Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hill Run

Second try at posting this.

Man, this was a tough one. Lot's of climbing and it was a real challenge. I started lagging behind my brother around the 5K point. I finally waved him on when we got to the final hill. Still, I managed to get within a couple hundred metres of the turn around point before I met him coming back.

After that it was downhill all the way. By then, my legs were pretty depleted, so even with gravity assisting, I was moving pretty slow.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.84 km. Time: 59:43. Speed: A little less than 10 kph.

Weather: Lovely. We started out under cloud, but by about 2 km, the sun came out, and stayed out for the rest of the run. I think it's about 10C out.

Cool part: we went past a quarry just up the road, where the TV show Stargate is sometimes filmed.

Monday, March 28, 2005

West Coast Tour

What a sweet run. Up and down, through the cedar forests. What a beautiful place to be. I went out with my brother Shane, from his house, out in the wilds of the urbanized BC lower mainland.

We started in the rain and it took a couple of kilometres to warm up, but after awhile, it was quite nice. Shorts and tee, rain, sun, rain, wind, rain, repeat. That was the first kilometre. Sort of went the same with the other nine, too.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.36 km. Time: 1:01:53. Speed: Probably just over 10 kph, as my interval time was 5:58.

Weather: A light rainshower, and 6C at Abbotsford, according to the Environment Canada web site. Probably about the same up here to the north.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Climbing Back From a Cold

Finally got out this morning, after struggling with a cold for the last week. I was going to go farther this morning too, but my chest is still congested and breathing was hard at times. Still, I was out for over an hour.

Started east on 8th Avenue, down to the Nose Creek path and south to the Bow River. The path squeaks between Deerfoot Trail and the river, past the weir, all the way down to 17th, which is where I crossed the river, and headed back to the west. Lovely path along the Pierce Estate Park and the fish hatchery past the weir. Then it bends into the Inglewood a bit, before you get to the old iron bridge to the zoo.

I was going to continue along the south side of the river at least until Centre Street, but I was beginning to cough a bit and my chest was a little achy, so I crossed the bridge, past the Zoo, over Memorial Drive and up Tom Campbell hill, 13th Street, Child Avenue to 8th Avenue and home.

Still quite a long run:
Distance: 10.7 km. Time: 1:03:00. Speed: 10.2 kph.
Rest distance: 671.8 m. Rest time: 6:55.
Total distance: 11.37 km. Total time: 1:09:55.

Weather: Cloudy and -1C, actually more hazey than anything. Not any noticeable breeze, so a very nice morning.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Photo Tour

Finally remembered to bring my camera (great idea, Nony!) and take a few pictures of some of the neater parts of the run, especially the stairs. So the run times are pretty wonky cuz I was stopping and starting, taking shots over my shoulder while I ran and stuff like that. And all the fresh snow was a real slog at times.

I was going to go down Edmonton Trail and across the river, but there was too much slush being splashed up on the walk. So I cut across to Rotary Park and the short stairway to the top of the Centre Street Bridge.

It's a nice climb after work on the walk home.

The run along the promenade was quite pretty with all the snow. And the city crews were out early to clear the paths.

Then across the river under the C-Train bridge.

From there, back along Memorial Drive to...

The 167 steps

The numbers are the elevation above sea level in metres. Just a lovely climb that's a good burn toward the end of a run.

After that home along 8th Avenue.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.00 km. Time: 39:26. Speed: 9.1 kph.

Weather: Fog and -10C, but it must have been a pretty thin fog. More like a light haze.

Started out feeling awfully cold, but once I got across the river I warmed up nicely.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

After a Bad Day/Good Day

I was bad. Never fails. When someone leaves the firm, they bring in several dozen donuts on their last day and meet in the lunchroom across the hall from my office. The evil toroids begin to call me almost before they get them in the door. And because there are so many left after, they call all day. *sigh* So I had a lot of unhealthy calories to deal with.

The good day started after work. Nony convinced me to try a men's spa over on Centre Street kitty-corner from Starbucks. So I made an appointment for last night. The lovely Emma served up a glass of wine and trimmed and buffed my nails to a sparkling shine. The lovely Kellie rescued me from one of the worst haircuts I've ever had. (Serve's me right for going cheap) And the lovely Michelle shredded the tension in my back and legs with a full massage. Listen up guys: this pampering stuff is highly recommended.

So after all that, I wasn't particularly in the mood for a distance run this morning. Still, I managed to get myself out for two hours. Actually, by the eighth interval I was feeling really good, and actually ran that last few intervals below 6 min/km.

Today I tried the Nose Creek path, heading north parallel to Deerfoot Trail. Got about 300 m north of 64th Avenue, about straight west of the the control tower at the airport. Then turned around and retraced my steps.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.0 km. Time: 1:46:00. Speed: 9.6 kph.
Rest distance: 1.05 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 18.05 km. Total time: 1:57:00.

Weather: Light snow and -13C. Rather neat out because the sun was shining through a kind of ice crystal haze. So everything had a beautiful golden glow.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Winter Came Back

Not all that cold, but cold enough. Wore a sweatshirt instead of a tee under the windbreaker.

