Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Transition

Looks like I will have to make the transition to indoor cycling in the next week or so.  Begrudgingly of course.  By the time I get home from work/gym etc., it is about 5 or 530.  That only leaves a solid hour to ride.  Not really enough time other than for a city tour trek here in Ottawa.  About an hour ride.  The weekends are still open but it seems people are more busy now that ever.  The groups are getting smaller and smaller as people are transitioning into fall sports and hanging up their skates and bikes.  I hate this time of year for sports. 

I pulled a double yesterday and it felt good.  I was totally unmotivated on the spin bike but I am sure that will change soon.  The music annoyed me but the instructors were good eye candy.  At least there is that. 

Not much else to report on the surface these days.  I had guests in from out of town for the past 2 weeks and I must have put on about 10 pounds.  No activities, no exercise...just eating.  And more eating.  Tried to stay gluten friendly but that didnt' always work.  Back on the saddle now.  God I hate salads.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What a weekend

Picked up the nephews early on Saturday morning and headed downtown for the Army Run.  16000 or so crazy people sprinting either a 5k or 21k.  Turn out was awesome.

My nephew Connor, participating in his very first event like this pulled in a shocking time.  The 17 year old crossed the line in 36th place with a time of 18:03.  How crazy is that!!  Brennan pulled in a 23:28 which is also pretty impressive for his very first race.  My doppleganger pulled in a 23:19 so I am pretty satisfied with that. 

From the race, I headed home to change and eventually made my way to indoor climbing.  My first time.  I could have sworn I had done this before...I was positive...but once I walked in I was pretty sure I hadn't done it.  My fear of heights would have kept me far away.  After a short lesson on the rope system, we were off to the races.  My first two climbs were anxiety ridden and were done so fast I could barely remember them.  I was just so focused on doing it and getting it done that I didn't pay attention to anything else.  By the end of the day, I was a bit more comfortable and was able to climb with a greater sense of enjoyment.  I will have to go back soon so as not to lose the feeling.  Cathou and Michel were naturals and were obviously at another level.  Michel was spiderman up on those walls.  It was very cool to watch.

Today marks day 1 of "back to the gym" training.  Spinning for 2 hours with a yoga class to finish it off.  Tonight will be one spin class only as I need to get a feel for the bike again and I don't want to over train my calf which is only now feeling better.  I am taking everyones advice and trying not to overtrain.  Not sure I will be successful.  ;) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Has Winter Arrived?

Ottawa this morning.... 5 degrees.  5!!!  Seriously, WTF. 

Within just a few days, the leaves have begun to change. 

And most importantly, and shocking...is that my heat came on last night.  Heat!  Omg.  Where has the summer gone?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Celebrating Success

A bit late I know but the results weren`t available to me until just recently.

A huge congrats to Ottawa`s own Stephane Tremblay and Allain Legacy who took 1st and 5th place in the 2011 North of the 49 inline 21km marathon a few weeks ago.

Steph took home the top prize with a time of 1:15.13 while Allain came up on his heels with a time of 1:15.58.  Sounds like it all came down to a sprint to the finish.

Here`s a pic of Steph way ahead of the pack.  



Congrats you two. 

Photo credit:  http://www.inlineskatempls.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

24Hrs - A Wish List

Disclaimer:

Before you get up in my face, please realize that this post isn't a criticism, it is meant as something constructive.  AND, I am willing to put in future volunteer hours to make these things possible just to prove my positive intentions.  I am in NO WAY making light of the tireless work the entire team puts into run this event every year.  This is just some ideas that could make it even better. 


1.  Music

Although no one is ever going to be satisfied with the music, I would suggest having some theme hours.  For example, at both 7am/7pm, 8am/8pm, 9am/9pm have the music be of that decade.  The top tunes of the 70's, 80's and 90's.  That way, we ALL know the tunes.  There is nothing better than sharing some old dance moves and belting out tunes that EVERYONE can relate to.  And it is an easy way to throw some popular french tunes that we might know as well.  Just no Celine please.  ;)

Another idea for music is to sell requests.  A box could be set up at the DJ booth so that skaters or teams could make musical requests.  At 5$ a song or something like that.  Or, on the site, add a button where skaters who have registered can write down their favorite tune.  Easy to create a playlist that way. 


2.  Bibs

There has to be a better way to register skaters than the current bib system.  Teams spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on skinsuits, jerseys, t-shirts...etc. that promote this amazing event (not to mention the actual official event clothing) only to have all these beautiful designs hidden under huge white sheets while racing.  In fact, when you are skating, the wind usually blows the bibs under your arms or up around your neck making the number impossible to see.  And at night...what is the point? And after all, are we really ever looking at the number?  It would be easier to recognize your team jersey that stands out rather than a white bib that everyone is wearing.  Do we have to have identifiers?  What are their purpose?  Can we not print up race numbers and pin them onto our legs like race events?  Slightly more cost but absorbable.  Let's brainstorm...

