Saturday, June 30, 2012

More Hills And The Dash Route

I did some more hill training the last couple of days.  Running over and back and over and back and over and back on the hill that makes park hill.  It makes for a total of six climbs that while they are not very long they are pretty steep.

Another thing I did today was discover the topography of the Warrior Dash route.  I looked at the map of the route they had and transposed it roughly into map my run.  This is what came up.

warrior dash

Turns out you climb about 120m total with as you can see three pretty steep hills.  What I am running around here is only ending up to be about 40m or so.  I need some longer hills if I’m going to simulate this better.  Or at least more climbs.  I take satisfaction that where I am running around the city now at least the hills are steep.

(Also I changed the font of the text in this post..  it should be graphite light..  can you see this change? it’s not a standard Windows font)

Edit: Turns out I can’t change the font to that, it has to be one of the fonts that Blogger has loaded, so I have chosen schoolbell…  better or worse than before?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Loooooooong Weekend!

So I took today off work giving myself and extra long 4-day weekend, because I get Monday off since this is the Canada day weekend.  I have had to go to the dentist so far today, and we meet with our lawyer to be sure about the contract on the house purchases and sales and all that.  But for the most part this weekend is going to be spent on the move!

Last night I did some more running on the hill in Jackson park, and this morning I went over and back on park hill a few times (not on Parkhill road, but on London, Dublin and Edinburgh).  I intend to do this hill training again Saturday morning along with Karate and a trip to the gym and probably a bike ride in the afternoon.

Sunday should be another bike ride, and maybe paintball, and then to the gym and karate and a bike ride again.

All in all I hope to ride about 75Km and run about 15Km just this weekend (from Thursday evening to Monday night)!  I remember a time when all I would do is sit inside and complain about how hot it is!

At least now I go do things and then complain about how hot it is!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Through I long and winding set of events our house has finally sold.

A few weeks ago we had a couple through our place three separate times, they finally proposed an offer that was a bit low for our liking and so we turned them down.  Days passed and turned into weeks and we had lots of lookers but no one was buying.

At the same time my parents were trying to sell their house and that event occurred Monday.  It just turns out that my parents real estate agent is one in the same as the couple that put in the offer on my house.  My parents and the agent got to talking and while that couple had kept looking my house was always their benchmark.

Since the sale of my parents place has put them in such a handy position of no debt and a load of cash in the bank, they said ‘hey, if you need a few bucks to meet these people in the middle, we can do that for you’.  Great!  We called our agent Tuesday, and all the paperwork got signed off on last night.

Now the buyers of our place have the typical conditions in place on their offer, home inspection and financing, those should not be a problem, but they are the only things standing in the way of a done deal.

If this all goes according to plan, I’ll be moving by July 27th. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hill Training

The Warrior Dash is mere weeks away now. Am I ready for it? Yes! But I am striving to be even more ready! To that end I have been at the gym and running here and there.

I started a new strength building routine at the gym a few weeks ago, the whole push pull thing I mentioned earlier I think, though I can’t find a post dedicated to it. I’m back to bench pressing nearly my body weight again, I do squats with lots of weight and box step ups while holding over 1/3 of my weight in my hands. This type of thing should have me doing well on obstacles where i need to get myself up and over things.

I run, we all know that, I run pretty bloody fast for your average guy as well, averaging out to around 13 or 14 kilometres per hour. I also bike for ages now easily pushing myself to nearly 50Km at about 27 Km/h. Regular endurance is covered.

But the course for the Warrior Dash is on a ski resort. Hills will be plenty and long. Today I took a first step toward defeating this little challenge. Over in Jackson Park by my house there is a mountain biking/walking trail that is anything but flat. I took it upon myself to Do Something Difficult and do laps around a nice steep hill that lives right on a loop on the trail. I ran that loop 8 times, as well as getting there and back home. 5.95K of constant up and down hill.

It was nice because it was in the shade, but it was a bit killer due to the terrain. I hope to find increasingly bigger hills to use this tactic on up until the week before the Dash. I will finish this race in under 30 minutes, and I will place in the top 5 for my age group (at the very least based on last years times).


Sunday, June 24, 2012


Yesterday morning I ran 5K, as I mentioned, and that distance put me at 300 Kilometres of running distance since January!  A while ago I posted over at the running room forums that I would like to run a total of 500K this year and to also do 700K on my bike.

I did that post at the end of April when I had only run 155.  So four months to run 155 and then two months to run the next 145, not too shabby.

