Friday, September 30, 2011

Sickness, A Nap and Goalie

Today I am just a wee bit sick.  I woke up several times through the night alternatively hot and sweaty and then cold.  Not much fun.  And so for the first time since March I have missed a day of work.  I’m not all that happy about it, but that is what sick days are for after all.

I went to work for a bit because I didn’t want to leave anyone in a lurch, but then came home and laid on the couch for the majority of the day finally having a little bit of a nap in the afternoon.

My pal Pete stopped by about mid day with my goalie mask that will be put to use soon.  I think it looks awesome!

mask 1mask 2

The Bat-goalie mask

A few doses of Tylenol and the nap have done me some good, I’m still not at 100% and I’m glad I stayed home and had the nap today but I will be playing hockey tonight. I refuse to let down the team.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hockey Season Begins

With the close of my long running and baseball seasons (we lost in the semi finals 20-9, but I had a single and a triple and made some good plays) a new season begins.  Hockey.  I have been dying for hockey to begin for a while now and last night sealed the deal, I’m completely chomping at the bit now.  I went with Amber to watch my brother in law, Greg, play for his army regiment team.  It was a pretty good game that was a bit of a let down in the end as at one point Greg’s them, The Regiment, was up 8-4, but by they end they tied 10-10.  Entertaining at least but not the result we were all hoping for.  To his credit Greg did make a few amazing saves that brought us to our feet.

My hockey kicks off this Friday night at 11pm playing as goalie against Greg in a game that will feature just about as much defense as we saw last night.  I only played five games as goalie last year and three of those were glorified pickup hockey, one was with the group we are playing with Friday and one was for my usual team – versus the best opposition our four team league has to offer.  All the games were high scoring but in the end I had a .500 record as a goalie.

goalie stats

Definitely not something you’d want to have on your NHL job application!

The day after that on October 1st I start my season with the CFL Flyers the team I have been playing with for five years now.  What started as four on four hockey Saturday afternoons in Millbrook became a league and I cannot wait for this season to get going.  Our league is pretty good quality, and pretty much no jerks at all.  I love playing with and against 99% of all the guys in our league.  As you may have read here, last season I was voted the most improved player, a very humbling honour that I hope to live up to again this coming season.  You see this will be the first season where I am at ‘athlete’ condition from start to finish and am actually planning my workout days to compliment my playing hockey as opposed to just cramming workouts in where ever I can get them.  I did have great numbers last season, but I think they will be better this year since I won’t be doing a 1.5-2 hour workout each Saturday at midday before playing hockey at either 8:30 or 9:30.

forword stats

The first year there looks pretty good, but the league that year was not all that strong and so those numbers are not a fair reflection of the amount of my skill, just an example of how a good player can seem better when the competition is a bit weaker, and I had great linemates.

My hope this coming year is to score 15 goals and 50 points, a reasonable set of milestones I think.  I told Jeff that I was going to outscore him because Boston beat Montreal in the playoffs, but I don’t think that is a very realistic goal, he’s pretty darn good.

Anyways if you live in the area and want to see some awesome free hockey, come on out to Millbrook Friday or Saturday and check it out!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Running Season Is Over

At least as far as long runs are concerned.  I started running anything other than sprints on the treadmill at the gym back at the start of July because a friend of mine had done a Warrior Dash and I thought it was something that was awesome.

At the start of it all I ran just 5k a few times and didn’t really like it at all.  It was hot since it was the height of the summer and I had never endeavoured to do any sort of running before.  Now I had used the elliptical at the gym for about an hour at a time back when I started losing weight, but those experiences were over a year ago and much easier than running (though I did not find it easy at the time to be sure!).

So anyways, once I discovered I could run 5k right off the bat and a friend told me about a mud run a couple of months down the road my course was set and the training began.  Now nearly three months after the beginning I have run over 170 kilomeres!  Included in that is six runs of my “usual” 10k course.  Over the course of those six runs my average speed was 12.67km/h (7.87mph) which covers a kilometre in about 4:37 (or a mile in 7:21) which apparently is not too bad.

So why if I am doing alright with this running thing, and I actually have grown to enjoy it, especially if I can manage to leave the time factor by the wayside, which does not happen often. Why is because hockey season if starting for me next Saturday.  I’m not all that keen on playing goal Friday night, running any distance Saturday morning and then playing forward that night.  So the longer distance running for me this year is done.  I think I’ll keep on running the 5k distance mid week for a while, until it gets too cold.  I’m sure I can find a couple of routes that will keep it interesting for another month or so.

