Bah Humbug…September…Back to School.



Bye Bye Summer – It’s Back to School Time – “Bah Humbug”

Well it’s been a while since my last post….I’m pretty sure because I always go into a mini depression at the end of August!

I love summer! As a mother of 4 busy kids, this is the time when we hang – when we don’t have to Rush from one activity to another.

For the past 15 years I have had the priviledge of being home with my children – and I have the even bigger priviledge to be able to spend the summers up North at our cottage in Muskoka..

So….you can’t blame me for not embracing Back to School. Somehow – to me…it seems more complicated than when I was a kid..

To me September always brings:

Rush, Rush, Rush….

Getting ready for school in the morning, after school activities, family commitments….

All 4 of my kids go to different schools – so juggling the drop off and pick-up, along with car pool, and extra-curriculars etc requirings a degree in logistics!!

When I grew up – we walked to school…I never made a school team…and we couldn’t afford a lot of activities -so I played tag with the neighbourhood kids. Our front street wasn’t too busy so we could have baseball and hockey games throughout the year.

Stress, Stress – the kids want to do well in school, fit in with friends, be part of some team..and…then maybe even do something with the family…Yipes…why do we do it all. I don’t recall the amount of homework back in my youth…there was the pressure of fitting in…guess that’s a constant..

Packing Lunches..what will they eat, what is healthy, oh – the litterless, nut free lunch. I always had a peanut butter sandwich in a plastic bag!!

Hockey…I think that deserves a whole sub-category – and I will contain myself at this point…but – we had to come back to the City last week so my son could do a Mandatory Hockey Camp (my kids on swim teams had a camp – but it wasn’t mandatory)…and I have many emails about tournaments in Sept and Oct which I haven’t opened yet…

I just reviewed this…and have to say I sound like Scrooge about Christmas…I’m really not that cranky – and shudder to think that September is the “Bah Humbug” season for me…but….I’m kinda feeling that way at the moment..

It’s Saturday of the last long weekend of the Summer…I’m gonna relax and enjoy…

Thanks for reading – I appreciate you comments! – Perry

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  • Week 2 of the 12 Week New York Marathon Training Plan…How are we doing


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    Week 1 Recap
    Well the plan for week 1 was to run 4 – 5 times/week. Intervals 1 day, a long run and 2 other runs.

    I never worry about which day, I’m supposed to do things on…as long as it gets done!!

    What Actually Happened

    At the beginning of the week, I signed up for the Andy Potts Memorial 100km Charity Bike Ride around Lake Muskoka on Sunday Aug 21. Here’s a little musical interlude to give you some inspiration if you’ve ever been on a long bike ride:

    So, that kinda clouded my training….I have ridden during the summer, but not consistent, and my longest ride has been about 60 km. So, I was a bit nervous about the 100km distance. With that in mind, I wanted to make sure I got a ride in mid-week, and had enough energy for Sunday.

    So – What I did was

    • Monday – 30 minutes of core (class at Port Carling Fitness and Community Centre)
    • Tuesday – 75 minute run, including 8 intervals (5 minutes on, 1 minute walk)
    • Wednesday – 60 minute run – not hills per say, but I definately ran a hilly route – counted at least 10 hills around Port Carling
    • Thursday – 30 km bike ride
    • Friday – I think I took it off…really, I can’t remember
    • Saturday – So…this was supposed to be the long run (at least 2 hrs, about 20 km)…but, it rained, poured, and I was running with my husband…half way through the run, we decided to take cover, and grab a coffee…called reinforcements in to pick us up. Kinda cut the run short.
    • Saturday – 100km bike – did the Andy Potts 100km Charity Bike Ride – it was great!!  Lotsa Fun, and I survived!!

    Results for Week 1….I am giving myself a 70%…If I had done the long run on Saturday, I would have pushed it to the 80 – 90%s…but, I fell short.

    I’m still ok, as I know I can recover from not doing the 2 hr run this week…but, gotta get my act back together for week 2.

    So, what’s in store for week 2

    •   1 session of intervals. The plan is calling for 10 repeats of 400m. But, I plan to stick to my 5 minutes fast, 1 minute rest. That’s all I can handle
    • The long run is I think 23 km…so, I should be able to get to that.
    • And, 2 other runs, about 11 – 13 km throughout the week. One of those, I will make a hilly run for me.
    • I will also try to get in 1 or 2 bikes and today I did 30 minutes of core exercise.

    Now…I am not doing too good on the healthy eating front…I made choc chip cookies last nite and have had 5 today…oops…maybe that’s why I never lose weight.

    That’s the update for the week!! Hope you enjoyed the video…I will write a blog about that another day…I just ran out of time, and wanted to post something.

    How to Survive The New York Marathon on 12 Weeks of Training..


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    Thousands of runners on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

    Image via Wikipedia

    Yipes – 12 weeks to go – to the New York ING Marathon better Start Training!!

    Ok – so I am not starting from a base of 0…but why is it, that I never feel properly trained?

