Sunday, June 29, 2008

Slow, slow run

It wasn't quite pointless, but this run was tough. I'd got home early (which is saying I got home really, really late) after getting some sleep at a friends, had some breakfast, and felt that the best thing for what ailed me was a run.

So I got the running stuff on, and out the door. It was slow going to the bluff and down The Path. I crossed Memorial and took the ramp down to the path on the berm by the river. Not really hot yet, but getting there. I wasn't moving fast at all, although I was running. I tried to stay in shade as much as I could.

There were the usual crowds though there seemed to be not as many people out. Either out of town for an extra long weekend, or wimping out from the heat. I took a water break at Edworthy, then crossed the river.

I'd toyed with the idea of running up the road that comes down from Wildwood to the parking lot on the south side of the river. But all I could remember was how long it was, and opted to climb at the other end, by the road into the Shaganappi. Either way it was gonna be a tough climb, given the way I was feeling.

The trail along the tracks and the bottom of Spruce Cliff was almost all in sun, since they lined up at that time of morning. It felt like I was going slower and slower as time went on, and the heat was becoming a factor.

Near Crowchild, I crossed the tracks and took the trail up the hill. I was barely running by now, more shuffling up the steep trail than anything. I reached the small parking area at the top, and ran the short way from that to the corner. From there it was west up the long hill to the entrance to the Shaganappi golf course, still shuffling.

At 26th Street, I ran toward Bow Trail, and reached it just as the walk light turned, so no slowing down. Half a block further, I aspirated saliva (that inhaling spit), and my run was done. I was only a few blocks from the end anyway, so I walked the remaining distance, choking and coughing. After a couple of blocks, I was down the a raspy wheeze.

I got to my friend's place, picked up my car, and here I am.

Distance: 12.25 km. Time: 1:17:02
Average speed: 6:17 min/km (9.6 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and 25C at the start, but it ended at 29C.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Moment of Significance

That moment has gelled, but is still tentative, and is 35 days away. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I need to run off the stress and frustration on a regular basis. Lots of that today, but things came together nicely. Now I just have to burn off the excess energy.

And it was a weird energy that got me out running today. Buzzy and jittery, but not directed. I couldn't sit still, but I felt heavy and slow when I got moving. I got to 14th Street and that was about all I could do.

Given the lethargy that seemed to come with this bleah feeling, I don't remember much about the run. It was pretty run-of-the-mill, just me racking up the miles.

Distance: 7.15 km. Time: 40:08
Average speed: 5:36 min/km (10.7 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 20C.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back at Altitude

Back to the rarified air of Calgary, after a long run in the soup in Saskatoon. There's about five hundred metres difference in altitude, and I really thought I would notice a difference, but nope. I was breathing just as hard there as I was here.

But still having fun either way. Tonight was a fun hard run, around the usual loop to Crowchild and back. Lovely weather, even a little on the warm side, bright and sunny. I pretty much got lost in the moving, only having to wake up a little to dodge the bootcampers at the bottom of The Stairs. It wasn't really zoning out, but perhaps just being in the moment.

Distance: 10.18 km. Time: 54:45
Average speed: 5:22 min/km (11.2 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 20C.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Past Revisited

I spent the weekend in Saskatoon, and I was definitely in for my distance run in a different town. Not that running in the 'Toon is new to me. I've been out a few times.

I keep forgetting about the difference of scale in Saskatoon and Calgary. I started near 8th and Acadia, which if I remember correctly is the highest point is Saskatoon, at just over 525 metres above sea level. I headed down Acadia to 14th Street. The idea was to head toward the river and see how far I could get in an hour and forty five minutes.

My first walk break was at Preston Avenue, which surprised me, but as I said I keep forgetting about how relatively small Saskatoon is. The second was at Cumberland, right beside a certain church. The third walk break at the river bank along Saskatchewan Cresent after I had turned north toward the U of S campus.

The fourth walk break was by the Deifenbaker Centre, beside a certain bench overlooking the river. I was beginning to remember how much history I have in this town.

Forty minutes was when I originally planned to turn around. But I felt reasonably good, so I decided to keep going. I ran to the 33rd Street railway bridge and crossed the river. More history.

On the other side, I descended the spiffy new stairway to the parking lot beside the weir and ran toward the Mendel Gallery. The trail beside the weir has been spiffed up considerably. It's almost unrecognizable to me, with the lighting and landscaping that has replaced the cracked weedy concrete apron that I remember.

