Monthly Archives: January 2011

Voices In My Head

I don’t feel like going out tonight
I’m tired, from last night’s run
Sure it’s not that cold out, but it’s still not going to be fun
It’s an “easy” one tonight, I can do this, no problem
Shit, it’s colder than I thought, I need an extra shirt
Back upstairs, do I want this one or this one, don’t want to be too hot
Okay, okay…enough procrastinating, I got everything on but my shoes
Where are my shoes?
Damn it’s cold out here,
Start my watch
Why do my knees hurt…and now my shins too? Crap
Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch…
Maybe it’s the shoes? Maybe I should rotate my Brooks back in and compare the feel
Suck it up princess; it’s only stiffness from last night’s speed work, you’ll be fine in a minute
I wonder if that speed work will actually make me faster for a full marathon or just shorter races?
Whoa! Where’s your turn signal asshole?
Watch for cars, watch for cars , watch for cars…
Getting too hot, maybe I shouldn’t have worn all these layers
Time to take the hat off? Think I’ll wait to see if there’s a breeze down at the lake shore
Body still hurts, I’m skipping the extra park loop tonight
Besides I can use it for Sunday’s long run, I wouldn’t want to get sick of it
Not many people out tonight…just enough to help in case I get stabbed, heh heh he…heh…hmmmm
No stars out, it’s very still down here
It’s nice down here tonight, wonder how the ice-fishermen are faring?
Look at the lights from the bridge across the bay, nice!
It’s so quiet here
So quiet
Nice night
Awesome, a group of kids is playing shinny out on the bay
I wonder how they can see the puck, it’s pretty dark over there?
Looks like a tonne of fun
Long slow uphill or steep short uphill?
Long slow, we’re taking it easy tonight remember?
Body’s feeling better now
Uphill, back into the city
The highway’s really loud here
Nice stop at the intersection buddy
Watch for black ice over there…no, we’re good
I’ll go by the park on my way home, see how the outdoor rink is doing
Wow, look at all the people out skating, good to see people outside enjoying the night.
Home time, getting tired
I could really go for a beer right now…no beer in the house, crap
Ooh that restaurant smells fantastic; I bet they have beer in there
Almost home, at least there’s chocolate milk there…it’ll have to do
Why don’t people shovel their sidewalks?
Look for cars, cross the street
Deep breath
Stop the watch
Open the door


Entering the Garmin Forerunner 310XT Giveaway

DC Rainmaker is giving away a Garmin Forerunner 310XT on his site…yes you guessed it (I had these hyperlinked but they didn’t want to work for some odd reason, the HTML was clean but the link’s kept going wacky).

The contest can be viewed here, I say “viewed” because that 310XT is as good as mine!  (Realistically, Murphy’s Law makes sure that since I’m of Irish descent I am guaranteed not to win…so click away!)


More Weight Loss Literature

Hey there, here’s a follow up article for yesterday’s post; Why You Got Fat

This article in the Globe and Mail by Alex Hutchinson echos my sentiments regarding calorie intake, and eating specific foods that “fit” a specific diet.  The article goes on to discuss fat-burning and maintenance of weight loss as well.  Essentially what works, and what doesn’t.  Check it out

“People want to hear that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, and that you simply need to avoid the bad foods and only eat the good foods and you’ll be fine,” says Yoni Freedhoff, the founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Clinic and one of Canada’s foremost obesity clinicians [and author of the excellent Weighty Matters blog].

Over the past few decades, we’ve tried cutting carbs, eliminating fat – or meticulously optimizing the ratio between them; we’ve eliminated meat and subsisted on liquids; we’ve even eaten according to our blood type. The result? When Statistics Canada went out and actually measured thousands of Canadians (instead of trusting them to tell the truth about their weight) between 2007 and 2009, they found that 61 per cent of us were overweight.

As we begin a new decade, obesity researchers are turning away from this search for “good” foods – a quest that has led us down a nutritional rabbit hole, in which the rich complexities of the human diet are reduced to didactic edicts that change every few years.

