Sunday, May 29, 2005

Switching Distance to Sundays

I'm switching to Sundays for my distance run because I'm starting tap again Monday night, so I need to adjust my schedule for the whole week. Likely Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or something.

Today was a great running day, though I think I still feel the effects from Friday's food meltdown. I had good speed and things felt good, but energy-wise it was occasionally a slog.

I took the same route as last week: down 4th Street to Cresent Road, over to the Centre Street bridge, then along the river to the fort. Then along the Elbow River, past the Stampede grounds, past Lindsay Park, along 26th Avenue and Elbow Drive, across the swingy suspension bridge to Rideau Road, and along the east side of the Elbow to Stanley Park. Under Elbow Drive and along Riverdale Avenue, and today, across the Elbow again to Sandy Beach, and even partway up the hill to 50th Avenue. Then I turned around and came all the way back.

Not so much wildlife today, just a delusional squirrel that sat in the middle of the path and refused to budge until I almost stepped on him. And on the way back by the 25th Avenue bridge over the Elbow, two rather cranky geese were refusing to let a fellow runner get by. Between the two of us, we managed to shoo them back to the edge of the river so she could pass.

But otherwise, a beautiful morning, and a great run

Today's run:
Distance: 25.90 km. Time: 2:37:54. Average speed: 9.8 kph.
Rest distance: 2.77 km. Rest time: 17:00.
Total distance: 28.67 km. Total time: 2:54:54.

Weather: A beautiful, cloudless blue sky, sunny and 7C to start, climbing to 12C by the time I got back home. Just a magnificent morning.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bad Food Day

That's what Nony would call it. The worst part of when someone leaves the firm, is they bring in a whole bunch of donuts, and pile them in the lunch room across the hall from my office. There are always a few dozen left over after everyone comes down to say goodbye to the one who is leaving, and they call to me for the rest of the day. And this was the second donut day this week!

On top of that, lunch was rather decadent. Or rather, dessert was ... chocolate cheese cake - what was I thinking?!? Well, why not? The firm was paying, after all.

Anyway, I kinda paid for it tonight, with seemingly more effort needed to get going and keep going.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.83 km. Time: 1:01:26. Average speed: 11.3 kph.
Rest distance: 895.7 m. Rest time: 7:00.
Total distance: 11.72km. Total time: 1:08:26.

Weather: Sunny and 21C. Really nice out, and those on blades almost were as numerous as those on bikes. And a big crowd out enjoying the evening around Eau Claire and Prince's Island.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Running Room Run

A friend suggested I join him at the Eau Claire Running Room tonight. So I figured why not? Except I didn't get there until just before everyone went out to start, and I had no idea where to go or what to do. After I asked someone what all the groups were, I joined one doing a hill run.

Nice slow lope around Prince's Island, then across the foot bridge, looping around the curling club to the bottom of the path that runs up under The Stairs. Just coming across the foot bridge, I passed my friend, who was going the other way. Kinda wondered if he'd made it.

There were about ten of us at the bottom of the hill, and the lead talked a little about what we were going to do. Starting there, we were to run to the first lion on the Centre Street Bridge, then back to where we started. Then repeat. Some who only wanted three runs would continue back to the store after getting to the lion the second time, while those of us wanting four hills would come back to the start again.

I think I was a little agressive on the hill. I've run them both ways a few times in the last few weeks, and I'm getting able to take them at a pretty good pace.

Once those of us doing four hills got back to that start point, we did a slow run back toward the store, where we all went our separate ways.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.56 km. Time: 44:52. Average speed: 8.8 kph.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 18C. Beautiful evening.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Holiday Monday

And looking stormy, too. I was hoping for a little rain during tonight's run, but only got a little at the very end. Oh, well...

What is becoming my standard route: Down 10th Street to Memorial Drive, west and cross the river at Crowchild, then back to Eau Claire, across at Prince's Island, and up the path under The Stairs. Then home along 4th Street.

Here's a neat thing: There seems to be a cricket tournament going on in the park below ACAD, along 10th Street. Two games underway when I went by, and I saw them out there Saturday, as well. Neat.

Today's run:
Distance: 11.44 km. Time: 1:00:57. Average speed: 11.3 kph.
Rest distance: 661.5 m. Rest time: 6:00.
Total distance: 12.10 km. Total time: 1:06:57.

