Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Treadmill Is A Liar

I went to the gym today to run and I had only packed my indoor gym clothes because of the snowy weather lately here and so I knew I would be on the treadmill today.  After the success of the other day I figured I would aim a little higher because what could make meeting a running time goal easier than gradually increasing the pace.

I got to the gym and changed and took my blood pressure and pulse (43bpm) and then got one of the newer treadmills this time.  I set it to run me at 8.2 mph and endeavoured to complete my 5k (12.5 laps on the machine).  It should be noted that when I ran Sunday morning on the treadmill I set it at 8mph for the first half of the run and 8.1 for the second half and then a mad sprint at the end of about 11mph.  So today i was already setting my pace that no matter what would have me faster than my time on Sunday.

I ran.  I felt good.  and as I neared the end I noticed that setting a pace of 8.2mph or 7:19 per mile, I was going to be over the predicted time of ‘just over 22 minutes for the 3.11 miles I was running (5k).  So on lap 11 I raised the rate to 8.3, then 8.5 for lap 12 and then all out at 11mph for the final half lap.

And then when the time was up i had completed my 5k in about 22:40, a great time to be sure, but somewhere in there is a lie.  Based on the pace alone I should have completed that 5k in under 22:30, yes the treadmill takes a little bit to get up to speed, far longer than I would just running on the road on my own, but I increased the speed for quite a while, about 4 minutes during the last 2 laps and then a full out sprint in the last half lap, that should have more than compensated for the slow speed up of the machine.  Also running the same distance at a higher speed took longer on the newer treadmill (longer than it’s own pace even) than it did on the old treadmill.

So which one is correct?  Which time is more accurate?  I’d have to find a perfectly flat, 5k stretch of road in order to remove the machine from the equation I suppose and really, how likely is that?  Things like this annoy me especially when I am attempting to have a solid grasp on just how fast I am, and an indication of what my improvement is.

It is the same type of thing that bugged me when I was losing weight and on the elliptical all the time.  I would specifically seek out the exact same machine each time I went because I knew then that I was comparing like numbers.  If I went for 50 minutes, on consecutive days, they would be the same 50 minutes, or the same resistance when set to level 14 or whatever.

Either way, I ran the 5k in a record time one of the last two attempts on the treadmill and that is good news.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My First Non-Adventure Race

I’ve taken up running again as I’m sure you have read and am well on my way toward my goal of running 5k in under twenty minutes since I just did 5k on the treadmill at the gym in a record 22:30 (with a final sprint at the finish running at 11 mph!).

With all this running excitement I decided that I should look for a race or something. Turns out that there is a race right on the doorstep of my work.  It’s a race in support of Community Care Peterborough, my daycare even is providing child care during the race.  A 5k run that will give me a nice idea of where I am in my conditioning  half way between now and the Warrior Dash.

So it’s a charity race, Community Care is an organization that helps out elderly folks and delivers meals to their homes and so on. get some real details here.

If you’d like to make a donation in sponsorship of my run go here.  I can’t figure out how to change my fundraising goal on that site yet, and I don’t even know what a realistic goal would even be.  But I plan on setting a 5k best time at the event, if that isn’t worth sponsoring, then helping out some senior folks sure is!

Bounce Back

Last night at hockey I had an amazing bounce back game, but to really understand that we have to go back to Friday night. 

As you may recall I play goalie on Friday nights and forward on Saturday nights, however this week our usual goalie was away and so I was asked to play net for our team on Saturday as well.  I accepted the challenge, it would be my third game playing goalie for us and I know I can play well enough to win in our league. 

Friday night came and I went to play goalie for the pick-up hockey game as usual.  I arrived on time and began to get dressed.  As I was putting on my pads I put on both of the toe laces first, which I don’t usually do.

I don’t lace them up quite as complicated as that though!

