Sunday, June 29, 2008

A few fun days . . .

and we're back!

The first 1/2 experience is officially complete: preparation, race, reflect, recover.

Being the first 1/2 I was in a new world as far as recovery goes. This past week has been all about feeling where the body is, almost a hyper-awareness to each and every receptor.

The day after a race I like to hop in the water for a flush swim. For me this seems to work even better than complete rest. Blood and lymph flow, expansion of the intracellular space, these are good things.

I kept things light for Tuesday and Wednesday with low intensity 3-3.5k swims and lots of stretching in the lower leg / upper rib departments. Wednesday afternoon we were coached by Elizabeth through another awesome Hatha practice. I always walk away from these sessions feeling fantastic.

Swim volume up again on Thursday, this time to a whopping 4k. I felt good enough for a run in the afternoon, so laced up the kicks and went for a spin on the local trails. 45 minutes was enough. Legs almost there.

Friday. Ok, time for a real swim. It felt great to be back doing some work in the water. Home for sleep, and out for a ride. 3.5 through the waterfront and return through Central Saanich.

The Tall Ships are in town! Friday evening was extra cool, in the warm summer evening kind of way. Walking through the docks, checking out boats, talking about life, these are the sweet things. Thanks for a great evening.

Saturday. Real swim, real ride, short run off the bike. It's all there. Fantastic day. Somehow we landed a guided tour through the massive US Coast Guard Tall Ship. Definitely cool. Chill sesh on the roof, reflect on the day, swap a few thoughts, watch the mountains disappear, and a cruise ship multiply (twice). Another spectacular day.

Sunday. Base run with some steady state, and an ice. Base runs have always been one of my favorite training sessions. So many great things about them. Sunday afternoon naps are also my favorite napping sessions. So many great things about those too.

Rest well

Thursday, June 26, 2008

morning thoughts

Eyes of the Ocean,
A deep blue green,
I stare out to her,
She stares back to me.

Heart of the mountains,
Source strength within,
She holds the trees,
Against her skin.

Soul of the fire,
A pure golden hue,
Her voice unheard,
To all spare few.

A cry, A call,
For us to care,
She asks for little,
Just please, be aware.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spiced Chai

My first Chai Tea experience was in Mr. Kaneen's grade 6 class when we served Chai Tea at an exhibit on Nepal.

I can remember Seb and I had an awesome time working on this project. When asked why we chose Nepal for our project, our answer was simple, "The Mountains, obviously." Even back then I was mesmerized by the mountains.

Sitting down between Yoga and work, I just poured a glass of tea. A few moments later I could hear birds singing. Or are those bells? Wait, the sound is coming from close by. The tea is making a sound.

The sounds of Chai Tea.

Today I was absolutely inspired to observe the progress of Murray at Oak Bay. I remember our first appointment in January when walking was a total challenge. 6 months later and fit as ever. Well done!

I started with another elderly gentleman today who's in a similar situation. Having seen the positive changes happen earlier this year, I am looking forward to the new program. Change your thoughts, change your life.

With the last few days as recovery, I have had more time to spend in OBRec. Night shift tonight.

Rest well.

Monday, June 23, 2008

one more funny thing

Do you think animals dream?

Rex was just kindof almost barking. I turned around to see who's outside. He's fast asleep.

Proof enough for me. Dogs are awesome.

Rest well.

p l a y p l a y p l a y p l a y p l a y

Stiff legs? It's vacation time, time to go on a trip. Time to find out what's happening in there, and what can be done to heal. Eyes closed, body awake, mind open.

Bring the non-local right into now, right here. Follow it closely, so closely you begin to see through it's own. This is a vacation we can take at any time.

Just like any trip, we prepare first with a few breaths.

We begin to listen. Listen to ourSelf, our body, and the world around us.

How much time do we spend sending off, spreading some message or thought to the earth and everything on and within it?

It seems as though one must consciously make an effort to listen, while turning off the ears.

