Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Busy Out There!

There just seems to be more traffic tonight. Getting home was slower, crossing the street even took a little longer. And the side streets seem busier, too. But once on the paths, it was great.

I like it better when it's warmer. There are more people out, and there seems to be more life along the paths. There's always us diehard runners, and the all-weather cyclists. But there's more people walking home from work, or hanging out along the promenade.

Tonight seemed like a slow plod. My legs felt a little used up, and breathing was heavy like it can be sometimes. Nothing to do but push through with it. The Path Under The Stairs wasn't bad at all, for some reason. I managed to power up the whole thing without losing much speed or running out of breath.

But, yeah, a slow run.

Today's run
Distance: 6.46 km. Time: 39:45.
Average speed: 9.8 kph (6:09 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and -3C.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Early and Fast

Wow, what a morning! It's stunning out with warm temps and lots of sun, and it's way, way overdue.

No word from Heather about running together, so I decided to get out early and go on my own. I think she's running in the Police Half, though I don't see her name in the list.

It was a little chilly to start, but then I was down to shorts and a t-shirt, determined to enjoy a summer-like run. Ten minutes into it, I was good.

I've missed running in the mornings. Lots of "good mornings" and smiles. People out having a good time on a sunny Sunday morning.

I did the usual route: down to the river, across Prince's Island, along the promenade and along Bow Trail to Crowchild where I crossed back to the north side. Then westward toward the foot bridge to Edworthy.

I noticed the sign on the washroom down there - "Point Mackay Washroom". That's its official name, and we're glad it's there. Some days, it's the reason the first half of my run is so fast, is when it's the goal.

Anyway, the run home was even faster today. I felt really good, even better than usual. I still feel good. I must have finally got the stretching thing down, plus goos sleep last night, and good breakfast - all of that stuff.

Distance: 16.20 km. Time: 1:24:26 Average speed: 11.5 kph. (5:26 min/km)
Rest distance: 959.0 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.16 km. Total time: 1:33:26.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and 7C to start, ending sunny and 12C.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Been a Long 5 Minutes...

It's been cold and snowy for a week now. It's supposed to be much better on the weekend, and I hope so, cuz I wanna run in shorts!

I was only going to go as far as 14th Street, but it felt good tonight. So I kept going. Got into a little traffic jam on the bridge under Crowchild between me and a bunch of cyclists. Too many going both ways.

After that, just bear down and head home. Another traffic jam in Prince's Island Park, on The Path Under The Stairs, and on The Stairs, with all the bootcamp groups out. I wonder if they get in each others' way sometimes.

Back home, ho-hum. I hope I can soon be out in the sun, maybe even getting in some nooners.

Today's run
Distance: 10.06 km. Time: 56:03.
Average speed: 10.8 kph (5:34 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and -3C.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Winter is Over - Again!

It's all melting and slushy, but most of the paths are clear. In some places there are puddles, and some of them are big. I stomped in a big one on the 14th Street bridge, which I didn't think was as deep as it was. Big splash, and of course the stomping foot stays dry, while the wave it creates washes over the other foot as it swings forward.

After that, more slush, more puddles, but lots of dry pavement.

I finished via the Centre Street bridge again. I like Nony's Awful Little Hill and it stretches the run a little farther than The Path. Plus there's getting to be a lot of traffic on The Path, and at both ends of The Stairs, with all the bootcamp groups.

Nice run, and I even got close to dressing right for the weather. We'll be back to shorts soon.

Today's run
Distance: 7.61 km. Time: 42:47.
Average speed: 10.7 kph (5:37 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Drifting snow and -8C.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Winter Again

48 hours of snow, starting Friday morning, and it's piled up rather impressively. Gonna be an interesting commute tomorrow.

But the paths were clear, and what solar radiation reached the ground rather efficiently melted any ice and snow wasn't scraped off. There were only a fe spots where the ice made it dicey.

I didn't get to the big distance run today. In fact, I haven't been feeling all that wonderful the past few days, so I decided not to push it. No energy for a long run anyway.

Just to mix it up a little, I crossed the river at the C-Train bridge, ran down to 14th Street and crossed back, then crossed at the C-Train bridge again - a sort of figure eight loop. For fun I watched the GPS on the crossings. 14th Street is 190 metres end to end, while the C-Train bridge is only 120 metres.

It's cold, but not as cold as it looks. I was way over dressed again, although the wind added a rather rapid cooling dimension.

Today's run
Distance: 7.35 km. Time: 43:18.
Average speed: 10.2 kph (5:53 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Drifting snow and -8C.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Crappy and Cold

Not really, but it sure isn't shorts and t-shirt weather. That doesn't help when the motivation is just not happening. It's been hard enough to get out when it's nice. Add to that my consternation that I've had to admit that those extra calories that accumulated over the Christmas holiday are still hanging on, and it just ain't been the most uplifting of days.

But I was out there. Down to the bluff, and as I approached, at least five runners went by, so I was thinking that hey, I'm not so crazy after all. But it was one of those bootcamp type groups that hang out on The Stairs. Going down The Path, I encountered a few more goose stepping uphill, including one with a somewhat confused looking golden retriever.

Across Memorial and down the ramp to the trail on the berm, it was much quieter. I was out a little late, but I thought I'd run into more of the after-dinner crowd. I guess the weather was keeping the less enthused at home.

