Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Vancouver: Day 6, Sore Knees

Today: 14.55km, 1500m swim

When I sprinted the last 100m to so to my house this morning, I couldn't believe that I had actually finished the run that I had planned for myself last night. I looked at the elevation profile of the 14.55km route (AFTER I got back), and more than 3/4 of the whole thing was uphill--damn hills. I know they're good for me, but dammit, why do they have to hurt so much? My knees aren't just scolding, they're screaming bloody murder right now. Still trying to decide whether I'll go to yoga class considering how tired I am right now. Anyways, one day left here, and then it's back to Kingston. Thankfully, I only had to suffer through one day of rain; I don't know how people around here put up with months and months of nonstop drizzle.

Going to visit the grampasaurus in a few mins...a bit scary to think that this is probably the last time I'll talk to him. The finality of the whole situation will likely not sink in until I'm back in Kingston in my empty house.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vancouver: Day 5, St. Michael's Hospital

Today: 45min spin, 4.5km run, 2100m swim

Went to see gramps again today. It's funny how radical the difference is between his good and bad days. I brought my camera with me thinking it'd be good to take some pictures, but after the first few, it just felt really tacky. It was interesting to see how we situated ourselves in the room in a triangle as if we were somehow supporting him as he coughed and weakly pawed at the cups of water on his side-table. Again, it's like when my mother's father died--I wasn't really close to him either, so when all that happened, it was more trying to understand what was happening to my mother than truly mourning my grandfather. It's weird whenever he says goodbye, because I think we all collectively wince on the inside, and wonder whether there's a double meaning to that.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Vancouver: Day 4, Canada Games Pool

Today: 8.16km, 2250m swim, 90mins yoga

That photo was taken outside my house early yesterday morning before going to spin at Bonsor, the ghetto community centre near my house, with a pool that more closely resembles a sewage tank than anything else...I think I'd rather swim in Lake Ontario since the raw sewage is at least offset with the feeling of being outside. I'm actually really glad I didn't swim yesterday and gave it a rest; as a result of a brief, one-day haiatus, I had a really kick-ass swim today, with 3x500m, then 2x200m hard, 150m recovery and 2x100m with flipturns. Sweet! I'm in love: the Canada Games Pool is quite possibly the most self-contained body of water I've ever swum in. Not only was it not too cold, not too hot, nicely lit and clean, I had a whole lane to myself for the entire hour. Never mind the random pingpong balls floating around, I was just so happy to be swimming well, surrounded by other people IN THEIR OWN LANES that also enjoy swimming. I might actually be starting to like this part of triathlon--we'll see.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Vancouver: Day 3, Shooze

Today: 70min spin
Skipped a day of swimming for the first time in 3 weeks...I feel a little guilty, but it was just far too complicated to try to squeeze it in between shopping with progenitors and visiting family. Anyways, got a beautiful new pair of running shoes, Nike Shox 2:45. In August, I settled for the Max Moto 2, but it still wasn't even close to the shoes I had been using before--those things were the stuff of legend. Taking them out for a spin tomorrow morning, so I suppose I'll have to wait to make the final verdict.

I went to a camera store in Aberdeen Centre and asked for black and white film: the girl at the counter told me to go to London Drugs.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Cry Against Injustice

Have you ever noticed how small the women's section is compared to the men's in sporting goods stores? I went shopping for new running shoes today with mumsies and daddy-oh, and reached a whole new level of frustration by what would seem to be a very obvious example of systemic sexism. Although I have no doubt that there are more female athletes now than ever before, I'm still appalled by how deeply gender roles are entrenched in our culture--and in this case, within the context of fashion and sporting equipment. I've never been a huge fan of "women only" anythings, but dammit, you'd think that people would at least recognize the fact that women participate in athletic pursuits as well. In every store except for the Nike Store, the men's shoe section was at least twice as large as the women's, and often, weren't even labelled "Men's." At Athlete's World and Foot Locker, the shoe categories were Basketball, Leisure, Running, Cross Training, Women's and Kid's. Ridiculous. Not to mention, the only shoes they carried in their minimal "Women's" section were pink, white and baby blue Nike Shox and walking shoes masquerading as athletic footwear. Anyways, that's my rant. I was really looking forward to trying on some of the sick shoes that had been reviewed in this month's issue of Runner's World, but I suppose that will have to wait for either a) me to get to West Broadway or b) store merchandisers to eschew their notions of the athletic goods market composition.

Vancouver: Day 2, Stanley Park Seawall

Today: 13.65km around Stanley Park and Vancouver West End, 1800m swim (3x500m, 3x100m with flipturns)

Just about to go running, thought I'd post the route for the sake of posting the route--and also because it looks cool on the map since it's surrounded by water.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Vancouver: Day 1, swimming & yoga

Today: 1500m swim + flipturns, 90mins yoga

So who would've thought that it'd be sunny when I got here? The sunlight is so warm and definitely a welcome change from the gloomy snow, ice and clouds of Kingston. I was waiting for the bus this morning after doing some groceries at the mall, and just leaned against the wall with my eyes closed and enjoying the feeling of being warm. I wish I had a camera or something. This more than makes up for the grossness of the Bonsor pool (it's WARM, disgustingly warm actually--makes me wonder if I'm going to get some sort of bizarre bacterial infection).

Just killing some time before catching the bus to do a drop-in yoga class on Commercial Drive (or maybe Metrotown); I haven't been able to go for two weeks due to conflicts, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Hopefully the weather holds up, I'd like to try a long run out at Stanley Park, around the'll probably be really windy, but it's not like the wind ever stops blowing in K-town anyways. In any case, enough bitching about people going to Cuba, the Dominican or Florida--I'm getting plenty of sun, and it's perfect weather for running outside too. :)

Happyhappyhappyhappy! Look what the sun does!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Killing time, without remorse

Today: 13.97km, 1500m swim

It's just a little past 8 and I'm killing some time while I wait for a 1:00am bus to take me to Pearson International where I'll catch a flight at 7am to Vancouver.

One of the things that gets me through my run is a nice, substantial and well-worked wad of chewing gum. It's something that started during the summer completely by accident, but it definitely helps to absorb some of the tension in my jaw when I clench my teeth or whatnot. Anyways, I used to be an avid chewer of Dentyne Ice (Shiver), but found Excel (Peppermint) to be a good balance between crunchy outer shell and soft inner chewing material. Imagine my surprise when, earlier this month, I noticed something new on the shelves at the Tuck Shoppe (in the JDUC): Excel Voltage. Intrigued, I bought a pack, and although I was turned off by the relatively strong flavour at first, I've found that it lasts a bit longer than other Excel gum, and also stays softer while I'm pounding the pavement on a cold morning. On Tuesday I tried one of the other flavours, Fuse, which turns out to be a weird cherry flavour reminiscent of Halls or Robitussen DM. Tonight I'll be trying out the Charge and Shock flavours. Shock has an orange foil package--wonder if that means what I think it means.

This morning after my run, I was absolutely famished, probably due to the fact that having run out of reasons to eat real food, I've been eating lots and lots of banana chips. Anyways, heated up half a banana (sliced) with a tablespoon of cottage cheese and some rice krispies. Yummy and kept me awake during a particularly engaging Art History class.

I'm looking forward to going to hot yoga tomorrow; apparently there's a studio about a 15-minute walk from my house. Right now I'm trying to convince my sister over MSN to come along.

Tonight Kingston is covered in a solid sheet of ice: so glad I'm not running in this tomorrow morning!