Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Post Party - Back to Work

Was a fab time at the Christmas party, though I think the long run before-hand was not a great idea. The scotch hit fast and hard. Hmmmm...

Today's run:
Distance: 5.49 km. Time: 31:50.81. Speed: 10.3 kph.
Rest distance: 653.6 m. Rest time: 7:00.
Total distance: 6.15 km. Total time: 38:51.

Weather: Mainly clear and 0C, and a bit of a breeze out of the west. Most of the ice is gone off the sidewalks, so we're probably overdue for another snowfall.

People are getting the christmas lights up. I could read the GPS by the lights of several houses I went by.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Snowy Ending

A very nice morning for a run. Everything felt good, although my legs felt used up for the first half hour or so. Then we were really warmed up and it was fun.

Took to the shale path on the outbound leg this time. I don't know if it's the shoes or just the nature of the beast, but I seem to be constantly flipping the odd stone into my shoe. I can feel then around the rim against the ankle, and from there they work their way down under the ball of my foot. Sometimes I can work them around by flexing my foot so they move under the arch, but they don't stay there.

Most of the ones I picked up today were pretty small, sand really, and only bothered me a little bit off and on, but I still had to make a couple of stops to dump them out.

Today's run:
Distance: 14.99 km. Time: 1:34:48.90. Speed: 9.5 kph.
Rest distance: 2.06 km. Rest time: 23:00.
Total distance: 17.05 km. Total time: 1:57:48.

Weather: Cloudy, -4C and NW winds at 13 kph to start; light snow, -3C and NW winds at 21 kph at the end. In fact, during the last 15 minutes wet snow was coming pretty good. Running into the wind like that, it stuck to whatever wasn't nylon on the track suit I wear. Actually felt good to get a wet blast in the face.

Now the hard part comes tonight. It's the firm's annual Christmas party and I've gotta find the energy to do some dancing and carousing. Have I used it all up or can I recoup my energy levels?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Another Run in the Dark

Must have been another one of those days at work, cuz I really needed to burn it off.Averaged over 10 kph, and came in 55 seconds faster than a couple of nights ago on the same route. I don't think it was a conscious thing to go fast, just needed to burn off some frustration. It sure feels good, too.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.47 km. Time: 32:00. Speed: 10.3 kph.
Rest distance: 652 m. Rest time: 7:01.
Total distance: 6.13 km. Total time: 39:01.

Weather: Partly cloudy -1C. Nearly a full moon tonight, peeking through the clouds.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

One of Those Days...

One of those days at work, where things come at you from all angles, and drive you crazy, and just basically bury you. Which explains my run tonight, maybe.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.30 km. Time: 32:00. Speed: 9.9 kph.
Rest distance: 804 m. Rest time: 7:56.
Total distance: 6.11 km. Total time: 39:56.

Weather: Partly cloudy and -5C. Sidewalks were icy in places, packed snow in others.

Must have been really wound up after work to run like that. I ran two of the intervals at 10.6 kph, much faster than usual. A lot of frustration to burn off, I guess.

I've run this route a few times, but always the other way. Long flat start, longer rise of about 60 m vertical, then a fairly fast drop back to the start. Tonight though, I ran it the other way, with a quick climb, then the long descent to the long level part. It was on the descent that I put on the speed.

It felt really good, like I could have gone all the way down without a break, but I try to stay disciplined: four minute run, one minute walk. I use the timers on the GPS to stay with that interval, but the traffic noise was pretty bad tonight for some reason, and it was hard to hear the alarms, so I over-ran a couple of times. But a really good feeling run.

Oh, and just to brag a bit: I bought a new belt about a year ago, nice heavy leather with lots of room to adjust. At the time I was wearing it at the second last hole, and I thought I was moving outward, if you catch my drift. But then I started this adventure, and the adjustments went the other way. I finally caved last Sunday, and went to the leather repair shop in the mall to have them punch another hole in the thing. Now it doesn't droop so much.