I’m really very happy with my running progress in three months and placing 10th in the mud run I took part in.  I will enjoy picking it up again in the spring in order to compete in the Warrior Dash next year.

So here’s to running, I never thought I would like you, but we’ve ended up pretty good friends.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Priorities

I’ve mentioned the idea of creating the time for the gym and working out before, but at that time it was more of a pie in the sky, I only worked 2 part time jobs and went to school and everyone though it was a cinch for me to go to the gym kind of statement.  Well the idea showed its face to me again last night.

I had to stay a little longer at work than usual last night, which I really did not mind at all because I was hoping to see one mom in particular since one of the children in my group was not feeling well that day. So by the time I was leaving it was about a half hour later than I would have.  Now for a gym day this wouldn’t have been a big deal but I had signed up for some Professional Development out in Bowmanville that started at seven o’clock.

I had a choice to make.  I could, maybe, get to the gym and do my thing and if all went right be done at about six-thirty and just make it in time to the workshop, or I could choose to skip the gym, have dinner and then go and be early to the event.

Now you and I both know which one I chose.  And if you’ve read all the posts of this blog you likely can put together the pieces of why, but if you are new, maybe not.  Why is because there is only one person that’s going to go to the gym for me and do the work.  There will be other PD opportunities, I’m doing another on Monday actually.  But there are only so many days in a week, and for over a year I have made it a priority to get to the gym, or get outside and work to make my body do the things it has to do in order to be better than it was the day before.

So I went to the gym, I had lots of energy, I stormed through my first group of exercises and then the ‘if all went right’ thing blew up because college is just starting out and all the guys who want to impress the girls are busy pretending to use weights and stuff, so for each of my next two sets of things I have to find alternatives to using the bar that you use to do squats and such, and the rack wasn’t an option because some guy was actually using that.  That, and the set up of it and the moving of equipment set me back.  By the time I was done I wasn’t leaving the gym until about six-fifty, not nearly enough time to make a thirty-forty minute drive before seven.

Was I happy about that, not really.  But I stand by my choice, I think it was the right one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Naps

I arrive home from work today exhausted.  Partly because of a late bedtime last night, partly due to a stressful day.  As I sit here winding down it occurs to me that the absolute best part of being unemployed or having and early day off from when I was going to school was the opportunity to nap.

I suggest to the kids once in a while that we should all just go and take a nap in the afternoon, but they never bite of the offer as they are all to drunk on the fact that they no longer have to go down to the sleep room and be made to nap.  Like being up all day is some sort of amazing fantasy land.  If they only knew, if only you could save up nap times from when you are young to use later when you are older.

One little one napped for over two hours today and came outside afterward bleary eyed and without socks or shoes due to the tiredness.  I want that, I wanted today to be that kid and just pass out and wake up so completely disoriented that I wouldn’t even connect the dots between shoes and outside.

When I was unemployed I was a morning napper, I’d watch Chef at Home with Michael Smith (great show)  and a few other cooking shows and then right around the time The Price Is Right would come on I would wake up.  It wasn’t really planned, but staying up till 3am playing Rockband and then waking up at 8am leaves you wanting a little more sleep.

I do have the chance to nap on the weekend but I’m usually so busy trying to ‘do ALL the things!’ that I don’t nap, though usually I wish I had. Will I have a nap now? I don’t know.  Karate and the Matsu Sushi are both on the schedule for tonight so it does not seem very likely.  But an early bedtime tonight is a must!  Work and the gym and some professional development await me tomorrow, without a good amount of shut eye tonight, I would be miserable by the end of the day tomorrow!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Matey Makin’ Mondee: Creatin' Change

O'er at alltheweigh.com th' matey makin' Mondee thin' this tides be t' post about how th' readers plan t' donate food durin' th' moon o' Septembree. Well 't jus' so happens that I already had a plan in place fer this moon, an' in fact, fer next as well.


This Fridee we be havin' a city wide scavenger hunt an' one o' th' things fer each team t' do 't t' collect ten items that they can donate t' th' local food bank. We only be havin' three or maybe four teams in th' hunt at th' moment so 't might nay be a whole pile o' food, but 't’s somethin'. This whole scavenger hunt thin' be me buxom beauty’s idee but if we had nay been doin' that thar would ben a food donation emanatin' from our house anyways.


Next moon Canadian Thanksgivin' takes place an' like last voyage I plan on havin' a bit o' a rock band party 'ere th' Screamin' Monkeys (me rock band squadron, which features whoereshows up by th' way) will perform in an effort t' gather non-perishable items fer th' food impaired. Which reminds me o' th' fact that I ortin' ta get on plannin' that event since 'tis less than a moon away.


