Sunday, July 31, 2005

Ptarmigan Cirque

I've moved this post here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

After a Wonderful Hike

Spent Saturday morning climbing to a fire lookout on a peak called Hailstone Butte. Fabulous climb, beautiful scenery, forgot my camera and my GPS. Rats!

But it did wonders for loosening up the legs. When we got to the parking area, my knees were not feeling well at all. But after five minutes of walking up the valley toward the peak, I forgot all about them. Nothing like strenuous hike through great scenery with delightful company.

So tonight's run was a bit of a mystery. I had an awful, sleepless night, and an equally awful, semi-conscious day, which might have contributed. The first couple of intervals just hurt. I was ready to call it a day by the time I got to Memorial. But for some reason, after that, everything started to iron itself out. I pushed fairly hard, keeping the speed up, and I think that softens my stride somehow. I don't strike the pavement quite so hard, while at the same time I'm stretching things a little more.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.76 km. Time: 47:00. Average speed: 11.2 kph.
Rest distance: 541.2 m. Rest time: 5:00.
Total distance: 9.30 km. Total time: 52:00.

Weather: Sunny and 18C. Great evening, with lots of people out and about.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Back Into the Swing

Did a full run tonight, with good speed, and it felt great. Even the knees were uncomplaining. I went down to the river all the way down to Crowchild, and back up The Path Under The Stairs. It was a bit crowded on the promenade and through Prince's Island because of the Folk Festival, but it didn't slow me down too much.

Today's run:
Distance: 11.8 km. Time: 1:04:38. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 682.1 m. Rest time: 7:00.
Total distance: 12.49 km. Total time: 1:11:38.

Weather: Cloudy and 22C. A bit warm but not slowing me down at all. And just starting to try to rain about the time I got back home.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Short and Tiring

I think I'm a little dehydrated, as I forgot to have water before I went out. It seems hotter than it is, too. But still a pretty good run, kinda fun once I forgot about feeling slow.

I did the Confederation Park and Golf Course circuit, with the shortcut through Canmore Park. I thought about cutting it short coming back, but stuck it out and went to the north end and up 30th Avenue, as usual. Even managed to do a bit of a sprint for the last block and a half.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.03 km. Time: 40:31. Average speed: 10.4 kph.
Rest distance: 374.4 m. Rest time: 4:00.
Total distance: 7.41 km. Total time: 44:31.

Weather: Sunny and 23C, with some massive cloud buildup to the north, which is no doubt why there is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect. But mostly a beautiful evening, with a few other runners out too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Back in the Swing

And boy, does it feel good! A nice relaxed, but not too slow run, and everything feels great. There's a little tightness here and there that comes and goes, especially in the left knee. For the most part the aches work themselves out after a few minutes.

I was thinking of jumping into the usual midweek distance, but I cut it short by crossing the 14th Street bridge instead of going all the way to Crowchild. I thought there would be more people out too, but it was actually rather quiet along the river, probably due to how the weather was turning.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.97 km. Time: 49:33. Average speed: 10.9 kph.
Rest distance: 515.1 m. Rest time: 5:00.
Total distance: 9.48 km. Total time: 54:33.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 17C. Actually the last half of the run was in a gentle little thunder storm, full of quiet rumblings and just enough rain to keep the pavement spotted.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Saskatchewan Run

Out visiting my daughter and grandson in Meota, SK. After getting back from a trip to Moose Jaw to visit my sister, I decided to try a run. This would be the first since the Burnco Marathon during the Calgary Stampede.

I did OK. Lots of body parts hurt, but I managed to run 8 km. The legs were certainly tight, and no amount of stretching was helping. I was going to try for 5 km out and back, but I thought that after 4 km, I'd suffered enough. And my speed was way down, too, and I thought I'd try and keep it under an hour.

I headed out to highway 26 and struck out to the northwest, toward Turtleford. It's a busier highway than I expected, and the shoulders were narrower than I liked. But straight and flat, and the once or twice I had to head into the grass wasn't bad, as someone had been cutting the ditch for hay.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.56 km. Time: 46:30. Average speed: 9.8 kph.
Rest distance: 431.6 m. Rest time: 5:00.
Total distance: 7.99 km. Total time: 51:30.

Weather: Cloudy and about 16C. The rain had stopped by the time I got out there, but the sky remained overcast. A little bit of a breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay, too. Forgot how big they grow 'em out there.

Marathon aftermath: the pictures are ready - find them here (enter bib number 352)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

My Burnco Marathon Official Results

Time: 4:15:21
Pace: 9:45
477th overall out of 859
347th out of 535 males
71st out of 107 age 45-49

Find it here. (Coulda swore the clock was past 4:16 when I crossed...)

Calgary Burnco Marathon

I finished! And not only did I finish, I smoked it. Unofficial time is something under 4:17. Right now I'm pooped, and I have blisters on my blisters. I started way back, near the 4:30 pace bunny, but after I got through all the traffic near the beginning, I was on my own.

I loved running down 8th Avenue. Some early risers, and a few partyers still going, cheered us. It seemed like no time at all that we were at the Stampede grounds, and there were tons of early risers cheering us on. At the south end of the grounds was a huge band, one of the many acts that were placed along the route. My favs were the band, the belly dancers at 17 km, and the woodwind group at 28 km.

After we left the Stampede we trundled through Ramsay and Inglewood, then across the river to the zoo. I was looking for animals, but all I saw were a dozen flamingoes and a lone tiger. Then we got directed to some service backroad which took us away from the animals and under Memorial Drive. After that, through Bridgeland, and down to Memorial Drive for the nittygritty.

