Archive | May 2015

Weekly Update 1…

As the title suggests, I will update my activities weekly, rather than trying to keep up with daily updates, plus I am sure daily updates can get very boring. I will of course do other posting not related to my physical activity as they come up.

Since my last update, I have continued to ride but still not to a level that I had planned by this point. The one thing so far this bike season that I have not experienced in past years, is the constant strong winds we have had on a daily basis. In the end, I know this will only make me stronger on the bike. I have taken to doing some sprints on my rides, I usually sprint for 1K. Reviewing the Garmin data once I was finished, I was happy to see a few sprints in the 40km/h and the majority in the high 30s.

Since my last post, I did add another “gadget” to Bonnie. Last year, I purchased a used set of Profile Design T2+ aerobars. It did take me some time getting use to the aerobars but towards the end of last season I was comfortable in the aero position. The one thing I did find with the T2 was the flat position of the bars caused my hands to go numb.

T2

In the off-season, I did some research on the various aerobars to see if I could find a set that I would feel more comfortable with and that would alleviate the numbness. In the end, I purchased a set of Profile Design T3+ Carbon based on several reviews.

bars

So far, I am very happy with the purchase. I love how my hands feel in the up turned bar position. Over the next little while, I will play with the adjustment of the bars to see if I can tune in my aero position better.

Last weekend was a big weekend for the Ottawa running community, as it was the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. There were almost 50,000 runners competing in races from 5k right up to the marathon. This race is a Boston qualifier so there are runners from all over the world in Ottawa competing. As part of Race Weekend, there is a huge fitness expo with everything a runner might need to compete. I decided not to take part this year but I thought I should at least take in the expo. This would be my first time going into such a crowded place on my own since getting diagnosed with PTSD. Well, I did make it through though it did take a lot out of me. Still, I made the effort and to think that just over a year ago, I would have not even considered going into that big of a crowd on my own.

Though I was disappointed not to be racing this year, I did have several friends running in various races. My running buddy and good friend Jenn was running in her very first marathon. I so wished I could have run with her, but it was not meant to be. As I sat at my nephew football practise, I kept looking at the time on my iPhone and talking to myself, saying, at this time, Jenn should be at this point on the course. I was so happy when I got home and checked her bib number on Sport Stats to see Jenn had completed he first marathon. It was bitter-sweet but I was super proud of Jenn crossing that finish line.

On Tuesday morning, I noticed that one of my friends posted a running challenge that she was taking part in with Runners World Magazine. The challenge is to run every day from Memorial Day to July 1, a total of 41 days of running. I have not run much at all since last December so this was a great chance to get my legs moving again while being held accountable to my running friends. Knowing that I had not run since December, I was not going to run for a time but a distance to start off with and once I got my runners legs back, then I would start pushing for time.

There are a couple of more motivators to run and keep running. The first being that I have signed up to run the Army half marathon at the end of September. The proceeds of this race goes to help the Canadian Soldiers and their families. It is also an emotional race as there are a lot of wounded soldier either running or racing in their wheel chairs. This year, I will wear a special shirt that I will have made up for the race. The second reason for keeping up with the running is that it will help me lose the weight I have put on in the last year. I worked so hard to lose that 100lbs, I cannot go back to that weight again. I went from a 46″ waist down to a 34″ waist, though my pants were a little snug. Now, I am finding that my 36″ waist pants are a little more than snug. My short-term goal is to fit back into my 36″ waist pants so they are very comfortable to wear.

Over all, I am feeling very good and that things are coming together nicely. I so look forward to the next 5-6 weeks of training and then going back to school for six weeks. Things are changing, but all the changes at this point are very good.

Here is a sample of my workouts this past week:

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run2

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Until next time, “Pick a gear and disappear”

Quick Update

Hi all. Just a quick update as I have not posted in the last few days. One reason is that it was our May long weekend here in Canada, or as some like to call it May 2-4 weekend. I was kept very busy with the traditional spring cleaning and family functions. The weather was not the greatest either, so much so we actually had tornado warnings.

The last couple of days I spent a lot of time working on getting things set up with for my new career. Doing a lot of phone tag, sending forms, emails and getting a lot of run around. Well, it looks like all that is settled so it is back to regular scheduled programing tomorrow. I am a so looking forward to it. I hope the temperature rises as it has been really cool here the last couple of days. Just this morning it was 1C!!! Brrrrr

I will do a hard 20-30k on the bike tomorrow and a 3-5k run as well. Look for the update tomorrow.

Until then, pick a gear and disappear!!

