Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snowy and a Little Splishy-Splashy

Wotta surprise this morning - all this snow! I woke up a little early, thinking it was a lot later, cuz it seemed so bright out. But it was just the street lighting bouncing between the low cloud and about 20 cm of new snow, and it was still coming down.

I got out a little after noon, into the last few flakes. Breaks in the cloud cover had already let the sun at a lot of the snow, and melting was well underway, which was good cuz those side streets are hell to run on when they're icy.

By the time I got to the bottom of The Path Under The Stairs, there were actually dry stretches of path, although the foot bridge was a little slushy. Across the river it was all dry pavement.

I was in great shape today, feeling fast and energetic. At the thirty minute mark I was across the Crowchild bridge and on the trail heading west toward Edworthy. Not a lot of runners out, but it was by no means lonely. Occasionally the traffic would attempt to spray the unwary from a pothole full of water.

After a bathroom break, I circled Angel's Cafe and headed back, still with lots of energy. I don't know what that was all about but I felt like I was back at The Path in near record time. I powered up The Path and along the bluff to 4th Street, then back towards home.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.14 km. Time: 1:27:35 Average speed: 11.1 kph. (5:26 min/km)
Rest distance: 998.5 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.14 km. Total time: 1:36:35.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Light snow and -8C to start, ending with cloud and -6C.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another Run

Titling is a challenge. If there isn't anything special about the run, then what does one say about it?

A good run, but pretty standard. I did the 10 km loop to Crowchild and back.

I don't think I'm stuck in a rut, exactly, but perhaps running has become so routine for me that I'm not noticing much? Not true, of course.

Mostly I notice the lack of eye contact from other runners at this time of day. Is everyone just fried from a long work day and wanting to turn inward? It's one of the things that has always drawn me to run along the river, and the Sunday morning runs are wonderful for that.

Economic issues? Certainly lots to be concerned about there, I suppose. I'll have to watch this for awhile.

Today's run
Distance: 10.10 km. Time: 55:16.
Average speed: 11.0 kph (5:28 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 5C.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Reservoir

Just to shake things up a little, I thought I'd try a circuit of the Glenmore Reservoir. It's supposed to be about 17 km around, so that would be a perfect distance, roughly the same as run to Edworthy and back from my home.

It took a little while to get organized - nothing like turning around to go home to get the forgotten stuff, but it only happened once (this time...). I drove straight down Crowchild to the very end, parking in North Glenmore Park near the Rowing Club clubhouse.

Nony and I had run this a couple of times last year, just across the Weaselhead Flats and back. It started out cloudy and cool, but I realized I was overdressed (again!) after a half a kilometre. And once down the hill and on the flats, the sun was out and it really started to warm up. Too chicken to dress light, or too dumb to wear layers.

But it wasn't that bad. A little ice was still on the north side, just before the big hill, since that part is so sheltered. At the top it was straight slogging to the Sailing Club. And a little ways past that, I was in new territory.

I'd walked this stretch, toward Glenmore Landing, last year (or maybe the year before) and hadn't really gone that far. I knew there was construction to get around and that parts of the trail were closed because of that. A friend had walked it a couple of weeks ago, and he had filled me in on it. Once I got to Heritage Park it was a little confusing, but I quickly sorted it out.

Across the parking lot, through Eagle Ridge, and behind the Rockyview hospital, and then on the overpass over the off ramp from east-bound Glenmore to south-bound 14th Street. Once I was across and looking back at the construction on Glenmore, I noticed the loop under the overpass and along side Glenmore causeway. That probably would have taken a couple of kilometres off, but what the heck, I was out for distance.

Over the dam and it's noisy piping (a gurgly 36" that blocks the view to the north from the top of the dam), then up along side the water treatment plant and the tennis academy, and I was following the fence around the Lakeview Golf Club. Over the floating overpass (it said FLOATING in big letters on the span over Glenmore), then on the other side I stayed left.

That took me along side the Earl Grey Golf Club, and added to my distance a little, since I got a little lost in the suburban cresents around there. But I finally got back to the path, and after that, it was down the side of Crowchild to the rowing club house, and my car.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.15 km. Time: 1:32:44 Average speed: 10.4 kph. (5:45 min/km)
Rest distance: 1.02 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.16 km. Total time: 1:42:44.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 4C to start, ending with sun and 12C.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Dead Battery and a Nice Trip

Just to say, I did get out last Tuesday, and then didn't get around to writing about it. I also left the Garmin on, with the intention of writing it up, but there ya go. I believe it was a very nice run, though I can't remember much of it.

