Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Higher miles

I ran 8 miles tonight, 13km. Jake and I had been looking for a time to run together for a while and this was the first chance we had. It is so nice to have someone to run with. It takes your mind off the fact that you're running for over an hour. At the end we both had a bit of the jell-o legs, but felt good.

I feel 100% better then I did two weeks ago when I struggled through 6 miles.

A few shorter runs this week, plus I need to get my cross-training going again. Next weeks long run is 10 miles.


UPDATE (05/30/07 21:10)

Not that you care, but I realized today that I misread my schedule and this weeks long run was only supposed to be 6 miles, not the 8 miler that I did. But that's ok, because this will give me the option now of building my long runs to be longer than the half-marathon race distance.

Oh, and I'm going for a nice long bike ride tomorrow morning.

Suffering for Jesus

The reason for the trip to Bermuda was a trip for the Youth Band that I help organize for our division of the Salvation Army. It's always fun to travel and if we're going to play for people it might as well be tropical! Yeah, some real suffering was done over THAT decision.

We flew out of Buffalo at 9:50am on Thursday, but with checking in, travelling in a group of 30 with over sized instruments, it meant being at the airport by 7:30am. Now is a good time to mention that Buffalo is a solid 4+ hour drive from where I live. Do the math and you can see that it was an early morning.

So the Windsor crew (9 of us) went to London the night before to sleep (although I didn't sleep a wink) and then we all took a coach bus from there to Buff. Other than the insane departure time from London (4am), things went great. Flying into Newark for our connection was cool, because I didn't realize how close it is to NYC, which I had never seen before, and we got a good view of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty from our side of the plane. Side-note: Newark airport has stuff well priced. I bought a bagel w/cream cheese for $1.49, in an airport!

The next flight to Bermuda was great, although coming in for a landing and not seeing ANY land is a little freaky. By the time we got to our billets, had something to eat, drove around a few of the sights, I had been up for almost thirty hours. When I hit the pillow that night I didn't even move until my alarm went off 9 hours later.

Friday was a busy day, we played in a few schools, did an hour or so on street corners and then had some free time. I convinced the rest of the leaders to take a ferry with me across the island. We didn't have much time to do it, but it ended up timing itself perfectly. Plus, this gave us 40 minutes to sit on a boat in the Bermudian sun. The sacrifices of leadership, I know...

We had a sound check for our concert Saturday morning, then spent the early part of the afternoon at the beach, Horseshoe Bay. At first the water was cool, but it didn't matter it was the ocean and it warmed up nicely. A few hours in the sun and water and most of us looked fairly pink. It was pretty evident when someone had missed a spot on their backs with sunblock. I got burned a bit, but only in the spots I missed. It's a little itchy, but it was worth it.
Saturday night we shared a concert with their Divisional Bands and then we did the church service Sunday morning. A quick, and wonderful, lunch was provided to us after church and we bolted for the airport. It was over too quickly.

But us Windsor folk still had about 14 hours of travelling to do. We had a four hour layover in Newark, then our flight was delayed an hour because of weather, after we had boarded. We got back to London around 3:15am Monday and I was home by 5:20. Fortunately shift work has taught me how to handle being up all night and I just treated it like a midnight shift. Once Sue and Darcy were on their way in the morning, I went to bed.
I feels like a dream. A very vivid and detailed dream. I'll have to go back to make sure it was real...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Back Burned

"There's a double meaning in that" - Benedict, Much Ado About Nothing

I'm back from Bermuda. A full update will follow. Just a quick note to say how great it was. It was so beautiful and went so quickly that it felt like a dream. Even though we were there for a band trip, I did managed to find time to get a little sunburn.

Other than that and getting burned with horrible flight times, no complaints.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

10k a ok

So I did another long run today and was much stronger mentally than last week. I even ran it a minute faster.

I thought that the fact that it was the hottest day might have had something to do with last weeks struggles, but today was plenty hot and I was fine.

I just need to suck it up and run.

The sacrifices we have to make

When I started my new job in November I figured that being at the bottom of to totem-pole, I would get stuck with working all the crappy shifts, holidays and have trouble getting time off when I needed it. Boy, was I wrong.

Somehow my schedule gave me almost all of the stat. holidays off. I had to work this Monday, but that wasn't so bad because it was preceded with four days off anyway! Plus, I go into work tonight and then I'm done until June 9th. Tomorrow I leave for five days on a trip to Bermuda with the Salvation Army Youth Band that I help organize, then I come back for three days of rest before leaving again for a week in Montreal for a family vacation.

When I finally have to go back to work, I only have 10 days in June where I'm actually AT work because I'm being sent to Ottawa for some training for four days. Score. I also had the shifts I was working changed recently, from 8 hours to 10.5 hours. The extended hours means I get more time off. Previously I was working 40 of 56 days (the length of our schedule). Now I work 30 of 56 days. This is going to be great once Sue is done work at the end of June.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The mind game

It's been said that running is 20% physical and 90% mental. Lately I've been finding that to be true.

Working shifts makes biking to and from work harder than in previous years, so my cycling numbers are way down. But I'm getting out there for more runs then usual, so while my fitness isn't great, it's still good. The thing is, every time I go out for a long run I have to battle my mind to make it through.

Today was no exception. I did a 10 k, my goal was to do it nice and easy, keeping my heart rate low'ish' and just getting to the end of it. I did two 3 mile loops, picking up a bottle of Gatorade at the half way point, so physically I was fine. I've been building my distance again slowly, so I have no concerns there. But mentally it was a slugfest. I don't understand why I beat myself up so badly. "The next mile is with the wind, there'll be no breeze." "There's not enough shade." "Am I dehydrating?" "The bottle is getting heavy." "Don't drink too much." and my favorite "My feet are too hot."

I've run that distance countless times. I've run longer than 10 k many times and have even run twice that far. So why the mental weakness? WHY? Over the next 10 weeks or so I plan on increasing my long run by about 2 miles a week, so in 4 weeks a 6 mile run will seem like a day off. Why the battle?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


For no important reason I have a site metre at the bottom of this blog. I guess the real reason is so that I can know how many people are reading this and where they come from. Also, it's boosts my ego.

At 2:34 pm, May 13, 2007, I received my 10,000 th visitor. And it's not like I was visiting the site myself to inflate the numbers, this was a legitimate visitor all the way from Harare, Zimbabwe! I imagine it was one of two people that I know in Harare.

Thanks for visiting John or Rochelle!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


This is not an authorized plug for Facebook.com, but it is still a plug.

If you don't know what it is, basically you can look up people from your past, that you've lost touch with and reconnect (if they use facebook too, but right now it seems almost everyone does). There are other services like this (classmates, gradfinder), but facebook it miles better then those two combined. And it's free. My wife started using it about a week ago and commented how addicting it is. I used her account to look around for a day or two before getting my own account.

I refuse to use the word 'addicted', but I certainly am committed. I cannot believe how easy it to find people. People from every part of your own personal history. Grade school, high school, college, family, extended family, lost friends, long lost friends, co-workers, former co-workers, even ex's. Not that I have many of those...

For example: The day I signed up, I found my childhood best friend. A guy who I spent everyday with from kindergarten until the end of high school when we went to different colleges. I haven't seen or heard from him in at least 13 years and we've chatted for the last couple of days. If you played a lot of Tim Horton's Roll-up-the-rim and doubt that anyone ever wins big, well some people do. He won a Toyota Hybrid, but he doesn't drive so he sold it!

I give two thumbs up to facebook.