Along Spadina, then down the short slope to the parking lot behind the Mendel, past the familiar stench emmanating from a sewer manhole by the path. Still there after all these years.

I passed the small sandy cul de sac where the Duck used to be (long since rotted and dismantled.) Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan has their tent up, and just past it, I popped out of the bush beside the Spadina Cresent underpass under the 25th Street bridge (which everyone calls the University Bridge.) I crossed that road, and ran across the grass to the pedestrian under pass, looping around to the walk on the other side of the bridge.

At the top of the bridge, I ran a short block down Clarence Avenue, and crossed to run down University Drive, which turns into Elliot Street after a block, then turned south down Bottomly Avenue. At 14th I turned east past that church again.

At Garrison Cresent I followed its long, gentle curve to the south, then turned east again at Main Street. I crossed Preston, and followed it to its end at Arlington. South on Arlington to 8th, then east to Acadia and my starting point.

This run was hot! I was used up after the ninety minutes it took, sweating like crazy. And I'd forgotten about the annual infestation in the city's beautiful elm trees of the chancre worm, which has a charming habit of dangling from the tops of those trees from a silk thread it spins, after gorging itself on the foliage. Actually I only saw four or five dangling in places where I had to dodge them.

I thought the lower elevation would have made a difference in my stamina, but perhaps whatever I gained with higher air pressure, I lost to the heat. Still, a great run, fun, and even proved that some demons really have been laid to rest.

Distance: 14.48 km. Time: 1:22:38 Average speed: 10.5 kph. (5:42 min/km)
Rest distance: 871.0 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 15.35 km. Total time: 1:31:38.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Sunny and 23C to start, ending at 26C.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gettin' Outa Town!

Gonna be on the road tomorrow; gonna hang with the Loganateur! Woohoo!

So I got a quick run in tonight, after I got laundry going and stuff. Well, not quick. I went 10 km, to Crowchild. Well, sorta quick. I tried to throttle back a little again, cuz I seem to have a speed thing going. I like going faster, but I want to be able to make it home again too.

Such a lovely day, perfect summer day. Except it's still not summer until Saturday. No rain. That's a good thing, since we had a month or so of nothing but.

There were lots of bikes to dodge, lots of runners and skaters out. Even a little traffic jam at the end of the Crowchild bridge. Lots of people at the bottom of The Stairs, too. In fact a big group seemed to decide it was too long to wait for their turn to climb them, and ran off toward downtown. It's an awfully busy corner.

The Path Under The Stairs was like nothing, well, sorta. I was breathing pretty hard at the top, and probably slowed down some (OK, OK, a lot). The path on top of the bluff was just fun.

And then I was home.

Distance: 10.18 km. Time: 55:30
Average speed: 11.0 kph (5:27 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 20C.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jockying Schedules

Got a short week planned since I'm travelling on Friday. The Loganateur and me are gonna do some hangin' out. I also have tomorrow evening filled, and that's forced me to push the mid week run up a day, so it was a solo.

I got out the door almost as soon as I was home from work, and headed toward the bluff. Tonight I felt like mixing it up a little. When I got to the top of The Path Under The Stairs, instead of doing the hairpin turn on to it, I kept going toward Centre Street.

A nice long downward slope across the river, and then a little switchback near the bottom off the side of the bridge and onto the riverside path. You can tell it's finally summer out. So many commuters are on foot, walking home from work, and I'm a little envious of that.

Anyway, the runs from last week seemed to have set the pace. I was fast and even though I tried to throttle it back, I was pushing pretty hard, for me. More crowded on the promenade than it's been all year, and at 10th Street, a surfer was doing his thing on the river. The flood from a couple of years ago changed the river bed near the shore so that when the water is high like it is now, there's a good sized standing wave. He had a water-skier type trapeze thing anchored to the shore and was surfing the wave. Kinda neat.

I crossed at 14th, bounding up the slope to the bridge. I mean bounding. Breathing was heavy but even, and the legs were feeling strong. On the other side I took to the dirt path by the paved pedestrian one, as usual.

At the C-Train bridge I decided to change it up again, and took the stairs up to the pedestrain overpass across Memorial. On the other side is was under the C-Train and along side, heading deep into Sunnyside. At the train station, I turned onto 3rd Avenue, and then onto the trail along the bottom of the bluff that heads back toward The Path Under The Stairs.

