Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Visit with Plum

I haven’t seen her in a long time and was so anxious that I got there at 6:30am. I decided that I should phone first because it may have been a little early. I turned back and went to the Tsawwassen Starbucks and phoned Tracey to see if it was OK to come over a little earlier and to see if she wanted a chai latte. She wasn’t really thrilled that at the 6:30 part, but she was nice enough to let me come by and pick up Plum at that time.
Plum is 13 years old but still looks fantastic. Her hips are giving her a few problems now and she can’t do the long runs like she could just last year. I took her out to see the Tri Club start off their ride, then we went for a long walk through the Endowment Lands, then a walk around Kitsilano, then we went to visit the fabulous liz and went for another walk. Plum was so cute as she fell asleep in the car on the drive out to Tracey’s – she always likes to have one paw touching me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Who Put This Stuff in my Bathroom

I'm a pretty mellow guy and I don't like to get too excited or stressed out; but certain things really get me going. Certain things related to women.
The divorce has really affected my ability to have a long lasting relationship and one or two ex-girlfriends have seen me "freak out" when faced with commitment issues. There is no discussion about "moving in together" but there is a new related topic that is getting my attention.
As of yestereday there are now four articles in my apartment bathroom that I did not purchase.
The first item is Baush & Lomb Renu Multiplus Contact Lens Solution. The second item is a Contact Lens holder. I do not wear Contact Lenses, nor do I even wear glasses.
The other two items are Tampax Regular Tampons. These items I clearly do not use.
I adore my new girlfriend, but can I take the stress?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Is that mine?

I just realized that I can no longer wear my black Speedo.
There are a couple of reasons that I won't wear this swimsuit to the pool anymore. One reason is that last summer it fell out of my swimbag on the way back from the pool and was run over by traffic on Thurlow Street for an hour before I figured out where it was. It has tire marks on it that won't come out. Another reason is that I need to keep it dry in my sports bag for those occasions when I go for a run at lunch time and forget to bring a change of underwear and the swimsuit has to be a substitute. I have gone to work wearing a slightly damp swimsuit under my pants and that was not comfortable. Commando? Not me.
The real reason I can't wear it is that I'm too embarrased. When did this happen and why? But look how small it is.

I have placed it next to a pair of my underwear for comparison. Both are size 36.
I think it's a factor of not training this year and I'm not a hardbody anymore (well, I never really was, but I was a little leaner). I don't parade around in it when I am in Ironman shape, but I'm not embarrased to wear it then. Maybe next year I'll bring the Speedo out of retirement.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gummy Bears

In the early 1970’s a new health food store opened up in Tsawwassen and they had an interesting candy I had never seen before called “Gummy Bears”. Of course the health food store had a lot of credibility with my Mom, and she had no problem with me buying Gummy Bears because, after all, they were “natural”. I always thought they were made from Kelp, or Seaweed, and I have no idea where I got that idea, but I was sure that they were a nutritious, vitamin packed, energy food.
30 years later, as I train for my endurance races, I am appalled at the price of “energy foods” such as Power Gels, and Gu – which are just basically rice syrup and my friends suggested just going back to the basics and eating say, Ju Jubes, or even Gummy Bears.
What a great idea! So in the late 1990’s I started up a new relationship with Gummy Bears as a training food.
The Gummies have also helped me get through my two years Masters Programme by helping to keep me cranked up during those long nights of writing papers. But the Gummies have a downside in that I like them too much and I thought they were a “health food”. I remember one instance where I was overloaded with course work and had a 2:00 am night ahead of me so I went to London Drugs to get some kind of snack to keep me alert. I actually went to get some Popcorn but I saw the big bag of Gummy Bears on sale and thought - hey those things are pretty healthy.
So I bought the 2 kilogram bag (4.4 pounds) figuring that they would last me a couple of days at least and maybe I could even use them on my weekend bike ride. I ate the entire bag that night. Worse, I also drank a two litre bottle of Coca Cola. I was pretty cranked up for five or six hours and managed to write a pretty good paper but I sure suffered the next day. I’m probably lucky that I didn’t end up in Emergency with some sort of blockage. I don’t eat 4.4 pounds at one sitting anymore, but I still like them.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Project Hash Brown

Inspired by the movie Supersize Me, I have started Project Hash Brown.