Earful of dog tongue. It's play time. Thanks to Rex and Kona for a fun playful day.

Eat, flush swim, stretch, eat, walk to the park, play, nap, eat, play, nap, eat, OBRec, dinner, play, race report, eat, yoga, play, bed.

Rest well.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Something new

The NB 1/2 started with a blast, a Howitzer blast to be specific. It was enough to shock a quick 300m out of anyone.

I finished absolutely wasted with a smile. Awesome race.

Big thanks to LifeSport and Race Director, John Bothelo, for putting together a fantastic event. All the volunteers were excellent in the most awesome of ways.

Thanks to Elk and Beaver Lakes, the Saanich Peninsula, and the Lake trails for being there. It was great to spend some quality time with each of you.

Thanks to all who came to cheer on. It was great to see and hear you on the course. One of my favorite things about racing is sharing the post race stories. Thanks for listing. Fun.

Definitely the #1 Performance of the weekend was Mix Master Mike Neill. #4 at Ironman Coure d'Alene. That's wickedness dude. Absolute wickedness.

Big Matt Sharpie also put on a wicked show down in Enumclaw, with the overall sprint victory. Absolute wickedness big dawg.

Congrats to all who raced this weekend. Live it, &

Rest well.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

shaved and tapered

mmm . . . the pleasant aroma of happy dog breath.

A few of my rituals on the day before are sleeping in, and eating a big mid-day meal. The big mid-day meal is now pretty much standard for any normal training day. And the sleep in . . . well I slept in today and I think I've slept in the day before in the past, so it counts as a ritual too.

Today Rex and Kona were the key members of team "superchill day before race."

The team accompanied me to Hamsterly beach this afternoon to pick up a race kit and check out the venue. Rex suggested a little bit of visualization, so we did a little recon mission for a few k's out on the run loop. Awesome suggestion Rex.

I think somehow our sense of smell is closely attached to memory. As we were driving back to base camp, I remembered those drives up through the Caribou with a happy dog in the back seat.

"Here ya go Kipling. I snagged you some extra cheese from the BC Ferries Buffet."

Cheesy dog breath.

Rest well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice

Some will be spending this evening dancing around Stonehenge.

I will be spending the evening chillin' out, max'n, relax'n, all cool with a couple cool dogs from the sweet side of the school. I'm back to rooming with Rex and Kona until Tuesday morning.

Big shout out of awesomeness to:

Mix Master Mike Neill who is racing Ironman Coure d'Alene on Sunday.

The junior crew down in "the Claw" (Enumclaw). Race it up.

All our National Team representing for a payday down in the Des Moins WC.

Everything and everyone else for making this an awesome week.

Rest well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Fin

Just like the picture, we can zoom in on any piece of the world and be mesmerized by it's intricacy, and infinite awesome beauty.

It takes very little time, no time at all really, just a moment within a moment. When we open our eyes we can see something more than just a pebble, twig, or puddle.

The beauty is always there, but most often we are far too occupied to notice or bother. Occupied with what? Who knows. But in our own minds, at this moment, it is the most important thing in the world.

How about being occupied by nothing? The feeling could be a simple openness to allow.

Today I officially started my taper to this weekends race. I have come up with a number of questions and concerns, most of which I really don't care about. It just seems like for this sort of thing one might have a few questions. So now if I need to ask a question, I have one or two ready.

I have a fairly good understanding of my freshly proposed race strategy. It's as simple as they come. Imagine the most simple strategy, then take all the extra stuff out.

From here there are few words to describe.

Rest well.

Start Thursday

"Wow! I didn't know there was anything that beautiful around here."

I was sitting in the back seat as we were driving home from a backpacking trip up island. Reviewing the pictures on my camera, I paused and zoomed in on the top left corner, almost as far as it would go.

I passed the image to the person sitting next to me.

From here there is an infinity of questions, possibilities, thoughts, and places we can visit.

