Thursday, April 30, 2009

a few sweet weeks

I say Thanks.

The past few weeks have been pretty sweet. Our build began with the HPR360 ride, followed by some speed with the North Island Tanks, home for a rest day, and into another great building week.

Our newly formed swim group has been great. It's a Jazz-man-mix-master-MikeNeill-Clint-Creation. The practices are smooth, steady, & everyone seems to be gaining fitness along with speed. "The workouts won't get tougher, but you will." - CL Sweet.

Steady riding & an intro to speed running carried us through Wednesday's threshold & onto Big Gear Saturday.

Waterfront warm up + 53 + 12 + Pat Bay Highway + 3 x 30 + 2 x HPR sightings + pushing the speed traps + waterfront cool down = a great ride. Home for a snack, pool for a swim, package pickup, dinner, rest, & ready to race.

Wake up, warm up, race it up. Coach Jazz had very specific instrucitions for the race. "Just mix it up."

Great to hit up Beacon Hill for a Sunday morning run with ARuss. Sweet run dude.

Sunday afternoon was our official second annual post TC long ride. This Sunday ARuss & I were joined by former Swiss speed skater & fellow NTC athlete Nicolas. Nice riding Nic.

We're onto one more building week before a few days easy days.

The next 3 days will be awesome . . . long run, long ride, long ride. Sounds good to me.

Rest well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lemon Squeezer Thing

I love the dilemma. It's part of what makes life an adventure.

This evening at around 9:29pm I decided I would like a drink of juice.

Dilemma #1: What kind of juice?

We had one lemon left in the fruit bowl. That makes things easy.

Chopping Block. Bread Knife. Slice. Lemon Squeezer thing. Rotate. Pour. Water. Drink. Done.

Dilemma #2: There's still 1/2 a lemon. Drink another glass?

I stood there staring at 1/2 a lemon sitting on the bread block. It stared back. Three pits visible. Yellow rind. Pulp divided onto 8 somewhat equal sections. Juicy.

I stared, waiting for some inspiration to help with my decision.

Still three pits visible. Still a yellow rind. Pulp still divided into 8 somewhat equal sections. Still juicy.

Slice. Lemon Squeezer thing. Rotate. Pour. Water. Drink. Done.

I figured it would be much juicer this evening.

Rest well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Specializing in Underground Tank Removal

Great weekend.

First, a big shout out to the whole HPR gang. Thanks for being so accommodating & inviting us on your ride!

We met the group out at Broadmead around 8am for the beginning of our ride. Up & over the Malahat we cruised a steady pace before turning off at Mill Bay for the Oceanside route.

We do so much riding on this side of the hill, I had almost forgotten about all the perfect asphalt on the other side. It's like an extended waterfront loop, complete with more farm lands, winding roads, & coffee shops along the way.

A few miles out of Bamberton I decided to start our set for the day, 3 x 30 minutes big gear. I figured it best to start this set early in the ride. Little did I know, big gear is Ben's specialty. Wow. Dude, can crank on big gear. Sweet riding man.

Heading into Chemanus we had developed a great little group including myself, the Jazz man, Big Ben, and the A-Team (Adrian & Allan). Great riding by the group with a few wicked fast sections.

Quick coffee at the Jumping Bean, then onto Parksville. Cruising, cruising, cruising, legs feel good & thanks to a pocket full of delicious homemade cookies ;) the blood sugar remained nice and level.

Since November I have stayed completely away from any energy drink, bar, or anything to that extent. I figure there's enough of that during the summer racing months. This weekend however, I decided it was time to throw a little something in the water bottle, so Vega Sport went to the test. It's a clean drink & kept the fire burning well. Good return to the "energy/power/sport drink" world.

We kept the pace rolling along the water & onto the Inland Highway on our way into Parksville. Great ride guys! Thanks for the car support & directions too!

After downing a few massive steamed soy milk drinks, the North Island Tanks picked me up & we drove up to Comox where we would race the next day.

Great big Thanks to Wille & Barb for hosting our teams on Saturday evening.

Lots of pre race laughs & chill'n out before bed. Great to keep the first real effort of the season ultra low key.

Sunday morning came & our warm thoughts held off the rain. Warm up the legs with a little Tiger Balm & lots of accelerations spaced within a warm up spin. Ready to race.

I was so relaxed leading up to the start, for a moment (just a moment) I worried. Aren't I supposed to be nervous before a race? Ahh . . . just go with it, & as Mr. Gordo Salt used to say before every nordic adventure, "Have Fun Stevo." Well, that's easy enough.

As soon as David came running up the beach from his kayak, it was on. Was it ever on. The racing head turned on like a light. Go. Bunny hop a few speed bumps on the way out, get in the tuck, & go.

Nice racing North Island Tanks. Sweet weekend, sweet racing. Thanks for a fun one!

Cool Down. Cheer a bit. Eat a bunch. Saddle up. Ride.

