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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Rest Of The Trip

Dec 10,

After my visit with Bryan I was back home with the boys, doing two back to back long rides I needed the day off. I did what you do on holidays kicked back watched breaking bad and made sure the boys were taken care of so they could focus on studying. It took me a while to develop some flow but of course by the time I was leaving I had a routine started. Figures.

I was going to leave to Montreal today but it was the teams wine mixer and I got an invite! I know hockey teams can be a tight knit bunch but Paul pulled some strings and they let me squeak in. I made one of Kelcies delicious sangrias, and it was a hit. It was nice, party I fit right in a lot of the team related to me. I like to think that I keep well red and I can have a decent discussion on a variety of topics.  Its university level hockey so the egos are faded and they are focused on school. They are grown ass men. I had to go downstairs with the girls when they did there secret santa gift exchange as some kind of penalty. Here take your drink and go hang out in the basement with all these girls..........Ok.  Actually there was one other guy down there. His name was Evan, we got talking, asked him if he played hockey and he said ya but for a couple years he was on the U23 cycling team!!! What are the odds. We really hit it off great dude, I don't think he expected to meet another endurance athlete at a hockey party haha. It was cool to hear what its like on the inside of elite level cycling. He said he rode on team Team Garneau, but didn't want to commit for another year he had, had enough. Although he said some of his friends were riding pro, in Europe this year. The night ended well, didn't drink too much wine, but I did have a few too many cookies.

Dec 11.

Woke up groggy with a red wine hangover, toughed a run which was good got most of the booze out of the system before the train ride. Before I knew it I was packed up and headed down town to catch the VIA rail to Montreal.

Trains are awesome! Enough said right there. Easily the best form of travel, round trip was $88, and I couldn't believe the amount of space I had in there. On board free wifi, and 4 hours went by like nothing. Got tons of work done, booked my hotel, and some reading done as well.

I turned to the guy beside me and what are the odds,  but he's going for his PHd in nutritional sciences at McGill.  I thought perfect I can figure out why I keep gaining weight. It turned out I knew almost more then he did. He was really just getting started in nutrition, his main background was chemistry. Long distance triathlon should be a prerequisite for nutrition. He was still a nice guy we exchanged numbers.

I was in the hotel by 9 and I finished up some work in the room and then headed out for a walk. It was a nice night so much nicer then Winnipeg. I thought wow you don't need to go to Florida to get away from winter WTF am I doing in Winnipeg. Walked through old Montreal very cool, but it was Tuesday night and everything was pretty much dead.

I walked back up St. Laurent and walked into a Hookah bar. Thought why not. Had a read and a lemon hookah what was absolutely delicious. Read my book for a bit and just hung out.

I was out of there by 1 and sleeping by 1:30 or so. It was a laid back evening.

 My day in Montreal I needed to seize it. But I was having some lower leg pain. So running was out I needed to find a pool. The first order of business was a nice french breakfast. There was no way I was going to eat at anything remotely franchise like so I walked around until I found a nice little cafe and grabbed some bacon eggs fruit and a crepe. It was fantastic.

From there I took the subway to the old velodrome which in now the Biodome. Yes the biodome like the movie with Paully Shore.  Great experience and a good bang for your buck at $25. I cant say anything really stuck out I just took a lot of pictures and took it all in. I did learn however that there are no penguins on the north pole. So the Coke commercials with polar bears and penguins are 100% false.

Included in my entry was also a ride up the elevator in the Sportex. As I walked in I could smell the pool, and sure enough it was open to the public, so I knew I needed to get back here for a swim. After getting a sky high view of Montreal I ripped back to the hotel did a 180 and got back into the pool for a swim. It was a really nice pool, duh. But everything about it, nice big lanes, perfect temp, and everyone had great pool etiquette.

