CBC puts Canada on a diet

CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., has launched a web site to help people get in shape: CBC’s LiveRightNow.ca

And there’s a new TV show about an entire village in British Columbia getting together to promote activity and healthy eating: Village on a Diet, which starts tonight. I hope that everyone can get it.

The upshot of the CBC’s investigations is that Canadians are heavier and softer than they think. But I’m in shape! (Round is a shape, isn’t it?)

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Stretch!

Stretching:

funny pictures-You know it's a good stretch when it sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies...
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Biking on a stand

The usual way of training for cycling in winter is to get a stationary bicycle. It seems neater, somehow, to use the same bicycle for both outdoor and indoor biking. You can buy a stand that holds a bike’s rear axle and applies a variable amount of pressure. It’s a little harder on the seat of the pants, because the bike doesn’t sway and change pressure points. However, we got a second one and so far I’ve had two short sessions side-by-side with my SO: about 40 minutes yesterday and about 20 minutes tonight. It’s not bad so far–I have the pressure on the tire very light. It might make the spring jump onto the bike a little more successful.

Nottawasaga Bay

Nottawasaga-Bay-50, originally uploaded by monado.

One of our entertainments on holiday was to spend a few hours at the beach of Nottawasaga Bay at Blue Mountains. The older and younger generations did a long swim.

A man and a girl, in wetsuits, wade away from the shore

We chose as our target “palm-tree island,” where someone has built a couple of artificial palm trees.

distant view of a low island with a few bushes and what appear to be palm trees

The middle generation created an Om symbol out of sand.

a young man sculpts a Hindu symbol in sand on the beach

Here is a satellite picture: we swam out, from the beach to the right of the pier, to the island and back.

satellite picture of lakeshore and nearby island

"Palm Tree" island

We left before heat and humidity built up to destructive storms, including a downburst of wind.

First open-water swim of the year: Friday, June 26

cherry-beachCoach Kelvin’s triathletes met at Cherry Beach on Lake Ontario for some long-distance open-water swim training. The lifeguards were on duty in spite of the city workers’ strike, because they work for the police “marine” (lacustrine) unit.

Monday  should have been the first swim of the year but I was daunted at the thought of swimming in skin and don’t like struggling into my wet suit. I shouldn’t have worried: the water was fine or so I was told. Where we swim is sheltered from the cold current along the north shore of Lake Ontario by the Leslie Street Spit, so it warms up nicely during the day.

It was fine again on Friday (21C): cold at first touch, but then refreshing with layers of warm and and streams of cold water in the lake. Just above the bottom, several feet down, the water was turbid from the rain that fell on Thursday, and the rest of the water was faintly cloudy.

I felt confident in my ability to sight on landmarks and swim in a reasonably straight line this year. So I spent most of the time acclimatizing myself to the whole open-water experience. I need distance practice more than anything. Second, I need to get used to floating in swells. Some long, gentle swells rolled in from time to time, generated by passing boats.   When I’m just floating or doing a backstroke, it’s easy to get a little motion-sick.

I mostly swam back and forth along the buoys that mark our 500m courses. I got in about 1900m: breast stroke to warm up, freestyle practice, breast stroke and side stroke to recover, more freestyle. Early on I tried to corner a couple of swans against the shore so that I could look at their paddling feet; but I couldn’t get close enough and the water was still too turbid for a clear view at a distance. So I let them go. I took lots of breaks because I am out of shape and much slower than the average swimmer. After swimming for quite a while in beach shoes I left them on the lifeguards’ dock. Just about the time I felt I’d had enough, the training session was over.

But not all days will be fine, so I need to order a wetsuit that fits.

I’ve decided not to worry about the E. coli count unless it’s astronomical. If the count is over 100 per 100ml, parents will keep their children on the beach and let them play in the wet sand where the count is hundreds of thousands.

Daily water sampling is not taking place because of the city workers’ strike.

Cherry-beach-water_2009-06-21

Swimming with triathletes, May 29

swimmer blowing bubblesSwim workout in 25-yard pool, overseen by Coach Kelvin:

  • warm-up, 150 yd.
    • freestyle, 50
    • breast-stroke, 50
    • kicking with flutterboard 50
  • freestyle (50 slow, 50 medium, 50 fast) = 150 x 5 = 750
  • cool-down: freestyle, easy 50 yd.

Total: 950 yd. or 805 metres.

Worked on: deep breathing, continuous swimming, double-leg push-off.

Pilates, May 27

We had Pilates lessons again. I’m pleased that our group has finally moved up to the Intermediate level. We had a nice, relaxing lesson at Coyne Pilates.