I took a dirt path through the grass, one that slashes across the face of the bluff and pops up at 4th Street. And from there is was a few more blocks before I slowed to a cool-down walk.

Distance: 6.85 km. Time: 35:19
Average speed: 11.6 kph (5:09 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 22C.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Dry Sunday

No rain this morning, although the cloud is moving in again. It's a nice change from the monsoons we've been experiencing.

People were pulling up as I was this morning at the rendezvous point. The fast group was gone in a hurry, another went solo, and I teamed up with Robert. We did a nice run from The Extreme Bean to Centre Street and back. It was rather nice to be back to a pace more in my usual range.

This guy is a marathoner, though. He's run a couple already this year, and is aiming for another, if I got the story straight. His boys ran with us too, although they pretty much left us in the dust.

Other than that, it was the usual busy paths, full of geese and runners, sunny skys and crazy-high river. The forcast says sun for this week - I'll believe it when I see it.

Distance: 12.14 km. Time: 1:12:17
Average speed: 10.1 kph (5:57 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 8C.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

On the Edge of Ability

Met up with some of this group again to end the week with an 8 km run. It was looking a little wet, and the rain was pretty heavy when I pulled up to the meeting point on Parkdale Boulevard. The hail wasn't too thick, a little mushy even, since it disintigrated when it splatted against my windshield. And all this while the sun shone brightly.

About the time others pulled up, the rain stopped, and at 6:30 sharp, we started out. Lots of dodging puddles, and the wind was shaking the water out of the trees. Geese were lounging all over the place along the first part of the trail, and they had also left a lot of little "calling cards" all over the trail. Nice that the rain had made that mushy.

At Crowchild, one split off and kept going straight for a 5 km loop to 14th Street. I decided to tag along with the guys running the 8 km, and so followed them across the river. I managed to stay with them for another kilometre or so, but they had set an wicked (for me, anyway) pace. I started to slack off a little as we wound through the bush.

By the time I crossed the railroad tracks they were almost ten seconds ahead of me. A couple of huge puddles slowed them down, as we had to pick our way through the wet and mud around them, but I never really kept up.

After crossing the bridge at Edworthy, they were still well in sight. But another kilometre on, they were long gone ahead. By then, though, we were almost back where we started.

I managed to keep up a rather impressive pace compared to my usual outings. My breathing was even though heavy, and I was feeling my legs. This run was another push against my limits, and really, that's the way that I will be able to expand them.

I rounded the final bend to find everyone waiting. Then it was off to the coffee shop for a quick cuppa.

By the way, the official results of the Banff Jasper Relay have been published. The team I was on, the Extreme Bean Mountain Team, finished in 24:19:08. I finished my leg in an official time of 1:35:12 at a pace of 8:50/mile, or 5:30/km.

Distance: 7.57 km. Time: 38:19
Average speed: 11.9 kph (5:03 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Light rainshower and 12C.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Woohoo - I Kept Up!

The gang that invited me to run in the Banff Jasper Relay also invited me to join them in getting together for runs during the week. So tonight I took them up on it. I also got to pick up my shirt from the race - a very lovely brilliant green with long sleeves and the spiffy B-J logo. I love it!

I met up with some of them, and we walked down 10th Street to the river. After crossing Memorial, we were on the path and running. We immediately crossed to the promenade by the C-Train bridge and went east for the short zoo loop.

They set a pretty good pace, certainly faster than I usually run. But not so challenging that I was left in the dust. For the first while, I was feeling quite good, and quite happy that I was staying with them.

Time went by quickly. We got to Centre Street, and the path under the bridge was under water. Around that and on toward the East Village. There's a heck of a lot of construction going on there, that I had no idea about. A lot of landscaping and stuff.

Across the foot bridge to the zoo island (it must have a name...ah - St. Patrick's Island) where there's some work going on there in installing some lighting along the path. There were a couple of deep puddles to dodge at the next bridge, then onto the path beside Memorial. That's were I felt my calves. I was a little concerned, but the stiffness went away after a few minutes.

The rain started about the time we passed the Bridgeland train station, but was done about when we crossed Edmonton Trail. That was another underpass closed and under water.

Straight back toward 10th Street, and I was becoming aware of how hard I'd been pushing. Being with a group pushes you a lot more that running alone. Still, my breathing was even, and I was keeping pace. The aches that had popped up had gone away again. I felt pretty good.

At 10th, we all slowed to a walk and hit the stop buttons on our GPSs. Then a quick trip to pick up my race shirt, and across the street for a cuppa tea.

