Thursday, May 31, 2012

A 37 St thrill

I had expected there to be a thunderstorm tonight so was resigned to riding on the trainer if I was going to ride at all. Then it turned out to be warm and sunny, but windy. Very windy. At least it was a steady wind.

Road to Nepal was calling me, but my left calf did not heed the call. There were complaints. Niggles. Then a cramp while going up one of the steeper hills. I dialed it back a bit and kept going, trying to stay straight in the wind. I was hoping my calf would get with the program and settle down, but looking at the long hill where you turn left, I made the call to turn back. The wind was shifting a bit more south, which would make it nice going out, and hell coming back. I'd had several spasms or cramps, and didn't want to have one on one of the big hills. It wasn't always going up, I got one just coasting coming down once.

From there I took a scenic route home for a 1.5 hour ride. The thrill was coming home on 37 St. This is not my favourite bit of road by any means, but I'm on it a lot because it's the only practical route to get to some of my favourite roads. 37 St is narrow, there is no shoulder to speak of, and the ditches are brutal. Bailing out is preferable only to the certainty of being struck by a car.

There I was, going north, leaning into a strong west wind. (At one point going west, uphill, I was going 40 Kph in dead calm.) I could hear a truck coming up behind me slowly, timing it to avoid the oncoming traffic. More cars show up over the hill and the truck eases past me, actually giving me lots of room. The problem is that it's a high sided panel truck of some kind. As he got beside me the wind stopped. If anything there was suddenly a wind swirling around the top of the truck pushing me towards it. You can bet my eyes widened and I steered very carefully for a few seconds.

All in all good practice for dealing with cross winds, even if it wasn't the ride I was hoping for. After a ride or run I usually pop into the cul-de-sac behind our house. Tonight one of my bike buddies was out working on his lawn and we chatted a few minutes. It turns out we both work at the same place! How's that for a small world? He's just got a new road bike and is eager to get out for a long ride on it.

Stretched a bit, but the calf is still feeling weird.

Lastly, for Calgarians. The Devonian Gardens are still in progress, but stuff is happening. Here's a couple photos. Maybe by next winter they will be open. We can hope.

How well do you know your outside artwork? Anyone care to take a guess which building these paintings are on? I saw them for the first time the other day, and I've lived here most of my life.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Seasons in Calgary are weird. Technically, spring was a while ago, since that's when the snow melted. Then we got first summer, several days of it. There are years this doesn't happen. Now we are getting plant spring. Many trees are in blossom, and it's very nice. Here's one that caught my attention in the cul-de-sac behind our house. We can actually see it from our back window, but this is a bit more dramatic. If we're lucky, we'll get another few days of summer in July and August, with some monsoon in between and not monsoon the whole time. Then comes the best and most reliable season, autumn. That can last from August to November.

Ran right after work, down into Fish Creek on my just under 8 K route. It felt really good, after a slightly clunky warmup. Then I nibbled a quick meal and we were off to yoga. Another great class. I don't know how F does it, giving us stuff that is exactly what I need for how I feel. Love it.

In other news, Linda made a discovery that assures our BBQ season will be a success. We got one bottle of his last year, and were very sad when it was done. This year she saw it, and grabbed all that was in the store. This, believe it or not, was their entire supply. For a year. It goes on bison burgers like you would not believe. And other stuff. mmmmm. I can taste them in my mind right now, which is making me hungry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not as bad as I thought it would be and a rant

I should have said low fibre diet rather than low residue. It sure limits your choices during a book club meeting held in a pub. A Belgian waffle with no fruit or whipped cream was about the only thing on the menu I could have. Which is hard because the food there is good, and I was getting hungry. The book was "An Unfinished Life", but I was the only one who had read it so it was a short discussion.

There's a wine kit ready to bottle, I think, but what with one thing or another the afternoon got away from me.

Monday after dropping Linda off at work I got into the pool for a 2 K swim, nice and easy. Form and pace was good till the last couple hundred meters where things fell apart a little bit, and I had to work on it a bit harder. After I was watching some of the kids in the rest of the pool. One guy was doing the breast stroke kick while holding a board in front of him. What's remarkable to me is that he was traveling down the pool. There was a kick and a glide. This boggles my mind. They must be doing something different than me, or they have invisible fins. If I tried doing that the pool would close before I got to the other end. Not closed as in closed for the day, but closed because the facility reached the end of it's useful lifespan. Yes, my breast stroke kick is that feeble.

Then the adventure started. An unknown path for me. Even though I have no health indications, I'm of the age where the medical system likes to start to keep a closer eye on you. Which is a good thing, if they can catch indications when they are just indications and easier to treat. Even if the test is somewhat embarrassing and involves probing portions of anatomy we don't normally like to discuss.

In my case it was a colonoscopy, but really, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In discussing it recently, I found there are all sorts of people in my circle of acquaintance that have had it done, some several times. Most people shudder at the mention of the laxative. At first I didn't think it was all that gross, but by the end of the first two litres I wasn't so thrilled. Then there's a break on the intake, and the output begins. I managed to get it all down in about 1.5 hours, and the expected results started shortly after.

Later in the evening I had to do the other 2 litres, and this got to be tough sledding. There were a few big sighs as I stood there looking at the glass. And then of course, the output starts again, so going to bed isn't a practical idea. I stayed up late watching fail video and police chases on my iPad. By midnight, which is a very late night for me, I figured I was done for now, and could go to bed.

My appointment was pretty well first thing at the Forzani McPhail clinic. We got there a bit early, and I napped waiting for them to call me. Once inside they ask some questions, let you put on the backless gown, and get you settled. I had thought I'd get the sedative then, but no, they said it was just a saline solution. The sedative came once they wheeled me into the work room, barely 30 seconds before the camera probe. I was thinking it would hardly have time to take effect.

It hadn't been my intention to watch the video. They rolled me onto my left side, knees up, butt over to one side. I was looking right at the tv. There was a bit of pressure and that's it. There was no relationship between what the camera was doing and what I was feeling. They pump some air in there to help expand things, which leads to a bit of discomfort. They snipped one tiny polyp to send away for analysis, and they figure I don't need to come back for another 5 years, though my doctor gets the final say on that.

