Thursday, February 28, 2008
I watched it at least 5 times, laughing harder every time through.
Laugh lots and Rest well.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The first one happened right before our last 300 of a 4 x 300 drafting set. "Here's a quote I want you guys to think about as you swim this last one:"
-The human species has survived on this planet because of our ability to overcome pain.
This was a little different than the usual subtle hints which make you think and WORK. Every now and then Neil pulls out the black and white. This is how it is. Wickedly Awesomeness.
I had a little chuckle over the second quote. Our cool down was to be a "Buzzzzz cool down." To me this sounded like an oxymoron. How can we cool down with a buzz set? Who cares; just swim it, and the why will come after you've finished. Sure enough, the why was waiting for us 600m later.
Frequency run (nice 35 minuter), snag some grub from PacSport (thank you), operation hugification (weights to the eXtreme), 30 minute nap in the athlete resource room (comfortable couch), bike (6 x observatory with some accelerations from the 2nd speed bump), and yoga with Elizabeth. Sweetness.
Now I am seriously considering walking over to Safeway, purchasing a pie, and eating it (all).
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
In 50m you have hardly enough time to feel anything, and if you do, it's over before you really have time to evaluate. When swimming 100s, there is just enough time to have a thought or two. But, if you practice, you may have none at all. Some of the most challenging (and funnest) games are those you can play against yourself.
This was a set where we could play the game. My splits hovered between 1:11.2 & 1:11.8 for the most part. Next time through they will be 1:09.0. Maktub!
Aaron absolutely rocked the set with a continuous descending splits from 1:11 down to 1:07s. Nice work.
After the swim, Andrew and I hit the trails for another great cyclocross ride through Camosun, Royal Roads, Flemming Beach, Esquimalt, and back along the goose. Great route for 2:45 on the Papster.
Elk and Beaver lakes were like glass when we arrived around 3pm which tempted us to make a splash. But first we run: 20 minutes easy - base, 40 minutes steady state, 20 minutes base - easy. We made a splash with 10 minutes of icing, which I needed to follow up with 15 minutes in a hot epsome salt bath.
Follow up . . . on closer inspection off Hatley Castle results there are a few more props to be handed out:
Kyla also broke the Jr. Womens record with the same split as Alex. I missed the sprint finish so I suppose the title may be shared.
Gaby rocked the course running the same split as in the Pioneer 8K one month ago. Given the small hill at Hatley Castle, this is a sweet result.
Now I meet with my friends Po Sum On, and Kwan Loong.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Early start with a 400TT in the pool. Not the performance I was capable of, but useful none the less.
I spent the few hours prior to our run preparing for a solid effort of 7 x 1000m with 5 to 6 x 400m, or something to that extent. It's a funny thing, when I am expecting a hard workout I really put in the time and effort to make sure I will be prepared for it. If it's just a simple base or steady state effort, I have a little more relaxed attitude in preparing. I don't pay as close attention to when I eat, stretch, or hydrate before the practice.
It turns out our track work was a "feel good" workout: 20 minutes easy, 20 minutes Steady State, drills, strides and hop on the track for 8 x 400m descending from 5k to 3k pace. Beauty day for a beauty run. Sometimes you need a feel good workout.
This situation was a bit of an eye opener for me. Of course we will prepare for different workouts accordingly, that goes without saying. Imagine the possibilities if we were to put the same kind of preparatory energy into our "simple base or steady state" runs that we do for our hard track workouts. The same goes for recovery.
Scotty and I flushed the run with a 60 - 70 minute spin while watching a video of Ironman Canada 1997. That race actually came up in conversation today at OBRec, and I was able to sound intelligent by knowing a few of the stats. good timing.
Solid effort on the bike. We added one loop to our W-WS practice, and subtracted the Willis Pt. repeats. I figured since there were no hills, we could push a 1/2 decent pace around Wallace-West Saanich. Shout out to Scotty, who kept the pressure on the pedals for 4 solid loops. Good workout. Also, thanks to PK for lending me a sweet set of ultra fast Bontarager wheels. Feel the power.