Do ye plan t' donate some food items sometime this moon? Or maybe like me ye had a plan already in place that centers around some specific holiday. Feel free t' share that here in th' comments below, or o'er here at alltheweigh, or better yet do both an' link t' yer blog!
Arrrr Ya scallywag!

Today Is Talk Like A Pirate Day

Avast me hearties! This day be talk like a pirate day, my favourite holiday.  Well 't ortin' ta be a holiday at least, I mean who wouldna like t' talk like a seafarin' hearty all tide, or everyday fer that matter. Th' problem be that since 'tis nay an official holiday I usually forget that talk like a Sea dog day be ever' voyage on Septembree 19th.

Now that Damion has reminded me that 'tis one o' me favorite days o' th' voyage I`ll be havin' t' try 't ou' on th' kids here at daycare an' be seein' how 't goes. Me guess be that they will eyeball me like I`ve had some sort o' brain damage. But really I hope they all join in an' start t' speak like scurvy scallywags fer th' rest o' th' tide, or e'en better th' rest o' th' week!

Talk like a seafarin' hearty tide info can be found here:
International Talk Like A Pirate Day 
So do yersef a favor an' speak like a buccaneer fer th' rest o' th' tide! Ya landlubber who ortin' t' be keel hauled!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fantastic Week

So this week running in the morning I set two best times, one for 5k and the other for a 10k run.  It was great.  This morning when I was running it was 0 degrees Celsius! For my American readers that is 32F, or the point at which water freezes!  My thumbs were frozen and my ears were ringing but it was a fantastic run.  I felt awesome the entire way and it really capped off a fantastic week.

This week was a great week at work, I applied what I learned in my PD workshop, I found out that every so thought mistake is not as huge as it might seem and I got to leave work early on Friday thanks to a low number of kids and the hours saved up from the workshop.  It was great and I love the people I work with, yeah I know some of you are reading.

I also got two emails about hockey. One from my new Friday group that I will be playing goalie for.  Game one will be September 30th and I am pumped especially since my mask is nearly ready as I write this.  Once I have it in my hands there will be pictures, Pete does amazing things with our paintball gear so I can’t wait to see what he does with my mask.  The other email came from my usual team captain and our Saturday night games start October 1st.  I’m very excited about hockey this year since I’ll be starting the year fit instead of working my way into it during the season.

I then had another fitness assessment done.  I figured that since it was assessment day for the players of the Montreal Canadiens it was a suitable day for me as well.  We didn’t get to do the obstacle course as planned since the gym was in use but we did the measurements and such.  When referencing this document (page 19 in your adobe reader) I’d be in comparative shape to a bunch of 18 year old NHL hopefuls!

After that I met up with Amber for a nice sushi lunch at Matsu and we strolled over to a seamstress in East City where I found out that my Halloween costume won’t be so hard to make after all and it should look just as awesome as I hope.

Today was a best time for running 10k (46:12) as I mentioned along with a great two hours at karate that involved an hour long session of randori.

Truly a fantastic week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kids Names

Last night…  No wait we have to go a bit further back than that I suppose.  Sometime in the spring Amber and I were trying to decide on the names of our future children and after she had shot down all my ridiculous suggestions, and a few sensible ones, of Mario and Luigi and Barbara and Peach and Link and Zelda we eventually arrived at two names, One for a boy and one for a girl.

I think this need to pick out names before we each really began our careers in earnest working with children was important, because I now after only nearly five months of working with kids have a pretty long list of names that I could not use for fear of bringing over some trait from that child that I could not stand.

Calvin was the name that we landed on for a boy.  I suggested this name purely because of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.  Sure the little guy gets into a lot of mischief but he plays well on his own (with Hobbes) and is smart, just the kind of kid I can relate to.  Obviously it will be my plan to dress said boy in stripped shirts and had a stuffed tiger in his hands at all times.  After all what’s the point of naming a child after a character like that if your not going to go all the way with it?

CH940127

If it so happens that we have a girl, and Idea that I am not as opposed to now as I was a couple of years ago we have agreed on Harley.  Now if you don’t know me all that well you are probably assuming that it has something to do with motorcycles, but you are wrong.  If you do know me, then it’s likely that you I’m a big comics fan and the name is for Harley Quinn.  Harley, if you don’t know, is sort of like the Joker’s girlfriend. But it’s also a fairly uncommon name at this point, so I thought it was a good suggestion and Amber agreed.

