Sunday, December 31, 2006

Resolution Run 2006

Another year done with! It was a good run, too. I did miss Carla and Peter-Mark, though. They were running as well. Hope they got there.

It was a pretty packed field at the start, but then I guess it always is. I started a little closer to the front this time, but still had lots of people to pass. The first half kilometre was pretty slow with all the traffic. After that, I was able to make great time. I wasn't up to the speeds we were at last year, but it was a good hard run.

The router was the same as in past years. From Eau Claire to 2nd Avenue, to 7th Street, then on to the promenade, and west to Crowchild. Because the path under the 10th Street bridge was underwater, they had us cross back to the south side at 14th. And then it was the riverside path from the C-Train bridge, and over onto Prince's Island, as usual. The snow was decently packed on the island this year - a nice change. Then across the bridge to the promenade, a jog east, at back to the finish at Eau Claire.

Distance: 7.63 km. Time: 41:02 Average speed: 11.2kph.'s supposed to be an 8 km run.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Clear and -2C.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Not an Easy One

All that energy that my runs have had since June deserted me today. I felt tired and stiff, no energy, no flexibility. It's probably because I had an early lunch, and was planning on heading out for errands, with a run scheduled for after. But I lost my ambition for it somewhere, and finally got fed up with vegging and just headed out.

The 14th Street loop was about all I was up for. I just missed the lunch break, so the path was nearly deserted. A couple of runners and walkers, and one of those rotating snow brush things that bounced off across the 10th Street bridge.

Even The Path Under The Stairs was tense. Going down, it felt like my shoes were sticking, and the legs felt stiff. Coming back up, it was just hard, slow plodding to the top. Sheesh!

Distance: 7.03 km. Time: 40:09 Average speed: 10.5kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and -7C at the airport. In one of those indications of how big this town is, says -1C at the COP, and a couple degrees warmer than that on top of Signal Hill.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Snow Day

I was hoping to try running in Medicine Hat today, but no chance of that now. My ride fell ill and is pretty much out of it, and besides, the highways are not in very good shape because of all the snow. A snowfall warning is still in effect.

So I was out doing the usual Crowchild loop. The snow is a little sticky to walk on, so any ice wasn't too bad. I imagine it's a totally different story if you're driving.

There were a few more people out today, but once I got back toward downtown, the paths seemed deserted. Nice run, good energy, good speed.

Distance: 9.98 km. Time: 53:57 Average speed: 11.1 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Light snow and -4C. Gonna hafta shovel the walk.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day Run

Just a quick 10K in the early afternoon. I was a little sluggish, too, probably since I headed out not too long after having lunch. But I imagine the last three days of non-stop eating haven't helped either. I think I've built up a rather substantial calorie surplus.

Way too nice to stay inside today, so I headed off on the usual Crowchild loop. I was kind of plodding along all the way.

Some runners do capture your interest. On young lady chose a dog for a running companion - a Chihauhau that seemed to be running flat out to keep up with it's owner. And while not a runner, another lady stopped by the side of the path with her stroller, and lifted a Scottie out of it. I think it may have been rather elderly by the way it moved.

Not too many out, but I may have missed the crowds. Or they're torturing themselves in the malls.

Distance: 10.13 km. Time: 54:40 Average speed: 11.1 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and 5C.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Twas the Day of The Night Before Christmas...

...and there's lots of runners stirring. It was a magnificent morning, and clear and cloudless from horizon to horizon. The view to the west from the top of the bluff was breathtaking.

Chilly to start, though. I did a repeat of last weeks run, heading up the hill toward Bow Trail once past Crowchild, and then through Wildwood and down the road to Edworthy. By the time I past 14th Street, I was warm enough.

It's a much nicer run in the morning, with the sun shining, than it was last week, running after sundown. There were lots of dog walkers along Spruce Drive. The downhill leg, while long, was fast and fun.

Past Edworthy and back toward downtown, and the traffic picked up. The sun was low and in my eyes and I didn't mind at all. The ice was floating in chunks scrunching and crunching against the ice along the bank, and it was actually piling up a little against the 14th Street bridge.

Fast and fun, but not an eventful run. Just a lovely morning, lots of sun and lots of people.

Today's run:
Distance: 18.59 km. Time: 1:40:53. Average speed: 11.1 kph.
Rest distance: 1.08 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 19.67 km. Total time: 1:51:53.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Sunny and -5C to start, warming up to 0C at the end.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another Late Afternoon Run

Same again, but different. I was about ten minutes later than yesterday, and there were hardly any runners. More cyclists, and windy. Otherwise, the same.

I did have a lot more push today, it felt like. I felt good, but I also felt like I was pushing hard. And in trying to turn on the backlight on the GPS, I managed to turn it off instead, but I just restarted it, and it picked up right away.

Distance: 9.99 km. Time: 51:54 Average speed: 11.6 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Clear and 3C.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wind Chimes

Tonight's run was a repeat of yesterday's, with the same route, same energy, same fun, at the same time of day. I was startled to see the time on the CBC clock when I went by was 4:26 again.

I wore gloves this time, as it was also the same temperature, but the wind wasn't there. I actually felt a little over-dressed, but not by much. And there were a very few more runners out and a lot less cyclists.

I mentioned some time ago about the home-made wind chimes that hang from a tree branch on the river side of the path along Pumphouse Road. It's made from four lengths of rebar hanging from a piece of scrap sheet metal. Some months ago, I found a second one near a group of benches on the other side of the path. Today, as I came around the corner, I noticed that the one I originally saw was the last in a series of four, hanging from a line of trees along the edge of the river bank. I imagine they rarely make a sound, since the rebar is pretty heavy, and not easily pushed around by anything less than hurricane force winds. Perhaps on windy summer days when the trees are full of leaves?

A strong run all the way around, and lots of go left for The Path Under The Stairs. I still feel ready to go.

Distance: 9.85 km. Time: 54:28 Average speed: 10.9 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Clear and 5C, but the CBC sign said -2C.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My 400th Post

I've been doing this since October 24, 2004 - twenty six months, almost. I'm still having fun doing it, too.

Tonight, I ran to Crowchild, since I haven't run that loop for ages. It was a little colder than I thought, and I was wishing I would have worn my gloves. It was much warmer earlier in the day, but events kept me from getting out until late afternoon. Just in time to watch the sunset.

It was fairly quiet on the outbound leg. I only passed half a dozen runners and a couple of guys on bikes and a couple more walking. I finally noticed the new time and temperature sign at the CBC building on Memorial. It's been up for a couple of weeks and they keep mentioning it, but for some reason I've been missing it.

The traffic was much heavier on the south side of the river, as I headed back toward downtown. Lots of cyclists tearing along the path, but still not too many runners.

It was a good run, lots of energy and decent speed, too. Except for my right hand getting cold, I felt great.

Distance: 10.09 km. Time: 53:31 Average speed: 11.3 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Clear and 0C. It was up around 8C a couple of hours before.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hello, Darkness...

Didn't get out until pretty late today. In fact, I think the sun was setting as I got out the door. By the time I got to 14th Street, it was getting pretty dark.

I continued west along the south side of the river, past Crowchild, and decided to climb up toward Bow Trail at 24th Street. At the top of the hill there's a little parking lot, and a street - Sovereign Cresent - that jogs over to 28th Street. Then the Shaganappi Golf Course gets in the way, and I had to get on Bow Trail to get around it.

OK, that was tricky. There's no sidewalk on the north side of Bow Trail, and while there is space between the curb and the fence around the golf course, it's barely wide enough for one person. I didn't meet anyone along there, but the street lights were obstacles that made it tricky to stay off the road, and all that traffic.

I was glad to get to Spruce Drive and on to a real sidewalk. By now, it was getting quite dark. This street seems to go on forever, for some reason, but eventually I was at the top of the road down to lower Edworthy Park. This was really neat. I've always loved being out in the dark, and there was just enough twilight to see quite well. I headed down the middle of the road, ready to dodge to either side in case of traffic, but only met one car. At the bottom, the parking lot was deserted.

I crossed the tracks and headed toward the bridge across the river. Ten metres past the tracks, it was like walking from the fridge to the freezer. There was a definite boundary that I crossed, moving into colder air. I'd say the temperature dropped five degrees over a couple of metres. It was quite startling.

Across the river, it stayed cold. I could feel a chill settling in, and the darkness was almost complete as well. But by the time I got to where the path sidled up beside Parkdale Boulevard, I had worked the chill out.

One of the things I love about my Sunday distance run is all the people out on the paths. But I've always been out in the morning, and this was an entirely different experience. There were very few people out at all at that time of day. So while it was fun to be out in the dark for the novelty of it, I don't think I want to change from my usual morning runs.

Running up through Wildwood (the neighbourhood Spruce Drive runs through) added a couple of kilometres to the run, but at the end I had lots of drive for The Path Under The Stairs. A great run. I may have to take through Wildwood more often.

Today's run:
Distance: 18.83 km. Time: 1:42:54. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 1.21 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 20.04 km. Total time: 1:53:54.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Clear and -2 at the start, dropping to -8 at the end.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Post Christmas Carol Run

Last night the gang went for dinner and then to see Theatre Calgary's performance of A Christmas Carol. Very cool. Afterwards, Mike and I agreed to meet up again for a run at the south end of the Jaipur Bridge, so named as stated by the plaque afixed to the bridge, that I haven't read. I think this web site explains the significance of it. And here's a picture.

