Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The yoga snoring chorus

My swim this morning was painful. I slept funny on my shoulder or something, whatever, it hurt. This isn't particularly new, but today was much worse than usual. Swimming normally relaxes it and it feels better after. Not today. It started sore, and gradually got worse. It felt like one arm drill. Did some kick and pull, and a bit more free at the end. Only a half an hour, and it's probably the shortest and worst swim in many months. But it's the only swim I'm going to get this week, so I'll have to take it.

I was careful in yoga since it was still hurting. Breathing deep hurts. Sneezing is agony. Oddly enough, it's getting into the stretch that hurts. Once I'm there I'm usually happy to stay there. I was hoping for a peaceful savasana, but it wasn't to be. The goober beside me is a raspy panter, and it sounds like he drools. I was expecting a wave of drool to assault me in my snooze. Then there was a delicate, interrogatory snore.  A second later came a hopeful, somewhat flirtatious responding snore, followed almost instantly by a competing snore. Then they found their harmony and started a gentle snoring chorus. Unfortunately goober-boy broke in with a snorty gasp, and the snores were startled into silence.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A nice day for a nice run

But it started with a half way decent core workout. I even managed 7 pushups, plus the knees to elbow one, both of which was a bit of a surprise, considering I couldn't do any of either Saturday. Half an hour.

Started the run easy, with the firm intent of keeping the whole run easy. I even wore my heart rate monitor to ensure I was keeping it easy. For about the first half of the run my heart rate was lower than I would have expected from my breathing, then things things settled down to normal. Ran an hour, down into Fish Creek and back. Just under an 8 Kph pace, nice and easy, no hard breathing at all, even going up the hill out of the park. I'd loosed the laces on my new shoes, and they feel much, much better now. My legs felt pretty good, with a few knee twinges about the half way point. A subtle change in stride seemed to help. Mostly my feet felt light, and my legs strong. I'm really happy with the run.

Lots of people out running, and I saw a few people heading out on their road bikes. You've got to make hay while the sun shines, as the saying goes.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

First ride of 2011 outside

It's so nice today! I think it's the first really nice day of the year. Which makes going for the first ride of the year the perfect thing to do.

I got the orange trainer tire off no problem and was careful about getting a road tire on. All the other preparations went well, making my energy drink, fixing the brakes, getting the other bottle cages on the bike again, finding the saddlebag with the spare tubes, finding the sunscreen (yes it's that sunny) and a few other things. By ten am I was ready to go and didn't really want to wait anymore. I'd been waiting long enough. I suppose I should have worn the arm warmers I dig out of the pack of triathlon stuff. I was just a bit cool during most of the ride.

Even after I started I didn't have any idea which ride I was going to do or how long I'd be out for. There was a stiff breeze on 22x so I decided to go down Road to Nepal. While I love that ride I wasn't sure it's a good one for a first ride. Most of my readers will know it's a tough hilly ride and one never knows how trainer fitness will translate to the road. I was thinking it might be a bit much for my knee. In the end I figured I could always dial back on the effort and in the worst case call Linda to come and get me.

The first couple hills were ok, but while going up that really long one just after the road turns south my knee started to complain. It wasn't painful, more like a strong ache at one point just when my foot starts descending. I'd been trying to keep the cadence up, but it felt like this was just a bit too much effort, or would be if I pushed for too long.

I turned around and took a bit of a scenic ride home. I didn't push so much on the hills and my knee felt ok, but not so much better that I wanted to extend the ride any great amount. I ended up riding 1.75 hrs for 38Km. Ok for a first ride of the year, I suppose, especially considering how little time I spent on the bike over the winter. But it's not an encouraging start for a half IM in 8 weeks. I'm seriously considering not doing any tri races this year to avoid stressing my knee. Maybe I'll see if I can find a team that's looking for a swimmer.

After a short transition I ran 15 minutes, mainly to see what my legs would think. It wasn't bad, but not good either. I was feeling a bit heavy footed.

Weekly Summary
Swim 3.75 hrs
Bike 3.0 hrs
Run .75
Total 7.0 hrs
Cor 2.5 hrs

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A weak and feeble core session, or a good stretch

I was surprised how beat up, and just plain beat I was feeling today. I got a good sleep but it wasn't as refreshing as one could hope for.