But then there's all these dress pants that kinda look like I'm wearing a potato sack. And baggy shirts - geez, they just hang off me.

Anyway, from close to 200 lb back in April, when I first started this, to 172 lb as of last night. I may not get to 160 lb like I was back when I was cycling on the prairies year round, but I'm quite happy about where I've got to.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Closing In on Two Hours

Today's run: Time: 1:26:40 (+ 20 min rest time). Distance: 12.8 km (+ 1.8 km rest distance). Speed: 9.5 kmh. There was also my screwing up at the start with my GPS/timer. The first ten minutes and 1.5 km were run without the interval timer. When I started the interval timer, of course everything started from zero, so the above times and distances are off. Actual distance was about 16.1 km and 1 hour 52 minutes.

Weather: Cloudy and 7C at the start, climbing to 8C by the end.

Lots of traffic on the park paths this morning, lots of friendly hellos and g'mornings. Even the dogs were friendly.

It seemed like I went a lot farther then I thought I would. At the end of the tenth interval, I was at least a half kilometre farther than I had gotten the week before at that point which was my turn around point then. Today it was at 11 intervals. I'm also surprised at my speed. I wasn't trying to go fast, just trying to maintain an even pace so I could last the whole morning. I expected it to be closer to 9 kmh. Even so, I was longer getting back to the start point on the return leg.

As usual, everything hurt until about 4 intervals in, which is when everything finally seems loosened up and it gets fun. I stayed on the paved path all the way out, but just before the turn-around point, the shale path that parallels the paved one joins for a moment, so I used it for my return. It runs closer to the river and threads through some thick cottonwood stands.

The beavers have been busy in these stands; lot's of fresh stumps and wood chips. There are also some really huge trees, that have been wrapped in chicken wire fencing, though occasionally you see one that the parks people have missed and have been chewed on. Here's a picture from an earlier run, about a month ago, to give you the idea.

This tree was about 45 centimetres through.

There are some stands that have been pretty well cleaned out. There's a bench on the west path, that used to be in a nice shady spot, now it's out in the open. That took them all of a couple of days, and they built a pretty big dam right beside. The creek is only 10 metres wide at that point, but the dam must raise the water level almost a metre.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Catching Up, But Dragging My Backside

Didn't get to run on Thursday, due to a couple of things: parent-teacher night at my daughter's school, and the missus was offered full time employment where she's been working as a temp. So after talking with teachers, we celebrated by eating out. Calories in, calories out.

Today I was planning my usual Saturday distance run, but circumstances kept me up until about 6:30 this morning, and I was up again at about 8:00. So running on about an hour and a half of sleep just wasn't do-able for much more than the usual 40 minutes.

Today's run: Time: 32:47. Distance: 5.21 km Speed: 9.5 kmh, average. Total distance traveled: 5.95 km, which includes 8 minutes of walking.

Weather: Sunny, 1C, winds south at 21 kmh. Not too bad.

No wildlife, not even that many people out. Tomorrow's supposed to be much nicer, so if I get a good night's rest, I'll look at a distance run tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

After a nice break

Foot feels fine tonight, just a little achy, but much better.

I tried a different timing on the GPS, using the interval timer. Set the run time for four minutes and the rest time for one minute. So it now only shows the distance I ran, not the total distance. Not sure if that matters, but I would like to know just how far I went overall.

Anyway, today's run: Time: 35:59(not counting walking parts). Distance: 5.37 km (not counting walking parts). Speed: 8.9 kmh (not counting walking parts).

Weather: Mainly Clear, 4C, and really dark.

I think I traveled 6.14 km overall, if I read the graph from the software that comes with this gadget right, and that seems about right. Which means I walked 0.77 km.