I also intended to go last night as soon as I got home from work, but I just didn't have the energy. For a short week, it was pretty long and stressful.

So I went this morning after giving breakfast plenty of time to settle. Absolutely a beautiful morning, clear and sunny. I went with shorts and tee, although that light breeze from the northwest had me thinking second thoughts about that decision. It didn't take long to get warm though.

The paths were not as busy as I thought they would be, but then I was out pretty late in the morning. Even so, there were a lot of runners out. On the back side of the run, the south side of the river, there's a retaining wall that holds the path up beside the river. There's also a strip of green between the path and Bow Trail (well, hopefully it'll be green in a month or two). Bike and foot traffic has made a path that goes onto this green space and up against the guard rail along Bow Trail, and I've always noticed the end of it, but never the start.

So today I did see it, and decided to try it out for a little variety. Glancing at the Garmin (it said I'd run 6.04 km) was when a protruding boulder rammed the toe of my shoe, and in stretching to keep my balance, I could feel the over-extension in the hip flexor. This is the one that troubled me so much after the Vancouver marathon.

It took a couple of hundred metres of running a little slower to work out the kinks in that, but it felt fine after that, And then, just as I approached the 10th Street underpass, the Garmin seemed stuck on 6.39 metres. I glanced at it after I passed under 10th Street, and by then it had shut down, completely drained of power. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did, given that I left it on the other day and it probably ran out of juice from that.

So instead of taking Centre Street and Nony's Awful Little Hill, I stuck to The Path Under The Stairs, since I know almost exactly how much distance that gives me. (There are always excuses to shorten a run, and for some reason this time I succumbed to it. I can also tell myself that I'm saving myself for the Sunday long run)

Still a great run, and it feels great to be in shorts and t-shirts again.

Tuesday's run:
Distance: 7.10 km. Time: 38:31.
Average speed: 11.1 kph (5:25 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: I think it was pretty nice out.

Today's run (Est. from data present when the Garmin died)
Distance: 10.00 km. Time: 53:50.
Average speed: 11.1 kph (5:23 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 10C with a 41 km wind gusting to 58 km.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another Instance of "Wait 5 Minutes..."

Cold and snowy, even kinda miserable. The snow started last night, thick, wet and fluffy, making the roads sloppy and piling up on the unpaved parts of the city. I had to drive to the south and back in the middle of it, and it wasn't fun, mostly cuz there's always some daredevil on Deerfoot that doesn't believe in the laws of physics.

On top of all this, I've had to deal with the loss of a family pet. It was a late Friday night vigil at the pet hospital, having to make a decision that all pet owners eventually have to make. Emotionally draining and I'm still dragging my backside after two attempts at a good night's sleep.

I have some things to attend to this afternoon and wanted to get an early start on the run, like first thing in the morning. Heather, my running mate, isn't a morning runner, so I was solo today.

Anyway, the sidestreets are icy as heck, so running was in little short steps to keep from slipping. Even under the snow it was slippery. The foot bridge to Prince's Island hadn't been cleaned and it was more like running on loose dirt, where it rolled out from underfoot and had me a little off balance. It wasn't going to be a fast run.

Once on the promenade by Eau Claire, the way had been cleared of snow, but that just exposed a rough and uneven layer of ice on the pavement. The St. Patrick's day run was set up, and I passed a few runners with bib numbers warming up. The kilometre markers were set up along the path as were the orange cones to mark the route.

I crossed back to the north side of the river at Crowchild, slipping through more orange cones. About a kilometre on, volunteers were trying to keep warm and out of the wind at the race's turnaround point. I kept going.

I did the usual quick turn around Angel's Cafe and crunched back along the path. Lots of runners out. We seem to be a hardy bunch (or a crazy bunch, as some would consider us).

At the race turn-around, a huge crowd of racers were looping around a stand of spruce trees while the volunteers cheered them on. Several of us other runners melded into the group, and for the rest of the run up to 10th Street, I was running in a crowd. That was were my energy lifted a little and I was actually passing people.