We've got great weather today and tomorrow which is a nice change. I was thinking about riding outside but my legs were not happy with that idea. We compromised by getting in a good stretch session. That was after trying a pushup. NOT!!! Neither could I do that one where you lie on your back with hands behind your head and try to touch right elbow to left knee. I've been getting much better at this but I couldn't even do one. And it's not like I missed by *that much*. It was a lot.

I thrashed around on the floor for about a half hour and felt a bit better for it. Then I got on the trainer for 20 minutes of easy spin. Really easy. My legs didn't mind this so much as I was expecting. Let's see how they feel about it tomorrow.

For the people here in Calgary, the relocated Farmers Market is well worth the wait. Yes, parking is a bitch now but that will sort itself out as the opening day crowds die down and people figure out where they are going.

Friday, April 22, 2011

7K 2:36

Tessa had this idea for a monster swim this morning, and had spent the last week or two promoting it to her buddies. She was going to do it anyway, and I guess she wanted some company. Here was the idea. 10x(10x100 on 10 seconds rest) on 1 minute rest, alternating pull and swim. About 8 of us took the bait, I mean, generously showed up to support Tessa. (The pancake bribe had nothing to do with it.)

My longest swim ever for sure is 4 K, and I might have done 4.5 K. I admit to being dubious about getting 10K done. My swim has slipped somewhat from earlier this year. I was seeded in the fast lane. For a while 3 of us were going mostly the same pace while Mary zoomed on ahead. The only thing I was faster at than them, was the rate at which I slowed down.

Good Earth was having a deal that if you brought in a travel mug, the coffee was free. So I got there a bit early, planning to have time for a coffee. The rest of the crew gradually came in, and we headed down to the pool. The coffee was good.

We were in the old pool, at the south end, closest to the doorway to the new pool. I hate that south wall. There are all kinds of indentations and stuff in it. I wasn't flip turning very well, and banged my feet up quite a bit. I also gave myself a bit of a periodic calf cramp by not properly estimating my distance from the wall.

The swim went pretty well. There were enough people around that I had to pay attention to pacing. I don't know that anybody was doing the strict workout. I think most, at least the ones in our lane, were taking breaks when someone wanted to pass, or when it was convenient. I was using my flip flops to keep track of lengths. (Think of a pair of clocks, with the toes pointing toward the appropriate number. I always do that when I have to keep track of lengths.)

I brought a bike bottle of my energy drink and was that ever a smart idea! It was really good to get some calories in, and get the taste of water out of my mouth, however briefly. I discovered it's hard to drink when you're wearing a nose clip.

By mid 2 K or so I was warmed up and feeling pretty good. Most of my laps were 1:50 or so even into the 5K mark, but then started falling off toward 2 minutes. At 5 K I knew I wasn't going to be able to do 10K. At the end of 6 K I was beginning to suffer. I'd had one bad cramp as I pushed off so I grabbed the wall and hung out for a minute to let it settle down. My feet were beginning to hurt from banging in to the corners of the indentations on the wall. I took a bit of a longer break at 6K and decided to hang in there a bit. About 6.5 K my stroke started falling apart, and my shoulders started talking to me. I could feel myself getting sloppy and knew there was no point in going much further. As a cool down I tried to do some backstroke, but there was no way. I kept banging into the wall.

Called it at 7 K. That was 2:36, including time for 2 pee breaks. It's a long way to the washroom, but given all the coffee I'd had, it was the right choice. I'm sure my lane mates would thank me. So assuming 6 minutes out of the pool, my pace was 2:08 per 100. I've really no idea if I actually took the allowed time for breaks, which would add up to another 11 minutes off my time. However today wasn't about the pace for me, it was seeing how I would do for distance.

After a bit of stretching, and chatting a bit, (Hi J&M!) I headed off. Once I was vertical I realized how hungry I was. At the Good Earth I had another coffee, the great pancakes Tessa made, a Clif's bar I'd brought, and a date square from Good Earth (that was really yummy!).

Even now, a few hours after the swim, I'm feeling pretty good overall. My shoulders and upper back are a bit tired, and my feet aren't very happy. Even so, I'm not about to do this anytime again soon, I think. Since I was up so early I think I'm going to take a nap soon.

