Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Final Preparations

So my race is only three sleeps away now.  I have been in training for this all summer, even though I didn’t even know I was going to be in this race, or running at all.  It is interesting to think that I began the summer as someone who was totally against running and have ended it as someone who runs for the fun of it now.

Last night I passed by Jodi at the gym (my trainer) she was on the way to teach a class and I was on the way to go run the trails behind the college one last time before the race.  I was told that I have to drink water like a fish this week to be ready for Saturday and of course have a pasta meal on Friday night and a good breakfast on the day of.  The food won’t be a problem, the water is something I won’t really enjoy.  I’d totally rather have a Coke Zero than a glass of water.  But you gotta do what you gotta do I suppose.

I also found out last night that I am more like my dad than I figured.  Turns out that when I was about six years old or so (which would put him right around my age now) , he ran.  We lived on a long street that ended in a loop, it was about a mile to go down and back he said.  He go out, no warm up at all and then run down the road and back, always trying to beat his best times and such.  Go figure.  We also had a long discussion about just racing in general and timing yourself and whatnot since my dad does all this stuff on his bike at the moment, doing time trials and a couple races.

So what prep is left to do.  Just try not to break anything between now and Saturday, eat right and drink water.  I’m not going to get any faster than I am right now I don’t think so all I can do is leave it all on the table on race day.

Of course the awesome shirt I am having made might help me on race day!  We will see.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today I Interview

As most of you are aware I recently began a new career in child care after spending two years back at school to become an Early Childhood Educator.  Returning to school as a 29 year old was fun and exciting and allowed me to correct a few of the mistakes I made when I went to college the first time, and maybe even help a few people avoid those same errors.

I immediately got hired as a supply upon my graduation, and shortly thereafter landed a contract position at one of my favourite supply places. The centre, the yard, the area the children and the staff all made the place amazing and when the opportunity came up I jumped on it.  I didn’t even consult the final decision with my wife before I said yes in fact.

Today I interview to have that contract job become a permanent full time position.  I hope it goes well and I hope it’s the last interview I need to do for some time.  I’d like nothing better than to continue to do what I’m doing at work.  I honestly didn’t think it would be possible for me to like a job this much after spending so long working with a super friend in Damion, but I do.

I have tried to guide my own fate as much as possible this time around when it comes to jobs and where I would work and all that but, wish me luck anyways!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Karate Camping Weekend

Otherwise known as “How Amber Flipped Our Canoe. Twice”.

So we finally had a second annual something at karate and it was the camping trip on the banks of Indian River on one of the karate students amazing property.  This is usually a great time of just hanging out and chatting, the kids get to canoe and kayak in a river that only gets about waist deep anywhere nearby and the adults get to do pretty much the same thing.  This year I elected not to camp since I dislike camping quite a bit, but Amber and I went for the Friday evening and I returned for the Saturday morning with coffees for everyone and to do some visiting.

The “highlight” of the trip happened on the Friday evening though.  We were waiting for folks to get settled and the fire to get started up for cooking sausages and such and I decided it would be a great idea to go for a little paddle on the river.  I have done quite a bit of canoeing in my life as my dad is an avid paddler and while most of my enjoyable time in a canoe has been spent going down rivers with rapids that range up to runnable class 4 rapids.

I’ve done enough paddling on lakes and slow rivers for fishing and whatnot that I am comfortable in pretty much and situation, though I wouldn’t go down big rapids without someone like my dad.

Ahead of the camping trip I asked Amber multiple times if she had been canoeing before and the obvious dismissal with which she said yes had made me certain that she was steady in a canoe and ready for what the very mild section of Indian River had to offer.

