Friday, July 29, 2005

Velocity Diet

I start Monday! The plan is to be a "shredded" 190 lbs by August 28 which is Ironman Canada. I'm not racing, but I'm not going up there looking like I haven't trained all summer (I haven't trained because of the hamstring pull and pneumonia).
Before and after pictures will be posted.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Recycling Old Practices

This is one of my typical bike workouts. I think it might be interesting to post some article on how to be a bike coach. It's not going to be aimed at Tour riders but rather at beginner recreational riders and triathlete wannabes.

Long Course Bike Ride

Objective: Improve Aerobic Base

Distance: 60 km.
Phase: Recovery
Time Green Group 2:30, Red Group 2:15, Black Group 2:00

2 minute Bike Director talk: Braking:
Front brake has 3x the stopping power of rear brake – but can cause sommersault over bars.
Controlled braking means sitting in the saddle using both brakes.
Do not brake and corner at same time.
Braking causes weight to be shifted forward and destabilizing the bike.
Abrupt back braking can cause a skid.
Practice braking under different conditions and get the athletes to understand how long it takes them to stop.

Riding Plan:
Review last weeks ride and discuss any safety or procedural issues.
Remind athletes about bringing tools, spares tires, food.

Route: Hilly – With a short drill on braking at UBC. – Practice trying to stop using front brake, rear brake, and then using both brakes.

Then head along the Midtown route (8th), or by Point Grey Road to Stanley Park.
Two loops of Stanley Park.

Focus: Riding Safely in a Pace Line. Mostly seated hills with no hammering

Monday, July 25, 2005

Running low on material

I can't think of anything to write about so here's a swim workout

Tuesday July 26
Warm Up
400 alt. 200 easy swim/200 pull (no paddles)

Main Set
Part 1
1 X 100 -----> 50 scull/50 easy

4 X 50 ALL OUT SPRINT with 1 min rest between each 50

Part 2
1 X 200 -----> 25 right arm/25 left arm/25 fist/25 easy
4 X 100 @ 80% speed plus 15 sec (including rest)
2 X 50 ALL OUT SPRINT with 1 min rest between each 50

Part 3
1 X 400 -----> 50 dog paddle/25 spear/25 easy
1 X 50 ALL OUT SPRINT starting from deep end

Warm Down
200 easy kick with fins alternating 50 on
back/50 on side, NO BOARDS

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I built this house

The picture of the dals in the previous post is at the house Duncan used to own in Whistler. I kind of hoped that I would inherit that house because I put a lot of work into it.
I took a year off from my "real" job in 1994 and moved up to Whislter, B.C. with Tracey's dad, Duncan to help him build this house. I was Project Manager/Carpenter Helper and it is one of the most fun jobs I've ever had. We went way over budget because we were at the mercy of the Whistler subcontractors, and also because it was a custom Log and Beam house that was really difficult to build. We spent $60,000 just on blasting. It's at the end of Falcon Way in Blueberry Hill. Too bad for Duncan that he sold it before the huge rise in house prices in Whistler. Today the house is worth more than $5,000,000. I know I'll build my own house someday, now that I know how to do it.

Friday, July 22, 2005


No, I'm not 50, I'm only 44. However this is the 50th entry at Liver Spot.
As it really should be more about the dogs than me, here is a picture of all three Dals at Duncan's house in Whistler. The three Dalmatians: Whistler (named after the mountain), Plum (the Liver Spotted Dal) and A.J. (my first Dalmatian). All three were rescue dogs. A.J. and Plum were from the Delta SPCA, and Whistler (formerly "Pepper") was an unwanted dog living in a locked barn in Ladner and had already been in 5 different homes. Dalmatians are not easy dogs to own and bad Dalmatians are almost impossible to live with.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Motivation is Fleeting

For most of us motivation is a fleeting experience. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't. Which means sometimes your training is kick ass serious and sometimes you hang out at the coffee shop while your girlfriend finishes the ride without you.
The best motivation comes from within but you can also get motivation from your friends, personal trainer, the Running Room, etc. Let's face it though - most people need External Motivation.
The average person who needs external motivation will gravitate towards group exercise settings such as spin classes like the one Michelle teaches at the Y. Spinning is great although I find it odd that one would be more motivated to cycle on a bike that doesn't go anywhere. But there is the power of the external motivation of having other people to spin with, and of course they like to listen to Michelle tell jokes.
I think that people who require this external motivation just to be active do not have specific goals. We may say that we have specific goals but it's really just lip service. If you are unsure about your goals here are a few guidelines to clarify them.
I'll use the SMART acronym.
S - Specific - You don't want to say "I'll get in better shape". Try something like "I'll learn how to swim" or "I want to become a runner"
M - Measurable - Make it quantifiable so you can measure your improvements. Maybe your weight, or a 10km run time.
A - Achievable - Well, how do you know if you can? I suspect that you can if you had the idea that you could. Don't be afraid to set big goals and tell your friends what your goals are because this will make you accountable.
R - Relevant - Your goals need to have a deep personal meaning. You want an emotion behind your goal so it will have power over you.
T - Time Reference. Not next year.

If you have the goal and the emotional attachment to it, you will have self motivation and you will enjoy your training so much more.
My Ironman athletes all have a strong internal drive which keeps them focussed during the 9 months of training. I love this sport because I'm surrounded by self motivated athletes who are having the time of their lives. I'm not saying sign up for Ironman but find something that gets your juices going.