Harley_Quinn_005

So, last night, (which is where I began this train of thought) we took a friends daughter out to dinner for her 7th birthday and she asked what if we have twins that are a girl and a boy.  I would have made my usual suggestions of Mario and Peach, or Link and Zelda, but I knew that those would be scoffed at anyways.  Instead I suggested that we keep the girls name as we had chosen, Harley, but name the boy Joseph Kerr Barnes.  Get it?  I’m sure you do because of the quality of readers I have but it took Amber a second or two to figure out that the first and middle name would easily become Joker within ten seconds of me putting it on the birth certificate.

It’s probably better if I don’t get to fill out the names on those certificates anyways because I would be completely likely to put down something silly just for fun on the spur of the moment, and I believe they usually like those types of documents to be legible.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Don’t Stink at Slo-Pitch

A few months ago I decided that I would like to try playing ball again after about 18 years away.  I discovered upon this return to the ball diamond that I was awful at fielding and flubbed a few plays, hurt my hand, pulled some muscles and generally had a terrible time of it.  I was a little bit fun because I could still hit the ball somewhat, but not that much.

I remembered then why I used to like playing 3-pitch when I was 13 or so.  It was the social aspect.  I liked riding my bike to the game and hanging out with friends before we played.  I liked seeing the girls that were there, some watching and some playing. We even rode out bikes around while we were waiting for our at bats so there was something to do even if there wasn’t girls nearby to talk to.

So when it rained the last few Sundays I was not that disappointed that there was no ball, because I wasn’t having nearly as much fun as I remembered anyways.  This past Sunday though the game was on, it’s the playoffs and my team needed me.  And I what do you know I was pretty darn good!  We played two games and in those two games I got on base 6/7 times (with two doubles) and made 4 or 5 plays, and no grievous errors.

I’m happy to say that I enjoyed playing, and I think most of that was because I wasn’t awful.  I still cannot wait for hockey to start though!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friend Making Mondays: All About Me

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here and at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

1. What are your talents? I can pick up on things fairly easily.  I’m pretty talented at karate, and somewhat at hockey and a little at drawing.

2. What is your best habit? Now I’d say my best habit is eating right.

3. If you had to be stuck with someone in an elevator for 8 hours, who would you want it to be? I thing it would be Pete or Alf, we could chat and practice karate.

4. Share one odd fact about you that we’d never know to ask.  I only have three small teeth on my lower jaw at the front, instead of four like everyone else.

5. What’s your latest project (work, home, whatever you care to share?)  Getting better at doing the whole day care thing, I think it’s a project that is going to last a while.

6. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? I have one ring of loose skin that I’m not a fan of.  I lost weight pretty fast but even after a year it’s not going away.

7. What do you do in your spare time? Read comics, watch TV, play video games, ride my bike, walk, run etc…

8. What is your biggest pet peeve? People who just don’t listen.

9. Why do you blog? because I thought I had some neat things to say, to give ideas and support.

10. Are you tidy or messy? I’m a bit messy until I hit a breaking point, then I clean like crazy.

11. What’s the last song that played on your iPod? Sorrow by Bad Religion

12. Do you cook?  If so, what’s for dinner tonight? I do cook, and quite well if I do say so myself.  I won’t be cooking tonight as I’ll be at karate.
 

13. Do you like sports?  If so, list your teams. Yes, hockey, the Montreal Canadiens.

14. How often do you read and/or watch the news? Not very often

15. Did you stick to your new Year’s resolution this year?  If so, elaborate. I don’t make resolutions, I think it’s kind of silly.

16. What are you looking forward to most in the remainder of 2011?  Hockey to start up for me, only a couple weeks to go!

17. Shoes, sunglasses or handbags?  What about them?  I have shoes and sunglasses. I particularly like my Agent Smith sunglasses

18. How do you feel about sleeping on satin sheets?  Too slippery

19. Do you sing in the shower? No, but I talk to myself a lot. 

20. Describe yourself in one word. Driven

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Drawing

I like to draw and I’m glad that my new job gives me the opportunity to legitimately draw on the job and not feel like I’m wasting company time.  I have a couple of friends that make a career in art and design and drawing and such and while I’m not nearly as good as they are at drawing, I have my moments of not-badness.

Back when I was in high school I had the opportunity to go to PCVS if I had tried to go through the testing, I opted not to and so we will never know just how far I might have gone on an arty career path.  But I thought I would post of a few of the drawings I have done over a span of time that is actually about 12 years or so now.  You’ll probably notice a theme!

