Monday, January 30, 2012

It's possible

If I didn't have a witness you would call me a liar, but I have proof. All get to that soon enough on a weekend of sliding. A great weekend filled of toys that need wax, some play time with the help of gravity. Played a little more on the carving board, slowly getting used to it. Of cruise finished up the evening ripping up the snow at warp speed on the gs skis. Awww how I love speed.

The rubber legs though were still there first thing Saturday morning but it didn't stop me from taking the dogs out for a chase me session on Georgian Bay. Skate conditions were perfect, water saturated half inch snow on mirror smooth ice with temperatures at the freezing mark, except for the wind which did help with a few sunny breaks, this has been the best skiing to date. Now the wind had some advantages, some steady resistance on the way out as we did the long loop of the bay but the return trip was just super hero like. The dogs had to pick their pace up to keep, I just smiled and enjoyed the gentle push. Just shy of two hours followed up with a short spin on the hamster wheel to recover the legs.

Sunday was yet another wonderful ski day, headed to Awenda park and had company. Death march Liz and her dog Sophie joined Shannon and I for a classic ski around the park. We headed out for the long loop with Liz leading, well technically the dogs were blasting ahead like a mad pack of lunatics. Unfortunately the trail had limited traffic and Liz was making fresh track set, it slowed her down, it happens. After some discussing of a potential ski race in my winter plans somehow some Jedi mind twisting happened and I found myself in the lead breaking the
path. Not a bad thing. After the loop around second lake we had a short break to let the dogs wrestle and some wax touch up was needed.

The bonus for us doing the extra loop meant more traffic on the many trail and a bit of track set. This also lead to carrots when I saw an old lady ahead of us, gotta pass her cant get smoked by a senior. A few minutes later the pace had been raised and I caught her, she settled in behind our mad pack, we eventually blew her p as she tried to keep pace. Yes I'm mean. I will adjust my statement to the truth now, I didn't try and kill the elderly skier, honest. I had bigger plans to see happen.

We broke her, we saw Deathmarch Liz slow, it is possible. That or she was just toying with us which is what I think happened. I won't go into detail, I do wonder of she will ramp up the pace tonight to through some hurt into me, Shannon will escape this torture, she is off to Calgary for the week. Just shy of 3 hours in not perfect but still very enjoyable conditions. I'm happy to get some good miles in, there is a strong thought about the loppet at the end of the month. Maybe, just maybe.

Friday, January 27, 2012

skates or skate skis?

Yet again I beat the odds and made something questionable work. Wedneday I had a couple options for activity but chose the one I craved the most but had the least chance of doing successfully. Yep I went skiing. Now I know this a far fetched idea for central ontario during January. I must be mad and should be locked up for even considering that you can ski at an area that man has not fabricated the snow. Well I did forget my meds that day and headed to the big backyard.

I wanted to skate ski but just for backup measures I packed what also might be needed for a classic ski. I was going to shuffle along on skis at all costs. Arrival in the back lot lead to the conditions that I expected, bulletproof slippery with a dash of traction on top. Looking questionable at first, walking in skate boots was not recomended but once I locking my toes in the bindings it wasn't as bad. A few minutes later and I was on the north trails and I was slightly surprised. It wasn't half bad, a perfectly smooth sheet of ice with about a half an inch of snow on top. No tracks, no machine grooming, just mother natures work. I some cases it's the best I've seen this winter.

I continued forward instead of back to the car cursing and swearing. Hit some big hills and received m first vomit paced intensity of the year. It hurt, I liked it. The downhills were perfect, smooth and untracked. I just went with the flow which eventually had me over to the west trails for some steady paced 1 skate, the time on the bay last weekend helped with the balance. I found a couple sections where someone attempted to groom, bad idea and I would have loved to have had steel edges in that area. Over the next two hours The big loop of Copeland was done. My legs felt great, the body was tired and my ability to endure vomit pace has increased. This lead to the rest day yesterday, it was more of a forced day off, busy work day, errands to do. By the time I walked in the door I wasn't craving an indoor ride. It happens, weekend is looking good though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

he likes it

I did it willingly, no medication, no idle threats, no guilt trips. I just did it and I liked it. Its nothing wild or crazy, actually it's pretty boring and normal but it was the feeling I had while doing it. I liked being on the hamster wheel of death, I was tempted to stay on longer than I did. This is a good thing since the turn of crap ski conditions have returned with 24 hours of rain.

O course the reasoning for free ride was initially started as a distraction. I had to sit in on a conference call for work, it meant inactivity, I might as well make the best of it. I've heard stories of what others do doing conference calls, this worked for me. I mixed in some tempo training while we discussed metrics, to say I was crossing my fingers that I didn't need to talk during an interval. Some questions of what I was doing may have risen if I was short of breath. I must say though it did make the hour and a half go by almost easier than watching a good movie.