In all honesty, this really was nowhere near as bad as I assumed it would be. In fact, I don't really know what I thought it would be, just that I wasn't keen to have it done. The closest thing to pain is when they put the needle in for the sedation, and you can choose if you're going to have that done or not. There was a bit of discomfort with the gas during the procedure, and various gurgles in your system throughout the preparation and procedure, but it's nothing I hadn't had after eating big or unfamiliar meals. Really, I think the worst of the whole several days was chugging the last 2 litres of the laxative. I can see where small people might have real trouble with that.

Oh, and last thing. Once they let you out, go home, even if you didn't take the sedation and are not considered legally impaired. There is still significant gas and other residues in your system, if you take my meaning. Even if you enjoy crop dusting your cubicle enemies there isn't much smell to assault them with, and there is other fallout to cope with. Home.

Guys especially don't like to talk about health issues, and going to a doctor is often a last resort. (And yes, I think I saw a doctor once during my 30's, so I know whereof I speak.) That attitude is what essentially killed my brother in law at 37 with two preteen children. I'm not sure which kind of cancer it was, and it hardly matters. By the time he went in there was essentially nothing they could do. Very sad.

So guys, man up and get it done. The slippery finger of life, as it's called, to check your prostate is no big deal. The colonoscopy isn't my choice of things to do for a good time, but if you're about my age, or have family history of such cancer, you're being stupid if you put off getting it done. And that's on top of all the stuff about regular sleep and exercise, good diet, and the various medical tests, yearly physical, eye exams (these actually can catch many conditions) and whatever other tests are indicated for your particular case. (Girls, you have your own issues and I'm not even going to go there.)

There is much talk in the media about the exploding costs of health care as the  pre-boomers and boomers get old. Older. Whatever. Part of the problem is that these are just about the last generation of people that did not have access to modern medicine from birth onward. There is all sorts of stuff that could have been prevented if only they had known to look for it. Now we have to deal with the expensive outcomes while using a system that was designed for simpler times.

There are going to be major changes to the medical system in the coming decades. We simply can't afford to do things the way they are done now. Medical training will have to change. By the time a doctor graduates, a significant fraction of what he or she learned is obsolete. We are on the cusp of doing away with paper medical records and not a moment too soon. I completely expect that fairly soon we will carry around our entire medical history on a tiny chip implanted inside our bodies, and read remotely by authorized professionals. Truly understanding our genome will enable us to have a much better handle on preventing or mitigating conditions in the first place, and when necessary, building a treatment that is custom to you and you alone.

This will lead to other ethical issues, I'm sure. When we can cure various conditions in the womb through genetic therapy, who gets to decide what the standard for normal is? If it's ok to cure or correct Tay-Sachs, for example, is it ok to do the same for deafness? How about shortness, or green eyes?

I think we are well past the point where we need to have a grown up discussion about health care, and healthy living. Yes, I know grown up discussions are very difficult. Let's take a broad general outcome goal, such as "to help people live a long, active and healthy life". Most people would agree that's a good societal goal. After all, who does NOT want them, or their spouse, or their children to have such a life? Who would rationally choose to have a short unhealthy life?

Given that, why is tobacco a legal product? Why can people buy something that has absolutely no societal benefit, and contributes to having a short unhealthy life? Yes, I know there are exceptions, and that's what they are, exceptions. Smoking is a huge indicator for a host of diseases and conditions. So why do we allow it to continue? Some would say the government needs the tax revenue, but consider that all that revenue and more goes back into the medical system to deal with the fallout. Doesn't seem like a good deal to me.

Unhealthy foods are another one. Why do we put up with it? I'm not saying that all foods have to be organic, pure, farm-fresh wholesome effing GOOD FOR YOU!! There are lots of foods that might not be considered GOOD FOR YOU, but they're not actively bad for you either, eaten in moderation. But then there are the MacDonalds of the world, producing food that not only tastes bad, but is actually bad for you, unless you consider eating it once a decade to be moderation.

Since I've gotten more active, we've been looking at food labels more, and thinking about some of our choices. I'm a big fan of the grandmother rule. Would our grandmothers recognize it on the plate, during preparation, and coming home from the market? Granted, there are some foods they simply wouldn't have heard of or weren't available. The other is asking yourself if you can pronounce all the ingredients and understand what they are. Of course, this test doesn't work if you're an organic chemist by profession or training. Does it even have a label in the first place?

We've become big fans of shopping at the various farmer's markets. Yes, some of the food is more expensive, but when you can taste the difference in a roasted chicken, I think it's worth it. We consider that our food budget plays a major role in how healthy we are. Part of the budget for this came from eating out, which we don't do much anymore. Once a month we have lunch with our book club. Every once in a while dinner with fitness buddies, or lunch with downtown buddies. (I worship the Falafel King!) A special dinner for birthdays or anniversary occasions. I'm not saying restaurant food is bad, I'm just saying it's expensive and the patrons don't know what's actually in it.

There is some evidence that red wine, a glass or so a day, is mildly beneficial to our health. As a wine drinker I think that's great, but have to recognize not everybody agrees. In the great scheme of things, having a daily wine, beer, or mixed drink probably falls into the category above that if it's not actually good for you, in moderation it's not particularly harmful either. It's the not in moderation drinking that's a problem, and doubly so if driving a vehicle is involved. There has been an enormous improvement in the DUI statistics, but there is still a long way to go. As a society, we need to talk about how to keep drunks from driving.

Then, since I was watching fail videos last night, there are the consequences of being stupid. The world is a harsh place. Until very recently being stupid or even just unlucky was a capital crime. Now people go do something so stupid that even a moment's forethought would lead to another choice, and end up in the hospital. We've all seen those videos on youtube where we wince and cross our legs, or worse. So many of the outcomes involve dental surgery at the very least, and could well involve many of the resources of a hospital, and for what? To preserve the life of a Darwin Award nominee. I don't have much sympathy.

I am careful here to distinguish between people undertaking a risky activity (when you think of it, ALL activities have risks), after taking active steps to understand and mitigate the risks, and those doing something on the spur of the moment while drunk because it looks like fun, and what could go wrong anyways? Consider scuba diving, for example. I don't even know the full list of things that can go wrong but that's just my ignorance. I do know there are extensive training courses, and defined safety practices that let a great many people enjoy the activity. On the other hand there is the guy that's never done it, and goes to the Pablo 'n Pedro dive shop (Everybody dives today, cash in advance please!) to take him to this neat cave 100 feet under water that he's heard about and willing to pay big dollars to see.

