Friday, December 31, 2010

Part II - Non-Training Tunes

So now I give you the songs I cook, clean, read and can fill in the rest.  ;)

In no particular order. 

1.   Andrew Allen - Loving You Tonight
2.   Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are
3.   Uncle Kracker - Smile
4.   Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
5.   Sara Bareilles - King of Anything
6.   The Script - Breakeven
7.   Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat - Lucky
8.   Matt Nathanson - Come on Get Higher
9.   Maroon 5 - Give a Little More
10.  Lady Antebellum - I Run To You
11.  Bruno Mars - Grenade
12.  Pink - Glitter In The Air
13.  Robbie Williams ft. Gary Barlow - Shame
14.  Agnes - I Need You Now
15.  Pixie Lott - Use Somebody
16.  Boys Like Girls ft. Taylor Swift - Two Is Better Than One
17.  Adam Lambert ft. Pink - Whadaya Want From Me
18.  Shayne Ward - Gotta Be Somebody
19.  Alexadra Burke - The Silence
20.  Canadian Tenors - Hallelujah
21.  Robyn - Dancing On My Own

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cycle Tunes Review

So a common question I get is what music I listen to when spinning or on the cybex (a painful nasty version of an eliptical).  Thus, each year I put together a list of the tunes that offer an awesome pop beat, one that you can set up your cadence with regardless of what cardio machine you use.  Here are my choices for this year.  Keep in mind that I am a Pop addict so there is no rock inspired tunes here. 

P.S.  If anyone wants a CD of these tunes, just email me your address at

In no particular order.

1.   Usher - Dj Got Us Falling in Love Again  (Jump Smokers Remix)
2.   The Ting Tings - Hands (Radio Remix)
3.   Sophie Ellis Bextor - Bittersweet (Freemasons Radio Edit)
4.   Shakira - Waka Waka (Radio Remix)
5.   The Saturdays - Higher (7th Heaven Radio Edit)
6.   Robyn - Handle Me (Radio Remix)
7.   Pixie Lott - Turn It Up  (Digital Dog Remix)
8.   Madonna - Celebration (Robson Michel Extended)
9.   Kelly Rowland - Commander (Ralphi Rosario Radio Edit)
10.  Kelis - Scream (Radio Remix)
11.  Far East Movement - Like a G6 (Cahill Radio Remix)
12.  Brandon Flowers - Crossfire (David Morales Remix)
13.  Rihanna - Only Girl in The World (Bimbo Jones Remix)
14.  Katy Perry - Firework (Jump Smokers Radio Edit)
15.  Pink - Raise Your Glass ( Liam Keegan Radio Edit)
16.  Yolanda Be Cool & D Cup - We Speak No Americano (Chew Fu Mix)
17.  Enrique Iglesias - Tonight (Radio Remix)
18.  Nicole Scherzinger - Poison (Cahill Radio Edit)
19.  The Saturdays - Missing You (Cahill Club Mix)
20.  Lady Antebellum - Need You Now (Jason Nevins Mix)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Suddenly Bionic?

Something is amis.  A few weeks back, I began my 2010/2011 bulking program at the gym that usually results in about 10 pounds of pure muscle in about 3 months.  I have had great success on this in the past and as my body is "meant" to be husky, it revels in this program.  Plus, it doesn't hurt that I can eat whatever I want for 12 weeks.  Yee haa.

However, something strange happened this week.  I was having a great gym day yesterday and decided to really push myself to see how heavy I could lift, push and pull.  I was in store for a surprise.  Considering this is a 12 week program where your weight chart and weeks are pre-determined, you can imagine my shock when I was able to lift/push and pull my week 12 weights 9 weeks early!  Yup.  I fast forwarded 9 weeks worth of progress. 

To give you an example, I went from leg pressing 195 to 315.  Bench pressing 140 to 180.  Leg extensions from 125 to 165.  I have no idea what has happened but I am not complaining.  Time to redo my chart.   Looking forward to maxing out my sets even more but I know I will be in store for a whole new world of pain. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sharing Success - Part II

Seems like Sergio is unstoppable.  I am not entirely sure what races he won or how fast his times were but it seems he picked up two gold medals at the Lake Placid event last weekend.  Hopefully I will get more information so I can share it with you all. 

Photo credit:  Il Peloton.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crazy Lady

Today marked the first day I headed back to spin class since I have had this damn cold.  It felt great to be back on the bike and really push.  Within minutes I was soaked.  Class was hard but I think I made it hard to make up for the week I was away.  Felt great.

So just after class, as I was wiping everything down, the lady beside me caught my attention.  She was about 50 and had a kind of crazy look to her.  We had the following conversation after she reached over to tap me.

Her:  I just wanted to tell you that your skin is really beautiful.
Me:  Oh, umm thanks.

Her:  And the whites of your eyes look very healthy.
Me: what?
Her:  The whites of your eyes.
Me:  *stunned look* *looking around for someone to save me*  Thanks. 

CRAZY!!  Why do I attract all the loonies.  Damn spandex.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sharing Success

Good friend and fellow speedskater Sergio Almeralla pulled out a clean sweep of last weeks Marathon Skating International Series in Quebec City.  The first event in the season, it marks Sergio's debut and all around dominance in any sport where a boot is involved.  Maintaining a 40km speed for the marathon, Sergio was able to beat out his competitors by 5 seconds at the line.  For the 1 hour challenge, he was able to pull out 79 laps with an average speed of 37kph beating his closest competitor by 0.051 of a second.  Holy crap that is close.

So congrats to him and good luck in this coming weekends races in Lake Placid.  Remember Sergio...Protein, Protein, Protein!!

Sergio leading the pack.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kick it

I have been quiet here for the past week and I apologize to the 2 people who read.  I have been sick lately and can't seem to kick it.  I am not sure who specifically I got this cold from but it could be from my boss who worked 3 days out of his 5 when he had the flu....or my employee who worked an entire week with a cold.  Grrr.  They are both on my hit list.

Regardless, it feels like I have been sick more in the past 3 months than I have been in the past 3 years.  I used to be known as the guy who was never sick...but now...I am just like the rest of you.  Damnit.  There goes my individuality.  ;)

Not too much going on on the training side to report on.  On the weight side, it is a lost cause really.  I must have gained 5+ pounds on the cruise which is not making me happy.  I love to eat and it seems regardless of how many back to back spin classes I do, my cals are still higher than my burn.  That has to change.  I will try to get back into it when I feel better.  However, my eating habits have to change.  I know I say this all the time but I saw a pic of me in shorts (with no shirt) and taken behind me and I was not happy with the view.  Nothing like motivation!

Monday, December 13, 2010


A friend of mine and I went out for some won ton soup the other day.  I think they over did it on the mushrooms.  Plus, who puts mushrooms into won ton soup???

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Let it be known!

What frustrates me sometimes, is the words of wisdom that so many of us accept as gospel when we really haven't sat down and thought about it.  One of those sentiments is bugging me right now...during the holiday. 

The concept of doing something selfless and good is awesome.  I think the act of keeping it a secret and annonymous is stupid.  If you are going to go out of your way and bring kindness, love, appreciation, thankfullness.....etc. into someone elses life, why NOT share that with others?

1.  It will bring more people happiness and hope when they hear about it.
2.  It will help those around you to understand you better as a person.  To me that is very important.  I hate being misjudged.  Hate it.
3.  It will hopefully create a ripple effect of good deeds in those people who surround you.
4.  It makes the giver feel good about themselves.  After all, everyone, no matter how much you try to deny it, strives for validation.
5.  Why not?  Who says keeping it all a secret is better.  It doesn't feel better!  We are all dying to tell someone.  So just do it.  Share the love damnit.