I've been musing about doing Chinook Half IM. I've done it twice, and neither were what I'd call good days. It would be really nice to have a good day, and a good time. The two are not necessarily the same and of the two, I really want the good day. However, my training has not been consistent. I've got 2 months to get it nailed down. I'm thinking that I want to see how I feel after the first outdoor rides and make a go/no go decision. Those rides might happen this weekend, if the weather stays nice, even though there is still a ton of crap on the roads.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I didn't want to but did anyway

I was tired coming home from work. My legs did not want to go running. None the less I went downstairs and worked through 15 minutes of leg exercises as a warmup. I've discovered a neat addition to the one leg squats. I start like usual, stretching one leg out behind me as I slowly bend the other knee. Then on the way back up, once I'm standing straight I keep the leg that was back moving forward to bring the knee up high. Then back into another squat. Great for balance.

The run was not intended to be fast. I want to get my legs moving, but didn't want to be building up any lactic acid. Ran 5 K nice and easy, though my legs felt very heavy and slow. It ended up being 36 minutes.

So far I am not impressed with my new shoes. They feel heavy and stiff. I need to play with the lacing a bit, maybe that will help.

Big swim tomorrow at Talisman. Hope I don't drown.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Does bowling count?

I am losing it here. This work thing is getting intense.

Sunday I did a bit of stretching to prep for my massage. I thought I was in pretty good shape, a bit beat up on the legs, but nothing too terrible. Well holy crap. I nearly cried. I certainly whimpered. You'd think I was a weenie, this tiny little woman pressing one finger into my left shoulder, and getting all that commotion. She worked the rest of me over about the same, finding all sorts of things that hurt. At the end I could barely stand up. I certainly couldn't breathe more than half; it felt like a rib was poking into my left lung. Ouch.

Monday I did my leg exercises and tried to stretch out my back. It wasn't having any of it. More ouch.

Tuesday was a bowling team building event for work. 5 pin bowling. I haven't bowled for many years. And my shoulder/lung/back still hurt. The event was fun, even if the people bringing out food hated us and didn't put anything but some chips on our table. But the servers had to walk past us to get to the rest of the lanes, so whoever wasn't bowling followed her and scored food for all of us. Not what you'd call healthy triathlete fuel, except for the veggie tray. Which I nibbled at fairly industriously, but also went for the cross cut fries. So if bowling counts as a workout, there was maybe an hour's worth.

Wednesday I zoomed in for my first swim in a while. Only 45 minutes, trying to keep my shoulder from rebelling, and trying to get a feel for what intervals I can maintain on 10 seconds rest. I'm joining a bunch of buddies for a big swim at Talisman on Friday. I've lost the water feel again, but it was coming back toward the end of the swim. It was crazy busy when I got there. I was number 6 in the fast lane, but everybody was keeping up, though two were wearing fins. I got a chuckle out of blowing by the guy in the next lane wearing fins and thrashing along.

Wed yoga class. ooooooooh. Shoulder getting better, but I was hoping to click my back and have it feel better. Not.

At least it isn't snowing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trying not to be a rant about the Canadian election

Yes, I know. That title just turned off all but my most die hard readers, all 3 of you. But none the less, I've been thinking about the election and want to put my thoughts before you. As many of you know I've ranted about politics in the past, but I'm trying to be serious here.

There are about 91000 voters here in Calgary Southwest that are the only people in Canada that can cast a vote against Stephen Harper directly. Everybody else votes for or against their local candidates. They may base their vote on what they think of the leaders, but they actually only vote the local candidates.

Before I go any further I just want to say this:
Get your ass out and vote!

Now that I've got that out of my system, let me resume. As you might have gathered, I'm not going to vote for Stephen Harper. Why not? Until fairly recently he had my reluctant approval. By and large he has governed pragmatically, and hasn't done as badly as he could have. There is no denying he is a very smart man, quite possibly one of the smartest Prime Ministers we've ever had. Pity about the dark side.