Mike showed up right at noon, with Jason, a co-worker, who is just getting into running. We started off slow on the short zoo loop. We had a nice easy run, more social than exercize, but that's the point. The day was not a cool as it looked, so we warmed up quickly.

At the bottom of the new ramp up to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, I went that-away, while Mike and Jason continued on to cross at the C-Train bridge, which is close to their work.

Distance: 8.63 km. Time: 49:30 Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Cloudy and -1C, which is quite a drop from the 5C an hour before. Those temperatures are from the airport, though, which is several kilometres to the northeast.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Meeting Up

Mike and I decided last night to get together for a run today, so I ran down to meet him at the Y. He'd invited Chris to join us, too, and after a short wait for her, we were off.

We decided on the 14th Street loop. Chris hasn't been able to run for awhile due to illness, so we didn't push really hard. It was a nice run and a chance to catch up with friends. Coming back through Prince's Island, they decided to branch left toward Chris' workplace, so I said goodbye there, and headed home.

Distance: 7.77 km. Time: 43:19 Average speed: 10.8 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and 3C. And none of the wind they were promising with this morning's forecast.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Little Harder Today

It seemed to take just a little more effort to keep going today. I don't know if it was the weather or maybe the fact that I did a heck of a lot of walking this morning. On the way home I ran up The Stairs, too, so maybe I was a little depleted. Breakfast was a long time ago.

This was the usual 14th Street run, just cuz. Actually, about the four kilometre mark, I started feeling not bad at all, and The Path Under The Stairs wasn't the usual impediment. Something must have kicked in.

Distance: 6.99 km. Time: 39:03. Average speed: 10.7 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: A bit cloudy, 4C and gusty winds, up to 45 kph. About an hour before that, the winds where up to 70 kph, which of course shovelled all the trash that has accumulated in various alleys up into the sky. Bleah.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Another Fabulous Sunday Run

It's a gorgeous day out, and I can't imagine spending too much time indoors today. I headed out into the crisp air about mid morning, and ambled toward the bluff. The air is exceptionally clear and the mountains on the western horizon are big and bold and beautiful.

I did the usual route, down to Eau Claire and then west. Someone had been out marking the paths with flour. I later found out it was the Catch The Elves 10K, though it hadn't started when I went by.

Past Crowchild, the path was clear for a short way, until it branched up the hill toward Shaganappi. From there it was packed snow where city vehicles, or possibly the CPR, drive in to do whatever it is they do. That gives two narrow tracks that are reasonably easy to run on.

After crossing the tracks (right where 37th Street would cross, according to my map), there's that closed gate with the sign warning of coyotes and avalanches and "unsafe conditions". A coulpe of hundred metres past that is the Spruce Cliff Ice Fields (as I'll call them), where the natural springs run across the path. This week there was a good hundred metres of ice to pick my way across. It wasn't really slippery; the running water made it more sticky than slippery.

Only two people on the whole stretch, a runner and a walker. I guess not too many are crazy enough to cross the Ice Fields. After that, it was across to the north side of the river and all the way home on clear paths. Lots and lots of people out running, and quite a few walking.

Just as I was passing where 19th Street met Memorial, I caught up to another runner and we struck up a conversation that carried me all the way too the Prince's Island foot bridge. Then a hard push up The Path Under The Stairs, and I was home.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.12 km. Time: 1:29:04. Average speed: 10.9 kph.
Rest distance: 1.01 km. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.13 km. Total time: 1:38:04.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Mainly sunny and 0C to start, warming to 5C at the end.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dark Run

It was late before I got out tonight. The sun was just going down, and the light was fading all through the run.

I wanted to do the long zoo loop, but given that it goes by East Village, and remembering the mugging that happened behind the Fort a couple of months ago, and that it was getting dark, I changed my mind. Instead, I went east only as far as Edmonton Trail, where I crossed to the south side of the river and continued west.

At the C-Train bridge I crossed again, and went back to the Prince's Island bridge. And home.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.22 km. Time: 44:47. Average speed: 11.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 7C.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jeekers, That Wind is Cold!

It looked like a nice enough day, and it was pretty nice this morning when I was out and about. But dressed lightly for running, and the wind seemed to go right through everything. Since it was out of the south east, I did the short zoo loop.

The river is up now. Yesterday on the 14th Street loop, I had to cross the street at the 10th Street bridge, since the path under it is under a couple of feet of ice. Today the path under Centre Street on the north side was closed, too. I couldn't tell if it was under water yet, but it was close. I imagine that warmer weather we had a few days ago did some heavy melting in the foothills. The next couple of days are likely to melt a lot more out there, so high water levels will continue, I imagine. But the ice should disappear.

On the way back it was much better with the wind behind me. I was a little low on energy the whole run, but it was good, nonetheless.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.39 km. Time: 46:56. Average speed: 10.7 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Sunny and -4C with a brisk 25 kph south wind.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Burnout Run

The morning was emotionally draining and a bit edgy, so it was good to get out and burn off some physical energy. This was the usual 14th Street run, nothing special.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.81 km. Time: 38:53. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and 4C.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Back to the Long Run

Finally managed to get out and do a long one. It's been three weeks since the Last Chance, my last long run. And maybe it wasn't the best idea, given how I feel at the moment, a few hours after completing it. But in the middle of it I felt awesome.

I toyed with the idea of doing a different route, but there's that washroom issue. I've done two half marathons this fall where it wasn't an issue, so I'll have to consider what I did that's different from my regular Sunday mornings.

Anyway, out and down to the river, across Prince's Island, and west. Great running until Crowchild, west of which the paths aren't cleared. Actually they're closed, and signs are posted saying to stay out, don't go, because there's ice, and avalanches, and coyotes, oh my!

I've never seen coyotes along there though I don't doubt they're around. It makes sense that they'd hang around a forest, but then I see them along the bluff in the open. Hmmm. And the avalanche danger is real, I suppose, but more likely it would be a landslide. They did considerable work shoring up the top of the cliff at one point where it's been collapsing.

The ice is real. It's not really bad yet, but will build all winter. There are natural springs in the cliff that run all the time. In the summer, water runs along the side of the path to a drain that carries it under the path toward the river. In the winter, the channel is full of snow, which gets wet, freezes and blocks the flow so water spreads instead across the path for several metres. If it was colder the ice would be wet and very slick. Today it was kind of slushy and a little sticky, though spots were more treacherous than others. But right now it was only that way for twenty metres or so. In a couple of months there might be wet ice for a hundred and fifty metres or more, and its tricky to navigate while hanging on to the adjacent fence.

The snow on the path slows me down, too. Often it's not that well packed and it slides out from underfoot. It's a great workout for the ankles, though. Much of it is mostly packed snow, which is a little more stable, and the whole mess stretches from Crowchild to Edworthy, at least three kilometres.

Across the bridge at Edworthy, a quick pitstop at the afore-mentioned washrooms, and it's all clear paved paths almost all the way home. I had tons of energy, and I opened up, keeping clost to five minutes per kilometre (12 kph) all the way to Prince's Island.

I started to lose some of it, at that point, and The Path Under The Stairs was a bit of a bear to climb. The run along the bluff was more partly packed snow, and the streets were icy for the last few blocks. Not the greatest finish.

And to top it off, friends called to meet for lunch just as I walked in the door, so I just showered and changed and was off. I feel the effects of skipping the post-run stretching at the moment.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.48 km. Time: 1:29:56. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 973.8 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.46 km. Total time: 1:38:56.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Cloudy and -2C for the duration. A little bit of a breeze, but nothing significant.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another Chinook

Holy cow, is it slippery on the side streets. All that polished, packed snow is now getting a thin melt layer on it, and it's pretty greasy. Meanwhile, the main drags are brown mush. Ick.

I did the usual - 14th Street - but at the start was this incredible view from the top of the bluff. The sky is clear, and the air is transparent, and the mountains on the western horizon are breathtaking.

There is not too much melting yet on the paths, but they're mostly clear anyway. The only trouble spot I can see developing is The Path Under The Stairs, which is half covered with packed snow. That could become ice if the sun can get at it.

The new ramp off the Prince's Island foot bridge to the path along Memorial Drive is really nice, too. Having to stop and climb stairs in the middle of a run always muddled my rhythm. Those stairs are gone now, and I don't know if they're building new ones or what, but they're having fun digging holes and moving dirt and other guy stuff. We'll see what develops.

I paid attention to distances today, too, at the end. From the bottom of The Path Under The Stairs, where the part the bends back toward The Stairs is, to the top is three hundred metres. From the top of The Path to the top of The Stairs is another two hundred, and from there to the end of my run is five hundred. All plus-or-minus ten metres. I was wondering, and now I know.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.85 km. Time: 37:46. Average speed: 10.9 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Drifting snow (according to Environment Canada) and -3C, with winds around 50 km and gusty. But sunny!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Weather Breaks

Finally, it gets a little warmer. Well, less cold, I'll say. The last couple of days have been unpleasant for getting around on foot, with windchills pushing -40C.

I got out to a beautiful sunny day, and just did my usual 14th Street loop. Lots of packed snow and no ice, except on the streets. It's pretty treacherous for driving right now, except on the main roads.