Now go out and doing something nice for someone!  It is the Xmas season after all. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back from the USA

It was a short trip but just enough to recharge the batteries and get a tan.  ;)  I had secretly planned to race in Miami (I hadn't mentioned this to my friend whom I was traveling with) but by the last day before leaving, my ankle was still too swollen to pack my skates and cycling shoes.  I still have no idea what is going on with my foot.  No pain, hardly any discoloration but still swollen below the ankle and near the arch.  Life goes on I guess.  I am not letting it stop me anymore. 

The trip was pretty good anyway.  The weather was nice and the places I visited were adequate.  Key West was my fav.  Cute little place, clean and very friendly.  I'd go back there.  Nassau?  Probably not.  Dirty, messy and really nothing that stood out.  Just another run down looking town.  Didn't impress much.

The one thing I noticed during this trip will probably get me into trouble with some readers because I am making broad statements.  I shared my thoughts with my friend and he agreed however so here goes...

I find that Americans have a much more "entitlement" kind of attitude than Canadians.  And believe it or not, I feel this factor increases in direct relation to their physical size.  The larger the person got, the more rude and overwhelming they became.  It was stunning.  No "please and thank yous", looks of disgust when a food item didn't come quickly or an overall aire of superiority over service working people.  It was quite disturbing.  Several times I was the victim to large people pushing me aside to get into service lines (especially food ones) and then complaining loudly when people were taking too long.  One particular time, I was in a line with this family behind me that were actually strategizing how to skip the line and move ahead.  When they decided to make their move, the larger of the women "boobed" me when trying to get by and then gave ME a look of disgust.  Ummm hello?  If your boobs weren't the size of my torso then you might have had a chance of getting by me. 

It got so bad that when I DID see or hear someone being polite or courteous, it made me stop and notice.  It was a rare occasion however.  What a shame.  For the duration of the trip I made sure I was more than polite and courteous.  I tried to go out of my way to ensure it.  I felt as if I had to make up for all the rude people that were around me.  Although it didn't ruin my trip, it for sure weighed heavy on my mind. 

Finally it led me to a conversation with my friend that we found very interesting.  We discussed how each country views each other.  Of course all we could come up with were negative things.  Shame on me.  But seriously, when we think of Americans, we think of overweight, under educated, poor, rude, violent, ignorant and backwards communities.  Of course I realize there is a whole other side.  I am not that stupid.  It is just that for the most part, we don't see that side.  The images we are flooded with always depict the same kind of person.  So it left us wondering what Americans think of when they think of Canadians? 

I am grateful that some of you write your own blogs so that I can see and hear and take comfort in the thought that there ARE decent people out there who seem to have values and ethics.  Maybe I am just going to places where manners and morals are just not a traveling requirement.  Things to consider.

As a last note, I lost my travel doc holder at the Miami airport and ended up losing 200$ US.  I went back through security and for over an hour tried to locate it.  Nothing.  Crap.  Then when I finally landed in Ottawa at 10pm, my car wouldn't start.  Had to call roadside and wait for over an hour before I was on my way.  Oh ya, it was minus 6 and all I had was my cheap fleece jacket.  It was not a good ending.  I am waiting for the next bad thing to happen however.  Things with me always happen in 3s.  Eeek. 

Friday, November 26, 2010


Foot still swollen.  Not sure what is going on.  I remember nothing.  No sprain, no tweek nada.  Just woke up one morning and it was all swollen and yukky. 

Did a spin class last night and for the first time in 2 weeks, the foot actually was sore.  So I decided that from now until I leave on vaca that I won't do any more spin classes.  I am buying an ice pack today and will ice it every night before bed. Hopefully that will help. 

Can't wait to get away from this freezing rain and snow crap that is falling today.  Only one more day until I am strolling down Miami beach. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Over training - AND a shout out.

I hate to admit it but I think I might be over doing it just a tad these days.  2+ hours everyday of spinning 7 days a week plus tennis a few times a week is slowly taking its toll on me.  My right inside foot is all swollen under the ankle bone and I think that might be caused by the spinning classes and the heavy resistance I use on hill climbs.  Add tennis and the back and forth of that sport and there you go.

Today after a meeting I began to stretch and ended up pulling my left quad muscle.  That has never happened before.  Calf yes, quad, no.  Strange feeling.  Decided to take a break tonight and avoid the gym altogether.  Will chow down on some extra protein and an advil and hopefully that will aid in the recovery.  God knows I can't be away from the gym for more than a day.

And a super special shout out to Rabid Runner,, who just finished the NYC marathon last week.  That is so nuts.  Running is just crazy.  Running for that long is just wrong.  I envy runners who can put their bodies through that.  No wonder they all look so good.  Hmmm, maybe I should take up running.  Duh why didn't I think of this before.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


What I am doing today and/or what is on my mind these days...

Just finished the 3rd book I have bought my nephews for Xmas.  Read the first on a fluke and got sucked in.  Found the books surprisingly awesome.  Recommend them for any teen.  Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Now I am onto the Girl with the tattoo books.  So much hype, they better be good.

Very much into Maroon 5, the Saturdays and the Ting Tings today.  Enjoying their energy.  Love me some UK pop.  40 and still diggin the girl groups.  lol

Making my best friend suffer through all the Resident Evil movies before we watch the latest one.  Milla kicking some ass.  It can't get any better. 

Flesh under the ankle bone is all bruised on right foot. Inside area.  Not sure why but can't touch or put pressure there.  I think it must be from all the spinning classes.  Have no clue.  Strange.

Feeling a little single this weekend.  Not alone, not lonely.  Just single.  As in, I just hope there is more to life eventually...on the dating scene.  In no rush to jump into anything...hell I don't even know who I would jump into anything with these days.  Thank god for good friends.  I couldn't imagine sitting at home doing nothing all the time.   Lots of thinking ahead on this I predict.

Loving the UK based show "Being Human".  Something about British TV.  I think in a previous life I was from London...and black...and a woman named Latisha.  lol  LOL!!

7 days until trip.  yee haa

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hot Flash

To ward off the winter illnesses that have already plagued the Nations Capital, I have decided to add a multi-vitamin to my daily regime.  I choose a commonly used on (One a Day men).  It has been about 4 days since I started and although I expected to feel no different, that couldn't be further from the truth. 

I am constantly dizzy, light headed, slightly nauseated and all together "not right".  Not to mention, through out the day I get intense hot flashes.  Seriously.  Hot flashes!  I get light headed, then all hot and sweaty.  My ears and hands are on fire.  Then my feet.  WTF.

I have read online that this is a pretty common side effect with taking multi vitamins.  How strange is that.  So now I find myself wondering if I should keep up with it and hope my body adapts or if I should just forget about it and ditch the pills. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

2 Weeks to go

Had a decent start to the training week this week.  Got 6 hours in from Mon To Wed but wasn't able to hit it last night.  In fact I went out for Chinese food with a friend.  I kept the cals low and did my best to watch my portions.  Tonight I will be back at the gym for a 2 hour spin session to prepare me for tomorrows kill session of 4 hours.  Argh.  But then I get to chow down on some Pho and fresh rolls.  Mmmmm.  Although I can feel a difference, I have yet to really notice a difference.  But then again, I totally understand that this kind of stuff takes time.  Thankfully I am a very patient person.  ;) 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The end of the world

OMG, what is McDonalds going to do?  Hopefully this didn't happen in Hollywood or San Fran.  ;)


The countdown is on.  3 weeks until I head out to Miami, thus three weeks to get trimmed down as much as possible.  I have been pretty good the past few days on the food front so I am not too worried there for now.  But as I am a binge eater, I fear a relapse at some point.  Thank god I am back at the gym full time now.  Yesterdays classes were awesome.  Left it all on the floor.  Tonight will be no different with my 3 hour session planned.  Spinach pizza for dinner and then early to bed.  After Glee of course.  ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sick and tired

I hate being sick for two main reasons.  One is that I can't train.  Forget going to the gym when I can hardly get out of bed.  No energy, no stamina..etc.  You get the point.  The second reason is that I always crave junk food when I am sick.  I guess it makes me feel better in some way so I can't help but eating junk the whole time.  This does not bode well for my eating clean regime.  I only have 4 weeks left to drop 8 pounds and if I am going to meet that goal, I better hit the salad bar hard.  Can't wait to get back on the bike.  Damn flu!!

