Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspirational/Motivational Video

This afternoon I had a bit of down time, during which I found this awesome video on Youtube. I highly recommend watching this video to anyone who is looking for some motivation to get something done, and especially to any athletes who are looking to either get psyched up before a big race/game, or for the motivation to just get up and go train. When I found this video I must have listened to it 5 times, it's definately going on the ipod.

Hope it has as great an effect on you as it did on me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Testing and Snow in Canmore!

Last week was the team's fall testing week where we do some of the same tests that we did in the spring in order to see how far we have come with our training over the summer. So last Wednesday I went in to Calgary to the sports lab and had my VO2 max tested again to see if I am any fitter than I was 3 months ago. A VO2 max test, for anyone who has no idea what that means, is a test to see how efficient you are at using the oxygen that you inhale while you are exercising. So in order to test that, I was put on a treadmill and had to breath through a tube which measured the amount of unused oxygen that I was exhaling. They had me run at a speed which increased by 0.5 miles/hour every 3 minutes until I reached my anaerobic threshold (the point where lactate begins accumulating in the blood), and then I ran at 9.5 miles/hour with an incline that increased by 3 % every minute until I could no longer run. I ended up running until 15 seconds into the 13% incline, which was better than my 10% from last time. I also learned that I have gained a little over 3 lbs in muscle over the summer, so that made me feel pretty good.

Normally our 2 other tests that we would do would be a double pole test and an uphill time trial (both on rollerskis), but thanks to the snow that we received last week and the week before, we could not do those tests as the roads are no longer all that safe (what with all the gravel that was put down). So instead, we did a 7.5km uphill running time trial. It wasn't the greatest time trial for me, but it could have been worse. Looking back I really should have ran the course the day before or something, because I did not know that the last 3 km's were the steepest part of the course. So as a result, I bonked pretty hard around the 4 or 5 km point. But the first 3 or 4 km were pretty good :).

And the big exciting news, as previously mentioned, we have snow in Canmore! While all of the natural snow is now gone, it did get cold enough a couple weeks ago for the Nordic Centre to make some snow, so there is still a short loop for us to ski on. Being from Ontario, never before have I been to say that my first on-snow ski of the season on October 14th, so I am thrilled about that.

So ya, that's about all the excitement from the past week. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Visit to My Home in Ontario!

Last Sunday, Oct. 4th, I travelled home to Ontario and arrived at Pearson airport just before midnight. My lovely parents and beautiful girlfriend were waiting for me to pick me up and bring me home, and what a great thing it was to see them all again. It was an amazing week of getting to spend lots of time with Jacquelyn, getting to be with my family again, seeing some old friends, and of course, eating delicious meals all week. Mmmm.... Home cooked meals... :)

I also got to play a good amount of volleyball over the course of the week, which was a very nice added bonus. The Turkey Tourny (PSS's annual Thanksgiving vollleyball tournament) did not disappoint, as it was a great morning of volleyball with lots of old friends. And another added bonus, I didn't lose this year!

The Thanksgiving weekend was lots of fun, I got to meet a good portion of Jacquelyn's family on Saturday night for the first time, and then Sunday I got meet some parts of my own family that I had never met before, so that was pretty cool. Then after that we went back to my grandparents place for another Thanksgiving dinner with just my immediate family, who it was great to see again. Might have eaten a bit too much that night, but it was Thanksgiving, so it was worth it.

With my flight back to Canmore being at 7am the next morning, we needed to leave my house by 4am in order to get there on time (so side note, huge thanks to my parents for getting me there, as well as to Jacquelyn for gracing me with her presence for a few more hours). My flight back was a good one, I didn't have anyone sitting next to me so it was easy to get some much needed sleep.

So, all in all, a fantastic week returning to Ontario and spending quality time with family and friends. Now I am back in Canmore and about to resume my usual working and training schedule, and looking forward to this next week of what should be a great week of testing!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lake Louise Camp, Moving Day, First Snowfall and Calgary Running Race, What a week!

In all the excitement of this past week, it's been tough to keep up with my blog, so here's a an update of what an awesome week it has been!

It started off last Sunday morning when the Juniors and U23's of the team jumped on our road bikes and rode from here in Canmore to Lake Louise. A little over 80 kms and 3 hours later, we arrived in Lake Louise and got settled in to what would be our new homes for the next 4 days. That afternoon we had another 2 hour workout, and then went out to a great all you can eat buffet, which was a great way to wrap up Day 1 of our camp. The rest of the camp went by in a similar manner, the notable workouts being the 28 km 4.5 hour run (it was only supposed to be 3, but it took a little longer than expected), and the intensity workout (5 x 8 minutes) was also another very fun training session. Thursday morning we got up, packed and cleaned our rooms, then rollerskied for 2 hours towards Canmore, and then switched to our bikes and rode the rest of the way. We arrived back in Canmore around 2:30pm Thursday afternoon, and after getting all of our gear back to our place, Bob and I pretty much just crashed as we were incredibly exhausted.

The next day, we woke up, packed all of our belongings, cleaned our house from top to bottom, then moved into our new place in town! We have been looking for the past couple months for a place to live in town, as living up in CODA (where we were living) through the winter really would not have worked for us with the freezing cold temperatures and such. So despite the fact that I am currently looking for something to sleep on other than my nicely carpeted floor, this place is very nice, and the location couldn't be better. I am now only a 10 minute walk from my work, and 15 minute walk from the grocery store! Very happy about that. And I have teammates living below me (also my landlords), next door and across the street, so I'm pretty excited about that too.

When I woke up this morning, I realized just how perfect the timing was for our move. When I looked out the window, the mountains were (and still are) covered in snow, and it has been snowing all day here in Canmore. And it was also snowing for most of the day in Calgary, where I had my first race in a long time. It was said to be a 8km running race, but I believe it was more like 6.5km. Despite having to run through a river twice, it was a very good race, and I am very happy about my outcome. My legs weren't a huge fan of having run through water when it was already only around 3 degrees, but they seemed to get me to the finish line in a timely manner, so it was a good race.

Tonight I have managed to find myself at least a pillow, and I have some leads about some mattresses, so I'm hoping to get one of those for tonight as well. Tomorrow morning I will be doing some trail work at the Nordic Centre, and then I will be off to the Calgary airport, and then I should be back in Toronto by midnight (Ontario time) tomorrow night!

So seeing as I have just moved into a new place, my address is no longer 11 Spray Village. So that being said, if anyone would like my new address, please feel free to send me an email and I will get back to you ASAP.

Here are some pictures of my new place, in case you are interested.
That's all for now, and if you're currently in Penetanguishene ON, I will see you in a few days!