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Archive for February, 2012

27
Feb

Treadmill Woes

   Posted by: Dan    in Amtgard, Training

Twenty-three kilometers into our training walk last Saturday, I felt a dreadfully familiar twinge in my left leg.

Five years ago, I slipped on some sand during a LARP combat and tore the hamstring in my left leg. I didn’t realize what was wrong – it was just a searing pain, but I could still walk, albeit shakily – so I kept fighting. For two hours or so, it was hurting but I tried to play through it (and even succeeded, for the most part). That night, after an hour of sitting down for a meal and chatting, I found myself decidedly unable to walk.

It was five months before I could walk comfortably without a pronounced limp; three of those were spent walking with the help of a cane. I have understandably been more careful since, stretching before my LARP days and before training such as Saturday’s.

Despite those stretches, though, my more-sedentary lifestyle this winter has taken its toll. I wasn’t nearly as tired as I expected to be, but when the pain started and didn’t work itself out on the treadmill (as other soreness tends to), I ended up stopping two kilometres – just 24 minutes – shy of our goal. I put some essential oils, meant to help with pain and soreness, on the back of my knee when I got a chance to lie down a few hours later; yesterday I was still sore and applied them again. A combination of time and oils have brought me to a nice, subdued, bearable soreness today – much better than the pain I was fearing.

All-in-all, training went well on Saturday… and taught me that I need to start more regular training on my own again to shake off some of the rust that has been gathering over the winter.

24
Feb

A Perspective on Training

   Posted by: Dan    in Training

How far do you walk on any given day?

According to a study published in the “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” journal in 2004, the average American takes between 5200 (women in the study) and 7200 (men in the study) steps in any given day – adding in average stride (2.2 feet for women; 2.5 feet for men), if you are an average woman you are walking a little over two miles a day; as a man you’ll walk, on average, a little under three and a half.

Say you take a walk during your entire hour-long lunch break – if you’re walking at a normal pace, you’ll add maybe three and a half miles to your total – you’re at six or seven miles, now. Not too bad!

This Saturday, the Wayfarers will be walking almost three times that. Going to a total of 17 miles, we will be doing an “average day’s walk” for our trip. We will take about five and a half hours of hard walking to do this, with breaks interspersed to make sure we don’t overextend ourselves and end up with an injury.

At the end of March, though, we will be holding a public training event – that’s right, we’ll be walking in the great outdoors on Saturday, March 31st and inviting anyone who wants to join us to come along. About a week before the date we’ll be posting our starting location, and during the walk we will be “checking in” on FourSquare and tweeting our location to the world-at-large to try to raise awareness!

Mark your calendars and learn your stretches – we would love to see you out!

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18
Feb

Wayfarer Bracelets

   Posted by: Paul    in Quest

The Wayfarers are proud to announce an opportunity for everyone to show their Wayfarers pride by purchasing a Wayfarers Quest for the Cure wristband.

The silicone wrist bands come in a hunter green colour with gold lettering that reads Wayfarers on one side and Quest for the Cure on the other.

Wristbands may be purchased from any Wayfarer for 5$. Unless the Wayfarer specifies he’ll have bracelets with him, please inform him by giving him a head’s up that you are looking for one to make sure he has one. While we are always willing to sell the bracelets, we will not always have them on us.

Eighty percent of the proceeds (4$) will be donated to the cancer society that represents the currency used to purchase the bracelet, while the final dollar will go to cover the some of the costs of the bracelets and Wayfarer business cards. An order of 300 bracelets have been received, which means that 1,200$ may be donated if the bracelets sell out.

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3
Feb

A New Way to Train: Yoga

   Posted by: Paul    in Training

Last week, I did something that a year ago, I would never have considered doing: I joined a yoga club. Two of my coworkers had been discussing doing yoga in the lunch room for a few months, and found a very good deal at Yoga Tree, for unlimited yoga for your first month for 40$.

I honestly didn’t know what I had really signed up for. I had heard that yoga was a good tool to relax the mind, and figured I would get some stretching done as well, which couldn’t possibly be a bad thing leading into the Quest for the Cure.

We signed up on Tuesday at the location closest to our office and saw that the 6pm Wednesday class (the most convenient one for us to do right after work) was a Reduced Heat level 2 class. We were informed that beginners could do level 2 classes, though we were likely to get tired at some points, but we could lay down on our yoga matt and rest while the class continued.