I woke up from my mid-Saturday-mid-afternoon nap to the post race leg feeling. Therefore, it must have been a good workout. Time for an easy (and I mean EZ) swim at Crystal. 3k later we were flushed and ready for the Hatley 8K.
Rex and Kona took me for a relaxing walk to the park where we had fun chasing squirrels, and howling at the moon.
Hatley Castle 8K.
To sum it up quickly, I was disappointed with my final performance and result. The pre-race prep was right on, warm - up was great, fast start, all face cards. At the end of the day though, I was happy to have been taught a few important lessons.
Dope, Sick, Phat, Brattta Taattaaat props out to the break through star Sharpie. That was a solid race buddy. Kirsty broke the Womens course record by 21 seconds; that clearly deserves a few props as well. Alex set a Junior Womens record too. Nice one.
Another hand shake to the Nordic super star Andrew Russell who finish 3rd Senior man at the 30th Whistler Cross Country Ski Loppet only 4 minutes back from Tom McCarthey. That's a good result.
So in conclusion, Sunday was a great day.
After the race I hit the gym to burn off some steam, and take a crack at the the red weights + a couple bonus pies on either side.
I enjoyed Sunday dinner with my good friends the Millers. Killian, great to see you back back in Victoria, if only for a short while. Like I've said before, it's a powerful thing to feel grounded with the roots. Keep 'er going strong in Waterloo. You're doing great work out there.
Now I sleep. rest well.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The perfect practice is this one.
The perfect time to choose how we feel is now.
The perfect time to choose our actions is now.
The perfect time for training is when we do it.
The perfect time for rest is when we do it.
The perfect time to have your feet up the wall is when we do it.
The perfect time to ice is when we do it.
Every practice is perfect.
Every day is perfect.
Every drop of water we drink is perfect.
Every Vitamin, Mineral, CHO, Pro-, and Lipid we consume is perfect.
Every breath of air we breathe is perfect.
The perfect moment will forever be now.
If we consider that time and space were created along with the creation of the Universe, then before creation there must have been an existence without time and space. Although it is a difficult concept to imagine, this framework was not destroyed during creation and is still a part of who and what we are. Our temporal and spacial presence co-exists along side this no space-time setting.
Therefore, if time is created as equal from day to day, moment to moment, then each moment is equally valuable to every other moment. This is why every moment is perfect, and every practice is perfect.
Then, there can be no such thing as good, or bad practices. All of them provide strength for us to cross the river, climb the mountain, crest the plateau, and find infinitely higher peaks.
Now is the perfect time for regeneration before swim practice.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Imagine a curve where power and strength originate at their peak in your core. As you move away from the core along the axis, functional power grows, due to precision. Your hands are the peak precision instrument. By the time your power and energy reaches your hands, it is so concentrated it needs to fit into a small delicate place where it can be transferred to the water. I think I need to draw a diagram this for it to make sense anywhere but in my head.
Time for a pencil and paper.
Every moment is a window which through mindfulness, we see our true Self.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
That was the theme to our last Yoga practice coached by Lisa Banks until Fall 08. Lisa is a phenomenal Yoga instructor who has taught me Hatha style Yoga from a very unflexible square one. Thanks for the patient coaching, especially during my rookie season.
Another Thank You to Dr. Guan, my TCM doctor, for fitting me into his schedule yesterday on such short notice. A good mechanic is priceless.
Now, today's training:
Our main set in the pool was 2 x (3 x 500) on 7:00. It was slow to start, but with some focus I was able to finish fast.
Easy run at the lakes where I was reminded of yesterday's sweet fartlek. 25 minutes to loosen up, and by 30 I felt awesome.
Next was weights, and roll back home to play with the dogs.
One of our operation hugification exercises is the straight leg dead lift. This exercise takes a lot of kinesthetic awareness to "feel it in the right place." When done correctly it is ideal for strengthening the hamstring and gluteal muscle groups.