The week ahead is full of what to do's? As much as I'm more willing to play indoors I must say that I'm craving fresh air, forward momentum and coasting. Let's see what plays it.

Monday, January 23, 2012


The weekend that many have been waiting for, well at least everyone who loves winter. Conditions were perfect for just about eveything and I couldn't not take advantage it. Weapon of choice, slippery sticks, destination of choice, Georgian Bay. Calm winds, warming sun, a skim of snow on the almost perfect ice. How could you not. Shannon got her first skate ski lesson, it was limited as my teaching ability is a little limited when it comes to skating.

It seems that everyone has been waiting for this day, ice huts were buzzing with activity, snowmobiles were everywhere, the bay was the place of choice. The dogs loved it also, running around like lunatics a km off shore. Good first time out for Shannon, an hour and a half of slipping and sliding but near the end she was finding her grove. I was craving more though. After a responsibility filled break I found myself back out on the bay at 3:30. The thoughts of riding my bike crossed my mind but then the reality kicked in, it's been crap all winter, I better get some miles in out her now because it might not be her tomorrow. Another 1.5 hours of slide and glide around the west side. Watched the sun drop in the background, a perfect day.

Hopefully a few more days like that will happen before spring appears.

Friday, January 20, 2012

can't think of anything better than Stupid

I'm venting a little this morning. I'm frustrated with the lack of common sense in people. Especially the ones attempting to do something illegal. What am I talking about? It was my near death write off the work truck close call yesterday. Taking one of my normal back road short cuts I passed on truck sitting on the side of the road, nothing out of the ordinary. Continue along and around the corner, nothing strange. As I come over the crest of the hill doing below the speed limit, yes I was not doing warp speed for a change, the road was slippery, I went into a panic.

So it's one thing to find a truck parked on the side of a road just over the crest of a hill, yes this is stupid, but what about a truck, much larger than. mine backing up that hill in your lane. The gap disappears very quickly, I started preparing myself for impact as I started my attempts at evasive moves. First though, go for the ditch, ground and snow banks are probably softer than the bumper of a full size Chev pickup. Hmmmm that's a deep ditch, it will hurt, change thought. Re adjust direction as much as possible, the road is slippery that erratic movements are limited, all gentle persuasions. I pulse the brakes, control some skidding, turn the wheel a bit and get the passenger side lined up, can't completely clear the truck, Fuck. Still going to hurt, the road is narrow, the truck realizes what is about to happen and stops. I feel a little bit of grip, some manipulation and I manage to do a Dukes of Hazard style 180 along with controlled braking. A slight brace, it might not hurt as much this way going rear bumper to rear bumper, speed is dropping quickly. Stopped, less than a foot from a new truck purchase. Luck was on my side, a little bit of experience helped, no new work truck for me.

I make a comment to the driver wondering what he was thinking, driving p a hill backwards on a slippery hill in the wrong lane is not only dangerous beyond belief but also very illegal. The driver gives a stunned response, I notice he is sporting camouflage, I wasn't concerned of a redneck hillbilly get shot and buried in the back forty, didn't think he was bright enough to move quick enough. I continue along the road to m next service call, along the way I notice the very organized spacing of trucks. About 500 feet apart, hmmm there all siting in their trucks, strange. They're all wearing camouflage and hunting orange caps. hmmm. Strange, there is nothing is in season. A lot of organization for catching turkeys on a deserted back road. Can you say corralling a field and section of woods. A phone call was made.

If your going to do something illegal like poaching you shouldn't be stupid and obvious. If you are reading into a house in the middle of e night you don't turn on all the house lights when the neighbours no the owners are in Florida. Hopefully my phone call ends with good results. Hopefully, my rant is done. Road on the trainer for a bit in the evening to spin out the stress. Just another fun day, the weekend is almost here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Following the fad

With the strange winter I must admit that finding fun and exciting adventures to write about are limited at this time. What did I do, I rode the hamster wheel, woo hooo, so exciting. A looked out side at the monsoon and must admit that I didn't mind it. AWI must stop venting about the weather, just take it as it comes. We did get out for a great snowshoe on Monday night. Again the pack was in aww of Deathmarch Liz.

With the new challenge of no headlamps she stilll managed to lead us around for an hour, randomly slowing allowing us to catch her. Some how again she had us return 5 feet from where we started. How does she do it? Inquiring minds need to know.

Another minor change, my ride. I'll still be on the Anthem for most races but I'm looking at drinking the Kool-Aid. Up for grabs is my Blue carbon Hardtail. I'm looking at getting one of those big wheel bikes. A few thoughts of what brand, 3 options right now. Back to the Blue, XTR drivetrain, manitou carbon fork etc, etc. $1450. If your interested email for more details. I like grape Kool-Aid.