What I had done though was put the pads on the wrong legs!  I didn’t notice this until I went to do up the buckles and then had to undo both laces and switch the pads.  I continued to get ready and when I got on the ice Jeff remarked that I had forgotten to put on the suspenders for the pants.  So I took of my sweater and just put them up over the chest protector, not ideal but I wasn’t peeling off the protector as well!

Jeff and I played with the puck a bit and I took a couple of warm up shots and then the game was on.  It wasn’t until a couple of minutes in that I realized that I did not tap each post and the crossbar, a tradition I began ages ago when I played net in floor hockey in high school.

I think the preparation begins to tell the story of how bad the night was that evening. The first shot of the night was a goal, and later I waved at a puck going by my trapper instead of moving to be in front of it.  A third goal got past me that I should have had as well before the half way point of the game. 

At half time I switched ends since I was the only goalie there that night and both teams like a chance to shoot against a person instead of a pylon, though that pylon was pretty amazing in net! (For those that don’t know, when you play with a pylon in net you have to hit said pylon.  Not as easy as it sounds, especially since you spend most of your time in hockey trying not to hit things in the net and get it past someone)

This is when things really began to fall apart.  Jeff who I usually play wing for decided to light me up like a Christmas tree.  In twenty minutes he scored 4 goals on me.  From impossible angles, on breakaways, and one five-hole that was absolutely violating!  His teammates got a couple of goals as well and nearing the end I was looking at the clock just hoping the arena guys would blow the horn and end my misery. 

Not my best night for sure.  And not the kind of experience you want when you are playing for your team the next night!  It was not exactly a confidence builder.

I shook it off, ‘Those guys don’t really play defence.’ I said to myself, and it was true.  ‘I was just a bit off on my angles’  Which I was. I knew that in the warm up for Saturday I just wanted to feel the puck.  The stick handling and passing skills are great to practice and I have a marked improvement since working on those, but I needed shots.

I got to the rink a bit early last night and made mention of my horrid game the night before in the dressing room to the few guys that were also there early, but I assured them, jokingly, that I would get a shutout tonight and all we needed was one goal to win. We all had a good laugh at that!

I got suited up and was the first player on the ice, I skated, and stretched and took shots.  Loads of them, and I was stopping them too.  I wanted to move and catch pucks and feel it hit me.  It was a good warm up.  We gathered at center, the captains said their pieces and I went back to the net, banged on my posts and crossbar and was ready.

Our team plays a pretty complete game, even when I am subtracted from the wing and put in net.  Most guys know where to go and last night they really picked up defensively keeping the majority of shots from the outside.  When the shots did come though, I was one my game.  In the way of everything, or getting pieces with my blocker or pads.

I stopped one clean breakaway about mid way through the game and a few partial breaks as well.  Mostly I made the stops from shots coming from the perimeter and the defence would clear away the rebound, just like it is supposed to go.  We scored the first goal, and the second and the third.  One of their shots whizzed by my head and rang off the crossbar, there was only about ten minutes left and that was the only shot to get past me, but it wasn’t a goal.  My joking prediction looked to be in pretty good shape.

Finally they hemmed us in our zone and were getting shot after shot. I stopped maybe four shots within second of each other and finally it came to one of their guys right on the edge of the crease.  I moved across but not quite far enough, and he put it past me into the net.  That would be the only goal they would get and we added another for a 4-1 win.  All my teammates apologized for leaving that guy alone in front of the net for so long, but if I had moved just and extra six inches, I would have made that stop too.  The important thing to me was that we won, not the shutout.

It was the perfect bounce back game.  After being lit up so much that I would have had sunburn if we had goal lights, to come back the next night and only allow one goal feels fantastic.  That one game justifies buying that goalie equipment a year ago in my mind.  I can be great when I am on my game and my teammates are there to help me out!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Now That’s More like It

So yesterday I went for a run after work.  Well initially I went to the gym thinking about how I had forgotten my earmuffs and was resigning myself to the fact that I was going to run on the treadmill for about 25 minutes and be bored.  When I arrived at the gym all of the good treadmills were in use.  We have newer ones with LCD displays and old ones with like red dot displays, I hate the old ones.