Pretty quiet as far as other runners, too. But then I was a little late getting out so I missed the lunch time crowd.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.03 km. Time: 38:48. Average speed: 10.9 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Sunny and -14C.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

After the Snow Dump

It kinda buried this town this morning. I wouldn't think it would be too bad, but I don't have to drive in it. Downtown was a little quieter than usual, but not really. There are radio reports of people taking two hours and longer to get to work. Nanner, nanner, nanner.

The snow did make a difference in the run today. At the start, all I had were ruts in the street where the snow was sort of packed. It still rolled out from under the foot like sand. The Path Under The Stairs was OK, with a fairly well packed path down one side of it. It was only at the parking lot at the bottom where I got to cleared path.

They now have the new access ramp to the foot bridge to Prince's Island open, while the old stairway is closed. Very nice, but it seems narrower than it looked while it was under construction. They still have a lot to do on the path around it, that goes on top of the berm along Memorial.

For the most part, there was just a little packed snow here and there. No ice to speak of. Not too many runners either, but then I was out an hour early in order to make a meeting early this afternoon.

The return was pretty slow once I got off the cleared path. The snow isn't really packed and in places it just rolls out from under foot. One nice thing, is my entire block is already shoveled off.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.05 km. Time: 41:08. Average speed: 10.3 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Light snow and -12C.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Cold is Back

Just about was underdressed, but it turned out just right. I think I'll have to dig out my wind pants for another layer.

For the sudden cold, it was surprisingly busy on the paths today. I just ran the usual loop across the 14th Street bridge. The bridge was cleared recently, but the paths had a little build up. I think the snow has been steady all night and morning.

My knees were a little achey off the start today, and I can't think of why. I don't remember running hard on any downhill stretches, or being on anything uneven. But they were really noticeable on The Path Under The Stairs. I think it was a psychological thing with the snow on that slope. The Path has been clear of ice for a week, but with the snow on it, I kept expecting to find some hidden under it. Consequently, I was running quite stiffly until I got to flat ground again, and that was a little jarring, knee-wise.

If it's colder tomorrow, and the forecast says it will be, I'll definitely be adding another layer.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.04 km. Time: 39:32. Average speed: 10.7 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Light snow and -11C.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


At least until tomorrow, when the weather is supposed to get nastier. It's been two days since I've been out, and it felt great. I really needed it, too.

I headed out and down the bluff, across the river by Prince's Island, then went east on the short zoo route. I felt strong and fast all the way around.

Coming back to the foot bridge, I decided to keep going, and crossed at the C-Train bridge. Then back east along the promenade, across Prince's Island and home.

Today's run:
Distance: 11.03 km. Time: 58:45. Average speed: 11.3 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and 5C. And I was way overdressed again.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Canmore Run

I decided to get out of the city for a couple of days, and I ended up in Canmore for the weekend. Yesterday, I drove down to a little parking spot just where the road toward the Nordic Centre crossed the Bow River. I think it's actually called Bridge Road.

I went northward along the river on the path. It very quickly comes to a power station, at which a bridge crosses east. It looks like an old train bridge, and it leads to a raised bed that goes straight through town toward the main rail line.

There's a second bridge, and then a crossroad with a path going either way along the river. I eased past the wedding party being photographed on the bridge (it's a lovely setting, and the bride wore a strapless gown with a white fur wrap).

From there I continued north along the river to the end of town. Up to that point was what Tru and I explored back in April. We had often talked about coming back and running this path.

The path ended not much past the last house at a gate into a golf course. But it looped around the end of the subdivision, and down the other side of it, between it and the golf course. It was a pretty run through the forest, along side a dry creek bed and across a couple of foot bridges.

I ended up on a street for about a block, and then at the next intersection it plunged back into forest again. It was very scenic and fun, as it kind of wound around and up and down behind a long row of houses.

Eventually I found the other end of that railbed, and took it west through town to that first bridge. I turned south where the wedding party had been, and then crossed back to where I was parked.

Since I had only run about 6.75 km, I thought I'd keep going for awhile. So I kept going south along the river, and eventually I found the sculpture that has all the locals upset. It ain't much, but it's out in the middle of an open space that is otherwise surrounded by trees. That seems to be the point of contention for people, that it's intruding on this natural space.

A little farther past that, and past a playground, I got to another bridge. At this point I decided to turn around and head back to the car. It was a very nice run, even a special run, and I'd love to do it again.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.94 km. Time: 45:02. Average speed: 10.6 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Cloudy and about 4C. There was a wind, but in the forest, it was unnoticeable.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Let's Try the Crowchild Loop

Which I did. I felt good all the way through it, and I haven't run that circuit for a long time. (Well, last week, but that was part of the Last Chance Half.)

Not a bad day out, but the crowd was a little thin, given it's Friday. Fridays seem to be the schmooze-at-lunch day, so the outdoor crowd is pretty small. Even so, I ran into a little traffic crossing Prince's Island and ended up walking behind several groups spread across the bridge.

I had lots of energy on The Path Under The Stairs today, as I have had for the last few weeks. Running has been very easy and smooth, even given those occasional days like yesterday, where things take awhile to loosen up.

And all the ice is gone.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.98 km. Time: 56:28. Average speed: 10.6 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Partly cloudy and 7C.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Magically Disappearing Ice

The chinook that blew in last night made short work of all the ice that had built up on the paths. All are just about clear now, except for a few shaded spots, and those are melting pretty fast. There's even standing water in a few spots.

I was thinking about trying for Crowchild today, but by 14th Street, I new it wasn't going to happen. Right off the start, the legs were stiff, and the left leg ached for the first mile or so. My knees were even a little achey. Perhaps I'm still recovering from Last Chance. But I had good energy.

Anyway, I was out earlier than I usually am, so I missed the noon crowd, though there were a few coming out toward the end. The chinook is still present, too, although the temperature was down from last night's high of 12C and the wind has pretty much blown itself out.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.00 km. Time: 39:59. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and 2C, and the wind has dropped to almost nothing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

That Was Long Overdue

Or it seemed like it. I haven't run since Sunday, about three days. And I had a bit of a bad nutrition thing happen last night (cravings, Old Dutch...don't ask). Mr. Tummy wasn't at his best.

Michelle and I had talked about running together today, but she bailed at the last minute. So I was off, picking my way solo through the icy bits. Actually all the icy bits are close to home, being the side streets I travel on my way to the bluff. The Path Under The Stairs was almost clear, and where the was ice, there was also a slice of wet pavement slipping by it.

By the time I got to the bottom, I still hadn't decided which way to go, but I turned east at the promenade. I thought I'd try going to Edmonton Trail and crossing the old iron bridge. Daydreaming made me miss the turn, and backtracking added a half a klick to the run.

On the other side, I planned to go to at least the C-Train bridge. I played with the idea of going as far as 14th, but seeing as how I'd run five and a half km at the C-Train bridge, that was enough. So onto the south side and the promenade, then back across again at Prince's Island, up the bluff and home.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.47 km. Time: 48:39. Average speed: 10.4 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and 4C.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Last Chance Official Results

You can find them here.

I was 140th overall out of 475.
24th out of 54 in the men's 40-49 category.
108th out of 201 men.
My chip time was 1:53:11.
My pace was 5:21/km.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Last Chance Half Marathon

This is the last big one of the year, hence the name. I was there an hour early, such is my jittery nature. I spent most of that time pacing, stretching, going to the bathroom.

Five minutes before start time, I was out there jogging down the street and back, jumping up and down a little. It was a bit chilly, but not particularly so. I had enough adrenaline to keep me warm until start time. After the gun went off (or somebody yelled, "go!" - I couldn't tell what got it going), it took about half a minute to get to the start pads, and then after that we were out and west down the promenade from Eau Claire.

The path was clear for the first three kilometres or so. Just past 14th Street is when the ice started. It really wasn't too bad, and it was not much different than when I used to run in winter in Fish Creek park west of Macleod, a couple of years ago. What made it hard to run on, was that the temperature was close to melting, so it was almost wet ice in places.

I managed quite well, though, and passed the first water station at 14th Street on the north side. They were a little short of volunteers for this one, I think. There were only two people at the water station, and they were a little overwhelmed.

Out from under the 14th Street bridge, and there's a bit of a downward slope for less than a hundred metres, and I slide down it on the ice. It wasn't really slippery, so I could control it easily. And then good running to 10th and beyond.

At Prince's Island, my GPS was just over 40 minutes, so the Resolution Run should give a PR on eight kilometres, if I can do that pace again. Thinkin' ahead, dontcha know.

Just past Centre Street, I saw the only casualty due to ice. A guy in front of me went down, but not hard at all. He was up and running again by the time I got to him.

The dips under Edmonton Trail were treacherous, so much so that a volunteer was there to warn us of the ice. I slid down the first one, but it was a fabulously long slide, and I had some fun in trying to maintain control and to stay upright. The second one I just went around it, onto the ankle deep snow on the grass.

I found myself on new paths, once we got to the zoo. I had tried to run this way last year, in preparing for the Calgary marathon, but much of the path system was closed due to flooding after all the rain we got back then. So this was pretty cool. At one point I looked left into the cougar's cage and right, across the river, into the lion's cage. Neither was out in the cold, though.

There's a suspension bridge that crosses the river giving zoo goers another way across the river, and right under it, I hit the nastiest ice of the day. It wasn't obvious, I wasn't ready for it, and I flailed a bit in trying to stay upright. Mercifully it was a small patch, so I hit pavement pretty quick after I started sliding, and managed to recover. I could feel my shoulder for awhile after, though, after flinging my arms out for balance.