Play day today, Getting some day time two plank snow play with Shannon this afternoon. Graviity can be fun.

Monday, January 16, 2012


The weekend has come and gone and some of my grand master plan for the winter have come and failed. My plan to not ride the hamster wheel from hell. Well after a fun evening of powder playing, skiing folks, stick to the legal side of life and yes there was actually powder up at Blue on Friday evening. Saturday morning came and a glance at the thermometer had me shaking my head, in doubt I checked two weather sites. Yep it's really that cold out.

There was no hesitation in my decision to strap myself into the padded room ride of boredom. Of course someone had to show me how unmanly my decision was and road outside this weekend. I've had that wonderful feeling of thawing feet, I'll stick to my choice. What did happen was the first structured workout of 2012. There was controlled wattage for specific times, nothing crazy, not yet at least.

Still lots of time for winter to show up, feeling that I may need to get my Anthem built up sooner than later though. Pretty sure there are more than a few places just to the south where trails could be ridden.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Banff Films Fest 2012

My quick two cents on the Banff Film Festival tour this year. Awesome. 8 movies, new perspectives, some new knowledge, some old reminders on what I don't enjoy and a real motivation driver on the final film. One of those self analyzing movies that will make you push yourself through that tough time, someone is always working through something more difficult and making the best of it.

I don't want to describe each movie for you, what fun would that be. I will mention that the comedy highlight movie brings a whole new outlook of what cats are capable of. Busy weekend coming up some play, some focused training, should be fun.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Still trying

Little excitement, just some sliding on two planks with some mixed in quality time on the long board. I will be a master of my own domain on that thing, Ive made that deal with myself. Of course every time I start building up my confidence on the snowboard I find myself on my ass. It's funny, I'm pretty good on two wheels, two feet and two skis but very sketchy while standing on one leg, can't ride a unicycle and now I'm trying to become competent on one board. Hmmm am I not thinking this one through?

Rest night tonight, it's a movie filled evening that will hopefully raise the motivation level to the next level. Yep, it's Banff Film Fest day. With snow currently coming down it at least helps set the background scene. Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If you can't beat them

Acceptance is key sometimes. I've given up doing my snow dance, I figure it's pretty much a waste of energy by this point so I'm just going with the flow and doing something I didn't want to do. What is that you might ask, I'm riding my bike. I hear the gasps. What type of lunatic ideas have gotten into my brain? I believe it's because I don't have much of a choice.

My big plan of xc skiing as much as possible has pretty much gone it the window, I think I've been on the slippery sticks a grand total of 4 times since the first snow flake has touched the ground. Why so little? Well there has only been that one snowflake that has fallen, or that's at least that's how it's been feeling. So I'm saying screw it to my grand plan. The bike has come out of hibernation.

Minor technical failure on the winter bike had me making a second run on the same road other cross bike but at the end of the day I pedalled into the darkness for 2.5 hours. I was treated to just shy of an hour in the daylight before firing up the lights, that treat was them strange feeling in the air. It was a good feeling though, it didn't feel like January, it felt like a late March ride. That slight crisp in the air, sand on parts of the roads, not a huge amount of snow on the shoulders. Not very middle of the winter like. Not very good when of want to ski, but it is what it is and I've said "whatever". If it means riding, its what I have to do. Maybe this will ag Mother Nature on a little and she will attempt to kibosh my new plan. Come on lady, I dare you.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Who would have thought.

It was a perfect day for eveything, well everything except for what we were doing. After a slow start while enjoying the sun we headed to the big backyard. Threre were thoughts and considerations made before we left but we, especially me, thought it would be fine. I was wrong, we also ran into a few others that felt the same way. So what was our plan that was not recomended. As funny as it sounds for the time of the year, it was classic xc skiing. I know, crazy thoughts. January and skiing just never mix, well on this day it didn't.

Thaw from the day from the previous day and then the cooler tempatures pretty much wrecked any enjoyment that we would get. It was more of a double pole day with a hint of fear on any decent. The snow was bullet proof with a dash of ridges just to make things interesting. Of course the dogs loved the hardpack for running. Some how we still managed to slide around for 2.5 hours,I'm feeling it today in the joints. Of course in hindsight we we wishing we had brought the bikes, perfect conditions to roll around. What we do for the dogs.

Its not looking like things will be better anytime soon, Im feeling that I'll be charging up some lights and pumping up the tires on KHS this week. I'm pretty us the body will be very content with some smooth motion aft the weekend.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A new monster?

