Monday, September 23, 2013

Run Or Dye

Saturday I ran in Run or Dye in Kingston, Ontario.  The people who are reading this that know where I live are thinking, ‘Kingston?  you live in Bridgenorth dude!’ And you are right to think that.  I drove about 5 hours round trip to run in a race that was over in less than 30 minutes!



But it was fun and when I signed up for the race in early August I wasn’t even thinking about the driving distance.  Tara, that I met at Run For Your Lives was suggesting that we all do a colour run, but everything was at the pre-register stage. This run came up first and Sarah and I signed up for it.

We drove to Kingston through the POURING rain Saturday morning where we had to leave the house at the ungodly hour of 5:30am.  When we arrived at the event the rain had pretty much stopped, though we did luck out when we went inside to get our race kits because for about two minutes it poured again and people were coming into the building looking like they had just jumped in a lake!

Then the waiting for the race started, we lined up in the starting chute and they were letting about 50 people at a time go.  They had the guy on a mic pumping everybody up and music and the group was doing the wave and whatnot.  People were using their dye packs.  Everyone got a little packet of powdered dye and a white shirt to wear for the race and so there was clouds of dye everywhere.

Our wave came up and by that time I was pretty purple with splotches of green and orange. I stayed with Sarah as we ran up a pretty steep hill up into the base at Fort Henry.  And we stuck together for about 90% of the race. There was a couple walking breaks along the way, but overall Sarah did amazing.  Throughout the race course there was dye stations where people were waiting with handfuls of colour to get you.  Sarah took a face full of pink dye and looked ridiculous for the rest of the day!  There was only about one and a half or two kilometres to go when Sarah told me to go off without her.  I asked if she was sure and she said yeah, so I ran off and finished, then came back through the course to meet up with her and finish again with her.  There was no timing chips so it wasn’t a big deal.

I finished in about 25 minutes and Sarah was maybe 27-28 or so, really quite good considering that we did a bit of walking along the way.

I’m glad I went, but I think next year there will be more local races done and less driving!


Waiting to start



After the running


Sunday, September 15, 2013


At the start of the year I set a goal to travel 2000 kilometres combined by running and biking.  Yesterday I met that goal.  I have now gone 2005.7km since January 1st of 2013.

To some that is not much at all, like my dad for instance.  I think the last time I asked him about it he had gone over 16000km on his bike!  He does have the advantage of being retired though, and not splitting his time with running or working out.

Here is a breakdown of the whole experience:


So as you can see Sunday was my biggest day for both running and biking which surprised me a little bit to discover.  This 2000k includes my half marathon, the 5k Kms for Care race in which I came first in my age group, The O Course, and the Sydenham canoe, cycle, run triathlon that I did with my dad!  Still to come is Run or Dye and the Tough Mudder later this month!

I have gone 554km running and 1451km biking, I hope that I can at least get those to 600, and 1600 respectively and I don’t think that will be a problem.  Aiming for 2500 at this point might be foolish as I will soon have to pack in cycling and I don’t have the gym membership to ride a stationary bike now.  But I think that next year my goal should be 3000 at least!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Seven Days In A Row

As you may well be aware I have not been running quite as much or as long as would be considered typical throughout the summer.  This has come about due to a few different circumstances, heat and injury.

It hasn’t been ridiculously this year, thankfully, but it has been hot enough to put me off running a few days here and there and without the gym membership to make use of a treadmill I simply biked or worked out instead. 

The injury I sustained way back in May doing my half marathon has haunted me the whole summer through.  Mainly, I think, because I refuse to stop working at things for long enough at once to just let it heal up the whole way.

However the heat seems to have broken since the start of September and with that road block out of the way I made a point last week of really getting out to do some stuff. My lack of running was on my mind and so each day that it was not raining I was sure to get out running.

So here is how it all went down last week.

  • Monday – Ran 7k
  • Tuesday – Ran 5k
  • Wednesday – Full Body workout, ran 2k
  • Thursday – Ran 7k
  • Friday – Biked 20.6k
  • Saturday – Upper body workout, lead two 10 minute heavy duty warm ups at karate grading
  • Sunday – Biked 26.6k

Seven days of killin’ it in a row!  Typically I wouldn’t do quite that much without a rest day, but with the cooler weather I just felt like I could do anything!  It was so great!  The best part is though that during the whole thing, and even after my 7k run last night, my ankle is not hurting me at all.  Either that or I have simply adjusted to the pain and it doesn’t bother me.