However, on the other side of the ledger there are some serious issues. Partisan politics are to be expected in our system, and that's all well and good. Harper takes it to a new level. There are credible assertions that he wants to destroy the Liberal Party. Not just remove them from power, but remove them from the political arena. This to a party that has governed Canada through much of our history, who's values have helped form us into what we are today. Such a course of action is beyond the pale.

There has been much talk from Harper about "a scary coalition", and he outright lied during the debate about how our government works. He knows perfectly well how it works, and it quite prepared to twist the rules to suit his convenience, whether it's by seeking a coalition to unseat the Liberals a few years ago, or to prorogue Parliament to avoid a vote he knew he'd lose. I don't want to get into the details of it, but coalition governments are perfectly legal, as is a government that holds less seats than another party.

He knows that even if he wins a majority, it's doubtful that he would get more than 40% of the popular vote. Yes, that's entirely possible. Our system rewards the big parties. The Green party got nearly a million votes last time, about 6% of the popular vote, and ended up with zero seats. There are 308 seats in Parliament, so they should have got about 18 seats. With only slightly more votes, about 10% of the popular vote, the Bloc got 49 seats. Harper wants to make it seem like an NDP and Liberal alliance or coalition would be dangerous and morally depraved at best, and illegal at worst. Bah!

There were other outright lies during the debate. He says there are no corporate tax cuts happening now. He actually cut the taxes several years ago, and the cuts are taking effect now. He says that canceling these cuts is a tax raise. Disingenuous at best. These cuts are going to the biggest corporations that already pay little or no tax, and it's been shown that such companies are not likely to use the money for job creation. It just goes straight to the bottom line, with some of it being siphoned off to reward the people at the top. If you're going to cut corporate taxes, they should be cut for small corporations. Like to zero percent.

He says that his government being found in contempt of Parliament is a mere nothing, just a partisan bit of bickering that is an artifact of not having a majority government. This is the first government in the history of Canada to be found in contempt, and we've had lots of minority governments.  It happened because he wouldn't produce documents required by Parliament, and it was done by rules that haven't changed since the country was formed.

He is campaigning in a bubble, taking only 5 questions a day from reports, and none from anybody else. He ignores questions he doesn't like. During his time as Prime Minister he muzzled everybody. Ministers, backbenchers, senior bureaucrats, senators, everybody. Saying something to the press that he hadn't authorized would get you fired. If you were part of an organization funded by the government, you would find your funding cut if you said something he didn't like.

One of his goons tried to steal the ballot box at the University of Guelph. A voting station had been set up to help the students vote. While it was slightly irregular, Elections Canada has said the votes will stand. Then the Conservatives tried to spin it as a defense of democracy. As if students voting was an attack on democracy somehow.

It goes on and on. I say Mr. Harper is unfit for office, and doesn't deserve my vote. I admit that leaves me a problem in deciding who to vote for. It is a puzzlement.

I always look at the independent candidates, if any are running. There is this time, and he qualifies as a fruit loop. He says, and I quote "I am running for the Christian Heritage Party for Calgary Southwest because it is the only Federal Party that is committed to the Supremacy of God's ethical laws in the crafting of federal administration and legislation." I happen to think that organized religion has little place in society at large, and no place at all in government. So he's out. (A person's individual spirituality is another matter entirely, and none of anyone else's business.)

There are NDP and Liberal candidates running, and I have problems with both parties. The Liberal brand is toxic in Alberta, after Trudeau and the National Energy Policy. That was nearly 30 years ago, and Albertans remember. The candidate herself seems acceptable, with a history of service and various public offices.

I haven't yet looked at the NDP candidate personally, but I think NDP policies in general are fiscally unsound. This is in spite of thinking that the leader of the NDP did the best at the debate by far. I was impressed, and that's saying a lot. If Harper and the Conservatives are too far to the right, the NDP are too far to the left. Even though I have opinions on the whole left right political spectrum thing, I won't get into it here. (For my American readers, translating our political parties onto your political map comes out like this. Our Conservatives would be considered soft and unsound Republican's, much too moderate to be trusted. The Liberals would be thought of as the socialist end of the Democratic party. The NDP would be thought of as out and out Communists. They would no doubt be astonished to learn there is actually a Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, and even more astonished to learn that it gets some votes. They'd probably resurrect McCarthy and fire up the House Committee for Un-american Activities.)