3.  Trophies

The awards this year were awesome.  Super creative, nice to look at...just brilliant.  Best trophy I have ever seen in most of my sport events over my life.  Suggestion:  The top 3 teams should always get individual medals.  Even if just a momento.   There has got to be some cost effective promotional items out there.  With international skaters coming into town, we can't afford to have them leave empty handed.

4.  Vendors

McDonald's free coffee was brilliant.  BRILLIANT.  Best idea ever.  Just a bit earlier in the morn please.  7am would have been even better.  ;)  And people will pay for coffee...just in case you need to make $$.  24hrs of coffee would be heaven to a lot of skaters.

Crepes.  Yummy.  Another great idea.  
Subway is always good.

I almost wished I sold something so that I can be apart of the village.  I know weather is a main factor in vendor success but could vendors be set up in the paddocks so rain or shine at least they would stay profit high....and thus be more likely to return?  I guess that all depends on paddock rental costs.

5.  Online Store

Not sure the website is capable of hosting an online store but if possible, consider having your designs and promotional items sold directly from the 24hr site.  If marketed correctly online promotions could bring in tons of pre-sales which would require no shipping to skaters.  Items could include bandanas, small sport towels, water bottles, jerseys, socks, skinsuits, rubber wrist bracelets (think Livestrong)...etc.  Yearly sales could determine which items to renew each year.  Only items you want to redesign need to be ordered each year.  Standard items remain in stock  from year to year.

6.  Volunteers

If there was a way for people to volunteer between their laps, would this be useful?  Only if you need it of course.  Not sure how you are doing on the volunteer side of things.

Montreal 24 Hrs

Where to begin...

I think the first place to start is to thank Simon Clement and all his team for organizing such an amazing event.  I can't even imagine the logistical nightmare something so big must be.  So my hat is off to him.

Unfortunately, the most popular element of this years race was the weather.  We were lucky to have about 3 hours of beautiful hot sun until the clouds rolled in, the wind started to howl and the rain started to pelt the skaters.  From then on, for the next 22 hours, it rained and rained. 

From what I understand, by mid morning, several teams had already decided to call it quits.  For most inexperienced skaters, competiting in the rain and on very wet pavement is something new and a transition that is not easily made in such a short period of time.  On that note, I don't think I have ever seen so many falls in all my years going to this event.  The first aid guy was saying that it was the busiest of his 10 years with skaters visiting him from minute to minute.  Dehydration, broken shoulders, broken collar bones, and rows and rows of suchers.  Ouch.  I saw a few face plants and they were not fun looking.  Yikes. 

BUT, from the look on everyones faces, they were still having fun and pushing through the challenges of the weather and the puddles.  Sure wet spandex is never fun but that didn't stop skaters from pushing to the finish line.  At times when the rain was coming down the hardest, I was shocked to see some of the elite teams coming into the transition area still clocking in the 30km range.  These guys and gals are brave and maybe a bit crazy.

When the rain really picked up in the early morning, event organizers decided to pull the plug a bit early.  A good idea I think.  So with 3 hours left to go, skating ended at 11am and teams wrapped up their final laps.  It was a bitter sweet ending to the event but all in all a fun one.  I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else this weekend than with my extended circle of friends in Montreal. 

Congrats to all the teams and all the skaters who came out to support the event.  Don't be discouraged...it has never rained two years in a row.  ;)  Next year we will make up for it I am sure!

For a limited selection of photos you can visit my Flickr page here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/30813780@N00/sets/72157627601565820/

Sorry there aren't many this time around.  I was busy helping at the Il Peloton booth and didn't get out in the rain much.  I'll make up for it next year.  Promise.  ;)

Here is a start up video from SpeedskateWorld.com  Visit Peter Doucet's site to get all the latest and greatest news on the Speedskating circuit from pro to local levels. 


Friday, September 2, 2011

Considering

I am thinking of asking my doctor about possibily going under the knife to aid in my struggles with my back.  I am sure there is something they can do to remove scar tissue or whatever....I am no expert in that region.  However, the only thing keeping me from acting is the situation of a dear friend.  She went under the knife for something so simple and crazy and came out in agony.  Her life as she knew it is over.  She is racked with debilitating pain 24/7.  I do not want that obvioulsy.  But I also don't want to continue this way when walking for more than a kilo at a time forces me to have to sit down and rest.  I want my 25 year old body back!