Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thoughts on Motivations

So I don't blog as much as I used to. Perhaps I have run out of things to say, or I've said all I had to say. I doubt that, but it is Sunday evening now and things have happened. This blog post, however, will not be about those things, but only feature some photos of what's been up while my thought train thunders down the line.

Slugs from the south. Lovely, lovely critters...
Once a week I would like to blog, perhaps as a recap or about a specific topic. This won't be some thoughtful, insightful, in-front-of-the-fireplace-legs-crossed-with-a-glass-or-brandy-in-a-comfy-chair type of post, but just things I feel like saying. If you're expecting that, well, I guess you should click on "Next Blog". I guess I am not out of things to say afterall.

Running in the humidty and heat. At 630am.
The biggest thing I have to talk about is motivation. Where it comes from, and where it goes, and what to do with it. Please, do not take what I say as advice, but merely accept it as a Lorne brain dump. 

Giant freekin spiders. Sheesh, probably poisonous too... Let's pet it.
I spent 21 or 22 days on the paleo diet lately, I can't really remember. I was perhaps looking for this fountain of youth or a magic pill. But for what? I don't need to lose weight. I don't need hardcore sport performance improvement. I didn't really know what I needed. It probably had something to do with not losing energy and  being able to keep up with my 2 year old son. So I dived in head first and tried it out. I was aiming for 30 days, but that is in fact, just a number. So no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no processed foods. Food I can catch, hunt or gather. Meat, veggies and fruit, nuts and seeds. It's pretty straightforward and i did really well. One of the first things I noticed was an increase in energy. This was largely due to the fact that I was consuming a low GI / no sugar diet, so no insulin crashes. 

Driving in Georgia. Many many miles of this.
That was the continuing trend for the whole time. No crashes in energy levels and a feel-good feeling throughout. I was highly motivated to make it through, and especially motivated as I was on the road and traveling lots. I wanted to beat the travel odds about eating well while on the road. And I succeeded. For a while, at least. I could eat at pretty much every restaurant, but had to carefully scan the menu for what I needed. And pretty much every restaurant had paleo friendly choices (with clever omissions of certain ingredients). So I remained motivated. But after a while, especially on the road, I tired of eating chicken salads and such, and Trader Joe's GF Beef Jerkey, and nuts, etc.... But I proved it is possible. It's just not my thing though.

South Carolina peaches, nom nom nom.
You see, I am a foodie (self-proclaimed), and I love to try everything. So that became an issue, especially being in a new culinary location. I wanted to try new foods, and since I ran out of reasons to continue eating paleo, I stopped eating paleo. But a new problem arose.

Somewhere in someplace in either South Carolina, North Carolina, or Virginia. I can't remember.
I took the stop-paleo situation as a total dive-bomb into lack-of-motivation land. I don't know what happened, but since then my motivation has not existed. I guess I have to wonder what I am motivating myself to do. Well, perhaps I linked eating paleo to successes in health and fitness. And since I stopped eating paleo, I figured I didn't need to exercise anymore. Well, I know that is not true, since I love to exercise (yes, I do). But what happened is that I did stop exercising, and I lost motivation to do the things I love to do when it comes to exercise. When I stop running cause I don't feel like it, something is up. So what is it? I don't know, but here are the things I would like to do:

-100 pushups in a row. Yes, that is right. 100 straight, strict pushups. I can do about 30 right now. Hmph.
- 5 km run in less than 20 minutes. I've gotten to 20:20 before, and now I am probably around 24 minutes.
- Canadian Death Race (Aug 2013). 127 km of dire agony on my legs. I don't know why I want this one, but I do. 
- 12 strict chinups. I dont' even think I can do one.

The knots of roads while driving into Washington, D.C.
So what am I to do? I bought a day planner to keep myself motivated. That didn't work well, as it has sat empty for the last week. I read about how to do it. That works Lorne, that really works. Eventually you have to do it and stop reading. I guess all I have to do to is start slow. Crawl-walk-run. That's my approach. I think perhaps that my largest problem is I hit the ground running and fall apart quickly. I think I can still run a 20:20 5km or do 50 pushups. I can't, and I don't want to admit that I can't. Pride and ego are getting in the way of progress. They're getting in the way of anything, really. They're killing my motivation. So I guess I know what I have to do. Break down my goals into crawling steps. 

The White House at night.
Next week, I will detail how I break down my goals into achievable steps. I will try to make my blog posts into weekly posts as well, as I think that is good. I've learned a lot about myself just by writing tonight.

Lorne :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Iron Legs 50 Miler

Yesterday was the Iron Legs 50 Miler race in Kananaskis Country. I want to draw inspiration for my running since my motivation has been low lately, and I also wanted to help out. So I signed up as a volunteer for the race. I was needed as a course marshall (directing racers on the right path) and also asked to take photos of the race. So I borrowed my work's super-awesome Canon DSLR, packed my gear, and headed up to Jumpingpound Summit.