After the swim I needed to refuel. What better way to refuel in Montreal the with a poutine. The bartender at the Hookah bar had recommended La Banquise a 24h place so I made it a mission to get down there. During the walk I started to think what I was going to do for the evening. I also managed to find a little pastry shop and blew $25 on a small box of french pastries. Which was well worth it. I figured get a bottle of wine eat some chocolate head downtown and see where the night takes me. I got to La Banquise  and ended up getting a chicken and pea poutine. Phenomenal. Great service I was in and out of there quick.

On the way back I grabbed my wine and chocolate along with a pile of vegetables to wash down my poutine. Got back to the hotel and had a quick chat with a friend form Winnipeg that ended up suggesting a few places to check out. So that was a start.

I ended up heading out but it was still only Wednesday, and still not much going on. I went from bar to bar having beers and just talking. Saw a cool art display downtown with some musical lights that you controlled by walking in front of them. At 1 AM I decided it was time to get to bed.

This was a pretty uneventful day and can be summarized fairly quickly. I woke up grabbed breakfast walked around McGill campus, tried to get some shopping in and then was on a train for the next 7 hours until I was back in the apartment at around 8. And I think I got to bed around 10.

Back in Toronto and back in the routine. Hit the pool nice and early, because the guys team was playing the girls team as a fun christmas event. So I got back in time for that.  At the game I talked to the team AT and she agreed to come check out my leg to see if I had any injuries to be worried about. So she swung by later on told be I needed to start stretching more because my lower leg muscles felt like guitar strings. I will attribute some of that to sleeping on a couch for 2 weeks. But nothing serious and she said it probably wouldn't hurt to try running.

This was another filler day. Just focused on getting my sessions done and reading. Paul had his final exam tomorrow.

Dec 16
This was it Paul was finished today. It was an exciting day for him. I went for a run early and felt good I had been taking an Iron supplement and I was able to get my heart rate up and my legs felt good.

Paul finished his exam around 8 and we made the trek into downtown Toronto and hit a bar called Tattoo. For Sunday night it wasn't bad. We had fun, Paul was just relieved to be finished exams. I know the feeling. It was nothing special we spent too much money and drank too much. Grabbed late night falafel to soak up the booze and crashed.

Dec 17

Well they say you save the best for and that couldn't be more true for this trip. After a good Sunday night out in Toronto I kicked Paully out of bed and we were rollin by 9:30. We were just going to go to Yorkdale mall but once we were on the subway we were in one, and decided to go all the way downtown.

We got down to union and did a coffee comparison Paul got Tims I got Starbucks. I still find Starbucks has better quality and service compared to Tims. Not to mention they also keep you hooked with the Starbucks card, which if you only drink black coffee like me it ended up making Starbucks the same Price.

Once we had coffees we walked over to the Eaton Centre, and just soaked up downtown. During the walk we came across a Bixie station. All I have to say about Bixie is WOW.  What an awesome concept. It was a super smooth super fun experience and definitely deserves its own post with an in depth look at the experience.

We got a solid shop in at the mall and found a place that serves all day breakfast. Just what the doctor ordered. By that time we had done some good walking and had a half our of riding downtown. Absolutely perfect way to spend an afternoon. Besides the mandatory Christmas shopping it was also a fairly cheap afternoon. From there we snapped a few pics at Dundas Square and hit the subway home for a quick nap before the late night flight.

Pauls captain Jesse Messier drove us to the airport. The guy is a absolute gem. He was also studying Kinesiology, and we started shooting the shit. Asked him what he was going to do when he was finished. He was in the same spot as me, a little unsure. He mentioned he had some friends that were working with high level coaches, which I thought was  pretty cool.  We also started talking about fitness testing he was telling me he did a VO2 test and scored 86!!!! Thats insane. I don't know if they messed up the numbers, but if thats legit the guy needs to start doing some endurance stuff.

The airport was pretty standard we saw some family friends Paul went and had a drink. I just couldn't take it any more, and wanted to be home. Flight was standard and we were sleeping by 2.