We got a canoe finally free from some of the kids there and I hopped down to the stern and sat, knees on the bottom, butt on the seat a bit, and ready to stabilize the boat since it’s always a bit wobbly getting in and out of a canoe.  Serena pushed us off with a bit of help from Amber.   “What are you doing?” I exclaimed as Amber sat so high in the seat I thought she was riding a horse and within five seconds we had flipped.  I was in shock and quickly dug our camera out of my pocket and handed it to Jill on the shore hoping it would still work, It wasn’t even wet inside thankfully.

Empty the water

The camera taken care of, I righted the canoe with some help from Amber to drain the water, and hopped from the river back into the boat.  Amber attempted to get in again and again over we went.  I was laughing, and I was trying to yell over the din of hilarity that was going on from the shore as I explained that she just tripled the number of times I can remember actually flipping a canoe, and the one other time was in huge white water.

The third time turned out to be the charm and we finally got going, my humiliation had subsided and I could lay the blame completely on Amber for the incident.  We went up the river and got up three tiny little V’s of fast water before turning and coming back down.  This is one incident where Amber’s over confidence came back to bite her and all in all it was hilarious for everyone concerned.

Her version of the story can be found here on her blog, it’s a bit different from mine, ha ha!


Finally on our way, soaked to the bone.

One Week To Go

By this time next Saturday I will have run my 10km Mudrun.  I will, I am quite sure, be thankful the whole experience is over – especially if it is as hot as today has turned out to be.  Today in my final long run for preparation I ran a new course that was 12km long and included many more hills than my 10km route of the last three weeks which was mostly a very gradual rise and fall of land.

It took me just slightly (25 seconds to be exact) longer than an hour to run and I did have enough at the end to really give it on the last 600 metres or so to try to make the time under an hour but it was just too great a distance to cover in under 40 seconds.

I’ve learned quite a bit about myself during this eight week long journey from ‘guy who hates running’ to ‘guy who knows now that running is something I can enjoy’.  Not the least of which is: I like to do better always.  When I ran the same courses I always wanted a better time than last the last run.  It seemed to me that it should only be reasonable that each time out would be faster since I am training to actually be faster and no less should be accepted.  That mindset really had me on a path to not like running very much.

I also learned however that I can trick my body into doing things that I never would have thought possible.  When I set out and ran my first 5km run I never would have thought that I’d be able to run 10 or 12km.  But now that I have run 12, it seems pretty reasonable that I could, if I so desired run 15 or 20km, not that I want to.

The running though has given me an appreciation of just how far I’ve come in a year.  By August 2010 I was no longer fat, but I was not in shape yet.  I had stripped my body back to the basic parts and was in the initial stages of building what I have now become.  If I had tried to run this far then I would have collapsed still I think, I would not have had the stamina to do it.  Now I can, after so many workouts at the gym, so my squats and wall jumps and sprints and stepping and oh so many other rigorous gym activities, I can run a 12km route and feel as though I can do more.

I am excited to do this race a week from now, to see what my body can do when there is a goal line, to see how far I can push to beat that guy that leaves the starting line at the same time.  I'm in this race to win, and while that may be a foolish goal to set on my first ever race, why aspire to anything less?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fitness Assessments

I have been extolling the virtues of fitness assessments to a few people of late.  My wife for one and to fellow Blogger Mandy over at ‘The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life’.  The reasons for this are actually quite lengthy and reasonable.  Mainly they give something other than weight to measure progress, they actually give a whole host of things to measure and to indicate progress.  It is something that you can not do regularly, seeing as you need a trainer to do the different measurements for you and it would be quite costly to have them all the time it allows you time between measurements for actual progress to take place.  It helps you to see progress in different ways than just a slimming waistline.

Now for me I did not do a fitness assessment before I actually embarked on my mission to lose weight.  The “assessment” I had was a work out at the karate club that was maybe 15 minutes of actual work yet it left me feeling like I was dying from the inside out with lungs burning, heart racing and muscles weak.  My first actual assessment at the gym was the first thing I did with a trainer and by that point I have already lost about 60lbs. So I unfortunately do not have the horrifying stats that truly indicate how far I came from point A to point B

So here I will show you the assessments I have done and break them down a bit for you.