Tonight, I was back to intervals. Down Edmonton Trail, across the river and west along the promenade, across the 10th Street Bridge, and back along Memorial Drive to those stairs again. They needed a recount, and this time I counted 166. So I'll have to climb and count again, cuz I miscounted somewhere.

Just for fun, I took the path back down to the top of the Centre Street bridge, across Centre Street, and up the stairs there to Rotary Park. There's 91 steps on that one, and I've counted them several times, because that's the way I walk to work and back.

Zig and zag back to 7th Avenue and toward home.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.93 km. Time: 40:11. Speed: 10.3 kph.
Rest distance: 394.1 m. Rest time: 4:00.
Total distance: 7.32 km. Total time: 44:11.

Weather: Partly cloudy and -6C. It's a far cry from the mid-teens we had a week or two ago, but still, quite comfortable. And much of the ice from the freezing rain last night has melted, too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Post Dance Run

Couldn't stand it, I had to get out and run, even after that other thing at noon. Just had too much energy. And the legs felt good, too.

I did the same as on Sunday for the race. Just up and ran, no intervals or anything. Felt quite wonderful, even that nasty hill up 5th Street from 4th Avenue to 7th, where it's part sidewalk, part stairway. I contemplated a longer run, over along Cresent Drive and Memorial, but this was just as fun. I like that Nose Creek path, and maybe I'll explore it some more on a distance run.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.30 km. Time: 36:42. Speed: 10.3 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 4C, with a breeze out of the south.

Something that I have been noticing that has really helped in my running is a couple of things I learned from my favorite Mouse, Nony. She showed me a couple of moves for my back that really help to keep me upright, where I can run more efficiently. Used to be I'd begin to slouch a bit on the distance runs, but now it's easier to keep my head up. And things feel so much better too.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The St. Patrick's Day Race

Woohoo! I survived it. Even with the crappy weather, it was fun. It started at the Red & White Club at McMahon Stadium, then went twice around the University of Calgary campus (once if you were doing the 5K) and back to the Red & White Club. 1100 people showed up, though I don't know what the split was between the 5K and 10K.

I crossed the start line at 24 seconds, and there was lots of traffic for the first three kilometres or so, until people started to spread out a bit. Then it took until about the 5K mark for my speed to settle, at which point I pinned the needle at 5:39 per kilometre. At about 8.5K, I kind of dropped into that long stride lope, where I pump my arms a bit harder, and managed to shave another couple of seconds off the interval by 9.5K. The last 500m, I put a little more into it, and let the last little hill carry me to the finish line. Crossed at 57:16, so 56:52 in total. I'm quite happy with that.

Forgot, however, to stop the time on my GPS until about 100 yards later, so that timing is a little off, as is the speed it reports.

And no intervals. I just started the timer and ran.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.2 km. Time: 58.02. Speed: 10.6 kph.Note the 45 seconds or so after I crossed the finish line, that it took for me to realize the timer was still going.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and -1C, with winds from the northwest at 32 kph. Lots of slush and wet, and some icy spots. There was the added hazzard of small miniblizzards every time clumps of snow would blow off trees.

Afterwards there was beer and Irish stew. Somehow I ended up with two food tickets, so I went back for seconds. Delicious! And lots of door prizes, none of which I won.

Seriously fun morning.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Saving Up for the Race

Just a short one today, since I have the St. Patrick's Day race tomorrow.

The weather report sounded pretty ugly when I got up this morning, saying it was supposed to be cold and snowy. But the sun was shining when I got out there, though heavy cloud circled the entire horizon.

I started out the same as when I did the step counting, but instead of crossing the river on the C-Train bridge and returning along Memorial Drive, I instead crossed on the 10th Street bridge and went all the way up 10th Street to 13th Avenue, twenty metres down that, and I was turning on Cresent Drive. The view of downtown was spectacular as always from up there, and just as I got to the end where I zig-zag to 8th Avenue, I looked over my shoulder to find the cloud that had obscured the western horizon had pulled back to reveal all those snowy mountains. Beautiful sight.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.54 km. Time: 43:01. Speed: 10.5 kph.
Rest distance: 406.5 m. Rest time: 4:00.
Total distance: 7.95 km. Total time: 47:01.

Weather: Partly cloudy and -1C, with winds NNW 33 kph, gusting to 45 kph. Didn't seem at all that cold. And except for the wind, it was really quite nice.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

167 Steps

Finally managed to count them. 167 steps, 10 landings. Nice calorie burn after you've been going a few miles.

Back to the beginning: Straight down 8th Avenue to Centre Street, then south to the bottom of the bridge. Loop the loop off the bridge to the path that runs underneath and west, all the way down to the C-Train bridge near the 10th Street bridge. Across the river there, and back along Memorial until the foot bridge to Prince's Island, except I go north over Memorial, to the base of those stairs.