Me and Sean

Please don't say you can't tell which one is me.
Sean has often been referred to as the more handsome one, a fact that kind of bothers me.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Running Posted by Picasa
I like running anywhere, but there is nothing like running on trails. I don't have any pictures of me trail running though, but I have one of me finishing the Seattle Marathon.
Here's a test to determine whether you have what it takes to be a trail runner. Add the points in parenthesis if you answer "yes" and score yourself at the end.
1. Do you regularly return from runs bleeding? (+1)
2. Do you regularly encounter animals which could maim or kill you(dogs don't count - cows do but only if you've been threatened by one) (+1)
3. Are all your running socks brown?
4. Have you ever gotten dirt in your mouth or up your nose from a fall? (+1)
5. Have you ever taken a detour from a race to see what's over the edge? (+1)
6. Do you time your workouts? (-1) Do you record your times? (-1)
7. Which do you fear more on run, getting shot by hunters (+1), or getting shot by thugs (-1)
8. Do you keep a written PR list (-1) Is it publicly assessible ie. pinned to the wall in your office or on your blog? (-1)
9. Have you missed a meeting at work because the loop was a little longer than you thought? (+1)
10. Have you ever had to pull thorns out of your shoe? (+1)
11. On most of your runs do you have to decide whether to cross on a red light? (-1)
12. How long does it take for a fresh pair of shoes to lose that "new" look? two weeks (-1), one week (0), three days (+1), one day (+2)
13. Have you evern torn your shirt, shorts, or self, on a barbed wire fence? (+1)
14. Do you regularly carry a street map on runs? (+1) a Topographical map? (+2)
15. Do you regularly wear gaiters or dump large amounts of dirt from your shoes? (+1)
16. Have you ever gotten lost enough on a trail that someone had to come looking for you? (+1)
17. Are there times you can't go on a favourite run because of mud or high water? (+1)
18. Can you pee anywhere you want on your run? (+1)

less than 7: a true Road Runner.
7-12 : A trail runner in spirit
over 12: A hardcore trail runner.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Alanis Morissette Concert Posted by Picasa
Jagged Little Pill Acoustic Tour.
Michelle and I went to see Alanis this Saturday night at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. I didn't know what to expect from an "Acoustic" tour and thought it might just be her by herself, unlugged.
The Orpheum is a smaller theatre and we were treated to a fantastic performance by her and the complete band. Some of the songs were a little slower paced, but I didn't think they lost any of the edge of the original. This is the tenth anniversary of Jagged Little Pill and the tour is to commemorate that album. Mostly the audience was composed of angry young women but I knew Michelle would protect me. Michelle, being the same age as Alanis, sang along to all of the songs. Funny enough, Michelle used to live in the same apartment building as Ryan Reynolds who is Alanis' fiance. I told this to the ticketmaster people, but still didn't get the backstage pass.


Terracotta Warriors Posted by Picasa
Just thinking about archaeology and visiting interesting places and I remembered that one of my friends sent me some pictures last year.
My friend Lisa Hayes went to China last summer and sent me this. The warriors were created in 246 BC by the first emporer of all China, Quin Shi Hiang so that they would be buried with him in his mausoleum. The warriors took 11 years to finish.
The warriors were first found in 1974 by a group of peasants.
By the way, Lisa is a producer and her website is
I'm not her biggest fan, but I do think she's kind of cool. It's too womens issue stuff for me.


Machu Pichu Posted by Picasa
Machu Pichu is fairly close to my project site and I will certainly visit it when I am down there. It is a spectacular city built under the supervision of Inca Architects and was the only city not destroyed by the Spanish colonists because they couldn't find it. It is built into the landscape using granite blocks which were cut with stone or bronze tools. They didn't use any cement mortar but the blocks were so expertly cut that they don't require it. Some of the structures hang over the sides of the steep cliffs.
The Incans used advanced terracing and irrigation methods to grow corn and potatoes in the village to sustain themselves. The city was devastated by smallpox and then by civil war in the 1500's and was basically deserted for 400 years until found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a professor from Yale who was actually looking for another Incan city called Vilcabamba. The most important historical item at Machu Pichu is a column of stone, the intihuatana, which was a "tying post" for the sun. As winter solstice approached and the sun appeared to be disappearing more each day, the priest would perform a ceremony to tie the sun to the intihuatana to keep the sun from disappearing entirely. The Spanish Conquistidors destroyed all of the other intihuatanas but because they never found Machu Pichu, this one is intact.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Difficult Books

I am very proud of myself for completing the most difficult book I have ever read. The entire 9 pages were full of words that I could not comprehend and not having the luxury of a dictionary I had to struggle using only the sentence context with a little help from the pictures. I did manage to read the book in under an hour and a half, which is all the time we had allotted for this mornings class. Juanito y Los Frijoles Mágicos is a book I will read again. I have to reread it as I’m being tested on it next Spanish Class.

Monday, July 04, 2005

14.5 lbs

About $10,000 Posted by Picasa
This is the lightest bike I've ever seen and I can't believe that Brian McCoy owns it. Brian and I are not exactly lightweights like the guys in the Tour de France so the weight savings of a bike like this may be lost on guys that are classified as Clydesdales. Brian does work for Orbea and is the sales representative for Canada and he probably got a pretty good deal on the bike. This is a carbon fibre Orbea with the best of everything on it. He's replaced the 300 gram Dura Ace brakes with ones that weigh only 150 grams! The American Classic wheels are the best race wheels out there in my opinion. Of course he can only drink lime sports drinks so his water bottle matches the bike. He put the longer 175 carbon cranks on it and his hamstrings are suffering a bit but he thinks he can build up enough strength to get away with the 175's.
To put into perspective how light this bike is, a mountain bike weighs 30 pounds. My first good bike, the Miele, weighed about 23 pounds, my Vitali weighed 22 and my Cramerotti weighs about 19. It gets ridiculously expensive getting your bike down under 15 pounds. Bikes this light used to be banned in competitions because of the risk of the frames breaking. I know that Ironman Pro Jill Savege just bought one of these bikes too. I wouldn't mind, but $10,000?