I rested often.

The reduced heat class was advertised at 28 degrees Celsius, but the thermostat in the room indicated 33 degrees Celsius, which is nearly the number that hot yoga was advertised at. Our teacher let us know that the biggest hurdle for beginners was that in level 2 classes certain pose names were announced, and it was expected the student would do the pose without instruction. Needless to say, I looked around a lot when we were told to do downward dogs and other – at the time – unknown yoga poses.

The class was 90 minutes long, and I believe only included one 15 second break before we reached the wind down time at the end of the class. Sweat dripped from my forehead as I strained to stay in difficult positions. I took many more personal breaks, but always tried to do every pose for as long as my strength allowed me.

I learned quickly that advanced yoga was not easy!

The next day, we went to a restorative yoga class. This class was much more relaxing, and likely the only thing my sore body would have been able to handle. The teacher had a soothing voice and told great stories, and I learned to control my breathing. Simply focusing on breathing can greatly reduce anxiety, something that will come in handy on a 500 mile journey. There was some stretching in this class as well, all of which I was able to complete.

On Saturday, we took part in a beginner yoga class. I learned how to perform a half sun salute (I may have the name of the move wrong), the child’s pose, though not nearly all the terms I had heard during my reduced heat class. This class was very informative, though I would have liked to have learned more positions at the expense of some stretching. It likely should have been my first class.

Work sent me out of town this week, so my next class will be a level 1 hatha class on Saturday. I hope to attend at least 10 classes before my unlimited pass runs out. Mixing in learning snowboarding on every Saturday this month, I believe that I will feel sore more days than not.

Yoga is not easy, but it sure is fun and relaxing at the same time.

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1
Feb

Contest winners and a new one on the horizon!

   Posted by: Dan    in News, Quest

It’s taken us some time, but we have finally recovered from our fantastic Burns Night at the Duke last week. In the wake of this we can finally announce the winners of the contest that ended in mid-December… and announce a new one that’s starting today!

After narrowing down the entrants, we settled on a tagline that’s been used on the site since the beginning of this year:

Walking in the footsteps of history for a brighter future.

We believe that it speaks to our mission statement and our methods in a way none of the other entries quite hit. We did have a lot of great entries, however, and thank you to everyone who sent one our way. David Syas of Nashua, New Hampshire, who entered this tagline, has generously donated his prize back to the Wayfarers. His name has been put on our list of donors and the $40 has been donated directly to his home charity, the American Cancer Society.

The runner up, “the journey to end cancer starts with a single step,” was suggested by Pat Scanlon of Rochester, New York, whose t-shirt is ready to be delivered to him!

The visual advertisement we chose wasn’t quite perfect – we got a number of entries that we liked (I am wearing one right now, in t-shirt form, that was the runner-up), but the one we all chose was an early version of the following. We had the winner, Florida native Kelly Lee, do a few minor changes before sending us the following:

Perfect for your new Facebook Timeline!

You can download wallpapers (1024×713; 800×600; 640×480) if you like. Kelly’s prize has already been sent.

The runner-up image, submitted by Alexandra Misset of our hometown Toronto, was actually a t-shirt design. We ordered some of these shirts for the Wayfarers’ training this summer and I’ve been wearing my two new hoodie sweatshirts everywhere – I’ll get some pictures soon and post them up.

A New Contest

Starting today, we are holding a contest that hearkens back to the reason we all love high fantasy to begin with: stories.

From now until the end of May – yes, that’s four months! – we are looking for submissions of short fiction, up to 5000 words in length, with a theme of “quests.” There is no genre or formatting requirement beyond that; just make sure it’s about a quest of some sort. Each entry into the contest will cost $5.

Why the cost? Because the winner of this contest will be winning 30% of the total entry fees. Second place will win 15%. Third place will win 10%. All three will get their fiction linked to on our site, as well as a link to their personal websites if they have them. And the remaining 45% will be donated directly to the Wayfarers’ charity in your region – that’s $2.25 per entry towards our cause, and a chance to win big for your writing!

Entries will be judged by a neutral panel of judges that is yet to be determined – we have some big things in the works on that front, so stay tuned for an update next week (including details on how to submit!) and start your writing.

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