Upon seeing that I would have to use one of the old treadmills I decided that I would be running outside.  It was windy and snowy outside, I ran with a hoodie on as usual, this time though the hood was up and drawn tight.  The 5k route up at the Wellness Centre is three laps and a bit to do a complete 5k and it was snowing so hard that by the time I had done a lap my foot prints were covered over from the lap before.  The traction proved good though and I was able to keep up a good pace despite that it was the end of the day and blowing snow.

I did this 5k in 24:21, still longer than any of my times in the summer, but I’m ok with it, winter running is a work in progress and I’m just happy to be seeing that progress.  I’m quite happy to have my time down 2 1/2 minutes from the first measured run, and at least in a comparable realm as the summer runs.  If I can have a winter run time even close to my summer times, then this summer meeting that 20 minutes 5k goal should prove quite plausible.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I’ve Been Tagged


Apparently my wife from Learning to Love the Gym tagged me in this post and I am supposed to do the following:

Here are the rules:
1. post these rules.
2. you must post 11 random things yourself.
3. answer the ques­tions the tag­ger set for you in their post.
4. cre­ate 11 new ques­tions for the peo­ple you tag to answer.
5. go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.

11 Random Things About Me
1) I’ve had two cats named Cringer
2) My first job was helping a neighbour build a timbre frame house
3) I couldn’t skate until I was 14 or 15
4) I like Batman and have eight batman t-shirts
5) I’ve owned every Nintendo home console
6) I can finally tie my own ties
7) I work as an ECE
8) I like stripey shirts
9) 47 is my hockey number thanks to Stephan LeBeau
10) I need ‘white noise’ to go to sleep easliy
11) I teach Karate

The Questions that Amber came up with for me are:

1) If you had one day off with unlimited funds how would you spend it?

I think we would start by stopping in at the Chevy Dealer and get me that Camaro, then we would go somewhere close by(ish), maybe Montreal, eat some really good expensive food, go shopping, buy some games, maybe another suit because even though I’m happy in jeans and a t-shirt, Amber likes suits.  Then have center line seats at a Canadiens games.

2) What is one thing you would like to change about your life?

Less debt, but that is about it.  It took all my life’s experiences to lead me to where I am now and make me who I am, and besides the debt, I’m very happy with it.

3) What book, song, and movie would you recommend to me?

If there was a novel version of Kingdom Come I would recommend that, for a song I don’t know, you listen to way more music than I do anyways, maybe Doesn't Anybody Know by Stabilo Boss and movie, um, pretty much any animated Batman movie I have, because you always write them off as “cartoons” and I think that is unfair.

4) What is one website or blog you peruse a lot and suggest others should check out?

I read many of the articles at 24fightingchickens, a lot of them pertain to martial arts, but there are some pretty interesting things there even if the martial arts are not your thing.

Also cracked.com, hilarious!

5) How do you fit working out into your schedule?

I rush to the gym after work a couple days a week and then put in some time on the weekend, plus I play hockey.  Mainly I find excuses to work out instead of excuses for not working out.  I work out when i am sick, when I’m tired and generally when I don’t even feel like working out. If I' am feeling like I need to just get something in, I run, it’s quick, it’s something I can do from home, it’s as simple as it gets.

6) What do you like to read about on fitness journey blogs?

I like to read about successes and the realizations people have along the way, I sort of wish I had started my blog as I was getting in shape, but I was too focused on doing what I was doing at the time to be distracted with writing about it.

7) What is one fitness challenge you would like to try this year?

The challenge I have set out is to get my 5k running time down under 20 minutes, and to be able to bench press 2 plates (180 pounds of weights plus the bar about 220 in total, so what I used to weigh on average for the last 10 years before getting in shape).  My biggest challenge may be accepting my weight going up due to the increased muscle mass.

8) What makes you laugh/makes you happy?

