Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday report

total time training:
swim: 1hr 45min, 4500m
Bike: 4hrs on trainer
Run: 1hr 45 min (missed 1hr run today, doing it tomorrow morning!)
cross training and strength: 2hrs
total: 8hrs 30

compared to...

total time doing school work:
168 (total hours in week/hrs spent being anti-social)
- 8.5 (hours training)
- 49 hrs (approx 7hrs/night sleeping)
- 10hrs (commuting)
- 15hrs (procrastinating)
- 7hrs (morning stuff, evening stuff)
-7hrs (other stuff)

approximently 71.5hrs. which, to me, is way too much. especially when 12 of those hours were pretty much in one room, doing one group project. bah.

on tap for this week:
  • lighter training week, due to 3 assignments, 3 final exams and 2 class presentations which all happen in the next 2 weeks.
  • 5km santa shuffle on sunday morning.
  • more weight to lose (i am down at least 4lbs since starting this whole "healthy eating challenge" 3 weeks ago)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

crappy saturday

so, after having a stupid training ride this morning, due to the fact that I can't sit on my cerveloon the trainer for longer than 30 minutes without my saddle causing my crotch to have excessive pain, i have now spent 12 hours in the library, doing consistant work on a group research proposal project.

this saturday sucks. i wish i could go play in the snow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thrive thursday: Giving Thanks

This is a on going series that is posted on thursday's, to answer the question: "What helps you to thrive in your environment?" The series is written by myself, and a variety of guest Contributors. This week, I want to comment on how Thanks can make you thrive.

Even though, today in canada is a day like any other, I have a lot of american friends. And so, this is a shout out to them, who are taking a day to pause, and to remember to think about the things that they are thankful for. If there is one thing that Americans do better than Canadians, it is certainly thanksgiving. Ours passes pretty quickly, early in the fall. Many (not all) of us have a quick meal with family, are thankful for the 3 da
y weekend, and move on. From my experience, that it not the same in the States. Food is incredible (especially in the south, where I have spent at least 3 American Thanksgvings), you have the whole friday thing, and travel across the states is the busiest for the entire year.

So, why does Giving Thanks help us thrive? Well, I believe that when you give thanks, it allows you to think outside of yourself. if you are a spiritual individual, you acknowledge the forces outside of yourself that allow you to thrive. Giving thanks allows you to think of all the good things in life. all the things that make you feel good: good health, family, education, friends, sports, food, weather, love, cute animals... anything.

Giving thanks allows us to think outside ourselves. and when we think outside ourselves, we become less selfish. and when we become less selfish, for some reason, we become more confident. And, when we become more confident? well, that allows us to thrive.

Happy American Thanksgiving, friends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mind Games and skipping school and why I blog

Today, I am skipping morning class to sit and have a relaxed morning. I might even skip afternoon class. Cause sometimes, at least once a semester, you need to do so.

Things on the schedule this morning. Morning watch of the New Dexter Episode. Morning coffee by the computer. No riding in the nasty rain until this afternoon (you're right Annie... What did happen to HTFU?! (caution, that link is a little "unsafe for children" ... HTFU is scheduled for later!) Now I am a route to get a good lot of homework done.

breakfast today: 2 eggs. Strawberry Greek Yogurt. Banana. Coffee with vanilla almond milk.
but first, a great video, seen on SW's BLog.

So... why do I blog?!!

first off... do you like the new blog layout?!?! it took me a bit to figure out the html script, but, i like the way it is looking now, just after a few wee changes! i almost look important with a professional website!

anyway, i think I started my "xanga" blog spring of 2004 (if you click on that link. be warned that you are NOT allowed to bring up old life topics with me, unless I allow you too.) to keep up with some friends of mine that i had limited face-to-face contact with. it allowed me to follow up with people, and read up with what was going on with them.

i think, then, it became a trip log, often.

it gave me a place to just write.

when i was younger, i journaled a lot. I still journal. just not as much. I tend to journal those deeper things that I don't want other people to know about. You know... those "deep dark fears." the ones that you sometimes even have a hard time admitting to yourself. blogging allows me to journal those everyday things.

it still allows me to connect with people that I don't get to see often. It allows people who care enough, to keep up with me. and, i know that it is not a replacement for real relationships. but, you see, when you have so many friends, from so many places, and have lived in so many areas... you need some sort of tool.

it allows me some sort of outlet.

and, i kinda like the idea that people might actually be interested enough to read. but, even if people don't read? I would still blog. 'cause there is something about it, that i really like.