Here are sort of the main stats, the categories are pretty self explanatory, weight is in kg because I’m Canadian and we use metric apparently, even Wii Fit forces kg on me.  77.3kg is about 170Lbs, my lowest weight shown here, 69.3kg is about 152lbs.  Most charts and such indicate that a “perfect” BMI is about 22, though most of those things are just using height, age and weight to calculate that and do not take into consideration the ratio of muscle to fat.  Percentage of body fat is a nice indicator, though keep in mind women have a higher percentage than men usually.  According to this Wikipedia article I’m teetering around the athlete/fitness percentage during all of these assessments.  6-13% being athletic range and 14-17% being fitness range.

main stats

The next section is about measuring skin folds and ability and such.  The skin folds were taken at the same point on my body for each measurement, triceps and biceps are self explanatory, subscapular is just under the shoulder blade, iliac crest is at the top of the hip bone on the side and calf is at the mid point on the back of your calf.  You can see pretty dramatic drops from June 10th measurements to the July 13th ones as up until June I was only doing cardio, eat nothing weight loss, after I met with my trainer we started muscle building programs and that took up some space inside my skin and tightened it up.

The final two numbers for each of the push-ups and partial curl ups are how many I could do in a minute while the first 3 numbers are going for a minimum required to be considered “excellent” by the standards of the assessment.  Trunk flex is how far forward you can reach past your toes and the vertical jump numbers are how high my hand touched up the wall, on a sheet somewhere is the starting point (how high I can reach just standing there).


skin folds

This next one is muscle measurements, and it is something I really wish I had done in the beginning as Jodi was surprised and disappointed that we did not.  It would have been great to see the real changes from beginning to end.  The measurements are in centimetres

muscle measurments

As you can see there are so many things you can measure besides weight and many of them are exciting as you can see the increase in ability that goes along with those measurements.  One of the other things we decided to do was an obstacle course after Jodi and I decided that we had run these assessments past their usefulness, and now I have taken up running as you are surely aware of if you read this blog.  These give me a fantastic idea of how fit I may be.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So many people seem so jazzed about camping. I do not get it. I have camped many times, mostly as a kid while canoeing with my dad. When people ask me now if I want to go camping I inform then that I have put in my camping time and decline.

Now, to be fair, as a kid I enjoyed camping. I liked cooking things over a fire, I liked starting the camp fires and I could sleep during the trips. Then I became a teenager and I began to hate camping.

Part of it was that the summer after grade 9 I went on a trip to northern Quebec with my dad and his friends to canoe and it was the hottest week of camping ever, and the blackflies were at a point where you didn't feel you needed bug spray but by the end of the day you had bites to scratch. I enjoyed the canoeing, but hated the sleeping in a tent because the heat and the bugs had made me crazy.

Later I would be in Outdoor Ed. in grade 11. Parts of the trips we took during that class are nothing short of epic, other parts were awful, some had to do with the jerks in the class, others with an annoying whippoorwill that did not have enough sense to be quiet at 4am.

Now I like pretty much everything about camping except for two things. Most people like to camp in the summer when it is boiling hot, A/C was invented for a reason. And the other thing is that most people want to camp on a campground, where its noisy with people, or too quiet with no background noise.

I would try camping again if I was canoeing in the spring or fall, and making camp on the river by some rapids. Otherwise, I'll take my nice bed and A/C in the summer.

- Appendix A -

It was noted by my friend Rob that camping 15-20 years about was more about a family experience rather than the party hard to prove something event that it is now.  I agree with him, and in doing so had this great recollection about camping when I was younger…

The best trips I can remember are just me and my dad on the Mississauga river and being the only people out there.  I'd wake up early, catch a fish or two and dad would cook them for breakfast.  As far as I know camping is supposed to be about communing with nature, not an outdoor drinking contest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Sign Is Nigh

Well I ran today again at the gym and have figured out how I’m about to enjoy running.  After the discussion I had with Jill at karate on Saturday about my OCD about keeping track of and beating times on runs it dawned on me today as I ran the trails in behind Fleming College that if I am actually going to enjoy running I simply have to do it in a way that time and distance have little or no meaning.