So many things.  My wife makes me happy just in general.  The antics of the children at daycare.  The antics of Pete at Karate.  Playing the original Super Mario Bros. Snuggling with Cringer.

9) Who in your life influenced you the most and why?

My Dad, Matt, Alf and Pete.  it was because of my dad that I wanted to be a teacher, and now I am an Educator of children.  He’s shown me how to be a good father and I hope to live up to it. Matt is the guy that can bring out the most creative and unable to be embarrassed part of me. Alf was a big influence on actually giving me the skill for that teaching children career and gave that final push to my resolve to get in shape and Pete because without a partner I could not have achieved what I have in my martial art, we will be brothers to the end of time.

10) What do you do for a living?

I play, I hug, I read, I build, I draw and create, I challenge and console, I change diapers, I kiss boo-boos, I mess up hair, I do so many things it’s hard to list them all, but as a whole I care for children.  It’s a fantastic and challenging job, it’s hard and easy at the same time.

11) What is one thing I should know about you?

One thing that you, Amber, and you the rest of the people that read this site should know about me is that if I had the chance to have the responsibilities of a child yet the resources of an adult, I’d totally do that.

Questions for the person I tag:

  1. How did you spend you free time as a child?
  2. Why do you blog about the things you blog about?
  3. What do you do for a living?
  4. The greatest actor/actress ever is _____________ and why?
  5. How do you find time for your passion in life?
  6. If you could spend the day with anyone in the world, dead or alive who would it be and why?
  7. What was your favourite meal ever?
  8. What are you awesome at?
  9. What is a website that you would suggest to people?
  10. What is something you wish people would understand about you?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Told Ya




Well maybe it’s not as bad as it looked from the inside of the outfit.

I went out again tonight and did the 5k in 25:26, not great, but when all the sidewalks are covered in snow I figure it’s not that bad either.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Watch Your Step

Remember that time when I said that running outside in the winter is not so bad.  It turns out I may have been a teensy bit wrong on a couple of points.  I went out the other day and knew within about five minutes that it was a bad idea.

For starters I have just eaten a very large meal.  If you have tried running on a full stomach you know what I mean.  It was awful, I could feel my food sloshing around in there, every step just made it worse it seemed, but in the end I persevered.  Yeah, I can hear you saying that I could have eaten a big meal any day not just in the winter.  And you are correct, though if the weather was warmer I would have likely run early in the morning where big meals would not have been an issue.

Really though what made the run so tough was the fact that the sidewalks were all snow and ice and to break out into a full out run would have been suicide.  I was forced into more of a jog, especially going uphill.  I simply could not get enough traction to actually run more than a few metres at a time.

I’m hoping to actually get a real run in again before the end of the week, but that will really depend on if the weather chooses to co-operate a little bit.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Fitness Goal Met

So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had set a few fitness goals for 2012,  Yesterday I met one of those goals already.

Since getting in shape I have not really strived for any goal in particular at the gym other than very generic ‘get stronger, get faster’.  Before Christmas I decided that I would like to be able to bench press more weight and when the new year came it felt like a good time to set a goal of being able to bench my own weight.

When I started at the gym I was pressing about 90 pounds, two 25 pound weights plus the bar.  That weight crept up but it wasn’t really something I focused on.  I was more concerned with the number of reps than I was with a maximum weight.  When I began this run up to benching my weight back in November I was back at only lifting 110 pounds since my last set of programs did not include a bench press.  I decided I would add 10 pounds a week if I was successful at completing 10 reps on each of the three sets I do on my upper body day.

Yesterday I was up at the gym after karate and it would be the day that I was lifting 170lbs which is actually about 6lbs more than I weigh.  It was only during the last set that I had any difficulty on number nine and ten, I struggled to get the bar up but I made it.  Very satisfying to reach that goal!

Another Goal Too

You might also recall that a few weeks ago I planned at hockey to just get shots on net instead of going with the mindset of getting goals.  Well last night at Hockey I was like the Flash on ice.  Jeff would continually, if there was no passing option out of our defensive zone lob the puck up the left wing (which has become my wing after such a successful night a few weeks ago, it is amazing what a change in position can do for you) and I would zip by the defence of the other team to pick up the puck.  This plan worked at least three times in the game and ended up resulted in two goals.

