Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where Did Summer Go?

It feels like I missed it. It's already the last week in August. They were taking down the Shakespeare in the Park stage already. It's getting cool in the evenings, and it's dark by 8:00. Bummer

Nice night for running. The temperature never got too high, given that it poured until early afternoon, and the sun, while bright for the rest of the day, never really got things warm. Perfect running weather.

I headed down the usual way, to 14th and back. I was late enough, that traffic was steady on the trails, while not being totally deserted. It was a good strong run.

Distance: 7.20 km. Time: 40:19
Average speed: 5:36 min/km (10.7 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 15C

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shoulda Took the Day Off

It wasn't that bad as far as running goes. But something I had for lunch yesterday did not agree. I felt rotten last night, didn't sleep, and felt rotten this morning. I wanted to be out on the paths early in case it got hot, but couldn't get going until late. Bleah.

But I did get out. Down and across the bridge to Prince's Island, passing a wagon-load of seven very young puppies. Labrador cross, I'd guess, and if they're as young as they seemed, they are going to be very big dogs when they're grown. Cute.

After that I was on to the promenade, and just keeping moving. Not a lot of energy, and my innards weren't in the best of shape. Much of the run was just keeping it moving. It wasn't hard, but nothing memorable enough, aside from the puppies to be noteable. By the time I had gone three quarters of the way, I would have been quite happy to be done.

But I got through that, and finished.

From yesterday, Department of Double Takes:

She stood on the sidewalk, a stunning thirty-something, all tanned legs and blond hair. Lean and athletic, in running shorts, Lululemon top and green accentuated running shoes, she stood tall on one leg, the other pulled tight heel-to-buttock in a perfectly balanced quad stretch. The Nordic angles of her face were accentuated by the hollowing of her cheeks as she pulled mightily on a cigarette.


She looked like a runner, acted like a runner, dressed like a runner. But that cigarette just didn't fit. And for her, it wasn't just a casual puff or two. It was suck, inhale, exhale, suck, inhale, exhale, denying entry into her lungs of any air untainted by combustion particulates.

Three blocks past, I was still glancing over my shoulder. It was a jarring juxtaposition.

Distance: 16.50. Time: 1:33:36
Average speed: 5:40 min/km. (10.6 kph)
Rest distance: 941.0 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.44 km. Total time: 1:43:36.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 20C at the start, cloudy and 24C at the end.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Had a Busy Week

A great week - productive and fun. Even a little intense, certainly focused. I love it.

I worked late last night and besides, it rained cats and dogs, so my Thursday run didn't happen. I made it up tonight.

It felt fast, but I don't think I was all that gettin' goin'. The trails were quiet, but then I've found that whenever I'm out during dinner time.

I was drafted along the promenade. Someone came up behind me just as I passed the C-Train bridge, and didn't pass, and didn't fall back. Just stayed behind and a little to the left, so that it felt like she (as it turned out) was breathing down my neck. It's a little disconcerting.

I didn't take The Path Under The Stairs too hard, but once on top of the bluff, I found my stride lengthening considerably.

Lovely run.

Distance: 7.18 km. Time: 39:42
Average speed: 5:31 min/km (10.7 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 19C

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The End of a Very Good Day

A very busy day, too. The new job is getting a little intense, and busy, and surprisingly, fun. My to-do list seemed to grow exponentially, yet I felt productive, and I seemed to get a lot done.

And with all that behind me, a good run was a perfect way to start the evening.

The heat wasn't nearly as intense as yesterday. I got to the bluff to find a veritable traffic jam on The Stairs, with all the fitness groups on it. Even The Path was busy.

I got down to the bottom, weaving through the crowd, and on to the bridge over Memorial, then down the ramp and on the path by the river. It was a quieter run, given the time of day, but still busy. I thought about cutting it short at 14th, but felt good enough to continue to Crowchild again.

At the soccer field by the Boy Scouts clubhouse, there's what I think is an osprey nest on one of the light poles. And one agitated osprey squawking furiously over the soccer game going on below.

On the other side of the river, it was quieter, with a few runners and cyclists. Even the promenade was quiet until I got close to Eau Claire. A big crowd covered the lawn in front of the Shakespeare stage, and the foot bridge back to the curling club was busy too.

I pushed hard up The Path to the top of the bluff. I think I'm strengthening a little as this climb seems to be faster, if not easier.

And then home for dinner.

Distance: 10.25 km. Time: 57:34
Average speed: 5:36 min/km (10.7 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Cloudy and 24C

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trying to Beat the Heat

Since the forecast is for hot days ahead, I thought I'd try to get out soon as possible and maybe beat the heat. Which works against my philosophy of no alarm clocks on the weekend.

But I did wake up fairly early and was out as soon as I was awake. It wasn't hot, or even warm, but for that time of morning, I would expect it to be a little cooler. Even so, very nice.

It was a fast run, time-flow-wise. I didn't think I was too head-down and focused, but time and distance went by pretty quick. I found myself not really feeling fast, but kind of moving along. Hard to describe.

Along the way someone returned my good morning by name. I have no idea who she was, since I wasn't really focused on her, and she was gone past before I realized I'd heard my name.

They have torn up the pedestrian path from the Parkdale-3rd Avenue corner to the public washrooms at Edworthy. I took to the grass for a while, then on to the other path.