I had a bit of a wonky ankle today and was waffling on whether I was going to run or do my upper body workout today.  In the end I decided I would run as my ankle did not hurt that bad, and it would give me three full days before a much longer run on Saturday morning in my last long training run before the race.  So today I ran, with only the idea in mind that I would run for about forty minutes.  Much like a run on a treadmill or elliptical but much more entertaining due to the variety of terrain and the views in the forest.

The beauty of the whole thing is that during the run I was sure I was going along at a good clip due to my breathing, but I did not have a clear finish line or finish time in mind, the trails twist and turn and I ran certain loops a few times.  Its possible that I could run back there and never do the same run twice which is where my propensity to beat my last time and push super hard for times is eliminated.

So there it is, I enjoyed running today, I even chose it over a quite satisfying upper body workout and in the face of a sore ankle (and the risk of twisting it even more). 

Say your prayers, start stocking the freezer, the end must be near!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Love Homemade Pizza

One of the best things my wife has bought lately is a pizza stone from a Pampered Chef party she went to a couple of months ago.  For a long time it sat in it’s box in the living room and the cats enjoyed this new box as a place to sit.  Finally I pulled the pizza dough out of the freezer and one weekend I ate pizza for pretty much every meal.

2011-07-30 17.59.39

‘But Chris!’ you say, ‘That does not sound very healthy or calorie smart!’
“Oh but it is!”, I say.  I pull apart the dough using about a quarter of the prepared dough each time and roll it out until it’s about paper thin. Like so:


That’s a half eaten piece there.  It makes for a decent sized pizza as you can see and including the toppings (sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and some olives) that entire pizza is only about 900 calories.  So as a weight loss item if you are sharing the pizza it’s great, for me now I can eat the whole thing (as long as I have been responsible during the day, or done my usual weekend marathon of activities).

Compare this pizza to any that you can get take out and you’ll find a few things.  It’s ready faster than it takes a delivery pizza to arrive, there are less calories in it and it’s just as yummy as the best delivery pizza I have had, and believe me, I know all about delivered pizza – but that’s a whole different post.

A Note From The Management

I’ve been wanting to change the look of the blog for a while now, thought I would try this out.  I did save the old version just in case I end up not liking this.  I think the hardest part is coming up with a title header that I like.


Let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I am, shall we say, a wee bit on the competitive side.  More so with myself than when participating in team games.  That is to say when I play hockey in the winter I want to win and I have way more fun when we are winning, but I don’t lose my head over the game, but when it comes to beating previous best times or scores or whatever I can be just a tiny bit OCD about the whole thing.

When that OCD part was pointed out to me this morning after karate during a discussion about running I thought it was a bit funny, but as I have had time to think about it now, it’s totally true.  Take this morning’s run for example.

As you know if you read this blog with any regularity I am training for a race the goes on September 3rd and in doing so I have been running ever lengthening distances for the past seven weeks now, 5.2Km, then 8, then 10.  Today, the seventh Saturday in my training I planned to run 12Km.  I planned this because the race itself is 10Km and I thought I should run further than the actual race, so that on race day I have something left in the tank.  So what I did was use my 10Km route and tack on a 2Km loop on the end so that I could still get my time from the 10Km to compare to last week.  This it turns out was a bad idea, because due to my need to do better than the week before I practically sprinted the final 1.6Km just so that I could beat the time from last week.  When I was done with that I simply could not make my legs work any longer and had to give up on the extra 2Km after attempting twice to run after I had crossed the 10Km finish line.