Day 8 Out and About……Running Around

Today was going to be another of those days chasing down paperwork and getting more forms completed at government departments. To start the day off, I spent 45 minutes on hold with the Ministry of Transport trying to find out why I had yet to receive the letter regarding my medical. My transportation medical needed to go to a review panel in Toronto due to the medication I am taking for my PTSD. I was told everything was approved over the phone and that I should expect a letter shortly. Well, after the long wait on the phone and talking to a real person, it seems as though they do not actually send out a letter but make a note on the file for my license.

mto

Next, it was office to the MOT to get a copy of my driver abstract for my application for Heavy Equipment school. Though service was a little bit quicker in person, I still had to wait 25 minutes to talk with a service person to get a sheet a single sheet of paper. There was a time that we could this at one of the many MOT kiosks that were located throughout the city. About two years ago I believe, the provincial government had to remove the kiosks because apparently people could hack into them and steal personal information. It is too bad that these kiosks had to be removed as they were very convenient.

Rather than go to the next government office I needed to, I decided it was time get my summer hair cut. For most of the year, my hair cut consists of number 4 buzz blade on top and three on the sides. When the warmer weather hits, I drop it down to number two on top and one on the sides. I swear I am one of those guys whose hair line is moving forward, plus my hair is sure thick. Every person who has cut my hair has commented on how thick my hair is, thus the reason for getting it cut short and every four to five weeks.

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With the super stealth hair cut complete, it was off to the Ottawa Police Service to get a criminal record check done as a lot of potential employers require this document as part of the application process. I thought it would be best to get this done sooner than later because apparently, there is a wait time of up to three weeks. Well, lucky me, I was the only person in line so they did my back ground check right then and there. Having worked at the airport this past winter, I required a CSIS check which is much more in-depth that a criminal record check. I wish I could have gotten a hold of that paperwork as it would have saved me $47 but that is something that neither CSIS or the Airport Authority will release to me.

The last item of the day was to drop by and visit the folks. I know that I have not visited as much as I should have over the last little while but when I get in one of those funk, I just do not feel like visiting with anyone. I just want to do my thing and carry on as normal. I will be visiting more often as time permits between now and when school starts.

So the day was spent doing a lot of waiting and go around town but all in all it was a productive day. I hope that this is the last of the paperwork I need to do for school but knowing how government agencies work, I am sure there will be a couple of more surprises along the way.

This is the May long weekend, or Victoria Day Weekend here in Canada and I do not plan to do too much other than some spring cleaning that is long over due. I will try to get in a bike ride or run at some point but other than that I plan to just veg.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend everyone.

Day 7 Out and About…..Bonnie

After many delays due to weather and on my part, I finally got Bonnie out for her first ride of the season. Prior to going out for the ride, I took Bogie on a play date with his buddies Zeus and Trixie. Now we a very strange dog park in our neighbourhood, it is only enclosed on two sides. I am not sure what genius at that city came up with this great idea, especially since the dog park is adjacent to a four lane 80km/h road way. So, if the dogs want to take off, there is really nothing holding them back from getting out on the road way, to make it even better, the dog park is right next to a fire station so if they have to go out on a call, I am sure the sirens could spook some of the dogs.

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Having worked up a good sweat, it was time to get Bogie home so that he could cool down. With Bogie all tired out, this would allow me to a few items to Bonnie in piece as he tends to go for a nap after playing. I put Bonnie in the bike stand to add a like oil to the chain, put on my little seat bag and mount my GoPro to the aerobars. I can only put the GoPro on the aerobars because when the aerobars are installed, there is no place to mount the camera on the handle bars. The one good thing about this is that the field on vision is unobstructed and made for a good video.

As you will recall from posts last year, I had trouble dialing in the gearing on Bonnie, so much so that I ended up scraping the front derailleur, which was a SRAM, and replacing it with a Shamino 105 derailleur. Even then there were issues so it ended up back at the shop late last season. When it came back from the shop, I did not ride it, but stored it for the winter months. I am happy to say that gearing is finally dialed in perfect. Other than a slight chain rub on the front derailleur in low gear, the gears shift perfectly.

Though I will not do it this year, I do plan to replace all the SRAM components with Shimano Ultegra group set as my faith in SRAM is still not high. I would love to install the Di2 group set but given the price, I will wait to purchase a Tri bike that already has it installed.

Video of my ride

I wanted to again take it easy as I have not done much in the way of physical activity since December other than work and a few runs on the treadmill. We had a new bridge open across the river last July but I had not biked across it since opening and I thought this would be a good opportunity to do so. The weather was perfect with sun, low 20’s temperature and moderate wind out of the west. I put Bonnie to the test very early as I went up a long steady climb. The problem that I was having with the gears last year was when going up hill, the gears would slip. Well, that was not a problem this day as the gearing worked very well.

bonnie1

I certainly did not set any land speed record but I did not even sweat during this ride even going up the hills. There was one steep hill and I did not have to get my butt out of the set. The traffic on the roads were ok seeing that it was early afternoon but I still feel a little uneasy riding in the bike lane within the city. There is no doubt that I will get used to it as time goes on.

Well, that was day seven of getting out and I am starting to get into the habit of getting out for either exercise or just doing everyday chores.

This is my first time uploading and editing a GoPro video so I am sorry it is not that great. Until next time, keep the eye on the prize!!