Monday, November 22, 2010

got some stats to do!

as is the common theme recently, this is going to be short and sweet. I have to explain some stats in a presentation during my first class, so, I need to do some last minute reviewing!

Last night, a friend of mine asked me why i blog. It was a good question, and good conversation. so, I throw it back to you (my creepy internet friends)...

why do you blog? I will post my answers and thoughts tomorrow. for now, just a few points.

1) I love making food with friends. Last night, my friend Ben and I (same ben that I rode with to ottawa last spring, and danced in spandex to raise money for the L&L society) made some delicious food! and, he was even good to me with keeping in my tight eating.

we made: delicious pumpkin chili. a salad with apples and peanuts and carrots and onions. some roasted cauliflower. and, then his roommates offered a piece of apple pie. i took one, but it was small!

2) this week in numbers.
swim: 2hrs, 4500m
bike: 2.5hrs
run: 1hr 45min.
strength + cross train: 1hr45m
total: 8hrs

I am also going to start recording weight. but, i am not going to tell you that number. but, i do feel as if i have been eating better. and that feels good.

I remember last year at this time, i was training maybe 6hrs a week. Mary already has bumped me up to 9h30m for the coming week. and, i am okay with that. it includes some clear ridiculousness. maybe I am going to become a glee fan. I have no idea. i have never seen the show. but, i do love spontaneous singing and dancing, so, I am sure I will like the show.

3)still too much homework, but this week looks way more reasonable than the past few. and that is a relief.

4) Completed my level 1&2 rowing canada coaching course. I am now a "trained" coach, I just have to do a few things to become a "certified" coach.

5) on saturday night, I did another clearly ridiculous thing. since the boy I like is in edmonton, and I am in montreal, we did a date night. we cooked the same thing for dinner, we got on skype, ate dinner together, and then netflix'ed a movie together. We both had earphones (so we could both listen to the movie, and eachother, without sound interference), and hit "play" at the same time. Ridiculous, right? but, oh so innovative and nauseatily cute.

6) winter came this weekend. it welcomed me with a hailstorm on my bike on saturday (can i say OUCH?!), and -12 (after windchill) on sunday...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thrive thursday: Live Music

This is a on going series that is posted on thursday's, to answer the question: "What helps you to thrive in your environment?" The series is written by myself, and a variety of guest Contributors. This week, I am writing on the joy that comes with Live Music Performances!

Last week, I had the chance to go to see Michael Franci and Spearhead play at the metropolis here in montreal. I went with three girls from nursing (who are not direct entry students... Look ma, I am making new friends!), who branched out on a limb, because they had never heard of him. I have been a “late arriver” on the Michael Franci scene amongst my friends, but here I am. And, I like it. We danced, we laughed, we jumped, and we sang along. He is a great performer, who seems genuinely thankful for the progress that he has made in musical career, and for his fans. It interacts amazingly, and he has great rapport with the people watching.

And, it got me thinking. I love music. Even more, I love LIVE music. I remember when I was young, I grew up going to the Folk Music Festival in Edmonton. Though, my first “real” concert was when I was 12. I dyed my hair green with kool-aid, and went with friends to the Greenday Dookie concert. I was hooked.

Live music is amazing. And, why do I say it can make someone thrive? Well, because I feel that many times, you thrive when you feel good. You thrive when you feel happy. You thrive when you feel connected to your environment.

And, live music can allow you to do these things. It can cause you to escape yourself a bit, and escape the surroundings of day to day life, to connect to the sound and the movement and the sights. to let loose and think. Or not think. To dance. Or to not dance. To be introspective. Or to not be introspective. And, it is sure that musicians have that way with words. That way that allows our thoughts to be expressed in sound, or in the poetry that is attached to the sound.

