Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall Food


Last night it was starting to become a little stormy. You know what that means.... It means it's almost Fall, and you know what that means.... That means it's time for Fall training. Awesome.

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. It's great for training because I like running in the rain, and love windy rides. In the pool we keep the focus of our time on technical improvements. That's all good because I can feel the difference in doing drills now, from a year ago when I started with the NTC program.

Anytime it's stormy I'm in a good mood to go out and train. Maybe it's something about the added level of "hardcoreness" or just plain excitement. Let's go riding when the wind is so strong you can hardly stay on your bike. Or, let's go running when it's so wet you're crossing rivers in soaked shoes with a big smile on your face!

Another sweet part about fall is the food. Apples are absolutely my all time favorite fruit. I've recently decided that my favorite vegetable is squash, all varieties. Butternut probably tops the list. Butternut squash soup with a little apple / carrots/ whatever else is kick'n around .... there's a fall kitchen classic.

Training today consisted of a nice base run at Elk Lake. Double loop... 80ish minutes. Sweet.

The title today refers to my bro who is currently rock'n out on the Viola. Sounds great!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Melting Chocolate

Another great day.... lots happened and I've got lots of thoughts to write down for my journal later on this evening.

I guess the overlying theme for the day is that people are awesome. How amazing is it when you can say that everyone in your life is supportive, encouraging, positive, happy, really just helpful in guiding along the way? It's definitely amazing.

I'm just back from a NTC wrap up dinner at the Sharpe's place. It was a fun evening with lots of great food, laughs, and encouraging conversation about the year to come! A big shout out to Barb for hosting, and brewing up some delicious nourishment; and also to Richard for the awesome photography throughout the season. That slide show was the definition of sweetness.

Training was good today. We just had an easy base ride along the waterfront. 3.25hrs with one decent sprint tossed in the mix. PK and I duked it out for the finish. I left it to the last second and took it by a hair. I thought it was in the bag before, then I heard this "come on stevo!" as PK flew past. Fun Fun Fun.

We checked out some cross bikes at Oak Bay Bikes today. It looks like I'll be rockin' the trails this winter on a bright orange bike. Can't wait. Just look out for the orange lightning.

I tested the paws in some desert creation this afternoon. Now I know how to melt chocolate.


Friday, September 28, 2007


Quick little update on the day as I get ready for bed...

I listened to some great music on the way to the pool this morning, and found myself almost in a Trance for much of the swim workout. This was a good thing.

The main set was 30 x 50m's on 60s. The idea here was just to focus on the good technique that we've been practicing during drills for the past couple days. It was also a good opportunity to keep the focus during what is almost a "real work" set. I kept it at a medium effort and the technical focus again was in the hands. Start the catch right away! Sooner than that. Start it now. My stroke count was 37, 36 if I push it, and my times were 38 - 39s. Down to 31's by January 31st.

After the swim I went over to visit Mike, the Village Butcher on the Avenue. Things are looking good, and I think we will have a strong sponsor-athlete relationship. I am a firm believer in eating "real food." Hormone free, free range, clean, green, eco-machine, you know the scene....

Back at home for a late breakfast, more like lunch. I made up a stir fry kinda thing. It started with the basics: olive oil, garlic, onion, and some wild mushrooms. Then spiced it up with a couple tomatoes (the lycopene in tomatoes is actually absorbed better if you cook them first, especially with olive oil, unlike other vegetables which are better if eaten raw), and a bell pepper or two. I threw in some sliced up turkey sausage from the butcher and boiled a couple eggs. Add one slice of home made oatmeal bread and there's a tasty breaky.

It's always a good idea to take the time preparing quality tasty food. This is so important. If you can enjoy the process, then even better. Food is definitely something to be enjoyed and shared, not just consumed as fuel.

Then I got distracted by the Viomolin for a couple hours. Nap time. Run Time. Dinner Time. Time to go climbing with the G-man. That was a blast, thanks. Let's do it again soon....

Time to wind down.... time for rest.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Another Beaut-ay of a day.

To begin... mindful breathing at Willows Beach, and a pink sunrise. Great way to start the day. Next I'm off to the good ol' Saanich Commonwealth Place for swimming. It is such a sweet place to swim.

We had the pleasure of an early season 200m TT this morning. I told myself: "Do it in 2:30 and that's ok for the early season." The clock said 2:30:04. Failure.....just kidding.....hahaha. I have found this more and more lately where I tell myself I will swim or run, or even bike a certain interval in a given time, and I hit that time, right on. That's intention.

So, the first 200m TT will translate into 5:10 for my first 400m TT of the season. Then, by January it's 5:00. In March it will be 4:55, and in April it will be 4:45. Maktub! (It is written!)

The rest of the swim was decent, as I found some good rhythm during the 1000m Snorkel/Fins/Paddles.

Next was the meeting with PK. Awesome talk, I'm feel'n it. I'll give the water a little taste/smell test for the 70.3 series this summer. Gonna be sweeeet! Cyclocross, yeah that's right + my dolphin transformation = great fun and a wicked awesome season starting to brew on the stove. Now that I've got the ingredients for this stew, it's time to be a prep chef. Remember to take the nasty centre bit out of the garlic cloves.

Some great energy work in the afternoon and I was grounded for a little fun on the treadmill....45 minutes base (4:30 pace).

Work from 3:30-6:30 and then a visit with the car sponsors. (The Ol' man and my Gran.)

Tonight's sunset was out of this world. I'll have the camera with me next time.

Now it's bed time. Catchya in the dream world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Rising

There ya go. That's the day, that's the theme.

I woke up this morning to even more fog than yesterday and I knew it would be a sweet day. After my mandatory oatmeal with yoghurt, I headed up to Mt. Tolmie to get a feel for the day.

What a sweet day it is. I remembered something my ski coach from Guelph told me about the off season and technique. He told me to make every stride as perfect as I possibly could. Perfect technique on every stride. EVERY STRIDE. Every stride is better than the one before it. I guess it's all about being present in what I'm doing, always. Every stroke is perfect....

That's what I was thinking this morning in the pool. I was also trying to be very conscious of the whereabouts of my hands. Be in your hands, and know where they are. Super sensitivity to kinesthetic awareness.

Yesterday's run had smooth written all over it. An hour on the treads at base pace breathing slowly leaves me feeling great. Springstein's "The Rising" was a must listen for this one

This afternoon I will be doing a base run with the group out at Beaver Lake. Sharpie will be racing, so there will be some serious chirping coming from this direction.

I'll leave ya with some pictures of "The Rising."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Post Numero Uno

The past couple mornings it has been really foggy. I love that. Something about fog is just plain awesome.

Swim this morning: Absolute Awesomeness

It's sweet to be back swimming with the group at Commonwealth Place. The group is a blast from the past with lots of great energy; and the Neil (swim master) Harvey/ Patrick (the man) Kelly combination on deck is unstoppable.
This morning's set was the standard intro to fall building session including some drills, 500 pull's, and my absolute favourite, breast stroke with a pull bouy. Short little session of Hard Core apres swim and it doesn't get any better than that.

For breakfast I created this brew called "Buttaple Pork." All you need to do is throw some leftover roasted butternut squash, some fresh applesauce, and a pork chop or two into a pan, mix it up with a little seasoning, and you've got deliciousness baby, yeah.

This afternoon will consist of a treadmill run where I hold my breath for as many footsteps as possible. Reduced breathing works with swimming, how about running? It'll be in the nature of an hour with a little build in the middle.

Then I'll be attending at OBRec and back home for some more eating.

It's sunny again. I love Victoria.
I am now on the interwebnet. This will be exciting.