Monday, December 19, 2005

Five More Shopping Days...

Running solo today, so I chose the long zoo route. The breeze was a little crisp to begin with, but nothing to worry about once I got warmed up.

The water level on the river is rising some, and the ice is breaking up a little. Lots of chunks floating down the river. The interesting thing about that is that they move just a little faster than I run, so there must be quite a current.

I think my GPS had some problems finding satellites today, some of my interval times seem pretty wonky.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.62 km. Time: 39:15. Average speed: 10.1 kph.
Rest distance: 521.6 m. Rest time: 4:00
Total distance: 7.14 km. Total time: 43:15

Weather: Mainly sunny and -3C. Rather a nice day.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Chilly Sunday Morning

Kinda cool this morning, as it took twenty minutes or so to warm up. My face was aching a little until then.

I was supposed to meet Byron the birthday boy at the Y this morning, but methinks he's had too many Christmas parties (up and at 'em, ya nancy!) Anyway, 'twas me alone in the cold.

I headed off westward, on the south side of the river to Edworthy. The ice from those natural springs was fairly built up and pretty slippery in parts, where the water was running over it. Other parts were slushy and oddly sticky. Someone must go there every day and dribble a little gravel across it on one side, which gives you a not so treacherous path across the ice. But it sinks into the ice fairly quickly, so I imagine it has to be redone a couple of times a day.

Not a whole bunch of people out. I passed very few below Spruce Cliff. Once around the bridge at Edworthy and across to the north side, traffic picked up. A few large groups, probably from one of the Running Room stores, and a couple of groups with lots of Calgary Roadrunners windbreakers.

I started off slow, and thought that's what the day was going to be like, but once on the way back downtown, I found myself picking up speed, so the return trip went quite fast.

Today's run:
Distance: 13.74 km. Time: 1:15:29. Average speed: 10.9 kph.
Rest distance: 779.3 m. Rest time: 8:00
Total distance: 14.52 km. Total time: 1:23:25

Weather: Sunny and -17C, rising to -15C. I'm still chilled.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Snowy Solo

Everyone was busy today; guess it's that time of the year. It's been snowing all morning so the paths were whitening up a little. It wasn't a lot but it did hide the occasional icy spot.

Today, since I was alone I thought I'd mix it up a little and run to Edmonton Trail, across the river, back to 14th Street, then back to Sein Lok again. Nice distance. I seemed to have excess energy, too, keeping a pretty high pace.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.00 km. Time: 35:48. Average speed: 11.7 kph.
Rest distance: 291.4 m. Rest time: 34:00
Total distance: 7.29 km. Total time: 38.48

Weather: Light snow and -13C, with just a bit of a breeze from the north.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Zoo Loop (The Short One)

The more, the merrier - I joined Byron and Peter-Mark today, out to the zoo by way of the pedestrian bridge at the west end of the island. The river must be rising a little as all the pedestrain underpasses on the north side are closed. One of them has been closed since the flooding in June, actually, as it's all but washed away.

Anyway, a good solid run, at a nice consistent speed. All the aches and pains kinda melted away.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.23 km. Time: 35:42. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Weather: Sunny and -7C. No wind, either.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hump Day Run

And the next to last hump day of the fall of 2005. Went solo today, so I did a hard interval run to Crowchild and back. I went a little harder cuz I was worried about being under dressed. The wind was a little cool, but not bad.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.48 km. Time: 38:59. Average speed: 11.5 kph.
Rest distance: 406.0 m. Rest time: 4:00
Total distance: 7.88 km. Total time: 42:59

Weather: Sunny and -1C, with a little bit of a breeze: 17 kph out of the northwest.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Not as Cool as I Thought

Kind of overdressed for the weather. I thought it would be cooler out, but with the sun shining like it is, and none of the wind that was promised earlier today, it was quite mild.

My first run with Chris today. She's been battling the flu and a full work schedule up to now. A nice change from Byron (sorry, dude). We went to Crowchild and back, at a rather strong pace.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.92 km. Time: 44:03. Average speed: 10.8 kph.

Weather: Sunny and 7C, still very mild for December.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

This is December?!?!

Unbelieveable the weather we're having. It is so nice out, that it should be criminal for anyone to be indoors.

Byron and I met at the Y this morning and headed west along the south side of the river. As expected, the stretch below Spruce Cliff was a little treacherous, with all the ice from the natural springs in the escarpment, and today it was worse because it was wet ice. Even through Lawrey Gardens it was slippery, as the snow is sheltered from the sun, but packed from all the traffic through there, so a little surface melting makes it pretty slick.

Once we made Edworthy, we crossed to the north side and headed back east. This was about the time we both found ourselves in that zone, where effort disappears along with hurts and just about anything else that clutters up one's life. It was kind of neat cuz we both noticed it and commented on it, and we just cruised.