The fallout from smokers, drunk drivers, and people that haven't taken care of themselves is a huge drain on our medical system. Removing them takes a lot of pressure off the system. The changes to the system itself still need to happen, but there things we can do about it to make a difference, for ourselves and the system. Have these conversations with yourself, with your loved ones, and your friends. Don't be that guy in the fail videos.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The SUAR fan club does Weaselhead with a guest

We've been planning this run for weeks. Obsessing over every little detail, wanting it to be perfect. Well, maybe it wasn't quite like that, but we've been talking about it for some time, and today we finally did it. This is part of the run course for the Calgary 70.3, which both Deb and I will be doing. T2 is just to the right of the top red dot. Those interested in the actual run course can go look it up. The interesting part is down the hill into Weaselhead, across, and up the other side. The run course goes further then comes back. We turned around and went back.

Here's what T2 looks like this morning waiting for them to arrive. It's calm and quiet, though the clouds are kind of dramatic. I was surprised how many people were out. Lots of runners, walkers, and a few hikers. One couple doing yoga in a grassy area. Dog walkers. A few people on bikes.

So here we are in the parking lot, chatting up a storm. You all know which I am, and I'm sorry I ruined the picture. The two good looking ones are Sophia and Deb. They will be posting their own pictures on their own blogs. Sophia can't run at the moment but we worked out something. I rode my hybrid up. It's probably about as fast as driving there would be, or faster. Plus it got me warmed up, even though it was a cool day. I dropped the seat a bit so Sophia could ride with us.

After we took the shots Sophia and I realized we were both wearing our fan shirts, and wanted to get another photo. This one was really dark for some reason, and I had to play with it in Snapseed to get it even this good.

We didn't do the whole loop in N Glenmore, but we did find a bathroom. Deb and I were comfortable running at the same pace, chatting away like mad, with Sophia right behind us, whipping us on, exhorting us whenever we slowed down even a little bit. Once we got running it was the perfect temperature. No bugs.

Coming back I had to stop and take these shots. We had run over the bridge and followed the path south and left out of the picture. We ran to where the 37 St path joins up and turned back. I think we did between 8 and 9 K, but I'm not really sure. Deb may have Garminized it. The water level is way down in the reservoir so there is much more wetland to see. I'm sure the ducks and other critters like it. The views are beautiful! This is looking south and west.

I used Snapseed to push the photo a bit using the various filters.

Then pushed it a bit more. I really like this shot.

Here's another view of the wetlands, looking south and a bit east.

 Standing at the same place I took this panorama shot. If you look carefully you can see the mountains.

Normally I'm not big on riding or working out with other people, but this was fun! It's the first time Deb and I have met in person, though we've been mutual blog readers for a while. The three of us have quite a bit in common re: weight issues, deciding to get more fit, and balancing our lives overall.

Deb and I have made tentative plans to ride the Chinook Oly bike course, though there aren't many weekends to choose from. Hmm, in fact, only the weekend before Chinook is possible for me. In turn, I want to ride the 70.3 course again. It's been a while and it's beautiful, though the part through Cochrane is a bit hairy in places.

I'm actually quite impressed with both my buddies. They have made some life changing decisions about becoming more fit, and challenging their own assumptions about themselves. They've kept at it, balancing family, and work, and everything else. They are living proof that people can change their lives, gradually pushing their minds and bodies to places they wouldn't have believed possible a short time ago. Sophia is at least thinking a little bit about triathlon, though that won't happen for a while. That's ok. Yes, we encouraged her, just a bit.

In other news, I'm on a low residue diet this weekend. Monday I chug a gag inducing liquid that has other inducing properties as well. I'm already stocking the guest bathroom. No FaceTime calls on Monday please. For your own good. Then Tuesday portions of my anatomy that have never seen daylight are captured on video. I think that's all I need to say about that. For the people who have been encouraging me to get a Twitter account, I was seriously considering Tweeting a moment by moment account of my adventures. It seems a suitable revenge.

Friday, May 25, 2012

One sided yoga

I love my yoga teacher. She's the best one I've ever had. Wed night class was this long flow, lots of side stretches. Right leg forward, going in and out of various warriors, right leg forward, ecstatic dancer, right leg forward, lots of side stretches, and bends and lunges right leg forward, working back through the sequence, and forward again through part of it, and back through it all, right leg forward. Then it was time for this very lovely supported stretch and meditation, and I even did the savasana in the same supported pose.

From a technical yoga perspective, did anyone notice what was, from the exalted point of view of yoga purists, ever so slightly wrong? My left leg was feeling weak and feeble anyways.

Thursday should have been a bike ride. It was nasty out. And besides there was a bit of a reunion from a place I used to work at. One guy has had a bit of a medical adventure over the last couple years and seems to be coming out of it now. Which is nice, and good. So someone organized an evening out with him, and a dozen or so people showed up. It was so nice to connect again with him and his wife, who are as nice a couple as you could ever hope to meet. Plus the other people that showed up.

This is about the balance thing. Not so long ago I would have been bound and determined to get on my bike, and do the workout inside if I had to. Now I'm a bit more relaxed about it, and having an evening with friends is important too. There is more to life than workouts.

Friday morning was getting my dental hygienist scrape and polish my teeth. The coffee and wine builds up, but I consider it my duty to drink them so as to keep her employed. I'm considerate like that.

It's still cold, as in frost warning last night and again tonight. So I didn't want to get out on my bike. Or even inside on my bike. And I'm not feeling the core workout love tonight. I'm tired and sleepy. Tomorrow is a nice run and bike with friends. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

semi-recovery semi-run

I was telling someone at work my weekend adventures. They kind of gagged a few times, and said they'd have had a harder time recovering from the doggie diet adventure than the Oly. Given one of the places I've worked at (the one with shift work) it was no big deal.

The drive home had me a bit creaky but I was lazy and didn't do much other than the essentials after we got home. Some of you would have considered stretching to be essential, but I wanted something clean to wear to work. Not that I'm important or anything, but the only office my manager could find for me is in executive country. There are a couple of C level corporate people just around the corner, and I still don't know who's who.

The walk at lunchtime was nice, and further would have been nicer. Oh well. Crappy weather rolled in during the afternoon. There was lots of hail on the ground at Heritage LRT station. It had rained hard at home during the afternoon, but the sidewalks were dry. There was  bit of blue sky so I changed and zoomed out to beat the rain. 

