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.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/08/29/magazine/womens-tennis.html

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 Speedskateworld.com, 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.