Friday, June 29, 2007

Sticky Run

The humidity is up around 70%, and it keeps trying to rain. When it does, there's no relief from the heat, not that it's all that hot.

I ran the 14th Street loop today, just to loosen up a little. Eveything is kinda tight from activities over the last week, and it took awhile to get some flexibility back. Even so, a good run.

Distance: 7.00 km. Time: 40:48. Average speed: 10.3 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Light rainshower and 18C, but it was up to 23C an hour later.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 8 days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One Last Long One

After an intense weekend of crosstraining, I'm back to running. And I'm feeling it.

It's not so much that things hurt or I'm flirting with overuse injuries, but I'm just still a little depleted. And maybe a little stiff from all of that. Stretching never felt so good.

Long zoo to Edworthy again. The river is still high, but all the underpasses are open. The water is just over the edge of the pavement under Edmonton Trail, and both sides under Centre Street are close.

At 12th Street, by the zoo, that bridge is closed, and there's a work crew doing something over the side. The walkway is closed, but there's enough room on the roadway for pedestrians to get past.

On the south side, under the C-Train bridge from the northeast, the addicts are harassing the geese, or maybe it's vice versa. The goslings are getting big, and many are beginning to show the white cheek patch.

After that not much going on other than lots of runners and walkers. There were even a lot west of Crowchild, and below Spruce Cliff. Lots of picnickers at Edworthy. And then quiet all the way back.

Today's run:
Distance: 22.06km. Time: 2:06:55. Average speed: 10.3 kph.
Rest distance: 1.56 km. Rest time: 14:00.
Total distance: 23.62 km. Total time: 2:22:55.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Sunny and 16C to start, only climbing a degree to 17C at the end.

The Calgary Marathon is in 11 days.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tough Run

Dunno what happened here. Maybe some mouldy strawberries for breakfast, or an off egg in last night's omelette.

Everyone was ready to run. Except Mr. Tummy. For some reason, he wasn't feeling his best. But what could he do? Everyone else wanted to run. After awhile he started to feel better, and everyone was able to enjoy the sunny weather, and being around all the others out running.

About three quarters of the way around the Crowchild loop, Mr. Tummy wasn't feeling at all well. He put on a brave face, and everyone was still running fine, but those around him were concerned. By the time they reached the Jaipur Bridge, Mr. Tummy was in some distress, and everyone around him was feeling the effects.

By the top of The Path Under The Stairs, Mr. Bowel had decided he wasn't feeling all that great either. This put some pressure on those downstream, so to speak. It took a heroic effort for everyone to hold it together until they could get home. Once there, everyone could, um, relax...


Distance: 9.95 km. Time: 56:22. Average speed: 10.6 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 25C.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 16 days.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another Lovely Evening Run

Just a beautiful day out. I've been feeling a little weak and tired lately, but I still couldn't wait to get out. The sun and clear air was so inviting.

There were lots of people out, too. No traffic jams, but the paths were busy. I ran to Crowchild, for some distance, and a change of pace, since seems like I haven't done the 10 km distance for ages.

Ran into Byron on his way home, just west of 14th Street. Busy guy these days. He's gone over to cycling, and hasn't run for awhile. Miss those noon hour runs.

Distance: 10.01 km. Time: 57:52. Average speed: 10.4 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 22C.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 17 days.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Evening Run

Just a beautiful run tonight. It's sunny and warm, a lovely evening. Rush hour traffic is going nowhere, and I can cross between the cars without waiting. I love being within walking distance of everything.

Down to the river, and the 14th Street loop. Nothing special; just a loosening up after the long wet run on Sunday. Lots of people out on the paths, and of course, those grumpy cyclists on a tear.

I love this town.

Distance: 6.86 km. Time: 39:23. Average speed: 10.5 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 22C.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 18 days.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Deluge

You'd think it was Vancouver, the way it's coming down. There's been a rainfall warning in effect for over twenty four hours, and it finally started coming down late last night. I hesitated over getting out, but only for a few moments.

Well, actually, it took an hour to get going. I got a delightful call from my oldest to wish Happy Father's Day with a long call, so I got a late start.

It's not so much the rain as the wind. Very blustery from the north, and what ever side was exposed to it was cold. My left arm ached a little as I ran east toward the zoo. I was on a walk break, just passing the foot bridge to the zoo island (the bridge on the short zoo loop) when someone came up from behind telling me to get running.

Gigi (I'm guessing at the spelling, but it's pronounced "jee-jee", with a soft G sound) was just finishing up a run and on her way home to Inglewood. Turns out she was just getting a run in before her last day on her job as the veterinarian at Stampede Park. They are shutting down the horse racing facility because the track is too short and there's no room for expansion. Anyway, we had a nice run and chat until she peeled off toward home.