Let me rephrase that. I changed, yes, but plodded would be more accurate for the first few hundred metres. My legs were not impressed. My lungs were working much too hard for the pace, but everything settled down after a while. I was trying to go easy, but it was hard to find a pace that my legs wanted to run at that wouldn't have my lungs complaining. I felt a little bit like a geezer, arms swinging like there's no tomorrow, and my legs hardly moving.

That lasted 5K. The only interesting thing on the run was right at the end as I was walking. A bunch of cops in casual wear busted some guy sitting in a bus stop. That's the second one in a month or so, though at least this time they didn't have the police helicopter involved. I hadn't realized our neighborhood was such a hotbed of crime.

Stretched after. Catching up on blogs and stuff.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The secret not-race and Austin's diet

This was a great weekend, even dealing with Austin the dog's dietary choices. I'll get to it.

My current employer makes us not work the Friday before summer long weekends. The office is closed. And locked. I was told my card key wouldn't work, so even if I was so foolish as to want to come into work even though nobody else was around, it wasn't going to happen. So other than saying "Book that vacation" my boss also said, "go have fun this weekend." So I did.

Friday I did nothing, except some stuff around the house I don't even remember now, and probably wouldn't interest you. It was nice.

Saturday I saw my buddy Katie off for a ride towards the mountains. It was 4 C. Frigging cold in other words. She was happy to have me come along, but I waved goodbye as she pedaled off, wearing a parka and more layers on her legs than I've ever seen before. She had fun, though I missed her when she came back because I was out doing errands.

We went to Fernie to visit our buddies Cath and Jason and their new dog Austin. He's a Bernese Mountain dog, and is already a good size. He's going to be huge. For instance:

This is a seriously cute dog. However, as with all dogs he has serious problems with dietary choices. I missed him making the choice, being busy shooting shots like this for later playing with.

When I caught up to them Cath was telling him to drop it, drop it! I thought it was a stick pointing out of his mouth. Cath asked me to get it out, so I obliged. I got hold of it, and tugged as I was trying to pry open jaws bigger than mine. It was a tail, and I pulled it off the body of the dead mouse. I had to reach in and pull the dead mouse out. Not sure how long it had been dead, but I'm just glad Austin hadn't chomped down. He had been standing there with a sort of "I've got it, what do I do now?" kind of expression. All this was to a sound track of Cath gagging. Somehow, I didn't think to get a photo. Can't imagine why not.

The next day we were off to a secret location, for a secret not-a-race, with a secret transition tips given by a secret elite uber athlete, for a selected hand picked crowd that had all shown up at random. There is video footage of this athlete doing a jig and making suggestive descriptive hand motions. I will post the link when I get it.

The water was warmer this year. I remember last year we all swam a little long so this year at each turn, me and another girl checked with each and turned together. Maybe we cut it a little short, since I was out of the water in 20 minutes. She took the long way around the dock. I'm a bit puzzled, since I don't think we cut that much off, and I don't think I was swimming that much faster than last year.

I guess the transition tips did me some good, I was out of T1 in 4 minutes. I think that's a new record for me. There was a 38 K course marked on flat ground. I never did figure out the wind. It felt like a headwind both ways, but the coming back leg was a bit faster. My bike computer says 38.65K and I was off the bike in just under 1:18. T2 was really quick, and a 10 K run in just under 1:07.

This all exceeded my expectations, mainly being able to run off the bike at all. Last attempt was pretty brutal. Bike I wanted to be strong and try to maintain 30 Kph and also be really strong accelerating from the turnaround markers, (4 loops out and back on a highway). I was pretty close to that, my bike says 30.1 Kph average and using the stopwatch says 29.9 Kph.  The run I just wanted to run it all, no walking. I never felt really strong or smooth on the run, but it wasn't a clump clump T Rex horror show either. Granted it's a hill up out of transition, but it took a long time to get my lungs and heart rate back down to happy making values. I could have gone longer but I'm glad I didn't have to. Total was 2:50 and change. Happy!

Just because, a bike cuddle.

That night there was a party with endless food coming off the new BBQ, and lots of other goodies to eat. A wonderful time was had by all. Except that one of the guests works at Freshies, and was late because they had to clean up in preparation for a 2 week vacation. So much for the breakfast at Freshies on Monday idea. I was devastated.

On the way back we saw lots of cyclists on the road. Most between Turner Valley and Calgary, but there was a small group way south of Longview. Good on them!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Zoot bag of many pockets

I've been a slacker the last couple days. A weenie. It's been cold here. Snow was forecast, but none came here. About the only thing of note is the perennial struggle with dandelions.

The interesting thing is going into stuff that's been stored away for a while. I opened up the Zoot travel bag of many pockets. I'm still not convinced I have discovered them all. Buried in there I discovered two extra tubes and a bunch of CO2 cartridges. There are a great many swim caps in there. The Merril mesh bags are beyond handy. I wish more races gave them out.

Katie dropped by this morning to ride out 22X and wanted to see if I would come along. Not. Remember what I said about it being cold and me being a weenie? She was wearing a parka. It was about 4C.

Later I ran into Todd H at the Farmer's market. He's doing IMC again this year, going through a bit of a different training program. Says it's going really well, which is good to hear. I'll have to follow him on the big day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The best yoga instruction ever

FF runs a great yoga class. I think word is getting round as there are lots more people in this class than there used to be. Besides the yoga itself, which is really good, and often has been slanted to exactly what I need, there is F herself. She has her own style of doing things.

Take this instruction tonight, for example, to avoid saying left or right. "Put the inside foot over the foot that is the other foot." I know ballroom dance instructors that would give their eyeteeth to be able to give that sort of instruction with her aplomb. It all worked out. I was really liking the fire log pose, which I didn't use to be able to do.

So did the swim this morning, about 45 minutes worth, mainly watching the kids in the next lane go zoom. At one point I was pacing a guy doing backstroke. A slow recovery backstroke, while I was doing a strongish freestyle and oh so slowly creeping ahead of him.

I'm settling into work, trying to get into the habit of eating lunch then going for a short walk. It's been so nice the last few days, and Stephen Ave is crowded with people to watch.