Next up Christmas...... Brace yourself


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Swagger Cap. what is it? Swagger cap is a new website that allows any athlete to raise funds for anything by offering any unique skill they possess. I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea. There are limitless possibilities for how much you can raise and what you can offer. The only catch is you have to be able to deliver.

Being a relatively shy person I was hesitant of the idea of self promotion. But I knew at someday if I want to have more time to train I need to start selling myself, and put value in what I am doing. When I first heard of I was immediately intrigued by the idea, because I am someone with a wide interesting range of skills. I just needed a confidence boost to get me started and start telling people about what I am doing.

 I was more then eager to get a fund up on swagger cap. So I pushed myself way beyond my comfort zone and made a video wrote some lines and sent it in.  I had no idea what to expect there were no examples to even base my fund off of it was totally new and totally exciting. To my surprise I received a personal email with personalized recommendations on how to make my fund better. I was totally inspired and went further out of my comfort zone to make the fund even better.

As a result I now have's first fund! It is a product I am proud of and happy to call mine and promote to the public. I want to take this time to thank the starters of for creating a platform that made this possible, for getting me inspired to be proud of what I am doing and put some "swag" in my step, and for helping me learn how to more effectively promote myself a field in which I had no experience. Truely grateful for the opportunity, and already thinking of bigger and better things for the next fund! So what are you waiting for! Get over to support the athletes, support a great site, and start funding you purpose today!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Visit With "The Captain"

The week of Dec 3-7 was uneventful, I laid pretty low at the apartment and just smashed episodes of breaking bad. A secret thing I have been wanting to do for awhile. The weather was the shits and I wasn't really intrigued by the idea of venturing into downtown, which like any other big city is an insane money pit. I still have my hopes and my money saved up for Montreal. To top things off on my high intensity run on Monday my heart rate did not want to come close to AET. Since I am working on knowing when to rest this year I took 2 days off and RESTED, didn't fill it with other crap just rested. The only thing I did do was go for some osteo on Wednesday, which was very relaxing. It was nice to see that the diagnosis and procedures were consistent with Winnipeg.  Come Thursday I felt pretty good and got back into it. My HR was a little resistive but one I got it up there it stayed up there.

 On Saturday I had planned to make my way over to my Uncle Bryan "The Captain" Payne's and do a bit of riding. For those of you who don't know the Captain, hes a 10x Ironman finisher and a beer Cono Suer. Unfortunately he has had some recent health problems which can be read about at I do not feel obligated to talk about other people health. Due to his current health hes on doctors orders to abstain from drinking, and high intensity training for 6 months. Talk about a lifestyle shift.

I was going to use Toronto transit to make my way over there as an adventure but being the full time beauty that Bryan is he came and picked me up. The ride back gave us time to catch up on a lot. I cant say everything, but it was a good start. It was +4, -3 with the wind in TO. Don't forget it was raining too. Well it might as well be a hot August night for a Winnipeger. So I kitted up pretty good and went and earned some kilometers.

After the ride Bryan insisted I take a pull from his fresh keg of Amstel light that he cant drink. He says it gives him great pleasure to give it away. The beer was followed by a nap. When the evening rolled around Bryan was kind enough to invite me to his neighbors Christmas party. It was really nice, mid 30`s couple, good food and of course some beverages. Once I was out of there I pretty much fell asleep on the walk home, it was straight to bed.


Sunday`s weather was suppose to be shit, but I dodged a bullet and it turned out better then Saturday. What can I say the universe is working for me on this trip. Little colder, but it wasn`t raining. Huge difference. Bryan came with me on this ride it was good to spin together for a bit. He lead me to a climb I wanted to do. Its called rattlesnake. I am not sure all the details on it but I did it four years ago, and I owed it an ass kicking. It still hurt but it was good hurt, so I didn`t mind.

That hill definitely snuck up for some late ride punishment. For the first time in a while I got Da Bonk. Its been a long time since I last bonked. Its not even painful you just know your in the bonk. I loaded up on chocolate bars to get me home and just smiled at the fact I was riding my bike in December. Bonk or no Bonk.

