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.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm Off for a Week!

Just a quick run tonight, cuz I gotta go hang with the Loganator! So down to the river, to 14th, across and back to the promenade, then across at Prince's Island and up the bluff.

In other words, the usual.
Today's run:
Distance: 7.06 km. Time: 40:54. Average speed: 10.4 kph.

Weather: Sunny and 26C. I'm all sweaty!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's Dark Out There

Cloudy and threatening; we might get rain in a bit. But it was nice enough for a run. A lot of other people thought so, too. There were lots of runners out, as well as cyclists, and a few walkers and bladers, too. It was quite busy on the paths, considering how the sky was looking.

I did the usual run down to 14th Street. On the way back, I found a real burst of energy as I started up The Path Under The Stairs. I had lots of energy and managed to keep my speed up fine. I was running to my breathing - breath in for two steps, breath out for two steps - and I pushed as hard as I could without pushing that breathing pattern. I felt like I had lots of room, breath-wise.

From the top of the path all the way to the end, I pushed hard as I could without breaking that pattern, too. I felt really strong all the way. It's been a couple of weeks since I've felt that good.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.25 km. Time: 41:12. Average speed: 10.6 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 17C.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

No Time Tonight

But I had to get out and burn a few calories. So tonight it was once around the neighbourhood.

I went to Cresent Road and ran along the bluff above Sunnyside, all the way around to 13th Avenue. I took it back east for a block, then jogged up to 14th Avenue, which took me to 4th Street. Back to 13th, since 14th doesn't go any farther. Down toward Centre Street, then back home.

Today's run:
Distance: 3.74 km. Time: 21:26. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 19C

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I Love Sunday Runs

What can I say? It's wonderful to be out before it gets too hot, and say good morning to everyone on the paths. I love being in the morning sun, then in the shade of the forest, then back out in the sun again. Lots and lots of runners and walkers, and bladers and cyclists.

I went a little longer this morning, taking Nony's Awful Little Hill to the Centre Street Bridge and across the river that way. That adds almost a kilometre each way from my usual route down The Path Under The Stairs and across Prince's Island. Then along the promenade past Eau Claire, and the south side of the river, all the way to Edworthy Park.

At the point where the path crosses the railroad track, about halfway between Crowchild and Edworthy, the path west of there is very rough for blading. It actually seems to put a lot of drag on your skates, and you notice it a lot because the path goes over a bit of a hill. Gravity gives you speed, but the rough pavement wants to drag your legs out from under you.

So about fifty metres after crossing the tracks, a young couple were racing down the hill toward the tracks, he moving considerably faster (being a guy) and obviously not totally aware of the right angle turn he was about to have to make just around the bushes. There was an alarming sound of a crash, followed by some pretty nasty language, followed by the lady's giggles, followed by even nastier language. One critically injured pride, I think (and guys, we've all been there...)

There was no other excitement for the rest of the run. At the C-Train bridge, I crossed back to the promenade, and foot traffic had picked up, what with Afrikadey on the left (on Prince's Island) and Taste of Calgary on the right (in front of the Y). Hmmmm...I think I know were to go for lunch.

Back across the Centre Street bridge and up Nony's Awful Little Hill, and I was back home in no time.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.30 km. Time: 1:38:54. Average speed: 10.5 kph.
Rest distance: 1.13 km. Rest time: 10:00
Total distance: 18.43 km. Total time: 1:48:54

Weather: Sunny and 16C to start, and up to 20C at the end.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Another Week Done

Tru and I treated ourselves to a nice pasta dinner last night, at the restaurant we went to the night we met. And later we took the dogs for a walk, but I don't think there were enough calories burned to balance our intake.

While she hit the gym tonight, I did a run. Firstly, though, I had to pry myself off the couch, which meant a late start. But out into the evening, down The Path Under The Stairs and along the river to 14th Street. On the path beside Bow Trail, the wind broke a branch off a tree and nearly hit me with it. It wasn't huge, but it would have hurt.