Great group, and a fun run. They've invited me to run again later this week, so I'll be there.

Distance: 8.47 km. Time: 41:23
Average speed: 12.3 kph (4:53 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 11C.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Playing Tag

I was tagged by She Who Makes Waves

Here are the rules and my reply.
* Just copy the following onto your post.
* The rules of the game are posted at the start of your blog post.
* I'm asking you five questions about running.
* Each player answers the five questions on their own blog.
* At the end of your post you tag other people and post their names.
* Go to their blogs, leave a note saying they've been tagged then to look at your blog for details.
* When they've answered the questions on their own blog, they come back to yours to tell you.

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, I tried running for a couple of weeks, but gave it up cuz it hurt. A lot. In retrospect, I probably had the wrong shoes and ran too far. Also, I got some really bad advice (see below) from those who I would have thought would have been a little more supportive. My first real run, the one that started all this, was April 5, 2004, for a little under 4 km. It was two months before I told anyone what I was doing.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
Best - the Harvest Half in 2006, a gorgeous, sunny fall day. I managed a PR of 1:50:03. That's a 5:13/km pace, which for me is fantastic.
Worst - Calgary Marathon in 2007. Everything began to hurt by about 12 km, and it got worse from there. I think I finally stopped feeling those specific hurts sometime last February.

3. Why do you run?
It's something I can do by myself. It's not about winning and losing. I don't have to rely on others to run, join a team, attend league meetings and play to a schedule, and equipment-wise it's relatively cheap. It's also calming, envigorating, and it gets me off my ass and out the door in a blizzard or downpour or whatever kind of weather. There are a whole lot more reasons I could list.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Best - Go slow at the start. Increase my pace and distance in small increments
Worst - I shouldn't even try to run, because I'm not athletic, I'll wreck my knees and spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, and I'm at that age where I'll probably drop dead from a heart attack.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
Not sure how surprising this is, but a very long time ago, I was a radio DJ and news reporter for a couple of years.

I have no idea at the moment who I could tag to carry this on...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Banff-Jasper Relay

That was a long day. A lot of driving, and stressful as well, though mostly from my own ignorance. I needed to be at the Beauty Creek hand off well before 1:00 pm. I thought if I left before 9:00 am, I'd have plenty of time to get to my starting point. Ha!

I went over all the stuff I wanted to bring a dozen times, then out the door. I stopped for a coffee for the road before heading west. Rain had been pouring down since I got up this morning, and it wasn't slowing down. I wondered if I had enough clothes, forgetting (again!) that I usually over-dress.

Just past Olympic Park, the rain stopped, though there was lots of spray from traffic. And not much traffic. It was rather open on the TransCanada for a weekend, and I imagine the rain had a lot to do with that.

I reached the first big stress point at Jumping Pound Creek, when I realized I'd forgotten my Garmin. Gaaah! I cranked the car onto the first turn-around I found, a funky underpass, loop-the-loop thing just past the creek crossing. Back on the pavement I walked on the gas pedal, cursing mightily.

Near the pull-out opposite the big service station by the highway 22 overpass, I started thinking again. I stopped on the shoulder, and went through my bag of dry clothes and stuff, just in case I had actually put the Garmin in the pile. It was already 9:30, and going back for it would cost me an hour.

I could run without it. I did another loop-the-loop on the highway 22 clover leaf and got back on track (though still cursing mightily).

Traffic stayed relatively light all the way to Lake Louise. At the Scot Lake Hill, the deluge started anew and kept up until the highway 93 overpass to Radium. Then dry pavement. Time, meanwhile is ticking by, and this drive is taking forever.

Second stress point - construction just before Lake Louise, meaning 25 kilometres of trudging along at 70 kph. But then I was on the off ramp to 93 north, and suddenly into a Parks Canada checkpoint beside the highway, where they make sure you've got a park pass.

Third stress point - of course the guy in front of me is searching for a wallet or something, and visiting, and just generally taking his time. Back in my car, the type A personality is beginning to boil over.

Fourth stress point - you know those monster RVs, the severely under-powered ones that can't climb a mountain highway at more than a crawl? I believe there were a substantial percentage of the total North American population of them in front of me all the way to Bow Pass.

And then I caught up to the first runner on the south leg. Actually the last runner, since he was at the back of the pack. Before I knew what was slowing us down, I was rapidly approaching a fifth stress point. But yeah, these people were out here for the same reason I was, and it was very cool. I honked and cheered some of them.