After the ride I had a recovery beer and Bryan drove me back to the GO train to get back to York. I deeply thank Bryan and his family for having me it was an absolute pleasure to catch up, and it made for a really great weekend logging miles.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


November 29,

My birthday!! Flew out to Toronto at 5 am was here by 9 in time to log a 13 mile run. Legs felt like they had been on a plane for a couple hours but the work got done non the less. It was a decent run here got to hop back into shorts which was nice. The route wasn't great but it doesnt have to be you just need to get the work done, and when your traveling that's half the battle.

After the run my bro picked me up to head to York University to see watch his game and find out where the exam was. Him and his roommates left early, which gave me a couple hours to hit the books and take a nap.

Despite the 10-5 loss my brother had a good game he was +1. It was  good to see him play, after the game we just hung out and shot the shit, and Paully drove me back.

November 30,

Standard exam prep. I was up early logged a few hours on the books before taking TO's fantastic transit system over to visit my brother. I was able to sneek into the York gym facilities. This gym was straight out of the 1960s. Weights all over the place and everything was just weathered. But again the work got done. One thing that was cool was I got to run on this really neat treadmill. It was motorless and called the woodland curve. Very natural feel and the time really flew by on it. I looked it up later too bad its $6000.

Dec 1.

Exam day
The reason I am in Toronto is to write my CSCS certification exam. Today is the day of the exam.
I had a terrible sleep. Even though I was not really nervous I still was tossing and turning like the night before a race, waking up every 2-3 hours. I know this is a sign of doubting my ability. But I knew I had done the work and I just needed to stay calm. I actually woke up at 5:55 before all my alarms, I had everything laid out so the morning could be fairly automated and it could just smoothly get to the exam stress free. It was a nice surreal walk at just after 6 over to the subway in the mall which is normally packed with people. I did not see one person. It amazed me how people work as a whole, in unison. I was in there the day before and it was hard to move. Here it is, same place, and its empty. 

The subways do not run as quick in the morning which made me sweat a bit but it was a good thing I left myself a big buffer of time. Plus I was able to use my flashcards as I was waiting.  I got to the exam room at 7:45 and the exam did not start until 8:30. As more people started to gather around the room, I actually felt a bit better. I dont know why. There was a brief feeling of jealousy and nervousness about the other people but I realized that I am just as qualified as all of them, and there is no need for those feelings.

I dont want to bore you with detail about the exam. But its a 2 part exam, and I felt I was more in the groove on the second part then the first. I started off a little shakey but I was able to gain confidence throughout the test. Overall it was fairly stress free all multiple choice.

After the exam I felt good, a lot more energized then I thought. So I took that energy quickly stopped and vested my brother before his can and shot back over to the hotel. Since I was feeling great I hopped on the bike and smashed through a session. It was a shitty hotel bike but it did the trick, and the bottom line is that the work got done.

I capped the day off with a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant and was in bed early so I was able to get up and run the next day.

Dec 2.

Move in with Paully day

I got up at around 9 although I was in the sleeping zone could have easily slept well past noon. I was pretty good about getting straight down to work and nailing my run despite it being rainy and shitty out. I couldn't really complain after some of the run I have been having in Winnipeg. The run actually turned out to be really nice, and I was able to find a building I had wanted to go to without even having to look for it. I it ended up just being on the running route. Now thats flow. The run was timed really well and gave me just enough time to pack up and get out before my already adjust late checkout time.

Me and Paully grabbed a quick breakfast in the mall and then headed over to York. Its tight living here, but only for a short period and we are gonna have a blast.

My afternoon consisted of finding the North York YMCA and getting over there for a swim. Talk about packed what a mess that pool was. You have people double arm back stroking in the fast lane. I just did my shit and got outta there ASAP.

After that picked up some good healthy clean food, and headed back to the apartment to call it a night. Just hung out with the boys and got to bed early. The life of an athlete fairly simple.

Until next update..