First off, the race itself is an 81km footrace in Kananaskis. This is 4th year that is has happened, and the race itself was sold out (again). It started at 6am, and racers were expected to take anywhere from 9-20 hours to complete. I believe the fastest time posted was 8:41, which is incredible considering the elevations, technical trail and distance. I was in place at 9:30 at the 35 km mark when the first racers came through.

Here are some photos of the race. All of these photos (and more) are available for download at full resolution here. I took photos of every single racer who came by Jumpingpound Summit.

The views from the top are stunning! This is Mt. Yamnuska to the north. 
Jumpingpound Summit was the highest elevation of the race. However, racers had to descend and then reascend Cox Hill, about 8km further down the trail. No small feat. You can see the trail on the left ascending the ridge.
A closer view of Cox Hill. The trail is easily visible. 
Looking south towards Forget-Me-Not ridge, I believe.
To the south was Nihahi Ridge, with Outlaw Peak, Cornwall and Glasgow behind.
Banded Peak!
At 9:30, we saw the first racer ascending to Jumpinpound Summit.
Looking north along the trail, you can see little white specks that are the racers.
Racers had to check in at the summit of Jumpinpound Mountain, and then come back down and head north. I was making sure they followed the path.
Looking down the Jumpinpound summit trail. Mt. Bogart and Canyon creek are off in the distance. P.S., that's where the racers were coming from.
It was great to see so many people out racing.
The grind to the summit. Most people said things like: "Sure... take my photo when I'm walking!" I said I would make them look glorious.
A chipmunk came and visited me. That's the only wildlife that I saw while out there.
From the summit, I could see the town of Cochrane to the north. Yay home!
As the running field narrowed out, I had a little bit of time to take some photos.
Your truly!
The sweeps came through at 2:30. They had their dog with them, and they were hot on the heels of the final racer! 
I was trying to capture the immensity of the race.
Or maybe I was trying to capture the solitude of such a long race.
Or maybe I was just trying to capture the stunning scenery...
All I can say is that the views were incredible. It was a great day to be outside and a wonderful event to be a part of.
It really was a treat to be stationed up there. The views were so beautiful.
The view from the top, capturing Black Rock Mountain to the north.
Another picture of Cox Hill. Bragg Creek would be way off to the right. 
Looking again at Mt. Bogart and Canyon Creek. On Powderface Road, at the base of this mountain is a memorial for a WWII trainer aircraft that crashed in the area.
The Ranger Station high atop Moose Mountain.
The race was truly inspiring. I took a photo of each racer as he/she ran by, with hopes that every photo would end up on the Iron Legs website. It was great to get involved with a community that I so closely can identify with, and it was so nice to see people out enjoying this small piece of heaven that is Kananaskis. I am truly inspired by all of the racers who participated and ran this race. I hope to be one of them next year, or in the coming years!


Friday, August 17, 2012

You'd think I've gone missing!

Or at least that's what I would hope people have been thinking in my absence of blogging. Because I know for a fact that everyone is waiting on pins and needles for me to do my next post.... and there has been a void on the internet....

Anyhow, enough ego, here is what I have been up to.

Again, business travel gets the better of me, but it was sending me down to Florida, where I had never been.

We connected in Houston, where a massive supercell storm passed over us and  delayed our flight by about a half hour or so.

Waiting to leave Houston. Travel writer would caption this: "The weather reflected my mood..."

Coming in for a landing in Tampa. This is now my new furthest-south-ever point I have been.

Apparently, I rains a lot in Florida. At 10am, there is a downpout. At 4pm, another downpour. It's rainy, it's hot, it's rainy, it's hot.... make up your mind.

It really knows how to rain in Florida.

We rented a house in Florida, which was nicer than staying in a hotel for 2 weeks.

The house, along with almost every other house in Florida, has a pool. It was nice, but not nearly as fun swimming along without my son.

All homes in Spring Hill (where we stayed) were bungalows, which I really like.

But apparently, Floridians haven't discovered how to build sidewalks yet.

I drowned in the pool, by the way...

Peacefully dead... nice

Luckily, the screen gecko resuscitated me and I was back to normal.
We went shooting on a day off. I'm shooting a Walther PPK, aka James Bond's gun. Saweet!
Apparently, I'm not too bad of a shot at 45 yards. This is coming from a guy who hardly ever shoots gun (and hasn't for many years!)

We also went Clay Pigeon shooting. They were all out of normal pigeons.

I had never used a shotgun before, so there was only one way to find out.

I wasn't bad, hitting 12 out of the 25 pigeons.

Look, more rain!

Clearwater Beach! We avoided storms to make it to the beach in the evening.

The sand is white, powdery, flour like sand. I had never been on sand so soft!

And apparently, Clearwater is not very clear. I guess this allows the sharks to sneak up on you.

Dumb and Dumber?

The water is like bathtub warm! It was so incredible!

And it rained again. And then again. And then again another day.
The trip was good, although being away from home and family for 2 weeks is not good. I made the most of it, hitting up Crossfit Spring Hill (1 minute from our house) and jogging. But after spending time down south, I got off the place in Calgary and the air was sweet up here. There's no place like home!