    • Maybe because I haven’t looked at a training plan?
    • Maybe because I did a long run today -19 km…it was slow and painful…. and…it was my first and only run of the week??
    • Maybe because I am 12 lbs heavier than last year – and no amount of training will overcome that??

    SO….What am I gonna do about it

      1. Well – i will subscribe to the New York Marathon 12 week training plan and actually follow it
      2. Most important – i will eat heathy – stop snacking and cut out the carbs (the yummy ones…bread, pastry, cookies)
      3. I will document my progress weekly on this blog….somehow publishing things may make it more real – and when (if) i fall off course – will get back

    Wish me luck…I’m gonna need it

    1. Thanks for reading – I appreciate your comments! – Perry

    Random acts of Kindness….it just feels good….


    90% of what goes on in life, is the little things….and that tends to be what matters most…It doesn’t take much to do an act of kindess….but, the benefits go beyond that act…

    • Yesterday I was shopping at the Canadian Tire in Gravenhurst. I had my 2 boys (age 10 and 12), and we were buying some new hockey equipment for the Powerstrides Hockey Camp they were doing.
    •  As we were leaving there were 3 people standing outside in front of us, who clearly didn’t look like the typical cottagers.
    • They were laden down with many bags carrying what looked like cleaning products (liquid detergents, cleansers, etc). One had a rusty bike and a back pack. They were talking about how they were going to get back to the apartment with their load.
    • I introduced myself to them, offered them a ride, and explained to my boys that while usually you don’t speak to strangers, and offer them a ride home, I felt these people were very trustworthy , and it would be a nice gesture for us.
    • Only the one with the bike was going home, the other 2 had more shopping.  She gratefully accepted the ride. We took 5 heavy bags, and put her bike on my bike rack drove the lady home (about 3 km, on a hot, humid day).
    • The group is new to Canada, they are from Barbados, and work as the Cleaning Staff for the Marriot Hotel in Gravenhurst and Red Leaves in Minett. They are sending these cleaning supplies back to their families in Barbadoes.

    It was a great lesson for my children to realize how easy it is to help others, and how  fortunate they are to be able to have a cottage, go to hockey camp, buy nice hockey equipment. The don’t have to work as cleaning staff in a foreign country to sent cleaning supplies home.  They were very interested in how an adult could work for minimum wage, support a family and send supplies back home.  My son Garet said – “yeah, and look at her bike – we have lots of bikes in the garage, we should give them some.”  Of course, I didn’t – as I was too lazy, nor do I feel guilty, but, I do feel good about doing one good deed, and believe my children do as well.

    Just look around – I am sure you will find a little thing you can do to help/be kind to others…Or maybe you have done something already…please let me know – I would love to hear your story…



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    For me, being in the game is what matters most…

    Putting this into practise yesterday, I did the BraceBridge Olympic Distance Triathlon (1500 m swim, 40Km bike, 10Km run), with very little training.  This event is a provincial champion qualifier – so, it brought out the best athletes in Ontario.  It is very likely that I could finish last.  To say I was out of my comfort zone is an understatement.

    However, I figured that I would feel like more of a loser if I didn’t do the triathlon, than if I came in last.   I am thrilled to say I survived and as always am better off having been in  the game than worrying about where I placed.

    These are the lessons I learned:

    • It’s Way More Fun to Be at the Back of the Pack – we have time to chat, get to know each other and encourage us to keep going.  The guys up front are breathing to hard to have a conversation.
    • No one thinks you are a loser if you are at the back.  I got many head nods from the guys at the front of the pack…and when the race was all done, John Salt the race director shook my hand and congratulated me on a fine race.    Today, when I was in the Gravenhurst Arena Parking lot, a random stranger came up to me and said “congratulations – great job on the triathlon yesterday”.   How great is that…If I had been in the middle of the pack, I might not have been noticed!!
    • It doesn’t matter if I train or not, I will always suck at the swim portion.  Seriously.  I have been in the water 5 times this whole year – and my swim time was just a few minutes slower than when I have swam 2 – 3 times the entire year.  Hmmmm…what is this telling me?!?!?!?!
    • Always stop to help a cyclist who has mechanical trouble.  My friend Janice, who was in the event. got a flat, and for the first time ever, changed her own tire (in 18 sweaty minutes).  Not a single person stopped to help her.  I have stopped in other triathlons to help cyclists with a flat tire.  It’s just what I do and now, for sure, I always will. Yesterday I only saw one guy with a flat, asked if he needed help, but he said he was well on his way fixing it.
    • Recognize and celebrate your friends and supporters.  Janice, who I have already mentioned, was a huge positive influence on getting me to do the event.  Janice did a Swim/Bike – she doesn’t run as she is injured – at first she suggested that I do the run portion and we enter the triathlon as a rely. I thought about it and figured, if I was going to get sweaty running, I may as well do the swim and bike – so, 3 days before the race, I told her that I was thinking of doing the whole thing – despite my slacker training over the summer.  She was all over it.  So much so, that she slept over at my cottage the night before the event to make sure that I showed up!  I also have to acknowledge my guardian angel Nerina – who I first introduced in my blog “Cervello Riders Rock”.  Nerina is doing the Ironman in Penticton, BC in less than 3 weeks, and when she found out I was going to do the Bracebridge triathlon, she said she would drive up and come and cheer me on.  At 5:45 am yesterday morning, Nerina was texting me to get out of bed, not to change my mind, that I could do it, and she would be there cheering me on!  How AMAZING are these women.  Thank-you so much!!!  You ladies are GREAT!!