Weather: Cloudy and 12C, and even threatening to rain, but never happened.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Long Run and Meet the New Neighbour

Up a little early this morning, so I got an early start. Today, it was down 4th Street to Cresent Road, across the Centre Street bridge, then east toward the Fort. From there it was follow the Elbow River.

Going by Lindsay Park, I heard this weird hissing noise, like a truck's air brakes lightly applied. I finally identified it as a cranky Canada goose in the bushes with a rather large brood heading toward the river. Actually, once I started to look around, there are hundreds of goslings around, being herded by crabby adult geese.

Across the river at 25th Avenue, then along Elbow Drive until 32nd Avenue, where a creaky suspension bridge crosses the Elbow to Rideau Road. A couple of blocks south is a dead end and the path takes up again along the river to Stanley Park. Finally under Elbow Drive and along Riverdale Avenue to 8th Street, where I turned around and headed back.

About a hundred metres before I was back on Rideau Road, I encountered a coyote, which was watching something intently through a gap in the bush toward the river. It totally ignored me, and had run down to the river by the time I got to that point, but looking in that direction, across the river was a fluffy little white dog romping in the yard across the way. Hmmmmm.

Today's run:
Distance: 23.39 km. Time: 2:21:24. Average speed: 9.9 kph.
Rest distance: 1.61 km. Rest time: 15:00.
Total distance: 25.00 km. Total time: 2:36:24.

Weather: Sunny and 9C, warming up to 12C at the end. Windy, too, coming from the west at 30 kph. I can feel that on my face after being in it for two and a half hours.

When I got home, my new neighbour Ryan and his dog Sabotage were in the back yard, and we chatted a little. Seems like a decent guy, and for him, I suppose today is moving day.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Another Quick Run

I could get used to this. Another run with a high average speed. And it seems quite natural to run at that pace.

Ran alone tonight. Nony, my Friday night running partner, is still hurting from a bad fall she had last week, so wasn't able to join me. I miss her reminders to keep my shoulders loose.

Tonight I didn't worry too much about distance. I went straight south on 4th Street to Cresent Road, then followed the route Nony and I usually take. Once back on Cresent Road, I retraced my path back up 4th Street towards home.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.51 km. Time: 44:38. Average speed: 11.4 kph.
Rest distance: 416.4 m. Rest time: 4:00.
Total distance: 8.92 km. Total time: 48:38.

Weather: Cloudy and 15C, but I had mostly sun to run in. The city is surrounded by rain squalls, and it's expected to be a wet night. But it was just luverly for a run.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Quick Wednesday Run

Well, not that quick. But it was fast. I covered the same route as on Monday, but I think I shaved a minute or two off. We'll see when my GPS finishes downloading.

It was a bit nicer today, and I was out a little earlier. Temperature under 20C, so that helped. Lots of people out on blades, today, for some reason, and at least a half dozen people running with heavy looking packs.

Today's run:
Distance: 11.56 km. Time: 1:00:30. Average speed: 11.5 kph.
Rest distance: 761.3 km. Rest time: 7:00.
Total distance: 12.32 km. Total time: 1:07:30.

Weather: 16C with no wind. Beautiful day.

How about that? I took off almost two and a half minutes from Monday's run.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Fast Run for Monday

This was a fast run, basically following the same route I took on Saturday, but only as far as Crowchild, where I crossed the river and headed back. Actually, it's a modified version of the same route I took before I moved, only I'm starting from Mount Pleasant instead of Bridgeland.

Warmer day today, so I took a water bottle. The sky was a bit threatening, too, and we are supposed to get some rain tonight. It wouldn't have bothered me in the least if it had started while I was out there.

All in all a rather uneventful run, but it felt good after the distance run on Saturday. And I wore my new shoes for the first time. Same ones as I bought before - Nike Air Perseus. Strange thing about them is they are a D width, and they feel fine. When I was trying the New Balance and Reeboks, I was into the 4E widths. Crazy. But these feel good,

Today's run:
Distance: 11.68 km. Time: 1:03:02. Average speed: 11.1 kph.
Rest distance: 692.9 km. Rest time: 7:00.
Total distance: 12.37 km. Total time: 1:10:02.

Weather: Cloudy and 23C. Actually kind of nice, though a little warm for my tastes. I suppose I should get used to it, cuz it'll get a lot warmer.