Just like everything in life the skill of drawing is something that needs to be practiced, you can see here that some drawings are better than others, some of that is luck and some of it is because I drew and drew and drew for blocks of weeks at a time or so.  I wish I had the innate talent that a few of my friends do.  However I feel that most of these are pretty good.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Wish I Was Perfect

I don’t mean this in a frivolous image kind of way or even when it comes to abilities like sports or karate.  I just mean generally.  The kind of perfect where you can do no wrong.  How realistic is that wish though?  Not very I imagine, but it would be nice.  I am far from perfect even though I do try my best.

I’d love to provide the example that has been running over in my head for the last 23 hours or so now, but I cannot.  Suffice to say I wish I had just done one of any number of things differently.  If I had done so I wouldn’t be feeling as I do now.  It’s a terrible thing to have the confidence you have in yourself shaken. 

How to have the confidence restored is easy, right the course of the ship and move forward.  I took the time Friday to do just that, to be sure that everything, as far as possible, was righted.  But we’ll see.  Moving forward is the next part, acknowledge the mistakes and weaknesses and then confer with wiser folk than I to see how to avoid them in the future.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Arms Like Chicken Wings

This is what my wife says to me last night as we laid in bed and she had her hand on my bicep.  “What?!”  I say, utterly befuddled by her statement. 

‘Your arms are like chicken wings.’ she repeats ‘ I can feel the muscle and the space between the tendons and stuff'.’

‘And the best comparison you can make, between my arm and some animal is a scrawny little chicken wing…  That I have chicken arms?’

At this point the backpedalling began, ‘I don’t mean that you have arms like a chicken!  How would you compare them?’ She asks.

‘Well I wouldn’t compare them to tiny little chicken arms I know that! I have arms like… a Machoke’

DP96

Yeah I compared myself to a Pok√©mon, but I couldn’t think of an animal with big arms.  Though I suppose any animal I chose would have had larger arms, or at least a better visual comparison than a chicken.

Honestly I wish the whole thing was on video because it was hilarious, just on the comparison alone it was hilarious, and then the conversation afterwards.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Restaurants

To continue the thoughts on eating healthy I should mention restaurants.  How do you stay on track while still being able to go out for dinner?  Look up the nutritional information of the place you are going, it’s that easy.  This task is made even easier if you have a smart or super phone.

Any time we go out to dinner with the exception of local restaurants, I look up the place we are going before hand.  I now have a whole list of restaurants nutritional guides saved on my phone and I decide what I am going to eat before I get there.  It’s easy to get caught up when you are at a restaurant and see the menu and see so many things that look so great to eat and want to go crazy and get it all, but if I have decided ahead of time it’s easier for me to stick to my guns on what I am are ordering.  Even if I think something might be lower calorie it’s best to check because the portions at restaurants are usually so ridiculously big that it’ll throw judgement off.

If it’s a local place that I can’t look up the guide I just simply use my head about what I get.  Is it fried? what is my protein going to be (chicken, pork, beef, lamb) if I’m are having a lower calorie protein like chicken, I might be able to share an appetizer, if there is one that’s not fried.  I avoid a Cesar salad if I can and get a garden salad no matter what place you are at.

What’s even better is to know I’m are going out on a night and plan accordingly during the day, have a slightly smaller breakfast and avoid some snacks to save up a few extra calories that I can have at dinner out.

Generally I avoid or at least share my dessert.  They are yummy I know, but even now I’ll never tackle a restaurant dessert on my own, it’s just too much.  Most desserts are as many calories as the whole meal I’ve just eaten!  And they are all ‘empty calories’.  We’ll walk to a different place for a treat or have a dessert ready at home and have that.  It will gives my stomach a chance to recover from the dinner I’ve just had, and a walk will help with the digestion.

Eating healthy doesn’t all have to be home cooking, or flavourless or bland, it can be exciting, it can include meals out, it can include your most wanted and favourite things.  I made it happen by doing my homework ahead of time, making good restaurant and food choices and being sure to put in the work to make the food reasonable.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eating Healthy

I’ve bounced around to a few different blogs in the past few days thanks to the Friend Making Monday thing and quite a few of them are focused on weight loss and fitness and all that.  I think mainly because that’s the type of blog that started the whole FMM thing.  I know Mandy has had a few posts about recipes and such that really looked good.  I spent a few weeks way earlier in this blogs life posting about food on Fridays but the idea that I would *have* to write about food for every Friday would kill the spontaneity that drives the writing behind this whole blog.  Once it is planned writing, it’s a job and I do enough work at work.

Anyways, eating healthy is something that I try to do pretty much every day simply as a way of giving my body the proper fuel it needs to do all the crazy amounts of activity that I engage in.  I’d like to say I have a plethora of amazing and wonderful recipes, but I don’t.  I make a lot of things, but few of them are “dishes” worthy of their own name and what not.

