Sunday, November 30, 2008

November is Just About Over

The last long run of November, and not the best run, but pretty good just the same. For fun, I added a little distance, starting out by running over the Centre Street bridge. I think that adds about 400 metres to the usual route over the foot bridge to Prince's Island.

Hokey smokes, what a chilly start! For the first twenty minutes, I wasn't freezing, exactly. And yet I still felt over dressed. Turned out the extra t-shirt was just a little much toward the end.

This run was pretty typical, as far as timing and pace. And yet it felt tougher than usual. I ran three intervals with a minute in the middle at a really hard pace. It makes a huge difference in distance covered, and overall average pace.

I did this easily, yet, it felt hard. I had to push pretty hard to keep it up. Interesting. I got to The Stairs, and it was a slog, me pushing against my knees to rise up each step. At the top, it was a gasping stagger for a hundred metres or so, but I did finish strong.

And as ever, at the end, it felt pretty good.

Distance: 16.43 Time: 1:31:49
Average speed: 5:35 min/km. (10.72 kph)
Rest distance: 1.03 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.46 km. Total time: 1:41:49.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.
Today's earworm: Imagine by John Lennon.

Weather: Sunny and -4C at the start, 2C at the end.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dark, But Not That Dark

Thanks to a little bit of cloud reflecting the city lights, it wasn't too dark out. I ran the Crowchild loop after wavering between that and the shorter 14th Street loop. That twenty minutes or so to get to 14th Street is usually enough to get warmed up and ready for the longer run.

But what a quiet evening. There were a few on the promenade, but after passing the 10th Street bridge, it seemed like no one was out. After crossing to the north side of the river and coming back along Memorial Drive, it stayed quiet.

Nice run though, finishing with a sort-of sprint up the stairs, and actually running right from the top step without slowing down to walk it out a little.

Distance: 9.73 Time: 57:38
Average speed: 5:55 min/km (10.17 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Cloudy and 0C.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Good...

It's been an awesome feeling day. I felt productive at work, even though I was there a little late, and really didn't seem to get that much done. But just a good day.

I got home in the dark, of course. Changed into my running gear and back out on the street in minutes. Really dark.

It might be from the massage I got on Saturday, but the run was great. Not particularly fast, by the look of the GPS, but it felt it. That happens a lot. I would have thought the Sunday run would have used up whatever loosening the massage gave me, but there must have been some left over.

Or maybe its just that lots of good things are happening. How cool is that?

Distance: 6.45 Time: 38:23
Average speed: 5:57 min/km (10.44 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Cloudy and 3C.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Still No Cold Snap

It's been staying remarkably mild, which is very much appreciated by us runners. There were bunches of us out this morning, too. I was out just a little bit later than I wanted to be, due to someone missing a bus and needing a ride to work. No worries about that.

I got home from that, changed immediately, and was out the door in about five minutes. My running neighbour had just walked out ahead of me, so we briefly chatted at the bus stop across the street. She's just starting to taper for the Sacramento Marathon.

Anyway, too cold to chat long in just running tights and a wind breaker, so I got going. As usual, things were a little stiff for the first thirty minutes. By the time I got to Crowchild, I was feeling good.

The trails are in great condition, with either clear pavement or packed snow. Very little ice. I had a stronger than usual start, too, with a strong pace. Lots of runners out, too.

At Edworthy, the bridge had a couple of icy spots. Running traffic really started to pickup, on the north side of the river. Still not like a summer Sunday morning, but busy for this time of year.

I tried a couple of fartlek style fast intervals, and managed to get the average pace down impressively (at least I was impressed.) Of course, that made the last interval tougher, with the stair climb, but I got up that pretty quickly. A short walk to regain my breathing a bit, and I was running again. A couple of minutes later and I was done.

Distance: 16.08 Time: 1:30:00
Average speed: 5:35 min/km. (10.72 kph)
Rest distance: 950.4 m. Rest time: 9:19.
Total distance: 17.03 km. Total time: 1:39:19.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Sunny and -2C at the start, 4C at the end.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Late Post

And just a quick one, basically reporting stats.

Distance: 6.69 Time: 38:27
Average speed: 5:44 min/km (10.44 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Mainly clear and 1C.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Snowy Run

What a beautiful morning, although I'm sure anyone who had to drive was thinking otherwise. It's the kind of wet snow, falling at a temperature that freezes it at intersections where it's packed down and polished.

I dressed in running tights and a long sleeve tee under my windbreaker. Temperature-wise, it's perfect weather for running, and no wind either. I was out a little early, so a lot of the paths hadn't been cleared right when I started out. I had to adopt a kind of high kicking stride at times, to keep the slush from splashing into each shoe.

I met one of those rotating brush things near the helicopter pad by the promenade, and from there, it was slush free running for awhile. It was a little quiet until I got past 14th Street, and then I began to pass several walking groups.