And, for me, it doesn’t matter if it is a reggae-dancehall-acoustic concert, or if it is a sit on the grass/in a coffee shop listening to someone strum a guitar, or if it is a stadium with 10’000 other people. It still lets me feel connected. And, that makes me feel like I can thrive. (especially when, I cannot play music very well myself! I am glad other people can!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

winter commuting!? CHECK!

So, two things I have been gearing up for this week.

1) my healthy eating challenge with boy i like (BIL? HA!).
2) winter commuting on my bike.

therefore, I will comment on them both. and, i write first to say. don't. judge. (yes, leanna, I am looking at you ;) ) I may be a little strange. I may be a little obsessive. I may be a little off the rocker. But, I am what I am. And, there are always reasons for what I do. so, don't. judge. That is my soap box for the day.

healthy eating challenge.
as we all can agree on, the things we put into our bodies are what make us able to function day to day. we love food. Sometimes I talk a lot about it, other times i don't. One thing, though, for me, which is certain, is I react to the food I eat. Unfortunently, much like many other girls, if i eat to much crap, I feel guilty about it. And, when i feel like crap, sometimes I default to eating crap. for me, it is *Easy* to eat like crap.

but, on the other hand: i LOVE healthy food. I love the feeling it gives me, I love feeling fit and lean and awake.

so, after having eaten like crap, and feeling like crap during off season, I finally did the dreaded "step on the scale to see how much I gained" step. And, there it was. the 5-7lbs that I expected. but, it still caught me off-guard. and, i thought "Wow. I want to be a better athlete. I know that this will make a difference. I know that if i can become leaner and be fitter and eat better, i will be faster and feel better and be more confident." so, i went home, and challenged boy I like to a eating challenge.

"let's loose 10lbs" i said. then he said "okay, sure." (well, he sorta said that). then i thought "hmmm, February sounds like a good mark to make that." then, he said "so, by christmas?" (i silently gasp). so i said: "um. sure. by christmas." :YIPES:

so, it started. my smaller portions. my denial of all things yummy like muffins and pastries and pastas and rices (not that I eat those two last things at all anyway) and beer and wine and too many dairy products.... and hello to things other yummy things like carrots and apple sauce and protein drinks and eggs and organic chicken and salads galore. and... almond/flaxseed/egg breakfast concoctions. YUM!

will this work? i have no idea. but, it is worth a shot, right? 6 weeks of "sacrifice" should at least set me on a good foot. and, it should also get me to be creative with snacks and meals and recipes. 'cause all of a sudden, i feel like i am in some sort of competition with this (which, i know is not true, but... i am a competitive person. it just happens), and i want to put a good effort to it!

EDIT: and... talking about food. check out this BAS! (big ass salad...) um... yum!

2) winter commuting

so, for the first time in my life, I am going to be one of those crazies who ride their bike throughout the entire dark, cold, miserable winter. And, this intimidates me a bit. Because, in many ways, it seems as if it is going to be like submitting myself to un-needed torture. but, today, in anticipation of the upcoming colder weather that is coming in, and the increasing darkness, I made a purchase of a merino wool buff and some rechargable blackburn bike lights.
and, i will tell you what. the whole point of "saving money on bus passes" logic is thrown right out the window. cause those two things combined cost more than a month bus pass.

but, i think i am doing pretty well in terms of clothes:
  • sweet patagoina softshell jacket? check.
  • shell mittens gotten for 3$ from MEC when i worked there? check.
  • warm under gloves for those said mittens? check.
  • Merino wool buff that can be a balaclava, neck warmer, scarf or head cover? check.
  • fleece headband for ears? check.
  • ski goggles? check.
  • gortex pants? check.
  • gaiters? check.
  • good shoes and boots? check.
  • base layers, midlayers (fleece)? check.

so, all I hope is that this does not catch me off guard. cause, if it is a competition (ha!) between me and winter, i want to win that as well.

so, i will write about both these things as I go through them. Keep posted on progress!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

long and busy week: highs and lows

Got through it. Almost with all my stuff done on time.

let's put it like this, because I haven't done something like this for a while. Let's do a low and high list. i always do lows first, so i can end with a positive note!