About the time we got back to the bridge to Prince's Island, we saw a huge crowd across the river heading toward the zoon, at the start of the Catch The Elves 10K. As we crossed back to the south side at Edmonton Trail, we had a lot of oncoming traffic to contend with.

From there it was a nice, easy run to Eau Claire and the Y, and then over to the Good Earth for coffee and one of those fantastic apple nut rolls.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.60 km. Time: 1:34:29. Average speed: 10.5 kph.
Rest distance: 1.15 km. Rest time: 10:00
Total distance: 17.75 km. Total time: 1:44:29

Weather: Starting out cloudy and 4C, but sunny and 9C by the end. Just a perfect day.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Chinook Run

Kinda breezey out there today, but with the temperature up, I can stand it. Just Byron and I again, going west to Crowchild and back. After a good break yesterday, and a fabulous night's sleep (courtesy of my dentist) the running was almost effortless. And it helped that I was a little early to the meeting place and got a lot of good stretching in.

No GPS again today. I took it home to get recharged and forgot it there. So I'll estimate again.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.95 km. Time: 45:25. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Weather: Sunny and 6C, with a brisk wind from the west blowing from 45 kph to 55 kph.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sunny Promise

It was rather nice out for December in Calgary. I was at the meeting place at 11:55, and when no one showed, I was off on the short zoo route. Not too many people around for the first half but on the way back there were lots. I must have got an early start.

I forgot to turn off my GPS on Monday and it's been sitting on my desk since. The batteries are supposed to be good for fourteen hours or so, but they don't quite make it for 48. So I'm guesstimating my distance from a previous run.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.66 km. Time: 38:03. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Weather: Mainly sunny and -7C.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Weather Outside is Frightful

And there ain't no delightful fire inside. Not all that bad for running though. I had my windbreaker and wind pants, and was otherwise dressed warm enough. I just went as far as 14th Street today, but on the way back to Eau Claire I flirted with the idea of going down to Edmonton Trail and back. But my natural laziness intervened and I crossed back through Prince's Island and back to the office.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.15 km. Time: 27:25. Average speed: 11.3 kph.
Rest distance: 229.5 m. Rest time: 3:00
Total distance: 5.45 km. Total time: 30:25

Weather: Light snow and -13C, but the real story is the wind: north at 46 kph, gusting to 59 kph. And Environment Canada has issued a weather warning about the wind while I was out there.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Don't They Plow These Paths?

Distance runs are so much fun, and I'm not entirely sure why. I certainly don't look forward to starting them, especially in this cold. But there's something about being out there for a couple of hours, putting on the miles, that's full of accomplishment or something. Or maybe it's the chance to see some of the city that you don't normally get to in the day-to-day running around that we do.

I did the route out to Edworthy Park and back again, because I love the south side of the river under Spruce Cliff. It was really slow going through there today, as the city only plows the path up to Crowchild. West of Crowchild and it's sort of packed from all the traffic.

The snow is OK to run in, though. It's a little uneven and you start to feel the ankles and knees a little. And it's softer and sometimes rolls out from underneath your feet, so it slows you down, but it's likely easier on the feet and leg joints too.

Another feature of the path below Spruce Cliff is the selection of natural springs, which in this weather, create a dome of ice over the path. The water never stops running either, so the ice is slippery as heck, and in some places you have to shuffle along while holding on to the fence between the path and the railroad tracks.

Because the snow slowed me down so much, by the time I got back to 10th Street, I just headed straight back home, instead of trundling down by Eau Claire, the Centre Street bridge and home on 4th Street.

I've decided to work strictly on time for the distance workouts again, like I did last year. So for now I'm aiming at two hours, and what ever distance I cover in that time. In the snow, it's a little less than on dry pavement. After the new year, I'll start adding time at ten minutes increments, until a week or so before race day, which is pretty much what I did last year.

Today's run:
Distance: 18.22 km. Time: 1:46:51. Average speed: 10.2 kph.
Rest distance: 1.12 km. Rest time: 11:00
Total distance: 19.34 km. Total time: 1:57:51

Weather: Typical pre-Christmas winter conditions: Partly cloudy and -17C, rising to -14C by the end, although the CBC sign on Memorial Drive said -12C at around the hour and a half mark.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Winter Wonderland

Actually it's really nice out if you can shield yourself against the cold (Maybe some new mitts, Nony?) Byron and I headed east from Eau Claire to the 12th Street bridge, across to the zoo, and back. We crossed back to the south side of the river at Edmonton Trail rather than wait to cross. Nice run, everything felt good, and for the most part the snow had been plowed or swept from the path. Not exactly a huge crowd out running, though.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.66 km. Time: 45:41. Average speed: 10.1 kph.

Weather: Light snow and -17C. A little bit of a breeze from the southeast, which dictated which direction we went.