I was told that I have to let go of the time issue if I am going to enjoy running, but I am fairly certain that both of those things will never happen.  So in that way my competitiveness is bad for me, it did actually prevent me from accomplishing my distance goal today because I know that had I just kept trucking along at my usual pace, accepting a slightly higher time than last week, I would have done the extra distance no problem.

However it’s come in handy to be this way a number of other times, but I thought it was a great compliment a few weeks ago while on a training trail run with Jodi (my trainer) when she said she loved training me because I always push for that next goal. I always want to be better than I was the last time I did an exercise or a bike ride or a run.

The solution to today’s issue is simple, plan out a different 12Km route but know where the 10Km mark is, so I can compare times, but accept that it’s a different route so any difference in time can be rationalized that way and then continue to finish the 12Kms.  As for the OCD about keeping track of things like that, I doubt that will ever change!

Today I ran 10Km in 46:25, last week it was 46:45 and the first 10Km run was 49:10.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Do It Like You Mean It

Way back when I was about 14 I played hockey (and I say that very loosely as I could hardly skate) out in Lakehurst on the outdoor rink.  One of the older guys maybe about my dad’s age at the time was giving me some pointers on a particular evening and after I had floated another soft pass his way he told me to ‘Pass like I mean it’.  Meaning it’s my job to have the puck going where I want it to go and it was his to figure out a way to accept that pass.  If you do it like I mean it the results will come.

This is something I say a lot to folks at karate, but it can be applied to so many things.  If you want to throw a good punch or kick and you do it half-heartedly your going to get half the result you want, or less.  If you are trying to get in shape and you do it kind of here and there and don’t put any intent to what you are doing, it’s not going to happen. If your slacking off at school or work, your marks or your boss is going to take notice, you reap what you sow.

If you are aiming to achieve a goal sort term or long term you have to do it like you mean it.  Put the effort in along the way and focus to complete the necessary tasks.  I find this applying to myself in a broader way now in training for this run.  I could just be working on cardio at the gym, I could be doing the half distance (5Km) fun run, but I’m not.  If I’m going to do this I’m going all in and training in a way that is going to set me up to succeed.  Why would I prepare any other way?

But all this is not just about how much you do, or what physical activity there is involved though.  It’s a mindset.  Are you going to float, or are you going to make it happen?

Do it like you mean it!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I was watching Oprah today at work, don’t judge – we only get one channel.  And the story today was about a woman that was over-weight back in 2005 and then had some gastric bypass surgery and lost weight.  However during the time that she was big her father did nothing but put her down and call her fat and so on.  Now that she is thin her father is all nice to her and according to her they have a great relationship.

I said to the other person watching ‘Seriously?’  How can you put down your own child like that and then go on an pretend that everything is fine after.  How can she just be ok with the fact that her father was a huge jerk to her before hand and then carry on like everything is hunky dory after?

Does she really have acceptance?  Who did she lose the weight for?  Is she really happy about the whole situation?  I had to go back to work after what I had seen so far but I can’t imagine that someone that has to look a certain way for their own father to be nice to them can be all that happy.  And is it really acceptance from the father if he is only nice to his daughter because she is thin?

Acceptance and love should have been happening in the first place.  Accept people for who they are, what they do.  Not everyone is going to be in your group of friends for a variety of reasons but appearance should not be one of them.  '”There is a difference”, I said this to the other person in the room today, “between putting someone down and wanting better for that person.”  Case in point, when I was big my mom would say things like ‘I want you to be happy and healthy’ or things of that sort, not ‘Lose weight because you can’t be happy being that fat!’  She wanted better for me for ages, but I was never denied love or attention from her in the meantime.

Acceptance should not be about a certain look, clothes or size.  It’s about finding the good in someone and welcoming that into your life, and the both of you being better for it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Like To Ride My Bicycle…

I have taken to riding my bike quite a bit, not nearly to the extent my dad has, he rides like 150Km in a day just for fun.  But I have taken to it never-the-less as part of my usual weekend activities. 