Once past the zoo, we were also past the plowed paths. The ices was no longer a problem, but the snow was soft and difficult to run on, like running on dry sand. I think I maintained good speed, but I was beginning to feel my knees, ankles and hips by the time I got to 17th Avenue.

We crossed the river there, and looped around under the bridge, continuing south to the bird sanctuary, where we turned around at the last water station. Paths were clear for the rest of the way, and by then, at about fifteen and a half km, it was pretty much head down and keep slogging.

About the only thing that I noticed after that was how much gravel was on the path. Some of the bigger stones felt a little sharp through the soles of my shoes. Once I passed Sein Lok Park, at about half a km to go, I did my usual: lengthen my stride and push hard. I passed a few people toward the end, and crossed the finish line around 1:53.

Then I chugged the bottle of water they handed me and headed for the buffet inside Eau Claire Market. Big trays of penne and tomato sauce, ravioli in cream sauce, gobs of salad, and huge trays of fruit slices and sweets. Since I'm always ravenous after a long run, I made a fairly respectable pig of myself.

Today's run:
Distance: 19.62 km. Time: 1:43:36. Average speed: 11.4 kph.
Rest distance: 1.41 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 21.03 km. Total time: 1:54:36.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) I gave the blue ones a rest since they're pretty much at end-of-life.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and -1C, warming up a little, to 1C. No wind, so very nice running weather.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Night Run

Haven't been able to get out for awhile, it seems like. It's actually been only forty eight hours, but it seems longer. The last couple of days have been busy.

I met my running neighbour just as I was locking my front door. She said the paths were pretty slippery. I thought they might be, but I didn't run into any problems until I started down The Path Under The Stairs. It was very icy and extremely treacherous on the upper half. The lower half, which is much steeper, was curiously clear of snow and ice.

Once on the river path, I did the usual 14th Street loop. It's pretty quiet out, what with the weather and the ice and it being Friday night. I saw no more than a dozen people on the paths the whole way.

One the return, I continued past Eau Claire to Centre Street and the bridge. I felt it would be a lot less trouble on Nony's Awful Little Hill. When I got to it, I found it almost completely clear of any snow. So I charged up and over and then home.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.43 km. Time: 44:28. Average speed: 10.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Cloudy and -3C.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Fading Chinook

Funny how much the weather figures in running. But I guess when you run, you spend a lot of time experiencing the weather.

It's cooling off out there. It was sunny but cool and there was a bit of a breeze from the southeast. I wondered if I had underdressed this time, but by the time I was half way around, I was pretty comfortable.

I ran the reverse short zoo today, since I was a little late in getting out there. To finish, I took the Centre Street bridge home. Great run, but the snow is coming.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.95 km. Time: 40:30. Average speed: 11.8 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 4C.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Chinook Run

The temperature rose ten degrees in an hour last night, and we hit our daily high at 4:00 in the morning. Definitely shorts weather for running.

I trundled out the door shortly before noon, and met Michelle in front of the Y at five after. She was looking for a workout, so we did the long zoo run. Lots of people out today, enjoying the warm weather. The zoo routes were pretty busy, so I imagine the westward paths were jammed.

It's nice running by the zoo, but I so rarely see any animals. The tiger enclosure is close to the path around the west end of the zoo. With the trees all bare, I can see right into it, but nothing was around today.

We headed back toward the downtown, and Michelle said she'd let me do the talking. Apparently she was having to work a little at staying with it, but that probably means she needed to get out there. I don't think she got out at all last week.

After I walked her back to her building, I headed back home by the Centre Street bridge, and fairly sprinted up Nony's Awful Little Hill. I think that's due to my running up The Stairs lately (the ones over The Path). And then I pushed hard to the end, cuz it felt good.

Today's run:
Distance: 11.24 km. Time: 1:00:22. Average speed: 11.2 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Cloudy and 6C when I stepped out the door, but an hour later it was up to 9C.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


What an incredible morning! Why am I sitting here writing this when I could be outside enjoying this amazing weather? Well, I was out and in it, and it was wonderful and sunny and there were lots of people, but now I'm sweaty and stinky and really, really need a shower, so right now I'm gorging on fruit and eggs and PBJs while I cool off a little before I jump in the shower.

This is one of those amazing days when I get to the bluff and the sky is clear and the sun is out and you can see all the way to the mountains, and they're snowy and white, and really beautiful.


So that was a cool way to start. I headed down and across the river to the promenade and the usual path west all the way to Edworthy. Past Crowchild and the paths got tricky, as there's no plowing or snow clearing, so the snow sort of packs but not a lot, and it's all pockmarked with heels and toes, so you need strong ankles to run in it. And hardly nobody from Crowchild to the Edworthy parking lot, and the ice is starting to pile up from the natural springs that come out of the cliff and drain down along the path to culverts that channel the water toward the river, except the culverts plug up with ice in the winter so the water runs across the path, and you have to pick your way across while going hand over hand along the fence.

No coyote this time.

Nothing special about the return trip, except there were so many people out, all the way to the Prince's Island bridge. And The Path Under The Stairs was tough, except the last third where I found some reserve and pushed quite hard. And then I got that magnificent view again.


Today's run:
Distance: 16.48 km. Time: 1:29:51. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 896.2 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.38 km. Total time: 1:38:51.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Sunny all day, 5C to start, but up to 9C by the end. Actually I think it was pretty close to zero at the start, and the temperature sign at one of the car dealers said so, too.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Slushy, Melty Run

It's warming up. Not enough to melt much, but the roads and sidewalks have so much salt on them that they're turning into goop. The paths on the river are almost clear, though, probably because the snow doesn't get packed too much before they get those spinning brushes pushing it all over.

Got an almost immediate satellite lock out there, so I was moving right away. Along the path on top of the bluff, which is uneven and not really packed. Good ankle workout if you don't damage one. I had great energy today, so the speed was there, and I was flying down The Path Under The Stairs. I worry only briefly about not being able to keep my feet moving fast enough to keep them under me.

Once I got to the river I just settled in and ran hard. Not the hardest I've ever ran, but steady. The crowd wasn't huge, which is expected given that it's a little cool, and it's Friday. I took the pedestrian path from 10th to 14th, but should have stuck with the bicycle path. They don't clear the pedestrian paths in winter, and so runners and most walkers share the bike paths that run parallel.

I felt great after crossing at 14th Street, and it was steady running all the way to Eau Claire. And once I crossed to the bluff, I had all kinds of energy for The Path Under The Stairs. And just for fun, I sprinted to the finish.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.11 km. Time: 38:00. Average speed: 11.2 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Fog and -4C.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Less Ice Today

There was enough melting on The Path Under The Stairs that it was almost clear today. And they salted the foot bridge to Prince's Island pretty heavily as well this morning.

It was another early run so I could get Kate to school. She was all tuckered out from handing out the goodies last night. We had a grand total of one (1) trick-or-treater. Now I have a bowl full of those little chocolate bars in the fridge (cuz they're out of sight in there)

So naturally, I have some extra calories to burn off today.

I did the usual 14th Street run, but managed to go slower today. Usually when I feel like I'm going slower, I'm really not, and the stats on the run will surprise me. But not today.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.08 km. Time: 42:23. Average speed: 10.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Mainly sunny and -5C

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Run

Just a quick one, actually. My daughter decided that since I wasn't going to be home this evening, someone needed to be here to minister to the ghouls and goblins, so she came over here. However she also needed to be driven to school, which cut into the noon hour a little, so I needed to get out a little early for a quick run.

I did the usual 14th Street route. The Path Under The Stairs is a little tricky today. They did a good job of clearing the snow, but there's still some packed on here and there, and with the sun on the sheltered parts, it's really, really slippery. Combine that with the momentum I build up on the descent and it's pretty treacherous.

But mostly the paths are clear. Not really cold, and sunny too. Quite a few runners out, perhaps trying to beat the noon rush.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.12 km. Time: 38:31. Average speed: 11.1 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Mainly sunny and -5C.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

First Wintertime Run of the Season

Boy, did the weather ever turn over the last couple of days. Three days ago I was in shorts and t-shirt, and today I'm in thermal tights and windbreaker. But it was rather nice for running anyway. If the wind hadn't been there, it would have been perfect.

I headed out and down The Path Under The Stairs, wondering if there was ice under the snow or not. The pavement had been warm still when the snow started and there was a layer of ice underneath, but it was rough and crumbly for the most part. Some places it was still wet slush on the bottom layer.

The bridge to Prince's Island was difficult. Since there's no mass under the walkway, like there is on land, to hold some heat, it didn't have any ice underneath at all. But it was better than ankle deep and soft, and so was tricky to run on since the snow would slide out from underfoot.

In fact there had been no plowing until I got to the main promenade at Eau Claire, where I had to dodge one of those rotating brush things on a Bobcat. He was just getting started, although it seems like something had been done a couple of hours before.

Not too many runners out, but those that were, were enthusiastic and upbeat. Lots of loud good mornings and waves, and me no less enthused and upbeat. It was great fun.

I thought perhaps that once I was past Crowchild on the south side, that it would be tougher running, since there is never any plowing done west of there, but the couple of hundred runners and walkers that had already been out had broken trail. It seemed that the farther into the bush below Spruce Cliff I got, the less packed the path was, but the snow was coming down pretty heavy too.