This afternoon during our big gear work I began to notice the positive effect of our dead lifts. Pulling the pedals smoothly through the back end of your pedal stroke helps eliminate dead spots and is necessary for efficient cycling. It also requires strong hamstrings.
2 + 2 = Let's climb Lemmon seated, big chain ring. How about 53 x 15?
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Imagine of how much time goes into preparing the race car for a grand prix event. Absolutely every nut and bolt must be checked twice, then checked again. The engine is assembled, disassembled, and reassembled until running perfectly. What about after the race? I imagine it's a similar process of careful attention to every minute detail.
That car is precious to the team. It is the single most important piece of equipment they have. The race car is quite similar to our own bodies as high performance, professional athletes. What an amazing gift to be given on our very first birthday. Remember how precious the body is, and take care.
Nice day of training in the SUN! New swim standard for 30 x 50 on 60/40. Now hold the form, and set a higher standard next week.
While cycling up and down the observatory we saw what looked like a hawk doing barrel rolls, flips, and turns. Birds must have playful emotions.
The highlight of our fartlek run was finishing the 5K pace 4 minute piece and laughing. That was some good running. Fast is fun.
Time to let the engine cool down, and reassemble for tomorrow.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Just a quick note to say how much I love hearing stories of things, big or small, coming together in all our lives.
Awesome conversation with MOW on the phone. April 26th is just about tomorrow, which is basically today.
Recovery swim with my very own lane in a cool, calm, Commonweath pool.
Sunny walk to the park with the ever energized Rex and Kona.
I captured an awesome picture of the Olympic Mountain's today. Instead of posting it, I encourage you to wake up tomorrow, and observe the beauty of the world wherever you are. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a moment of experiencing beauty must be worth at least a thousand pictures.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
When I was young I used to forget the most simple things all the time, including just that, time. Remember summer vacation and forgetting what day it was? A couple days in and I would have completely lost track of time. A couple weeks, and I had to think for a while before deciding what month it was. Time was irrelevant. There were no commitments, no obligations, no expectations, other than be back home by dusk ish.
In modern Western society there is propensity towards reaction or anticipation based living. We react to events, "Oh, that was hard," or anticipate the future, "This is going to be tough." There is a place in between called now where there exists no past, and no future. Imagine a world with no restriction of time. There is just this moment, a perfect moment to live.
Saturday started with a solid ride. We cranked it up to 5 x the backside of Willis Pt. and added a little more intensity to our 3 x Wallace - West Saanich loop. Backside splits were: 9:24, 9:23, 8:12, 8:08, 7:50 with my trusty steed, Papaya.
By our 3rd WWS loop we were rolling along at a strong SS effort. Just before the Buchart Gardens turnoff we passed a commuter with painners, mirrors, the full MEC deal. About 60 seconds later, the cyclist rode past our pace line with a cheerful "Good Morning!"
I thought, "This isn't happening," and hopped in the draft only to find his pace instantly slow to 15km/h. Ok, after 3000' of hard climbing that's enough to make my blood boil. Big chain ring, and crush the hill. Dropped like a rock. The loop built to race effort and felt awesome!
Let's just say I could feel the goodness of our ride during our afternoon swim.
Flush the legs with a little fetch and it's time for bed.
Sunday began with a sunrise walk to the park and leftover spaghetti for breakfast. Name the time or the place and leftovers are my favourite. The run was at a beautiful Beacon Hill, and by 65 minutes my legs started to loosen up. Adaptation always happens, you just need to give it time. Andrew and I built to 20 minutes of steady state to finish off. When you both know the workout, it's cool how the pace can build just as prescribed without saying a word.
Next, we finished a cycle of Operation Hugification and hit the water for 2K loose.
2 weeks of good building, adaptation, Bazan Bay fast 5K, and Tucson!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Today's theme was "Back to Work." It's amazing what a few days of recovery does to help the body adapt.