Monday, November 1, 2010


So here I am in week 2 of my attempt at clean eating.  It hasn't gone well.  I lasted only about 4 days before cracking and heading to a Thai Buffet.  Shame Shame.  Then on the weekend I caught a nasty cold and when I am sick I tend to crave shit food.  Alas, it was A&W burger and rootbear for me last night.  Triple Shame I know. 

Will try to climb back on the wagon this week as best I can.  Being sick my appetite is gone, which is a plus, but I can't work out.  No way I could do a spinning class in this condition.  Argh. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sometimes it doesn't get better...

This week has been a shitty one for my friends.  From Erwin's MTB fall to a friend of my best friend who carried her baby to full term only to find it stillborn the day before delivery and finally my dear friend L who after dating a man for months gets an email from his WIFE!!  OMG the bastard.  What is going on in the world people? 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MTB Injury

My thoughts go out to a fellow speedskater/cyclist and all around great guy Erwin B.  Seems he was involved in a very bad MTB accident this past weekend which ultimately resulted in surgery to his spinal cord.  From word of mouth, the skin around his temple on one side of his face was nearly peeled right off and his neck was severly cut from his helmet.  However that doesn't cover the damage to his back and his vertabrae.  Looks like he was under the knife immediately and had a metal plate inserted.  This was no normal fall it seems. 

Erwin is one of those guys that doesn't sit still.  He makes me look like a lazy slob.  He is always on the go and his dedication to anything he tries is 100%.  He has to dominate everything and isn't afraid to put in the time to accomplish it.  He is to be admired for damn sure.  Which is why this is so sad because I assume that this will be an injury that takes him out of any kind of training for at least several months....if not longer.  This, for him, would be torture.  I can't even imagine. 

So here is hoping for a miracle recovery. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Next up...Skates

Next on the list of items to be hung up this season are my skates.  Tonight marks the last night the team is coming together for some outdoor skating.  Hopefully we will have a good turnout.  Much like last year, I have decided not to skate indoors this year.  I just can't seem to get excited about going around in circles on a basketball court with pilons.  If it were a real track, banked...etc.  then maybe. Not to mention I can't see how it improves my skating THAT much from season to season.  Once the spring hits, we all seem to be on the same page anyway.  I'll focus on tennis, gym time and spinning classes and hopefully that will keep me in decent shape. 

I do hate the fact that we are not doing a training camp this winter.  I always look forward to our Mexican get away for a week or so.  Oh well.  Maybe next year.

In the meantime, I get to watch Joey the wonderboy impress the world with his dominance of this sport.  I'd pay money for those legs.  Forget the hard work...just give me implants.  ;)

Guarne 2010 - PS VideoLog 08 - The Joey Mantia Show (500m and 1.000m) from Powerslide TV on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 3

So far so good on the eating clean plan. I was able to avoid most temptation yesterday...even at the grocery store.

I find I am hungry a lot and although I am not on a calorie reduced diet, just a sugar one, it is hard to find foods that don't have sugar in them in one form or another.   Did you know that there are over 10 different forms of sugar?  From plain white to brown, cane, beet, corn and glucose.  Not to mention the lab created sugars like sorbitol and aspertame.  You can see how everything has sugar in it.  It is almost impossible to avoid.

For me, it is basically meat and certain veggies for the next 2 weeks. Argh. Try eating chicken breasts and brocolli at 7am for days and days. Not easy.

If I only ate eggs, I wouldn't be having a breakie problem. But damnit they are nasty and make me sick. Thus I will stick to my almonds and meat and veg. Today for breakfast I am having 8 dry meatballs, stir fried veggies and a coffee. Make that 2 coffees. ;)

Got a 120 mins spin class tonight so that should earn me a tablespoon of salad dressing sometime today. lol

Day 3 with no chocolate.  Woo hoo!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend to remember

If I could relive that past weekend a few more times I would be soooo happy.  I was able to get a few spin classes in on Saturday followed by a hard core hitting session with James on Sunday.  It was our first time on hard courts this season and it felt as if we had all this pent up energy at the tips of our fingers that had been hiding in waiting for this exact moment.  It was a 2 hour slug fest or what I like to call "big babe tennis".  We ran each other ragged and had most of the other courts oggling in jealousy.  By the time we were done, we were soaking from head to toe and our 40+ year old bodies were screaming in agony.  Awesome! 

I managed to sell a painting as well and made the delivery to a fellow spinner at the gym.  Thus the 2 classes a few hours apart.  I can't go to the gym to make a delivery and NOT do the class.  Duh. 

And to top it all off, I had a reasonable "food" weekend.  I didn't binge on crap food and was able to keep my choices relatively healthy.  I had Pho for dinner last night and although I don't know the calorie count on it, I figure it is better than McDonalds...which is what I would have had.

All Spin classes are in "new release" mode for the next 4 weeks.  Argh.  The same music back to back for 48 classes.  Kill me now.

*I have my ipod on shuffle and Heart's "Never" came on.  Perfect rockin tune at 7:20 in the morning.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time to hang up the bike.

I was cycling what we in Ottawa call the "City Tour" the other day with a friend from the US.  It is a 40K loop that circles the metropolis area of the city.  Anyway, it was cold.  Really cold.  Full body tights and gloves..etc. kind of cold.  Not for me, that is for sure. 

While on the ride, we came across about 20 people participating in a cyclocross practice.  Poor guys and gals.  They only had about a one hundred meter loop set out on a hill and were just circling that for what seemed like hours.  How boring.  Well at least to me.  But then again, just over a year ago, I thought cycling in general was the most boring sport on the planet.  But then I bought a good bike, and realized that equipment really makes the difference. 

Anyway, all this to say that I think my bike has seen the last of the fall riding.  Average temps here are about 4 or 6 in the evenings which is just too cold for me.  Would rather be on the tennis courts (indoor) playing the sport that is in my blood.  So looks like spinning is starting on my daily calendar again.  Already did 3 classes yesterday.  If I can fit in 12 a week, that should get me back in shape pretty fast for my Bahamas trip.  Now if I can only get control over my junk food addiction.  argh.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just things...

1.  I don't understand why local bike races require a minimum donation of 40$ or more to participate.  They are certainly missing out on those who make less but who would show up in numbers. 

2.  I am still surprised by how many people don't understand my avoidance of winter.  I despise cold in all its forms.  The idea of going outside in the winter, even if properly layered, is like volunteering for a prostate exam.  I just don't see it happening.  Just thinking about it makes me chilled. 

3.  I am still unable to avoid sugar.  I have tried to keep away from sugary foods for a week and I can't last more than two days.  It is like a drug.  Thank god I am going to the gym because I would be a heffer otherwise.

4.  People who don't allow comments on public blog posts annoy me. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Please don't fart in the elevator.  You are never alone for that long.

To the lady who thanked me very joyfully for ringing my bell before I passed rock! (but those jeans did nothing for your butt)

Dehydrated mangos are the devil's food.  Especially when you are trying to cut down on your sugar intake.

People should not be allowed to take pictures in the gym with their phones.  I will leave it at that and not get into details....

How the hell should I know what a "Coach" bag is? 

Everytime I go up or down a curb on my bike, I hear a crack sound.  Uh oh.

