Welcome to my blog! This is a site where you can keep up to date on my life as a full-time athlete in the sport of cross country skiing. You can expect regular updates throughout the year as I report on training, racing, life in general and maybe even some school. Sponsors, family, friends and fans: Enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008


(written Sunday, October 12th)

This week can be summarized as the adventurous week of adventure.  It has been a good week, I have done some cool things, learned a lot and doubled the amount of BC that I have seen.  It started with that little escapade out to Vernon to hang with Dr. Sellars.  It then turned into me heading back towards Whistler in hurricane winds, nearly having the Fit crushed beneath a tree on some back road that the Garmin Nuvi sent me on for some reason, and then spontaneously calling up my buddy CJ Moran and spending a solid day in Kamloops in rez at Thompson Rivers University. 

I had a great time in Kamloops, it started with us ripping around Kamloops, busting open the beefy cold air intake on Colton’s G5 on our way to all you can eat ribs night at Tony Roma’s.  The ribs were charred and succulent uncharred ones were few and far between.  Still, good start to the night.  Immediately after we peaced over to the sports centre that is located on campus for some aquatics tomfoolery.  It is by far the most impressive sports complex I have ever been to.  What I would normally call excessive but since everything was being used, I guess not…read the next 4 lines for deets if you require them.  They had two fitness rooms, complete with the full range of cardio machines, weights and everything in between.  It also had a fully lit rugby/football/lacrosse field and soccer field right outside along with an indoor track, a bunch of gyms, a gymnastics facility, a swimming pool and likely much more, as these were only things that I saw making the 100m walk from the parking lots, through the main doors of the complex and into the pool’s change room.  It was a total random idea to go to the swimming pool, I used to frequent the YK pool every Friday when I was a kid, but my commitment has been on a downward slide since.  Actually, the slide was short lived, I have just remained here at the bottom of the slide since the Aquaquests and elementary school.  I had a blast at the pool!  Colton was talking up his swimming pretty good since he has been practicing several times per week for his swimming course which he gets credits for, so I wanted to see this guy in action to assess his potential to put all of his “basics” together into a well rounded triathlete.  Probably a better swimmer than I am technically, but he couldn’t handle my high power output over 25m in the various races we did in various techniques.  In his defense, I was using his goggles so he was somewhat blind, and he was chock full of beef ribs (I ate more than him though…).  I did the waterslide once while Colton did a backflop off the 3 m board, we hit up the “hot” hot tub, grabbed some DQ and headed ‘er back to rez.  Once back we sat through “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, which, by the way is a pretty sweet flick.  Expected to be lame, but surprisingly engaging.  The next morning I went to class with Colton.  It was “remote control quiz” day in Information Systems II, so I decided to take part doing a mental tally of my rights and wrongs as the questions came up on the projection screen.  Seriously hilarious, I almost started laughing hysterically; the quiz was on databases, something I have never ever known anything about or been interested in to any degree.  I will tell you why it was hilarious:  After the prof went over a couple crucial points for the next assignment before the beginning of the quiz, I was able to acquire enough knowledge of the wonderful world of databases to be able to pull off an 80% on the quiz, good enough to put me among the top ranks of the class.  How the heck did that happen?  There were some pretty specific questions in that quiz, and almost every answer I had was complete psychological analysis of trends in previous question’s student answer breakdown as well as trying to get into the mind of the test maker and interpret potentially deceptive options (it was all multiple choice).  I was definitely experiencing a high luck quotient that morning.  Once back at rez, we pounded a multiple-box batch of KD (true Uni food) and hit the road to the coast, me going the North-way, CJ going Coquihala-way to spend Thanksgiving with the GF in Sechelt.  Good times at Thompson Rivers… In a way it made me want to live the true University experience, but then again I think I would get fed up pretty quick with the unpredictable nature of everything that is Uni life.  I like the controlled environment that is the athlete’s lifestyle, saturated with manipulated variables.

Once back on the road, tires filled up to street racing level, I was off on the 97.  Upon turning onto the very first section of the 99, I was overcome with an uncontrollable urge to ride this magnificently smooth, quiet and scenic, mountain road.  I ditched the Fit at Marble Canyon (beautiful place) and took off on the Devinci for a 60km ride.  Great ride, one of the most amazing roads I have ever ridden.  Towering cliffs, crystal clear lakes, rugged semi-arid landscape.  One regret: having not worn spandex or knee warmers.  It was only about 9 C out, so the old legs got a bit chilled in the frigid wind.  I think this did something weird to the insertion of my quads, as the 2nd half of the ride I was experiencing some pain in my left knee and over the next few days a general stabbing pain in both knees with any kind of contraction of these muscles.  Maybe the cold tissue was prone to tears…  Glad I wasn’t buddy who was completing his daily chunk of Lillooet to Revelstoke (338km) in the grand scheme of travelling from Tofino to Banff for a less rainy wintertime.  Upon my return to the Fit I bundled up, gobbled some remaining KD from lunch, and hit the road yet again.  Once at the Fraser River at Lilloet, I was presented with the sight of snowed in mountains.  Nearly brought a tear to my eye…sniff sniff…  But ya, there was a ton of snow in the mountains that had fallen while I had been away.  The excitement of the sighting fueled me to maintain even splits on the Nuvi on the NDub-rough (or rougher) Duffy Lake Road (I fell behind by over 10 minutes last time).  I stopped once or twice at particularly stunning landscapes to snap some photos, but for the most part I was in Gran Turismo mode.  