But for now, it's just a thought to start Thursday.

Rest well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day off

What is the best way to cap off a great block of training?

This time it was a rest day. A sleep in day. My favourite kind of sleep in day. A day where I wake up at the usual time, make breakfast, sit down for a moment, look outside, see the sky, hear the birds, feel the air, go back up stairs and crawl back in bed, returning to my dreams.

Ahhh, wake up number 2 always feels so good. That is just what the body ordered. Rest.

It is so easy to convince oneself of just about anything.

Last night I remember thinking, "This has been 3 solid weeks. I think I could use a day completely off from training. Tomorrow would be a great day to take off."

Fill out the workout log.

Schedule arrives. Stevo - swim tomorrow am, bike in afternoon with 4 x 10'.

Well you know what, tomorrow would also be a good day for some swimming and biking. I could go for that. I'm looking forward to it. Tomorrow will be one more great day of training leading up to a sweet race.

Message on workout log. Stevo - rest. Tomorrow is OFF! Bold, Capitals, and an Exclamation Point.

Ok. That works too. I will rest.

The other day Patrick was talking to us about steamed vegetables. How delicious is a steamed carrot? Have you ever tasted a steamed carrot? Not just a steamed carrot. A fresh bit of nourishment, straight from the earth.

When we eat something straight from the ground, straight from the earth, it is as though we are stating, clarifying, and understanding our real relationship with the earth. We are as much the Earth as the Earth is us. We work together. We exist as a team. One thrives with the other, not in competition, but in harmony.

For us to take complete care of ourSelf, we are taking care of the Earth. With respect for ourSelf, we respect the Earth. We are in the Earth, just as the Earth is in us.

For the past few days I have been on a Ginger kick. What does ginger taste like?

Quite often, in our rushed state of affairs, times are few and far between where we actually taste food. Food simply goes in as if eating were a chore. How about time to taste? Time to appreciate the food, the nourishment, the gift given to us from Earth.

Time to taste the food. One of my #1 staples goes by name of lentil. Try brewing up a batch of lentils with a couple raw slices of ginger in the water. Definitely a treat. Sometimes simple tastes are the greatest. What does this one food taste like? maybe in combination with just one other food?

A resting, ginger lentil eating, muffin making, OB Rec working, Tich Naat reading day.

Rest well.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cat Nap

Bikes to Boats,
Trig to Calculus,
Buck Knife to Rosin,
Beethoven to McMaster,
Baseball to MSR Dragonfly,
Pachabelle to Potato Cannons,
Rockets to Egg Drops to Wrestling,
Strathcona Park to Forbidden Plateau to West Coast Trail

Just a few of the cool childhood memories I am grateful for on Fathers Day.

Beautiful day here in the Capital City. I think we really lucked in as there was a symphony of fog horns playing all morning along the water.

Nice base run in the Beacon Hill sun this morning. Home to refuel and a nap. It was one of those awesome "no-alarm-set-mid-day-in-the-sun" naps. I woke up to find Kitten occupying way more than 1/2 the bed and covers.

I think we were both on the same wavelength this afternoon.

Sweet afternoon swim at a nice and warm Elk Lake. Hamsterly is looking ready for action next Sunday.

Rest well.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lean Ground Beef

Absolutely awesome training the past few days.

Friday morning's swim was of the draft pack variety. "Now what am I going to do with Stevo. Throw on your fins and swim with that group." Ok.

The workout changed. Sometimes, draft pack swimming can be all physical. The technical aspects, high elbow, push through the back, etc still float around, but the emphasis is definitely on FASTER! This time however, with the assistance of fins, I was able to focus more closely on form.

Back to the same swim equation, "Form with Fatigue." Suppose fatigue comes from the set's intensity and layout, and form comes from our mind. Why then, if the mind is nonlocal, does form generally change with fatigue? Swim fast.

Easy spin in and around Beacon Hill, experimenting with the new aero position.