It is difficult to put into words how good I look today.  I'd totally sleep with me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bibs or Shorts

Running to spin class last night I noticed I was out of clean bibs so I quickly grabbed a pair of cycling shorts.  It didn't take me long to realize that I love my bib shorts far more than normal shorts.  I was uncomfortable for the whole class.  The waist kept on folding over and they felt like they were made for someone really long in the torso.  Plus, the most important factor, they don't keep your fat nicely tucked away. 

How about you?  Bibs or shorts?

Friday, October 15, 2010


I should have really thought through this move more.  The fact that I am at least 15 minutes away from a gym is starting to create small cracks in my willpower.  I may need to get another membership to a gym on the quebec side so I will have no excuse but to continue to go everyday.  Now that the winter is here, my outdoor adventures have come to an end.  I have a 65km cycle planned for this weekend but after that the equipment gets cleaned and stored.  I basically hibernate in the gym all winter but if it is too far away, I fear I will be hibernating in the pantry.  :(

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Celebrating Success

Thought I would update myself and those of you who read on the successes of people I like to call friends.  All of whom inspire me in one way or the other. 

In no particular order:

Ben Letourneau:  Leave it to Ben to re-enter the world of adventure racing and make it to the World Championships in the same year.  Ben travelled to Spain at the end of September to test his limits against 50 other teams in a 6 day adventure race that spanned over 700 kilometers.  The race included moutain biking, trekking, canoeing, rafting, inline skating, climbing and rappelling. (that was tiring just typing that)  For those of us who know him, we have come to realize that there is basically nothing Ben can't do.  Inspiration is just not the word to describe Ben.  They haven't created a word for him yet.  Congrats on your 16th place finish!

Peter Doucet and Morgane Echardour:  In the world of inline speedskating, Peter and Morgane are names that we are all familiar with....for several reasons really.  One is that they are always on the podium of every race they enter.  Two is that Peter is constantly providing the best coverage to the sport of speedskating via his super popular website.  " in DA HOUSE!!!" Peter is always screaming.  And thirdly, the power couple both won the pro open division of the National Roller Cup standings for 2010.  With their first place finishes at the NYC 100k race, Peter and Morgane solidified their dominance in this sport.  Way to go guys.  I'll wave the next time you are looping me during our next race.  ;)

Chantal A:  Who knuckled down and lost about 20 pounds while on vacation.  Congrats on that!  Can't wait to see ya again.

Kim B:  Who out of nowhere decided to go back to school (somewhat) by taking a Nutrition Course over the next few years.  Wow.

And to the rest of you who no doubt succeed against your daily struggles.  Kudos to you all around.

UPDATE:  And a huge congrats to my brother in Vanc who ran his first half marathon in sub 2hrs.  For a 42 year old, that is pretty good for his first time.  GO BRO.  He is in blue on the right side at the front. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Even though I consider myself a kind, caring person, there are still a whole lot of things that royally piss me off.  Some of these things came into effect this morning on the way to the dark, at 645am, before my coffee.  *just setting the scene*

1.  Don't leave a long traffic lane, speed up to cut in ahead and when no one lets you back in get all honky and cranky.  And of course they find a spot in front of me!  Damnit. 

2.  Don't hold up 5+ cars going down a parking lot ramp because you want to back into your parking spot. 

3.  Don't ask someone to hold the elevator (when your 30 feet away) and then make NO attempt to speed up your walk to the elevator. 

4.  Make no mistake, I will kick you in the ass or purposely bump into you if you are walking in front of me and suddenly stop mid sidewalk to start texting.  It's 645am!!  Seriously, you are not that important. 

5.  If you see someone in a coffee line that is scrambling for more money...that last 5 cents...and you KNOW you are getting change back, just pay for them!!  Ya cheap bastard.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I find myself a dying breed these days.  What happened to those people who fostered relationships?  Where did the people that wrote letters go?  Seems they are disappearing quickly.  I won't be one of them that goes quietly...

I for one, don't buy this excuse of "we just grew apart".  Friendships, real ones, should conquer time and whatever life throws at them.  I try my hardest to stay in contact with those people who have inspired me or brought something to my life to make it better.  And yet I find that a good percentage of people in general are so caught up with what is right in front of their faces that they have forgotten about the people who have supported them in their journey.  Shame. 

So this week, I will reach out to those people who have aided in paving the path I have walked and ensure that I celebrate them and their achievements as they have celebrated mine. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ohh my aching muscles

What a weekend!  Non stop.  Loved it.

Two dinner parties.  One was mine, one was not.  Good food and company at both.  Success!

8 hours of high quality tennis.  Yesterday, James and I were hitting as if we were at the US Open.  It was awesome.  I haven't run that much in a while.  Thankfully my fitness is better and I can stay on top of things longer.  But I am sure he will adjust eventually.

4 hours of spinning.  I  have been having issues with spinning recently.  I can't make it through a full class now without hitting the wall.  Not sure what is going on.  I can usually do 2 classes back to back with energy to spare.  Not lately.  Maybe I am low on vitamins or something. 

Starting week 3 of my 5x5x5x5 program and I am loving it.  Already seeing small gains in my legs, arms and chest.  My body was meant to be muscular and it feels nice just accepting that now and not fighting to have a body that wasn't meant to be. 

Skates are put away for another season.  Bike only has a few more weeks of use before the cold takes control of the city.  Tennis courts are slowly closing up but indoors is starting next week.  Let the training season begin!!  No more summer fun in the sun. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Wall

Since I have been back at the gym hitting the weights with my 5x5x5x5 program (which is awesome), I have been super careful with my diet.  If I am heading to the Bahamas in November, I want to be in some kind of reasonable shape.  Thus my day to day food has been limited to natural foods, meat, veggies and lots of soup.  I love soup in the fall/wintertime.  I make a mean rice veggie cabbage soup.  I have at least three big bowls a day.  Yum.  (I am not on the cabbage soup diet!!)

Well I guess my body hasn't made the calorie reduction transition yet because in my 120 minute spin class last night, I hit the wall hard.  I was soaking wet sweating up a storm and then all the sudden I started to get a chill.  Then I stopped sweating altogether.  Within minutes I got that dizzy/nauseous feeling and had to pull back on the attacks and hill climbs.  Forget the intervals.  I wasn't going near them.  I scraped by the next 4 tracks to the finish but only at about 30%.  I had nothing left.  Nada.  Even if I wanted to push, my energy output was just not there. 

I never realized that such a small reduction in calories can have such an impact on your levels of energy while working out.  I will have to rejig my numbers to make sure that doesn't happen again.  It did not feel good at all. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fresh Paint

"Earth One"   24x24

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gallery Showing

I was having dinner with a friend of mine who owns a spa here in Ottawa.  Beautiful place.  Stunning really.  Anyway, he offered me the chance of a lifetime.  He wants to know if I would be willing to hang my art in his spa for a few months.  He would do a mini "opening" gala and then I would use the spa as a gallery to promote and sell my stuff.  Free of charge!  He plans on changing artists every 2 months but still...this is a big deal for me.  If I can get in there twice a

Anyway, I said yes of course and drew up some new sketches and pulled out some old projects I had stored away.  I popped in my ipod and started getting creative to a 6hr non stop pop mix I have.  (best mix evah!!)

So I finished a new piece yesterday which was supposed to be my first piece in the collection I am doing for the spa.  Problem is, the moment, I mean within 5 minutes of posting it on my website (, it sold.  Just like that.  Now don't get me wrong, I love a sale but now I have to start all over again.  ;)  Just teasing.  Here is piece number one.  It is called SunSpot.  Sold for 200$ in my fastest sale ever. 