I challenge you to seven days of awesomeness in a row, do it, then tell me all about it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How To Pull Your Groin Muscles In 18 Minutes Or Less

I was about to head out on a bike ride on Sunday when what did I spy but a cycling club riding past my house up the hill.  I took this to be a direct challenge and I quickly finished getting my ipod hooked up and my helmet on, and my bike out of the garage and set off chasing them.

I was at least 30 seconds behind, probably more.  But the race was on!  I pedaled as hard as I could, at a pace I knew I could keep and flew up my road.  They were in sight when I rounded the corner, but they were pretty far off.  It was a group of about twelve cyclists I think and riding in a pack is much easier than riding on your own.  I had my work cut out for me if I was going to catch up.  So I gritted my teeth and went harder.

At the end of my road, 4.5k later, I was only about 20 seconds behind and I knew I could reel them in by then.  I think they upped their pace a little though knowing they were being chased by someone not in their club.

We crossed over the 8th line of Smith and were headed for Selwyn road.  I figured that we would be turning different directions at this point and so now I had a finish line.  There are two massive hills toward the end of this road and I figured that this would be where I could catch up if I had a chance of doing so.

I pounded my way up the first hill, the last of the group of cyclists were only a few meters ahead of me at this point, I crested the hill maybe 5 seconds behind them.  Coming down I cranked the bike into its highest gear and pushed, I was going nearly 60km/h!  On the next hill I passed two of the club and charging down the opposite side I caught up with the leaders of the pack.

They stopped at the stop sign to wait for their club mates and I whizzed by and turned left.  They went right.

It was awesome to reel in a whole group of cyclists that were taking turns at the lead so that they could draft behind one another and such.  They might not have been ‘racing’ me, but they had enough advantages that it didn’t matter.

It too me about 17 minutes and change to cover the 9k or so to catch them up.  Now, my groin muscles are killing me. 

It was totally worth it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Friend Making Monday–Getting To Know Each Other

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!


Getting To Know Each Other

1.  What is your favourite flower?

I don`t really have one, Daisies I guess

2.  What is a date on the calendar that you’re looking forward to? 

Sept 28th, the start of my hockey season.  I`m excited to get back on the ice!  And then the next day I run Tough Mudder!  That will be a great weekend!

3.  List at least five characteristics of your ideal mate. 

Funny, Smart, Adventurous, Driven and Caring.

4.  What is your favourite travel destination? 

Of the places I have gone I think I like Puerto Rico the best so far.  I could happily spend a long time there. (just not in the summer probably)

5.  What is your idea of the perfect date? 

Doing something we both enjoy.

6.  What is your relationship with your family like?

It`s good.  I see my parents fairly often either them here at my place or me at theirs.  My brother and I don`t hang out much though.  I would say I am better friends with my Brother-in-law than I am with my actual brother.  Probably has to do with the torture most siblings put each other through as kids.

7.  What time did you wake up this morning? 

6:09am  ick!

8.  What characteristic do you like most about yourself? 

I like that I am pretty driven to things, I don`t like that I am forgetful

9.  What is your favourite sport to watch? 

Hockey!  It`s pretty much the only sport I watch, and last year due to the strike I didn't watch much.  We’ll see if that changes this year.

10.  Share a few interesting things that you did over the weekend.

Well, let`s see.  I helped run a grading at karate, which was awesome, I love being a part of that type of thing when people achieve something that they will never forget.  I did a lot of drawing and watching videos on how to improve my inking skills.  I rode my bike 26k and in the process caught up to and passed a cycling club!  And I drew three pages for a comic book I am working on.


Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  Take a minute to say hello to someone new this week too!  Happy Monday!  Now, Where`s the COFFEE!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 1 At The Gym

004 - Gym Perception

Sometimes we make things more daunting than they actually are.  Me included.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More Art

So yesterday was Labour Day, and with that extra day off I did a few things.  The first thing I did was run 7k.  Due to injury and the heat running has sort of gotten away from me over the month of August, but this long weekend I took it back! Running 5k Friday evening and Saturday morning and then the aforementioned 7k yesterday morning.  It felt good to run that much and with the Tough Mudder coming up I need to be sure I can do the running.  As usual stretching is the key for me, and I have made a point of stretching after every workout!

