"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out." -Mae Jemison, astronaut

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Days in Canada

My 41 hour trip was...well, ... 41 hours. I think that says it all. Somewhat surprisingly, I wasn't all that shattered on arrival. I pretended to sleep as much as possible from Auckland to San Francisco and then stayed awake for the day, to arrive in Calgary at bedtime. I got to tour around Auckland and San Fran for a bit, hauling my 9kg laptop bag - will call it cross training.

Last time I was in Canada I received a lovely, "Welcome home!" This time? "You're in the wrong line." He wanted me in the "Visitor" queue, not the "Canadian" queue. Interesting. I am now an alien in Canada! And as for my accent, I've been told I sound like a mix of Australian, Texan, and Irish :) I just can't stop saying, "Yeaaahhhhh" in that quintessentially Aussie way. Canadians hardly say 'yeah,' as it's generally considered a bit crude - they usually speak a more formal 'yes.'

Driving hasn't been bad, although I have washed my brother's windscreen many times over (turn signals on the other side) and smashed my left hand several times into the door reaching for the shifter on the wrong side.

Now that I'm a science-addict, I've been able to observe some interesting phenomenon related to long distance flying. My weight was up 2 kg on arrival. And my resting HR was up 10 points. Within a day, my weight returned to normal. HR's taking longer.

19 hours after arrival, I was standing at 1400 mtrs, at the base of the Rocky Mountains, ready for my Wednesday night run up to 1900 mtrs. It was gorgeous, but a massive strain on the cardiovascular system to adjust to the altitude. At one point I thought, "I have no lungs, I should use my legs more." When I tried to do that, my legs screamed out to remind me that they also require oxygen to function!

And here's a warning to all you Garmin users out there who may travel....

When I finished my run, I noticed that the time was still set on Perth. So I adjusted it to local time. That meant that I went back in time. So Garmin naturally decided to erase my file! In its wisdom, it must have decided I couldn't have done a run in the future. I tried to change the time zone again to bring back the file, but to no avail. The past is dead. Or the future is dead. There is only the present moment. I guess Garmins are buddhist devices.

That night, my resting HR was up 15 points.

On Saturday, I ran a little 10k race here for one last hit at speed work. It was a fundraiser for kids with motor disabilities and it was cool to see so many kids out there. I just had to take a photo with Cornelius, the Canadian Pacific Railway beaver. My Hungarian grandpa worked for CPR his whole life and he always wore those exact overalls, even on his days off.

Saturday night I took my brother-in-law out to Prairie View. It's handy that it's light here until 10 PM. He's just taken up running and particularly loves trails. And now I have the data ... +559 mtrs 7.7% over 5.5 km. So it's time to compare that particular climb to what I'm supposed to see in Ireland and then see how scared I should be.

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