The Green Party candidate's main thing, only thing, is the repeal of the current cannabis legislation. Do that and all will be well, according to him. The Green Party platform overall has a few wonky planks but one could certainly stand up and reasonably compare it to the major party platforms. I've voted for them in the past because the parties got about $2 per year per voter, and I thought they could use the money. That may well be my choice this time, holding my nose from the odour of the pot smoke.
I suppose I should say that in general I'm in favour of de-criminalizing cannabis possession for personal usage. Hemp is an incredibly useful plant that can be made into a variety of products. But I still think that inhaling combustion byproducts is a bad idea.

Voter turnout has been dropping year after year. I hope that changes this year. I hope most of the voters turn out to cast a ballot. Harper has been deliberately trying to turn off the voters through the negative attack ads. They've been shown to piss off people and drive them to not vote. Which the Conservatives are counting on, because they've galvanized their supporters, what with all their fear-mongering about crime, scary coalitions, and the economy. To say nothing about the long gun registry.

Bah, I say, Bah. Harper didn't create the institutions that helped carry the Canadian economy through the recent economic turmoil. He did the right things (economic stimulus) only reluctantly. Coalition governments are a legal, and constitutional practice, if admittedly somewhat rare in Canada. Crime rates are falling. We have no need for a massive program of jailing people who disagree with Harper, I mean, criminals who have fallen afoul of the many new laws Harper wants to enact. He's openly talked about an omnibus bill of all the get tough on crime legislation that hasn't passed in the House, (including bills he killed), which doesn't impress me at all. Omnibus bills are a great place to sneak in little time bombs. Which he's done in the past. One incident was cutting off the funding for the other parties, and a pretty kerfuffle THAT caused.

So there you have it; why I'm not voting for Harper, and why I'd encourage you to not vote for your Conservative candidate. There are lots of other people doing this as well. The example I'm most familiar with is Edmonton Strathcona, where the NDP is currently the only non-Conservative MP in Alberta. The NDP candidate is very popular in the riding, has done well in Parliament, and is working her tail off to keep her seat. The Conservative admits he's losing. What's even more impressive is that the Liberals are essentially not contesting the riding, hoping to avoid splitting the vote. They don't say so of course, but given our voting system, it's only practical. If I lived in that riding, I'd be voting NDP.

You might not think your vote matters, but when you, and your neighbours, and fellow citizens think the same, we get governments that are even more not representative than what we deserve. So, like I said before:
Get your ass out and vote!

And now for the fitness stuff.
My run on Sunday really was harder than I thought. My legs were sore for several days after. Yoga on Wed was really good, and helped stretch me out. Then I was feeling lazy on Thursday and Friday after really busy days at work.

Today I got on the bike and had a great ride, indoors of course. It's snowing out. I did a good long warmup to get into the groove. Then 20 minutes in the second biggest cog at 90 rpm. 5 min easy, then 10 minutes same gear at about 93 rpm. Another 5 easy, and then 5 in that gear at over 95 rpm. Then 5 easy going into the next hardest gear at 90 rpm. After another 5 easy back into the easier gear again and cruised for 20 minutes between 85 and 90 rpm, feeling good. The easy parts had some easy spin as well, and some spin ups during the cool down. Two hours altogether.

I'm feeling much stronger on the bike, and much happier about it. Last year this time was brutal. Oddly enough, even though I'm not as active as last year, I think I'm at the same level or even better in terms of cardio fitness. I think I'm stronger in terms of core fitness. However, I don't think I'm as strong on the endurance front.

It's hard to find the balance between work and fitness activities, and I'm still struggling with it. I feel mild guilt about not working out as much as last year, but keep reminding myself that my priorities are different this year.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oooo, those hip flexors

Maybe I ran harder yesterday than I thought. The hip flexors were talking to me today. I was walking carefully, trying to take it easy. So the core session tonight was more about stretching and rollering than heavy duty CORE. That was 45 minutes worth, all good. Then I got onto the bike for some easy spin. Only 15 minutes, just to get the blood in my legs moving again. Feeling much better now..

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shorts. T shirt. 20110410. At last.

