Friday, May 30, 2008

Wet Friday Night

Woohoo. It started to come down as soon as I stepped out the door. By the time I'd walked my warm-up block and began running, I was drenched. Very nice.

It hardly felt as though I was being rained on at all, I guess because I was running with the wind. But the way it was dripping off the brim of my hat, I was getting pelted like every one else.

A lot of people were out on the bluff, running The Stairs and The Path Under The Stairs. Real runners don't notice the rain much, I guess. It was great!

By the time I got to the bottom it was a downpour, and it persisted as I ran across the foot bridge to Prince's Island. By the time I got to the Jaipur Bridge, the sun was blinding, yet the downpour was unabated.

There were hardly any people out on the promenade, of course, but by the time I got to the 10th Street bridge, the rain had stopped, and by 14th Street, my shoes were no longer audibly squishing. Across from the Greyhound terminal, there were even dry spots on the pavement.

Once I got away from the traffic noise, where Pumphouse Road branches off of Bow Trail, I could hear my shoes again. Not loudly, though. I kept thinking I was hearing someone coming up behind me.

At Crowchild the sun disappeared behind the next black rain squall, and I kept waiting all the way home for the heavens to open up again. But it never happened.

I tackled The Path rather agressively tonight, having lots of leg and breath for it for once. Usually I've run out of one or the other when I get that far.

And then along the bluff and home. Never got rained on at the end.

Distance: 10.01 km. Time: 57:27.
Average speed: 10.5 kph (5:44 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 18C.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Back out on the trail again, but it gets to be a drag running alone sometimes. So I thought I'd try The Running Room groups again. For some reason, I got it in my head that they met at 6:30, so I missed it all. Oh, well.

Back out on the promenade, it was actually kind of nice. I should wait more often before heading out after work. When I usually run, right after I get home from work, there's often nothing but bike commuters and the like. Tonight, being out a about an hour later, there were lots of runners. Blades and walkers too.

I did the full Crowchild loop. No particularly memorable moment, but over all quite a nice run.

Distance: 10.14 km. Time: 59:27.
Average speed: 10.2 kph (5:52 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and 17C.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wet and Uneventful

Nothing really special about today. I was out in a brisk wind and sprinkly rain nice and early. Even though it was cold, it didn't take long to get warmed up enough to not notice.

There were a few runners out. There seems to be a lot of "serious" runners that are out in all weather. Not that I consider myself a "serious" runner. Just nuts enough to be out in the rain.

I stayed on the south side of the river for the whole run to Edworthy today, just to see what the trail was like below the escarpment. Just a small bank of ice along side the trail, but the trail itself was clear.

Across the river at Edworthy and eastward. Markers were on the trail for the Calgary Women's Walk and Run. I passed the 3 km marker, which was across the trail from the 7 km marker. Interestingly the markers also had "Brooks" on them, but not the logo. My first thought was that it was a lot farther than 3 km to Brooks.

After that, just a nice run along the river toward home. But there was a folded table across from the CBC building, leaning against a stack of cases of bottled water. Another run or walk?

About half a kilometre from the ramp up to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, the battery died on my GPS. I had about two kilometres to go and about two minutes to my next run walk. So without the tyranny of the GPS to dictate when to walk, I decided to wait until I was just about to ascend the steepest part of The Path Under The Stairs, which made for a nice walk up a steep path.

From there, it was just a nice run the rest of the way.

It's all estimates again. I'll add one and a half kilometres to what the GPS got, and eight minutes.

Distance: 16.21 km. Time: 1:26:37 Average speed: 11.2 kph. (5:21 min/km)
Rest distance: 900 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.11 km. Total time: 1:35:37.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 19C to start, ending at 21C.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Mighty Wind

Pretty breezy out there tonight. But that's kind of irrelevant as far as going for a run. I dunno, perhaps I'm paying for the excesses of the long weekend. Or I'm simply coming down with something. Something I ate?

Anyway, due to G.I. issues, a sense of urgency developed about half way through the run, that I needed to return home quickly. That sort of absorbed all my attention, though I did notice the rebar wind chimes by The Pumphouse were actually making sounds. Very nice.