Friday, September 24, 2010


Last week on Facebook, I asked all my friends to post their top 5 books.  After waiting a day or two, I realized that most of my friends don't read....or maybe can't.  Who knows?  I don't judge.  ;)  

A few got back to me with some suggestions and I went and ordered a crapload from Chapters that night.  I ebooked one selection in particular because many people had it on their list.  It took me two days to finish it and I have to say, I wasn't impressed.  No idea how or why it won a Pulitzer.  Anywhoo, what I failed to do was list some of my all time favs.  Just in case anyone cares...

In no particular order:

The Life of Pi. 
I really enjoyed this book, except for a section in the middle which I found had no relation to the rest of the book.  The ending, although brilliant, made me so mad I threw the book across the room.  It tested my beliefs and totally had me thinking.

One (by Richard Bach)
This book basically changed my life.  The concept of it really appealed to me as a 20 something year old and it set the tone for much of how I live my life today.  At times it can get a bit heavy on the "spirituality" stuff but the message is pretty clear.  I went on to read many of his books and found another favorite "Illusions".  Both are worth the read but beware, they are new age style of books.  Much like the Celestine Prophesy.

The Celestine Prophesy
I loved the message of this book.  Although the story was fiction and a bit forced at times, I really invested in the message.  Much like the Di Vinci Code, the concepts are well explained to the point where you are questioning the possibilities.  For example, do you know that the odds of picking up the phone and finding the person you were about to call already on the other nearly impossible.  And yet how often has it happened to you?  Hmmmm.

The Red Tent
This book was recommended to me.  Loved it.  The story of Dinah from the bible told in a way in which you are there with her every step of the way. 

Interview with the Vampire, Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned
If you haven't read these classics, you live under a rock.  This is where it all began.  Anne Rice's ability to set the stage in ancient times is breathtaking.  The stories are rich and creamy with detail and anguish.  Do not base your judgement on the movies.  They were horrible.  Unfortunately, I found that the writing after these books got a bit pressured.  These are a must read.

The Time Travellers Wife
Again, don't judge this on the movie.  This book is unlike anything I had read before.  It tells the tale of a man who uncontrollably time travels to different times in his life...but at various ages. It is a "timeless" story of how love finds a way against all the odds.  It is not a science fiction story.  Believe it or not, it is very much a love story but not a cheesy one.

Memoires of a Geisha
This book was an instant fav of mine.  An amazing tale of a small girl and her journey through the trials of becoming a geisha against her will.  It is page after page of action, love, betrayal and hope.  Another must read.

A Map of the World
A very sad and touching story about two families and how they come to terms with a tragic death of a child.  Bonds of family and friendship are tested, built and shattered seemingly at the same time. 

Deep End of the Ocean
A must for every mother out there.  A heartwrenching story of a mother who's son goes missing in seconds, the sadness that takes over their lives and the unbelievable twist of fate that sends everyone over the edge of happiness and despair. 

Tales of the City (series)
This old classic series is a must read for anyone who likes how small stories all pull together in twists of fate and crazy coincedences.  These books, set in San Fran are the essence of story telling.  It is like a soap opera of characters and scenarios that will have you laughing and crying at the same time.  Brilliant books. 

That is it for now.  I am sure I will add more later.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sleepless in Ottawa

Let me start by saying that I am not political.  I don't care about Liberal, Conservative, Democrats and Republicans.  I don't even know what most of them stand for when it comes to issues.  What I do care about is honesty and integrity.  Last night I saw and heard a level of dishonesty that had me reeling.  So much so that it kept me up most of the night.  A first let me assure you. 

Before I continue I just want to add that I don't necessarily care about your views on the matter either.  It isn't what I am upset about.  I don't know much about the issue myself and really don't have anything to add to it other than the fact that I think the people in power positions in the US are scared little boys.  ANYWAY....

During yesterdays Senate discussion to repeal DADT, Senator John McCain got up and presented a Filibuster to the bill (a stalling tactic that puts everything on hold for days, months...etc.)(I had to look that up).  Although it seems that everyone was expecting this, what shocked me was that he had to filibuster the entire bill.  In case you didn't know, the bill is the Defense Bill.  It is responsible for the allocation of funds to the branches of the military.  Thus, for the 2nd time in US history, in over 48 years, the Defense Bill was filibustered.  48 years!  It is basically a non issue kind of bill.  But by filibustering the bill, in essence, they are willing to stop the entire Military Budget allocation in order to retain the power to kick gays and lesbians out of the military.  But wait, that isn't even the part that shocked me.  If you are passionate about that fight, bring it.  Whether right or wrong, at least you are doing what you believe in.  My opinions are irrelevant to your passion.

What had me reeling is the fact that John McCain is a hypocrite and liar to the highest degree.  I don't care what his views are.  But when you take a stand on something, stick with it.  Mr. McCain has changed his views on this matter depending on who was in power at the time.  When DADT came onto the agenda, the senator was quoted (on video) saying that he defered the decision of DADT to Colonel Powell.  He went on to say that if the military decided to repeal the policy, he would support them to the fullest.  In fact he explained that he felt senators should not hold the power over the military and their decisions.  Makes sense.  BUT then when Colonel Powell said he was going to move ahead to repeal DADT without the aid of the Senate, McCain jumped up and said that the miliatry should NOT have the power to change such policies and only the Senate should have the ability.  In other words, HIM!!  Holy hypocrite!  AND THEN, in his speech on the Senate floor, he flips flops back and says he wants to wait until the military provides their report later this year on it's findings regarding the DADT policy before the Senate should debate it.  WTF!!  So that was shocking moment number 1. 

Shocking moment number #2 was last night when after the Senate debate, he provided an interview where he angrily and sternly kept repeating that the DADT policy does not "seek out" soldiers in order to prosecute them.  He must have said it 20 times back to back.  That did it!  Has he not been paying attention?  Hundreds of now discharged officers, men and women share the same story whereby the military actively hacked into their private lives (and even emails) in order to use the policy to discharge them.  There are hundreds of confirmed and documented cases.  As the leader of this fight, whether a just one or not, McCain should be the most informed...would you not think?  From my standpoint there is only one word to describe his technique.  Lies!  He is a liar.  Blunt, deceptive, unapologetic and seemingly uncaring.  He is now on record (video) many times flip flopping his opinions and views when it serves his purpose. 

Again, this isn't really about DADT, I have my own views on that but that isn't the point.  The point is Americans, do you want someone who is soooooo comfortable with lying and deception holding a position of power in your country?  How do people justify this guy? 

So that is what kept me up all night.  I was asking myself how our Southern neighbors could be so blind or plain stupid to allow such things to continue.  It blows my mind. 

Here is some background.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This weekend in annoyances.

What a great and beautiful weekend here in the Nations Capital.  Sunny, warm with a nice breeze.  Perfect for anyone who likes being outside.  Except for those of us with servere allergies who were stuck inside crying at the window.  Ya, that would be me.

No worries, I endeavoured.  I went and did errands and the sort.  It started fine but ended with me being super grumpy.  I give you once again, some stupid people habits...

1.  Do NOT decide to stop and have a conversation with your long lost yoga buddy at the end of a grocery isle with the both of you leaning on your carts.  And don't get snotty when people point out that this isn't really the best place to be holding up the people traffic.

2.  Continuing the grocery theme for a minute....WOMEN, why do you wait for the last possible minute to pull your wallet out of your purse and dig for money.  You know you have to pay, be prepared...get that sucker out and ready to go.  We do not like to wait while you count out 73 cents in change. 

3.  Does anyone ever really sing along to the super loud music you are playing in YOUR car.  Has anyone ever leaned over and said "I love that song".  Ya, didn't think so.  Turn it down Car DJ.