Shown above is Assistant Project Manager Neil holding an authentic McDonalds Hash Brown.

There is no schedule for this project because the completion date is unknown. The point of this project is to see how long it will take before the McDonalds Hash Brown (now residing in my top drawer) will last before I see signs of mold, significant disintegration, rat droppings, or nasty notes from the Human Resources Department.

Project started at 7:40 am, Friday, April 07, 2006.

Observation from the Electrical Department:
Still looks OK. Throw it in the microwave for 20 seconds and it’s good to go.

Observations from Process:
That's not the best place to store it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Project Fiat?

I've been looking for new hobby because I have lots of new leisure time. I may have found one in my girlfriend's garage. She has been storing it for one of her friends for three years and it's in pretty good shape - but not running.
This means it may need engine work / electrical work / suspension work etc.

It's a 1969 Fiat 850 Spyder. I thought it was styled by Pininfarina, but no, it's just Bertone. Nevertheless it's a styling little convertible - much nicer than the Fiat 124, or the MGB I was looking at several years ago. It's no XK120 however and it's a FIAT (Fix It Again Tony).

I'm working out a budget for the car restoration but it's not looking favourable. Basically it will be around $5,000 to get the thing in pretty good working order. Besides the cost of getting it running I know it will nickle and dime me to death. Plus it will break own on Sunday morning coffee runs to Whistler.
But, I'm still considering it.

Here are a few pictures.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tips from an Ultraman Champion

Gerard Charlton and Brian carbo loading with Chocolate cupcakes.

Gerard won Ultraman Canada last year and he has one of the best attitudes of top triathletes that I've seen. Too many triathletes lose the "fun" aspect of our sport. Gerard says that the whole point is to have a bigger smile than the volunteers at the water stations. Once you lose that attitude then you probably aren't having fun, and why would you want to do something that isn't fun?
This is the approach that I use when coaching both cycling and swimming. As long as the athletes are having fun then they will continue to train.
Sure, there are athletes like Paul Krochak that go out at 5:00 am for 3 hill repeats at Cypress, but we think that is just wrong!
Guys like Krochak, and even Ota Hally, are obsessive with their training and devote unbelievable hours to it. The funny thing is that Gerard only puts in one third the amount of training time that those guys do, and he's winning Ultraman.

If you do want to go "fast" here are some of Gerard's recommendations.
One long run or one long ride per week. NOT BOTH! Alternate the long stuff. Your body needs the rest when training for long distance events.
Think about Quality. Make sure you get tempo runs and tempo rides in rather than just doing shorter rides. It's just like a real Masters swim workout when you do 100's on 1:30. Swimming is much harder when you go fast like that, but that's how you get faster.
So do some fast running at the track. Go to the Steve Symons track workouts on Tuesday night at Discovery and 16th. It's FREE! Get out there.
And do some time trial rides, and intervals when you are out at Iona.
I guess if you do want to go fast you have to lay off the chocolate cupcakes too.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain in Vancouver is an absolutely beautiful ski hill. It's 20 minutes from downtown and has an unbelievable vista of the city.

I went skiing there today! And I didn't do too badly either. I was a fairly good skier as a kid, but haven't done anything for 15 years or so. I did go to Whistler with Murry and Jim in 2003 and it was pretty difficult getting my ski legs back.
My girlfriend Liz is a pretty good snow boarder and she wanted to go up, so what could I say?
The first run was a "green" easy run and my legs were shaking intensely because I was using muscles that I normally don't use. I tried to relax for the second run and that worked well. I graduated to the blue run quickly and was scooting past Liz by the fourth run. Yay me. (not competitive at all). I never actually made it to the bottom of the run before her, but I was happy to pass her once or twice.