After that, it was cold, wet slogging. Running in the trees was a mixed blessing. The wind wasn't so biting, but it shook the rain out of the canopy, so my waterlogged state was maintained.

It wasn't raining so hard that my feet were totally soaked. Occasionally, I'd get a bit of a splash over one foot or the other, which felt really good - ice water on hot feet - aaahhhhhhhh.... But after a few steps the cold would be gone, and then I'd worry about a wet sock sliding down and bunching up under my arch, like they did when I ran the Vancouver Marathon. Never got quite that wet, thank goodness.

There were surprisingly several other runners out. I think the Running Room groups are mostly die-hards, who are out no matter what. Even a few walkers out. Of course the dog owners are stuck with that duty, but there were others too.

Once I was home, it was one long hot shower.

Today's run:
Distance: 23.82km. Time: 2:17:11. Average speed: 10.4 kph.
Rest distance: 1.56 km. Rest time: 15:00.
Total distance: 25.38 km. Total time: 2:32:11.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Light rain and 9 throughout, with a blustery wind from the north.

The Calgary Marathon is in 20 days.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Speed Run

I intentionally pushed it today, cuz I want to get a little faster, and cuz I have to get to other things this afternoon.

I ran the 14th Street loop, and I figure I ran pretty hard. I managed to keep a high turnover rate all the way, and the nice thing is that my breathing stayed with me. Even on The Path Under The Stairs, I was breathing evenly while pushing hard. Hopefully, that says something about my stamina.

The sky is nasty dark in the west, so I wondered if the rain would come again. But I think all that stuff is moving northward. That and the cool wind kept the crowds down.

Distance: 6.90 km. Time: 35:45. Average speed: 11.69 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Cloudy and 11C.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 23 days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Braided Loop

I call it that because I did the loop from the zoo to Edworthy, and crossed each bridge as I came to it. I think the bridges add about a quarter kilometre each, so it lengthens the run a little, without my getting away from civilization, or doubling up on part of the route.

The river is still very high, and the water is dirty, debris-filled, and flowing fast. I started by going down Nony's Awful Little Hill, and across the Centre Street bridge. I began to circle around to go underneath the bridge and head east, when I encountered the gate. The path under Centre Street was "closed due to unsafe conditions," like about thirty or forty centimetres of water.

I crossed the other way, across the roadway on the lower level of the bridge along Riverfront Avenue. At mid-morning there aren't too many of the corporate types out, especially in this stretch of the path system. But it gets crowded from Centre Street to the zoo. Many are homeless, dependent on the nearby drop-in centre for meals and other essentials. Most are just hanging out, some are already working their crack pipes, oblivious to everything else. It's uncomfortable sometimes, but where else are they going to go?

At Edmonton Trail, I crossed back to the north on the old iron bridge, and discovered that I couldn't loop around and under it at the north end, as that part of the path was under water too. So a quick jaywalk across the road to the other side. The path under the northbound part of Edmonton Trail was fine, though.

The path from there to the zoo runs along the top of a berm. There are benches every hundred metres or so, and all were occupied today. The bush on the river side of the berm is under water, so those that usually camp out down there were now keeping high and dry.

Throughout all this, the sky was very dark and foreboding, the air quite cool. There was a huge storm cell just south of downtown, and by the time I got past the zoo and across the bridge at 12th Street, it was just about gone by. The sun was out by the time I reached the Elbow confluence.

Nothing un-routine until Edmonton Trail, where I crossed north again, then ran along Memorial. The path under Centre Street at the north end was under water, too, so I had to cross at the lower level crossing. For some reason it was blocked off, so no problem.

At Prince's Island, I was up the stairs and onto the foot bridge, across the island to the promenade. It was still early so not too many were out. At the C-Train bridge, I crossed again. The path under 10th Street had been partially under water for the last four or five days. Today the pavement was dry, but the water was lapping at the edge, only five centimetres or so below the edge. So water levels are subsiding.

At 14th, back to the south side, and along Bow Trail and past The Pumphouse to Crowchild. And across again. The run along Parkdale was uneventful. At Edworthy, of course, I crossed again, and it was into the forest below Wildwood and Spruce Cliff.

After crossing the railroad tracks the second time, I was pummeled by the most marvelous fragrance. The wild rose is beginning to bloom and should be with us for another month. Combine that with all the lilacs and honeysuckle, and river runs are rife with a rich redolence.

By the time I reached and crossed Crowchild, I was near the two hour point. Amazingly, I felt quite good, still strong and energetic. The hip flexor was just beginning to make itself felt, so I've had some good healing there, I think.

Cross at 14th Street, cross again at the C-Train bridge, then straight up to The Stairs. I climbed The Path Under The Stairs rather agressively for me, for having already run some 25 km. Then a hard push to home. A very good run.