When I started running I really did not like it very much.  It was hard, and it was always hot when I went and it just was not very enjoyable.  I think that all of last year I ran about 170 Kilometres and even by the end of that I was not a big fan, which is why when hockey started I was glad to drop it for a while.

Now, I kinda like it.  Pretty often I’ll ‘just go for a quick run’ and do a 5K near the house or out into Jackson park or something.  It shows really, I have run nearly two times the distance this year compared to last.  It’s great exercise and even though I bought expensive shoes (twice) for the activity I have each of those pairs of shoes down to less than 50 cents per kilometer.

On my bike I have also done 308 Kilometres, and that is just since the start of May.  I really enjoy riding my bike, especially since I go at an average of about 20-22 Km/h while riding.

These two activities have let me see some great things.  Loads of little critters are out on the trails in the morning.  I’ve seen turtles and their nests, chipmunks, bunnies, otters, porcupines and also just some amazing visuals.  I have traveled half of the total distance that I set as my goal.  I hope I see just and many interesting things and learn as much about myself on the second half.

orange corners trestle2

orange corners trestle3

orange corners trestle

Looking over the sides of the Orange Corners Trestle

Saturday, June 23, 2012


We had a grading at karate today.  It is always a fun time to see student get their new belts after so many classes and then the hard effort required in a grading.  It was during this time calling out techniques and seeing them preformed that I began to think about what separates those students that it is plain to see that they will go far and those where the picture is a bit muddier.

Purpose is the difference.  The students that are going far you can see both in class and during a grading are moving their bodies in a way that will get them the result that they want.  And what really started to connect this all for me was a 5K run I did this morning.

I went out running knowing that during the grading I was going to be running the warm ups.  For me when I do that I take part in the warm ups and don’t just call out things to do.  How could I know if I am pushing students not hard enough or too hard if I am not doing the warm up myself.  So I went out running just sort of la-de-da not really minding what the time was that I got and such.  Well I completed the 5K with a bit more effort on the second half and finished in a time of 22:50.  My longest time for a 5K since January!  It is a time that is 30-40 seconds longer than my average time for a 5K on my usual route.

Why was it so slow? especially when I know that I can do a 5K run in under 20 minutes!  Because there was no purpose behind it.  I wasn’t going out to set a new record time, I wasn’t even heading out to run that hard since I knew I would be leading the warm up at the grading and therefor my time suffered greatly.

When I have purpose in each step I can go really fast.  When I have purpose at my work I can be engaged and entertaining and educational with the kids, when I have purpose at karate I can kick over the bag.  Without it I accomplish nothing.  The same can be said of these students, if they have purpose behind these new belts they can and will go far, if they don’t they will hold in place.  I have great expectations for quite a few of them!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It’s Hot Enough To Boil A Monkey’s Bum

My god it has been hot this week!  Yesterday it was 36 degrees and 44 when the humidity is included.  For my American readers that comes out to about 96 or 111 when the humidity is factored in.

The only other time I have been in heat like this I was in Glenside, PA.  I was dizzy and felt awful and I had to go and stick my head in cold shower for a few minutes just to not puke or pass out or whatever I was about to do. 

I hate the heat.  Since I have gotten in shape I handle it a bit better than I used to but not by much.  It also boggles my mind that people can enjoy weather like this.  Its too hot to do anything other than go from one air conditioned place to another air conditioned place.

24 or 25 degrees is enjoyable, you can be outside and do things.  If you get too hot you can just find some shade and relax, I like that part of summer.  I like riding my bike and running and stuff, but it has been so hot the last few days that doing those things is an impossibility.

I am just waiting for October now.  I would much rather be wearing a sweater and playing hockey than sweltering in the heat.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Favourite Thing At The Gym

I was at the gym yesterday doing my new pull day, which I love, and I had to kill a few minutes waiting for some equipment and I got to thinking about my favourite thing at the gym. 

As a weight lifting exercise I think that my favourite thing is bench press.  I don’t lift a heck of a lot of weight, I don’t particularly aim to be able to lift hundreds of pounds, I don’t train to do that specifically. I do like that just like when I got up to lifting 180 pounds I can increase the amount of weight I can press like clock work and be able to lift it in 3 sets of 10.

Strictly as a cardio exercise I’m not really sure I have a favourite.  The treadmill, stairmill and elliptical are all dreadfully boring!  Maybe mountain climbers with the little slider pads.  mainly because the last time I did that with Jodi she was like ‘Holy you go fast at that, you can just count it yourself I can’t keep up’.