In playing with Snapseed I brightened up a pic from Bermuda. This is the formal bandstand in Hamilton, before and after. This isn't your average backyard gazuba. It's pretty big.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My achey breaky core

Stampede is coming soon. Less than two months to go. It kicks off July 6, and I get that day off work. If I were younger I might get into trouble, but it's not likely these days. However, getting out of bed this morning it FELT like I was deep into a hard bout of Stampeding. As I've said, Stampeding is a very active verb. It involves drinking in many different bars/tents/outdoor spaces throughout several days in a row, preferably on someone else's tab, eating all kinds of greasy disgusting foods you wouldn't normally touch, all while watching/chasing/screwing the opposite sex. There has been many a divorce caused by Stampeding. It is very possible to start drinking at 7am, and be well blotto by noon. One of the more brutally underestimated factors is the mental whiplash of drinking in a bar till lunchtime, and coming outside to have your eyes seared in the noon day sun. There is something just plain wrong with being that drunk at noon.

For some reason this morning as I was shambling into the Talisman pool this morning, I was thinking of the 'Achey Breaky Heart' song, and putting my own lyrics to it. Best left to your imagination. The pools were all a seething froth of swimmers and I just wasn't up to it. The dive tank was empty so I went there. It was very soothing in a recovery sort of way. I did some core and some stretches, some backstroke, and some other stuff for about a half hour. Gently. Relaxing in the water. I could feel myself drawing energy out of the water, and feeling better every minute. It must be the residue after all those synchro girls or something.

About a half hour later the competition pool cleared out so I went in. There was a guy in the next lane who's swimming horrified me. He was doing freestyle with his elbows and still had dry hair. I tried not to look, and settled in to some relaxed but smooth intervals, then some backstroke for about 15 minutes in all.

Getting out I felt like a million dollars! The relaxed approach was perfect this morning.

It's a beautiful day out, so I went for a stroll down Stephen Avenue at lunch time. A stroll. It's hard for me to walk that slow, but there were a ton of people out enjoying the sunshine. I saw one couple in Stampede gear already; I'm guessing they were going to a promo event, but it's not out of the ordinary to see people dressed like that any time of the year. Last year I didn't get out much at lunch, but I think I'll take the time this year when the weather is nice. There's always the chance of seeing someone I know that I haven't talked to in a while.

As soon as I got home I was out for a run down into Fish Creek and back. I didn't care what kind of run. I just ran at whatever pace felt comfortable at the time. The out leg worked out to a 10 minute mile pace which is pretty darn good for me. Coming back was a little slower. I was beginning to feel the heat a bit, and it's uphill all the way back. I should have taken a water flask with me.

My legs felt happy and springy right from the start. Even at the very end when my knees were feeling a bit achey (my achey breaky knees) they were still going spring fairly well. Tonight is what running is about; being outside, relaxed, enjoying the surroundings, having a great time.

These couple of days could well be a significant fraction of our summer. It's almost a pity I was in the office. I know a few people played hooky today, and who can blame them?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First ride run for the wraps

I was a slow creaky mess getting out of bed this morning. All that gardening yesterday really took it out of me. Fortunately I wasn't in a rush, so filling the water bottles, arranging nutrition, changing the bike tire, and all that other stuff could be done in a slow, orderly sort of way. With coffee.

Here's a pic of the new equipment I was trying out.

My regular glasses are underneath them. This worked out great! It was sunny and warm today, very sunny, very warm. My eyes loved it. My regular glasses protect my eyes from some wind, and before today I'd never realized how much I had been squnching my eyes up. Today was very relaxed, which felt sort of odd, but I think I'll get used to it really quickly.

I was afraid they would slide down or block my view but none of that. Neither were they so tight as to press on my head. No problems with my bike helmet. I can't snug my regular cap down quite as much on the run, but now I don't need to.

The bike ride was down to Turner Valley and back, total 92 K. I'd been thinking about going to Black Diamond but decided not to. Even though it was almost the two year anniversary of my banana whapping ride to Black Diamond. I still wasn't feeling strong as I started. There was a strong headwind all the way south on 22, after a strong crosswind on 22X. When I say strong, I mean between 20 and 30 Kph with some stronger gusts. Or maybe attacks of being feeble. I spent a lot of time on the drops trying to cheat the wind. I didn't use to be able to do this for very long. I can feel the difference in my hip flexors.

There was a point where I woke up and realized I'd got behind on nutrition and hydration and was just pedaling along. Ate and chugged some energy drink and felt better pretty quick. I don't think I went any faster against the headwind but I was feeling better about it.

I turned around at the first intersection in town. No cars, and I badly wanted to be moving fast again. The wind pushed me north, hardly having to pedal at all. Well, that's not true, but it sure felt that way after going south. Coming back along 22X was cross headwind again. At the 3 hour mark I was starting to feel a bit tired overall and more than a bit tired of the wind. Back to the house at 3:25.

What was really nice about the ride was that I passed 5 people and nobody passed me. That is very unusual. Almost everybody waved, and there were lots of people on bikes today. Plus a great many on motor bikes. Some of them are very loud.

There have not been too many runs off the bike lately. I was in the house long enough to pee and change shoes, then start to run. It was awful! My legs felt badly bow-legged and did not want to run at all. I shuffled along trying to keep my steps quick. No hope for keeping them light at this point. I was breathing like a steam engine though I was hardly moving. Eventually my breathing settled down and my legs felt a little better. That was enough for me and I called it.

Rolling my feet on the T ball felt wonderful! Stretched and put my feet up. After showering I fired up the BBQ for bison burgers. Oh, so yummy! Then a nap.

So all in all it was a pretty good day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The nuke it school of gardening

My morning run got cancelled at the last minute so I stayed home to read the papers, drink coffee, and relax. That lasted a couple hours. Then came the workout. Yes, I'm calling it a workout. Lots of muscles being used in multi-planar motions and heavy breathing. Not much cursing. Some thoughtful pauses. Bricks. A few slivers. There was a hydration and nutrition plan. Sunscreen.

Here's the end result:

And you thought I was going to show you the garden. Hah! I like to keep my readers wondering, and giving them unexpected stuff.

Today was digging out the overgrown borders around the flower boxes in the front yard. There is this woody shrub that is taking over, and it's very hard to get out. I'm sure I scattered a million seeds as I was doing all the digging. I had to pry out the brick border to get the roots. The bricks were covered by an inch of soil, roots, grass, and whatever else builds up when mother nature is let loose.

I basically dug it all out as best as possible, while trying to save the lady bugs. One of the plants and rootball together were big enough I had to think about picking it up after I managed to pry it out. This was a solid ball of roots that looked like a completely root bound plant.

Here's another one mostly dug out, showing the size of one of the roots.

That whole mess is overflowing most of my lap.