There was a guy a couple of landings in front of me, which was good. I caught up to him pretty fast, then let him set the pace. If I'd have continued past him at the pace I was going, I probably would have made it to the top, but not in any shape to actually continue running. But as it was, I stepped off the last landing with enough legs to just about go back to the pace I was keeping down by the river. Then a zig or a zag over to 8th Avenue and all the way home.

Pretty telling interval speeds too: 10.7, 12.1(!), 7.8(!!) and 11.4, all in kph. Guess which interval the stair climb was on.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.49 km. Time: 31:48. Speed: 10.4 kph.
Rest distance: 305.6 m. Rest time: 3:00.
Total distance: 5.80 km. Total time: 34:48.

Weather: Sunny and 14C - just a clear blue sky and a beautiful late afternoon sun. Shorts and T-shirt for the first time. Wunnerful.

One minor annoyance: it took forever for the GPS to get satellite lock. I walked about three blocks before it finally settled in.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

A Lovely Sunday Morning

The weather people changed their mind again. Last night they were talking rain and snow, and this morning it was mostly clear, and just a lovely, lovely morning. It was even warmer than the other evening, when I wore the shorts.

But oh, gosh, my leg muscles are pretty much depleted this morning from yesterday's long run. Which is fine - the Sunday runs are just to keep things from seizing up.

This morning, I went east again, along 8th Avenue to Nose Creek, then south this time, on the path that parallels it. Just before I got to Memorial Drive, I turned west, and ran through the zoo parking lot and past the entrance to the zoo train station. Back to 12th Street, left on 1st Avenue, then right on 8th Street, and left again on 4th Avenue. And then north on 5th Street.

5th Street between 4th and 7th Avenues, probably climbs 40 metres in those three short blocks. The walkways alternate between sidewalks and stairways, it's that steep, and while I did run it, it was more of a kind of baby-step shuffle. It felt like a great fun workout once I got to the top, but in the middle of it, I was thinking I was nuts to try this. My legs muscles felt like there was nothing left, and I was actually a bit surprised that I made it.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.85 km. Time: 36:49. Speed: 9.5 kph.
Rest distance: 364.5 m. Rest time: 4:00.
Total distance: 6.21 km. Total time: 40:49.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 5C, according to the Environment Canada web site, but it was more clear than anything when I was out there.

A couple of things coming up: I'm running the St. Patrick's Day 10K next weekend, which I'm looking forward to. And in the Banff to Calgary Relay, I'm running the first leg, 22 km from the tourist info office in Banff, to the park gate. This is the longest leg of the race, though certainly not the toughest.

My thoughts originally were that they wanted someone fast to start, but apparently there's more interest among the team in not having to be up so early. Fair enough. Actually will make it more fun if we aren't going to be too serious about it. The only drawback is I have to be in Banff ridiculously early for the 7:00 start. In any case, I am really looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Early Start, Almost to Bowness

I had another one of those nights, waking up about 3:00 and tossing and turning. I finally decided to get up about 4:30. And so I took my time doing some stretches, and having a long leisurely breakfast. And then getting dressed for a run, I was out of the house by 6:00.

Today was 16 intervals, two hours and forty minutes. Instead of the usual wandering down both sides of the river, I just went straight down to Memorial Drive and headed west. I managed to get past Shouldice Park, and just past the 16th Avenue Bridge over the river, near Bowness, then turned around and retraced my steps. Only at the last did I deviate, crossing Memorial and bounding up the stairs to Cresent Drive. Well, maybe not bounding, exactly... I'll have to count those steps some day.

Today's run:
Distance: 22.0 km. Time: 2:17:48. Speed: 9.6 kph.
Rest distance: 1.41 km. Rest time: 15:00.
Total distance: 23.4 km. Total time: 2:32:48.

Weather: Clear and 4C when I started, with the brightest stars all shining. Sunny and 6C by the end. However it dropped to 1C in the middle there. Really a beautiful morning, and it's gonna be a beautiful day.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Nose Creek Trail

Another different way tonight. And it was one of those days, where things just didn't seem particularly OK, just kinda bleah, but not too bleah. So instead of my usual 40 minutes, I went a whole hour.

This time, east along 8th Avenue, and just before it crosses the railroad tracks and Deerfoot Trail, there's a side road that meets up with the end of St. George's Drive. There's a soccer pitch and a small parking lot, and a path that follows the tracks and Nose Creek. I went north this time, but the southward path looks just as interesting.

It's pretty much a straight run, under 16th Avenue Northwest and all the way up to 32nd Avenue, which is where my turn-around point was. Then I just retraced my path back home.

One thing I did, when I left the path and got back on 8th Avenue, it's a short, but steep climb up from the valley, about 30 metres vertical over about 300 metres. That slowed me down a fair amount; my speed dropped to about 6 kph. But I went hard after about 500 m and still managed to top 10 kph on average for the interval. Might not sound like much, but I was impressed with myself.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.08 km. Time: 54:17. Speed: 10.0 kph.
Rest distance: 547.1 m. Rest time: 6:00.
Total distance: 9.63 km. Total time: 60:17.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 8C. And I wore shorts this time, first time this year.