I scored the first goal of the game on a beautiful pass across the slot.  We won 5-0 finally beating Calvary, who has beaten us three times in a row!  Our overall record is 10-4-0, and my last assist of the game was my 200th point in the league! Yay!


A big thank you to all of you who have had kind words in the last week, not too many commented, but I realize that not everyone who thinks nice things wants to put them down in text.  So thank you if you commented here, or on Facebook or twitter.  It’s been a tough week.  Thankfully being active gives my brain a bit of a break from thinking about things too much.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go Hug Your Grandma

I started writing this last night as I wanted it to be done while she was still around and while I like what I have written I feel that no matter how much I could write the words would no do justice to how amazing my Grandma was to me.  So I think maybe it’s best to just leave it mostly finished as it is now and share it with you all.  My Grandma passed away today, but I want to remember her as she was, happy, eager to have company stop by for a chat and exactly the type of grandparent I hope one day to be.


The last couple of weeks I have watched my Grandma’s health deteriorate fairly rapidly.  It has made me think of a lot of different things.  I know you are not necessarily supposed to have a favourite family member and whatnot but Grandma Barnes is my favourite by a country mile.

We used to live just one door down from Grandma and Grandpa Barnes and as a kid I would be over there fairly often because Grandma liked to spoil me a little bit.  In my youth I knew that at Grandma’s house I would get what I liked to eat for dinner, I would get treats and basically be waited on.

When I would get in trouble and sent to my room at home I used to lean out my bedroom window and wave to her sitting on the back patio where she would wonder to me if I was supposed to be inside.  That sort of ‘Are you supposed to be in your room Chrissy?’ that to an adult would have come across as a bit of chiding but to me was just a question.

Grandma used to work at Drug City which was just a run of the mill drug store and when we were out shopping and would stop in Grandma would always give me some chips or whatever which I thought was so amazing that she could just do that!

I used to go to Grandma’s little house for a week each summer and would watch baseball with her and Grandpa.  In the morning I would go out on the paddle boat and catch a few bass and bring them back.  No matter what size they were Grandma would treat them like they were the biggest she had seen, she would clean them and fry them up to have for breakfast.

I remember she would always be humming to herself in the kitchen, smiling and happy, she seemed to delight in having company and making Christmas dinner (best candied yams ever).

I love my Grandma, and it makes me sad that she will be gone.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Look Like A Dork

Today was my first day of winter running outside, and the first steps in getting my 5k time under twenty minutes.  As I mentioned I was not looking forward to running outside in the winter and figured I would be miserable.  It ended up being not so bad.  This evening was fairly ‘warm’ only –3C (24F), and the paths were bare and dry.

In preparation of the running I got ready to go here at home instead of at the gym.  I have a nice red cold gear under armour shirt that I wear for hockey, but I figured that would be a bit too chilly with just that so I wore a zip up old navy orange hoody over top.  On the bottom half I had under armour pants with thin track pants over top then running shoes of course.  To go along with all this I had my hat of course and ear muffs and mitts.  I thought I looked pretty ridiculous. We failed to take a picture, which actually is kind of sad because it was pretty funny, maybe next time I will be sure to get a shot of it.  Suffice to say I looked like a dork.

We ran our 5k which consisted of three laps plus a bit of a route right nearby the gym but we forgot to time it, which in the end is not so bad since Jodi and I were chatting during most of the run, so we were not really pushing for time and all that.  A vague time would be about 24 minutes, which is not to bad for a run as I have described it. If I had been concentrating on getting a best time and ended up with ‘about 24 minutes’ I wouldn’t have been too happy.