Day 6 Out and About…….Not So Much

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A few weeks ago, my doctor advised that it would be best that I not return to my career as a REALTOR. I kind of figured that might happen so I have been giving some thought as what I might do as my new career. Over the years, if there is one thing that I have always enjoyed is being outside while I work. Though I am sure I have the talent and skill set for many high income office professions, I have always enjoyed the changing scenery of my work each day. I always enjoyed the days of showing properties but I was not a happy camper when I was in the office for any amount of time.

Today was spent doing a lot of paperwork and research for my possible new career. My experience this past winter de-icing aircraft has led me to look at training to becoming a heavy equipment operator. So today, I filled out a lot of paperwork that could possibly get me government funding for the training required to be a heavy equipment operator. Heck, I have paid in more than my fair share of income tax over the last 12 years, so if the government is handing out money, why not try to get some of it back. If I do not get it, I will proceed with the training any ways.

As with any government program, they make you jump through a lot of hoops and fill out a mountain of papers. I did not mind as some of the required work was to do research on the career and what the future outlook will be for the profession. As of right now, the future looks bright for the equipment operator field.

Part of my day was spent looking for various personal documents, some of which I have not looked at in years. Then came the pleasure of filling out online government forms, I swear that for one application, I had to input my date of birth no less than 10 times. I also had to order one document online from the provincial government, it was funny the options they give you and just when you think you have it figured out, they throw a curve ball and you have to start all over again.

I did venture out to the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner, over the last little bit, I have been asking Renee to stop on the way home from work. It was also very cool and windy today so it was a good day to do stuff inside. Tomorrow, I plan to get in a long ride as the weather forecast is looking great.

Here is hoping that the long weekend weather is better than forecasted so that Renee and I can do something outside together.

“Pick a gear and disappear”

Day 5 Out and About……Clyde

The temperature raised a little over night so this morning was actually nice and warm. I was sitting back and doing some reading while Bogart was in his favorite place watching the world go by.

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All of a sudden, Bogart is bouncing up and down like crazy which could mean only one of two things, either Renee came back from work for some reason or his two buddies Trixy and Zeus were outside. Sure enough his buddies were at the corner along with their owner Sophie. I got a text from Sophie asking if I wish to join in on a pack walk. How could I refuse as Bogie was itching to go!

Three dogs and two owners out for a relaxing walk, well after about 10 minutes of playing they were calm enough to walk. We took a similar route as I took the other day but just a little shorter. I wore my sandals today instead of running shoes as the blisters are still healing. The dogs had a great walk but by the time we got home, they were good and tired.

bogwalk

Once back at the house, it was time to make sure Bogie drank enough water and that he went down for a nap. With Bogie all settled down, I made my way into the garage to do a little fine tuning on Clyde and add a few items. I had to put the bell back on as it fell of last season, also I mounted a new rear flashing light and to top it all off, I put on a mount for my new GoPro camera. This gadget should prove interesting over the next little bit. I hope to put a few videos once I get used to the camera and how to edit the footage.

I grabbed a bite to eat and then went to dig out my bike clothing. It was time now to take Clyde out for a shake out ride. I did not realize how hard the wind was blowing until I made the turn onto Earl Armstrong Rd. It was like hitting a brick wall at time. I cycled through all the gears up and down to make sure that they changed smoothly. Unfortunately, at time they chain jumped the gears so I would have to make an adjustment once I got home. I also noticed that the rear wheel was not spinning as smoothly as it should. The disc brake need an adjustment and I did that on the road by just loosening the barrel adjuster.

bike

All in all, the first ride was good other than the wind making it harder than I expected. I did not plan to go out at a fast pace given it was the first ride but I was happy with my overall effort. The 20K distance was just the right distance for the first ride. I will increase the distance gradually over the next few weeks. Tomorrow, I take Bonnie out for her first ride of the year. I hope to get some video footage of that ride as well.

Until tomorrow, keep moving forward.

Day 4 Out and About……Who Turned Off the Heat?

The plan for today was to work on cleaning up the garage but the rain was so hard, I dare not put anything outside. So instead of cleaning outside it was time to work on the pile of laundry that has been collecting over the last couple of weeks. I had hoped that the rain would stop or let up a bit so I could do a shake down ride on Clyde but it did not. On top of the rain not stopping the temperature went for 31c yesterday to a very 10c today.

My blisters are healing, but the placement of the blisters make each step I take hurt. I hope that they heal quickly so that walking and running training can begin this week. The weather for tomorrow looks like it will be an improvement over today so I will be up early to get that bike ride in.

us

So the weather kept me inside for the most part today but I did have to make a special trip out. Today is my friend and running buddy Jenn’s’ birthday. I went off in search of a real gift but I am your typical guy, one I hate shopping and two, I never know what gift to buy anyone. After going to a couple of stores, I went with the old stand by, a gift card and a card.

So, I did not come anywhere near the time out of the house as I hope but I will make up for it in the coming days. Here’s to a better tomorrow and week ahead.