Monday, January 25, 2010

Powder Hounds and the Spitzmark Lockett

Oh man was this weekend ever a bonanza! It started Friday after work at the climbing gym with me faltering somewhat after my warm-up, but then regrouping and hopping on the send train to crush 3 of my projects! Noice! Further to that I worked out the moves for the next 2 problems in my sites so I'm excited to get back into the gym tomorrow evening after another day of rest today.

My brother Cam drove up from Seattle Friday night and the plan was to attack the Musical Bumps with a ferocity not seen since the heroic days of William Wallace! Our group was me, Cam, Sizzle, Martin and Markezzy. We made our way up over Whistler and back into Symphony bowl, before skinning up to the top of Flute and then off the backside into paradise. I chose to try to ski because I knew I would get left behind faster than you can say Spitzmark Lockett if I was on snowshoes and I've also committed to learning how to ski since I really want to do more backcountry skiing in the coming seasons. I tend to find skiing in-bounds a bit repetitive and it's also quite expensive, so why not have an adventure with far less crowds and way better snow?!

So anyways, we got away from the crowds and had 4 amazing runs by the time we decided to call it quits and head back out the Singing Pass Trail to the Village. The trail was an interesting way to get out but I would have to say I don't think I would choose that option again for exiting the area. In the end it would have been much simpler and more enjoyable to do one more climb up Flute Mtn and then get to ski down the entire mountain to finish the day. But who the heck cares! It was amazing and I wanted to do the Singing Pass exit once anyways. Back in the Village we shared a cold pint and then headed home to Vancity. Here's a photo my bro Cam took of me heading down the west side of Russett Ridge with my heart in my throat and shaky knees! The whole time I could hear Cam coming down behind me hooting and hollering about how we were all a bunch of Powder Hounds! Ha ha ha...

Sunday morning dawned and after agreeing firmly that we would do something today that did not require us to use our arm muscles and was not too strenuous on the legs since we were both pretty tired from teh previous day's bru-ha-ha, we came up with...skate skiing! Ha ha actually turned out well and we covered a fair number of the trails up at the Cypress Nordic Area. As we covered the trails, occasionally we saw a few little kids with race bibs on so we agreed that there was likely a hotly contested loppett under way. Not surprisingly, we turned a bend and saw two little rug-rats going full bore for the finish line, read: walking on their skis poking each other with their poles and alternating between looking up at the trees, calling to their dad and sliding backwards down the hill they were ascending...har har har. Anyways, we dubbed the race the Sitzmark Loppett after the green circle trail named Sitzmark. After a particularly steep section I caught Cam up and he mentioned something about the race to which I gasped, out of breath: "...SPITZMARK LOCKETT?!?" We both had a good laugh and adopted the new name for the rest of our ski.

Definitely the best weekend of 2010 so far and I think plans are in the works for the next adventure when Car, KC and I get back from Florida: The Mt. Baker Showdown!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Day Out

Ha haaa!!! Last night was my first outdoor road ride of 2010 and it was super fun! I only got out for just shy of an hour becasue the light still fades fast but it was just good to get out and spin out the legs. I rode a couple of laps around Stanley park and thoroughly enjoyed the sights, smells and absolute derth of motor vehicles in the park. It's such a treat to ride that circuit in the shoulder and off-seasons when it's not clogged with tourists vehicles. I have nothing against tourists by the way since I would do the same thing if I was visiting and wasn't forunate enough to live in teh best city on earth, but I do appreciate the lower car count!

It was pretty funny because before I went out I was thinking, "Ok, I'll just have a relaxing spin" since I knew this is going to feel a lot harder than riding my trainer which is what I've been doing twice a week for the past 3 weeks. But, as I should have guessed, once I get on my bike and see some numbers popping up on my computer, my instinct is to just pin it! Har har within roughly 10 minutes, what what supopsed to be a relaxing spin had quickly rolled into an all out time-trialling assault to clock in the highest average speed possible. Ha!

Anyways, after that fiasco I was pretty tired and to top it off our last dance lesson had been bumped back to 9:30 pm, so as I fought to maintain consciousness throughout the evening I managed to complete a core workout and then drag my carcass over to Exhale Studio in Yaletown to meet Shauna, our instructor. She is so awesome! She's basically a whiter version of Carla; super bubbly, very excitable and a great athlete. The lesson went really well and I'm pretty bummed they're over was fun, different thing to look forward to each week. Who knows, maybe we'll continue on with some more lessons over the next few months to expand our dance vocabulary...

Hitting the gym tonight to try and dispatch the orange's got this nasty pinch that slaps me around like an amateur so hopefully I can tame it tonight! Then Max Sr. is rolling into town for a huge weekend festival...should be good and I'll update you on what we get done!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beasting It!