Our swim was short course, as a Western Canadian swim meet is on right now at Commonwealth Place. In the Coach Harvey swim fast dictionary short course translates to "Eye Opener." Today's Eye Opener set was 10x:
75 smooth on 1:10 (or 1:15)
100 fast on 1:10 (or 1:15)
I decided to take a crack at the 1:10 pace time. When you're in the mountains, you never know when you may look up to find that plateau has begun to rise.
I was able to hold it together for the 1st 6 x through, then had to settle for the 1:15 pace time to finish it off. The set went by in less than a blink of an eye.
Next, Andrew and I payed our dues at the Observatory and rolled through the Prospect lake loop for a nice West Coast style (wet) ride.
Bike talk at OBB, eat, drink, nap, eat, drink, and it's run time.
We added one more km to the total volume for this week. Andrew and I cruised the 1st three finishing in 3:12, 3:08, 3:07. The next three were a good effort and given the wet conditions we faired well: 3:01, 3:01, 2:57. I think we could take a second or two off these times due to wetness. A couple weeks ago I wondered what to think of track workouts. Now they are a definitely a favourite session for the week.
Back at the house Rex and Kona said, "Stevo, you need to stretch out the legs. Can you please take us for a walk to the park?" Somehow animals know just what you need. Our walk was a great way to flush the legs.
Enjoy the evening and Rest well.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Lemon Stats (per 100g):
- Vitamin B : Thiamine .04 mg.;
- Riboflavin : Trace;
- Vitamin C : 50 mg.
- Calcium : 40 mg.
- Phosphorus : 22 mg.
- Carbohydrates : 8.7 gm.
- Protein : .9 gm.
- Calories : 32
Health Benefits of Lemon :
- As a natural antiseptic, the juice of the lemon will destroy harmful bacteria found in the cuts and other areas of infection.
- For toothache, apply fresh lemon juice on the painful are.
- For skin problems, the juice of the lemon should be applied directly to the skin and allowed to dry especially for acne and eczema, then remove with water with olive oil added. The juice is also good for the removal of blackheads, freckles and wrinkles.
- Lemon juice when applied to hair after rinsing it , will give shine and volume to your hair.
- Lemon juice helps to prevent and cure osteoarthritis.
- Helps to prevent diabetes.
- Lemon juice helps in preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis.
- Lemon juice is a great liver tonic.
Mt. Lemmon (Arizona) Stats:
Distance: Up to 26 miles one way
Start / Finish: Turn north on Catalina Highway from Tanque Verde Road, on Tucson’s east side, and travel north 4 ½ miles to parking area at National Forest boundary (Milepost 0), 1 mile north of intersection of Snyder Road and Catalina Highway
Route: Ride up the mountain on excellent road to chosen turn-around point; descend mountain back to start
Terrain: 5% average grade, continuous hill climb on excellent road.
Features: Outstanding views of Tucson Valley and surrounding area from the various vista lookouts along the roadway up the 9,157 foot mountain.
It's going to be a blast!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
One of my previous lives was as a cat. I love an afternoon siesta with the warming sun on my face.
I hope this finds you well rested, and happy. It's been a few, so here's my story.
Before taking violin lessons with Barb McDougall, I took lessons from Jennifer Fischer. I can remember one particular sunny afternoon Jennifer and I were working our way through a certain song. I had been on it for a couple weeks and was hitting a bit of a wall. It was jiving, just not thriving. To my relief Jennifer said , "Let's leave this piece for 3 weeks. Don't look at it, or think about it. We'll come back to it when you're ready." So that was it, we just left it and moved on.
A week later we went through the scales, arpeggios, chromatics, the standard warm-up routine, and pretty soon it was time to play some music. The second piece Jennifer picked was the one I was having trouble with the week before. I hadn't played it for a week and wondered what would happen. I made my way through to the tricky section, and just kept on playing. Sweet.
Swimming is not like this. If I were to leave the pool for three weeks, or one for that matter, I'm pretty sure my stroke would not improve. However, this week Monday was listed as DAY OFF!! in bold, italics, all capitals, with a few exclamation marks . I took this as a hit; Patrick would like us to take the day off. Usually it's just bold, or just italics, with maybe one exclamation mark. In this case I generally opt for the 3-3.5K regeneration swim.