  • coaching dramas with rowing.
  • too much work.
  • having someone die while on a shift at the ICU (not my patient. but, a first none-the-less.)
  • leaving victoria.
  • not getting all my workouts in.
  • slicing open a finger on a beer bottle that broke in transit in my bag on the way back from victoria.
  • a nasty sinus infection.
  • missing the boy i like.
  • crying at the rowing gala due to pure overwhelmedness of the season.
  • first indoor training ride.
  • not getting out to go to church.
  • having a nurse give me test results and subsequently say "Oh, i have no idea what that means. there is just a circle around it. i am just supposed to tell you to make sure you get a followup appointment in december."
  • crying at the rowing gala due to how proud i am of everyone i coached this season.
  • starting feeling like i am back on a regular training schedule.
  • starting a "healthy eating challenge" with boy i like.
  • michael franti concert on wednesday night... cause that is the sound of sunshine coming down.
  • having adorable not-so-straight boys lick my face while laughing and laughing.
  • finding a convenient master's swim team/triathlon team to swim with.
  • the exceptionally warm weather.
  • having the rear hub on my commuter bike fixed.
  • working out. eating well. getting work done.
  • the amazing things i am learning at clinical.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

thrive thursday: not procrastinating

This is a on going series that is posted on thursday's, to answer the question: "What helps you to thrive in your environment?" The series is written by myself, and a variety of guest Contributors. This week, I am writing about the topic of not procrastinating.

Yup, this week, I have Loads of work to do. and, as a student, I feel like I am thriving, when I get it done on time, and when I get it done well. So, I am currently going to sign off, and go do that work which is staring at me in the face. So that come next week, I can feel like i am thriving :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So fricken busy!

so, made it back from Victoria, walking into my house at about 9 pm. Then proceeded to have a 2.5 hr phone conversation. Definently really didn't get much work done last night, but did appreciate the conversation with that boy I like, because i know that it might be tight to have many more this week... Got some (but not as much) done this past weekend while away.

but, this is my week. and my list of things to do. Not including group meeting for my research methods class. But, oh la la. lots to do. It is weeks like this that make me a little crazy, because there is never really any down time. Sure, my fun is scheduled in this week. But mostly it is work. and that thing called training, which is now being integrated (not so well last week, when I was away) into my day to day plan (and... HEALTHY LIVING!)

and, i tend to think that it is going to be very similar to this right up to the end of school. Which... is also really soon. I just came back from the west coast, but, it is only a month before I head back out in that direction :) Which makes me really happy. I am really looking forward to my christmas break in Vancouver and Victoria, and very briefly in seattle/tacoma.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thoughts on my bike

currently in Victoria, BC, for the Canadian University rowing championships, Coaching two lightweight men athletes from University of Montreal. The west coast brings joy and refreshment to my soul, and I am so happy to be here.

Very quick post. My friend sam sent me this video, saying: "Super cool video. All bike loves and all Earth Lovers will enjoy."

I happen to agree. Enjoy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thive Thursday: night photography

AHHHH, it is a day late. yesterday had a morning run, and clinical, and then a flight to victoria. And, i thus, forgot to post thrive thursday! sorry about that...

This is a on going series that is posted on thursday's, to answer the question: "What helps you to thrive in your environment?" The series is written by myself, and a variety of guest Contributors. This week, the contributor is Sean Birch. Someone I like quite a bit. He may have had a mention on this blog once or twice before. His Photo Website can be found here: Flickr!
What helps me thrive in my environment? Especially when right now, my environment is dark and cold for more than half of the day?

Taking photos after dark.

I wouldn't have thought about this a few weeks or months ago, but winter in Canada (and Edmonton more than some other places) means getting used to living in the dark. This is a different country in the dark than it is in the light, and there's no better way to see it than through a lens attached to a sturdy tripod. I've had enough practice to be feeling the itch again at this time of year.