Today's run:
Distance: 24.25km. Time: 2:20:23. Average speed: 10.4 kph.
Rest distance: 1.85 km. Rest time: 15:00.
Total distance: 26.10 km. Total time: 2:35:23.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 12C to start, up to 14C at the end.

The Calgary Marathon is in 25 days.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Big Dirty Cloud

To use the terminology of my grandmother. The skies look threatening, but the sun still shines through. I think between the cloud, and the fact that it's Friday, the less dedicated to walking and running are elsewhere. But still lots of people out.

The river is so high right now. The path under 10th Street is still partly under water, but it seems to be about the same as yesterday. The river is grey-brown and full of debris.

I did the 14th Street loop again. My hip is still sore, but it didn't seem so bad today. There's more of a stiffness to it, and that probably contributed to the feeling that my core strength had disolved. I felt like I was swinging my shoulders more than usual; it may have been due to that stiffness.

Great run, all the same.

Distance: 7.12 km. Time: 39:21. Average speed: 10.9 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 16C.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 29 days.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

An Old Problem

I kept it short today. For some reason, I've been feeling the hip flexors again. After that last long run, I was pretty sore, and I think because of that, I've been a little off kilter in my running. Hence the soreness in my knees (which, I'll concede, could be from that long descent from Heart Mountain last Saturday.)

So, just down to the 14th Street bridge, and back along the promenade. After heavy run-off from the mountains, and the wicked rain storm we had a couple of days ago, the river is awfully high, and running fast. I found that debris was floating by me even as I was running in the same direction as the current.

The path under 10th Street is half under water on the north side. I'm surprised they haven't closed it off. The north side of Prince's Island, which is not sheltered by the berm, is underwater as well. Shades of the floods of '05 but without the rain.

Distance: 7.06 km. Time: 38:10. Average speed: 11.1 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) B.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 14C.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 30 days.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

One Tough Run

I did the distance today, since I didn't get to it on the weekend. It showed. I was fine for the first hour and a half, but then it started to get difficult. Aches and pains started to get hard to ignore, and I found myself slowing some.

I headed straight up the north side of the river to Edworthy, at a nice easy pace. Not a lot of traffic at that time of day, so I was missing the people aspect of the run. Crossing to the south side, and heading back east was lovely, running along below Spruce Cliff.

By the time I got back to downtown, I was starting to slow down. My speed was still up, but I could feel it. At 12th Street, I crossed to the zoo, and that's about when I was wishing it was over.

I started thinking about trying to avoid the new stairway up to the footbridge at Prince's Island. I could run past it and take the ramp up on the other side, and this was probably the most sensible route. I was also thinking of crossing back to the south side at Edmonton Trail, then taking the Centre Street Bridge. But in the end I tackled the stairs. I don't know what the worry was, as I took it two at a time with no effort. Obviously the running muscles are completely different from the stair climbing muscles.

On The Path Under The Stairs was where I met the real traffic. Lots of people doing hill training, I think. Shortly after I passed under The Stairs, it was walk time. So I got to walk the steepest part of the path. And after that, I was able to get a little agressive on the rest of the climb. But there was nothing left at the top.

The last kilometre was little more than a shuffle. I have lots of stretching to do, cuz stuff hurts.

Today's run:
Distance: 22.84km. Time: 2:10:55. Average speed: 10.5 kph.
Rest distance: 1.51 km. Rest time: 14:00.
Total distance: 24.35 km. Total time: 2:24:55.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 21C at the start, and only 22C at the end.

The Calgary Marathon is in 32 days.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wussed Out on a Long One

I really did think about getting out for 25 km or so this morning, but after yesterday's adventure, I didn't feel like I would have enough gas. I even considered not going out at all, but not too much into the morning, I felt the need.

I was out the door and down the street, then wondered what The Path Under The Stairs would be like after yesterday's long descent. Not bad at all, as it turned out. Of course, the longer I ran, the better things felt, but I never know if that's a good thing or not.

I kept to the north side of the river, and ran to Crowchild. Along Memorial was a station set up for the MS Super Cities Walk, lots of snacks and water bottles. Some of the first walkers were just arriving as I passed.

The paths weren't busy, but lots of runners were out, as well as the odd blade and bicycle. One thing I noticed was how most people were in a good mood. Most returned my good-mornings with more than a startled mumble.

As I got to the promenade under the C-Train bridge at 10th Street, traffic suddenly jumped, due to the walkers. Something was going on on Prince's Island, too, so lots of people out there. Climbing The Path was a little challenging (glad I kept it to a shorter run), and then I was headed home.

Distance: 10.05 km. Time: 58:08. Average speed: 10.4 kph.

Shoes: Saucony Grid Phoenix (Yellow) A.

Weather: Sunny and 18C.

The Calgary Marathon is still in 34 days.