At 10th, the race crossed the river, while I kept going along Memorial. I could feel the energy leave me, and I shuffled up The Path Under The Stairs and toward home.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.12 km. Time: 1:33:26. Average speed: 10.4 kph. (5:48 min/km)
Rest distance: 973.3 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.09 km. Total time: 1:43:26.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and -13C to start, ending with light snow and -12C.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Windy and Whooshy

Kinda breezy out there tonight, but it wasn't cold at all. I was watching the temperature drop late in the afternoon, but that fall has stalled. Nice.

I ran the 10 km loop down to Crowchild again. Lots of dust and detritus in the air. It would be nice to be able to breath hard through the nose, but the best I could do was time inhales between gusts. Naw, it wasn't really that bad.

A few other runners, lotsa bikers. Even with the warmer weather, no one makes eye contact. A couple of runners did, but they are a tiny minority. It's much different running at noon downtown, or on the weekends.

The runs lately have been great. For the most part, I've been feeling really good out there. Tonight continues that, so much that I've been thinking of getting back into a race or two.

Distance: 10.21 km. Time: 56:20.
Average speed: 10.9 kph (5:31 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 10C with a 41 km wind gusting to 58 km.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sweet Sunday Afternoon

Heather suggested we try running in the afternoon, so the morning was spent doing errands. Every moment outside was a teaser for the run. It's been so nice out, I couldn't wait to get on the paths.

I got to her place with shorts and t-shirt, a little early and certainly eager to get going. And this time was the same route wise, but what a wonderful run! We both seem to have energy to spare, and much of the run was effortless.

The weather had just about everyone who owns bike, blade, runner or walking shoe out on the paths. It was almost crowded. Past the Extreme Bean coffee shop, we were constantly being passed by bikes and roller blades.

At the bridge to Edworthy, we rounded Angel's Cafe and headed back on the other path, since the ice was almost gone, but the walking traffic was so heavy that we ended up on the grass between the paths, occasionally dodging the low spots where the melt water was accumulating.

We decided to extend the run today, and once we got to the 14th Street bridge, we kept going. We were synced with the crossing lights at 10th, and just past that, we crossed the river under the C-Train bridge.

At 14th, it was up on top, and south toward her place, and we slowed to a satisfied walk for the last block. A great run, with great energy, and a stunningly glorious day.

Distance: 12.78 km. Time: 1:14:29.
Average speed: 10.3 kph (5:50 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and 10C.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Early Morning

In the dark, and after we go to daylight savings, it'll be even darker at that time of day. But it was beautiful morning, and feeling like it was well into spring, so this was the first run in shorts of the year.

I wasn't feeling quite up to the 10 km run after a session of sedation dentistry yesterday, so it was up and across the 14th Street bridge. There were several pairs of runners out, only a couple of cyclists.

But otherwise quiet. Even the neighbourhood bunnies were sleeping in. I was home in time to see the dump trucks pull up to the empty lot across the street, where they've already started digging for whatever million dollar mansion is going in.

Distance: 7.15 km. Time: 44:08.
Average speed: 9.7 kph (6:09 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and -6C.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

"Wait Five Minutes..."

Out the door and into the car to drive over to Heather's, wondering if I have enough layers on, knowing that I do even though I feel thoroughly chilled. I worked at stretching my calves while I waited for her to come down, hoping the wind would let up, and maybe the snow wouldn't get any heavier than the few flakes being whipped around.

We walked down to 14th Street and toward the river, starting to run at about 10th Avenue. There was a large crowd of people walking on the path near the bus terminal. It didn't seem like an organized event, but they appeared to be together.

Near The PumpHouse, I looked up to see the edge of the cloud directly overhead, knife sharp as it crossed the sky from southeast to northwest. By the time we had crossed the river at Crowchild, the cloud had almost disappeared to the southwest. All blue sky and sunshine.

Runners out by the truckload. Lots of large groups and smaller groups, and singles. As before, time slid by swiftly with Heather and I yakking about this and that. We peeled off the windbreakers before we got to the turn around, and by the time I was halfway back toward Crowchild, I was wishing I hadn't worn the sweatshirt.

In no time at all we were back in front of her place, stretching out calves and quads, and planning for next week.

Distance: 10.89 km. Time: 1:04:50.
Average speed: 10.1 kph (5:57 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and -6C.