Just got back from the climbing gym and it was awesome! A 3.5 hr session that started out with crazy bicep burn, then moved to me sending a project (desperately I might add), then moved to the bicep burn fading and me falling off the very last move of another project, and then moved to me feeling totally spent and psyched out of mind at an awesome 3rd day on by the end of it!

I think this is how I'm going to get pushing myself hard. Monday I had a good 3 hr sesh, Tuesday I had an amazing and strong hangboard session, and tonight I had another 3.5 hr climbing session! Awesome. So tomorrow I'll rest except for a core workout and then fire back into the gym on Friday before taking the weekend off and resting my arms.

I just chugged a litre of chocolate milk so hopefully I recover well by Friday.


Hump Day

So a few updates; my weekly average last week was down from 164.7 to 163.2 so that was good…I can definitely feel in my hangboarding and climbing that I’m coming into sending form and will hopefully arrive just as the annual dry spell in February does! Although I had a few setbacks in weigh-ins early in the week (Mon: 164.0 and Tues: 165.4), I’m pleased to have had a new record low for 2010 this morning, coming in at 161.2…oh that’s noice!

On Monday I got a chance to see my good friend Dave Voltan whom I’m met during my year living in Toronto and climbing at Joe Rockhead’s Climbing Gym. He is a serious crusher with big cougar paws, Fred Nicole-style forearms and excellent energy. His presence during our session made me realize that I have been lacking a serious try-hard attitude at the gym lately I think…I think sometimes I handicap myself by sizing up a particular problem and then simply by looks, assuming that I won’t be able to do it. That is such a stupid thing to do and I’ve long been a proponent of the fact that if you don’t think or believe you can do it, then you most definitely won’t, so I’m not sure how I got sucked into this mentality. Anyways, realization is the first step so starting tonight I’m going into the gym to charge hard and leave completely gassed, both mentally and physically!

Last night I had an excellent spin on my trainer while watching Boom-Boom Boonen thrill the Belgian press with his 2nd Paris-Roubaix victory from 2008…following this I stretched my legs, which I believe are slowly starting to show signs of improved flexibility to my delight, did an awesome hangboard workout including weighted hangs and weighted pull-ups, and then got my lovely wife and Vancouver’s best chiropractor Dr. Carla Cupido to treat my newfound elbow pain and hamstring/popliteus issue.

My brother and partner in crime Cam is coming up from Seattle this weekend so we’re in the midst of hatching some serious adventures so I’ll keep you posted as the festivities draw nigh...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rain,'re okay, you can stick around a few more days

It's easy to complain about things, like the rain in Vancouver; the seemingly incessant rain that ruins the snow for skiing and mucks up the roads for cycling. But, before doing that, remember that the rain is why Vancouver is so lush and green and amazing looking! The rain is not freezing cold snow like in Southern Ontario winters. And the rain lets you know how fast you're going when it hits the skin on your face as you pedal along on your bike, whipping up the pace with your heart pounding in your ears; it makes you feel alive! So in a moment of inspiration, don't let the rain stop you from getting outside to do what you wish you were doing...Get into it!

Now, let's begin with my most recent weigh-ins:

Wednesday: 163.0
Thursday: 162.0

WooHOO!!! The Christmas pounds are dropping like flies and I'm slowly fighting my way back into sending shape. I'm hitting the climbing gym tonight for a high volume, low intensity workout and might even tie into a rope for the first time ages if I can drum up a belay partner...Beno?? Last night I also did a cool core workout with my friend Andreas which was a nice change from my regular routine of what Max Sr. and I refer to as Ab-Busters. I think I need to make up about three different sequences that I can switch between since I'm pretty sure the more you do a given exercise, the more your body adapts to it and becomes more efficient. Correspondingly I think the gains you make are proportionally smaller and smaller.

Next; Car and I have our 2nd dance class today and I'm really looking forward to it! We practiced our sequence a bunch over the past week and although it doesn't look all that pretty, I think we've got the counts down so hopefully that will make a difference for today's instruction.

Finally, I practiced my chanter last night for the first time in over 3 years and it was super fun! For those unaware, the chanter is the practice instrument for the bagpipes. It enables you to practice the same tunes and fingering without the noise and bulk of the pipes as it doesn't include the bag or the 3 drones. I was really surprised at how much my fingers remembered upon testing out a few tunes that I had originally had quite dialled. I think our bodies are incredible machines and these are a few of the things that I find absolutely amazing:

1) That our muscles can learn and memorize movements such as in climbing, and that for each successive attempt at a move as you get closer and closer to sticking the next hold, your body is recruiting more and more fire power in the form of muscle fibres firing. So awesome!

2) That our bodies can heal themsleves...I think that's amazing.

3) That our hearts are essentially pumps with, in some cases, a 100-year design life...try and find another pump made that doesn't need any maintenance for that long. Incredible!

Ba-doop, ba-doop...that's all folks

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Birthday DZ and Kudos to RM

Saturday: 163.8
Sunday: 163.4
Monday: 164.2
Tuesday: 164.2

Ok, now that my weight updates are out of the way...I don't really have too much to say! Har har har.

Actually, there are two things worth noting this morning:

1) Happy Birthday to Dave Zabriskie; Dave turns 31 today and we all wish him a successful cycling season in 2010 with Garmin-Transitions.

2) My friend and colleague Renee Morrison kicked off her future as one of Vancouver's proud cycle commuters today with her first 30 min ride from her new home in North Van into work. Nice one!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekly Average

Well I'm pleased to say that my 1st week average for my New Year's resolution weight loss program has been a very respectble 164.7lbs. I was assuming it would ring in around 165 like Max Sr.'s so I'm happy to squeak in just below and clinch the Week 1 Champion belt! Har har har...

I got on the trainer again tonight for an hour and watched Paolo "Il Falco" Salvodelli sew up the Giro D'Italia from 2005 for his second time victory in the grand tour. Excellente!

Tomorrow night is my next session at the Edge and there is an entire wall of new problems I haven't touched yet so I'm psyched to start hammering them out!

Friday, January 8, 2010


I had a super session last night at the Edge, producing two big sends: pink tape and blue tape. I was super psyched to send since both were super desperate right up until the last move…very satisfying. Man, there are some super strong climbers there…it’s crazy when you watch someone warm up on your project by doing a number of laps on it just to get the blood flowing; impressive.

Prior to my climbing session though, Car and I attended our first hip-hop dance class! It was super fun and a great workout. Car bought me three private lessons for my 30th birthday this year and based on my first impression they’re going to be a smashing success. It’s really fun, very difficult and something we can really enjoy together; and I can see how it’s especially nice for Car since it gives her an activity to do with me that I’m not way better at…har har har; kidding!

Anyways, maybe if the hordes of viewers of my blog are lucky I’ll post up a video of us thrashing about after our next lesson…

Weight: 164.4

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Last night was a total write off for any physical activity since I felt like a truck had hit me after Tuesday's climbing session. I'm always amazed when I get back into bouldering, after even a short two week hiatus, at how full-body and strenuous it is. So as a result I laid on the couch and watched Italian Ivan Basso crush his competition (if you can even call them that) in the '06 Giro D'Italia. He won by the biggest margin in over 40 years in a style reminiscent of the great Eddy Merckx and Fausto Coppi by holding all three jerseys (Race Leader, KOM, and Points) at certain points throughout the race.

Tonight however, is going to be a bonanza! My lovely wife got me three private hip-hop dance lessons for my 30th birthday and the first one is tonight after work. I'm really looking forward to it since even though I know I'll suck, I think it's going to be a real gas dancing around like a maniac!

After that I'm pedalling over to the climbing gym and hopefully will have the energy to send at least one of my current projects, pink tape and blue tape. My upper body still feels as like it was used as a punching bag but hopefully I can dig deep into my suitcase of courage and produce.

My weight this morning was a demoralizing 166.2, up 1 lb from yesterday's 165.2...ouch!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weighing in...

Monday: 165.8
Tuesday: 164.4
Wednesday: 165.2

I had an amazing session at the gym last night! After taking 2 weeks off you feel a bit sloppy on the wall, so I expected that, but man, I was just super psyched to be climbing again!! I wasn't able to do the pink problem I'd tried before we left for the holidays, but I did make progress on it so that was good. Also it didn't hurt my finger so that's improving. The other awesome thing was that I tried two other problems that I had previously passed off as being too difficult and I sent the one, a V7 with a monster wall-to-wall dyno as the last move, and I made it well into the blue problem at the end of the night so hopefully tomorrow I'm feeling strong and can make progress again on that one and maybe send the pink one.

I'm going to give myself two weeks back into the gym before starting back to the weighted hangs once a week also...I'm not sure how my finger started bothering me this time so I want to be careful with the really finger-intensive workouts.

Alright, have a gooder!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year

We're back from our sojourn to Ontario to visit family over the Christmas holidays and Vancouver is just as amazing as it ever was!! Before getting back to the grind we also got to shoot down to Seattle for a few days to celebrate New Year's and my birthday with my brother and his lovely wife which was awesome.

So, now that we're back, I'm starting up my climbing membership again and am hitting the gym tonight for my first session back after the holiday gluttony. I'm about 5 lbs over my sending weight right now so hopefully by the end of next week I'll be right back in contention with the lightweights!

I've still been feeling my finger a bit also so hopefully tonight proves that it's healing up. We'll keep you posted...