Off to the pool early on Saturday to get in before the 8am craziness starts. Except it started about 8:20, which at least let me get the brisk part of my swim done. Near the end some breast stroker joined me and mostly stayed out of the way. Then two slow girls joined in, but by then I was doing pull or kick. Still, by then none of them was terribly good about letting people swim through. I passed them anyway.

The only consolation was the 3 fast girls in the next lane. I pushed hard a couple times to keep up, and several times thought of moving over to get away from the slowbies, but then *I'd* be the slowbie trying to stay out of their way.

Overall it was pretty good, one hour total. The 1K start was 18:30 not working too hard, so I'm getting back to where I was.

Today I decided to sleep in and let the day get nice, then go for a run. Today is the first day this year to wear shorts and a short sleeved tech shirt. It felt a bit odd to be heading out the door so lightly dressed, since there's still lots of snow hanging about, but it turned out to be just perfect. Even if for part of the run I was on ice and snow, dodging rivers of melt water.

I ran the C route, 11 K. Mostly solid zone 3, deep regular breathing, working on posture, trying to run smooth and relaxed. Turnaround was 36:15, then back home at 1:14:30. Then run another 6 minutes nice and easy to cool down, followed by a walk, then some stretching. I'm really pleased by that pacing.

My legs are a bit tired, and my lungs are starting to have to work now. This is great! For so long I've been limited by what I could push through my knee, and now I'm back to where other parts of the system are having to work harder. Today I could have run faster, and for maybe a K or so I did, very smooth and fast.

During my last run my feet and legs felt really heavy and slow. I wondered about the new shoes. Today, before the run I weighed them. Overall the run felt good, but towards the end my legs were getting tired, more tired than I remember getting for that distance. The new shoes are 50 grams per shoe heavier than the old ones. Is that enough to make a difference?

Weekly Summary
swim 1.75 hrs
bike 1.25 hrs
Run 1.25 hrs
Total Cardio 4.25
Core 1 hr.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Up and at'em early

The last couple of years I haven't been working as much as I'd like, so I had lots of time for fitness activities. Even better, I could look at the big outside and have choices about going now, or waiting a little while to see what the weather does. Given our weather, sometimes that's a very good thing.

This year I want to work more and build up the bank account a little. Now that my contract has been extended till the end of the year, that is in hand. I want to spend more time with Linda, more time doing stuff around the house that needs doing, while still trying to stay fit. This has turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than I first thought.

Commuting works out very neatly. We park in a cheap (relatively speaking) lot near Linda's work. I actually walk through her building to get to mine. She gets off work at 4:15, and it's good to meet her there and we can go home together, thus avoiding the brutalities of the LRT. I can fairly easily zip up to Renfrew and get in a good swim once a week before work, and not impact my weekly hours. Two swims starts cutting into it a bit, meaning I have to put in a longer day on Friday, when Linda doesn't work. (Every Friday off, what a life, eh? It just means she works longer days the rest of the week.)

When I get home, if I change into workout gear, and go do it, it will get done. But often we're doing errands on the way home. Often we want to BBQ something, and that's me. Often I'm really hungry, even if I've taken extra stuff to eat with the idea of having a meal shortly before leaving. And, frankly, at the end of the day I find it difficult to get going again if I sit down for very long. Sometimes even if I don't sit down. Yeah, cue up the peanut gallery and call me a slacker.

I used to work shift work, a long time ago now, but the fallout lingers. It is very difficult for me to sleep longer than about 6 hours, unless I'm really tired, or can have enough time to fall back asleep again. However, I can't stay up late either. I'm usually ready for bed between 9 and 10pm. Meaning it's no surprise for me to be looking at the clock at 3:30 am, wondering if I can roll over and go back to sleep.

This morning, without the alarm going off, I was up, dressed for the bike (indoors, of course), water bottles filled, and pedaling, all before 5 am. Yay me!

I didn't bother with watch or heart rate monitor because I figured this would be a nice moderate workout. But once I got thoroughly warmed up my legs were ready to rock and roll. 10 minutes on the second biggest cog at 90, some fast light spin, then 4 minutes in the next harder gear at a bit over 90, some fast light spin, then 5 minutes in that same gear, trying for well over 90 rpm, 2 minutes, 1 minute standing in harder gears, then 2 minutes seated. Cool down. 1:15 minutes altogether.