The weather then turned really nasty and so I stayed inside and did some drawing.  As I mentioned the other day I have been watching a lot of videos and such and thought I would do one of my own.  So here it is:

Sunday, September 1, 2013


As you might have read I went to Fan Expo, while I was there I watched a few people create some art.  One of those people was Marcus To who drew me this amazing picture of The Flash.


(I scanned it, then printed it, and coloured in the print out)

Now I think I mentioned here that a while ago Amber and I went to a private art lesson and while it was interesting to be told some of those things that we learned that night for me it wasn’t anything ground breaking.  However since that night and even more so since Fan Expo I have been drawing a lot. 

Yesterday and today I have ended up watching a whole bunch of videos on youtube mainly with Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and Todd Nauck as the stars and especially with McFarlane and Lee I learned so many tricks and ideas and methods.  Some of them I was aware of but didn’t really know how to put to use, or not use them correctly.  And then some of idea really taught me how to do something I didn’t know at all before, or I was really having trouble with.  Earlier today while watching some of those videos with Lee and McFarlane I made a point of having some paper handy and just sketching along, putting the ideas to use and really trying to cement things in my brain.  I’ll share those sketches and the lessons in a much shorter format below.



These are from when I was watching Jim Lee demonstrate. The first one is the top hand there that is a green lantern hand, and the middle Batman hand, the crux of that lesson was that hands are not squares, they are pentagons turned a bit, the top point of the pentagon is where the middle finger is.  For that flared out look you draw the pentagon shape, then the bulge for the thumb base, and then the pads of the fingers, lines to connect to the palm and then a few little shadows, done.  His basis for the hand in general though is that ‘everyone is holding a softball.  If you imagine that ball, draw the bits of the finger tips that you see and then the connections, it’ll work out.


This was a Todd McFarlane ‘how to draw feet’  He mentions in this video a previous video where he did hands and that fingers are basically peanuts, a peanut each for the first two bones and then 1/2 a peanut for the finger tip.  That way you get the knuckles.  He mentions this because toes are pretty much the same thing.  Most important to note when drawing feet from the end was that your ankle bones don’t line up perfectly.


There is a finger peanut hand here..  and then eyes.  Todd started with the left most eye in photoshop, very basic. Relax the eyelid, and give it weight, put highlights on the pupil and iris, then maybe a few creases around the eye to make it a bit more realistic.  If you are trying a bit stylized, you can draw the shape of a hat, and make than an eye.  To note was that you rarely see the entire iris, it’s usually cut off on the top at least, and be sure to add in the highlights if you are drawing at a detail level where you can see the pupil and iris.


Jim Lee had a video on drawing dynamic figures, he pretty much drew this Batman, with Joker getting punched in the foreground, I didn’t add that.  There was much more to the lesson, but one of his key points was to separate the centre of mass of the torso and the center of mass of the hips.20130825_215301

Like here, these centres of mass are stacked, and while the reaction of the villain helps to sell it, the pose up top indicates much more movement on Batman’s part.  There is good ‘movement’ on the Riddler here, but notice his torso, is far to the right of his hips.

action 2 and chest

Another Dynamic pose for the Flash, he’s moving super fast, and you can tell because of where his torso is compared to his hips.  (Lee didn’t draw Flash like this, I just did it while watching) Lee also noted the idea/rule of each action needs and equal and opposite reaction, so Flash’s right arm is way back, so his right foot is way forward to balance him out.  While this rule can be contradicted a bit from what I know of martial arts (in a step through punch the right arm and right foot come forward at the same time), it’s generally true.

On the bottom was from a demo with Todd and Greg Capullo, the current artist on Batman, and Todd was pointing out what he called the ‘Lazy W’.  It’s there in the chest, starting under the shoulder, forming the pecs and then going up around the other shoulder.  His point with this was that if you can draw that, you’ll know where to place lots of muscles as the should always stays ‘behind’ the W, even if the arms go straight up, pulling the chest to go nearly vertical.


Last was legs, this was Capullo and McFarlane again and here I learned that Todd is really big on drawing things connected as he goes, so here you can see the steps because I drew them all out.  starting with the knee cap, then the little bone under, then adding in the muscles on the legs, noting that the inside muscle is always lower then the outside one.  Then depending on where your light is you pic out the shadows to pull out and BooM – leg!

So yeah, other than a 35k bike ride and short workout this morning, this was most of my day today!  Yay FREE Art Lessons!