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Best Part of the Day

July 27, 2012

I called Big Larr (my dad) last week and suggested that we make a pact. He declined assuming I was trying to coax him into an ridiculous exercise regime. However, once I cleared the air and assured that my intentions were honourable, he decided to to agree. So, for the past week, we have been rotating the duty of calling each other at 6:30am. Why? Because I believe/have come to learn that there are two 2-hour windows in the day that can be associated with the word “best”. From 6:00 am until 8:00 am are your most productive and uninterrupted hours of the day. My dad has coined this “best part of the day” and if your still in bed sleeping … you’re missing the best part of the day. So why are we calling each other at 6:30 and not 6:00? Well… its all about baby steps, and as much as I love jumping foolhardily into a given task … I actually wanted this one to be a lasting change. So I am on a schedule to work my way down to the 6:00 am wake up. A small sacrifice of the best part of the day now will be worth greater gains long term!

So … any guesses for the second 2-hour window in a 24 hour time slot?

My dad has always claimed that your best 2 hours of sleep fall between the hours of 10:00 and 12:00 pm. Now I actually find this commitment a greater challenge. I can easily fill my evenings with one more episode of my favourite tv-show (right now I really like the show Suits) or talking on the phone, doing school work, playing music or grabbing a pint with friends. So my goal is to slowly work my way back from the 11:00 o’clock usual lights out to 10:30 and finally 10:00.

So there you have it … words of wisdom from Big Larr.

Other than 2 slip ups (falling back asleep and waking up at shortly after 7) things have been going well. The other day I baked brownies at 6:45 and enjoyed them with coffee… the possibilities are endless ..

 

when and what do you do with your best part of the day? lets here it.

Next Blog: … Recap and hopefully a picture from the annual double handed sail boat race on Saturday!

 

Keep smiling

 

Fiddle dee dee

July 18, 2012

So when I was out in Calgary for Nationals I had the amazing opportunity to Jam with a fiddle player named Lindsay Fiddle. Doug could not remember her last name so fiddle took its place. She is originally from Scotland and is job shadowing in Calgary for the summer. Wow, this girl is a huge talent. Doug and I basically went back and forth playing as many of our original songs as possible to see what the fiddler would come up with. For over 3 hours, she would find the key that we were playing in and either play some accompanying notes or construct a loose melody based on the first verse and chorus. By golly … this was such a cool music moment. Most fun I have had jamming in a long time! So I joked with doug that i was going to take pack lindsay fiddle and her instrument in my luggage and fly her back to ottawa with me to start a rival band of Mallory! 

Well fiddle me this… Inspired by my Calgary trip, I decided to perform in Ottawa at an open mic, that based on the online reviews … promised to be gypsy. So on my way to an open mic, I ran in to Julia Tousaw … and runner and old training partner of Jenny from the block Perrault. I had my guitar strung on my back and we quickly caught up, but apparently not enough … (foreshadowing) So I get to this open mic and a guy named Francesco is running the show. He has a guitar on his shirt and a feather in his hat … so far the gypsyness of the night is suffice. So I grab an iced coffee and grab a front row couch. I am ninth on the list so I have some time to feel out the place and devise a set list that I think will land with my fellow performers. At this open mic, Francesco or Frankie as the regulars seem to call him, gets up and explains some of the ground rules at Umi cafe. “Here at Umi were all about energy and respecting the Energy in the room, so when I am up here talking or before a performer is playing, we like to throw all the energy and good vibes up to them and then we let the all that energy radiate from the performer during his/her set.” Gypsy .. check. “So I am going to count down from 3 … 3-2-1 and we all shout raise it as we toss all our energy to the front of the room … and then silence sets in. 

It wasn’t until I got up to perform that I realized how cool it is to see 50 hands throw all this gypsy energy at you. It made for some awesome performances and an opportunity to play some lyrically charged songs and some songs that start out quiet and ramp up. Awesome effect! So my 3 songs went like this. 1) Bleed Green … a politically charged song that was meant to follow up a slam poetry performance earlier that night 2) Shrivels … A Dougie original … beautifully written and I feel like I had the whole audience experiencing the story line … a few tears may have been shed 3) Parachute (Uncle Song) … an addicts story of high and low times. 

I will definitely be back at Umi to perform again … very cool vibe. 

So after that night I was chatting with NJ and told her that I bumped into Tousaw on the way to the show … she informs me that Julia is a fiddle player. Bam … back in business. So this week we are hoping to get together and jam and see what happens. If it goes anything like Calgary, my band just doubled in size!

