Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ultra Man

This post talks about an Islander who does Ultraman events. He has recently traveled to Hawaii to compete in Ultraman Hawaii.

I have heard of a lot of events, but I had never heard of an Ultraman. A 2-day event, it seems to be roughly an elongated Ironman:

Day One: swim 10 km, bike 145 km
Day Two: bike 275 km, run 84 km (aka 2 marathons)

There is extreme, and then there is ultra. That is unbelievable.

I've checked the race results and it looks like Paul Dalton made it! Bravo!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gym Lightning

I've been getting back on track at the gym. A favourite workout is to swim at CARI on Saturday morning, followed by a run at another facility. It is not convenient, but it is a good start to the day.

My running has not been fast, but tonight, it bounded by a quantum leap in the right direction. A guy next to me started running at X mph, and I tried to match him. In 2007, this would be an easy pace, but right now it was above my range.

I stayed with the guy through 2 miles and sure enough, he stopped. I finished through to 3 miles. I don't think that I am a better runner. After all, he may have needed to hit the washroom. Who knows. The point is that he helped me raise my game. And for that I say: thanks.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today and Felicia

'Tis another birthday. This story isn't about this year but rather last year's milestone, my 40th birthday.

The Saint Louis film festival occurs during November. As it happened in 2009, one film had a single showing, on my birthday. According to the summary on the website, it was a Romanian movie about a 40-year-old Romanian woman, Felicia, who lives in Amsterdam. She had been away for 19 years (as I had been). She returned every holiday to see her family (!), but she hated the travel and found it increasingly difficult to leave her homeland. The summary said it was about her struggles with identity, family, and aging.

Though I had considered many grand plans, throughout the year, for my birthday (London? Paris? all-night partying?), I hadn't acted on them. Now, in mid-November with no plan (and many queries from friends "how will we celebrate?"), I was obsessed. I re-read the film description dozens of times.

I decided to spend my 40th by going to see this indie film, alone. I wanted it to give me insight on my own life: secretly, I knew I would be influenced by Felicia's decisions. O Felicia, show me what to do! Our fates will be paired forever!

And so I sat in a dark theatre, almost empty save for 9 Romanian strangers. In short, the movie was awful. It had no plot and only barely matched its eloquent summary. It was 90 minutes of a daughter and mother arguing at an airport. Worst of all, it didn't tell me that I should move home.

The movie was so bad that it was a running joke for a couple of weeks (I did have several big birthday dinners that week, and it made for a good story). However, I eventually learned the lesson. If I really needed a foreign film to guide me on big Life Questions, then I already knew the answers.

Add the Vancouver Olympics, and voila, here we are, writing from Charlottetown. I had dinner with my family last night, and more dinners to come with friends. My first birthday season on PEI since 1990.

Thank you, Felicia. My dear, it has been quite a year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

I went to the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in Charlottetown today. I don't know if I had ever been before, but 20 years away gives one some perspective.

It was a cold day, but no one complained. Who would dare complain about some chill in the face of what our veterans have endured.

Later in the day, I visited V and C and the family. After a terrific meal (local organic chicken), we watched a documentary on the NFB website. It was about World War II. Both appropriate and fascinating.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

November Rain

Last week was pretty rough on multiple fronts, but it was a good weekend, despite the endless, cold rain.

Good news: I swam and ran, both for the first time in ages. I took a break from running, but I finally admitted to myself that my hair length was preventing me from swimming. The solution: buzz it. My hair is almost as short as it was in 2007, when I seriously mowed it down to make swimming easier. (Not in terms of lap times, but just ease of maintenance).

We'll see if I get faster as a runner. My alltime record for 1 mile was at the same time, in the spring of 2007. Though putting the miles is the dominant factor, I do think improved heat dissipation helps as well.