4.  Why wouldn't I wear spandex shorts to my spin class?  Duh.  You sit there and enjoy your class in your satin soccer shorts and we'll talk in 60 minutes.  I am sure your opinion will change.

5.  If you can talk or text while on a cardio machine at the gym, you are NOT working hard.  In fact you are working harder than ever at annoying the shit out of those around you. 

And I am not writing to be negative.  I love being positive, it is just that stupid people are ruining my ability to be as positive as I could be.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Elite Upgrade

Every once in a while I get a glimps of someone else's reality which inevetably throws MY reality into a tailspin.  Case in point....

On an almost daily basis, I will post my fitness achievements for that day on my Facebook, or here (locked for private) just so that I can remind myself of my accomplishments.  (People don't do that enough in my opinion).  For example, on Tuesday I posted about my awesome 60km cycle around the Ottawa/Hull region.  Nice and fast cadence...about 37-40kph.  I pat myself on the back and continue to surf.

I eventually move on and read some of my fav cycling blogs like "SkiBikeJunkie", "Fat Cyclist" and "Dug" where they describe THEIR training.  So just the other day SBJ wrote about his latest cycling adventure in the Lotoja race in Utah.  An awesome race report with tons of detail and some nice pics. 

So after reading his post, let's just say my days of patting myself on the back for a 60k ride are over.  This crazy bastard cranked out a 332km race over the course of just over 9 hours.  Umm ya, you read that right.  It is the longest one day race offered by the USA Cycling Federation and is about 7 hours too long for me.  I can't even fathom doing anything like that.  It would never enter my mind.  I can't stay awake 9 hours without needing a nap on an average day for god's sake.  Oh ya, and he describes some of his straight away attacks doing 50kph+.  I can't even count that high without making the Cookie Monster laugh. 
Alas, I used to think this guy was one of know, the normal guy....but alas, that ideal has been shattered.  No more relating to him.  I will have to upgrade him to the elite category where I hold people I admire.  Crap, that group is getting pretty full.  Are there any average Joes and Joannes out there anymore?  Sheesh.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Remind me later

The one thing I should have thought about before buying my new place in Quebec is the location of the nearest gym.  In my old place, the gym was a 2 minute drive.  Awesomeness.  At the new place, I have to drive about 20 minutes back onto the Ontario side to hit a Goodlife.  This sucks.  I fear it is going to create an obstacle in my delicate mind where I will use it as an excuse not to go.  Grrr

So if I move again in the coming years, remind me to look for the nearest gym before committing to a new place. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Funny but True

This is not directed at anyone.  Just a funny pic I came across.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Reality's a bitch

I think one of the hardest things for an athlete to accept is that moment when they realize their former glory is over.  I realized it about 8 years ago when I "retired" from competitive tennis.  But then last year I decided to take another stab at it and play in some USTA and Canadian City Championships.  Well I was reminded yesterday that 40 year olds do not have a solid place in a field where you are coming up against 22 and 26 year olds.  Yesterdays semi final match was horrible.  Not because I was outplayed, but because I couldn't find my game.  It was as if I had forgotten how to play.  My serve was fine but my groundstrokes just simply failed in every way.  My bread and butter shots were reduced to frail attempts to keep the ball in play.  To top it off, I double faulted on match point.  The most embarrassing way to end it. 

I wasn't necessarily upset that I lost the match, I kinda knew I was going to, but I felt really embarrassed when it was over.  I don't want competitors thinking I don't deserve to be there.  I've put in my time and paid my dues over the past 30 years.  I have a house full of trophies and such which almost makes it worse.  I feel like that washed up senior trying to relive his youth.  Maybe?  I just know I feel at home on the tennis courts.  There is nothing I would rather be doing.  So not sure how to approach this dilemma.  Do I bow out now and just focus on the fun aspect again or do I keep putting myself in these situations and open myself up to being a walkover each time? 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A first.

So here I am sitting at a kitchen table grumpy as all hell.  Lost in the first round of a doubles match for the first time in my life (one without a bye)...I think.  Seriously.  6/4 6/4.  We were totally confident going into the match and seeing the opponents.  Maybe too confident.  Two tiny asian men not all that powerful.  However, how wrong did that end up being.  They were awesome at the net.  The net ninja on the other side had the most amazing touch on volleys I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it.  Either way my serve failed me and I only held 3 times out of 7.  Horrible stats.  Everything else was good.  Hit solid strokes, returns were fine but the serve just didn't do enough damage.

Still have my semi final singles match.  Here's hoping that goes a bit better.


So here I am in Montreal to play in one of the last tennis tournys for me in the season.  Normally I am calm and relaxed just chillin waiting for my matches to come up.  This time around, I have a pretty intense case of the jitters.  Not sure what is going on.  Butterflies, bathroom trips ;), and all around nerves.  What is going on?  I have been competing in this sport since I was almost 12 and can't remember many times when I felt like this.  This isn't the US tour, it's not the European tour....THOSE I had reason to be nervous.  Not sure what is up with me this time around.  The weather here in Montreal is cool and cloudy.  Seems everyone is getting a bite of that storm in the US.  I hope they vent out the venue.  I heard last night that the indoor temp on the courts were over 38 degrees.  Not fun when mixed with almost 100% humidity. 

Anyway, my matches don`t start until noon but I feel like I need to be at the site.  So I am going to enjoy my coffee and then hit the road.  Maybe if I am there watching other matches, my nerves will calm down.  Can`t hurt.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What a weekend!

With summer just about over here in Ottawa, it was a nice reprise to be experiencing some higher than normal temps over the weekend.  30+ degrees both days and continuing into today and most of this week.  Awesome for training and perfect timing for my competition this coming weekend.

Instead of going to short track practice on Saturday, a few of us decided to pull out our bikes instead.  That resulted in a 65km ride around the city.  Perfect pace, great weather and great company.  It was a perfect zone 2 session.  Top speed never exceeded 38kph. 

Mike and Frank refusing to hold their line. 
Grrrr.  Pet Peeve...and dangerous.

Those of us remaining at the end. L to R
Peter, Corinne, 360, Bob, Kim and Mike

Friday, August 27, 2010

You have got to see this.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this.  You can see why this sport in my #1 passion.

Please forgive me.

While my fellow bloggers are covering serious issues and actually enriching your lives, I will be tackling a subject that has plagued me for months.  I can't take it anymore.  Since returning to the corporate world in the downtown core, I have seen so much of this that I can't stay quite any longer.  So indulge me while I invoke the spirit of Karen Walker (Will and Grace) and lead you what I believe is causing all the grief in the world.

For those of you who don't know Karen....well here is a taste before we get started.

So now that you can invision Karen, I beg the question...... Guys, WTF are you wearing?  Seriously, if you are over 40, that doesn't mean you need to wear the same clothes you did the last time you went to a school dance.  Take note:

Pleated pants.  Don't do it.  Just don't.  Someone should have stopped production on these in the early 90s.  MC Hammer called and wants his pants back?  The problem is, the fatter you get, the more the pleats expand which only make you look fatter.  Do yourself a favor, flat front dress pants make you look taller and thinner.  Plus the waist sits lower and isn't half way up your back!  Trust me on this one.  Say no to pleated pants. 

White belts.  Guys....really?  Do I have to even make comments on this one?  Unless you are walking in a pride parade or are the new model for D&G, spare yourself from this trend.  You can only get away with it if you are under 20 and can use your youth and stupidity as an excuse.  The metalic holes, take it to a whole new level of guido. 

Speaking of guido....  I'm gonna run you over on my bike, blades or simply hit you with my tennis racquet if I see you wearing these bad boys.  Especially if they are combined with the belt above. 

If your body does not resemble someone from this picture, you should NOT BE WEARING UNDER ARMOUR.  Seriously guys, who are you kidding.  The last thing I want to see at the gym is some nasty muffin top dangling past your Under Armour tank top while your doing squats or bicep curls.  Even I wouldn't wear that stuff and I am in spandex for hours a day....