Most of the run went really well. For some reason the loop around Bowness Park was hard, but after that, it got better again.

It was the last 4 km that were the toughest. Past the 38 km marker was were I was starting to wonder what the heck I'd gotten myself into. Then waiting for the 39 km marker to appear was hard. But I must have missed it, cuz the next one I got to was 40, so that was actually kinda cool.

My last rest walk was at about half a kilometre from the finish, so I didn't take it. And then I was running this gauntlet of all these cheering people. At that point I was pretty much alone on the course, with other runners way ahead or way behind, so they were all cheering for ME! That was kind of emotional.

The last 100 m, I saw that clock sitting at 4:16 and change, so I suddenly put everything I had into it and sprinted to the end. Got a lot of comments about my strong finish.

Once an official took the timing chip off my shoe, that was when my legs stopped cooperating. I hobbled out of the finish area, found some water and banana, and sat on the grass for awhile. Then I hobbled off to my car and drove home. Wish I would have parked a lot closer.

Today's run:
Distance: 40.17 km. Time: 3:51:20. Average speed: 10.4 kph.
Rest distance: 2.68 km. Rest time: 25:00.
Total distance: 42.85 km. Total time: 4:14:20.

My time includes wandering around in a daze for a few minutes after crossing the finish line, and doesn't include three or four potty breaks.

Weather: Sunny and 10C to start, climbing to 17C at the end.

This is the 41st running of the Calgary marathon, and it's billed as Canada's longest running marathon.

Friday, July 08, 2005

One Last Bit of Tinkering

Wasn't sure I was going to go out tonight, but I thought, what the heck? And besides, the day was a bit of a bear (one for Nony - Haw!) So I messed with the lacing a bit on my short run shoes, and off I went.

Now the short run shoes are my newest ones, the ones I bought after stuggling to find a better fit, and which was documented right here as it was born out. I would use them for the runs during the week, which never went more than about 12 km. Then I'd use my older ones for the distance runs on the weekends. The idea was to use the new ones for the marathon.

So since I had somehow been overtightening the short run shoes, and causing a little pain in the right foot for it, I changed the lacing a little, to make it harder to overtighten over the arch. And that worked pretty well. But there's something still a little wonky with those shoes. So the plan is to stick with the long run shoes for Sunday.

I don't know, maybe the right foot feels better in those shoes because the right shoe sounds like I'm stomping on a squeaky toy with every step. What ever works...

Today's run:
Distance: 6.24 km. Time: 36:29. Average speed: 10.3 kph.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 26C. Kinda warm, but still a beautiful evening.

2 Days until the Burnco Marathon.
1 Days until the Loganator turns one!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Quick Pre-Marathon Run

Just wanted to get out and go tonight. It's been a busy week and I've been getting a little tense about it. Plus Nony bailed on me this week (for very good reasons, I might add), so it was a solo run.

I stayed close to home, and ran through Confederation Park to 19th Street and back.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.4 km. Time: 38:15. Average speed: 10.0 kph.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 22C, which is rather down from the 27C that it was a couple of hours earlier. It was pretty windy too.

4 Days until the Burnco Marathon.
3 Days until the Loganator turns one!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!

Stupid wildlife. Man, that stings! On the final strectch along 4th Street, about 18th Avenue, this bee or wasp or something comes out of nowhere, and tries to fly down my gullet. But I trapped it between the lips and the little bugger stung me. The left side of my lower lip is almost as big as my nose right now. At least that fierce burning stopped pretty quickly.

Anyway. It was a lovely morning for a run otherwise. Not a cloud in the sky, bright and sunny, and getting a little warm by the end. I didn't go the big distance, since the marathon is a week away, but I was still out there for a couple of hours. Lots of people out too, most running. Both the Kensington and Eau Claire Running Rooms are close to the river and both have large Sunday morning running groups.

My route this morning was down 10th to Memorial, east to the zoo, across the river, west to the C-Train bridge and across the river again, then down to Crowchild, across again, down to Eau Claire and across at Prince's Island. Up The Path Under The Stairs and home along 4th, past the wannabe killer bee. Jeez.

Today's run:
Distance: 20.57 km. Time: 1:57:00. Average speed: 10.5 kph.
Rest distance: 1.19 km. Rest time: 12:54.
Total distance: 21.76 km. Total time: 2:09:54.

Weather: Sunny and 14C to start, climbing to 16C at the end. Beautiful morning.

And the swelling has gone down noticeably while I wrote this.

So that's it for the big runs until I get through next Sunday. For sure, I'll get out with Nony on Wednesday, but it's rest time for the rest of the week.

7 Days until the Burnco Marathon.
6 Days until the Loganator turns one!

Friday, July 01, 2005

An Unintentional Speed Run

I'm not sure what that was all about. I was intending to just have leisurely run around the usual circuit, but somehow, I found a groove and kinda smoked along the paths. I took the usual route, picking Nony's Awful Little Hill over The Path Under The Stairs, because I think I'll just take it easy for this last week before the Burnco.

Lots of people out on the south side of the river for the Canada Day festivities at Millenium Park. Lots of blades and a few bikes, but mostly people strolling along the promenade. The big wading pool by Eau Claire is very busy.

Today's run:
Distance: 12.27 km. Time: 1:04:05. Average speed: 11.5 kph.
Rest distance: 662.4 m. Rest time: 7:00.
Total distance: 12.93 km. Total time: 1:11:05.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 21C. Perfect weather for Canada Day, and maybe just a little warm for a hard run.

9 Days until the Burnco Marathon.