What's left looks like crap at the moment because nothing else went in, and I paid no attention to smoothing things out. There are still roots and grass in there to be dealt with. Maybe next weekend, or possibly some week nights. The patio was thoroughly raked, and that small area produced nearly two garbage bags of dead stuff. There is still a bit more to go.

I earned my glass of wine out of that. It took a long time to wash my hands and arms to get all the gunge off. Then scrub them with a nice sugar body scrub. Then hand cream, which I don't normally use. My hands are sucking it in.

What I didn't tell you about Thursday was a lovely dinner out to celebrate signing the contract for my new job. I'd been working under an interim agreement in principle, but it's nice to get it all sorted out. We went to the Selkirk Grill in Heritage Park, and we waddled out after two wonderful hours. The food there is very good, and we had the place to ourselves.

I had my eyes checked this week and I'm sure you will be all happy to know they are fine. My prescription changed again, of course, so I have to buy new glasses. The current ones have lasted 4 years so I have no complaints. Besides, they are all scuffed up from leading an adventurous life. The only downside is that the pair of lenses were about $700! Considering that I'm getting 6 different and complicated prescriptions in one pair of glasses I suppose it's not too bad, and some of it is covered by insurance.

Lots of people wear the cool Oakley or Rudy Project sunglasses when racing. I've got a set of clip on sunglasses in the car, but it's much too fussy for racing. I had been thinking about asking the eye place if they could take an old pair of lenses and glue them to the inside of the sunglasses. They had sunglasses there and can put a prescription lens into them but it's a single vision lens, same prescription for each eye. They won't work for me. But what they did have was sunglasses built to go over top of existing glasses.

So, are these cool? I'm going to try them out on my ride and run tomorrow.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A naked plus 30

Thursday into the pool. 45 minutes, including drill, even. Fist, one arm, FTD, 1 2 3 glide, breath 5, breath 7 (ack choke), and a secret drill of my own. I'm so impressed with myself. The weather is supposed to be really nice this weekend so I'm looking forward to a nice run Saturday morning, and a nice ride on Sunday.

Now some photos. Just because. The editing is done on my iPad using an app called Snapseed. This is easy, fun, fast, and really neat. Did I say it was fun?

Here is a plus 30 bridge under construction. You wouldn't know I'd tweaked if I hadn't told you. I'm actually a little surprised at this, since I didn't think these two new buildings were anything special. I don't know what the one on the left is, and I think the other is something to do with education. Photo shot McLeod trail northbound at 6th Ave looking east.

Here's one from Bermuda where I pushed it a little bit to see what would happen.

This is what my office looked like shortly after I moved in. I got told this was really, really boring, and I had to do something about it.

Voila. This is what happens when you push multiple effects a long way.

As I was walking through downtown this morning I had to stop and take a photo of this. I liked the placement of the moon between the buildings.

Once I got home I took a few minutes on this. No really, not even 5 minutes, probably more like 3. I wanted it to still look like a photo that had been dressed up a bit, but was still a photo and not "art".

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

nearly perfect times 50

Settling into work and hard at it already. The office kind of work, not workout kind of work. Chairs are tricky. I've been fiddling with mine trying to set it up so it didn't feel like I was sliding forward off the front. Turns out there was another lever on the left side, hidden underneath to control that. All good now.

Penn West is big on people donating blood. Today happened to be the day for me to give some of my nearly perfect blood. It also happened to be the big 50th time I've donated. They give me a sticker on my sweater and a 50 pin, which is now stuck onto my bulletin board at work, just beside the polar bear calendar. Here's my office, after the calendar but before the pin. Two wide screen monitors, gotta love that!

I'm sure I'll accumulate more stuff soon.

What the office doesn't have is wireless internet. Maybe that's a good thing. Rather than reading blogs at lunch time, I was playing with Snapseed. That's an app for manipulating photos. It's very easy to use, and the results are incredible. I've got the first pair posted on Facebook, and was wondering if I should also post them here. So if you read my blog, AND you are not a Facebook friend, AND you want to see my manipulated photos, you need to comment and request that. Some of the photos will be tweaked to be just better photos, and some will be pushed to be more arty. Facebook says this is a link to those photos. Give it a try, I really don't know what will happen.

We started another yoga session tonight. I like the first class in a session. It was very gentle, lots of breathing stuff. My tree was not well balanced tonight, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Quickie swim

Now I have to get used to fitting in training around working again. Or working around training, whichever.

The pool was a zoo today and there was no waiting around for it to get better. My choice was swim in a lane with a slow breast stroker, or a guy that pushed off a kick set as I was getting in. I picked him. He was pretty fast doing pull, fast enough to pass me. He alternated kick and pull while I did freestyle, and it all worked out.

I was a bit worried about my shoulders. They were so stiff during my run yesterday that it was affecting my run. Part of the issue might have been that I was really trying to stand straight, work on my posture, and run from my core. It seemed like every few steps I had to try to relax my shoulders. Oddly enough, during the swim was fine, even though they are working a lot harder than during the run. Very strange.

Even though I had lots of time, I called it at the end of only 1K. The pool was still crazy and I could feel myself getting tired. I was trying to really crank the flip turns, and most of them went well. I'm finding there are some subtle breathing and stroke issues just before the wall. For almost all of it my form felt pretty good, though it was hard to tell with all the slosh and splash. 18:40 lungs working fairly hard, but arms and shoulders not so bad for most of it.

I'm not sure how this work thing will affect my blog. I still intend to write, but it might update at different hours, and I might find it more difficult to comment on blogs I read, or respond to comments on mine. I still appreciate all the comments. You might have to watch for updates, as I might not have time to put a notice on Facebook, if that's how you find my updates.

Monday, May 7, 2012

100 Percent

That's right, after years and YEARS of trying, I finally got my LinkedIn profile to 100%.

I'm not sure what it is that pushed me over the top. What I actually did was add the job I started today at Penn West. Plus a couple other things it prompted me for, and that did it. Oddly enough in previous years going through and filling everything out didn't do it. So maybe I got lucky. Once again I'm downtown during the day most of the time, and available for social activities. My office is just west of the Palliser, on the same side of 9th Ave. There are rumours of a locker room and showers and a bike lockup I have access to. These will have to be checked out.