Across the bridge at Edworthy, and over the tracks. The gate was locked across the path, and barriers were up. A sign said the path was closed. I took the detour through the bush, and was on it. Or rather where the path was supposed to be. Several yards had been removed, and a trench made for the new one. There were several chuncks of path missing along the bottom of Spruce Cliff, and a lot of barriers to go around.

Once I got past the rail crossing, it seems to get easier again. I found myself in that long-stride, lopping gait that I used to use when I first started running. It seems easier on the legs, and faster somehow. But I feel it more in the walk breaks.

Just past Crowchild, I began to meet the Sunday morning groups, and it happened again. Someone in one of the groups waved at me and said good morning by name. Again, no idea who.

For the rest of the run, just pushing through, not thinking, not aware, just present and being in the run. Hitting The Path Under The Stairs with almost nothing, so taking it at a long slow shuffle. And then finishing down 4th Street, pushing the long stride even longer.

Distance: 15.82. Time: 1:32:03
Average speed: 5:48 min/km. (10.0 kph)
Rest distance: 1.44 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.26 km. Total time: 1:42:03.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 15C at the start, 19C at the end.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Couple of Days Late - Again

It's not like I'm super busy or anything. I don't feel all that lazy, either. But here I am two days after the last run.

A lovely evening, as I recall, a little on the warm side. It had been great week so far, and a run was a good way to cap the day.

I remember feeling a little sluggish, though. I was more or less OK along the river and up to The Path Under The Stairs, but The Path dragged me down significantly. I ran the whole thing though.

I find that difficult moments in a run are when I get that "what the hell was I thinking" moment, but after doing this for four years, I can draw on the past experience. I can quick;y replace the defeatist thoughts with "c'mon, I've done this before." It gets me through.

And no matter how hard it seems out on the trail, when I'm done, I know it was worth it. It's always a good run.

Distance: 10.12 km. Time: 58:40
Average speed: 5:47 min/km (10.4 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Sunny and 21C

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Right After Work

And it was great! I was in the house, changed and back out in about ten minutes. And the goal was nothing too strenuous, just a 7K to 14th and back.

Being a little later than usual, I got out into the crowds. That was fun. It's so cool to be out with all these people, all running or whatever. Not quite the noon hour crowds that I remember, but it was certainly energizing.

I didn't do anything much different, but just got running and that was all I wanted/needed. And I think my leg issues were just acclimatization issues with the new shoes. Not much more than a twinge tonight, so I expect I'll not be bothered again, at least until the next new pair.

Distance: 7.14 km. Time: 40:06
Average speed: 5:36 min/km (10.7 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Sunny and 21C.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Evening

Nothing special about this run. I needed to get out for some distance, but with everything feeling a little tight and stiff, I took it easy. I still made a respectable time of it.

They've dug up the walking path from the Edworthy bridge to about where Parkdale meets 3rd Avenue. It looks like it's all prepped for paving, with some kind of liner covered with packed sand.

And the river is almost as crowded as Deerfoot, with all the rafters on it.

I didn't get out until late afternoon. I met a friend for breakfast, that just moved back from Ontario after six years or so. Very good to see her again and catch up on stuff. But of course, a big breakfast ain't conducive to distance running.

Distance: 16.10 km. Time: 1:36:58
Average speed: 6:01 min/km. (10.0 kph)
Rest distance: 1.43 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.53 km. Total time: 1:46:58.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Cloudy and 18C.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Lazy II

...And then more stuff piles up and you still don't get to it for some reason, maybe just cuz you don't feel like it? or something?

This was a tough run. My ITB is bowstring tight, which is not unusual, but I never notice it when I'm running. This time, I couldn't ignore it, and about a kilometre from home, I had to stop. Even walking hurt.

Hope it's not the shoes.

From August 7:

Distance: 5.93 km. Time: 32:35
Average speed: 5:29 min/km (10.9 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Nice again.


You ever have one of those weeks, where there's too much going on, and some stuff you just don't have the energy for? And then you get lazy so stuff ends up getting put off for days until you wonder if it's maybe too late to bother with?


From August 5:

Distance: 7:36 km. Time: 42:32
Average speed: 5:46 min/km (10.4 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Nice.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

New Shoes, Finally

I knew I was overdue for new ones, but I don't know how much overdue. Old shoes wear out slowly, so that things start to not feel right, hurt even, without any indication why. But in retrospect, worn out shoes were the obvious reason.

So this morning I got me a spiffy pair of Asics GT-2130 shoes. These I like, even better than the New Balance when they were new. Maybe even better than the second generation Nike shoes I had way, way back. Naturally, there were some little aches and pains to start, while the body and feet adjust, but by the end we were pals.

Anyway, I was out during the noon hour, which is a whole different feel on the weekend than on a weekday. It felt deserted, with even the Shakespeare players almost acting for themselves. It's too nice for the crowds to stay away thought, and it'll get busier this afternoon.

I trucked along the north side, beside Memorial, to start. Easy running, nice and low key. Just the way a weekend run should be. The return was about the same, and it was a little strange even to be out in such gorgeous weather with not too many others about.

Even the promenade was quiet, until right at Eau Claire, at the Jaipur bridge. Much more like it, but not quite. Across the island and up the hill. Along the bluff, then north a couple of blocks. That's it.

Distance: 10.22 km. Time: 56:53
Average speed: 5:33 min/km (10.8 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Sunny and 18C.