs felt good. Today my lgs felt a bit sluggish, and my lungs were working a bit harder than I'd like, but for the first half of the run my heart rate was right where I like it. I did three bursts of faster running for about 100m, and the first two times my heart rate went back down again quite nicely. The third time it didn't and the run turned into a bit of a slog. Still, 5 k in just under 35 minutes is just fine for right now. There were a few twinges from my knee during the last fast bit. Stretched after.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yet more temptation

Yes, more arrived.

I'm behind on the Sookie front. While I was puttering around the house and doing other stuff, Linda is now 3 episodes ahead of me.
The other stuff was stretching. Felt good. I'll see how my shoulder feels in the morning about swimming.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The smell of sunscreen, thwap of bugs, sound of motorcycles, all on the 22's

Today was the best ride in a very, very, VERY FRIGGING long time!!!!!!!!!!

Do you get the idea I'm happy about it? You should. The bike hasn't been a lot of fun for a long time now, mainly due to a sick knee. There were some ok rides in there, but that's about all.

Today was right up there with my better rides in so many ways. It's a perfect day for a bike ride. The temperature was in the high teens, which is perfect. (Think mid 60's, for those trapped in an antique measurement system.) Light winds for the most part. Sunny, with a hint of cloud. The smell of spray-on sunscreen brought back memories of IMC, which I think was the last time I had to put it on. It's been a long cold winter and spring.

There's a change in the motorbike noises. Last year it was all the whiney zinger bikes as I think of them, mainly ridden by young idiots awash in testosterone or worse. This year it seems to be the rumbly bikes, big Harley's or similar bikes, ridden in a sensible manner. No doubt this group of riders takes off their leathers and goes back to dentistry, or accounting, or something of the ilk.

I'll get to the bugs. After some errands in the morning I started out early afternoon, pedaling easy, finding my legs. I wanted to go out 22X and down 22, for a 2 hour ride, not race pace, but not an ice cream social either. I figured that's a bit hillier and a bit longer than the route I did a couple weeks ago, but it's not the Road to Nepal either. Maybe I'll do that next week.

Going down toward 22X I picked up the pace a bit, and made it to the intersection in 20 minutes flat. From there, I think I was riding with a light wind, and it was 42 minutes to 22. By now my legs and woke up and were feeling pretty good. I decided to push the pace a bit, especially up the hills. There were a ton of people on bikes. A few waved at me, but not many. I think I recognized one guy from last year. He waved.

Going up the hill by the Rothney Observatory I realized how much I was enjoying myself. This is what I was wanting, post IMC. Being able to go for a good ride, and not be stressed about time, or distance, or pace, or any of that. About my normal turnaround point (Plummer's Road) I realized I still had a bit of time to go for the hour, so I carried on. Yay! Not that I was fussed about the time, but I knew I wasn't ready to go even as far as Millarville, and one turnaround time is as good as any other.

Coming back I rode through a huge cloud of bugs. My arms and legs were nearly black. I had to ride head down looking at my feet to avoid getting them in my mouth and nose. Yuck. I had a few larger bugs bounce off my face. At least by the end of the ride most of the bugs had been blown off.

I was into a bit of a headwind coming back along 22X, but that was ok, I was still making good time, and figured I'd be home right on the 2 hours. And so it was, almost to the minute. I ended up riding a little under 54 K (33.5 miles), which I think is a fair reflection of my cycling fitness just now.

My legs, and especially my knee felt great throughout, even when standing and pushing fairly hard. Oddly enough, the only thing that hurt slightly was my left shoulder. A bit of stiffness surfaced there, and it's sore right now. The rest of my body knows I've had a good workout, and I'm feeling nicely tired, but not exhausted. Which is perfect. I suspect if I'd gone for 3 hours at that pace I'd be hurting a bit and it wouldn't have been much fun at the end. A bit later tonight I'll do some more stretching and maybe even some (whisper it) core.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In spite of temptation

Look what arrived on Friday!


Is that temptation enough for you? And yes, I admit, right now I'm reading Bath Tangle, and what's more, enjoying it. So there. People that dismiss it as "romantic fluff" are missing Heyer's wit, style, storytelling, character description, and just plain excellent writing. I've read most of her Regency novels and love them.

We got Farscape out of the library in dribs and drabs, and as long as I don't have to listen to the opening credits I'm good to go. It's a bit dark in places, and I'd love to see Claudia Black doing something in between the darkness of Aeryn and the fun of Vala. This is the full set, so I'm going to watch it in order and I'll get a chance at the extras. Someone told me there were lots of extras on this version.

I've been a big fan of Amanda Tapping since the first Stargate SG 1 episode. (Isn't everybody?) Again, we got Sanctuary out of the library, but were watching it out of order, and I missed a bunch. It's a bit odd seeing her as a brunette, and I kept expecting her to break into Gate-babble, but I was liking it.

What more needs to be said about True Blood? I need my Pam fix! I watched a bunch of True Blah, that "Jessica" did, and those were pretty funny. I'm looking forward to more.

Oh and I was lent some older Dr. Who, but they are on a region 2 disc. We're working that out. Stupid DRM rules!

I digress. This is a fitness blog, darn it! Sitting down with good wine, watching DVD's, even good ones, is not a fitness activity. Unless you're trying to defend your crackers from Amelia the cat.

The goober-breath showed up a yoga, but we were on opposite sides of the room. There is a new couple coming, and he is about my size. On Wed we were in the same corner, and had to make minor adjustment to make sure we didn't bang hands during some of the stretch out on the floor things. I don't know what they're called. It's funny how some people invade your personal space, and others don't.

No other real workouts. Oh, wait, my ART guy says my knee is going great, and have at it! So today I ran 45 minutes, mostly nice and easy, but with a couple of strides, or accelerations, or whatever you want to call it where you pick up the speed and run faster for a short time. My legs and lungs thought this was an easy run, but my heart was about 5 to 10 bpm faster throughout than I was happy with. It all felt good though. With any luck it will be nice enough for a ride first thing tomorrow.

I still don't have a new massage therapist picked out. JL was going to send some email contacts, but she's probably been scrambling with all the move stuff. Anybody here know a good mobile therapist?

I suffered through a Business Process Management course at Mount Royal University on Friday. Over the last few years I took a Business Analysis Certificate course, and it was excellent! The material was well done, all but one of the teachers I had were all that one could ask for, the exercises and group interaction were a great addition to the material. I learned a ton of stuff. Some of it I invented for myself in the heat of the moment on the job, but it was nice to build on the experience and get some good tools.

So I was excited about the Business Process course. I thought it would be a natural extension onto the BA course, and it's an area I was really interested in. The intro was a while ago, and they are always fluff. The first course was a few weeks ago, and it was a real disappointment. I wrote a letter to the University, and they refunded my money for it. The class on Friday was better, but we essentially finished the material on Friday. I figured I had better things to do with my time today, and since I'm not going to complete the curriculum I didn't care if I "failed" this course.  

A buddy of mine was in the first wave of the BA course, and mentioned there were some rocks in the channel for it at first. So perhaps they need to do a bit of rework and it will be up to the standard of the other courses. Maybe I'll have another go at it then.

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