On the wildlife side, I was approaching a couple walking the other way, and between us, a bushy tailed coyote left the path for the forest. They are likely drawn by the partridge (I think) that seem to be everywhere along the river this year.

A quick bathroom stop at north side parking lot by Edworthy and I was into plowed paths again. I'm dead certain I ran a fairly impressive negative split, simply because the unplowed path in the first half slowed me down. Overall my time was slower than it has been - go figure!

The Path Under The Stairs was a slow stretch on the way back, too. The snow had gotten deeper and the steepness of the path was exacerbated by that. Slow going, but good workout.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.40 km. Time: 1:33:14. Average speed: 10.6 kph.
Rest distance: 963.7 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.37 km. Total time: 1:43:14.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: -8C and snow, consistent the whole time I was out there.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Last Day?

Of decent weather, that is. The forecast high today was 15C, while in a few days they are talking about a high of -9C. Absolutely beautiful out. I did the usual run down to 14th Street and back.

Other than the beautiful weather, it wasn't too eventful. I did run into someone who used to work where I used to work and who left for the same reason I did. Haven't seen her for awhile, so we took a few minutes to catch up.

What was really nice about this was, it was close to the bottom of The Path Under The Stairs, so I had a chance to catch my breath before running up that. Good run. beautiful day, and the view from the top of the bluff is tremendous.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.08 km. Time: 37:21. Average speed: 11.3 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Sunny and 11C, and none of those strong winds they were forecasting this morning.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Another Hump Day Run

And it's very nice out today. There are a lot of people out, enjoying the weather, and it's a good time to do that, because next week it looks like it'll turn out pretty nasty cold.

I headed down to the river as usual, and across to the promenade. I wound through the crowd until 14th Street where I crossed to the north and headed back. Once I got to the top of The Path Under The Stairs, I noticed the horizon. It's a startlingly clear day, and the mountains on the western horizon are magnificent.

It's such a beautiful day out that it's hard to go back to work.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.52 km. Time: 38:32. Average speed: 11.7 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Sunny and 9C.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

'Nother Nooner

It turned out to be a gorgeous day. I was to meet Michelle at noon, as usual, but that was jeopardized by a fire alarm at her work. It turned out there was a full evacuation of the building, and it looked like she wasn't going to get back inside soon enough to get out at noon. But she called at ten to twelve, saying she'd be ready.

We caught up with each other at the Y shortly after 12:00. She was looking for a run that was a little longer today, so we did the short zoo. Even that path was busy, what with the sun and warm temperatures. We had a great run through the bare trees and back along Memorial.

After I walked her back to her building, I ran back up the Centre Street bridge and home.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.87 km. Time: 56:39. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Mainly sunny and 11C. Pretty sparkly day.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Frosty Run

A beautiful crisp, frosty morning out. It's one of the main reasons I run on Sunday mornings, to experience that wonderful clean early morning kind of thing.

I was almost uncomfortably cold for the first mile or so, which according to something I read recently, means I'm dressed about right. But I think whoever wrote that didn't take into account how fast it can warm up when the sun comes up. So by the time I was half way, it was beginning to get sweaty.

The first half of the run was on the south side of the river, and even with the trees bare and leafless, it was still mostly in the shadows. Crossing over to the north side of the river at Edworthy, I'm suddenly in the sun, and it's directly ahead of me.

It was the usual kind of run for me this morning. Nothing special about it, but special in it's own way. I love the Sunday runs for the people out on the paths, and for the sense of accomplishment after the sixteen or seventeen kilometres that I usually manage.

I tried a different way at the end. When I came up to the 10th Street bridge, I suddenly decided to head up 10th Street, and then go west at 3rd Avenue into Sunnyside. Actually I turned at 4th Avenue, then had to backtrack. About three blocks in, a paved path climbs a little into the trees at the bottom of the bluff, and a ways in there is a path that angles gently across the face of the bluff to Cresent Road at the top, coming out right at 4th Street. It's a long gentle slope, and a darn site easier than The Path Under The Stairs. But it cuts about a kilometre off the run, too.

Today's run:
Distance: 15.66 km. Time: 1:24:19. Average speed: 11.1 kph.
Rest distance: 885.5 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 16.54 km. Total time: 1:33:19.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Sunny and -3C as the sun came up, but I finished at 6C.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Indian Summer Again

It's been kind of on-again-off-again for it. We've had a couple of nice days after a couple of cold and wet days, and we're about to have a couple of cold, wet days followed by a couple of nice days. Weather in Calgary - so it goes.

But it is a gorgeous day out, and I couldn't let it slip by without getting out into it some more. I did the usual 14th Street run, and it's interesting how quiet it is out there. I'm sure if I'd waited another forty-five minutes, it would have been fairly busy. But it was good enough.

The movie set is still bustling. They've been there for a week, now, and no sign of moving out soon. There wasn't much going on tonight as I went by, just some of the crew standing around with coffees.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.32 km. Time: 40:41. Average speed: 10.8 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 13C, and barely a breath of wind.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Very Nice Run

Back into feeling really good on a run. The last couple of runs, including Sunday's distance run, were a bit trying for some reason. But it was back to fun and energetic. I dunno, maybe it was having a running buddy.

Michelle joined me, and a good thing for her. The poor girl needed to burn off some frustration (life does that, sometimes). We met at the Y in Eau Claire, and headed west along the promenade. At 14th Street, we crossed the river and came back to the Prince's Island foot bridge. Then back to the Y. I walked her back to her work, and then ran up the Centre Street bridge to home.

I find it nice to have some time to get there and back. It extends the run a little, breaks it up, and I don't feel rushed to fit it into a lunch hour. Now I just have to get smart about how I dress - too many layers again.

One of the houses close to the top of The Stairs is being used as a movie set. There have been several trucks, trailers and RVs parked along 2nd Street and Cresent Road, with tents set up every where, and three police cars labeled Monroe County Sherriff. One of them even has what looks like blood stains all over the driver's seat. Today a security guard directed me down the street to the next block, as they were shooting on the street in front of the house. It's rather amazing how much goes into making a movie.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.31 km. Time: 47:23. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Cloudy and 9C.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ending and Beginning

Kind of a cold crappy looking day out, but I need to get out there. So on with the running gear, a little stretching and away I go.

This is a little different. I get to choose when I can go, and I find I like the idea of a flexible schedule. But now every run, if I choose to use the river paths, begins and ends with The Path Under The Stairs, or at least Nony's Awful Little Hill. There are other ways home, too, but the main thing is they all involve altitude change. Built in hill work, as it were.

I headed down to the river, and then to 14th Street on the north side. Then back along the south side and the promenade and home. The suspension bridge from Prince's Island is a bit treacherous with the ice. It'll all melt in a couple of days, but it's that season coming up and I suppose I'll have to get used to it.

Cool. My time was 39 minutes and 59.59 seconds. But I round to the nearest whole second.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.96 km. Time: 40:00. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Light snow and -2C, but that has to be at the airport. It wasn't snowing while I was out there.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Fowgot My Wip Baum

It's getting to be colder out there, and a runner has to think about that stuff. Even so, I still was overdressed. I could have done without the windbreaker, I think, since there was no wind.

I did my usual distance route, only today I ran it the other way around, starting on the north side of the river and returning on the south side. Of course this put me right in the middle of the field of the Calgary Zoo's Gorilla Run. It was strange to be suddenly surrounded by people with racing bibs, and when I continued on at 14th Street, having volunteers hollering at me that the race route went "over that way" until they noticed I didn't have a bib.

After that, it got quiet. Not even the Running Room groups were out, it seems like. It stayed quiet all the way around, even back in the Gorilla Run course on the other side. I guess people weren't into running in the grey and the rain.

And I'm not sure if it was the grey and the rain or what, but I did not have the energy that I've had for the past few months. It was nothing trying about running today, but I didn't have much oomph or something. A couple of times I even thought of just walking the rest of it. But I kept at it and managed to finish reasonably strong.

Tru says I must have a certain mental toughness because I've finished a couple of marathons, and thinking about it, I think she's right. And I think that's what gets me through those moments when it seems like I've had enough. Usually I don't even think of quiting, but I often wish really lots that it was over. Actually, quitting would mean I have a long, long walk home, so I might as well keep going, as I see it.

Anyway, over and done, and I'm always glad I went when I finish.

Today's run:
Distance: 15.70 km. Time: 1:30:12. Average speed: 10.4 kph.
Rest distance: 1.02 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 16.72 km. Total time: 1:40:12.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Light rain and 5C, though the rain wasn't there for most of the run.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Where the Heck Is Everyone??

Running solo again, but that's OK. I felt wonderful again, taking a short run to 14th Street, and extending it to Edmonton Trail. It's such a beautiful day, and I had such great energy, it was easy to keep going. Indian Summer is in full bloom, too, and everyone seems determined to get out and experience it.

I'm thinking of registering for the Last Chance Half Marathon Something fun to end the year with.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.47 km. Time: 38:02. Average speed: 11.8 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Mainly sunny and 4C, but it seemed a heck of a lot warmer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sunny Lunch Hour on an Otherwise Cloudy Day

I dressed for the cloudy part, so I ended up a little over-dressed. But I was only doing the 14th Street loop, so it wasn't for very long.