I have to admit, I'm liking this new training approach. Another night of graviety sliding, after nearly 15 years of no skiing or snowboarding, which was at certain time of my life a full time job I've come back full circle and am a little addicted. Last nights conditioning turned into a solid workout, soft snow, mild tempatures meant lots of leg work. It also meant I had an it from xc skiing, hard conditions to wax for. Shannon believes that she has reinvented a monster. Maybe.

Some reality checks will come into play though, fitness will be built up, spring is not all that far away. My dreams of skate skiing on the bay are still on hold. Seems Georgian Bay is being stubborn this year about freezing. This also means there won't be any bike rides to the islands anytime soon. Its an unusual year.

Looking like a good weekend for some outdoor play. A tromp in the woods will start out the morning. The sun just broke as I typed that line, maybe some tanning, starting to look pale. Times a wasting. Dogs are a bouncing.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It how you get down that counts

It's interesting how you can be reanalyze a situation to allow you to use our action to your advantage. I looked at the weather yesterday and changed my plans, I didn't even flip a coin to help the decision. I played with gravity instead of fitness. With my change in racing focus, my concerns for big endurance days are a little more relaxed. This means a lot more unstructured fun and in the case of last night it meant u sing a chair lift to get to the top of the hill instead of those two sticks i stand on.

It's not a complete loss though switching things up, the way my legs feel this morning I'm very aware of what I was doing last night. It takes a lot of strength to keep two skis facing the right direction at max speed. Is helping build more stability muscles up again finding my balance, etc etc. Am I looking for specific benefits of downhill skiing/snowboarding to help justify my decision, maybe. Will I stop xc skiing anytime soon, not a chance in hell. It just adds an option and depending on weather, mood, time etc It just go adds to miles my legs need.

Thoughts of riding a bike right now are low, indoor is very uninviting. Outdoors, haven't felt like spending that 30 minutes of prep time to freeze my body, get buzzed my cars, etc etc. Of course that will change, it always does.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

triple header

My best advice for many that don't like winter, just embrace it. It's not that bad. Being the last day before the grind return we took full advantage of it in the not so prestine condition. To say it blew was a close description. Regardless we headed into the woods in the morning for a classic ski. I do remember why they make touring skis and from time to time I wish I had a pair. We played in a area that was far from groomed and track set. Good stability muscle workout, not bad on the cardio side of it also. Some where between an hour and a half to two hours of sliding, it was fantastic once we were in the woods.

Next up, gravity sliding. This time it was on the single plank. It's been along time since I've been on a snowboard, let alone a carving board. After a hiccup on foot position setup I finished up the short trip to Blue linking turns and starting to bring back yet another side of my previous life. Shannon enjoyed the change of rolls with it her waiting for me at the bottom, she has her doubts that it will last very long. I agree. It won't be long before I'm back to leaving a deep carved rut in the snow, I can't wait.

The shortened trip to the Blue was caused by the slightly sketchy driving conditions and we had a place to be. It was the first non riding MNS and we needed to be there. We couldn't let Deathmarch Liz down and it finished out the triple header. A romp around Copeland forest for the usual hour, the pace, like usual, fast. Mr Watson took of someone else's roll and was late and used some lame excuse which didn't cut it. Again it was wonderful in the woods and was topped off with a clear sky with a moon bright enough that headlamps werent needed.

Let the winter begin

Sunday, January 1, 2012

multipule attempts

The day was filled with repeated attempts to make myself sick. Some more enjoyable than others and all of them have me moving a little slower this first day of 2012. Yes I'm hungover, yes old age is kicking in and I can't do things the way I used to. No I didn't get sick, my better attempt at vomiting happened 10 hours earlier.

I should have thought about my decision to go for a skate ski a little more, I should have brought my classics as back up. With my body already tired and sore from the 2.5 hour ski with Shannon and the dogs Why did I think that skating was a good idea. I have snow fever, it's a rare Canadian disease that is only cured by snow blowing a long driveways and digging out a stuck car. Looks like I'm in trouble for a while. So skipping my better judgement I headed to Hardwood hoping for some nicely groomed terrain. After a brisk walk from the car as a warm up, yes that's a slow paced stroll, I clipped and and strapped on the poles full of excitement. This lasted about 30 seconds before the previous days fatigue kicked in. I forgot what stabilizer muscles are capable of doing.

Round one hurt, muscle memory was there but a little dyslexic on my first loop. I'm happy I wasn't wearing my hr monitor, what made me feel enter was watching most others having the same results as I was. Of course I went out for another loop after a short rest. I believe I am officially training now, I the once the heart rate rises above a certain point it's now no longer just a pleasure ski. I'll stick to that theory for a little while.

All attempts to make myself hurl have failed, I'm just left with some sore body parts. Could be worse.