Distance: 10.2 km. Time: 55:04.
Average speed: 11.1 kph (5:24 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 19C.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Long Weekend Solo

Heather is out of town again, so I went solo. It's been a fabulous weekend weather-wise, so I couldn't wait to get out there. And it looks like everyone else was ready to be out there, too.

Not feeling great this morning though, so I started slow and was going to see how I felt going along. I was ready to cut it short if I started to feel really crappy, but the more I ran the better I felt.

I actually made pretty good time to Edworthy, better than I expected. And up until the turn around Angel's Cafe it was an uneventful run. But just in behind, on the bank against the highway, a goose family was making it's way down to the road. Seven little ones, looking very fluffy and new.

The return run was pretty good. I felt strong and had a great pace. I caught up to a couple who had drifted in from the condos near Point Mackay, and were going slightly slower than me. I passed and said good morning. Stoney silence.

I moved in front of them and pushed it a little just to get some distance. Then they passed me. No worries, except that as they pulled in front of me they slowed down again. OK, so I endured that for another minute, then decided to pass again. As I got along side them, they sped up again. At that point, my Garmin said it was time for a walk break, so they got way ahead of me. But for a couple of minutes, it was just like driving in weekend traffic on the Trans Canada from Banff.

Anyway, it was too nice a morning to be affected by that weirdness. And for one robin sitting in a bush beside the path near the Crowchild/Memorial interchange, it was almost the last morning. He fled toward me, then down the river bank, as the leaves on the bush exploded around a small hawk that traveled through it claws-first.

All this happened less than ten metres in front of me. It was too small to be a red-tail hawk, and too brown. Kinda stripy on the underside. It recovered from it's dive in less than the width of the trail, almost coming to a full stop five feet off the ground. Then it banked away from me, glided down the river bank and along the shore. Spectacular!

Between the Deerfoot driving style of those two runners, and witnessing a raptor doing his grocery run, I was a little pumped. It felt fast, and I was feeling a little strain in the lungs. I probably haven't pushed like that enough, and it felt great. It also didn't last.

After a walk break just before 14th Street, it felt like it was all I could to to start running again. Another walk break up the ramp to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, and the legs just didn't want to swing any faster. But I took on The Path Under The Stairs, and actually managed a fairly agressive climb. I even passed a cyclist labouring up the steeper part of it (who promptly passed me - another Deerfoot experience)

I felt this climb in the lungs though, and my breathing never really recovered in the half kilometre to the end of the run. Great run, considering how I felt at the start (and somewhat still felt at the end.)

Distance: 16.00 km. Time: 1:28:49 Average speed: 10.8 kph. (5:33 min/km)
Rest distance: 893.9 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 16.89 km. Total time: 1:37:49.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 19C to start, ending at 21C.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hot Run

We're finally getting hot weather, and wouldn't you know it, I feel bloody awful. I don't know what has hit me, but I've had a splitting headache since mid-morning, which finally went away a couple of hours ago.

I thought maybe a run would be the thing to sweat it out, so out I go. And sweat, I did!

By the time I got to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, I was feeling the heat, and feeling slow, to boot. I felt like I was just barely plodding on the promenade.

At 14th Street, on the bridge, I was definitely dragging, and it only got tougher once I got to the other side. I seem to have the ability to keep going no matter what, and today was no different, but I sure thought about it.

By the time I got to the ramp up to the foot bridge again, I felt drained, and The Path Under The Stairs was one of those ordeals that never seem to end, but at the end you remember nothing about it other than it was long and hard.

I've been running along the bluff to 4th Street and then backtracking once I get to my street, but today I opted for the shortest way home, up 2nd street, which cut maybe 200 metres off the run.

Now it feels like I'll never stop sweating, or ever be able to move much. Not sore or anything, just drained. I really don't believe what the GPS is saying as far as speed, but it holds up to experience.

Today's run
Distance: 7.02 km. Time: 39:21.
Average speed: 10.7 kph (5:36 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and 27C.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Something Different

Enough running alone. I headed down to the Eau Claire Running Room to try a group run. Still seems a little odd in that everyone goes their own way. It seems kind of counter-intuitive to get into a running group to run alone.