      Tour De France Legend George Hincapie to Ride in Muskoka Sunday Aug 7 2011!!


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      Cycling Legend George Hincapie is coming to Port Carling!!!

      • On Sunday August 7th at 9:00 am in Port Carling George will lead a 46 member Pelaton riding the  Tour de Blue Charity  Ride  in support of Markham Stouffville Hospital.
      Cycling Legend George Hincapie

      Cycling Legend George Hincapie

      George has ridden in a record 16 Tour de France’s, and was Lance Armstrong’s right hand man for all Yellow Jersey Wins…Plus..he seems to be a true gentleman. Also riding is

      • Canada’s Own Cycling Olympic Silver Medalist – Steve Bauer,  and
      • Chris Carmicheal, former pro-cyclist and coach of Lance Armstrong.

      Each cyclist contributes at least $10,000 towards the cause. The ride is expected to raise about $450,000 for the Hospital.

      Welcome to Muskoka George, Steve, Chris and the Gang…I am sad that I can’t be there to cheer your on…as I am racing in the Bracebridge Olympic Distance Triathlon at 9:00 am. Your  Tour de Blue route is taking you down Muskoka Road 13 (Southwood Road), and then down to the Rama area. Sadly, the Bracebridge Triathlon travels west along Hwy 118 – it would have been quite a thrill if the Triathlon, travelling along hwy 118 could have crossed paths. At any rate, I will be sort of on the same road at the same time as you!!! Ride on – and Thanks for coming to Muskoka and support the Markham Stouffville Hospital.



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      PowerStrides Youth Hockey Camp in Gravenhurst -Best Hockey Camp in Muskoka

      I know you are thinking it’s August and Muskoka – who wants to do hockey….well – if your child does play hockey you know that all those kids in the city have had some type of hockey training/camp over the summer.

      I don’t know about you – but I would rather hang at a hockey ring in august in Gravenhurst than in the city.

      For the past 4 years, my 2 boys (age 10 and 12, who play Select and AA hockey) have been fortunate to be able to be part of the PowerStride Hockey Camp in Gravenhurst.

      In my opinion Carole Robinson and her crew run the BEST HOCKEY CAMP IN MUSKOKA

      The supervision, training and skills are excellent. The week of Aug 1 – 5 it is a shooting and powerskating clinic and the week of Aug 8 – 12 it is a pre- season hockey camp (3 hrs). Private lessons can also be booked!

      They can handle all ages and a wide range of abilities!!

      Send Carole an e-mail at or go to their website for more info.

      See you at the Rink (in Gravenhurst, in August)

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      Best WaterPark in Muskoka – Fun for Kids – only $15 per person

      Are you looking for a fun-filled Muskoka Activity – with water, exercise….and don’t want to break the budget?

      I took my 2 boys (age 10 and 12) to the SWS WaterPark at Clevelands House on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka this week.

      We arrived at noon and left at 6pm. a full day of exercise, water, sun all for only $15/person

      Kids of all ages (life jackets mandatory) had plenty of action on all the water/floating stations.

      I didn’t even have to get wet – I sat on the lovely dockside patio at Dukes Restaurant and had coffee/water and visited with friends who also had their children playing in the waterpark.

      You can boat or drive to Clevelands house (Minett).

      While in Muskoka I definately recommend spending at an afternoon at SWS. Waterpark – Give it a try – and let me know what you think!!

      Best Waterpark in Muskoka

      Best Waterpark in Muskoka

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      Free Workshop – Yoga in Your Muskoka Chair…Tues, July 26th

      • Fitness
      • Relaxation
      • Free….

      I love the Library in Port Carling. They do such a great job of giving back to the community. This year, they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary – and one of their many events is a FREE YOGA from your MUSKOKA Chair event. Details are as follows:

      Tuesday July 26th at 11 a.m.

      • Port Carling Library – Joseph Street

      No need to pre-register! Just come on down and learn how to relax and work out in the comfort of your Muskoka Chair!!

      I am going – and hope to see you there!!!

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      Vote Now… for your Favorite TDF 2011 Moment!!



      Well, I have spent the past 20 days eagerly watching the Tour de France.  (sidenote – thanks to my family for putting up with me)

      I have listed my top 10 hilites and am interested in what you think.

      Please vote and let me know what is your favorite. – Just click on what you think is #1

      Thanks for sharing!!!