I think the best thing I have done at the gym still though is a burpee/pullup combination.  It must have been something to watch I would think. A guy doing a burpee on the floor and the on the jump grabbing the chin up bar and doing a pullup. I think that was the most fun thing I have done at the gym so far.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Take That Hill!

Today I got shot at. By three young punks who thought they could keep me and Pete from taking control of a hill to launch a rocket.  The fools.  They should have known they stood little chance of stopping us.

Oh it was with paintballs.  Did I mention that?  Did I have you goin’ for a minute there?

I’m unsure of why our first games this year have waited until June, but it was quite the beginning.  I managed to only get hit a handful of times,and unfortunately I have no real bruising to show for it.  Half the fun of playing is having the welts to show off afterwards.  I did manage to dish out my share of them however and a few head shots to boot.

I did get hit right in the visor, which is a great spot to get it if you have to since it does not hurt at all, and you get to see the paintball right up into impact.

It is hard to imagine a better way to spend a Sunday morning with friends other than shooting at each other, and animatedly sharing the tales after the game of just how one person managed to get the other or just wonder how it was even possible to be snuck up on so easily.

Ahhh Sunday, I love the smell of paint in the morning!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Flip

So a couple of weeks ago at karate we were doing randori, which is self defense stuff.  Jill one of our amazing sempeis decided that instead of doing a regular ol’ breakfall after I did a bit of a throw on her.  I thought that was awesome and naturally had to A) see it again and B) do it myself.

I got it on video last Saturday but it was part of a 30 minutes 2.5 gigabyte file that I seem unable to edit, even to grab still pictures from it.  The picture I ended up posting as part of the Day In The Life of thing was actually a picture I took with my wife’s phone from the screen of my own phone!

Today though I just went seeking the video of the flip and got it.  I ended up doing the flip twice but the first landing was not so great.  The second landing was not pretty, but it stick and my butt did not touch the floor.

In my life I have now done about six flips, hopefully they get better  :)

A bit of an assisted flip


Eh?  In a Batman Shirt

Batman Vs. Superman

Once in a while I have to defend my opinion on this particular subject.  Most of the comics I own are either Batman oriented or stories about the whole group (The Justice League).  As such when Batman and Superman cross paths usually Batman comes out on top.  I think the reasoning behind this is sound though.

Yes Superman is powerful, in the new Justice League books he is really quite strong, breaking Green Lanterns constructs.  He is fast enough to hit The Flash, and facing an unprepared Batman simply dusts off everything from his utility belt.

Batman is rarely unprepared though.  I have the book Tower of Babel, in it Batman has designed plans specifically to put each member out of commission should they turn bad.  These plans are stolen and put to use against the heroes and they work pretty well.  It turns out that Batman has a piece of Kryptonite on hand just in case the need ever arises.

supes breaks gl chains

What really helps Batman win or draw on all these encounters though is actually Superman himself.  He is a nice guy, he is *the nicest* guy.  If there really was anyone that could slap the taste out of your mouth is Supes, but he holds back.  Even in the midst of a fight Superman is too nice to just take someone’s head off and so he throws Batman around a bit, but deep down he knows they are friends and holds back.  Batman on the other hand does not.  When Superman has decided to go ballistic for whatever reason Batman finally can play rough. Like using the whole city’s power grid to stun the guy.

You and I both know that in a Mortal Kombat style death match Superman would win, but that is never how these fights happen in the stories, they each have the character traits that they have and that is what allows Batman to come out on top.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Friend Making Mondays: Bedroom Habits

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: 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!

FMM: Bedroom Habits


1. Do you set an alarm clock? If so, for what time? Yes, through the week it is for 5:45! Boo

2. How many hours of sleep do you get on an average night?  Generally I get about 7 hours of sleep.

3. Do you bring your laptop to bed? Nope, in fact that has never really even occurred to me.

4. How many pillows do you require to sleep? I use two, one for me head and one to hug.  I find if I don’t have the one to hug my chest huts, I’ve been doing that since I was 19 I think.

5. Do you sleep with socks on? Only when I’m really cold.

6. How often do you change the sheets?  Not nearly enough

7. Do you remember your dreams? Usually only for a couple hours after waking up.

8. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?  I sleep on the left side of the bed (if you are standing facing the bed at the foot of it).  Always have.  Amber thinks we should switch and sometimes attempts to take the spot over before I get to bed some nights.  We traded once and she ended up giving me almost no room between her and the wall.