Ill keep you posted …

That is my musical update for you folks. 

Maybe I will shoot a video at Umi this week and post. Well see.

Keep smiling!

Just takes the edge off

July 16, 2012

So i’m sitting here in my apartment .. Other than the glow of the computer screen, pitch black because those lights will only raise the already hot temperature of my apartment. Other than the slight hum of my freezer and the fan blowing hot air around in the corner … its pretty quiet. I really can’t complain too much because 3/4’s of my apartment is below ground so all those 3rd floor residents can rest assured .. i feel for you. I had an interesting chat with a lady who was born in India and has lived in different parts of asia. At the cardiac rehab program that she attends and I am completing part of my internship this summer, the a/c is cranked to ensure that the various heart conditions do not get aggravated during exercise. Any who … she brought to my attention that we (canadians) are so lucky to air conditioners …. in some cases, places in the world which are hotter and more humid than canada don’t even have an electricity supply to run a fan… So that was my “Im spoiled” … it could be worse .. suck it up moment last week. But yea … that fan I bought is doing it’s job … taking the edge off the swamp sweat. So now that I have fulfilled the natural impulse to talk about the weather and complain … lets dive in!

Just finished guiding NJ for AO’s in Ottawa. She ran a 400 and an 800. Running 400’s is always a treat .. I get to try and coil my legs up into blocks … which I have used twice in my life (both races with NJ). I feel like J-Dirty back in 2007. Well at least false starting wont be a problem. 800 is always fun too. I get to do more in an 8 as there are usually competitors we need to move around and I get to practice my vocal coaching. I sometimes feel like a bit of an ass after some of the 800’s in which I am guiding NJ. She obviously has some limitations in seeing how the race ahead of her is unfolding. If you think about it, basic information that a 20/20 has such as what your competitors look like in terms of their stride, visual cues about changes in your competitors pace etc… I have to give all this information to my athlete. So for example, if the girl in front of us is starting to struggle or her stride seems to be getting choppy or she seems to be hitting the wall and exploding I pass this information on. I just have to be careful when describing the situation so I don’t come across as complete jack. 

My diet has taken a weird swing. Lately I have fallen into the routine of eating the exact same thing for dinner or a slight variation of the meal. Brown rice, chicken or pork chops and some veggies thrown together into a rice bowl of sorts. The one modification is sub out the rice for quinoa. Overall I feel that I am eating like Dougie did back in the castle. Calories in… Tonight I had the blandest meal I have eating since my stay in ottawa. Lovely!

My own running has taken a bit of a back burner … I am training 3x week with NJ and my non-workout days have been pretty inconsistent. Well see how the next couple weeks go. Id like to get out a little more often. I got out last week for the first run (besides workouts) in a while. I was feeling pretty good. I did this 11.3km loop and turned out I was running through bluesfest. There was a small haze visible from the distance as a hundred or so people blazing away. I decided to crush that section of my run. Man I was self presenting like you wouldn’t believe. I puffed out the chest and just focused on looking as relaxed as possible while running as fast as possible. The whole run took me somewhere between 38 and 39 minutes … that 1km through blues fest … haha new PB!

So overall, most of my writing energy has been diverted into some newsletters I am producing for various teams. Also, my directed study needs some serious attention … maybe my next blog will be about what I am looking at with this prof and maybe that will get me fired up to write. 

Keep smiling!

 

Banff

July 4, 2012

fresh faces .. pre climb

tour guide …

love the rockies

doug pre summit

at the top of mount edith 8700ft

doug thought everyones entries were boring and only spoke about the weather haha so he wrote this … we were 4th up this season

on our way down

post climb .. tired and hungry

Let it Stand but Don’t Let it Rust

June 13, 2012

Well I have taken a bit of a blog hiatus (big surprise eh)

Look at the last couple weeks

Ottawa 10K: 32:27 – Mixed feelings on this one. I was aiming for a much faster time and blew up pretty hard in last 4k. My splits were 15:32-16:55. After sitting on this one for a while .. I really would not have changed how I executed the first half of that race. My goal was break 31:00 and I gave myself the shot to do it through 5k and it wasn’t the day. This was a great way to cap off a long season. The atmosphere was awesome and I was loving the crowd down the entire length of Elgin. This season, I saw some big gains and I am pleased with the miles on Rockcliff with shred and track workouts with Tommy. A great lesson learned for me this season: training can take many forms, however unconventional they may seem. Bring in a positive mindset and believe in what you are doing and you can make most things happen. 