Anyway, a one mile run to the place, and then pick a group to run with. I thought I'd try the 10 km group. The route chosen was was the short zoo loop, which I haven't run for over a year - too many crack heads.

But there were not too many people hanging out along the path so it felt relatively safe. A lot of in-line skates went by. I talked to one person for awhile, until we got to the bridge from the zoo parking lot over to Memorial. At that point there seemed to be some confusion about which way to go.

We eventually got sorted out, heading over to Memorial. I followed another guy for awhile, and eventually struck up a conversation. At the suspension bridge to Prince's Island, we climbed the stairs and crossed, catching up to the group, and a couple of others, by the brass propeller.

And after a bit of stretching and stuff, I picked it up and headed back home.

Today's run
Distance: 9.17 km. Time: 50:10.
Average speed: 11.0 kph (5:35 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 19C.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day Run

I signed up for the Mothers Day Run at the last minute. Heather had told me ages ago about signing up, and that had got me thinking about it, too. So Wednesday night I signed up.

Weather-wise, it wasn't sounding good, but in this town you learn to not take Environment Canada too seriously. Slightly chilly, but clear and sunny. And the adrenalin took care of the chill.

I saw Heather briefly as I arrived, then went to wander a little and warm up. There soon was a small crowd with huge placards, looking a bit like a protest of some sort, except the placards said things like "6 min/km" and "Walkers". They spaced themselves along 9th Avenue and people immediately began to gather behind each one.

I wandered a little, trotted up and down the side of the street. Eventually I joined the group behind the 6 min/km sign. The trick at that point was to keep the chill off, and for that they had some kind of aerobics instructors up at the front leading the crowd. I couldn't see what they were doing where I was standing, but occasionally took the cue from the surrounding crowd.

Once we got started, it was a tight crowd going west on 9th. At 5th Street we went south, and I was passing a lot of people, wondering all the while if I was pushing too hard and when would I crash. But I kept it up.

Mostly it was good running. I felt really strong and probably not a little propped up by the adrenalin of a race, even a fun one. Down Elbow Drive,until going left at Lansdowne. After that, I have no idea where we went, as I don't know that part of town.

We did some out and back thing for a couple of blocks on one street, and then on to Mission Road and down to 4th Street. Coming off 25th Avenue were all the walkers, and suddenly the road got crowded. Us 10K runners had one lane, the 5K runners and the walkers had the other three. At times I took to the sidewalk, just to run on a reasonably flat surface. The cambre of the road in that one lane was pretty extreme and my ankles were feeling it.

At 10th Avenue they herded us eastward and I was wondering where the heck the finish was. We turned left at northbound Macleod, down the underpass toward city hall, and there it was. I sprinted the last block, and queued up for the food.

What a strong smooth run! Even a couple of hours later I feel great. But the GPS definitely got confused - it says I ran 12 km. I'll post my official time later.

Today's run
Distance: 10.0 km. Time: 53:10.
Average speed: 11.3 kph (5:35 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 8C.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Must Be a Runner... be running in this weather. Surprisingly, there are a lot of us.

When I got home from work, the rain was coming down pretty steadily, so I figured I would probably get a little damp on a run. But I changed into my running gear, and then my daughter called, and after all that, the rain had stopped.

I splish-splashed along the bluff and down The Path, which looked deserted. I passed a couple of runners on Prince's Island, and a couple more on the promenade. I continued to meet runners all along the path to 14th Street, and across, and on the way back.

Not too many cyclists, though.

At The Stairs, the bootcampers were back, though not too many. A hard push up the hill and then it was a skip along the red shale path on top of the bluff, dodging puddles and stuff.

Today's run
Distance: 7.16 km. Time: 39:55.
Average speed: 10.8 kph (5:35 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Light rainshower and 1C.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Trying to Get Back

Tough run tonight. I felt a little tired, and very stiff. Everything seemed to hurt almost right off the start. But as usual, after awhile, when I got warmed up, it was much better.

The run itself, once I was into it, went really well. In fact I had great energy, and even powered up The Path Under The Stairs pretty hard.

Of the run itself, not much of it is memorable. The Path and The Stairs were crowded with bootcampers and other runners.