Today, I was solo. I did the reverse loop for some variety. The new ramp on the north side of the river, up to the suspension bridge to Prince's Island is coming along nicely. They have most of the forms in place, and should be doing steel work soon. Hopefully the weather will hold out long enough for them to finish.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.17 km. Time: 27:05. Average speed: 11.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Cloudy and 6C, though most of the cloud seemed to disappear for a little while. The wind kept it's bite, though.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Starting Off a Short Week

After the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday, it's good to get back into a groove, though there are probably better grooves to get into besides work. I needed to get out there today and work on that major surplus of calories that I accumulated over the weekend (turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie were the favourite sources).

Michelle was feeling the same need to burn off some excess, so we struck off straight toward the river from the office. Then headed west along the promenade from Sein Lok Park. Grey and cool and a little spitty, but still there were a lot of people out. I guess there were a lot of excess calories to deal with.

We ran to 14th Street and looped to the north side of the river, then back to the bridge to Prince's Island, to end up at the Y. The GPS wasn't able to lock on to anything today, but I got a time, and I'll use the distance from a previous run on that route.

Today's run:
Distance: 4.96 km. Time: 27:49. Average speed: 10.7 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Light rain and 11C. Actually a very, very light rain.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Official Time on the Harvest Half Marathon

I'd forgot all about this until Nony's comment. Here's the official time from the Harvest Half:

I was 105th overall out of 320.
34th out of 56 in the men's 40-49 category.

My chip time was 1:50:03.
My pace was 5:12/km.

Thanks for reading, Nony!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, the motivation is to burn off that calorie surplus that I gained last night at a friend's home. We had a lovely gathering of friends around a gorgeous turkey dinner. A great time!

This morning, the fall chill is definitely there. I opted for tights, but I probably could have done shorts. I think it was actually the first really frost this year, with the overnight temperature dropping to -3C.

This morning the kilometre markers were out and the flour arrows were on the path. I think it was the Alzheimer's Society's Memory Walk and Run. I was out long before the race started, but volunteers were preparing a water station at the sculpture garden along Pumphouse Road. As a 10 KM run, they set up an out and back course, staying on the south side of the river, and I was soon past their turn-around point.

Not long past that, just coming up to the first railroad crossing, I heard the train whistle give a short blast. At that point, I kicked into a sprint, and managed to cross shortly after the crossing bells started. It was that motivation that I get by knowing that washroom is just across the Edworthy bridge. I didn't think I could wait for a train that long to cross, and then run another ten or fifteen minutes before I'd gain relief.

Anyway, the rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I was taking it easy this morning, not really trying to push or hold back or anything. I think I'm still in recovery from that half marathon last week. It was quiet out there too. Not nearly as many out, but still busy enough to keep the energy up.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.39 km. Time: 1:31:31. Average speed: 10.7 kph.
Rest distance: 941.7 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.33 km. Total time: 1:41:31.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Partly cloudy and -3C, warming up to 6C over the run.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Again

For all the waiting and dragging until the weekend, it sure comes quick. Trouble is, the weekend goes by just as quick. Who sped everything up, anyway?

I needed an attitude adjustment, so I got out there promptly at noon. It's been one of those mornings. It's pretty quiet out, and after having to keep up with someone yesterday, I tried to keep it leisurely. I still find that I speed up, though.

Anyway, just a relaxed run to 14th Street. Not too many out today, since it's a little grey out.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.18 km. Time: 28:50. Average speed: 10.8 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 10C - almost perfect running conditions.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fast Short Zoo Run

Michelle joined me on a run today, and after checking at the usual rendezvous point to see if anyone else made it, we took off east on the short zoo route. Michelle is a long time runner, and comfortable at speed, so we set a pretty good pace.

My GPS had issues, though. It took a while for it to lock on to the satellites, and that seems to have affected the speed numbers it's reporting, because I felt we were going much faster that it says.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.37 km. Time: 32:25. Average speed: 9.9 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Partly cloudy and 15C.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Extend-a Run

Which means I was gonna just stop at doing the usual 14th Street run, but I extended it some.

I had a very short run with a new person at work. Michelle was heading to the Y to check it out, and we had talked a little last night about running. So we ran down that way, and then I headed out to the promenade.

It's a lovely Indian Summer day and lots of people were out. I chugged down to 14th Street as usual, but had a really good pace going. So on the return, I thought, why not stretch it out a little? Instead of crossing back at Prince's Island, I kept going east to Edmonton Trail, then doubled back.

Perfect timing - I caught up to Michelle in front of the Y, and we walked back to work.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.45 km. Time: 37:12. Average speed: 12.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Sunny and 9C.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Waiting for Indian Summer

Funny how the weather turned as the month did. The last day of September was magnificent, and the first day of October cold and rainy. Today it's still cool, and the clouds still threaten.

I went solo today, and decided to do the short zoo route. The trees have quickly thinned in the leaf department, and there's lots of crunching to be had if the sun comes out to dry it all up. Right now, its a little mushy and wet.

It was a little quiet out there, but then it's always pretty quiet on the paths east of downtown. It's a different run that way, precisely because of the difference in the crowds. You can be a little more introspective going east.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.77 km. Time: 30:55. Average speed: 11.2 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Cloudy and 5C.

Hmmm... They haven't posted the results of the Harvest Half yet.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Harvest Half Marathon

Man, what an incredible morning! It's a gorgeous fall day, and it's just perfect for running a half marathon.

I was at the MidSun Community Association by a quarter to seven. It was dark, but beginning to lighten along the east horizon. And chilly. The sky was clear and sparkling. I finished the dregs of my Starbucks, climbed out of the car, and began stripping off my jacket and warmups. I managed to get my racing bib on, after dropping a safety pin. It was very dark in the parking lot and it took a while to find it.

Then it was inside to see what was up, use the washroom, then outside to run around a little, use the washroom, do some stretching, use the washroom.

At five minutes to race time, we all gathered in the cul-de-sac out front. The clock counted to zero, and someone came through the crowd yelling out instructions and stuff - no sound system here.

After a little bit, the crowd in front started moving, and we shuffled out onto westbound Midlake Boulevard, then northward on Bannister Road. Bannister drops toward Fish Creek Park and under Macleod Trail, then turns into Shawnee Gate as it climbs back up on the other side. But then we turned west on Shawnee Drive, still climbing. At the top we headed north again, and descended into Fish Creek Park.

I haven't run in Fish Creek since Tru and I did a short run last spring. It's absolutely beautiful down there, as all the cottonwoods are turning golden, and losing leaves, so there are mounds of them to run through.

The trail continued east and at the far end of the Greenfield picnic area was the first water stop. Two and a half years ago, this is where I would start those forty minute, three km runs that were mostly walking, and painful. Today, I breezed through the area in fifteen minutes or so.

Another water stop at Bow Bottom Trail and then we met the river, and followed it north. A short distance past the Bankside picnic area, we were directed off the paved path, down into the river's gully on a shale path that took us back toward Bow Bottom.

Then south to Lake Sikome. The route went all the way almost to the south end of the lake, before doubling back to the road up to Sun Valley Boulevard. I knew this hill was coming and I was wondering how I'd do on it. I can't say that it was my best hill climb, but I still was pretty aggressive in tackling it.

The turn onto Sun Valley marked the 18 km point, and then it was straight running, west to Midlake Boulevard. And a short distance up that, we followed a green belt that ran south and west of Lake Midnapore. I knew we were close, but there's no sign of the finish, until we came around a berm, right at the 21 km marker. So a hundred metre sprint across the finish line.

As I came up on the line, I glanced at the clock overhead. 1:50 and some seconds. Someone handed me a water bottle, which I guzzled on the way into the building, to stock up on bagels, cookies, muffins, bananas and orange juice. And in a few short minutes, someone came in with a handful of papers that she taped up on the wall.

I was 118th across the finish line, 34th (I think) in my age division, and my chip time was 1:50:03 - 10 minutes and 5 seconds faster than the Calgary Half back in July. I'm very happy with that. I'll post the official stats later, when they post them.

I'm especially happy with the results because I've been fighting off a cold for the past few days. I fully expected to wake up this morning trying to hack up a lung. But for now, it's staying up in the sinuses and flirting with the throat.

But here are the GPS results:

Today's run:
Distance: 19.87 km. Time: 1:39:16. Average speed: 12.0 kph.
Rest distance: 1.45 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 21.32 km. Total time: 1:50:16.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Clear and 5C to start, but by the end, sunny and 16C.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Run in the Fall

I got out for a short run at lunch today, just down to 14th Street and back. It's a perfect fall day, and the running is marvelous. There are lots of people out on the paths, but it's not crowded. Leaves everywhere, and the trees are becoming pretty colourful.

Usually when I run the 14th Street loop, I'm just under 5 km, so I thought I'd try to run it out at least that far. But I got to 4.96 km, and the buildings downtown kinda closed in so the GPS lost its way. Maybe next time I'll detour around Prince's Island, to add a couple hundred metres.

Today's run:
Distance: 4.96 km. Time: 28:22. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Mainly sunny and 19C. They were predicting 40 kph winds this morning, but those never materialized.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Needed the Break

After a crazy-busy morning, it was good to get the heck out and run. I was supposed to meet Chris and Mike, but I got held up at work, having to deal with some things before I could go. So I started out from Sein Lok Park rather than go to the Y to try and meet them.

Once I got out there, I decided on the reverse 14th Street loop in case I could meet up with people. And I had energy to burn. I was pushing pretty hard along Memorial Drive. Just before 14th Street, I did meet Chris and Mike. They had just met on the 14th Street bridge, and were heading east along Memorial, so I joined them.