Man, you can get downright geeky with this gizmo.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Just signed up for the Resolution Run, happening Dec 31 here in Calgary. As it is happening simultaneously in several centres, my sibs have also signed up in their respective communities. Looking forward to it, having not a clue what I'm getting into.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Almost like summer again

Sparkling day for a run. Started at Glennfield in Fish Creek Park and went east on the paved path. All kinds of people out running, walking, with dogs, or kids.

Today's run: Time: 1:39:37.45. Distance: 13.99 km. Speed: 8.4 kmh.

Weather: Sunny and 7C but it got up over 13C by noon, when I finished.

No wildlife around with so many people out, except a huge flock of gulls circling over the Bow.

Hurts: Still got some soreness under my right big toe. This is the same problem I had over the summer, that kept me from running for about six weeks. I was watching it carefully today, as I was going to stop if it started to really hurt, but after about ten minutes, the pain all but went away. Lots of other transient aches, not unexpected on a long run. Just for the foot, I'm going to skip tomorrow's run, so I won't be out until Tuesday.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Not the greatest

Just not a really good run this time, mostly because I messed up with my timing again. Somehow, I managed to stop the timer for about two minutes, which likely also stopped the distance accumulation. I stopped to let it catch up, sort of, but that probably wasn't the way to correct it either.

The other problem today is, I seem to ache all over. Mostly from the knees down. Or below the knees. Calves and feet hurt. Hope I'm not coming down with something.

Today's run: Time: 39.33. Distance: 5.48 km. Speed: 8.3 kph. But I'm sure I was over 6 km, as I got deeper into the forest than I usually get after 20 minutes.

Weather: Mainly Sunny, 10C, though the sun went down just after I started and it cooled off quite quickly.

Wildlife: Three-point whitetail buck beside Mcleod Trail, and on the way back, just coming up to the storm water ponds, a coyote crossed the path, loped into the trees and sat and watched me go by. First coyote I've seen down there for a couple of years, though I've been told there are lots down there. The owl was hooting in the Glennfield picnic area again, and a couple of minutes after encountering the coyote, I watched the tail of a whitetail deer disappear into the bush. Plus the usual assortment of chickadees and flickers looking for handouts.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A Gray But Pleasant Day

The forecast was calling for wet snow this morning, but we only got rain in the south of town. Fortunately it had stopped when I got out to run.

Got back in the park today. Since I'm off this week, I can get in and out before they lock the gates, which, at this time of year, they do at 6:00 pm. I ran the path with the distances painted on the pavement, and found that those numbers agree pretty closely with my GPS, which means that I really was getting an accurate idea before of how far I was running each time I used that path.

Today's run: Time: 40:43.46. Distance: 6.15 km. Speed: 9.1 kmh.
Weather: Light Rain, 4C, actually rather nice for a run, and as I said, the rain had stopped in this part of town.

Wildlife: two Whitetail deer on the path at about a half kilometre from the parking lot on the way back. A third one was in the tall grasses just a few metres to the north.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Top o' the world

I've moved this post here.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Foggy Day in Calgary Town

Conditions: Light Freezing Drizzle, -1C - from Environment Canada's web site. However those conditions are at the airport, some 25 or so km from here. More like just heavy fog down this way.

Run time: 38:41.14. Distance: 5.57 km. Speed: 8.6 kmh.

Felt cold out, but probably just from the humidity. With the fog, visibility was down to almost nothing. Ran up the hill again, then all the way back down to 5th Street. Last time it took me over 41 minutes, so tonight I was really moving. Well, I was really moving for me.

No wildlife, and only one dog walker.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Fun but treacherous

Just finished my weekly distance run, and it was brutal. Since it was cold and wet and a bit windy, I decided to head west from my start point into the forest. Mistake.

The snow we had a couple of weeks ago is still in the sheltered parts of the park, which is pretty much the whole route that I took. It's melted and re-froze, and pitted by hundreds of heels and toes. And to top it off, it's been raining all morning, so not only uneven ice, but wet, uneven ice. Slowed me down a bit.