 

too be continued .. have to go hit up the track

Perspective

May 11, 2012

So on Monday, I was hitching a ride with Emked to Port Hope via station. I was making my way back to Ottawa and thought it would be a good idea to catch up with an ole friend and shave off a few bucks from my ticket price. Win – win. After a quick stop at Starbucks and drinks in hand, we set out from Hamilton. We had given ourselves somewhere between 2 and 2 – 1/2 hours to get there which would be ample time barring decent traffic. Well turns out every last soul was making their way home out of Toronto at just about the same time we were travelling through. My train departure time seemed to be getting closer and closer as the car stood still in traffic. It soon became quite apparent that I was going to miss my train. Bummer. I didn’t let it get me down … I figured worst case scenario I can hang out with momma Kedwell, score a free meal and catch a cheaper version of travel (bus) out of peterborough. As a began searching bus times and Emked began easing off the accelerator, I decided that I would put one last phone call into via to check the status of the train. I had thought that we would see the train go by because the tracks run along side the 401. Turns out the train was running 25 minutes late. Wohoo! I thanked the lady on the phone and told her that anyone who called in to complain about the late train could rest easy knowing that someone was thrilled and on their way to make that train. 

In all seriousness though,  how many times have you sat pouting with a late train, plane, ride whatever… When you step outside of the situation for a minute you may realize that for someone out there that same train is the savour of their day. So if you ever find yourself huffin and puffin for a late (fill in blank) just remind yourself that the larry abbott’s of the world are throwing a fist pump on route.

Turns out I just made the late train but I had 1 minute or so to chat with the other passengers waiting to board the train. I asked them how long they were waiting. One girl mentioned that she was waiting 20 minutes … I told her my story and thanked her for waiting. 

Huge thanks for the Emked for the lift and laughs. 

Remember … keep smiling!

Toronto Marathon “Psyching Team”

May 8, 2012

A fews days ago, I had an opportunity to take part as a member of a volunteer group called the psyching team at the GoodLife Toronto marathon. This group involved 30+ volunteers coming from a diverse background but all with the similar interest of sport psychology or consulting athletes on the mental aspects of their sport. First off, I want to convey how much fun this experience was. The group of people had a ton of energy and experience that made for a smooth sailing weekend. As a psyching team member, I was available at the race expo to talk with runners about their mental prep leading into their races which included either a half marathon or full marathon. As I wandered around the expo, a few individuals would stop to ask me questions but more or less I just struck up a conversation with people inline to get their bibs. I was genuinely interested in their goal for the next day and to get a little more insight into their preparations leading up the race. Conversations ranged from “this is my first marathon and Im kinda nervous” to “I am injured and just don’t know if I am going to achieve my time goal”. At one point, the race volunteers indicated that there would be no more shuttles to the race course (tickets were sold out) so I went over some brief interventions on making a new plan and not letting things like this bother them and affect them on race day. Really neat experience at the expo. We were also available on race day before the start and during the race between 35-40k. I had the opportunity to run a couple runners up and over the mental and physical barriers they were experiencing … I would basically get a quick preview of where their race was relative to what they were expecting and over 2km or so give them a couple strategies derived from their experiences that they could take their mind off the pain and focus on the positives. Then I would send them off (ideally in a better state than I first met them in).. turn around an repeat!

Overall a great experience … hopefully I can help transplant this model into some more races … i think racers overall appreciated the support before and during race day. Check out more information race website found at this link… Psyching Team info

Race and training updates on my end… I got into the Ottawa 10k so  it is time to run fast! I am feeling really good following the 1/2 champs and hope to shave some major seconds off my 10k time. Training commenced Monday with the first big workout since the race. I happened to be in Hamilton visiting Megs Sunday night after marathon so I got the chance to go back to the old stomping grounds and pull out a familiar workout from the archives. the old 3x3k that we splice into the marauder xc season training. I did the first 3k at churchill at goal 10k pace … did 3k of fartlek min on min off on my way to the track (most on back 40) and then completed the final 3k on the track before she gets ripped up for relpacement … thought Id do a few final laps and say goodbye proper… Workout looked like this

3k: 9:10

3k: fartlek

3k: 8:52

recovery run tomorrow and got a tempo+track session planned for wednesday. Should be fun!

congrats to yorko on the gutsy 6th place finish (tried to go wire to wire). Hopefully a race recap soon to come .. keep your eyes on Trials of Miles

keep smiling,