Instead, they’re focusing more on the physiology and psychology of why people eat what they do, how societal forces influence their choices, and what they can do to change. The code hasn’t been cracked yet, but here’s what we do know about weight loss.”


Hey, It’s Blue Monday!

…soooooo…this should be fitting then….

have fun kids…

Quick Post – Why You Got Fat

After reading the caloric/nutrient breakdown found on the back of a package of yummy, yummy Nan bread my wife bought, I nearly pooped myself.  What I found was that each piece Nan was 240 calories….for half of one.  The front of the package proudly proclaimed “Great for Panini’s!” with a picture of a mouth watering sandwich, lovingly splayed on a clean white plate, just begging to be eaten.  I realized that with the right ingredients, that beautiful piece of lunchtime goodness (I have a bit of a sammich-lust-thing going on) could contain HALF of your recommended daily calorie intake.  Sure, it’d taste like heaven, but chances are that most of the calories are not only way too concentrated but also of poor quality as well.

I would never call myself an expert on diet or “healthy foods”, but as I venture further into some reading I’m becoming more and more aware of just how poorly some people eat.  My family and I are all fairly active, and strive to remain so.  We eat a mostly balanced diet, with enough room for occasional sugary (or otherwise) treats.  Everything in moderation: exercise, good eating, even guilty pleasures once in a while.

With just a little education and effort, I think the general public could make some great strides in personal health, with just a few easy changes;  Be AWARE of what you are eating, look and COMPARE the ingredients/nutrients/calories of different foods, look for healthier alternatives  to some of the be worst staples in your diet, and of course increase your activity level…even walking counts, just get moving!  They don’t have to be huge lifestyle changes (they can be if you’d like), but a few small steps at a time can only help in the long run.

Anyway, despite my awkward rambling above, here’s a quick video I stole from the Nerd Fitness site on how you body converts food to fat and why.


Speed Bumps

It’s funny that Luau decided to write a blog post about dropping the ball on New Years Resolutions, just as I was prepping to write my own.  The difference being that I actually dropped the ball on my own.  Badly.  So what happened?

I missed my Friday night run in favour of an evening of rock climbing and beer, and Saturday’s run never materialized either as friends of ours called, and an impromptu dinner party was planned and executed.  As much as I’d like to consider myself a nighthawk, midnight (post-hottub) is no time to pound out a 45 minute run.  I did however get up early(ish) Sunday and get my long run in, just before having to rush my kid off to his sports activity where I help coach, but in the ideal of my goal for 2011 of “No Excuses”,  I can only admit there is no excuse for my current lapse.  Ground breaking realization right eh?

So what does this have to do with Luau’s post?  Every time I set a goal or try to improve myself I usually hit a speed bump within the first week(s).  A speed-wobble if you will.  A what?…bear with me…I have a pretty significant self-destructive streak.  It’s manageable, but every time I get moving on a task/goal/avenue for self-improvement it kicks in and I end up royally screwing -the-pooch for a while.  It’s like the little devil who sits on my shoulder just has to remind me that he’s still there, while the Angel opposite him can only sit, watch and wait.  As in the case with this weekend I skipped my runs to play, drink, hangout with my kids, visit, and eat too much.  Nothing earth-shattering, but significantly outside the established “plan”.

So where does that leave me?  Back on track.  I knew it was coming, and I know what it is, so I should know enough just to get back on program and keep moving forward.  No guilt, no ill-will, just the self-satisfied knowledge that I blew off some stream and I’m ready to hit the road again.  I’m sure it’ll happen again, but with enough practice hopefully I’ll be able to minimize the damage they can do.


(nod….nod….looooong blink….twitch, twitch…..JERK….sheepish  look around for witnesses)

What is going on with me?