Some bad news: Nony ran yesterday, and had a rather bad fall. Nothing broken, thank goodness, but she's pretty scraped and bruised, and she's a little stiff and sore. She's not optimistic about being able to run any time soon, so we may not get together Friday. Mend soon, Nony, and take care.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

An Inspired Run

I think I'm still carrying the joy and inspiration from running with Nony yesterday. Today wasn't an effortless run, especially toward the end, but I felt I had so much to draw on to get to the end.

Moving to a new home is such a pain, especially when it's half way done. I really didn't eat last night, which was bad because I usually go for a big pasta feed to prep for the Saturday distance run. And this morning I discovered I hadn't brought my hot cereal from the old place yet. But I had made sure to bring the microwave so I could make it. Sheesh. The upshot is I didn't get any really good energy foods. Still had a good breakfast with what I had.

My new place is about a mile and a half farther north of the river, so it takes a while to get back down to that area.

From home (the new one), I went west to 10th street, down past SAIT all the way to the river. Then I followed the river west all the way past Shouldice Park, and even up to the footbridge across to Bowness. Which surprised me, because last time I got that far, I was on the 80 minutes out run time, and this time I was there in less than 70 minutes.

I turned around there and headed back the way I came. When I got to Crowchild, I crossed to the south side of the river and headed toward the Eau Claire promenade.

About that time a lovely lady caught up to me and began asking about the path system along the river. She was visiting from Vernon for a couple of weeks. It was a nice interlude but after a couple of minutes it was time for a very welcome walk break, so I wished her a good day. I had been pushing pretty hard, and it was startling how effortlessly she had caught up to me. She talked like she was taking a leisurely stroll, while I was huffing and puffing pretty hard. The ego was only slightly bruised, though.

At Prince's Island, I crossed the river, headed up the path under The Stairs, and down to 4th street, which took me all the way home.

Today's run:
Distance: 23.53 km. Time: 2:09:11. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 1.58 km. Rest time: 14:00.
Total distance: 25.21km. Total time: 2:23:11.

Weather: Sunny and a little cool to begin with, but warming up quickly.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A Run With Nony

It's been a long time since I've been able to get together with Nony for a run, and frankly I needed to. It's been a difficult week and I have simply been unable to get motivated to get out and run until tonight. I'm glad she was able to join me.

We headed out on the usual route over to Cresent Road, down the path under The Stairs, and then west along Memorial Drive. Across the river at 10th Street, and back along the Eau Claire promenade, then up the Centre Street bridge.

The path at the top of the bridge takes us back to Cresent Road again, and it starts rather steeply. Nony sighs when we get there while in the running part of an interval. Actually, I don't think we've ever walked it.

But then she charged it! Tonight, she took it at speed and managed to keep the pace all the way to the top. I was almost laughing out loud for the sheer joy of watching her tenacity and determination. I love how her ability to take on this climb has improved.

Even at the top, she kept to her speed, and stayed with it through the entire running part of the interval. It was a wonderful moment, but I think she was glad to get to the walking part.

Then back to our start point. Perfect run and beautiful weather, and I so needed to get out tonight. Thank you, Nony!

Today's run:
Distance: 3.63 km. Time: 25:00. Speed: 8.7 kph.
Rest distance: 2.52 km. Rest time: 24:58.
Total distance: 6.14 km. Total time: 49:58.

Weather: Sunny and about 20C.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hard Monday Run

Just working off some frustration tonight. Usual route - along the river to Crowchild, across and back toward Eau Claire, across Prince's Island and back up the hill under The Stairs. It was a cool and cloudy evening, so not so many people out, but still a few. A heck of a lot of cyclists out there, though.

Legs feel pretty good after the weekend. Just a little stiffness, but that went away after about thirty minutes.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.09 km. Time: 54:39. Speed: 11.1 km.
Rest distance: 550.9 m. Rest time: 6:00.
Total Distance: 10.64 km. Total Time: 60:39.

Weather: Cloudy and 11C, and a stiff northerly breeze at 33 kph.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Official Results

Officially, I finished in 105th place on my leg, at 2:03:52, and 9:04 per mile. Check out here and here.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Banff Calgary Road Race

I arrived in Banff the night before for this one. A couple of the hotels had special rates for race participants, which made it nice. But I didn't sleep at all, it seemed like. What kept me up, I don't know.

A personal best, I think - 22 km in 2:04. And what a great run! Weatherwise, it was about perfect for my leg. I showed up at the start line with 119 other runners bright and early, at 7:00 am at the Banff Recreation Centre.