9. How often do you take naps? When I was unemployed I took a nap almost every day!  And At work during sleep time I tend to have a few 5-10 second naps.  Given the option I would certainly nap, but not in bed.  Naps are for the couch.

10. Do you sleep soundly?  Yep, once I am out that is it. Thunderstorms, cats jumping around, Amber snoring none of it bothers me.  Unless those things are happening near the time I would usually be waking, if it is 4:30 or later and there is big noise, I wake up.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A (Satur)Day In The Life Of Chris

A friend of mine on facebook posted this photo challenge to just sort of document your own day and then post up the photos.  I felt that if I was going to do a project like that I could post all the photos here as well.  I go on a lot about doing things, but now you’ll have a chance to see it all in action.

I was going to put the pictures right in the post but it will be a HUGE post!!  So here is a link to an album instead!


A couple highlights if you don’t want to view the full thing:

2012-06-09 07.07.41

Running my 5K in 19:48


Getting Flipped at karate, I landed on my feet

2012-06-09 12.11.01

The Gym

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Yummy lunch

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A 25.21k bike ride

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Sleepy time with Cringer

The full album is worth checking out!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What The Mind Believes, The Body Achieves

I have done it.

A week ago I got asked by Jill at karate if I had cracked the twenty minute mark yet on my running of 5K.  I informed her that I had not as I had taken to running 10K on Saturday mornings simply because that was the day that they best fit.  What that meant was that I no longer had an ideal ‘time trial’ day to run to try to achieve my 5K time goal.  It made me think that it was about time I take another crack at getting under twenty minutes. 

On Wednesday I decided that I would do just that, and so I was sure to not go running from then until this morning.  It is a bit funny how all this conspired though.  A friend of Amber’s and mine, Caroline, had decided to make this weekend a ‘day in the life of’ photo day** on Facebook, and Amber decided to start snoring at about 5AM.  I could not get back to sleep.  I got up and figured that if I am up this bloody early on a Saturday I might as well make use of it.

I got my gear on and took a couple pictures after clearing off my camera/phone/device of wonder and set out to begin running just around 6:40ish. I was pumped I knew that the achievement was possible, I just had to focus.  Each step had to have drive and purpose behind it or I was not going to make the desired time.  Once I got to where I start the run I just bolted!  My first 500m was done in about 2:36 and my first kilometre was over at about 3:45.  That, readers, is fast.

When I came to the last 1/2 lap (To make 5k you have to run around my block 4.5 times) I had about 2:30 to make it to the finish in order to just eek out a time of 20:00.  I poured it on!  My strides were larger and quicker than ever before and I was dying for air by the time I had about 100m to go. When I passed the stop sign that is right by my house I hit my stop watches button and checked the time.

2012-06-09 07.07.412012-06-09 07.07.50


Victory. Just as the clouds started to open up and rain, I finished in under twenty minutes.  It turns out to be a very good thing Amber woke me up and I could not get back to sleep as now (and for the last hour almost) it has been pouring outside right during the time I would normally be running.  Funny how it all works out sometimes.

I set this goal back in January and honestly a few months ago I really did not think that I would do it.  Not because I didn’t have the dedication, but I just didn’t think I would be able to physically do it.  It just goes to show that if you really want to accomplish something, it can be done, you just have to put in the effort.


5K road running times since January***

** I’ll post the day in the life photos here too!

*** I am pretty specific about my time comparisons, this is all just running on the road for 5K, there are separate charts for 10K, on trails or similarly uneven courses and treadmill times.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Banana Bread

I bake all the time at daycare.  I think there is maybe eight or nine days out of twenty at work where I am in the kitchen making muffins or scones or rice pudding or whatever.

Today I finally put those skills to use here at home and created this:

2012-06-03 18.41.21

Banana Bread.  It is pretty wonderful.  It turned out very well and since its bread made with bananas its got to be good for you right? (in small portions of course).  Naturally you can make a good thing even better, by adding ice cream and chocolate syrup.  Yay dessert!

2012-06-03 20.22.41

Feel free to take that home and use it yourself, no charge.

Would I have eaten that a year ago?  Probably not, but I ran today and ate well for my meals, I ate it because I have to!