Maybe I need a change.

I forgot to plug the GPS in so it was still dead. Since I did the 14th Street loop, I'll use the same numbers as my last run, since it's the same distance and that's about my average speed.

Today's run
Distance: 7.00 km. Time: 40:00.
Average speed: 10.5 kph (5:43 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 8C.

Llingering in Lloyd

OK, so I'm overdoing the double L thing. But how often do I get to run in this town?

I'm a couple of days late with this one. After an early run, we checked out of the hotel, grabbed breakfast and hit the highway for home. After getting home late, no time to write it up. And yesterday, I had to go from work to a seminar that went late, and I had to get a few groceries, too. So here I am.

I was up early, as usual, so I got the running shorts out and tied on my shoes. I crossed the highway from the hotel, then headed west to the road that went south toward that park I ran in a couple of days before.

I had the GPS, but forgot to hit start until I was a couple of hundred metres down the street going south - maybe a kilometre from the hotel. I made note of a sign so I could measure the missing distance.

It wasn't nearly as far to the park as I had thought. About another kilometre, and I was at the park gate, which was locked up. I would have just stepped around the gate, but a security guard pulled up to unlock everything.

After that, I kept to the left. I missed that path that went past the maintenance facility, and kept going past the miniature golf course and the skateboard park. Past the aquatic centre to the pond. The ice had retreated some in the two days since I'd been there, but there was still lots.

Around the other side and past the bandshell/presentation stage I checked the GPS which said I'd gone just over three kilometres. I took a left on a paved trail into the bush.

At the barbeque shack I went left again, on an unpaved trail, but found another shortly after. On that, I ended up going past the deserted parking lot, and then past the tennis courts, through the sundial, and to the gate.

There sure is a lot of stuff there, for a park that size.

Back on the street, I retraced my steps north, and found my GPS had shut down, batteries depleted. Oh, well, I'll estimate. Near the hotel, I slowed to a walk, and thought about breakfast.

Today's run
Distance: 7.00 km. Time: 40:00.
Average speed: 10.5 kph (5:43 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and about 5C.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Llovely Lloydminster

I'm doing some traveling on family business and find myself in Lloydminster this afternoon, and using my daughter's Macbook to type this up. I asked about where to run at the front desk of the hotel, and they suggested Bud Miller All Seasons Park. Not too far to drive, so off I go.

Actually nowhere in this town is too far to drive, or even too far to walk, come to think of it. In retrospect, I could have got a decent run to the park from the hotel, without driving.

Anyway, I got to the park, parking in a large lot beside what I think is an aquatic centre. I headed started on a path along side the parking lot, and after a short brisk walk, started the run. The path soon took me past a tennis court, and then past this huge yellow pipe sticking out of the ground at a weird angle. There were these narrow paving brick paths radiating out from this thing, and it took a moment for me to realize that is was a humongous sundial.

After that, I crossed a muddy road, passed a maintenance shed, and crossed the road by the gate to the park. On the other side was another maintenance facility, and a little further on, a parking lot in front of what looked like a school or something. I ran across the front of it and found the path had disappeared. I backtracked and went around behind it to find a road that lead back toward the aquatic centre.

Past the side of the aquatic centre, and I found myself running along side a small lake that was mostly still frozen over. On the far side was a small amphitheatre with a white sail-like roof over it. Then a branch on the path took me through the aspen forest.

Just past a barbeque shack, I took an unpaved branch of the path and dodged mud and puddles, eventually getting back on another paved path. This one lead straight out of the park into the adjacent subdivision. So a hard right took me behind that and to a drainage ditch. The ditch lead back into the park, eventually flattening out at a soggy picnic area. Past that and its parking lot and I was back at the park gate.

So straight back past the aquatic centre, around the lake again, and this time at the barbeque shack I stayed on the paved path which lead past a maze. In a few years it'll be pretty cool, but right now, the hedge is only a couple of feet high.

And then I was back at the parking lot. Lovely little park, but small enough that I had to go around it twice to get some distance. In fact running to the park would have been a good run.

Today's run
Distance: 7.01 km. Time: 39:06.
Average speed: 10.8 kph (5:35 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 13C.