Ran after work. How could I not? It was so nice out. Limbered up, and ran easy about 5 minutes, then gradually picked up the pace. I don't know what this kind of run is called. I'd run faster and faster with good form till I was at almost race pace, then back off to LSD pace before I started gasping, then as I recovered I'd speed up again. Ran a hair under 8K in 51 minutes, including warmup.

Walked to cool down. Stretched. Drank lots of water. Awesome Greek salad for supper.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

So that's what that funny smell was

The GVBP is done. Done. Done. I only had to pull all the junk out a little bit and I could get at what needed to be done. Yay me!

Friday was a 2.5 hr bike on the trainer, with The Sting in the background. I love con-man movies. Warmed up, steady at the top of endurance pace or so, then some short intervals, with a cool down and stretching after.

Then came the hard stuff, working on the yard. We are just downwind from a 7-11, and there are lots of slobs that go in there. We are always picking garbage off our lawn. First time this year to mow it. There are some bushy Thyme plants, pretty sure it's Thyme, that have escaped are are trying to take over. Uprooted some of them and cleaned out beside one of the flower boxes. I quit when I filled up our black garbage bin.

You can see the place I had already cleaned up earlier in the week, starting at the mint plant and working to the right. What I worked on Friday is along the other leg of the flower box.

Saturday, snowy Saturday. Where the bricks are stacked on the flower box is where I had cleaned up. Lots more to go. Once stuff is in the flower boxes I'll get lattice back onto the frame work.

It changed from kind of thick rain to heavy snow in the course of one cup of coffee. My sports medicine Dr. Dale MacDonald was putting on a running seminar at Mount Royal University. I even knew where the class was because it's in the same building as some of my Business Analysis courses. However the parking has changed. The new parkade is built and the lot I was going to part was taken out of operation. So there I was going around the block making left turns, trying to figure out how to get into the parkade. Not a good design.

The seminar was good. Some things I'd already known, but it's always good to be reminded. There was slushy water all built up in the gutters that needed a bit of encouragement to flow. Afterward we had a quiet afternoon and evening reading.

Sunday I finished up the last of the actual vapour barrier taping, and put stuff back. There is still a bit of organizing to be done, but things haven't been this clean and tidy down there for a long time.

Onto the trainer for a ride. Short, intense. Warm up, then spin at transition between endurance and tempo pace. Then short intervals up around FTP, sometimes trying to recover at endurance pace. Cool down and stretched. 1.5 hrs. If I'd waited till later in the afternoon, like about now, it would have been an almost reasonable temperature for an outside ride.

During my ride I kept getting this funny ammonia smell sometimes. It was a little bit like cat pee, except we don't have a cat these days. During easy bits I was smelling my towel, smelling me, because I was the logical suspect and yes I'm soaking wet from sweat. Except that fresh sweat typically doesn't stink. It turned out to be my cycling gloves. Took a sniff when I was taking them off, and that was it. Golly, sweat into something leather every ride for nearly two years, and it starts to stink. What kind of customer service is that?

I already know the vinegar trick to soak sweaty kit in to take out the stink and do it periodically. But does it work on leather?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Look what I found!

When I moved to Calgary in 1980 everything I owned fit into a 1978 Pontiac LeMans. What didn't fit I sold or gave away. A buddy of mine had moved to Calgary and was looking for someone to share an apartment, rents being astronomical, or so it seemed. Plus I was sick of my job. So I moved. It seems so easy in hindsight.

Lets see, I lived with him for a couple years. Then there was the tiny illegal basement suite that was about the size of our living / dining room. There was the standard 1 bedroom apartment. Through those I didn't accumulate much stuff. The townhouse that Linda and I rented. The accumulation started. Then late 84 we moved into this house. That move in date is a bit of a watershed. We've lived in this one house longer than all the other homes I've lived in put together, which, including the ones mentioned above totals 14 places that I remember. When I tell you I was in one of those places for 5 years, and a couple others for about 3 years each, you can see I moved around a lot. About grade 5 our home burned down completely and totally. I was visiting relatives in BC at the time, but I was just old enough to contemplate that all I had in the world would fit into a suitcase.

It has become more than clear to me that the accumulation has got out of hand since we moved in here. When I decided to fix up the vapour barrier I made the decision not to redo the walls, even though I knew there were places the cats had torn it up. Much of the stuff in the basement was up against the walls, and I couldn't face moving it all. Even moving just enough to get at the sections between the joists was a lot more work than doing the vapour barrier itself, and the section I talked about the other day still remains to be done.

There were two sections I did today. Each was beneath a window, where that the cats would scrabble at the plastic with their claws as they leaped up to the window sill. In one section I had to remove several hundred books. Those books have been there about a decade. You can imagine the accumulation of dust, spiderwebs, and cat fur. It had depth. (The book case is open on the ends and the cats could get behind the books.) I waved the vacuum cleaner constantly, or I'd have had to be wearing SCBA equipment. In the other section I had to remove fabric. Lots and lots of fabric. A few of my readers will remember we were active in the SCA for a while, and Linda accumulated fabric and other related things. Lots of it. I'm told that fabric hoard has reached mythic portions in the local SCA.

Once I moved all that stuff it was fairly straightforward to retrofit a large piece of plastic and seal it all up. Then put stuff back. Which included some of the stuff that I had moved during other parts of the project. Vacuuming steadily. I suspect the vacuum cleaner ran for 3 hours at least. 

There was another layer of paint put down on one section of floor under the stairs where the cat boxes will live when more cats move in. I found stuff there too, like lots of dust. And this:

For the youthful among you, it's a record player. You would put a grooved vinyl platter onto the black circular platform, and carefully put the arm at the outside start of the spiral groove. Through an amazing process that involved a mechanical needle banging it's way along the groove, music was played through speakers. Honestly, you can google it.

Of course, I had known at one time that we had a record player. We had two, come to think of it, one each from separate lives. After all, this was before CD's were invented. But I thought we had sold or given it away, so it was a surprise to see it. A few years ago, in a similar act of discovery, I found a typewriter. That's a, oh heck, you can google that one for yourself. I had a clear memory, or so I thought, of giving it away. I wonder what else is lurking down in the basement.