There are two parts to this. The first is the experience of going out after dark, moving from my warm (and bright) environment to the dim light of my car, and finally to the world of the dark. I walk away from whatever light I had, tentatively at first, and gaining more confidence as my feeble eyes adjust to the dark. (Okay, my eyes aren't that feeble, but I'm hardly nocturnal). Then a feeling grows as I walk: I sense more, I take in as much light as is available, I hear everything I can hear, I pay attention to the ground beneath my feet and the wind across my skin. And I know that I'm closer than ever to falling down, stumbling, being attacked by a bear (hey, it could happen) or getting lost. I may not be meant to live in a dark world, but it's a fun place to visit.

The other part is the photo, and the camera. When it's dark enough that we can't see, there's usually still some light, however little, and the camera is patient. It's the technological embodiment of patience, gathering light only as quickly as it needs to, being completely capable of spending minutes to record a scene. What it tells me is that the dark is composed of more than a smudgy dark bl
ue, it isn't all noisy static in front of my eyes, that it still holds all the colours and detail I know from the daylight
. It says the sources of light we all stick to are blinding points, best turned away from. It says that the points of light in the sky are more colourful and dynamic than I've ever had the patience to notice. Taking photos after dark tells me that the tool we all use to capture everything we see can also be used to reveal what we can't see. I like fee
ling that there is more to the world than we can see, and I like knowing my own vision is limited.

On the walk back to my car, and the drive back to my house, it never fails to impress itself on me that we live in an unnatural world, that our roads and cities and electricity (as much as I love them) have taken something away from our knowledge of ourselves. Something our distant ancestors may have been happy to trade for the comfort of a warm fire to gather around, something that really may be worth less than security, but something that isn't worthless.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

this kitten lost her mittens.

very quick post!! if anyone sees a pair of red Vancouver 2010 Mittens lying around, somewhere between the YMCA on Parc Ave, and St Denis @ beaubien, they are mine. please return. I love them. and, i lost them today.

So, tomorrow I will head west for the Canadian University Rowing Championships. Should be pretty good. I am not rowing, I am coaching two of the guys who will rowing lightweight singles. But, beyond that... It has been 10 years since I have rowed at Elk Lake, in Victoria. (um. wow?) I feel, like in a sense, it will be kinda like a home coming. great venue. great location. great sport. it should be a great weekend. Esp. if Sylvain and Ariel do well!!! so, row hard boys.

on another note. Coach Mary, and Turbo Curbeau are at IM florida this weekend. Let's Go Train-this! swim bike run like it is your business. (oh wait. it is.)

yesterday, I did something (I am not telling you what, because it is really embarrassing/shameful) that I was not proud of, but learnt a fantastic lesson from. And, really just got me thinking about how easy it is to fall into a spot where you do things that you really don't want to do. or the things you ought to do, you don't do. it was a little shocking to have it stare at me in the face, how easily we can fall, due to our own stupidity.

training is back on. and, i can tell already what a fantastic difference it is going to be making in my life :) ALso, just wanted to say... i am going to run tomorrow morning for the first time in close to 7 weeks. dang. should be interesting. if i am lost in action, it is because my body is going through a form of shock.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Once upon a time, i rowed.

yes, it's true. Once upon a time, I rowed. For essentially 7-8 years. That is a big chunk of my 27 year life. ANd, now, I have spent close to two years coaching. I love. Love. LOVE. rowing. When i was a wee one, I swam. For a lot of years. and, I loved it. But, it wasn't that sport that I really chose. I just did it. I liked it. And, i did fairly well at it.

not like rowing. I quit swimming to go to a school that would give me a chance to row, because people told me "you have the perfect rower's body." I have story an experience from rowing from everything. from having teammates tell me that I am not pulling hard, to getting silver at San Diego Crew Classic, and the Head of the Charles. Everything from swearing at my coxie while getting off an erg, to learning how to master that wreatced machine. From barely making petite finals ("I am not a petite girl! I shouldn't be rowing in petite finals") and gotten silver at the canadian high school rowing nationals. I have have a story and experience for almost everything.

I used to have a necklace with a hatchet blade pendant. I wore it, because it was my passion. An identity. I knew myself as a rower. so many times, I would have friends introduce me as: "This is Amo. She's canadian. She came here to do crew." they even paid me to row. they paid me to do my passion. I had to give it to someone else, for two reasons. She needed it more that I did. And, I needed to remember what it was to not only know my identity as a rower. I needed to identify myself as me.

for a number of reasons, I walked away from rowing, sick of it, and angry at aspects of the sport. Not my teammates. Not the feeling of flying over the surface of the water. I walked away, because (if I think about it now), rowing is one of the only sports that can allow other people to determine your fate. And, that is what happened. Something was taken away from us, that we deserved, that we wanted, and that we were anticipating. And, in every way possible, it was not fair.

