Friday, 28 December 2012

Money Falling From the Sky

Oh Hey!...Remember me...?  I know we haven't seen too much of each other this past little while, but I wanted to let you know that I have been thinking of you.  In fact, I was dreaming of our glorious reunion only the other night, you and me, together again.  The reason for our time apart....?  No it wasn't was me.  I've just been busy...thats all...very busy...a bit preoccupied so to say.  With what you ask?  Well its complicated, and somewhat painful to recount...but...I suppose for old times sake, you deserve an explanation.  It all began with....

Hope you enjoyed that little bit of creativity, which was thought up late at night over a large cup of herbal tea.  This top section was meant to serve as an imaginary conversation between myself and my running shoes.  Its been roughly three months since I have been out for a run due to my injury in the fall, but fortunately my condition is improving.  I headed to the hospital last week to get an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to check that everything in my leg is all healed up and ready to go.  It should be another couple weeks until I get the results, but hopefully I will be cleared to lace up my shoes and head out for some beautiful winter runs.

Just before heading into the MRI

Speaking of winter, it is probably safe to say that winter is my favourite season.  Although winter brings snow, which effectively ends the outdoor riding season, there are many redeeming factors about winter.  To start (and also to explain the title), snow accumulation is perfect for my winter job of shovelling driveways.  I tend to have anywhere between three to six regular clients in my snow shovelling business, and in good winter seasons, I can make a fair amount of money clearing their driveways.  Our first real snowfall occurred only a couple of days ago, but it was enough to keep me busy for about four hours in the morning clearing a total of seven driveways (snowfalls tend to turn me into a tireless snow shovelling machine by the way).  Apart from being a fantastic workout, it also brought in a nice profit of around $100, which will help me to absorb the cost of some of my new gear.  Check out this picture below for how reflective my new jacket is:)

"Lightbulb Jacket"

Apart from being super stylish and reversible, this jacket is also perhaps one of the most reflective pieces of clothing available to consumers.  It is a great way to stay visible to cars on dark winter runs, and should help keep me safe during low light training sessions (to the relief of my safety conscious mom).

Winter is also a great time of the year, as school takes a break, we celebrate Christmas, and finally we celebrate my birthday on the 31'st of December.  I turn 21 this year (there might be a special birthday swim set to make to occasion).
The swim team at York has also started their winter training camp, which should provide me with more than enough opportunity to make up for the two days off of swimming on Christmas and boxing day (I still got in biking both of those days though).

We'll talk soon (you readers and my running shoes).  Happy New Year

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Take a Chill, Have a Coffee

My past few weeks have been pretty busy with school and training.  I have had to write two midterms and one final exam in the past three weeks, while at the same time, keep up with my regular training and injury recovery. This hectic schedule was beginning to take its toll as I was developing a cough and sore throat, so when I left for a family trip out to British Columbia, it was a good switch up from my regular routine.

The first stop on our trip out to BC was to Whistler for some early season downhill skiing.  Whistler has been getting some serious snowfall for this time of the year, and we enjoyed fresh powder for the two days we skied.  Taking some runs down the mountain slopes was a nice break from my regular Ontario schedule, although I still went to the rec centre every evening to get in some swimming (and by some swimming, I mean a lot of swimming).

Enjoying the fresh powder right next to the "Peak to Peak"

After a couple days in Whistler, we headed back to Vancouver to meet up with family and celebrate my mom's uncle's 90'th birthday (her other uncle is 92, so my gene pool is looking pretty good).  This day involved a lot of sitting, and although I was eager to get some training in, there just wasn't time, so I opted for a day off.  This is where the phrase "Take a Chill, Have a Coffee" comes in.  In my close group of training partners, we have numerous catch phrases, this one being developed after watching the Tim Don training video, in which he repeats this saying all through the video.  Whenever any of us say it, it is essential to say it in some sort of accent, myself opting for the australian accent (very similar to Tim Don's accent).  I don't actually drink coffee, but I do like to chill on my day's off.  Here's what I tend to like when I "take a chill":

Somewhat important
- A bit of a sleep in, maybe to 9 or 10am
- An easy swim to loosen up and keep a feel for the water.  A nice long shower after is also good
- A long stretch and roll with some t.v
- Changeup breakfast (like pancakes instead of oatmeal)
Essential for absolute chill
-High quality beer, but only one (Mill street Organic Lager is preferred)
-Ping Pong (this can get intense)
-Steam room or sauna (the highest level of chill)

This particular day off mentioned above included swim, stretch, beer, and on the top of the list, a visit to the hotel's steam room, so it was pretty chill (and it helped get rid of my cough).

On our last full day in BC, I got to swim in a 50m pool for my first time, and put in 5km of solid swimming.

Vancouver Aquatic Centre (5km swim)
We took the rest of the day to visit a few more elderly relatives, and also visit with my Aunt and two cousins (who agreed to read my blog, so it may be nice to mention them).  Like myself, my cousins are both extremely competitive, and we played a very intense fast paced game of cutthroat uno (lets call this cross training for the mind).  We finished off the evening with a beautifully prepared dinner by my Aunt, that included numerous "Andrew Friendly" foods like a vegetarian lasagne, herbal tea, and dark chocolate.

Our flight back home was fast with only a small delay, but we got back quite late, and everyone was pretty tired.  Of course, being the super energetic triathlete I am, I decided to get dropped off at the pool on our drive home for a quick swim, putting a nice end to a relaxing trip.  Now, after a nice break from the regular routine of a university student (train, study, eat, sleep) I am back to full health and ready to start studying for exams.