Triathlon Training

My friend Madeleine and I have signed up for a mini-triathlon in May, and she’s encouraging me to blog about my training efforts. Just general details today, but I’ll do a few follow-ups with specifics as I go along.


I had a lazy winter so I’m trying to ramp up my exercise plan slowly. I’ve been running (jogging, really) on the treadmill downstairs while watching Netflix movies, alternating between 2k uphill and 5k flat runs every 3 or 4 days. I know some hardcore runners who run outside in the winter, but my neighbourhood doesn’t have sidewalks and I don’t want to risk a wipeout on the ice, so until spring I’ll be favouring endurance over speed in my training program.

I’ve been skipping the bike training for now – we have a stationary bike but I don’t like it much, and I figure it’s mostly the same muscle group as the running, so there will be time to train for that closer to May.

Swimming has been fun – I only agreed to do the triathlon because I’d already been doing some swimming over the winter with Natasha, and I really love it. I’m working hard on improving my sloppy technique. I’ve got my face down and I’m reaching better – less plowing and more gliding. Big improvements. (Natasha’s a great swimmer and a great teacher!)

I’m not really anxious about running out of steam during the race, but I’d like to put in a really good time, so that’s my biggest motivator. My biggest obstacle so far isn’t the training – it’s eating. As usual, I’m rapidly losing weight despite carb loading – that’s just my metabolism doing what it does. Trying to find a balance that maintains my body weight while sweating up a workout is slowing down my progress.

Face Painting

I got invited to do some face painting at the community center this morning, and I had a lot of fun. It’s a neat challenge! You’ve got to paint fast on squirmy kids, and the things they want painted are sometimes kindof odd so you need to think fast. We did up a menu of simple shapes appropriate for cheek painting (Balloons, hearts, butterflies, etc) and suggested ideas to shy kids, but we ended up fielding demands for an Eel, cars, a Power Ranger Super Samurai, cotton candy, Spider-Man, Batman, dinosaurs, and this one adorable little girl (maybe four years old) whispered she wanted a black spider (scary please!).

When I was a kid we had those oily face crayons, and they were garbage. Lots of friction on the face, the colours were weak and streaky, and they’d break down as soon as you started sweating and smear all over the place. This afternoon we had a couple of those on the table, but we basically never picked them up – three of us shared a set of brushes and water-based cake facepaints and the difference was like night and day. The paints dried quickly, stayed bright, and were really simple to mix and blend into new colours if we needed them.

I’m thinking about buying a basic kit for summer parties – it was a lot of fun and the kids and parents loved it!

I didn’t take any pictures, sorry. I did a couple I was pretty proud of though, given the constraints. 🙂

Bookbinder’s Show

At lunch during the week I stopped into the university library to check out a small exhibition they were doing of work by the Canadian Bookbinder’s and Book Artist’s Guild. A member of the guild, and a former co-worker friend of mine introduced me to her book obsession – she’d tear off the covers of her favourite books and bind them like ancient magical tomes covered in leather and gold foil and gemstones. Really neat stuff.


My favourite on display in the little show at the library was this coptic-bound sketchbook by Shlomo Feldberg made out of aluminum treadplates. Even with aluminum being a relatively soft metal, I imagine it must have been a lot of work to grind out the two matching covers and then bore holes through. I often complain about the weight of my bookbag – I would have liked to pick this one up to see how much of an anchor it is. 🙂

Sadly, there were no doodles inside!