Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lazy days of summer

Coming back from Muskoka I felt a little drained. Not only because I spent most of my weekend on two feet, but also because of a heatwave that we've been "blessed" with for the past two weeks. Only today I felt that my brain wasn't ready to melt as soon as I stepped out of the door.

I don't do so well with racing in heat anymore. Not that it bothers me on the spot, but after such an effort I need to go down for a long nap. I did not have this opportunity on Sunday after the race, and to make matters worse, the heatwave got really out of control Mon-Wed, to the point that I completely gave up all ideas of exercising. I have to pat myself on the back for even leaving the house and going to work.
Yay for more water!
On Thursday I finally came out of this lazy stupor and went to Professor's Lake for our club's open water swim. A storm was looming on the horizon, but it did not affect our time in the water. I did 2 loops for a total of 1500m then decided to go on a 3km run loop around the lake. To be honest, after all the heat, the idea of running in the rain was rather inviting. About 1km in, this is what the storm looked like from the distance (and I still had to make it across the pond).
Unsurprisingly, I got soaked in the last km, but it felt absolutely wonderful. Once I finished the loop I waited for Mellen and hubbs who were running a little behind, then headed home for dinner. All of a sudden, I was full of energy again!

The next day, when Mellen asked if I wanted to go with her on a bike ride, I could not say no. As I had other errands to run and a wedding reception to go to in the evening, I took the day off and chose to enjoy it to the maximum.

We chose to rode from my house to Erin and back. To be honest, I was very apprehensive because Mellen is so much stronger than me on the bike, but without knowing it, she had already planned to tire herself up before showing up. As a matter of fact, she rode 70km to start the day, then met with me for another 75km. I had one of my best rides of the year, but finished with another Strava extreme suffer score because of a 170bpm average over 2h50. I am THAT out of shape, OK? Mellen's HR... 140bpm. Alright then, glad that she did not fall asleep.
Still dry before the deluge
I should probably thank the rain for keeping us on the edge of our seats, literally. We got soaked (again!) on our way back from Erin. It was still a lot of fun, especially flying down Mississauga road with cross winds and all the speed! Despite the copious amount of sugar that I eat, I am also glad to report that I did not melt.

However, I was afraid to melt under the sun once I came back home, so I settled on a lazy chair in a shady spot with a cold beverage. It was glorious. I may or may not have fallen asleep in the process.
Apparently epic suffer scores require epic rest days, so Saturday I had to take the day off. Again. And while I was resting I did the unimaginable. I downloaded Pokemon Go!! And what does one do when they have a new toy? They go Pokemon hunting. With their cat. Like a certifiable crazy cat lady.
I caught a Pokemon. His name is Picchu and he is very athletic. Special powers are Killer Purr and Vertical Jump.
Then this happened. It was one of the first goals that day. I ended with over 15k steps, over 3 times more than a regular working day, 5 times more than a weekend on the couch.
Since then I went hunting every day. I now take the "long road" while going to the nearby coffee shop, just so that I walk by all 4 Pokestops within a 2km radius. I saw dozens of teenagers and grown up people outside enjoying the game. If someone puts a lure on one of these pokestops, it's pandemonium. Teens and adults come over on bikes, skateboards, cars or just by walking. It definitely took the neighbours out of their homes and it's really awesome to see.

My sons got on their bikes again. We compare Pokedexes and combat levels. We are bonding again around a silly game. Say what you want, but I do enjoy their company again. After 5 days I reached level 13 and caught/evolved 47 different Pokemons out of 150. This makes me happy.
Just look at the Pokemon effect on my activity level from the last 3 days.
Look at me (Pokemon) GO!
The craziness has also taken over my office. We have 2 gyms and 4 Pokestops on the campus and I find myself walking around the office a lot more, working from the cafe where people put lures regularly, and going outside to visit the pond. It almost makes the office bearable, almost. Can you argue with this?
View from the Pokestop
Where is my Pokeball when I need it? Did the game freeze on me? Oh wait... 
Comfortable sandals are mandatory for Pokemon hunting
But don't get fooled by the idyllic conditions, the inside is still a zoo and my head is still up in the trees. Probably a good introduction to what I'll be doing in 2 months from now: I am going back to school and will abandon the IT world for good. I had 16 good years going from computer engineer to Sr. Manager of a team of 30, climbing the ladder as high as I felt comfortable, but now it's time for a change. I have decided to become an Arborist (wiki link here) and signed up for the Urban Arboriculture program at Humber College. I guess I'll be climbing even higher now, ha! Classes start September 26 and I could not be more excited about it. The program lasts 2 semesters and if all goes well, next spring I will be working outside, taking care of trees as a "tree surgeon" with my new best friend, the chainsaw. I honestly feel that I fit right in. Not only the people that I met in the industry are so friendly and down to earth, they welcomed me with open arms and I think that I will feel much better in this environment, doing something good that makes a difference for nature and the habitat. And who knows where this path takes me. A new adventure for sure, with a lot of hard, physical work, learning and growing challenges, pretty much from the bottom up.
Trees, you've got a friend in me
Alright, now back to working out before my work becomes a work out. On Monday and Tuesday of this week I also went back to Taekwondo after a 10 day break. I think I needed this break after the emotional roller-coaster that took so much energy out of me. On both days we started the class with a jog/sprints combo and I survived both days without any pain. I suffered while stretching though, but that was to be expected. I worked on my patterns until my brain gave up and I was no longer able to coordinate my left with my right. That must be sign of a good workout, or I'm just getting old, as usual.

Today I took another day off from exercising, but I plan on swimming/running tomorrow, TKD class on Friday and/or Saturday, then triathlon simulation day on Sunday. Keeping the fun alive, one day at a time. Cheers!


  1. Starting to see Pidgeys in my dreams. Pidgeys, everywhere! This Pokemon thing is more addictive than I anticipated! Nice you are enjoying it with the kids - that's been really fun here too.

  2. I really think the Pokemon Go craze is a big health boon! My park is full of people I've never seen before (and I really know almost every face in the park at this point), so it's getting people to be a lot more active.

    1. Agreed! Have you read about the guy who caught them all? He lost 10lb in 3 weeks! But he was rather intense, although he'd only hunt them after work.

  3. OMG Strava gives you suffering awards??? I'm not on it anymore much but I'm kind of glad I didn't know this when I was! That is seriously intense.

    Also, gorgeous pics!!

    1. I don't know if you get a suffer score if you don't have a pro account, but I took that plunge a while ago... Gotta have all the data!! :-D

      Also, thanks for stopping by. I love your blog! My kind of read :-)