I crossed at 14th, ran along Bow Trail and the promenade to Eau Claire, and just to dodge the bootcamp traffic, kept going east and then up on the Centre Street bridge. It adds about 400 m to the run, but I also get to avoid The Path Under The Stairs, and aside from the traffic, sometimes it's just a nasty steep bitch. Well, and I was feeling a little lazy about hills, too.

Anyway, I was back home shortly after, and stretching on my front step. It didn't seem so cold and crabby then. Running does that.

Today's run
Distance: 7.40 km. Time: 41:56.
Average speed: 10.6 kph (5:40 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 1C.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Where'd the Week Go?

I haven't been able to get out all week, what with all kinds of stuff going on. There were some medical issues with a family member earlier in the week, but it's all better now. But it was exhausting all the same.

So today was the first run in a week, and I probably should have taken it a little easier. But I went for the distance anyway. It's actually hot out, and people are everywhere.

I was running the south side of the river dodging walkers and bikers and bladers, just enjoying the run. The cloud had been hovering all morning, with the chinook arch holding a little to the west, and ever so slowly edging east. By the time I got to Crowchild and crossed back to the north side, it had slid far enough to let the sun come down.

I'd called Heather yesterday to see if she was up for joining me. She'd been in Vancouver and Mexico and a few other places the last few weeks, so we haven't run together for awhile. Since I hadn't heard back from her I figured she was either tied up or still out of town. So it was with some surprise that I met her about two kilometres into the return leg from Edworthy.

She'd been busy all weekend and hadn't got my message until quite late, and also thought I'd be out in the morning, so hadn't tried to call. She joined me on the return run and we caught up on what's been happening with each other for the last month or so.

By the time we reached 14th Street, I was in some pain. I've had stomach cramps before on runs, those nasty stitches that stab in the ribs. Usually they go away after ten minutes or so, but today they were hanging on. Perhaps it was in sympathy of Heather's reaction to all that spicy food when she was in Mexico a couple of weeks ago, but it got quite difficult to keep going.

We got to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, and shared a sweaty hug. And then I walked home. I can only remember one other time that I haven't completed a run, but I just didn't feel up to running The Path from that point.

Still a great run, though, with good speed and distance.

Distance: 14.74 km. Time: 1:23:16 Average speed: 10.6 kph. (5:26 min/km)
Rest distance: 1.05 km. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 15.79 km. Total time: 1:32:16.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 18C to start, ending mostly cloudy and 22C.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

"Waiting Five Minutes More..."

A stunning morning, sunny with a light fog that burned off quickly. It would be a wonderful day for a run. I dealt with some errands all morning, and about noon, changed into running duds and headed for the reservoir.

I parked at the end of Crowchild by the rowing club again. A breeze was blowing from the east, and it had a touch of iciness to it. In the west, the mountains were disappearing behind low grey cloud.

This time I headed north through Lakeview toward the causeway, then over Glenmore and around to the dam. A little over twenty minutes and I was at the hospital. By forty minutes I was at Glenmore landing, and at fifty I was at the marina on the south side. Looking across the reservoir at these places from my starting point, I thought it would be a lot longer, but of course there's still about forty minutes of running to get back to the car.

The cool thing about spring is the wildlife waking up and coming out to check things out. Which lead to a game of chicken with a red squirrel. He was sitting on the trail munching on something, and at first I thought he'd bolt for the bush long before I got there. But he just sat there

Gotta go, I'll finish this later

It's a week later, and I can't remember what I was writing. It's been a bit of a mixed up week.

My stats:
Distance: 15.63 km. Time: 1:23:51 Average speed: 11.2 kph. (5:22 min/km)
Rest distance: 912.4 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 16.54 km. Total time: 1:32:51.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Pretty nice, I think.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Back in Shorts Again

I just proved the adage that you never gain going with the wind what you lost going into it. There's a bit of a breeze for sure, strong enough to get those heavy duty wind chimes by The Pumphouse going. They're made from heavy rebar and it takes a pretty stiff wind to get them going - like tonight.

But warm enough for shorts and a tee - I love it. Once I was turned around and running with the wind, I even felt a little over-dressed, with a regular tee over a long sleeve technical one.

Anyway, a nice run to Crowchild and back. But I see the geese are beginning to make their presence known, what with the leavings of their gastro intestinal issues everywhere - ewww!

Today's run
Distance: 9.98 km. Time: 57:00.
Average speed: 10.5 kph (5:43 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 10C.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Smoggy But Fun (Oh, and Gummy, too)

I'm feeling really good right now, and about time. The weekend was a little challenging as far as feeling good.

It was a really fun evening, and I even got a couple of hellos and some eye contact. That lifted the mood considerably, since there are still a lot of inward looking types out there. Must be the weather.

Flavour-wise, the air was a little bleah. Some of the more obnoxious exhausts seemed to hang over the running paths, often thick enough to taste. There was a breeze, but it didn't seem to have enough oomph to move the stuff.

The geese are back on the paths, too, cranky as ever. Gulls are piling up on the river, and the river is pretty much ice-free. The water level is down about a metre, if the ice shelf along the shore is any indication.

I haven't joined the ranks of iPod and MP3 users yet, but I do all right. My head can keep me going with a tune or two as I run. Last night, when I probably should have been going to bed, I was sampling a little of the 3-D animation on YouTube, and ran across this one. (Click the More link on the right for the words.) Not nearly as irritating as the damn gopher song, but it sticks the same. The beat isn't too bad to run to.

Today's run
Distance: 10.42 km. Time: 55:26.
Average speed: 11.3 kph (5:19 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 3C.