After one day on dry land, breathing at will, I felt totally refreshed for the pool. Sometimes all it takes to find the flow is moving our conscious thought somewhere else for a short while. The unconscious mind will sort out and deal with all the little details. Meanwhile we connect with our own superconscious, and find the flow.
Yesterday was the PacSport Gala. Scotty, Andrew, Sharpie, and I were the coat check team. We were a little scattered to begin, but by the time the crowds were showing we were functioning like a well oiled machine. We were able to snag a couple plates of Empress style grub too. Bonus!
Another highlight for Tuesday was our run in the sun; not just sun, warm sun, short worthy sun. I would have to say it's almost time for the freckle migration. T - 3.5 weeks until Tucson!
Today was another great active recovery day of swimming and cycling. Now we have one more day to recover. Let's choose for it to be a relaxing, and restful one.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
We just finished a solid build, the first one with some real hard work. It only becomes better from here. You know how the song goes, fast is fun.
Saturday's Snorkel Swim.
Breath out from your nose when you have a snorkel on. APPL. H. BIO 3400 Experiment: Breathe in and out through a paper towel roll during your next 20-30 minute treadmill run. Think lung structure and guess what will happen. funny.
Saturday's highlight was most certainly three times the back side of Willis Point, fully loaded with spare tubes, bananas, bottles, and fenders on the cross bike. The idea was to descend from one to three. One was a good effort, and the only way to descend is to go faster. The only way to go faster is to pedal faster. There's a simple formula which adds to the reasons why cycling is absolute sweetness.
Kerry kept Andrew and I honest on the Wallace/West Saanich loop. Nice riding Kerry.
We finished with some steady state running off the bike and feeding time.
Today calls for a big shout out to Kirsty who placed 1st overall in the Vancouver 1/2 Marathon. Nice running! Clearwater? Yes, I do believe so.
Back home it went a little something like this: base run, operation hugification cont'd, flush swim, and sauna.
For the scholastically inclined, keep it up for another week! Break from reading is around the corner.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Great training today, and this week in general.
As the volume and intensity builds, new challenges arise. The body finds a hard work groove, and intense workouts become almost routine. Just find the zone in your head, and the body will adapt. I must confess, at the beginning of the odd practice sometimes I wonder when this adaptation feeling is going to happen. Trust it will, because it always does.
One of the biggest challenges is removing yourself from the fighting mindset that tends to creep in when you begin to fatigue. "If I just fight a little harder, push it more, I can go faster." I think it's useful to find a zone where hard work happens, without the fight. Feel the flow of Good Vibrations. The energy is always there, ready for us to use. We just need to allow it to be part of us, our lives, and our training.
Sometimes it's an absolute necessity to go into what Patrick describes as the dark place and hurt a little (maybe a lot). It's ok; it's good to go there when the situation calls for it. As a species we have found that place again and again when the need to escape thirsty fangs arises. Keep in mind that light place, a place of brilliant limitless energy, and speed.
So, training today.
100m TT: out in a 30.7 back in a 34. Next time lets be real here, out in 29 high, back in 32 high. 1:02 low, maktub.
The main set was 6 x 300 draft pack swimming. Finished it.
Including recovery swims, we'll be just over 30K for the week by Sunday afternoon. With some freshly squeezed intensity, this spells Awesomeness.
Next week is recovery and I can smell the sweet aroma a 400TT for Friday. My prediction is big time PR's across the board.
90 on the rollers created Lk. Kilshaw. Nice smooth base.
15ez; 15 build by 5's to Tempo.
5 x 1000m with some Fartlek (of mostly the speedplay variety) spaced in there.
3:08; 3:07; 3:03(I think); 2:57; 2:54.
By mid season we will descend from 2:57. maktub.