After running hard in the first half, it was nice to slow down and visit. When we got to the suspension bridge to Prince's Island, we walked as Chris finds it's bouncing to be hard on the knees when running. After that we stayed left and came up on the east side of Eau Claire, where Mike left us, and Chris and I continued on to Bow Valley Square.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.60 km. Time: 30:38. Average speed: 11.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Cloudy and 12C, although there were rain showers in the area.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Perfect Fall Morning

Another wonderful morning and a another great run. And the old body was totally up for it. It's getting so that I wonder when the crash will come.

I was off toward the river under sunny, clear skies. The air is very clear this morning and the mountains on the western horizon are big and snowy. It's probably the best seeing and the most spectacular view from the bluff that I've experienced.

Off down The Path Under The Stairs and across the suspension bridge to Prince's Island. West along the promenade, after puzzling over the big start/finish banner in front of the Eau Claire Y. Turns out today is the AIDS Walk for Life which begins at noon.

I pushed on toward the west, and just before crossing under Crowchild, Jeff caught up with me. We ran together and chatted about running. He's training for the Okanagan marathon coming up in a couple of weeks. Good running and good company.

At Edworthy, we crossed the bridge to the north side of the river, and he went left, while I went right (to that year-round washroom - sheesh!) Anyway, the run back toward the downtown was fun and fast.

I hit The Path Under The Stairs at full stride, and managed to blast up it in less that two minutes. I felt it in the lungs at the top, but still had lots of gas in the tank to push hard over the last bit to home.

A stellar run and a marvelous morning.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.48 km. Time: 1:24:54. Average speed: 11.4 kph.
Rest distance: 950.1 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.14 km. Total time: 1:33:54.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Sunny and 10C to start, rocketing up to 17C by the end.

Friday, September 22, 2006

It's Friday again!

I live for Fridays...

Running solo today, so I thought I'd mix it up a little. This time I headed east and crossed the river at Edmonton Trail. Then west from there, into the wind - the curse of the prairies. I went all the way to 14th Street, which made for a pretty decent distance. I crossed back to the south side, and headed back to Eau Claire.

At the C-Train bridge, I caught up with Carla and Peter-Mark running the other way. They had just picked up their kits for tomorrow's Melissa's Road Race. And I got to ask Peter-Mark how the Regina Marathon went. He ran respectable 4:31.

Today was another great run in a whole string of runs. I'm looking forward to the energy continuing.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.97 km. Time: 37:45. Average speed: 11.1 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Cloudy and 7C, and that 35 - 45 kph wind is still blowing from the northwest.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cold, Wet Run

But not all that bad really, except for the wind. It started to rain just as we started out, so our timing was impeccable.

I met Byron and Chris at the Y and we started off going west into the wind. We crossed the river at 14th Street, and came back east, then up and across to Prince's Island by the suspension bridge.

I haven't run with Chris since April, and it was good to have her along. It was a little cold and wet, but we all needed to be out there.

Today's run:
Distance: 4.99 km. Time: 29:01. Average speed: 10.3 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Light rain and 7C, with northwest winds blowing from 30 to 50 kph.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fall Will Be Here Soon

There's something cool about running in the fall, with the leaves turning and the freshness in the air. Cool enough for an extra t-shirt over the dri-fit one.

I was going to run with Byron at lunch, but he bailed on me, because of the onset of a possible cold. I turned right at the promenade and headed east. I was originally planning to run the short zoo, but instead did the long zoo, down to the 12th Street bridge.

It was a pretty uneventful run, but it felt good all the way. I had good time and good speed, and felt strong. In fact, I felt like I had the lung capacity to push a lot harder.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.64 km. Time: 40:56. Average speed: 11.2 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Fog and 5C, but that's at the airport. It looked only cloudy in the downtown area.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Sun Just Might Be Coming Back

After a string of cold rainy days, we should get some clearing today. It's still chilly out, so I got the tights out for the first time this season. But it was another fantastic run. Lots of people out, lots of energy and I felt great through the whole thing.

I ran the usual route, down The Path Under The Stairs, across Prince's Island to the south side of the river, and westward along the promenade. There were a lot of runners out to begin with, despite the cold wind blowing in from the north. Once I passed Crowchild, the crowd thinned a little.

The whole run on the south side was smooth, strong and pain free. I had great speed, too, and my timing at the track crossings was perfect in that I didn't have to wait for that pesky freight train.

At Edworthy, I crossed to the north, and after a quick stop (the reason I run this route is the all season washrooms there), continued along the north side of the river toward the downtown, still strong and feeling great. Once I crossed under Crowchild, the crowds seemed to thin out considerably.

At the 10th Street bridge, was a water table, and looking across the river, there was a sizeable crowd heading west on the south side. I checked the Calgary Road Runners' web site later, and discovered that it was the Terry Fox Run. I think next year, we'll have to get a team together for that one.

Back to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, and to The Path Under The Stairs. I had plenty of energy to power up The Path, and still had lots of energy and wind at the top for the sprint over the last kilometre home.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.48 km. Time: 1:25:20. Average speed: 11.6 kph.
Rest distance: 908.8 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.38 km. Total time: 1:34:20.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Partly cloudy and 1C at the start, but not changing much, to cloudy and 2C at the finish. The wind stayed the whole run, at 40 kph from the north, gusting to 50 kph.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Not Quite So Wet Today

But it's colder, a little, I think. The rain isn't coming down as hard as it was yesterday, and I remembered my windbreaker, too. Now I have to find my running gloves.

Byron came out for another run today, after taking yesterday off. We started at the Y, and ran the 14th Street loop. Even though it wasn't raining as hard today, there were a lot less people out. I don't think it was any colder, but maybe a little windier. Who knows?

We had a pretty good run, though. I managed to keep my feet much drier today, and the insoles in my shoes behaved much better today. I used cotton socks, too, in case the synthetics I was wearing yesterday were a factor, but I never got to test that.

No GPS again today. I forgot to take it home last night to charge it, so I just used the distance posted at the Y for that route, and guesstimated our time. So....

Today's run (all numbers estimated again):
Distance: 4.98 km. Time: 30:00. Average speed: 10.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Light rain and 7C

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It's Pouring Rain, I Got Really Wet, And I'm Still Cold

So much for the nice fall weather. Today it's raining and cold, but I still wanted to get out and run. I forgot my windbreaker, too, which made it a little more of a challenge. Still, once I got going, I wasn't too cold.

I ran down to the 14th Street bridge and back, and most surprising, met a lot of other runners out pounding the pavement, or splashing in the puddles as it may be. There were even six guys playing rugby on the grass. That would have been too slippery for me.

I had a little trouble with the shoes, too. For most of the run they were OK, but then the right insole started to bunch up under the arch of my foot. I stopped once and got it flattened out, but it lasted about three paces before it started to bunch up again. Hopefully, they won't do that when they're dry again. Right now I have them, and all my other gear, arranged on the floor in front of a fan. That breeze is probably why I still feel chilled.

Most of the run was pretty driven. I guess I had a pretty stressful morning, so I had some tension to burn off. My GPS said I was over 12 kph for the first ten minutes or so. Then the battery died. I guess I forgot to turn it off yesterday.

Anyway, I'll estimate 11.5 kph for the whole run

Today's run (all numbers estimated):
Distance: 4.84 km. Time: 25:15. Average speed: 11.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Rain and 7C.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Was Cookin'!

Oh, man, what a great run. Fast and fun, with lots of energy. I really enjoy the distance runs lately.

I had a little motivation today, to get out and done early. Tru was volunteering at Spruce Meadows this morning in the Molson Cup. She suggested I come down after it was done, and she would give me the insider tour.

Anyway, I headed out the usual way, down The Path Under The Stairs and across the foot bridge at Prince's Island, to the promenade near Eau Claire. From there I was off to the west again, to Edworthy Park - the usual route. Across the river again there, and back along Parkdale Boulevard/Memorial Drive, and then up The Path. I felt really good, really strong, and I was (for me) just smokin' along the paths.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.22 km. Time: 1:23:20. Average speed: 11.7 kph.
Rest distance: 1.03 km. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.25 km. Total time: 1:32:20.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 15C to start, but sunny and 19C at the end.

By the way, Spruce Meadows was awesome! Tru is very knowledgeable about the sport of show jumping through her children's involvement in it, and it was great to learn about it through her. Her volunteering also gives her a little inside knowledge about the personalities, both horse and human, that blanket the place. Way too fun! And way too much sun - I'm glowing a little (oops).

Friday, September 08, 2006

First Friday of the School Year

Another beautiful day. I don't think I've seen a cloud for a week. And of course, that gets a lot of people out on the paths.

I did a repeat of the last run up to the point where I caught up with Carla and Peter-Mark. This time I continued past the foot bridge to Prince's Island, and went down to the C-Train bridge.

It was a good, fast-feeling run. I've been mostly like that this summer, except for a few times. I think it means I'm still improving.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.68 km. Time: 41:48. Average speed: 11.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Sunny and 19C.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back to Noon Hours

I haven't done a noon hour run for far too long, so I was ready to correct that today. I got out on the paths, and headed east for a run along the short zoo route. It's really nice out, too, and I felt really good.

On the north side of the river just as I passed under Edmonton Trail, I caught up with Carla and Peter-Mark. I hadn't seen either of them for awhile, so ended up running with them and catching up. Peter-Mark is taking it easy running-wise this week, as he's running the Regina Marathon this upcoming weekend - his third marathon this year.