It took a long time to get past them all. They were spread out over about thirty kilometres, with lots of support vehicles on the side of the highway. Doing the long climb to the Bow Pass (at almost the same speed as those damn RVs).

It was getting near noon at this point. I wasn't panicking yet. And then the RVs began to pull over one by one to various lookouts and observation points. Things began to go quite fast. At Saskatchewan Crossing, a few more pulled into the service station. I finally got to make up some time, and the Type A was settling down.

From the Crossing it was all new territory for me. I had no idea about what the road was like. I got to the switch-back that started the steep climb to the Columbia Icefield, and was extremely grateful that any RVs in front of me were a long way ahead. Then I realized that there were runners who had to climb this monster. Sheesh!

Twenty kilometres past the Icefield I caught up with the first (last) runner on the north leg. I was slowing down again and meandering past everyone, but I was going to make it before the forced start.

The force start time for my leg was 1:10. I pulled up fifteen minutes before that, hoping the runner before me hadn't been left waiting for me to hand off to. I loped over to the crowd, trying to remember what some of the people on my team looked like, and hoping they would recognize me.

The rain that began to dump at Bow Pass, had stopped just before the Crossing, and the pavement here was dry. Bob and his wife were suddenly right in front of me with safety vest and racing number. It took a couple of tries to get the vest on right, and someone graciously lent me his Garmin. I pinned the number on, made a quick trip to the portapottie, and lined up.

It turned out that the runner I was waiting for was still a couple of kilometres back. So I and a few others kicked off our leg at the forced start at 1:10 sharp.

The run itself was kind of anticlimactic. It stayed mostly dry, a little spitty, and the cloud was quite low. The scenery was pretty monotone - obscuring cloud and trees, and a long line of pavement dotted with runners and support vehicles.

Cherie and her husband Joe (she's the one I see in Starbucks all the time, and apparently he's the one that ran that nasty climb to the Icefield) leapfrogged me up the highway, with one of them occasionally running out with a water bottle. The highway is pretty straight on this leg, with long, gentle slopes. Nothing too challenging hill-wise, and I felt great. The Garmin kept saying I was running way faster than I usually do, and I was struggling to keep my speed down. But my breathing was even, and my legs felt great so eventually I relaxed into the pace.

That was pretty much it. At 15.2 km a guy with a walkie-talkie called in my team number to someone at the next hand off. I think he was supposed to be at 1 mile to go instead of 2 km, but that was OK. When the Garmin said I had about three hundred metres to go, I stretched out my stride a little. It was a long descending curve to the right, and it seemed to take forever to see the handoff gate around the trees.

And then I was at the gate, and some guy was reaching toward me. I slapped his hand, he took off and I slowed to a walk. Another great run!

The distance is listed at 17.3 km, and the Garmin said I had been running about an hour and thirty two minutes, which Bob confirmed. There was a cold breeze and he unfolded a foil racing blanket which I draped around my shoulders. Cherie handed me a water bottle, and someone took a picture. Then we walked back to Bob's car, where he handed me some cookies and a banana. I felt fabulous.

At his car, I realized the foil sheet I was draped in was spattered with the logo of the Boston Marathon. I really want a copy of that picture. Bob invited me to join then on their Sunday morning runs, dropped me off at my car, and that was that. I didn't bother to change, since I had dodged the rain and was still dry.

The drive home was mostly uneventful. I had to stop at the Crossing for gas. $1.63/l, so I put fifteen bucks worth in, and hoped it was cheaper in Lake Louise (it was - $1.31/l). I was home by 6:30, crashed on the couch by 6:35. An hour later, I showered and ate, and then discovered that I had not included pants in my change of clothes. Glad I didn't have to change.

If I do this again, I'll get a hotel room up there. Seven hundred kilometres of driving to run seventeen kilometres makes a long day. But it was worth it. Great fun and I may be part of a new running group, too. How cool!

I'm going to use the hour and thirty two minutes for my stats:

Distance: 17.3 km. Time: 1:32:00.
Average speed: 11.3 kph (5:32 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 8C.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Day Late

Almost forgot to write yesterday's run. I guess it wasn't anything more than a quick run, something to stay loose with.

And it was short, only to 14th Street. I passed my neighbour on the 14th Street bridge going the other way. Somehow I managed to beat her home. I was stretching on the front step as she walked up and we chatted a bit. Turns out she's an alternate on one of the teams in the Banff Jasper Relay, so she might be out there somewhere tomorrow as well.