Back along the promenade to Eau Claire, across the foot bridge from Prince's Island, and back up the bluff. For fun, I took a dirt path that went farther west, coming out at Cresent Road and 4th Street. It cut about half a klick off the run, but it was a hard, fun climb.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.53 km. Time: 38:40. Average speed: 10.1 kph.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 13C, with a wind gusting up to 50 kph.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Running in the Sort-Of-Rain

Hardly a rain, though. It's more like a little bit of spitting. For all the dark clouds and thunder, I was hoping for a little more than vague dampness, cuz I rather like running in the rain (as Nony knows). It didn't even cool things down.

But I got out, and got some energy burned off. I did the same run as yesterday: down to 14th Street and back. It was fairly busy out there even with the threatening clouds. There were lots of bikes and a few brave souls on blades. Nice run.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.22 km. Time: 40:52. Average speed: 10.6 kph.

Weather: Thunderstorm with rain (go figure!) and 18C.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Clearing My Head

It was one of those days. I needed to get out and just do some moving, do something with my body instead of my head, so I wasn't pushing hard to get anywhere, in any time. Just down to the river, west to 14th Street, and back. I thought about returning via the Centre Street bridge, but ended up climbing The Path Under The Stairs. It's a harder climb, but it's quicker.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.02 km. Time: 42:17. Average speed: 10.0 kph.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 31C.

After the Fringe in Saskatoon

We didn't get to any performances, but we did tour the street and take in the vendors and buskers. There were some excellent street performers, drawing some pretty big crowds. And the food! There were some excellent wings and samosas, and for desert, some amazing chocolate cupcakes. These were likely created by my eldest daughter's friend, who works at the upscale coffee shop that was selling them as the pastry chef. Dee-lish!

And so much for being nutritionally conscientious - the weekend was a wash for that. Too busy spoiling my grandson, although a fair number of calories were burned off in chasing after him. Still I was out Sunday before noon, determined to run some distance.

Again, I ran the length of the city, sort of. My daughter lives near the exhibition grounds in the south, and I ran to the 42nd Street bridge (also called the Circle Drive bridge), which is the northern-most one. I stayed on the east side of the river, which is the more exposed side. Once I got to the university, the trees seemed to stay back from the path.

It's such a scenic run, and it's a fun, winding path along the top of the bluff on the east side. Then across the bridge, and southward again, along Spadina. I would have thought to have seen many more people than I did out there. In perhaps the ninety minutes it took to get to Kiwanis Park, I may have met no more than half a dozen runners. And there were few other people around as well, until I got near the Bessborough Hotel, where every other bench was occupied and several people were strolling the path. I imagine everyone else had headed for the lakes for the long weekend.

Then under the Broadway Bridge, and past the Victoria Bridge (likely closed permanently, sad to say) and on to the new promenade and park being built at the south end of downtown. There is still much to complete, but the promenade itself is open to the public now.

After that, it was across the Idylwyld Bridge, and up Poplar Cresent, past the old brewery site (fast filling in with condos) to the Taylor Street underpass, and a few more blocks. Then a nice cooldown walk the last couple of blocks.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.06 km. Time: 1:32:28. Average speed: 10.4 kph.
Rest distance: 930.7 m. Rest time: 10:00
Total distance: 16.99 km. Total time: 1:42:28

Weather: Probably around 30C, and sunny. Really beautiful weather.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Tough Slog Tonight

I don't know what the heck is up, but tonight was hard running. Usually I run out of wind, but tonight, I ran out of legs. About six kilometres into it, I was seriously thinking of walking the rest. But I managed to hang in for the whole distance.

My calves were aching a little by three kilometres, and the ache would not work itself out. After crossing the river at Crowchild, things were really beginning to drag, with sore calves, sore feet and depleted energy.

Somehow I managed to keep going, just looking to get to the next lamp post or whatever. The Path Under The Stairs was brutal, and I felt like I was barely moving. It seemed to take forever to get to the top. After that, it was a hard slog to where I usually stop, but I made it.

Today's run:
Distance: 9.95 km. Time: 55:40. Average speed: 10.7 kph.

Weather: Partly couldy and 23C. Not particularly hot.