After we crossed the foot bridge onto Prince's Island we slowed to a walk, and continued the visit until we got to our respective office buildings. Nice run, and even met Chris, out for a really late lunch run.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.39 km. Time: 34:50. Average speed: 9.3 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow)

Weather: Sunny and 24C.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

That's More Like It!

What a fun morning! Everything feels great, and I think I'm back on track. I got a great start, good stretching and warm up, and the run was just fun. Lots and lot of people out, so the paths were full of energy.

This morning I stuck to the north side of the river to start, and headed all the way to Edworthy. While there was never any kind of traffic jam, there were a lot of people out, and it seemed like everyone was glad to be out there. No "serious" runners, if ya catch my drift.

At Edworthy it was the usual, cross to the south and head back. The traffic really thinned out, because the path was supposedly closed. But there were enough people who had gone around the barriers to keep it from feeling lonely.

On the way down to the river I took The Path Under The Stairs, but the way back was by the Centre Street bridge, mostly to add to the distance. Even so I had good speed and felt pretty strong all the way through. Much, much better than I was earlier in the week.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.50 km. Time: 1:30:26. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 1.05 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.55 km. Total time: 1:40:26.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue)

Weather: Sunny and 17C to start, but quickly heating up to 25C by the time I climbed Nony's Awful Little Hill.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The End of a Tough Week

It's been tough for everything, and nothing really stands out. Just kind of a bleah week all over. And not just me either. I've heard comments from friends, and a couple have come down with some kind of viral infection. Bleah, bleah, bleah... Maybe it's some kind of end-of-summer thing.

Anyway, a hard, slow, painful run to Crowchild tonight. For the last twenty minutes I was resorting to the self talk I usually use at about the 35 km mark: "just to that fence... just to that sign...," just to the next marker, what ever it was.

The paths were nearly deserted. That's typical for a Friday before Labour Day weekend, I suppose. I was OK out bound, sort of, all the way to Crowchild. Crossing to the south side of the river and heading back, I was feeling heavy and a little tired. The little dip under 14th Street seemed hard going down, and the climb out too, even though it was all of fifteen steps or so.

Then just trudging, slogging to 10th Street, where I seriously considered walking the rest of the way. But I kept at it, somehow. At The Path, I just put my head down and kept moving, hoping I would eventually find myself at the top. After that, I felt like I had very little left.

So what the heck is up with all that? Tomorrow is a day off, and wI'll see what Sunday morning is like.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.88 km. Time: 57:50. Average speed: 10.3 kph.

Weather: Sunny and 20C.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tough Day, Tough Week

I don't know what's up with that. But it seems to be a kind of yo-yo week, with emotions and energy bouncing up and down, day-by-day, even hour-by-hour. So tonight's run wasn't easy.

I ran down to the river by way of The Path Under The Stairs, to 14th Street and crossed to the south side. Then back all the way to Centre Street and up the bridge and Nony's Awful Little Hill.

It wasn't all that busy out there, but still lots of runners and cyclists. My legs seem to hurt more than usual. Even now I feel a little achy. Just more of that up and down, I think. Feeling OK one minute, then crappy the next. Hopefully it'll end with the work week tomorrow.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.34 km. Time: 41:41. Average speed: 10.6 kph.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 16C.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oops, Forgot to Start

I was half way down The Path Under The Stairs before I realized I hadn't started the timer on the GPS. So my true distance is about a kilometre farther than that noted below.

But a nice evening for running, with lots of people out, and no sign of the rain that was forcast for today. There seemed to be an incredible number of cyclists moving away from the downtown, too.

Tonight, I just did the 14th Street bridge before turning around and heading home. At times it seemed like a hard slog, but climbing The Path, I pushed really hard. I think I got my heart rate way up, and certainly was breathing hard. It seemed like the thing to do.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.10 km. Time: 34:07. Average speed: 10.7 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 19C.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Contemplative Run This Morning

There is a person that I know. I never got to meet her, but she had a really good friend. Someone who stood by her when she went through the worst that someone could possibly go through. Someone who is also a very good friend of mine, and through who I know a little bit more of this story. Anyway, yesterday this person passed away.

I haven't talked to my friend yet about it; I'll call in a minute. It's bringing up all kinds of stuff for me, as well, as I lost a very close friend the same way last November. It's interesting how it brings up flashbacks and stuff, and the sadness and loss comes right back.

But only for a minute. Once I get my composure back, I'll call and offer what comfort I can, if it's needed.

I ran this morning in a kind of fog, not really seeing much about what was around me. The path on the south side of the river is closed between Crowchild and Edworthy while they shore up the cliff over part of it. There are places in danger of collapse. So I ran on the north side, up to Edworthy and back.

I was up and down energy-wise. Some intervals I felt like I was struggling to plod along. Others where I was flying. Lots of running traffic out, and I think a race was on as well, as there were signs marking miles.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.01 km. Time: 1:28:01. Average speed: 11.6 kph.
Rest distance: 912.4 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.92 km. Total time: 1:37:01.

Weather: Sunny and 15C, climbing to 19C. One more gorgeous summer day in a summer that's almost over.

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Shoes Again

Found them the other day, and they're great! I wanted to get another pair of the Saucony Grid Phoenix shoes. I like having a couple of pair in the loop to alternate between. Of course, The Running Room had only one pair in western Canada, not even my size. The Tech Shop and Gord's don't carry that model. But I wandered into a Sport Chek in a mall, and there they were, marked down even!

I like them cuz they have yellow instead of blue on them, so I know which pair is which. (Well, they're also lots cleaner, but that won't last.) I tried them out today, and they're just right. Another twenty kilometres and they'll be broken in just like the others.

Today I tried a mid-afternoon run. Almost no traffic out there, but that could also be because it's Friday. I find that Friday afternoons have been really quiet downtown during the summer. A few cyclists, three or four runners and only a couple of bladers. Maybe it'll pick up later during rush hour.

Today was the standard 14th Street loop. Some day I might reverse it, and follow 14th all the way up the hill to the Jubilee Auditorium, and then cut across to home. I haven't mixed it up for awhile. I felt really good too, but then it always takes a couple of days for the glow to fade after a run with Tru.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.97 km. Time: 40:01. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 21C.

Tru and Jetta

This one was overdue. Tru called late in the morning to ask if I'd like to go for a run. I had a lunch date first, but was there and ready by mid-afternoon.

We got Jetta on the leash, and headed out from Tru's place, looping around to James McKevitt and heading south. Across the highway, and along the east side of Spruce Meadows. It's pretty quiet there now, but in a couple of weeks, it will be the Masters.

This road is long and straight for quite a distance, with a long hill that gradually steepens as we go. At the mailboxes, we turned right, and took the leash of Jetta so she could chase down the gophers. We ran until we ran out of road, then turned around and headed back, retracing our steps.

It's a pretty straight forward route, just out and back, but the company makes all the difference.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.33 km. Time: 51:24. Average speed: 9.7 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 20C. But the rain clouds were moving in.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Windy and Warm

Not only is it that out there, but that's the name of a tune I regularly mangle on the guitar.

Anyway. My week off is going rather nicely. I'm getting some things done that needed attention, and all is good. Tonight I got out a little earlier than I usually do (since I'm not at work) and run to Crowchild. And due to the timing I hit the leading edge of the rush hour. Lots of cyclists heading away from downtown.

Mostly it was an uneventful run, but the extra energy that I've had lately wasn't there. It wasn't a hard or difficult run; more, um, "normal" than it's been lately.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.01 km. Time: 57:40. Average speed: 10.4 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 26C. And the wind is out of the west at 32 kph. And we have a severe thunderstorm watch, cuz we like excitement around here.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday Morning is Such as Great Time to Run

Interesting observation: There weren't too many solitary runners out this morning. But there were a lot of groups out, especially in twos and threes. And another thing is, the path below Spruce Cliff is closed for some reason, not that anyone was paying attention to the signs.

What a great morning! Nice and cool to start, but that didn't last long. About twenty minutes into it, I was wondering what I was thinking when I grabbed the long sleeved shirt. Since runs are about the only time I get to tan, it came off pretty quick.

I crossed to the promenade by the Centre Street bridge, then west all the way to Edworthy. It was an uneventful run, but fun and smooth and full of energy. I've found that since I've managed to stretch out the hip issues that I had after the Vancouver marathon, it's often been that way. My long runs just fly by, and I usually run the second hour a little faster. It feels faster.

Anyway, after a brief stop at Edworthy, I headed back toward downtown on the north side of the river. Even though it was a perfect morning, there were not a lot of people rafting on the river like there were last weekend. Then, it was like a watery Deerfoot, with bumper to bumper traffic going at crazy speeds. Today there were very few out there: three kayaks and a couple swimming under the 10th Street bridge.

At the C-Train bridge, I crossed back to the promenade, since I planned to take Centre Street and Nony's Awful Little Hill back to the top of the bluff, You can get on to the bridge from the north side, but you have to sprint across east-bound Memorial to a path in the grass, then up a steep stairway to the bridge deck. I prefer running to climbing, especially after I've been running for almost two hours anyway.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.36 km. Time: 1:34:55. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 1.04 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.41 km. Total time: 1:44:55.

Weather: Sunny and 14C to start, but ending at about 18C.