All in all tonight was a great introduction to running in the Great White North’s winter, I did not freeze, I avoided having snot all over my face, I looked ridiculous.  We' will see how it goes from here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Running

It turns out that after being adamant for so long that I would not be running outside in the winter, that I am about to become one of those people.  Even now I scoff at the ones I drive past 'You,' I says to them, I say ' You are crazy'. They can't hear me of course because I am in my nice warm car.

I think it is insane that I'm about to go running down snowy and icy pathways in order to start getting ready for this Warrior Dash.  To be honest it is not my choice, but the suggestion of Jodi, my trainer that I begin to do this. 

I will admit that it will be far more interesting than running on a treadmill.  I think I have mentioned here that I hate running on the treadmill.  I am not looking forward to freezing.  Which is a bit strange I guess since I have no problem going to the canal in the dead of winter to skate around and play with a puck.  I recall my last long run before hockey started while it was still above zero (or 32° F) and I was freezing, my fingers especially.

But in the pursuit of being amazing crazy things must be done I suppose and this is one of them.  The second crazy thing I am about to do is sign up for a noon start time for the Dash!  Two days ago I could have started at 9am, now the earliest is noon.  It is crazy because last year July 21 was the hottest day of the year!

Here is to freezing to death on Wednesday running outside in the winter.  If I am alive after, I will let you know how it went.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Warrior Dash

The date for the Ontario version of the Warrior Dash is out (and apparently has been for a while) and I now have a goal date for even more fitness! 

Last year I was doing some running and trying to get to a good time for a 10k run in less than three months at that.  This year I have six months to prepare for an all out 5K sprint over, under and through obstacles.

My best 5K (well 5.2K to be exact) time last year ended up being 23:05 which was at a pace of 1K for every 4:26.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself. This year and specifically by July 21st I want that time to be as close to twenty minutes or less as I can possibly get.  This I think is going to be something that is quite difficult and will mean pushing my body harder than I have yet.

How am I going to do this?  I have no idea.  Training to run a longer distance was easy, just run even longer distances.  Now I suppose I’m going to have to do a lot more interval training and many more specialized types of things with the idea of generating more speed over a short distance instead of being more endurance focused.

My goal for the race is simple: I want to win my age category.

While I have only found out about the date this week it has been something that has been on my mind for the last while.  I have done a few runs at the gym on the treadmill, which I hate.  It’s boring, I can’t take as long of strides as I do outside (or at least I feel like I can’t) and I feel it takes more work to travel any distance, since my times for 5k on the treadmill are almost two minutes slower than outside.

However, there is snow on the ground and I refuse to run outside in the winter, it seems ridiculous to me, it’s freezing here!  Anyways, I’ll keep you up to date on the training.  Is anyone else thinking of doing this race?  It’s going to be Awesome!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Just A Couple More Runs

Otherwise known as ‘Know When It’s Time To Quit’

So I went out snowboarding again today, just on the hill in front of the courthouse again today, even with the sore neck I had because I figured that I can go to the gym after work, but I can’t go snowboarding after work.  It did snow here over night and I hoped/figured that with some fresh snow on the ground it might be a bit easier to steer.

Turns out that most of the hill was ice under the snow and only in a few patches was there fresh powder that I could get a grip on.  Unfortunately I made this totally ice under the snow discovery on my first run where I had a bit of a minor wipeout that cranked my already sore neck a little bit.  After that I moved to the other less steep side of the side and had a few pretty good runs.  I mostly worked on my turning and by the end of the 45 minutes or so I was turning on my toe side of the board pretty consistently.

It was about this time that I thought I would head on home, so I went back up the hill and came down mostly diagonally (as I planned) and did a couple turns and came to a perfect stop.  A beautiful way to end the afternoon of snowboarding.  I checked the time in the car and saw I had not quite been an hour and so I figured that I should stay out a little bit longer and be over an hour by a bit.