Probably the worst of them all (okay maybe not pleated dress pants) is the "flood".  This is the perfect term to describe when a man's pant hem falls above the ankle mark on a pair of shoes.  God this is so prevalent it is scary.  If you can see your socks in a mirror while standing straight up, your wearing floods.  If when you walk you feel a breeze on your ankles, your wearing floods.  If when you sit down in a chair, your pants raise above your sock line to reveal skin, your wearing floods.  The proper length of a pair of dress pants or jeans is half way down the back of your heel...while wearing shoes!  Not barefoot!  The back hem of the pant should just barely reach the part of the shoe where the sole is attached to the leather.  You better be wearing leather dress shoes.....don't even get me started.

Last but not least.  White sport socks with dress shoes and dress pants.  Unless you are Michael Jackson, this is a no no.  Sports socks.....the name says it all.  Combined with floods, there would be little to no hope.  Chinos or Khakis are about the only pant you could get away with it.  Maybe.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Criterium Races for me

So after digging through tons of information about how the cycling races structures work here in Canada, it looks like there is really no point in racing criteriums from year to year.  At least for me.

Seems that for general competitors, there are no points given.  I can understand that logic.  However, if you want points, only the first 15 racers get them.  Anyone past that and forget it.  Seeing the amount of racers who did the Gatineau event only a few weeks ago, there is really no point in me joining that group of guys and gals.  They are simply at another level altogether.  I would just end up being embarrased. 

But the problem doesn't end there.  There are just so few if any "General Competitor" races here.  I wonder if this is a common issue in the cycling world? I guess if you want to race with the big boys, you have to put in the years and years of training and work your way up.  I can relate as it took me over 10 years to finally start competing with the tennis big guns.  Then even longer to start winning decent cash.

At least there are tons of tours and charity events in the National Capital Region so I guess I will have to use them in order to satisfy my "racing" urge.  Oh well, sometimes you can dream big....but in the end they just remain dreams.  I will have to continue to live life vicariously through SkiBikeJunkie, BikeRackHeads and Fat Cyclist.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Latest Painting.

It rained here all weekend so there was no training to speak of.  I could have gone to the gym but I decided to get the studio up and running instead.  Went out and bought some new canvases and took advantage of the "back to school" deals on paints and stuff.  Alas, here is the result of a creative weekend.  Will probably paint over this one.  Not happy with the results.  But before that happens, thought you might want a peek.  Of course, it is inspired by my own body.  Duh.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pain going slow

Last nights training cycle was a long Zone 1 affair.  Strange because my knees were bothering me the whole time.  Not sure why at that pace they should be doing that.  When going uphill or when the pace increased I was fine.  But when constant it was a chore.  Bizarre.  Being 40 sucks!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Only as good...

For the first time in I can't remember when, I lost in the opening round of a tennis tournament.  Although we received a "bye" in the first round we went on to lose 6/3, 6/3 in the second round.  What makes this more frustrating is that we lost to a team that we should have been able to put away with our eyes closed. 

Leading in the first set with two breaks, we started missing easy put-aways and our volleys turned to crap.  I started volleying at the opponent giving them a second chance at a shot and James started having a hard time with his first serve which led to a few doubles and some un-pretty rallies from the baseline.  I tried to poach the net as often as possible but they were smart and really focused their efforts on James. 

The thing with Doubles is that you are only as strong as your partner is on that day.  If either of you are having a bad day, there is almost nothing you can do but hope that the other team is having it just as bad.  Unfortunately for us last night, they weren't.  That is why I prefer singles.  If I lose, there is no doubt that it was all me.  There is no transfer of blame or even the notion of it.  Pointing the finger is soooo much easier in doubles.

Alas, I hope we can get our shit together quickly.  Our city tournament in Montreal is only 2 weeks away and I have won that tournament in the past so it would not be good to lose in the opening rounds.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New World Record

Looks like Joey is at it again.  Cross posted from, here is the vid of the man himself setting a ridiculous 300meter WR.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Results - Montreal 24hr Race

I am officially back in action after returning from Montreal this past weekend.  24 hour race was a huge success and my favorite to date by far.  The organizers changed a few things that made the race a bit more challenging...and slower...but all in all we adapted and made the best of it.  The course stretched along the Formula 1 race track loop for just under 5k.  Hills and sharp hair pins were par for the course.

Out of 119 teams of skaters, Ottawa pulled in an impressive 13th, 21st and 38th placing overall.  First place went to the team heavy with Olympians and World class speedskaters.  So unfair.  ;)  Our category placements were better but not as good as last year since we all got bumped into a higher cat within the last 2 hours of the race.  My team, counting down the last hour of the race while in 2nd place, was bumped up into another division which instantly placed us in 23rd.  We were not happy.  In fact we totally eased up and just raced for fun rather than placement.  Seriously....23rd place? 

All in all however, I have to say how impressed I was with my team.  Everyone seemed to have fun and it never felt like we were under pressure to perform.  Can't wait to get back there next year.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Montreal 24 Hour Relay

It is only days away from the 24hr relay race in Montreal and I am counting my lucky stars I am not on any of the elite or fitness teams.  I am totally looking forward to an easy event full of sleep and food.  Of course I will try to beat my previous best lap times.  Duh.  I think my fastest last year was 9:40 for 5k.  Which is on average about 31kph.  It was at night and I had an awesome pack with a tail wind.  As if I could skate that speed alone.  Not likely. 

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, check out last years video.  It focuses on more of the social skater but you get the main idea.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Regular Laughs.

Thank god for other bloggers.  They bring a smile to my face on crappy days when I am tired from training or just plain tired. 

Make sure to check them out (list on the right) when you have some free time.

Favs are:  Rabid Runner, Skibikejunkie and Dug. 

Each are informative with an abundant dose of sarcasm.  Loves it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Orchestra in the Park

Last week, the National Arts Centre had a brilliant idea.  Free concerts in the park with a variety of formats.  Opera, Vocal, Variety, Instrumental.  Each held on a different night.  Did I mention it was free?

I was able to get to 3 out of 4 nights (that I knew about) and it was great.  I much prefered the vocal night where the singers were belting out popular classical tunes from La Boheme and Seville.  The instrumental night didn't have the same flavour.  People were talking and chatting freely on the field.  It was annoying.

That being said, I hope that this becomes a regular venue each year.  It could have been a bit longer but I understand the logistical nightmare it must have been.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cycling Buds

Here we are at Huron lookout while doing a lap of the Gats last week.  Sorry it has taken me so long to post this.  And no, that is not me.  I am neither Mexican or that thin.  It is the Il Peloton team of Ursula and Sergio.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slower traffic stay right.

My pet peeve meter has been going off like crazy these past few weeks.  Especially when it comes to people traffic.  Some reminders....

1.  In general, stay to the right.  Like minded people will travel in one direction and will most likely stay to the right.  People who walk forward down a hallway and stay to the left need to be pushed into the wall.  This applies to shopping malls, grocery stores etc.

2.  If you are walking slowly (on the right) go even further to the right if you see/hear or even assume someone behind you is faster.  Don't walk in the middle or to the left.  You will most likely get a rude comment when you are being passed on the left. 

3.  Now that I think about it, the auto traffic laws are basically the same.  Follow them.

4.  If you decide to stop in front of revolving doors, at the bottom or top of escalators or in front of an elevator to to talk, pull out your phone, text of riffle through your purse, you WILL be shouldered out of the way.  By me anyway. 