This time it was the Oceanside route from Courtney to Quallicum, & a quick call for a ride home. Thanks!

Today we had a chance to run with the super quick, super cool NTC dev/junior squad. Thanks for a few fast laps guys. You guys are wicked fast.

Rest well.

Friday, April 17, 2009


First I made friends with kick sets, then band swimming. Swim breathing patterns and I are officially on the same team.

It happened during today's straight swim set, (2 x 1000m). First one breathe: 3, 5, 3, 7, 3, 9, 3, 11 by 50m, next one choice. By the time I was 800m through the first k, I knew what my choice would be. More breathing patterns.

Turns out the trick is to breath out.

Having grown up as a land creature, I have previously become accustomed to breathing in at will.

In the relatively new and alien aquatic environment, breathing in naturally becomes a primary focus. On occasion I forget to notice if in fact I am breathing. I believe this forgetful moment is when I truly experience swimming.

A focused breathing routine becomes almost mantric in nature, thus intentionally shifting the focus both inward & outward.

In any case, swim breathing patterns are now my friend.

HPR 360 weekend starts tomorrow!

Rest well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

3 x Ginger

This morning Ben, Adam, & I made up the Ginger Lane @ Crystal pool.

This afternoon I made a ginger, beat, & carrot smoothie.

This evening we made ginger, sweet potatoe, black bean, olive, & almond butter burgers.

Tomorrow is Friday which means the next day is Saturday. Sweet.

Rest well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Today I went on a run with no watch. Parts were fast, & parts were slow. Parts were up hill, & parts were down hill. Sometimes there was a head wind, & sometimes a tail wind. For a while the legs felt heavy, then they felt light, then they were gone.

The sky was always up. The earth was always down.

Training hours for this week, month, and year will forever be a mystery.

The first race of the season will be this weekend up in Comox, the Ski to Surf relay. Time to test the bike legs!

Rest well.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This week is brought to you by . . .

Monday night sushi,

lots of tasty vegetables,

. . . and a big bowl of block rock'n beats.

Rest well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thanks dude!

I love the solo training.

I love the group training.

I love training solo, & when you end up meeting a fellow athlete at one of our awesome training venues here on our Paradise Island on the Pacific, it's extra awesome.

There have been a number of times when it happens just at the right moment. Sometimes the person you meet provides inspiration to help push you through a set. "Oh yeah, there are people out here. We can do this."

I remember a few particular Friday evening Crystal pool sessions this time a year ago.

Walk on deck in my shorts ready for a frequency swim to see A-russ tappin' away at the treadmill upstairs. "Cool. This is what we do."

The other day as Jazz & I were enjoying a little bit of speedy running along the breakwater area we were passed by a few HPR athletes on bikes. "Looking good guys. Keep it up."

"Very cool. This is what we do! We're all here together. We can do this together."

Thanks for the encouragement.

A few longer bike sets today gave an opportunity to watch and refocus the wandering mind. "How can I make it home after running?" Who cares. Right now is riding.


I finished a very duck friendly main set on the bike with few treadmill miles @ PISE. There will be a way home.

"Hey, there's McCartney, fit, fast, & back from Tucson!"

Big time shout out to ya today man. Thanks for the ride home!

Rest well.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

"Tic, Tic, Tic, Tic, Tic, Tic, Tic, Ding!"

The toaster oven is done. That's one sound of Easter.

This is what Easter from the toaster oven looks like.

It tastes so good.

Here are a few pictures of Easter in the new neighbourhood.

It smells very nice.

It looks very nice.

And this is power fuel for tomorrow.

Rest well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Summer Camp

Frosh week 2002. "It's like summer camp, but we can do whatever we want."

Isn't it cool being an adult? We can do whatever we want!

Anything, you name it.

If you can dream it, it's as good as there. Think of anything.

Imagine a circle, big or small, green or purple, any circle you want. Remember that circle. Know what it feels like. Is it smooth? Is it made of wood, some kind of metal, or stone? Know what it smells like, summer sand, winter rain, anything. Know what it sounds like. Can you throw it? Does it make a sound?

It would be pretty easy to bring that circle into your life.

If you were to focus for a little while, spend a day or so, you would have that circle. You could make that circle however you want. It could be here tomorrow. It could be here today.

What do you have on your list today? Is it really that important? How about the circle? How important is that? Does that circle really matter to you?

It's Monday morning & if making a circle is really that easy, think about what you can do this week!


Training has been great. Surprise speed on Saturday with surprise rest on Sunday. Here's to a great one.

Rest well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


A day or so ago I heard Master Mike Neill talking about the next few months. "I just love the process of getting fit!"

Love the process . . .

Life is great.

Rest well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I can smell the sweet aroma of an awesome racing season on its way!

The chairs are laid out. We have a menu planned. There are a few tall glasses of water on the table.

Is that an appetizer I smell? A preview to our meal?

All the place mats are set. We have more than enough cutlery. There's room for two.

The recent advent of speed work wets the appetite even more!

Rest well.