I follow a few general rules when it comes to food. 

Almost nothing that is fried is probably my number one food rule.  There are exceptions, but generally if it’s fried I don’t eat it.  Chicken wings and french fries I miss quite a bit but they soak up so much of the oil that it’s just not practical.  Wings are limited to Habs vs Leafs games when Alf is over, and Fries are just a few stolen from someone else’s plate here and there.  Onion rings are not so bad, but I don’t get them often.  The one fried thing I’ll have more than once in a blue moon is tempura.  Specifically squid tempura and vegetable tempura.  So good.

Lean meats is another general rule, so general in fact that the only thing I avoid like the plague now is ground beef.  I eat ground chicken instead, I’ll have lamb and pork and once in a while a steak (mostly due to cost of a good steak)  But I’ve also figured out the calories on all those things and chicken is about 1:1 compared to the weight in grams (100 grams is about equal to 100 calories) pork is about 1:1.5 and steak is about 1:2.  The calculations are incredibly general, but it works for the limited calorie counting I still do.

Lots of fruit and veggies – they are great I stack my plate with them all the time, I keep the heavy starchy ones low if I can help it, but carrots or green beans or the like – pile them on!  It’s a great way to fill my tummy without the cost of calories that other items would bring.

If I’m going to have a treat like ice cream or whatever I’m still sure that I earn it, with a run on the same day, or a bike ride out to the ice cream shop or something like that.  It’s common to think ‘oh I just did an hour of exercise I shouldn’t ruin it’ but as long as it’s in moderation, have that treat, your metabolism is pumping your body will burn it.  Especially once you are in shape.

I have a calorie range limit in mind and stick to it.  In a month I might stray from that limit once or twice, but even then it’s by 100 or 200.  Eat what your body needs, not what your eyes want to devour, that’s really the key to eating healthy I think.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Friend Making Mondays: Chris’ Favourite Things

So I read other blog naturally and Mandy posted this thing about favourite things, that she got from a site she visits.  I figured I’d join in on the fun, enjoy!

The setup:

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

The Questions:

  1. What is your favourite food?
    • Sushi, particularly Matsu Sushi over in east city.  I love the flavour and texture of salmon in particular.  Everything at that restaurant is amazing, the caterpillar maki is my favourite roll and the sushi pizza is over all my favourite thing.
  2. What is your favourite childhood memory?
    • I would have to go with seeing Ghostbusters II in the theater with my family.  We were building our house in Buckhorn and decided to come in and see the movie, we arrived very close to the start time and so we had to sit separately. Dad and I sat right at the very front and both jumped out of our seats when the painting of Viggo zapped the artist - Janosz.  Fun.
  3. What is your favourite way to burn calories?
    • All of it, I love working out, hockey, biking, running, general workouts at the gym.  I think my favourite would be Karate though, I love working up a sweat at karate and throwing people and getting tossed around.  So much fun.
  4. What is your favourite mode of technological communication?
    • My Samsung phone, I have a Galaxy S and it is awesome.  I got it after a night of research when my friend Matt said ‘Don’t get an iphone get an Android phone.’  I then did, and I love it, I can facebook, tweet, blog, text and all that stuff on it!
  5. Who is your favourite actor/ess?
  6. What is your favourite lip color?
    • I have no idea, whatever looks good I guess
  7. Who is your favourite historical figure?
    • I didn’t realize that I was supposed to even have a favourite historical figure.  I’ll go with Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate.  If not for his influence on the world at large I might not have a club to belong to.
  8. Who is your favourite athlete?
    • I’ll choose two.  Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, he embodied passion and perseverance, first to score 50 goals in 50 games and lead the Canadiens to five Stanley Cups in a row!  He’s no longer living but his mark on the game of hockey and the people of Quebec will be everlasting.  Also, Carry Price, if he can continue the career season he had last year, the goalie in Montreal is either the hero of the scapegoat, so I’ll tie my wagon onto him as favourite
  9. What is your favourite TV network?
    • Toss up, Discovery due to Mythbusters, or Teletoon since I get to see all the Batman cartoons there.
  10. What is your favourite site on the web?
    • Facebook, yeah it sounds like a generic and lame answer, but I’ve been able to connect with so many friends and share so many things with people due to that site.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just The Typical Weekend Marathon

No, I have not taken up running marathons… yet (or ever).  But it seems to me like each weekend in the last few months, especially since I started working full time has been what can be best described as a 48 hour endurance test.  If you are on this site much at all you are all too aware that I ran a 10k race yesterday.  What you are not aware of is that I got home and rode my bike out to the end of the Jackson Park Trail and back.  It’s actually about 11k (the map won’t let me cut through the Fleming parking lot) and I went at a pretty decent pace.

