Archive for the 'sports d'hiver' Category

20
Fév
10

Carpe Diem

I took Latin for 3 years in high school but never really understood what those 2 words put next to each other meant. Hey, I was 15 years old at the time; how was I supposed to get those things? Had to live a little…

So, back to our Carpe diem, seize the day, saisir le jour, aprovecha el dia  notion. No matter which language(s?) you speak, the concept stays the same; get out there now ‘cause you never know what’s next!

On Wednesday, after 5 days off the snowshoes, thanks to a bone spur party in my neck, I was ready to get back at it. Couldn’t wait for a total pain free day anymore. My body, my mind, my soul needed to get out there. I was going insane. Craving to feel the cold wind blowing in my face.

Any cyclist can relate. I’m sure you told yourself a few times: “As long as I can get that ride in, I’ll be happy, ready to deal with the rest of my day!” Anything can get in the way of our training, not just injuries.

At that point I figured: « Hey, I’m gonna hurt anyway if I rest, so why not raise that heart beat a notch and get a healthy happy endorphin buzz! » That’s my way of thinking. Works for me. Everytime. Had to be smart though, focusing only on what I could do at the moment, not thinking of where I was suppose to be this time of year. You know, the pressure of being ready to start a new season, keeping up with the others, climbing those few first hills without suffering too much…

My comeback:  

  1. Wednesday: flat (warm-up) + hill repeats: 2X5 min. + 1X10 min= 30 min.
  2. Thursday: flat (warm-up) + hill repeats: 2X2 min + 3X5 min. + 1X10 min=  35 min.
  3. Friday: flat (warm-up) + hill repeats: 3X5 min. + 2X2 min. + 1X10 min=  40 min.

Short and sweet. Intense.  Out of breath again. But yet, very much alive!

 Saturday morning, I felt fine and decided to spice it up. Needed to check out my lower back, gluteus and sacro-iliac condition. That’s in fact what gets in the way of my cycling. More than my neck issue actually, ah! Anyway, that’s a total different subject so, back to today’s snowshoe: 

       4.   Saturday: flat (warm-up) + hill repeats: 4X2min + opening     tracks, nice uphill for 15 min, down hill descent, flat= 55 min.

First tracks are very interesting because it becomes a strength workout.  You could compare it to pushing bigger gears on your bike. The fresh snow= resistance. Add some of that winter wind and that incline for 15 min, and you get yourself a decent cardio workout also!

 When you are stuck with such a short window of opportunity, you enjoy every minute of it! As much as my (many) set backs make me struggle, they definitely make me stronger. A 30 minute bike or snowshoe ride would have been such a failure before. Getting all dressed for less than an hour ride was unthinkable. Now it’s a treat! That, and a piece of yummy Saturday night chocolate cake…

You can see Mont-Tremblant from the mountain bike trails.

Did not see many golf carts tho!

Bonne soirée,

Mjo

15
Fév
10

Spring Break

I’ve got a few friends along my spine: bone spurs. They’re having a party up there. Might be early spring break for them! “Inflammation” seems to be the theme of the week. And can’t have a party without inviting miss herniated disc C6-C7 …

 When it happens, it’s like having a needle stuck in my neck. More like a knife actually. A sharp one. If I try to look up, it cuts right through the bones. Even my head itself feels too heavy for my spine. Impossible for me to lift anything. Obviously, gotta forget snowshoeing for a few days. If you know me, you know how that must make me feel… Yep, exactly like that!

Can’t use my arms much either. Being a massage therapist, it complicates things a little. It’s like there’s no more protection layer around my nerves anymore. Sitting down at my computer, a sharp pain travels down my forearms and into my hands. Left side. Right side. Sometimes both. Like in the last 4 days.

This condition just doesn’t fit me:

  • I’m a massage therapist.
  • I’m a cyclist.
  • I like to climb steep hills on my bike or on my snowshoes. And I like to climb them fast, be the first one up there, like a little rabbit. Got a nickname out of that: Pat calls me “mon p’tit lapin”…
  • I also crave skate skiing. Yes, like the kind you see at the Olympics! Intense!
  • I love trail running and hiking with Quick, my beloved black Lab.

Like I said, it just doesn’t fit my lifestyle. Doesn’t fit who I am. Doesn’t fit what I do. It never will.

But yet, somehow, I have to deal with it. Accept the set backs. So scared that it will, at some point, dictate my life.

Remember last week, when I got the results for my biopsy? I felt way “over” everything, as you can imagine… Hmm, I paid for that a few days later, when I went skate skiing: stunning winter day shared with my boyfriend doing what I love, heart beat up to 195, just the way I like it!But…

Every time I pretend I’m over it, it comes back at me. Right in my face. Reality check. Again!

  • Gotta use my brain when I ride my bike or go for a snowshoe now.
  • Can’t just go all out like I use to. Can’t listen to my guts.
  • Can’t show off my power  all the time. Gotta be wise. Wiser!
  • Gotta learn from the ice-anti-inflammatory-pain killer kinda days.

I feel  stuck. Stuck in a body that’s wants more than just average exercise.  Mostly because that’s not who I am. I’m just not average… I’m an intense, hard headed and  dedicated everyday athlete!

Gotta go now, 10 minute ice session!

Mari-jo

P.S.  The more blogs I write, the more naked I feel!

27
Jan
10

Indoor trainer? Naaaa!

When I woke up, I knew that at some point today, I was going to meet the devil. Bad day? Important meetings? Hmm. Think again.  Blue sky, fresh snow. Stunning morning! After last week’s  set backs, I wasn’t going to miss another striking day stuck inside.

