Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bicycle Count

I ran to Crowchild and back, late in the afternoon yesterday, and when I hit the south bank of the Bow, coming off of the Crowchild bridge, I started counting bicycles. There are a lot of them. People who work downtown, and who live to the west.

By the time I got to 14th Street, I had counted forty. At 10th Street, I had met sixty two, and by the time I got to the Jaipur bridge to Prince's Island, I had counted eighty three. Heavy traffic.

Anyway, it was a nice run, even though it was a little breezy.

Distance: 10.03 km. Time: 54:42 Average speed: 11.0 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 2C, with a northePublishrly wind at 65 kph, gusting to 74 kph, according to Environment Canada's stats.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Man, but it has been a busy week. I finally got some time to run tonight, and not the usual Sunday distance run.

I did the usual Crowchild loop, but in the dark. No people out, really, except a few couples walking when I got close to home again. Not much to see in the dark, either. The river is pretty iced up, with multitudes of pressure ridges and very little open water. That might disappear later in the week, as the temperature is supposed to drop. Ah, well.

Distance: 9.98 km. Time: 55:30 Average speed: 10.8 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Clear and -6C. It's actually a beautiful starry night.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Out at Sundown

It's a gorgeous day out, so nice that I was able to run in just shorts and a couple of t-shirts. And since I was out a little later in the afternoon, there were lots of other runners out as well. And lots of bicycles.

And helicopters. What is up with that? There were at least three up there at one point. One of them was a traffic helicopter from one of the radio stations, and another might have been. The third one passed overhead fairly low at one point and it didn't look like any pleasure craft. I would guess it was the HAWC 2 police helicopter.

Distance: 9.88 km. Time: 54:18 Average speed: 10.9 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Sunny and 6C to start, but it probably dropped a few degrees when the sun went down.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Long Evening Run

I met some friends for breakfast this morning, then worked a short shift, so I wasn't able to get out to run until late in the afternoon. By the time I got out, the sun was about to go down. Most of the run was in decent light, but it was getting dark about the eighty minute mark.

It was the usual long run, down to Edworthy and back. I started out a little slow, but by the time I was on the return leg, I was pushing pretty hard. Because my work schedule is not quite nailed down, I wasn't able to get out much this past week, either. I suppose that was why it was a slow start on tonight's run.

Tonight is probably the last night on the blue Saucony's. I've put almost a thousand klicks on them, and I could feel some weakness in the cushioning.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.39 km. Time: 1:29:26. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 887.3 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.28 km. Total time: 1:38:26.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue).

Weather: Partly cloudy and 3C at the start, clearing off by the end. A light westerly breeze made it a very nice evening.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Where'd the Snow Come From?

It kinda dumped on us early yesterday. I had a fair amount to shovel first thing in the morning, and then it snowed some more. The paths were clear for the most part, but there was still some packing from foot traffic before the city got out there with its equipment. So some sort of icy spots, but not all that bad.

I just ran another 14th Street circuit. It wasn't very busy out in the middle of the afternoon. I just just missed a minor blizzard, though, when a helicopter landed at the downtown helipad by the promenade. They were just throttling down as I passed. Kinda neat.

Distance: 7.02 km. Time: 39:24 Average speed: 10.7 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Mainly sunny and -1C.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Late Night With a Runner

Well, not at all that late. But it was well past sundown before I got out there. It was interesting because I'm usually out an hour earlier in the day, and running traffic has been pretty sparse. But tonight, there were lots of people out, and of course, the usual swarm of cyclists.

I got a new pair of shoes a while ago, and finally tried them out. They are the same as the last pair - Saucony Air Phoenix, with yellow highlights, so they'll be labeled as the B pair. I wonder why the first pair had blue highlights? They seem to be the same shoe.

Down The Path, and there's a little ice here and there, which I needed to watch for. Down the new ramp from the foot bridge, to the path along Memorial, and all the way to 14th Street. Across that bridge, and back along the south side, dodging bikes all the way. Along the promenade and across Prince's Island to the bridge. Then up The Path and home.

Something neat tonight. On the way out, there was a horse on the path along the top of the bluff, standing in the midst of three or four light stands. I assume there was a photo shoot of some kind either underway, or just finishing up. They were gone when I got back.

Distance: 7.00 km. Time: 37:57 Average speed: 11.1 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Mainly clear and 2C.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Not Quite So Br-r-r-r-r-r Today

But still chilly. It took a couple of intervals before my face stopped feeling like it was freezing. There was a little bit of snow, too, from yesterday, that coated parts of the path where the plows and brushes hadn't been yet. The wind was out of the west and it was brisk.

But it was a fun run, and there were lots of people out. Lots of groups, which I think were Running Room groups. It was really nice to get out, after being kept indoors by the cold of the past week.

I ran the usual loop to Edworthy and back, but changed the ending a little. Instead of heading straight up The Path Under The Stairs, I crossed back to the promenade at the C-Train bridge, and ran to Centre Street to cross the river, climbing hard up Nony's Awful Little Hill to the top of the bluff.

Oh, yeah - the air was clear from horizon to horizon, and the view to the west from the top of the bluff was spectacular.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.11 km. Time: 1:32:37. Average speed: 11.1 kph.
Rest distance: 962.4 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.07 km. Total time: 1:42:37.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue).

