My Mantra

All Gods critters have their place in the choir,
Some sing low, some sing higher.
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire.
Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they’ve got, now!

This is my mantra and I repeat it over and over. It is my “little engine that could” and it keeps me traveling forward, first with my left foot, then my right. It helps move me. It’s not a lot, but it is enough.

It is a deceptively simple song called “A Place In The Choir”, written by Bill Staines in 1978. It starts with the chorus and has just five verses of four lines each. However, I only repeat the chorus, mostly because I can’t remember all the verses, but also because it’s too hard to think through the haze that stands between remembrance and self. My daughter, Lauren taught it to me when she was ten years old. She in turn heard it as a campfire song at Guide camp. I liked this quirky, innocent song, so I went looking for it. I found a guitar tab on the Internet and reformatted so that both my daughter and I could read it. It’s one of the many songs we perform for ourselves at home. We are a guitar and ukulele duo, accompanying an unlikely duet. One has a beautiful young voice and the other, an older, straining one.

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Around The Bay 30km – Pictures

Mark and Amanda Collis - ATB 2015 - Start Line SelfieStart Line Selfie – Sunny and not cold for a change!

Mark and Amanda Collis - ATB 2015 - SmallerFinishing the 30 km

Yeah, it was a PW (2:26 PB!), but if you don’t run for 5 weeks in the middle of your training schedule (I was sick then and I still was on race day), what do you expect?  Here’s to a faster time next year.

Amanda maintains her unbeaten streak with me finishing a close second behind her. We were running as a member of the corporate team. This year we were Team Orange Rocket.

For more info on Amanda’s chair and her sleeping bag cold weather snuggie, see the items under Team Rocket.

T-Shirt Etiquette

T-shirtsIn the running community the wearing of race T-Shirts has become a sign of accomplishment and fashion. Choosing just the right T-Shirt for that special occasion can be a daunting and difficult task. The following guidelines have been compiled (in fun) to help the responsible T-shirt wearer avoid potential embarrassment and/or elevate their perceived status in the running community.

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The Valley Inn Road Dilemma

Well, it looks like we won’t find out if we get to run the “Valley Inn” hill until just before the race.

CBC reported in December that due to work on the CN rail bridge, race organizers won’t know if the road will be open until a week or so before the race.

So much doing any training on Valley Inn Road hill this year.

Update: I’ve checked Valley Inn Road, so don’t even bother trying.  The whole hill is fenced off from the end of the bailey bridge at the bottom to the barricades at the top.  I guess we’ll all have to make do with just running all the Northshore hills over and over again.


Week 1B (5 miles / 8 km) – January 9, 2015

Note: Week 1B isn’t a mistake. It just makes it easier to adjust the web page and route maps when we go back to a 12 week schedule. This way I don’t have to renumber EVERYTHING.

This is a shorter version of the seven (7) mile Northshore west loop you’ll be doing in week three.  We take it easy on you this week as we only have the La Salle Apartments hill (twice!) and the climb to Plains Road from Northshore Blvd. to contend with.

Remember to turn left at the second Brook View Ave., not the first one (blink and you’ll miss it). If you miss the turn you’ll be doing extra mileage.  If you start heading down hill, you’ve gone too far.

As will all of our runs, we will be running as much as we can on the ATB race route in the direction that you’ll be traveling on race day.

Bay Training week 1B (Alternate) – 5 Mile Northshore West Loop

Map data ©2014 Google
Map data ©2014 Google
500 m