In need of a fine workout. Always good for the soul!

Got dressed, filled my water bottle, prepared my Atomic backpack, took my snowshoes and jumped in the car with my beloved dog in the back seat. 4 minutes later, I made a right into a private parking lot, Le Diable (gotcha!), an impressive golf course here in Tremblant, surrounded by challenging mountain bike trails that transform into outstanding snowshoe trails. All mine!

So, meet my playground. Oups, Quick is staring at me; our playground!

 

Don’t be jealous my Twitter friends. I’m just making the most out of that winter. Long winter should you read. December until late March. Don’t let me fool you: I’d rather have my feet in the sand, complaining about my sunburn or taking pics of my bike, with the ocean in the background. Again, just dealing with what I have: snow, cold temperature and sometimes, a bit of sunshine.

So today, I got a magical dose of vitamine D.

My indoor trainer sure is a lonely guy!

Thanks  Mr. Sunshine for showing up,

(View of Lac Ouimet and Gray Rocks)

See you soon,

Mjo

28
Déc
09

My Christmas workout

  I don’t ski. Well, not downhill anyway. I do not like to go down but sure enjoy going up! I’m a climber. As you know, I like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. This way, I can stay in shape for the cycling season. Yes, cyling is always on  my mind…

  • The date: December 25th 2009.
  • The place: Ski Mont la Réserve, in Saint-Donat, Qc, Canada.
  • The reason: looking for a perfect workout.
  • The team: Quick, my new MSR amazing  snowshoes and a mountain to discover.

The trail starts at the bottom of the ski hill, just left of the chair lift. R1 is the one; takes you to the summit.

No real warm-up, it just gently goes up for about 30 minutes, then down for 10 and up again to finish the ascent. About 45 minutes total to get to the top, where you get a view of Lac Archambault.

Perfectly marked out, you can’t get lost, just have to follow the trail.

 

Quiet, peaceful. I didn’t see anybody but felt like I was being watched tho:

hare paws. The white ones, too cute!

Quick had a good time. Funny how he always seems to be in a hurry, going up…and down!

Next time I go, it will be after a snowstorm. Ouf, total different story when you’re opening tracks and going uphill! Intense!

How was your Chrismas workout?

Mjo

23
Déc
09

Women’s Lightning Ascent

Santa came a week early at my house. Understandable, since the world is a pretty big territory to cover! Anyway, knowing that my snowshoes were getting old, he got me  » la crème de la crème » : The Lightning Ascent by MSR, special women’s design.

Mine are turquoise and Pat’s are green. Hot!

If you go on MSR’s website, you’ll read that they are « Our most aggressive all-terrain snowshoes, fine-tuned to a woman’s stride. » ( http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/snowshoes/steep-and-challenging/womens-lightning-ascent/product )

I’ve been using them everyday since last Saturday. They’re just perfect!

  • Light, narrow frame (hmmm, I would say ultralight!)
  • 360° traction grip
  • makes climbing easy(easier!) on steep terrain
  • Straps that won’t freeze when below -15°C
  • Efficient stride

Retail price : 249.99$ (CAN). Expensive but will last forever. And who knows, maybe Santa is still in your neighborhood…

He got mine at : http://www.leyeti.ca/ in Montreal.

Enjoy,

mjo

21
Déc
09

Where does your heart belong?

a)      biking: road-mountain-cross

b)      Cross-country skiing: classic-skate

c)      Snowshoeing

d)      Can’t make up your mind? Love them all!

e)      Something else (sport related, please!)

By now, I think you pretty much know MY answer:

Triplets it is! Road-Skate-Snowshoeing.

What about you? What makes you get out of bed at 6 in the morning?What makes you want to face and sometimes even fight the elements?Cold, sun, snow, rain, heat, humidity, strong head wind. Game on, I’m ready!

I know, I sound like a The North Face ad! So, while I’m at it:

It’s all about the right gear, people.

And layers, lots of layers!

 

Nothing can stop me from doing what I really love.

Barely awake but yet, sooo happy to be sitting on my tiny pink San Marco saddle, or feeling my paws stuck in my new amazing Women’s Lightning Ascent!

The feeling of blood feeding my legs, oxygen getting into my lungs, my heartbeat and body temperature slowly rising.

And after a few good hills, endorphins kicking in. Yes, I’m alive!

Pure joy. Freedom. Happiness.

a-b-c-d-e? What’s your combo? Please, share!

Mjo

15
Déc
09

Like a kid

2 paragraphs. Could not read more than that last night. Could not even hold my book. Zzzz.

1 am.: Quick  is staring at me. Emergency. He has to go outside. He’s 8, he knows what he needs. He’s not kidding. Pfff. I Wish he could just open the door himself… 

5 minutes later, I’m back in my warm bed, next to Pat. I turn and turn for an hour. No way I’m going back into sleepy land. That moment is outta reach!

I keep thinking of those few cm of fluffy snow we got again last night.  Planning my snowshoe ride. Deciding on where to go. Wishing to be the first one there to open up the trails.

Like a kid, I still get excited by the thought of playing outside!

2 am: I’m starving. I’m now eating a big bowl of cold cereal, wishing it was already 7 am. I’m  wondering if that cute little  fox is still hiding out there…

2h15: again, a few paragraphs and zzzzz.

7am: up, making coffee, preparing breakfast #2. Happiest time of the day!

Now: writing. Full. Wishing you a good day!

Powder Tuesday mornings are the best!

Coach Pat yesterday, enjoying his first snowshoe ride of the season.

Mjo




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