In the fall I was having issues staying awake throughout the day, but I attributed it to marathon training.  The beating your body takes begs for extra Z’s to allow your muscles to repair themselves, and I thought I simply wasn’t getting enough.  Unfortunately, post-race, and even in to the new year I’ve been suffering the same issues.  I’ve tried numerous approaches to fix it, but so far nothing’s worked.  So far I’ve tried:

  • Getting more sleep – If I go to bed any earlier, I won’t have time to get ANY workouts in, and if I get up earlier I’m only exaser…exasscer…making it worse.
  • Eating – That works for about 15min, so it’s either eat constantly or put a fork in my hand.  Plus it’s too easy to binge on sugary crap if I continue this trend.
  • Caffeine – Hello Caffeine my old friend, our busy day is at an end…As much as I hate to admit it, there comes a point in my day that I’ve had my fill of coffee, and now I’ve become one of those folks who can fall asleep with a coffee in their hand.  To be honest, I’m scared of drowning in my cup if I nod off at the wrong time.
  • Walking around – It helps, but when you are getting up every 10 minutes, it starts to draw attention.
  • Music – Even with heavy metal blaring it’s nighty night, I think it has to do with shutting out atmospheric noises.

The next tactic in the queue is to try a few secret 5-10min. micro-naps.  If they work, I’ll pass it by my boss, and when he fires me I’ll have lots of time to nap.

The leading theory as to the cause of my issue is not the amount of sleep I’m getting, it’s the quality.  I don’t sleep very well.  In fact, I flip constantly until 1:30-2ish then finally settle down as the night progresses, and get my best/deep REM sleep from 6-10am….which makes being a functioning member of the 9-5 crowd, not to mention a participating parent, difficult.

I’ll let you know how things progress, I’m off to attempt a nap before my run.


Hmmmm…2011 eh ?

“So…why the dramatic pause in posting there 51?”
“…well I assure you…(cough)…there is a fully justifiable, and adequately sufficient reason for it (cough) …unfortunately,  if I told you I’d have to beat you to death with a Christmas Tree stand and bury you under my backyard hockey rink.”
“Total BS eh?”
“Yep, I suck”

Well there you have it, I have no excuse for my lack of posting….sure I have a few REASONS for my time away from the web (Holiday adventures, kids, gift procurement, staff & personal gatherings, kids, sickness, etc….did I mention kids?), but in reality If I had tried I would have posted more…which surreptitiously leads me to the point of this post: No Excuses.

This time of year has people scrambling not only to list their “Highs & Lows of 2010”, but to set goals for the upcoming year.  Setting goals is never a bad thing, as I will be the first one to admit; without a plan I become a total wreck; look at the past two months for a decent example. Even when I COULD get back to taking care of myself, it was simply too inviting to continue eating and drinking ridiculous amounts, slowly trying to morph myself into a permanent part of the couch. As I read more and more blog posts across the web I considered what my own highs & lows were and what goals I was shooting for.  Let’s see…Highs: I ran my 1st two marathons, and ran my first 30k Lows:  I developed an ITB issue early in the year, then shin splints, and constantly fought to balance my personal responsibilities with my training responsibilities….both of which lead to a lot of “Rest Days”.  Despite a few specific goals I will get to in a later post, it seems that my over-arching goal for 2011 is simply: No Excuses.  I’m going to strive to keep with my training plan(s) regardless of how tired I am, or how much I’d rather be drinking too much beer and watching live music.

Does this mean running through an injury, or ignoring the needs of my family?  No, not at all.  What it means is when these things pop up, I will make every effort to find a suitable alternative that keeps everyone happy.  Morning runs instead of an evening run or even the dreaded treadmill, water running if an injury permits, etc.  It’s going to make my supposedly “busy life” this past fall look like a walk in the park, but I’ve set some pretty ambitious time goals for 2011, and without that extra effort I will be failing miserably.  Finding the appropriate balance between being a good dad/spouse/handyman/employee AND athlete is going the key to a successful 2011.

Time to make things happen!