A couple of weeks ago I rode out to Lakefield also the bike path and I saw a guy riding his road bike along the winding road.  I have a mountain bike, sort of a high end Wal-Mart type.  It’s not crappy to be sure, but if I had bought it at a bike shop it would have been the cheapest one they carry. The guy riding the road bike had the whole 9 yards, the jersey and the aerodynamic helmet, the shorts and all that.  Yes that road twists back and forth a bit while the bike path is straight, but I was out running him. during a stretch when the road and the path run parallel I put distance between us.  It was great.  He was not likely trying as hard as I was, at least for his sake I hope not, but it was still satisfying.

Last night after dinner I went for a quick ride just up the Jackson park path and back.  Just as I was about to go through the gate that keeps larger vehicles off the path one of those moped/scooters passed me.  I took it as a challenge I was going to race this guy and see how long I could stay ahead of him.  So on went the jets and I passed him in short order, I was putting space between us when we came to the wide open section where you can turn off the path to head up to Fairbairn Street and he turned.  I was disappointed.  I was pleased that for that short distance I totally mopped the floor with the guy on a motorized bike, but sad that the race was so short.  Before we even began I was sure it would have been no problem to sprint past him, but the challenge was going to be in doing it over a long distance.  Oh well.

Turns out it might have been for the best as the bugs started to come out and by the time I reached the end of the path before it becomes the Omemee trail it was all I could do to not swallow bugs or get them in my eyes.  If I had been working really hard at that point I would have had to puke from all the bugs I had eaten I think.

I’m quite sure it will be a long time before I’m as crazy as my dad about cycling, but it would be fun to do a short race and see how well I can do.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Keystone is under the protection of a man who can outrun Gravity.

So I was on my way home yesterday and was thinking to myself, ‘I can’t wait to run tomorrow’. I was quite surprised by that thought and I began to wonder why.  I don’t really enjoy the act of running beyond the first 3 or 4 minutes.  But I like measurable results.  I think that’s what it is.

In working up to running this 10Km Mudrun in three more weeks I have been running for six weeks building from 5 to 8 to 10Km so far now.

Last week I ran 10Km in 49:10 this week I ran the same course in 46:45.  I had said last night to Amber that I wanted to get somewhere in the 47 minutes range before I had to do the run and here I did it the very next week.

I think here I have the same principle as I do when I was first attending the gym.  At the gym I was always striving for more time or more output and then residual measurable progress was my weight.  My weight no longer changes very much and this new activity has given me something where I can measure results and strive for a better outcome each time.

Maybe I can make it 10Km in under 40 minutes?  It’s just might be possible.

My Cats

I mentioned that I was going to toilet train the cats the other day.  I have three cats, Daisy, Cringer and CJ.


2011-08-09 19.45.54


CJ is technically Amber’s cat.  She brought him into the house when she moved in and it took quite a while for him to fit in with the other two but especially with Cringer.  He is also the biter.  When you are petting CJ you have to be sure to keep and eye on what is going on as he likes to nip at you to show he is having a good time.  I sometimes refer to him as Charles Johnson as I think give a get a two letter name is silly.  CJ likes to chase Daisy which sometimes works out nicely as a game and sometimes others step in to stop it.  He’s also the scientist of the group and anytime you have strips of paper he’ll steal them and put them in the water dish to watch them float and eventually sink (this also happens with pretty much every toy the cats have).


2011-02-27 19.49.46

Daisy came into the house just after Christmas of 2004 I believe.  She would have come right at Christmas but the shelter doesn’t let people adopt pets at that time of year because they don’t want them given as presents.  She is named after Princess Daisy because that was as close to a video game name as I was allowed at the time.  She is the terrified cat.  Daisy is afraid of everything at first, I would like to say was, but sadly and hilariously is really is the proper term.  She used to hide from everyone forever, if there was company at the house you would never see her, but now when it is common people she’ll come out to investigate.  She loves my friend Damion now.  It took quite a few years but Daisy can actually be the playful cat now.  She likes to make forts out of blankets and always plays in the laundry when I am folding it.