I rather liked the small crowd at the start, because I got over the start line and on my way, right away.

By the time I got to the highway, the crowd had already thinned out, and I had only four runners behind me. This crowd was all serious runners! Still, I was on pace, a little over 10 kph.

So I just kept at it, with the few runners still in sight in front of me not really gaining, and the ones behind me dropping farther back.

Now, something happened at about the 50 minute mark. My speed jumped to over 11 kph, and stayed there for almost the rest of the run. I have no idea why, but things just became easier for some reason. And I managed to catch up to and pass four runners in the next 30 minutes or so. The sun even came out occasionally, and it was just a beautiful morning to be running.

It was a huge surprise to find myself at the park gate at 1:40. I didn't expect to be there by that time at all. But it was also a huge surprise to have to run another 20 minutes to get to Canmore proper, and the finish line.

But even then, I found a little more energy to make a strong finish, running at 13 kph over the last 800 metres or so.

The cheering section was loud and racuous.

And I made it!

Seriously, it was a fabulous run, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Today's run:
Distance: 20.23 km. Time: 1:52:01. Speed: 10.8 km.
Rest distance: 1.36 km. Rest time: 12:00.
Total Distance: 21.59 km. Total Time: 2:04:01.

Weather: Cloudy and 3C at the start, warming to 5C at the end, with hardly a breath of wind.

At the hand off, there was no team mate waiting. I had estimated it would take me about 2:15, so I was a little early. But the next runner was on her way within five minutes or so of my arrival. Then I caught a ride back to Banff and the hotel, had a quick shower (loved that part) and checked out. I met a couple of our team at the start of the sixth segment, and generally hung out for awhile.

Home after that, caught a bit of a nap, then down to the finish line (but forgot the camera!) Our last runner crossed the line at 10:29:10, plus or minus a couple of seconds, which I thought was pretty respectable.

I'll post a link to the official times when they are available.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Hill Run Before the Relay

One more hill run before the Banff Calgary Relay tonight, without intervals. East to Nose Creek, then back past the zoo, and up and down through Bridgeland. Felt good mostly, but the first fifteen or twenty minutes were a bit of a slog. Just needed to loosen up, maybe, and get warmed up.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.11 km. Time: 53:56. Speed: 10.1 km.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 19C, and not much of a breeze at all. It's a beautiful night, even with the cloud, and the forecast if for possible rain showers tonight, thundershowers tomorrow, and rain on race day. Wouldn't have minded a bit of rain while I was out there, and I certainly will welcome it if it comes on Saturday (well, after I've been running for awhile - being wet and cold while waiting for the start wouldn't be fun).

Monday, May 02, 2005

Lovely Monday Run

Beautiful evening for a run. Just a little on the cool side, and lots of sunshine. I just might even be tanning a little bit.

Did the usual: 8th Avenue to Cresent Drive, down the path under The Stairs, then on to the path along Memorial. All the way down to Crowchild, across the river, and back along Bow Trail, then to the promenade to Eau Claire.

At the 8 km point, just coming up to the helicopter pad, I caught up to Nony, who was also out for her run. So I ran a couple of her intervals with her, and we chatted some. Up the Centre Street bridge and the somewhat stiff climb to Cresent Drive. I was a little surprised at how strongly she ran that incline. In fact, she caught me a little off guard, and I scrambled a bit for a minute to keep up. She's becoming a pretty strong runner.

As we crossed 8th Avenue, I bid good evening and headed home. All in all, a very satisfying run.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.71 km. Time: 54:35. Speed: 10.7 km.
Rest distance: 734.2 m. Rest time: 6:00.
Total Distance: 10.45 km. Total Time: 60:35.

Weather: Sunny and 13C, with just a light breeze coming from somewhere.

Oh, yeah, shoe update: Don't think I mentioned, but I tried wearing the Reeboks around the house for a half hour after I brought them home, and they hurt. So I took them back Friday night. I've pretty much tried everything they have, so now they are ordering me another pair of my Nikes. Now that I have a handle on how to lace them, they've become quite comfortable. They're also a cheaper shoe that these other ones I've tried.

I picked up the lacing method from Gord at his store when he was trying to get a pair of Sauconys to work for me. It keeps the pressure off the arch, but still is firm across the top. I tried that lacing in Canmore on Saturday, and it worked wonders. Very comfortable. I'm glad I discovered it before the long one next weekend.