I posted that on my facebook and one of my friends commented that I was crazy – “So after all that hard work through the mud run, you decided you need to do more to your body and biked 10 k for the hell of it? You're officially adrenaline crazy!”  I replied and said “I didn't do more "to" my body, I did more "for" my body”.

Today I had planned to go to the gym in the morning, but got sidelined by helping to put cupboard doors back on the kitchen cabinets. So I went without the gym and played paintball for a couple of hours, which is not an intense workout, but there is running, and sweating and trying to control breathing and such.  I came home and ran some errands then before dinner set out on my bike again on that same Jackson Park trek, but as I got to the 3rd bridge, just over a kilometre away from the end of the trail, I hopped off the bike, and ran to the end, hopping the gate that keeps cars and snowmobiles off the trail of course.  Then I ran back to my bike (hopping the gate again obviously) and biked back (stopping at the grocery store on the way).

Tomorrow, since it’s a holiday, the plan is to start off with the gym, leg day, and then later in the evening go and do karate for an hour or two.  It’s a lot by some standards to be put into a weekend, but it is pretty much standard faire around here these days.

Typically, in the last two months at least, I would run Saturday morning before karate, then go to karate, during the time I was running just 5k and 8k I would go to the gym after karate and then have a short bike ride in the afternoon.  The last month or so it’s been a longer bike ride, about 36k out to Lakefield for ice cream and then back home.  On Sunday it would be going to the gym with Amber before we’d even eaten a real breakfast and then a bike ride in the afternoon, sometimes to Lakefield if I went somewhere else on the Saturday before, sometimes out toward Omemee.

So Why?  Why do it, and what makes it important?  Partly its one of those ‘because I can’ things I think.  Partly its because I’m not at the gym as much as I used to be of late due to work (though I am still doing a minimum of four workouts a week).  I think mostly though its because being fit, or even being on a path to fitness, begets doing more fitness type things.  I enjoy being out and about on my bike, I enjoy running, I enjoy being at the gym.  I get a feeling of accomplishment out of it.  What is important about it is the shift that has happened, even in my activities from a year ago when I was entering into, um, fitnesshood(?).  At that time I would do my 1.5-2 hours at the gym and then play video games all the rest of the day and maybe a short walk in the evening.  Now I choose to put my body to the test any time that I can, TV and video games are for when going outside and doing something is not an option.

It’s a long road to fitness, especially if you start on that road around where I started, but the drive gets better and more interesting the longer you pursue it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

That Was So Awesome!

The race was today and it was wicked. 

I woke up early simply out of excitement I am sure and got my gear set out so that I wouldn’t forget anything.  I had eggs and toast for breakfast because I figured protein would be a good thing.  Jodi and I met up at the gym in the morning to go to the event, we drove separately since she had to meet up with a friend afterwards.  The drive was good, I had a tiny headache but it was nothing too serious.  We got to the venue and met up with Laurie from Karate right away.  She had beaten us up there and then we took a moment to reflect on our disregard for the environment as we drove up separately.

We went and picked up our SWAG (Stuff We All Get for the two people that don’t know what that means) some interesting things but mostly for shops in and around Uxbridge, which makes sense I suppose.  I got changed into my shorts and the shoes that I was going to wear for the race.

 

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I bought crappy $20 Wal*Mart shoes just so they can get ruined in the water and the mud.  I’m not quite ready to wreck my $100 running shoes.  We then went up to watch some of the 5k fun runners finish the race and see them slog through the mud, so great. 

 

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We were immediately pumped even more for our race.  Eventually our race was about to begin and we got lined up, well more like grouped up.  It looked to be that there was about 50 people.  I’m hoping it was more than that, but it was a pretty good crowd.  After a very short delay we were off.  Jodi and I ran together for the first little while and then I guess I just got caught up in things and after the first hill )which was awfully steep and the first obstacle, ropes strung across the track that I rolled sideways under – like Indy under a dropping door (except I didn’t have to reach back for my hat).  After that I was off and completed the first 2k in less than 8 minutes!

The obstacles that followed were ropes that you had to high step over, which I tripped on and nearly did a face plant.  Then there was hanging PVC pipe at about chest level that you had to duck under.  The course then took us through some really nice thick woods which was spectacular and nice and cool, a welcome change from the blistering sun during the first kilometre and a half.  This through-the-woods trail lasted for the next 8k or so but there were obstacles along the way.  At about the 4k mark one of the young bucks that took off like a shot to start the race was standing doubled over in the forest nearly heaving his guts out, which was not nice to see, but it was ‘nice’ to get past someone.  There was a set of pipes mostly hanging at waist level probably around the 6k mark, it’s kind of hard to remember where all these middle obstacles fit into place. Some of them I bounded over, some I crawled under but I flowed nicely I thought, ducking under one then using my already bent knees to leap over the next, great fun!

