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.