2011-02-20 22.02.19100_4754

She’s also my buddy every morning now.  Because of CJ she does not sleep in the bed anymore, but when I come out of the room in the morning she follows me around wanting attention.

I also call Daisy Smellypants fairly often, but I actually am not sure why, of the three cats she is for sure the neat and tidiest.  Daisy is very proper just by her attitude.

She’ll play with CJ to a point but when she gets bothered she’ll growl and hiss at him, when that happens Cringer will step in and tell CJ to back off.  Daisy does like to tackle Cringer and they play together quite nicely.


2011-08-09 19.45.41

This is Cringer in her new usual spot.  She has decided that the love seat is her seat and will typically sit right in the corners of the seat, or on the arm with her face buried into the back of the couch.  She is it oldest cat in the house as I got her as a gift way back in 2001.  She looks big but she’s mostly fuzz.  She is definitely ‘my’ cat.

Cringer sleeps quite a bit but does like to play especially with laser pointers and springs.  She’s the quietest of the three by voice but sometimes has a very heavy foot-fall for a cat as you can hear her thumping over to you when she chooses to not be mindful of her foot steps.

Cringer Loves yogurt of any sort and has gotten her head stuck in a yogurt cup on more than one occasion.  She’s the boss of the group and spent a while ensuring that CJ knew his place when he came into the house.  When Daisy and CJ get playing too rough and Daisy meows Cringer bolts over to where they are and lets CJ know that enough is enough and he should back off.

She sleep with me every night like a teddy, when it’s time for bed I call out ‘Cringer, bedtime’ once or twice and she’ll come and hop up right beside my pillow.  She’s also the only one of the three that will let you hold her for any amount of time and she like to have her chin and neck petted.

100_47602011-05-13 13.19.14

Of these three test subjects I think it will be Cringer that is toilet trained first because Daisy will be scared of it and while CJ like to experiment I think Cringer takes to new things a bit quicker than he does.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I went to the gym today after work to do the same running program as I had last week.  This past weekend I did not do the marathon of activities that I did the previous one and since Monday was a work day instead of a holiday I took it off from the gym and did two classes of karate as my only exercise.

I must admit I was unable to complete the program as written again this week, but progress was made.  It’s also comforting to know that the program as written is insane.  I climbed 1470 feet vertically along with the horizontal distance.  In case you are wondering just how to put that in perspective and how high 1470 feet is, well it’s at least as long as the vertical drop that the longest run that this ski resort has


Yeah in essence I ran UP a ski hill but likely over a greater distance as my time spent going uphill accounted for somewhere around 6km of the 10km run I did!

Now I did not complete to program as written due to three factors.  One is that I had to take a break and run along a flat for a couple minutes in between the first “hill” and the second, and the second and the third.  Second I had to go a little bit slower than I would have liked only running at 6.5 miles/hour on some of the hills,  and third I could not climb a 9% grade running at 8 miles/hour for 10 minutes.

Denton9Pct9% is enough to get a warning sign.  The maximum I had to run up was 13%

However I did last longer than the previous week and that is progress and of course that is what this is all about.  It what a lot of things in life are about.  Progress.  If I can master this program in the next two weeks I’ll be sitting pretty for the mudrun as there will be nothing as crazy as running uphill for 6km in that race!

I feel better about this run that I did last week because there was measurable progress, and that makes things alright by me!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Toilet Train The Cat

Today I have been challenged.  And not challenged in my usual kind of way. Not to a test of strength or will, not a challenge of endurance or power.  I have been challenged on who can toilet train a cat first.

I think it would be great to have cats that poop in the toilet, think how much less cleaning up I'd have to do!