Apparently Jodi got to watch most of my race as I was just far enough ahead of her that she’d see me through the woods, but on any stretch where I would look back I never saw her. 

On one of the steeper hills they had put out tires to go over.  I thought it would be far easier to run along bouncing on the edges and bounded up that hill with no issues at all, I pity anyone that tried to step in the middle of the tires, i hope no one was that foolish. The trails then began a series of ups and downs with switchbacks so I constantly saw the people that were just ahead of me but I never was able to catch up to them unfortunately.  On a brief outing from the woods we had to go through a bus, leap out the back and then crawl under the back end of it, that was Jodi’s favourite thing.  Finally we came out of the woods and passed through the field where the finish line was, which turned out to be a bit of a tease as there was still quite a way to go before the actual finish.

It was right around this time I began to have a bit of an issue.  And when I told Jodi about it afterward she informed me that just about every running magazine will have at least one article or letter about it.  I suddenly had to go.  Like to the bathroom.  Not a big deal at first, but it was there.  As we ran through the field there were the roll style hay bails to get over and, like a boss, I just put one hand down and vaulted over all four of the sets. I felt great after that but then  The Hill came.  It seemed nearly vertical and it was useless to try to run up it.  So I walked and it was at this time that Jodi, after 9k, finally caught up to me.  It was also about this time that my guts were churning so bad I was hoping just to finish the race in time.  On the way down the hill Jodi passed me and I didn’t have the concentration to try to keep up.

We ran through some more wooded area and then back through the field again where you had to step up on a rectangular hay bail and then onto a plywood slide (covered in vinyl) there were two of those.  As I departed from the field again I saw the mark for 500m to go and was thrilled, but also nearly ready to explode.  I came to the swamp crossing and I told the guy that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, I was gonna crap my pants.  Which is hilarious looking back, I’m sure he had a good laugh after.  But I forded the water and continued running, up and down two mounds of dirt and then finally to the mud pit finish.

I slogged through the mud on hands and knees/feet like I was imitating a monkey and then dove down the mud slide to the muddy water, got up and tore off across the finish line.  I don’t recall what my official time was, but on my watch I had 1:04:05 so pretty good.  I asked the guy where I finished and he told me “Tenth”  Awesome.  Due to the number of people it may be outside of my goal of ‘Top 10%’ but I’ll take a top 10 finish as being just as good.

I spoke with Jodi very shortly and learned that she was the 4th girl (good enough for a $50 prize!), which means I was the 6th guy (just out of the prize ladder). Pretty bloody impressive if I do say so myself!  The rush of finishing over, I bolted for the porta-potty, a race person along the mud pit commented that “Your running faster now than you were at the finish!”  To which I replied “Because if I don’t you’ll have an extra obstacle on the course!!”

I found Jodi again and got a drink and a banana and we waited for Laurie to come across the line and took some pictures of her finish and of us all covered in mud.

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All in all it was a wicked day, and I’m so there to do it again next year.  It was such unbelievable fun.  Upon my return home I got a call from my friend Damion who said he had got something for me for doing the race and being awesome.  A huge Batman blanket – which will be put to good use in the winter! Thanks Damion!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ready, Training For This Race Is Over

The hours of training are over.

The groundwork for a good run has been laid.

My first race of any sort is happening tomorrow and I’m as prepared as I am ever going to get.  All this made me think a lot about what training really is.  Training is hours and hours of hard work and sweat.  It’s pushing yourself far harder for a longer period of time than any single event will ever be.

I trained for over seven years for one day in particular at karate, I trained like a mad man to get in shape, and for this race in particular I have put in over a dozen hours of just running on top of my usual time at the gym.

Over twelve hours of concentrated specific training, to run a race where I figure that if everything goes right the whole thing will be over in less than an hour.

I’m excited for the race and thrilled that I’ll have a couple friends there with me, Jodi my trainer, who apparently thinks I might outrun her (but I doubt it) and Laurie from karate.  It will be great to do this type of event with people I know.  I’ll have my phone with me going to and from the race but obviously not during it.  Hopefully someone will be there to take pictures because that would be great.  Results and hopefully pictures will follow!

Oh my shirt has been made as well. It is awesome!

me armour bat 2