5.  Stay out of the bike lanes.  Whether your a car or a walker, get the hell out of the way.

6.  Ladies, when in a coffee line, have your money ready.  Nothing is more annoying than when you plop your purse on the counter, unzip it and go digging for change.  For god's sake have it ready.  It is the same price as yesterday...and the day before that.

7.  Single file on an escalator.  Nuff said.

Leaving 8, 9 and 10 for you guys.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Ottawa Grand Prix

The Grand Prix was this weekend and although I toyed with the idea of doing it, I quickly reminded myself that I hadn't put in nearly as much training as what would be needed.  Even in the novice division.  I would have been a joke in other words although I have no problem coming in last.  It is the attempt that counts.  Then another thought hit me.  I am sooooo not comfy in cycling packs that this race would have been my worst nightmare.  Here's why.

A downhill excelleration at 60kph in a pack = terror.


Terror = this. 

However, a hill climb in a pack is not so fear instilling.  I'd still be at the back though.  Probably crying.

Maybe by next year I will be able to join the novice ranks.  Their average speed for this 2000ft ascent is between 28 and 36.  My average is still in the lower 20's I believe.  I will confirm later tonight as I did in fact do the race loop once the actual race was over and I recorded all my numbers.

Grand Prix - by Jeffrey Furry

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another 100k plus weekend.

I had no choice this weekend guys and gals, I just had to wear my white Cervelo kit.  It was brutally hot and I was putting in tons of mileage. 

One of just a few pit stops my bud Mike and I took to break in the new cyclecam.  lol  And don't tell me I need to smile.  This is about as close to a smile as you are going to get.  Be grateful.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Final Design

I am still not 100% sure that the vendor is going to have this produced and shipped by Aug 7th but here's hoping.  They came through for me last year so I am trying to stay positive.

Either way, here is the final design of the 2010 Team Bionic Jersey (from Ottawa) for the 24hour relay in Montreal.  If anyone wants one, let me know.  They will be apprx. 42$ CDN.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Eye of the beholder

I think being an amateur artist has squewed my views of everyday things.  How's that for a statement?

There is just something in my mind that becomes fascinated with groups, shapes, colors, geometry...etc.  I always view things as if I am looking at a future canvas.  I think that is the reason why when I see cyclists, speedskaters and runners in a fast moving pack, it always has me gawking in amazement. 

As Kim, a fellow speedskater says to passing motorists or cyclists as we pass them packed up in a peloton... "oh yes, we do look that good".  I figure if you can't go fast, you might as well look fast.  ;) 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You would think.

You would think that being friends with people for several years that they would get to know your sense of humor.  You would think...right?  Well think again. 

Twice now, in the span of about 2 weeks, things that I have said have been misunderstood and are causing grief.  In fact, one person actually got upset.  Seriously people, EVERYTHING I say is for a laugh.  When I complain or bitch, it is not because I am truly complaining, it is just a joke.  When I have something serious to say, you will know it.  My mood instantly changes. 

And when I do relay a story or something I have experienced recently, I make it sound interesting.  Like right now, during this heatwave, I will say things like... "it was so hot during training today I swear my wheels started to melt on the pavement".  Now if you turn around and give me a look that reads "that is a lie" then your a damn idiot.  Of course it isn't true damnit, I was trying to get a point across.  Gawd.

Now that the big 40 has passed, watch out.  If you misunderstand me now, I will make sure you are corrected right then and there.  And if you fail to have a sense of humor when I try to make a joke I will also call you out and tell you to relax and remove that timbre from your ass!!  Trust me, most of you know me to be very outspoken and black and white in my don't want me to NOT to be making jokes and such because you would all be crying and I wouldn't have any friends.  What good would that be.

My tolerance for attitude is dwindling fast bitches.  Consider yourselves schooled.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Sorry for the lack of posting in the past week.  So much going on.  The weather here has been awesome so I have been out on the courts, on skates and on my bike everyday....sometimes twice. 

Pulled in a 89.93km ride last Saturday which was great.  Made for a perfect birthday present to myself. 

Got beaten on the courts this past weekend which didn't feel great.  My game is such a shadow of its former glory.  Oh well.  At least it is still fun and I am getting out there.  Winning isn't always everything anymore.

I promise I will have more soon.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It looks like I didn't receive my 40th Bday wish after all.  Yet another thing this year that I will just have to do myself.  GAWD!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Power of Spandex

Ah, the joys of spandex.  Their powers are pretty amazing really.  When you think about it, only in spandex would you:

1.  change down to your underwear or even less in public places.  Especially provincial park parking lots.

2.  adjust yourself with pride instead of trying to remain somewhat inconspicuous.

3.  think it was totally natural to blow your nose with your finger in a group setting.

4.  suck in your gut everytime you stand up straight.

5.  think you were better than you really are, only because you look so damned good. 

6.  show off your ridiculous tan lines with pride

any others??

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's gotta be fun.

As a regular participant in Ottawa's Inline Speedskating events, and a former member of the Ottawa Inline Speedskating Club, I often hear "how can we grow the sport" and "how to we attract more skaters" and most recently "how to we retain our membership".  It seems these are important questions as the number of people participating in this sport is not only not growing, but it seems to be decreasing. 

In my years of life, I learned some valuable lessons.  This particular one I learned very early in life.  "When you remove emotional ties attached to a problem, what is left, regardless of how you feel about it or your opinions on it, tends to be the truth.  It is very Sherlock Holmes. 

Thus, here are my thoughts as to why this problem is hitting Inline Speedskating.  It is pretty simple.  Prepare yourself. 

Training is not fun.

Now before you go clicking on that comment button, hear me out.  80% of the skaters in Ottawa are what I would call recreational skaters.  Sure they have speedskates but they are non-competitive skaters who average around 20-30 kph.  They do a few marathons a year just for the fun of it.  The other 20% are those who are natually talented and have learned early on that they have an ability not shared by the others.  I call them Elite.  There aren't too many.

So what does this mean?  Here is my point.... You can't bunch 80% of a group into the training habits of a 20% minority and expect them to a) benefit the same way, b) keep a healthy level of confidence, c) have fun  and d) come back.  In reality, some of these people just come out to see the other skaters.  The idea of skating 100 laps around a parking lot is enough to have them question every returning.  Sure they are putting in the hours and learning better techique blah blah blah.  But are they having fun?  Do they leave wanting to come back.

In "year one" and two of skating, I found myself wanting to come back.  The little technique I learned made me a much better overall skater than when I began.  Not "speedskater", just skater.  But once the little victories stopped coming and it all became out training and honing the technique just to go faster....the want diminished.  It wasn't about seeing everyone anymore and comparing development stories.  It became about speed and being able to crossover properly and climb hills...etc.  Why in hell is that fun?  It's not.  Not for many in that 80% group.  There is no end game.  They train just for the sake of training.  There are some that welcome that concept but for most, it is a foreign way of thinking.

So why isn't the sport growing?  Because we have no fun grassroots programing.  You either ARE a speedskater or your not.  Sure we have the odd rollerblader who comes out to one of our practices but they quickly learn that this is a "speedskating" session and not a "how to skate" session even though we supposedly welcome everyone.  Really?  Seriously?  Think about it.  We don't!  We promote "inline skating" and they we force feed you "speedskating".  No wonder people don't come back.  It would be like signing up for a squash lesson and then finding yourself on a tennis court. 

So you want to learn how to grow the sport?  You have to take a step backwards.  Promote skating in it's natural form.  And most of all, make it fun again.  Not only that, but advertise the SHIT out of the fun aspect.  Kids and young adults want to have fun.  They don't want to train for a sport that they will only ever be adequate at.  Why train so hard to go nowhere, when having fun will take you anywhere!  Eventually, there will be cross over skaters who make the transition.  But don't force it.  And don't false advertise.  Take a good look in the mirror and accept your club for what it is not what it wishes it was.