But, that's life. Despite it taking years for me to even think about going back to the sport, I have come back. Not as a rower. I don't need that. But, to give back some of my passion to people who have some of that same passion. And, I am finally in a spot that I can wear part of that passion on my body, without being engulfed in it. So, I bought myself a ring this past weekend, while at "Head of the fish."

This past season, in rowing, has been one of the hardest I have ever dealt with. As a coach, it has been tiring. And, it has been frustrating. So, if it has been this for me, I just get a glimpse of what my girls are feeling. I finished the season with two silver medals, but with conflict. and, that was hard. Rowing, unlike triathlon, is not a sport of individuals. Though, you have to be able to dig inside yourself to more degree than in anything else, to do well. As a rower, you build the closest friendships you will ever have. And, you can have the most passionate fights that you will ever have with your teammates. But, at the end of the day, leave it on the water. That is the *only* way that you will succeed in this sport.

This weekend, I sat at the waters edge, away from my team for a while, watching boats come in and out of docks. Watched the powerful eights cross the finish line. And, then watched a boat with some of my girls, and two guys that I coach often, cross the line 3 minutes ahead of the next boat in their category. I jumped up and down on the dock, did a little dance, laughed with the other coach. And, i felt nostalgic. Because when it comes down to it... despite the fact that I will never competitively row again...

I miss it. every part of it. the good the bad the easy the hard.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Come to me, 2011 season

Today is day one of training for 2011. I don't have solid goals set up yet. I know it will be something very similar to this past year. I am waiting to find out about some items with school, and with some things that I have applied for, that will help dictate my schedule. one thing is for sure though.

about 2 weeks ago, I was not sure if i was going to be ready to start training again. I have enjoyed the off season. But, something has gone wrong. And, I will tell you what it was. My health (as you know) really has plummeted in the past 2 weeks, or so. to the point that I thought I had hypothyroidism, or anemia, or something. and, that, to me, was surprizing. I have been staying active (until, at least up to 10 days ago, when my body just screamed at me one day during yoga by being weak, and shaky, and stupidly sweaty), but just not in the same way.

Now, I know that exercise and diet make all the difference in the world for health. To stay healthy, you have to exercise, and you ahve to have a good diet. for this example, say that when I am in season, my health is at a 18/20. (or whatever...) I thought that in off season, my health would drop to say, 14/20, due to lack of exercise, and eating a bit more relaxed. but, what i found was that health dropped to... like, 7/20. it has been awful. and, surprising. I honestly had NO idea that it would be this extreme.

I wrote my family physician from when I was growing up. He offered a great explanation.

Most of the problems you are having is due to your diet change and activity change(possibly). You immune system is down because it is trying to battle the gut which is being forced to have items digested that it doesn't want to digest. Your diet for the past few years has not included some things and your body has enjoyed it. Now that you are reintroducing grains and meat, your body is trying to switch over and is not winning. Also, when you go from high activity to low activity, your body still produces adrenalin each day after you stop the high energy cycle as if you were continuing. If you don't train down, then that adrenalin accumulates and you end up feeling terrible, tired all the time, and depressed without having a reason for it.

The solution is to allow your body to recover. Get back to eating right and allow your immune system to increase without having to battle energy with all the other stuff. Whether you rest and allow the immune system to recover or begin to SLOWLY increase your activity to get it going again depends upon how your body responds. If you start to go to a workout and your body is saying it doesn't want to, then don't. Listen to what your body is telling you.

So, thanks, Dr Adams. And, thank you coach for getting me off my ass, and exercising again. Energy level? I highly anticipate your return. :) Here's looking forward to the 2011 season. May you be fast, and exciting, and even better than this past season.

finally, a few black and whites that the boy i like took during his visit to Montreal. his Flickr Page can be seen HERE: