Sunday, November 30, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
As a kid, I spent hours on the ice. I learned to skate and play hockey on an outdoor rink. Every community had one and I was lucky enough to have one in our backyard. Nothing beats shinny on the pond, a bonfire, and hot drinks to share. These pics are from a couple of years ago: A few of you have suggested that shoveling is a good bit of cross-training. I guess, maybe, it is. I’ve never thought of it as such (more of a necessary evil) but it does offer a thorough full body blast. I said to my wife on Sunday, “I feel a little stiff today. Not sure why”. She reminded me that I’d shoveled the driveway.
RunnerMom questioned how any person could train for a marathon in the snow and cold. It’s not a big deal really. I don’t think any half-sensible Canadian will run in a blinding snowstorm or in the extreme bitter cold (I’ve done both but have yet to declare myself half-sensible). I actually like running in the winter.
What do I wear? Probably the same stuff you do. I hate being too hot and I dread weight of any kind. I may drag my iPod Shuffle but no water, phone, keys, Kleenex – nothing. How do I stay warm? It’s always cold at first but I quickly warm up. Say the outside temp is 25 F – I’ll dress for 45 F. I add 20 F degrees to the current temp so that I don’t overheat. Often, during winter runs, I’ll not bother with a jacket at all. I will don a breathable toque and thin gloves if the air temp is at the freezing point or if there is any kind of NW wind. There is plenty of good cold weather gear on the market. I think I like UA Cold Gear the best. Some runners wear YakTrax. I’ve never tried them but they are a cheap and safe accessory. I tend to throw on a reflective vest too because all of my running is in the dark. No sense getting run over by the snowplow or salt shaker.
I hear it’s Thanksgiving in the USA. Be thankful and happy. Take care of each other.
Monday, November 24, 2008
We got dumped on over the weekend. About 40 centimetres of snow (about 16”) fell Friday night and into Saturday morning. It was quite a surprise. At home, we had a tough time to dry the kids’ snow pants and mitts fast enough! There is rain and warmer weather in the forecast this week so hopefully we’ll see the bare ground yet again this month. And, maybe I’ll get out running tomorrow morning. Maybe.
And the goofy poll about washing your running gear. Yeah, that was an experiment of sorts but interestingly, there is a tie between the 'once-a-day-washers' group and the 'when I can't stand the smell' camp. Personally, I have to throw in with the 'when I can't stand the smell' people'. Thanks for your consideration.
And, I bought a new strap for the Timex Ironman. That's the third strap to match a third fresh battery. Guess I'll keep it for awhile.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
- Miles are just miles without friends. Next May, I will be less about business and more about fun. I know a few more people now that I hope to connect with before, during and after the race.
- I cannot will my body to do more than it can do. Mind over matter does not always matter. There's not much a person can do when a foot cramps up - except walk or stop or both. Who cares. Whatever happens...happens.
- Smile more. I appeared way too serious in the '07 race photos. I believe there is no harm in a goofy grin. I will high-five more kids.
Friday, November 14, 2008
My old Timex Ironman Chrono is about done. I’ve changed the battery 3 times. I’m ready to buy another new strap. The ‘Indiglo’ feature died a couple of years ago. It’s just old and tired. I would love to collect a bit more info about my runs. I see the value.
So, I’m considering a couple of options. I thought the Nike+ Sport Band might be fun. I'm not so interested in the iPod Nano+ thing but could live with the shoe pod. I've read the odd review of how inaccurate they can be. The deeper I dig the more I fix on a Garmin Forerunner. The 405 is so sweet and versatile. It’s looking pretty sexy here in green – heck, the darn thing even tells time! For a dude who likes tech it may be too complicated. I'm not so sure. I would like to hear from you if you use the Nike+ system, Garmin, Polar or whatever. Post a comment or email robbcusack (at) hotmail.com
Have a good weekend.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
In this smudgy little clip, their buddy Jake takes the new bass for a spin. Jake is a decent player - he has his own bass. Jon fills out the rhythm on drums while chewing a halloween sucker. Chris is playing lead. Remember the Scorpions?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I will start a formal marathon training plan in a week or so. For the moment, I'm having spontaneity for breakfast and washing it all down with a glass of enjoyment.
See that full moon this morning?
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Lunenburg County, where I live, is considered the Christmas Tree Capital of the World. There’s a big sign on the highway to prove it. Honest. Apparently, the cool and moist climate here in Nova Scotia is ideal for growing balsam fir trees. Take a drive anywhere in the region and you’ll run into a Christmas Tree Farm. Annual exports exceed 3.5 million trees. That’s a pretty big industry.
Nova Scotia Balsam Fir trees have become the Christmas tree of choice throughout North America for a few good reasons: They are lush, fragrant and hold their needles for a long time – even in warmer climates. Nova Scotia Balsam Fir has become the smell of Christmas. I smelled it today.
While out for an easy 5K this morning, I was nearly overcome with the smell of Christmas. There is a huge Christmas Tree Transfer Station just across the river from my house. Growers truck their crop to this huge area. Trees are piled onto 18 wheelers or into shipping containers. It’s a pretty cool operation. It sort of caught me by surprise.
Smell triggers so many things for me and a million memories of Christmas flashed before me on this day. I was suddenly an adventurous 10 year old boy building a winter woods fort - burrowing into snow beneath the skirt of a huge Balsam Fir. Wow. Where did that come from?
Christmas in Nova Scotia is really quite beautiful. Since 1971, a special tree is chosen each winter to send to the people of Boston to express appreciation for their help during the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion. The explosion on December 9, 1917, was caused by the collision of two ships in Halifax Harbour. Nearly 2,000 died. Thousands more were injured. Boston was the first to send relief, offering the services of doctors and nurses, and sending supplies. So, with great pride we send a huge Christmas tree each year to our friends in Boston, whose outpouring of kindness in 1917 will never be forgotten.
Keep running. Keep smelling.
Wish my running shoes smelled better.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
He's booked for a hair cut tomorrow. Happy Birthday Benjo!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Seriously, I don’t think I ever recovered from early morning radio. To make my 5:30 am gig I’d be up at 3…and at the office no later than 4:00 am. I’ve been off-air for nearly 10 years and I still wake up early. Who do I sue?
Unless it’s a really long run, I normally do not venture out until sometime after 4:30 am. Hey, head out too early and somebody is sure to think you’re a quack. I don’t want that label. I live in a small town.
“Oakhill” is a challenging route that I used to run a fair bit. It is a measuring stick for me and today I measured up. A tough climb in about 1 hour.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I remember the easy miles. And, vivid pre-dawn encounters with skunks, racoons, rabbits, deer, porcupines, coyotes, snowplows and log trucks. I can smell the rain coming. I feel the unrelenting sting of a nor’easter. I recognize the collective weight of wet March flakes, slush, and blisters and chaffing and cramps and squirts.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.