At Marble Canyon, setting out on a slick road ride.

Duffy Lake with snowy backdrop.

Once back in da W, I rearranged some training with my new found knee pain.  I ended up hitting up the gym for some upper body strength, with some double pole pick-ups as warm-up.  The next day was a solid skate rollerski on West Side where I was nearly smoked by some lunatic in a Durango trying to run me off the road (swerved all the way across from the opposite lane to try to hit me!!).  Drivers: be sure to share the road, it is much appreciated.  Intentionally hitting someone with your car is a crime. 

After a day and a half back home it was off to Van.  Man, I feel like an idiot after not being aware of the insane amounts of congestion at rush hour for vehicles trying to get onto the Lion’s Gate…  It meant crawling about 200m in 40 minutes.  At least I got to mouth “nice car” to some babe in a brand brand new, ’09 racing red Fit Sport…haha…definitely the highlight of the drive.  Got to Lori’s, had some dinner and watched the “Bank Job” and was off to bed.  After not enough sleep I was up and on my way to catch the ferry to Vic where I was to catch up with some good friends who are at school there.

After the 6 hour journey of driving to the ferry, ferrying across to the island, and bussing into Vic, I finally met up with, oh crap, Mr. X’s name is about to leak….sigh…Eric Aitken.  We wandered about for a bit, watched the sickest street performer ever who could scale a 15 foot stone wall in a fraction of a second and could ride a 9-foot unicycle while juggling torches, and then met up with Laura McLeod who was gradually getting into the zone for her marathon the next day.  We had heard that Simon Whitfield was speaking at some gathering point for marathoners, and upon finding the right building, we see Simon and his fam slowly making their way into the building, daughter Pippa Katherine in tow, honing her walking skills.  Simon Whitfield!  Oh Snap!  We got to see him talk a bit, and got a picture.  It was weird meeting him for the first time, it feels like over the hours of reading his blog I have already known him for a very long time…I guess that’s a weird effect of the blogosphere.

We found the Island Farms stand at the pre-marathon free schwag fest.  Laura is enjoying the new probiotic a bit too much...

Simon!!!  and PK with Simon's gold!  Good stuff.  No pictures with Eric unfortunately...maybe Laura can send the one or two that she took of us...

Immediately after the Simon Whitfield highlight, Eric and I checked out the “Alps” Imax feature.  Made me want to become one of them crazy mountain men in Whistler…it’s only a matter of time…  Got in some more chill time that day, then was up bright and early the next day for a quick jog and then it was off to watch Laura run the Victoria Marathon.  Walking to the race site I bumped into, none other than… … …Mike Argue… aw yea.  He ran the half in 1:20:11 placing 22nd with the goal of running 1:20:00 so good on ya Mikey.  Laura improved on her Yellowknife Marathon time of 4:07 to run 4:05 but I think there is still room for a ton of improvement.  She has the motivation to train well so it’s only a matter of time.  In more than one sense…  Also bumped into Perianne Jones at the race site who had run the 8 k (12th in 31:39) and was watching Joel duke it out with the 26.2 (3:22).  Also ran into Roz Smith (former YK Ski Club member-extraordinaire, moved south) and saw some Wongs run (Andy and Dan).  Immediately (and I mean immediately, I literally had to run down the street to get on the bus) after Laura finished I was headed back to Vancouver.  Got back, picked up the Neumann at the airport and it was time for a legendary Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt’s friends’ place.  What a dinner by the way…lots of “order da hors d’oeuvres views of the water straight from the page of your favourite author” stuff going on, didn’t actually eat until 10 pm.  Incredible dinner, I was scoffing at the pitifully small portions of everything that I was eating, but trust me, things added up!  It was the worst when I had 3 pieces of pie…with whipped cream…and then was the heaviest I have ever weighed myself when at the gym 2 days later…

But ya, that was my week of glory, good to have those once in a while. 

Check back soon for a comical post of the most recent of many of me and Pate’s death match challenges.

1 comment:

MG said...

do you ever just stay in one place and train for extended periods of time???????