Track workout. Yesterday afternoon we had the sweet opportunity to do a track workout with Hendrik de Villiers. Definitely cool. The workouts were 4 x 400m, 4 x 800m, 4 x 400m or 4 x 1000m with plenty rest. We ran the first 8 repeats with Hendrik, then JP finished with the K's. Perfect time, perfect place. Thanks for the great workout.

This morning's swim was 1 x the big, 3 x the small as: fast out, smooth around, fast back. Word bird drops a card reading, "A L M O S T."

This afternoon we had a sweet ride out to East Sooke and Silver Spray. Pat on the back to the whole group for hanging in there for what was a pretty long hilly ride. I was really happy to finish the race pace pieces and join back in to the group ride. Thanks.

The bike efforts today were 20 minutes SS to Tempo, and 40 minutes Race Pace, spread out within the base ride.

The Race Pace effort felt awesome, as time seemed to disappear. Today it was about synchronizing the pedaling rhythm with body and road, until we were working together, with the same purpose.

Home to an ice bath, polenta, and OBB LGB Burgers.

Rest well.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Beats & Balance

5 Beats, 2 Oak Bay Butcher chorizo sausages, 4 potatoes, 1/2 a crown of broccoli.

Everyone knows that when you boil beats, the water turns purple. Once I met someone who told me the energy in food comes from its colour. I've spent a little time pondering this one, but the latest thoughts are not yet ready to be published.

What I can tell you is that beat water is delicious, deliciously dark purple. It's similar to a beat tea, if you could imagine such a thing. It is surprisingly sweet, and a little earthy, but that could just be the dirt I didn't bother washing off.

Perhaps the extra dirt minerals will help provide some direction on the new turf.

As I settle into the new abode a number of positive changes have occurred.

Example: I have been finding myself frequently lost.

Where am I? I think I know this street. I think I turn left here. No. Right. Right? Nope. Left. Oh wait, that wasn't the street I thought it was. I'll go back there, where I knew where I was. Left this time. Ok, this is good.

Now I'm here. But where is here?

All I can be sure of is that I am here.

Well I was here a moment ago, but now where am I? It sure looks, feels, and sounds like I'm here. Pass on that stuff for a moment. Ahhh. . . Right, I still have swim practice.

Ok, so I'll assume for the time being that I'm here. I have swim practice there. If I follow that road, I will end up there. Ok, lets go.

Rest well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cats Dogs

Are you a cat or a dog person? You can only be one. Nope.

Rex and Kona were sweet as can be. Olly and Kitten are definitely cool cats.

I am both a cat and a dog person.

Rest well.

Monday, June 9, 2008

silent voice

Ahhh . . . back home to the beautiful windy city.

A few highlights from the weekend:

Awesome ride out to Horseshoe Bay and the surrounding area on Saturday. There is definitely some good riding in Vancouver, especially with an expert tour guide like Andrew. Remember the 4 D's: Dive, Duck, Dip, and Dodge your way through traffic, cross walks, and yellow lights until open West Van roads.

Long swim in the salty, open air 137.5m Kits pool. Thanks for the comp entry.

Watching over 8 hours of awesome racing on Sunday (U23 Men & Women, Elite Men & Women)

Cheering to the point of vocal chord destruction.

Thanks to all who provided nourishment this weekend. Lasagna is the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions. (Cookies are the power bar of champions.)

Well done to our Canadian Elite National Teams. Thanks for the inspiring races.

Thanks to the coaches and event volunteers who helped prepare both our athletes and race course for the World Championships.

Rest well.

Friday, June 6, 2008

baseball glove, batting cage, and hot dogs.

Another great day of training here at UBC.

Thanks to the training partners for some enjoyable work and conversation out on the trails.

Today's swim was of the Short Course variety. Translation: artificially fast splits. None the less, it still feels good to see a small number on the clock.

Ride was of the utmost spin variety, through the waterfront pathways in Vancouver. Nice. There were these funny signs along the way, a bicycle surrounded by circle with a line through it. Oops . . . Close my eyes.