Still, I feel great after doing it, and I felt pretty good even while picking my way across the ice. One thing I noticed this time, different from any other run, is my knees. I never usually feel any complaint from them, but today, probably because I had to deal with a fair amount of lateral pressure on the lower legs, my knees were just a little achey by the end. The lateral pressure is from the occasional slipping and sliding, and there was some pretty uneven ground along side the paths, between the ice and the bush, when there was enough to run on.

Perhaps brutal is too strong a word, but it was challenging, and in a way, fun.

Got a new toy to play with while I run too. I went out last night and bought a GPS unit for runners, the same one my brother has. Quite the nifty little tool.

Weather: -1C, freezing drizzle, and a bit breezy.
Run: Time:1:29:42.08, Distance: 12.07 km, Speed: 8.1 kmh.

No wildlife to speak of, except just as I was starting, a red-headed woodpecker landed on a tree by the path, not ten feet away. Beautiful bird, and a lot bigger than I thought they were.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Still Dark, But Not Nearly So

I took a different path tonight: straight west up the hill on Millrise Drive. Close to the top, it curves south and connects to Shawnessy Boulevard. West on Shawnessy, up and over the top of the hill, then north on James McKevitt Drive, which has a long slow curve toward the east, and over the hump of the hill. Then it's a straight descent to McLeod Trail. I go as far as 5th Street SW, which I take south to Millrise Drive, then it's just a short walk up the hill to my alley.

Time: 41:12. Distance: about 5.3 km. About 10C and windy.

Tonight I ache a bit, possibly from the long up and long down of the hill. My right calf feels a little stretched. I'll see what it's like on Saturday for my distance run. If it's still bothersome, I may cut back to a regular 40 minute run, or even skip a day.

I met half a dozen people out walking dogs tonight. I wonder how often these people meet others out walking. It's like the dogs have never seen other people, the way they growl and bark. Maybe it's the car-driving society I live in - no one walks any more.

Or maybe they don't like the way I smell.

So, on my off days, I try to do some walking. I have night classes Mondays and Wednesdays right now at the University of Calgary. I've been walking to the first C-Train station out of the downtown, which is probably a couple of kilometres at least. It's a nice walk across the river and through the picturesque community of Sunnyside. Fridays, I just get out and walk, either in the park or around the community.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It's Dark Out There!

Since the change back to Standard Time, it's pretty dark out at the time I usually run. It's not a problem for running, but my timepiece is a mechanical stopwatch, bought circa 1980, so no backlighting or anything like that. I had a heck of a time tonight trying to determine how long I was running. I think I did OK, I just counted the times the second hand went around. I couldn't see the minute hand at all most of the time.

Another complication I've run into, is that they now lock the gate to Fish Creek Park at 6:00 pm, which is minutes after I would usually get there. I could park at the gate, and a lot of other people do that. There's usually three or four cars parked there, runners and dog-walkers, I imagine.

But tonight, I started from my back gate. Screwed up the time by not zeroing the clock again, but this time I noticed it at the end of the alley, so about 30 seconds missed.

My time was 40:58 from the point I reset the clock, and this time I didn't do the usual out and back thing. I actually ran a whole circuit: south along the C-Train track to 162nd Avenue, west to Shawinigan Drive, which goes north, then west, then north again, to Shawnessy Boulevard. East on Shawnessy back to Millrise Boulevard, and I'm home. Just over 5 km, if I measured the map right.

Conditions were decent weatherwise, 7C, so I was a bit overdressed again. This also wasn't a flat course. Shawinigan Boulevard was uphill all the way, no idea how much, and it kinda meandered along. Shawnessy is just straight down the hill, so I came down faster than I went up. And I felt it, too.

Now I'm going to check on some timing gear. Something with backlighting, maybe a couple of alarms or something. My brother has a GPS gizmo that I'm going to check out.