So how to go about it? After being told that I should have four litter boxes for my three cats if I want less messes outside the litter box itself, taking a shot and buying a kit to help out seems like a good use of funds (since they are only $25).

The winner of the challenge will be whoever gets any one of their cats to go in the toilet first.  I intend to win, my prediction is that Cringer will be the first.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When I Have Kids

They will be great.  For a long time I have insisted that I'd like to have a boy.  This desire extended from all the whining about brushing hair that I was exposed to many years ago.

Now after my time in daycare I think that I'm fine with either, it will simply be Amber's job to manage the hair brushing duties.

Some things I am looking forward to are definitely the interesting and weird conversations, snuggles and reading books (I totally intend to buy stocks in Dr. Seuss!). I'm excited for the chance to take a little one on walks to explore the world and to have a child who doesn't even know what McDonald's is.

I'm not looking forward to poopy diapers and the guessing game of communication that seems to happen too often with babies.

I've discovered that one of the things that lets me enjoy children and my job so much is the communication that goes on. And what will make that even better will be teaching my kids silly things to say.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My First Defeat at the Gym

Yesterday was the first day I simply was unable to complete a workout that Jodi had laid out for me.  As you my know from previous posts I am going to do a Mudrun that is 10km in length, the cardio training I’m doing now is specifically aimed at that.

This latest routine has me running uphill (at an increasingly steeper incline) for kilometers on end.  I managed to complete the first two sections (of four) before having to give in on the third section of ten minutes.  I simply could not run up that steep of an incline any longer.  I had to lower the incline and walk for a few minutes until my legs recovered.  After that I did do the final section of the four section exercise and then continued to run for another 5km.

Looking at it as a whole picture though my weekend was filled with cardio activity.  in the three days previous to running last night I had rode my bike 60km and run 8km and been to the gym twice.  So while I was not able to complete the workout I feel there was a few more factors than simply being unable.
I aim to do this same routine a week from now, the end of the day might not be the best time, but during the week that’s all I have.  However I will have next Monday off of working out unlike this past week. As such I intend to be able to complete the entire thing.

One thing that you learn from defeat that you do not learn from success is just how much you want to do better.  If I had just been able to breeze through this running workout with no issues what incentive would I have to work harder?  Now I have a goal to complete, I do not intend to be beaten twice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Weekend

I have truly started to become my father’s son.  I am sure that two years ago he would have never guessed at this nor would I for that matter.  It struck me today as I pulled on my under armour shirt to go for a ride on my bike just how similar I am to him in certain aspects of life.

It stuck me then because I was choosing not to sit at home in front of the TV and play Batman Arkham Asylum (which I have beaten three times already).  18 months ago that would have been an ideal weekend day.  Sit at home, hiding from the sun and the heat outside and playing video games, but here I was venturing outside to ride my bike.

The weekends for me have become more like an endurance test.  This long weekend I have:


  • Run 8km
  • 2 hours of karate
  • 27km bike ride


  • 1.25 hours at the gym (arms)


  • 1.5 hours at the gym (legs)
  • Yard and deck work
  • 33km bike ride
  • 2 hours of karate to come yet

Last weekend was about the same except for that it was crammed into 2 days.  While these activities are mainly pushed by the short term goal of doing the Mudnewton they are very much as my father does.  Dad rides his bike now, when I lived at home it was canoeing or cross country skiing and each weekend he was working on something (mainly getting or splitting firewood).  I’ve taken the long route to getting there but I’m getting there and finding the pleasure in doing these types of tasks and activities, though I will like them a lot better in the fall than during the summer I am sure.

I try to do lots of things on the weekend, and I know it frustrates Amber that she has to be at work for the time being while I do all this stuff at home.  By this time next year hopefully we can be doing all this together.

As for being like my dad, I hope it comes to pass.  I have made a few mistakes here and there and they are ones that I doubt my dad ever made.  But there is no better standard to aspire to.