The run was great as we tried something new. No distance measured. The workout was 9 x 1K. For the first repeat we ran what felt like a 3:11, and drew a line. Ok, that's the starting point.

Now, descend in threes down to all out speed for #'s 7, 8, & 9. It was a really positive exercise in pacing. Without the track, there was no constant reminder of either distance travelled or remaining. Just run, Fast.

Feel good, and look at the clock when you're finished. I think this will be a useful skill going into a longer race. Comfortable speed. Smiling speed. Fast speed.

Rest well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Running along the rippled sand of an ebb tide.

Before a long base run, rarely do I know where my feet or mind will end up. Leaving the door, we both begin in the same place, generally a beautiful chaotic twirl of leaves twisting in a westerly wind.

There is a separation which occurs, a separation leading to union. The legs become free, the body becomes alive. At the beginning the mind wanders with the feet, in a different place, where there is no time.

Stepping along the stones, there is one breath, one step forward where the separation begins to unite both the feet and mind. From now on, both are travelling together on this run.

Today my run began in a foggy place, with little clarity. Perfect west coast base running weather. I made my way to the stairs, stones, and pebbles of Wreck Beach. A saturated beach graciously greeted me with slippery rocks and seaweed.

Almost always, west coast beach stones look the same, giving no particular consideration to where we happen to be; whether trekking the Southern half of the Juan de Fuca trail, or going for a stroll along Jericho. All wet beach stones seem to emit the same beauty, much like rain seems to sound the same no matter where we are.

How many times has a moment been shared with wet beach stones along the west coast, just as I experienced today?

How far do I run, before turning around, back to the place and time where this run began?

Out to the edge of the sand, almost 100' from the moored freighters. Splash through the flooding streams. Further and further until I look up.

No more than 4' away sits a massive bald eagle, perched atop a barnacle encrusted rock, about to shake off the salty spray. We stared at each other, beak to beak, eye to eye for a moment or two before parting ways. It was time for me to turn around. Now I knew, I had come to meet a friend, share the beach, water, and sand, then return with the wind to a never before seen horizon.

Back to the place and time where we began, having learned and experienced one more piece.

We are continuing with our theme of great training over the past few days.

Yesterdays swim was almost a breakthrough, before my face to face encounter with one of the trees extruding from the big island. Our ride through East Sooke was phenomenal, as the rides out in that area always are. The core change is coming.

All my congratulations to our Canadian Juniors for a great day of racing!

Time for nourishment.

Rest well.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Yesterday I was asked the question: "If you could wake up tomorrow and be the best at anything, what would it be?"

I was in the just before bed, chilling out stage of my day and for that moment I thought, "If I could be the best surfer in the world tomorrow morning, without doing any work, that would be pretty cool."

Traveling from beach to beach, surfing the same water everywhere in the world; the same waves a 10 year old could be learning to surf, across the globe. On the water, hangin' 10.

Yeah, that would be pretty cool.

This morning was one of those days in the pool where I had to work for every last second. The speed was coming, but it was far from easy.

I thought: "You know what? I love this. I love the hard work. I love sinking my teeth into something challenging. The feeling of approaching a barrier, and breaking through. The hard work is one of the number one reasons why I love this. It is one of the reasons I chose this sport." Honestly, this is it.

The days when things come easily are great, rewarding, thrilling, exciting. With the work, we find the place where all is calm, smooth, and flowing in perfect togetherness.

Surfing is a lot more than just riding the wave. It's about becoming united with the wave. There is no struggle to surf the wave, you simple ride. The rider and the wave are together in unison, singing the same song, moving the same way, with the same purpose.

We have had some great training during the last few days. It is great to have A-Russ back fully fueled from "the (revel)Stoke," + the whole group is looking fit and ready for a good week(end) in Van-city.

Find your wave, hop on for a ride, and rest well.