Weather: To start, a beautiful sunny day, and -18C at the airport, -14C on Signal Hill. At the end, the temperature was up to -10C at the airport, and -9C up on the hill.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Ok, the worst of the cold is over with, having moved east into Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But it's still pretty cold out there. I sort of bundled up and headed out for the first run in four days. Man, I needed it.

This was a quick run down to 14th Street, since I wasn't sure about the cold and whether I could stand it. I was prepared to quit at the C-Train bridge if need be. But by the time I got there, I was reasonably warm, except for the spot just below my lower lip.

We didn't get a lot of snow, and I think most of the new stuff on the paths blew there rather than fell. That was one wicked wind yesterday. The nice thing is, it sticks to the ice that was there before, what little there was of that. That gives it some nice traction, which was especially appreciated on The Path Under The Stairs.

As for the crowd, well, there was maybe three other runners, and a dozen cyclists. A quiet night on the paths. I didn't get out until just after sunset, but the air was clear all the way to the western horizon, and the mountains gave it a crisply toothy look.

Distance: 7.02 km. Time: 38:47 Average speed: 10.9 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Clear and -17C, with the wind chill pushing it to -26C.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Running on the Ice Pack Again

Woohoo, what a great morning! Cloudy and cool, and lots of runners out. I did the usual Sunday run, staying on the low path along the tracks this time, below Spruce Cliff.

The ice must be a couple of feet thick at the one place, and it's wet and mostly sticky. It looks like someone is out there once a day, sprinkling gravel along the edge of the path through the ice. So there is this gravel path that's mostly there, and you can walk on it, and it's not too bad. But in spots, the water has run over top and froze, so it's a little slick.

Worse is that it layers over top, so there is a slope to the ice on one side, too big to step across with stepping on. I just kind of braced myself to slide and went with it. But mostly it's just cold enough that it's not quite slush, so it's more sticky that slick, but you can't trust it to be like that for the whole hundred and fifty metres or so that it covers the path.

Across the other side, and homeward. Nothing special about it, or anything memorable about the run. Just steady and fun and feeling good all the way.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.39 km. Time: 1:29:20. Average speed: 11.0 kph.
Rest distance: 925.3 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.31 km. Total time: 1:38:20.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Blue).

Weather: Cloudy and stead at -2C.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Bad Day

Not me, though, my day has been pretty good. Mike called a couple of days ago, and we agreed to meet up at the usual place. He's been working at getting back into running after taking it easy last fall.

We're both into the Crowchild loop as it's a good distance for getting a calories burned off. A run goes quick with company, and we had fun trying to outdo each other with stories about how my Christmas was a worse hell than his (kidding!!). Good run, and nice to catch up.

About the bad day: On the way home, after cresting The Path Under The Stairs, and running along Cresent Road, another runner was walking toward me looking rather troubled. Turns out she'd lost her keys to her car somewhere out along the paths. I sprinted home, got my cell and drove back while she backtracked a little to see if she could spot them, but no luck. I gave her a lift back to her work, and she was going to have someone get her a spare key from home. Worst part is that she'd just started her job a couple of days ago, and was to meet the big boss for the first time this afternoon. It would be interesting to hear how that story plays out.

Distance: 11.08 km. Time: 1:01:43 Average speed: 10.8 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Mainly sunny and 4C, with a gusty wind, not the kind of conditions to be locked out a car with just light weight running clothes on.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Lovin' This Weather!

I finally managed to get out at noon, when everyone else is out. Last week, it was pretty dead, being the holiday week. Today, it's almost like the downtown is pretty much back to work. I think I've mentioned how much I like running when there are lots of people around.

I ran to Crowchild and back again. I'm really beginning to enjoy that loop. It's a great distance, and it takes a decent amount of time. I like that The Path Under The Stairs is at the end of it, for that final calorie burn. It's a pretty comfortable run.

Distance: 9.66 km. Time: 55:11 Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Sunny and 6C.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Stats for 2006

I ran 1830.18 km (1137.22 miles) in 172.99 hours, or 7.21 days. That gives me an average speed of 10.6 kph (6.6 mph) , or 5:40 per kilometre (9:13 per mile).

I had a better finish this year. I finished last year without running at all for the last two or three weeks, due to a nasty cold. I don't think illness has affected me much this year. I think I was running better this year, more relaxed and faster, certainly since the half marathon during the Stampede.

It's been a great year. Here's to an even better one!

Shorts and a T-Shirt

Unbelieveably warm out for the second of January. I didn't get out until about sundown again, but it was very nice out. The wind was up a little, but not nearly as much as it is about two hundred kilometres to the south where they're facing 11o kph gusts. Yikes!

I went directly across to the south side of the river at the start, just to mix it up. Usually, I start on the north side. There is lots of melting happening, and I found myself dodging puddles, and when I couldn't, kicking up water on my legs.

It felt good again, not like a few days ago. I found that I was dropping into that loping stride I developed early on, when I ran in Fish Creek Park. I think it's not exactly an efficient stride, but I find I can get into a groove with it, and the legs disappear and the world slides by. I didn't quite get there tonight, but that's where it was going.

A milestone of sorts today: 9:04 this morning marked exactly fifteen years since I stubbed out my last cigarette.

Distance: 10.25 km. Time: 55:06 Average speed: 11.2 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow).

Weather: Cloudy and 11C.