Working Out of shape...

Cycle to Work

Well, I almost made my seasonal goal this summer, but I fell short by 88 seconds:


I'm hoping that I still have some riding days left in October, but the weather is starting to turn cooler in the morning (and in the evening - I'm looking at a pretty wet ride home tonight..)

Oh well.  Try again another day!

Melissa's Road Race 2010

Me Well, 3ish months of training in some form or another done, the goal race - Melissa’s Road Race - is complete.

First of all, the numbers.  All of these are in comparison to my 2009 “performance” when I was a bit hurt, and untrained going in.

So:  Gun time (time from the starting mark to when I crossed the line) was 2:41:35, chip time was 2:39.53 (2:39:57 by my watch, but I know I started it early).  Last year, we were looking at 2:58:17 and 2:56:58, shaving a good 15 minutes off the total run.  My pace according to the official results went from 8:03 to 7:17 (7:13 according to my watch - the difference being gun time vs. chip time).  Total distance as registered by my garmin is 22.14 (and 22.41 last year).  Total elevation change was +-1440ft (or thereabouts).  Total calories burnt came in just over 2500 calories.  I spent a total of 1:51 standing still, which was more than last year, however one of the running group stopped to pee..  so, ya know.

Not that that’s a bad thing or anything.  I really enjoyed the race this year, for a number of different reasons.  Some are worthwhile sharing, which I’ll get into below, and some would cause too many waves or are personal, and they’ll stay right where they are.

Training.  I had a good run into training this year, which also included a short run in the Fallen Four relay marathon.  I managed to get a good bit of hill training in, as well as all of my distance run (though I am guilty of cutting a few runs short here or there!).  I fell short of my speed training, mostly due to where they fell in the schedule and how real life got in the way, but all in all, I had a good running base before going into the race.

I also spent less time actually running as training, and exchanged that for considerable time on my bike.  I would aim for at least 2 days a week of cycling.  Sometimes I would hit more, sometimes I wouldn’t, but that was the goal.  I think with more cross training and less actual feet on the pavement running training, the overall result was a strong cardiovascular system without the strain on the body that comes with running.

A final contribution to the training was weight loss.  In the last ~3 months, I’ve dropped just about 20 lbs, which sure makes running a lot easier - less strain on the feet, legs, knees, etc.  The trick will be keeping that weight off over the cooler months.

Time to exit the reality distortion field

PICT0340 Well, today I wrapped up my training course entitled "Planning and Managing Windows 7 Desktop Deployments and Environments", I started the "Biggest Loser" financial challenge with my wife and siblings, half-marathon training plan gets firmed up right after running a leg of a marathon relay, and we start work on the back yard fence.

The course was a 5-day instructor led course, taken off site at a downtown Edmonton location.  5 days later, massive amounts of parking fees paid, I'm at the other end with my head spinning only just a little bit.  At least I have some good ideas in mind for the deployment at work, as well as an idea on where to start.

Could I have done this without the class?  Possibly.  The problem here, is that there are so many tools that are at play, it's difficult to know where one ends and the next begins.  I also got a chance to play with the mother of all deployment tools, SCCM, and realise just how much my face hurts just by thinking about it.  It looks cool, yes, it's definitely powerful, but way more than what we need at work.

So, no more 8:30-3:30 days, with two dedicated (and full) 15 minute breaks, an hour long lunch, and let's not forget the "downtown life" where everything is right there.

The Annual Cycling Joke


As I've posted about before, I ride my bike to work across Edmonton.  The ride is about 1:15 hours, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less depending on weather, traffic and lights.

It's 24KM, almost to the dot.  A bit more on the way home.  Nothing to complain about though..  like, we're talking about 400m more.

On my way, I travel along 127ST.  127ST, for a portion of the trip, is one-way north-bound.  However, on the west side (southbound) lane, there is a bike line, specifically for bikes travelling south on the north-bound only road.

This is pretty clear the big ol' arrow on the ground in the Google Streetview image that you see to the left (you're looking north in this picture).

It's quite nice - because it's a one-way, there isn't much traffic, so it's generally quiet safe.

However, when the summer months come around, and people see the bike path, the immediately assume that you, as a cyclist and therefore second rate citizen of the transportation world.

So, invariably throughout the summer, I'll get some dumb broad who will roll down their window, and point, and speak v e r y   s l o w l y that there indeed a bike path on the road, and therefore by talking to me like I'm mentally challenged, I should go use the bike path.

Now, look REAL close at the sign in the photo.

"Northbound cyclist use East side travel lanes".

Let's recap, for the benefit of the dumb broad in the ancient mini-van from today.

I'm going north.

Therefore, the travel lane we should be sharing is on our right, or the east side, of the road.  If I were going south, the travel lane would be on our left (or where the bike path is now).

So should I speak v e r y   s l o w l y to you and remind you to READ THE SIGNS ON THE ROAD?  Because maybe, just maybe, I have actually read the posted signs, and by travelling on the east side of a northbound one-way road, I am following the law.

I don't have the facts to back this up, but I think in most north American municipalities cyclists are considered "cars" as far as traffic laws go.  So, for me to travel in the southbound lane is against the law, and quite dangerous since you, as the driver, aren't trained to look out the left side of your car when you're driving - except when you're going to pass.

So, in conclusion, to the dumb broad who reminded me that I should be breaking the law - open your eyes, and read the signs around you.  It's as much up to you as it is to me to share the road.  Just because there's a bike path doesn't mean I should be using it.

Some babbling


That's a view of Sunshine when we went up in February.  We've been again since, in March, and it was just as nice - a bit more cloud cover, but otherwise snowy, mountain-y, and all around friggen awesome.

Which is more than I can say for the weather in town.  It's still in that mid-state of spring, where it thaws out during the day, freezes up at night into this nice perfect smooth icy surface.  You know, the ones that you can't see when you're clipping along at ~30kph on your bike, and you try to take a turn, and you wonder why your back wheel is going all over the place while your front wheel continues to point forward.

The one time that I've never really had a problem with icy sidewalks and roads is when I'm running.  I'm not sure why - something to do with how you move your body, I suppose, but when I'm in the act of running I generally don't slip on ice.  That's not true for walking though.  On a walk break, in between intervals or at the end of a run, I'll fall if I'm standing still, but not if I'm moving.  I don't get it.  So, I started running with the goal of doing the Canada Day race (a nice 15k with some brutal hills), the Fallen Four relay marathon (assuming a team gets formed up) and Melissa's. 

Yep, back into doing Melissa's again, and the only reason that I can come up with when I'm asked "why?" is because I had such a crappy time with it before.

Busy weekend of doing nothing

In another suitably busy weekend, Holly and I find ourselves tending to a large list of unanswered Facebook requests, Google Reader items, and a depleting supply of Haagen-Dazs “Half the Fat” Dulce De Leche ice cream, we can’t help but reflect on the massacre that the weekend was.

Which doesn’t mean it was bad, per ce – it’s just full.  And for being the last few weeks of summer I guess they ought to be full, but not THIS full that I’m wondering how to fit in some sleep in the next 5 hours before showering and going to work for a week.  At least, it’s a short week, in a manner of speaking.