It felt great! This was the first bike workout in a very long time where my lungs gave out before my legs did. I wasn't gasping, but I wouldn't have been able to chat either. That is a very nice surprise. In fact right at the end of the last hard set I was just on the point of feeling clammy and queasy. Normally I like getting a good sweat on and it feels good. But at some point I start feeling odd, as if something in my body isn't quite keeping up any more. I made sure to do a good cool down, with a couple of spin ups.

At my ART appointment yesterday the Dr said it was going really well, to keep on doing what I was doing, and I was going to have a great season. So far I haven't signed up for anything, but I hear Chinook half IM calling my name, and the Fernie half marathon in October. Maybe some short stuff in between. But remember, this is a year to be working more, not less, and I have to keep the priorities firmly in mind. Unless, of course, Linda wins the lottery, and then I can be a kept athlete like some of my buddies, and they know who they are.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Achey creaky swim, plus one last winter photo

Take a week off swimming and you fall off whatever progress has been made. It was slow and kind of clunky today for most of the swim. Towards the very end it was feeling better, just a little. Only swam 45 minutes, swim, kick, pull, easy.

My shoulders are killing me this evening, and I now know I'm not going to get on the bike. I'm also pretty sure I'm not going to dive into a bottle of wine. But I have been moderately productive around the house, so it's not a total write off.

When I was out the back alley making sure the water pools were draining I noticed a neat effect in the snow. The lattice fence shaded the snowdrift in the back so it formed little rills or ridges. That and the shade makes a neat photo.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring time in Southern Alberta

Thursday was beautiful. Warm and sunny. No, really, warm, well above zero. The roads were bare and dry. Normal people were being to emerge with their bicycles, and it was just getting to the point I'd consider riding the roads, even though there still all the winter gravel the City dumps on the roads to appease the drivers. I didn't mention it, but I ran in shorts on Thursday.

Then on Friday the weather started to come in. It was snowing when I got home from work. Then it snowed harder. Here's a bunch of photos for you, from early Saturday morning to just a little while ago on Sunday morning.

Now it's starting to melt. The roads are bare and wet. The sidewalk I shoveled maybe an hour ago is almost dry. My legs are tired.

Facebook people will have seen some of these photos. This is Saturday morning about 7am.

Saturday about 1pm.

A bit later in the afternoon, measuring the snow in a couple places.

Sunday morning. Sunshine! At no time was this cold. Even today there is liquid water in places at the bottom of the snow, making it very heavy.

The driveway, before shoveling. I'd had a go at the sidewalk late Saturday.

Those composters are 3 feet high.

Can you see Amelia the cat supervising?

Here's the driveway after I finished shoveling everything else.

This is a pretty common thing here in springtime. We get a snowstorm or two or three that puts down a good sized dump of snow, and a few days later it's all gone. I've already prepared for the flood by shoveling out the storm drain. One year it was nearly 2 feet. We could still get that this year, even.

As you might have guessed, I didn't go to KBRCC this morning. The roads probably aren't bad, but I'd have damaged the car trying to back out over what the plough had done sometime yesterday. That stuff at the very bottom of the driveway has some huge chunks of ice in it.

Yesterday, aside from a bit of shoveling on the front sidewalk, and cleaning wine bottles, I did very little. Read. Relaxed. Surfed the interwebs, looking especially for blogs with photos from warm places, like the beach. Many of my buddies have been to such places this year. Watched a bunch of old Stargate episodes, including one that I have no memory at all of.

I've sometimes thought that you could make a great drinking game out of watching Stargate SG-1. Pick an episode at random, and take a drink every time Tealc gets tortured or says "false gods". Every time Carter says "I just need a minute", or the camera lingers on her lovely eyes, or someone falls in love with her. When Jackson looks puzzled, or grumps about the military. When O'Neil makes some quip, or references the Simpsons or other bit of pop culture, or tries to take the crew fishing. Or Hammond says "Son, I can't let you do that", in his fatherly understanding voice. Or Maybourne is slithery. Everybody should end up blotto in no time, and then we can start the Goa'uld voice imitation and costume contests.

I'm not going to bother with the weekly summary, the numbers are too small to count, even if I do include shoveling time.