Which has sparked this blog. We joke that we'll never move from this house because there is too much stuff. It's true. I used to be able to tell you how many books, CDs, and DVD's we have. I had a list for insurance purposes. (Yes, I know, I'm a geek, my co-workers tell me this.) What with technology changes, that list is no longer one list. It's several lists, and I don't bother to total them. I just know that if I need to I can give the insurance company a list of titles, and we can go shopping. Never mind the problem that a significant number are out of print. Never mind trying to figure out what, exactly, is the replacement value of a print version of the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Let's just say there are thousands of books downstairs, probably between 4 and 5. I don't even want to guess how many CDs, though they are all upstairs. Every now and then I know exactly how many bottles of wine there are downstairs, I'm guessing many right now. That's many cases, not bottles. Plus other stuff accumulated over the years. Stuff and stuff and stuff, mostly all collecting dust. That record player, for example, hasn't been used since shortly after we moved into this house. I've put up lots of shelving in an effort to stay ahead of the accumulation, but this is doomed to failure. There are limits on the floor space available for shelving.

Over the years as I've walked, run, or biked past my neighbour's homes, I can see we're not the only ones with an accumulation problem. Some people can't put their cars in the garage because it's full of stuff. I've house sit for a couple people, and each of them has an entire room crammed full of stuff. When I was checking a good friend's home where they took vacation part way through moving, I found an entire room that I hadn't known existed. It had been completely full of boxes, wall to wall to wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with the doorway covered up. 

Now, some stuff does get used on a seasonal basis. There is no need to be tripping over winter boots and coats in August. That isn't to say they should be completely inaccessible, because it has snowed here in August. So it makes sense to store that sort of thing. But old clothes that are now much too large for me? I keep going through them and giving them away, yet it seems there are always more. Yes, I found more recently. I am boggled at the heterogeneous nature of the accumulation, and the many various reasons we acquired it in the first place. 

Once accumulated, it becomes hard to part with things again. We did one garage sale, which was interesting, but a pain in the butt. Some people use various on line methods to sell stuff, but that somehow doesn't seem to be for me. Much of it is such a relatively low value now. And how does one value such stuff? I see on ebay that the encyclopedia is being bid about $250, and I have to think that it could cost more to ship them.

I was thinking of a photo journalism article I saw several years ago now. They took families from various parts of the world, and moved all their stuff out to the front yard to photograph it. Well, I don't think all our stuff would fit on the driveway and front yard. That isn't bragging or boasting. It's just that somehow over the years we thought we needed all this stuff. And once we don't need it, we can't get rid of it. What does that say about us?

Some people make a rule that to bring something in, something has to go. That's good if you've got the discipline. Some people give stuff to their kids, but there is only a limited timeframe to do that AND have the stuff go out of your house. Some stuff you can't even give away now. My neighbour was trying to give away a reasonably nice television. None of the charities would take it unless it was less than a few years old, and a flat screen plasma or LCD. They wouldn't even consider a tube or rear projection TV. 

Often people (including me) think we'll keep something for a future project, or to repurpose it somehow. I discovered some of that in recent weeks, and have been ruthless about throwing it out. Along with random bits of wood and metal that I thought might be useful for something. Some I kept for firewood, just because we had it and it's safe to burn. I'm glad the city have us a black bin for garbage recently. I've been sneaking junk into it regularly that would never fit into a garbage bag. How long does one keep something, thinking you'll use it someday? If some day is measured in decades, I'm thinking it's pretty safe to say that some day isn't coming any time soon and likely not ever. 

Even now, thinking of all this I still fall into the accumulation trap. I love my iPad 2. Love it! I wasn't sure how much I would use it when I got it, but it turns out to fulfill needs I didn't know I had. All right, wants I didn't know I had. Now, the new iPad has come along, and yes, I want it. I don't need it, at least I don't think I do. But the one I have is working perfectly well, and is likely to do so for years, possibly many years. I can't just throw it away, and yet there isn't anything plausible to use the current one for if I get a new one.

Sort of like our plasma TV. We only use it to watch DVD's. Which you essentially can't rent anymore. We got ours almost 10 years ago, long before HDMI cables were dreamed of. The new ones have a much nicer picture, and then we could look at streaming movies from the net. Lots of options with new technology. But, but, I say, what to do with the current plasma, which functions perfectly well? I can't forget that IKEA commercial with the lamp. I would feel a lot better about "throwing out" old stuff, if we were better at recycling it for metals or other materials. 

These are first world problems, and probably upper 20% of the first world at that. I am perfectly aware there are many millions of people that don't know where their next meal is coming from, and only dream of getting a needle of medicine that would cure them of a disease or prevent it altogether. Some people have given away all their stuff and talk about how freeing the experience is. Maybe so. For whatever reason, I can't do that yet, or I don't need to badly enough. In the meantime, I try to think carefully about what and why I'm buying something.

What about you? Dare you look in the dark corners of your basement? How much stuff do you have? Have you ever discovered stuff that you had forgotten you had? Have you ever DEALT WITH your stuff in a dramatic way? 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I was in the pool but the pool wasn't in me

Tuesday was so much fun! I joined two buddies at Lazy Loaf and Kettle for brunch. We all worked together at Talisman, and now none of us do. It's central for all of us, and the food is really good. We laughed and chatted for 3 hours. Seriously. It was great to catch up and not feel we had to get back to work.

After that was prepping a floor to paint it. Dusty. First layer came out about as expected. The floor sucked it up pretty good.

This morning I was in the pool, but there was no pool love for me. I wasn't feeling the water and had no strength. Cut it short at half an hour.

Put a second layer of paint on the floor and it looks pretty good. Let's see what The One In Charge says when she gets home.

You know how they always say don't try anything new in a race? That means you have to try new things in training. During the spinathon a couple weeks ago I ran low on electrolyte, and tried some of the Heed Mandarin. It seemed ok, so when I was getting more Nuun (my go to electrolyte) I got a couple packages of Heed to see how it worked out.

I was just getting settled on my bike, having had to re set up the trainer and change the outdoor tire, and was all warmed up. Well, mostly warmed up, and starting to pick up the effort a bit. My right knee was feeling a bit creaky, which had me worried because it was exactly where it was hurting when I had all those crappy rides. Then I took a swig of the Heed, lemon lime flavour. It tasted like Perpetuem, which had nearly made me barf during a ride a few years ago. A minute later I was regretting it, and less than 5 minutes later I was off the bike. My tummy was gurgling and growling and even though I'd made a great offering to the poop fairy not an hour before, I was feeling the urge again. Sort of. Much better to have this happen on a training day, that's for sure.

After showering and tidying up a bit I had a nap, and felt better after it. Not going to be trying the other package of Heed. If anyone local wants it, let me know and we can figure out a way to pass it along. The package.