Big ride tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
We swam one of the longest main sets to date this morning. A clean and crisp 8 x 400 looks good in black and white and feels even better when it's finished. Next time I will swim on the faster pace time.
Our swim was followed by an easy run and weights with Scotty and Andrew. My shoulders remembered the swim set during arm raises. It's all a good part of operation hugification. There's something primordially entertaining about weight lifting. Lift rock, now FEEDING TIME.
After feeding time it was roller time. The extra 200Watts from the magnetic resistomatic makes a huge difference when you drop into 53 x 11. Mount Lemmon will be flat by the time we're done with it!
Lisa guided us through a series of Trikonasana poses with our back bodies aligned with the wall after the ride. Maintaining posture while against a wall really makes you work! I like this variation.
Epsoms, Ice, Yams, and Curry.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Blink twice and we're on core strength. Easy core.
Wink once and we're swimming 30 x 50 on 60/40s. You asked for it, here it is. Sweet set. Thanks goes out to Kyla and JP for pushing the pace. Lets build on the good work. Today we held 34's with couple 33's. Next week we hold 33's with a couple 32's. Maktub!
Blink three times and Scotty, Andrew, and I are powering the pedals through what at times felt like Hurricane force winds. Honestly, I would give them Gale force. Fortunately, with our powers combined we control the wind.
One longish blink and we are splashing through the trails at Elk lake. There is something tempting about puddles that eventually becomes addictive. Fun aerobic run with good Steady State towards the end.
Check out Andrew's blog (A-Russ along the side) for a good story on Sunday's flush swim.
s l o o w w i i n g g d o o w w w n n f o o r r r s s s l l l e e e p
Sunday, February 3, 2008
"I only watch high performance sports, and in recent history the Super Bowl has not been high performance, only high spectacle."
Super Solid Sunday Started with 95 minutes of base running at Royal Roads with Andrew. We did some good reconnaissance for the Hatley Castle 8K next week. Love the hills.
The Raise a Reader book drive was all about feast or famine. Either there was a huge line up of cars waiting to drop off books (feast), or no cars at all (famine). It worked out nicely because during times of famine we would feast on all the cookies, granola bars, and muffins provided by Thrifty's. It's great to be around a positive group of people working together for a good cause.
Operation Hugification continued in the gym, and we flushed with a 2ish K swim.
Super Bowl, Chile, Cheese, Nachos, Salsa, Half-Time footy, Ice Cream Cake . . . now it's 8:59 and I'm ready for bed.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
On Friday we had our first 800m TT in the pool. The first time you do a hard effort of a new distance, one of two things will happen. Either you nail it the first time, or you can look forward to nailing it the second time. I'm looking forward to the next one.
We rolled out of Commonwealth Place with a large (by Friday ride standards) and in charge cycling posse comprised of Sharpie, JP, Scotty, Andrew, and Myself. Our highly intimidating gang rocked a 120' base ride of the waterfront variety.
My favourite part about the waterfront loop is Dallas/Beacon Hill when it's wet and windy. Riding along Dallas road into a strong headwind with rain pelting your face feels great. There's nothing fresher than that. Be the wind and go.
Our run was on the UVIC track. The leg speed is coming. How you feel is irrelevant, just keep working 110%. Decide to feel and be strong.
This morning's encouraging quote came from Jeff "Prefontaine" Phillips. After hearing the workout I quietly said to myself, "I'm not sure if I can make the 50's back/free on 45seconds." JP heard me and replied, "Well Stevo, today you will." Simple as that. We did it no problem.
Thanks JP. That's what I'm talking about.
Our ride was just around the 4h mark, with a 15minute run off the bike. Today I learned a new cycling term, that is "Halfwheeling," or "Halfwheeler." A halfwheeler is someone who rides half a wheel length in front of the person next to them. This causes the pace to gradually rise as each rider matches the leading riders half-wheel-ahead pace.
Brent, Andrew, and Scotty . . . Thanks for a great ride.
I think I may unknowingly (now knowingly) be a bit of a halfwheeler.
Nice training today. Time for a snooze.