I did one short run on the steep side and then headed over to the other to do a few more runs.  It was here I decided that I should try to do a 180.  I got to the bottom of the hill and when I was at a standstill I tried doing a few 180s on the spot.  Success!  I did one more run and did about 80% of a 180 at the bottom.  Yay, I say 80% because I fell at the end of it.  Now, one more run, on this one ‘last’ run, the ice got the best of me, I ended up with the heel side of my board facing downhill, and then it bit in, hard! and BOOM! I smashed my butt on the icy hillside.  So.  Much.  Pain. 

I should have stopped after that last ‘perfect’ run, but no, I had to do more, and now it hurts to sit.  Boo!

Thankfully I have about four days for my neck and back to heal up before I do more snowboarding!  I’m loving this new sport!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Snowboarding Day 2

So after the mild success of yesterday I came home and watched some instructional videos on how to snowboard on youtube:


And while the first few of them are a bit tedious I ended up watching four of them, up to the video on how to turn and figured I would take these tips to the hill today and see how well I could do.  Amber and I texted back and fourth about a ski hill called Brimacomb and they had a deal on for today being New Years and so at 10:30 I set out for the resort and to try out my first day actually snowboarding on a real hill, like with chair lifts and stuff. 


It turns out the forecast for today was rainy and when I arrived at Brimacomb they were closed, so I looked up Devil’s Elbow on my phone and set off for there.  It is a little closer to where I live so that was nice and it turned out to be a bit cheaper, which was also nice.

I got my gear on in the car mostly and then set off to get my lift ticket and then to the beginner and bunny hill.  I fell a lot on my first couple runs, but by the fifth or sixth time I was able to get to the bottom without falling over and a few nice stops and turns.  By this time the weather had turns a bit and it was raining pretty consistently and sometimes at a downpour! I tired the bunny hill a few times after that and did ok.  It had been about an hour or so by then and I took a break to have some lunch and a drink.

I headed back out to the hill and decided I should do some more work on my turning.  It was all well and good that I could get down the hill, but it would be nice to steer a bit more and stop on purpose without falling during or after the stop.  I did a few slow but successful runs with some turns in them but I think the weather conditions were making some of my learning a bit more difficult than it had to be.  It was quite difficult to get the toe side of the board to bite into the snow to turn to my left (usually – I only went goofy foot a few times).

After those few successful runs I thought I’d get up a bit of speed and it was then that I wiped out!  I don’t recall what happened exactly but somehow my heel side of the board got pointed down the hill and then I dug that in way to hard and WHAM!  I cranked my neck and snapped my head back during the fall, but after a minute or so to get on my feet again I decided I was alright and continued on.  It was then I decided that I was done with this training hill and would do the bunny hill exclusively.  It was a good decision and after a few runs I was doing everything I wanted to accomplish today: stops and turns mostly, the ability to get all the way down the hill without falling even during the final stop.

It turns out that at the bottom of the bunny hill they have a ‘feature’ like a rail to do a few small tricks on and of course I had to do that.  So I watched a kid get a lesson on the thing and saw him and the instructor do 50/50’s on it.  I was going to do the same and on my next run I steered toward the thing, slowed down and do a perfect (if a little bit slow) 50/50!  Awesome.

The rainbow box on the bunny hill did not require a jump

On a scale of ten the ratings for today are:

Get down the hill: 8  A few minor falls on some runs and only a couple perfect ones.

Figure out how to turn: 6.5  I can turn heel side pretty good, but I have trouble with toe side still.

Figure out how to stop: 7.5 I can stop with good consistency and fair stability, it could use some work though.

Avoid serious injury: 8.5  I only had one pretty spectacular wipeout, if I had the awareness during it I would have shouted “Yard Sale!!”

Possibility of concussion: 1  I bashed my head pretty good, and have a small headache, but my neck hurts more than my head does

Fun: 7.5  It was rainy and that hindered my learning a bit I think as it make the conditions less than idea – my aunt confirmed this suspicion when I saw her after.  It would also be way more fun to go with someone to share excitement and take pictures.

Progress toward epic rider: 2.5 Stopping and turning are key elements, three completed 50/50s is non too shabby either.