So, I Saw This While Working Out…

At the gym yesterday I was just finishing my squats when a guy came and asked if I was about done.  I told him yep, and after my last set I moved on to the bench press. What I then got to see was he loaded the, um, sit-down leg press machine thing with Every Weight in sight!  At the very least he had about 540 lbs. on the thing and then he had 180 on the squat bar.  It was incredible!  Even in my dreams I can’t imagine lifting that much weight over and over and over again!  He alternated between those two exercises for at least ten minutes, with none of that posturing that you see the college age guys doing between each and every rep they do.  I’m not really aiming to be able to move that much weight, but even if I wanted to I’d have to work at it for ages! Incredible.

Last Sunday I was riding my mountain bike along the bike path between here and Lakefield. It’s almost flat, it follows along a river more or less and fairly straight as well, as one might expect a old train track bed to be.  Two road cycling guys were going on the road that peeks in and out of view from the bike path.  These guys had their road cycling gear on and all that, were able to work together and draft and such.  Over the time that I was able to see them they had to travel about an extra 700 metres.  Turns out that I was able to over take them!  On a mountain bike, on a gravelly path!  I was pretty impressed with myself.

That’s all that comes to mind from the last couple of days, have you seen something impressive while working out?

Take A Night Off

Last night was my friend Matt’s Birth-Warming party (birthday and house warming together).  I knew I would be going and eating and generally having a great time.  As far as fitness and food are concerned I simply had to shut off my brain for a bit because being concerned about what I was eating was just going to ruin the amazing party.  So I took the night off.

The morning was a different story.  It was Saturday so I ran, now I am running 10K Saturdays mornings, so I did that.  I went to karate and did two hours of things there, mainly teaching, and then I went to the gym and did my push day.  Squats, bench press, overhead press, step ups and tricep extensions with burpees, push ups, box jumps and floor wipers mixed in, ending with abdominal work.  This is a typical Saturday morning, but today it was preparing me to be able to eat the way I knew I was going to.

With that much done in the morning I was satisfied that I could eat what I wanted, I also just know that whatever I do eat, my body will now take care of in two days or less since eating a lot is not a regular occurrence.

I went to the party with my friend Damion and after a few false starts Matt and I managed to get the barbeque fires roaring, thanks in no small part to me growing up with a woodstove heating our house as a kid.  The food was fantastic! Chicken, sausage, rib eyes steak, a variety of salads and some really good cookies.  I ate my fair share and it was amazing.  Food like that is great, but even better when you are surrounded by cool people.  Matt and Kate know some really interesting and entertaining folks.  And I even got a new facebook friend out of it! Yay!

It turns out that I am still pretty good at fighting games as I took most people to school on Soul Calibre IV and Marvel vs Capcom III even though I had never played either game before.  I would really love to have a Super Smash Bros Brawl party at my place but I don’t know if enough people would turn up for such and event.

I’m glad I was there and I hope to go visiting again soon.  It was also great to just take the night off from thinking about proper things to eat and just have whatever.  Once in a while you just have to let go and enjoy what is on the table and be confident that you have trained your body well enough that it will do what it needs to do with all that extra (and amazing) food!

Friday, June 1, 2012


A friend asked me the other day how I keep motivated, and how I try to motivate my wife.  The short answer to the second part of that is that I don’t.  I encourage Amber to go do things, I ask if she’s been to the gym and whatnot, or if she’s stuck to her latest thing on her blog.  However I have learned that if I push too hard she just gets upset with me.  I know her time is limited and she often picks up extra time teaching and that during the school year is not a good time to be pestering her about how long or how often she has fit in time to work out.

Knowing what I know now about working out and being in shape and all that it makes me a bit sad that she puts it off here and there.  But she does not know what I know in this regard and until her body learns it (and not her brain) she’s not going to see things the way I do.

However another thing that I know is that the motivation has to come from within.  No matter how much someone else might want it for you, you have to be the one that does it.  This example is clearly shown in my own journey.  I needed to get into shape to do what needed to be done to get my black belt at karate.  Hints and nods were given to this fact for quite some time, I was a brown belt for three years!  I even had seven months where I was laid off before I went back to school that would have been the perfect opportunity to spend time at the gym like it was a 9-5 job.  But I didn’t.  I was not ready for it.  Once I was ready, mentally, it was like a switch was flipped and boom each little success led to extra motivation and I shed those pounds like nothing else.

My wife is beautiful and I love her.  Would I like it if she decided to go all-in for a while and get in shape, yes.  That fact makes no difference though, she has to want it for herself from within.

How do I keep motivated?  By achieving more.  By out peddling guys on road bikes while I am on my mountain bike.  By lifting more weight at the gym and by getting new and fresh programs at the gym when I get bored with the current one I am doing.  I stay motivated because I am on my own journey and I can do great things.