I met with the team captain and a couple of other runners Wednesday night. I'm looking forward to this one.

Anyway, gotta get my act together here, and get some sleep.

Distance: 7.13 km. Time: 40:53.
Average speed: 10.5 kph (5:21 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 15C.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Chance Meeting in a Coffee Shop

Hoo, boy, what a run tonight! Tons of energy, feeling fast and loose and everything. Perhaps from the frustrations of commuting? The construction season appears to be in full swing.

But wotta run! Not that it was close to my fastest or farthest or anything, but I felt really strong out there. Down The Path and through the crowds of bootcampers and bikini busters at the bottom. Over Memorial, and down the trail on the river. Just cruising. Past 10th, past 14th, swing onto the foot bridge under Crowchild.

I kept wondering when I was going to crash. I thought I'd get back to 10th Street, and run out of steam about the time I passed the helicopter pad. But if anything I felt even stronger.

At The Path Under The Stairs, it seemed like I barely slowed down. I broke my breathing rhythm just at the steepest part, and just kept pushing. At the top I was huffing, still felt great, and pushed harder all the way to the end.

Back to the coffee shop: I keep running into this woman in Starbucks, a couple of times a week. We got to chatting one time in the line up, and it turns out she's a runner too. Sort of a serious runner. So we talk a little over the last few weeks about training and stuff.

Yesterday morning as we swapped stories about our Sunday training runs (she's getting ready for Chicago) she asked if I'd be interested in running with her team in the Banff-Jasper Relay. So I said yes.

This morning I chatted with the team captain. I get Leg 11 which is a fairly flat 17 km well past Saskatchewan Crossing. What's nice is that I start no later than 1:00 pm - not too early or too late. Gonna be a hoot!

Distance: 10.14 km. Time: 54:13.
Average speed: 11.2 kph (5:21 min/km).

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Cloudy and 12C.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

High Inertia Morning

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up feeling pinned to the mattress by the weight of your personal history? Even the head start of waking at a ridiculous hour doesn't ease the effort of enjoying a simple coffee and newspaper. (And is that a rut of its own?) Overcoming these moments is one of the biggest reasons I run.

And what brought that all on, anyway? Perhaps the post-adrenalin crash after yesterday's adventure on the Zipline at the COP, which left me ridiculously exhausted by mid-afternoon.

But a run fixes all that. Especially on a gorgeous day like today.

Down to the bluff and already there's people all over. Looking down on the bridge to Prince's Island is to see a river of people. And there's music booming from the island, too.

On the island are signs directing people to the stage for the Enerflex MS Walk. There's a big crowd already at 9:00 in the morning.

On the promenade were lots of runners and walkers. A couple of the running room groups were just getting started. Lots of early started on the MS walk. At Crowchild, the crowd abruptly thinned, and there was just a big running group ahead. Their pace was enough that it took awhile to catch up to them. Passing was a little problematic with the narrow path and the oncoming traffic.

A very friendly talkative bunch, which is another reason I like running on Sunday mornings. Just behind me as I broke past them, a grumpy cyclist frantically ringing his bell swished by. At least he used the bell.

The rest of the run below the escarpment was fast, going by quickly. The run along Parkdale was eaqually quick. I don't think I was any faster physically, and I was certainly present. But it just moved by quickly.

At Crowchild, the MS Walkers were thick. There were many places where I had to slow to a walk to wait for a chance to pass, and that was all right. By then I was well into the rhythm, and the walkers contributed a great energy of their own to the day.

One of their checkpoints was just before the 10th Street bridge underpass, and it was wall to wall people. Nothing to do be meander a little until the crowd began to thin out a little past it.

After that, hard running to the foot bridge. I was pretty much spent when I got to The Path Under The Stairs, but I tackled is as aggressively as I was able. I don't think it was any kind of spectacular performance, but sometimes it feels good to push hard.

At the top, chaffing issues had me dithering about cutting it short and going up 2nd Street, or pushing on to my usual end up 4th Street. I opted for the latter, and that was that.

Now it feels like I should maybe nap or something.

Distance: 16.64 km. Time: 1:28:31 Average speed: 11.3 kph. (5:19 min/km)
Rest distance: 1.03 km. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.67 km. Total time: 1:37:31.

Shoes: New Balance 1061.

Weather: Partly sunny and 14C to start, ending at 16C.