The cleared path ended at Crowchild, and the trail was covered with a thick layer of new snow, wet and sticky. Even as fresh as it was, there had been a lot of traffic. The slushy parts were scarce.

This kind of snow automatically makes for an uneven surface to run on. Even so, I made great time. I crossed over the river at Edworthy, and got on the plowed path. There were still a few groups out, more than I expected.

I still do the run/walk thing on the long runs and it seems to work - run nine minutes, walk one minute. For a couple of these intervals, I tried a variation that I had been doing back in the spring, a kind of fartlek training. I would run normal for four minutes, run hard for one minute, run normal again for another four minutes, and then walk for one minute. I think fartleks are a little more variable.

I got to the stairs again and tried to run them. More like shuffled up, with a little more bounce than a normal walking climb. I still need about fifty metres of walking at the top to get my breathing back, but it has been making a difference.

After that, it was a short trot through the slush and I was doing my post-run stretches on my front step.

Distance: 16.01 Time: 1:30:00
Average speed: 5:37 min/km. (10.67 kph)
Rest distance: 916.6 m. Rest time: 9:37.
Total distance: 16.93 km. Total time: 1:39:37.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Light snow and -1C all the way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Under the Moon

A full moon was up about an hour by the time I got out. I still feel ripped off over the time change, but the bright moonlight made up for it some.

I hadn't done a 10 km run for ages, so that was the goal. Just to Crowchild and back. There were lots of groups out, being the night of the Running Rooms group runs.

On top of all that, the weather is amazing. It's still nice enough for shorts and a tee shirt, although the tee shirt is long sleeved, and I wore a running vest over top.

The run felt great, too. I felt fast, and loose. Lately the runs have been like that. The Stairs were a challenge, but even there, I wasn't completely stopped by them.

Distance: 9.59 Time: 53:29
Average speed: 5:34 min/km (10.76 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Clear and 9C.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Indian Summer Keeps Coming Back

And that's OK with me. Every day I can run in shorts and tee shirt is a blessing.

I was out about mid morning, and down to the bluff. Not too many people walking there, and only a couple of people using The Stairs. I headed to the top of The Path and ambled down.

On the foot bridge were red cones. Apparently I just missed the start of the Last Chance Half Marathon. The crowd was already well ahead of me and out of site. The promenade was all walkers, strollers and regular runners.

I made good time to 14th Street, and it was after I passed that that I saw the head of the pack on the other side of the river. There was actually quite a crowd.

And then, I passed Crowchild and lost sight due to the trees. It's all bush on the side of the trail and it's pretty thick. And then I was just lost in the beauty of the day.

Lowery Gardens was lovely. I like the way the trial winds along the edge of the river, with a thin band of trees and bush between. At one place is a recently fallen cottonwood, all broken up and mossy.

Where the trail crosses the tracks and follows the base of Spruce Cliff, the sun hadn't reached yet. The crossing and the trail beyond was frosty, and I could feel the chill. More invigorating than anything.

This stretch was pretty busy, too, not the normally nearly deserted place it usually is. Two young moms with a troop of young kids were watching the train go by, as was a man with a camera, running to find a good vantage for the perfect shot.

The gate at the parking lot on the south side of Edworthy was crowded too, and I took the trail through the grass that goes around it. It was actually kind of slippery with mud that stuck to my shoes, and which I shed in clumps for the rest of the run.

On the north side, it was head down and straight back towards downtown. I started this run not feeling my best, and while I was OK, I still wasn't feeling great.

At the stairs, I gamely tried running up the thing, but only managed the first three or four flights. After that, I walked it as fast as I could, pushing myself off each knee at each step.

I launched back into running at the top, or maybe lurched is a better word. That last half kilometre was definitely slower than usual.

Distance: 15.96 Time: 1:31:22
Average speed: 5:43 min/km. (10.48 kph)
Rest distance: 966.6 m. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 16.92 km. Total time: 1:41:22.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Sunny and 9C at the start, warming to 12C at the end.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Running in the Snow

I think I ran in the rain once all spring/summer/fall, but first snow, and I'm out there. It's a little wet, not really cold enough to stick. But it started coming down pretty thick while I was out there.

I started this time by heading over to Centre Street. I haven't gone that way for awhile, though it only adds a couple of hundred metres to the run. All the fitness groups that are usually on The Stairs seemed to be gone, though there were at least five an hour before.

Across the bridge and toward Eau Claire, which seemed deserted. There were a few on the promenade, but the whole atmosphere has changed. The snow and the time change have made the place a little dismal.

At the 14th Street bridge, I had great power climbing up to the bridge deck, courtesy of an andrenalin shot from some idiot on a bike that almost ran me down.

From 14th Street back to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, there was nary a soul. Another fitness group was making an effort to ignore the snow on The Stairs. I ran up The Stairs, all the way this time, although I had to walk for fifty metres or so at the top until my breathing settled a little.

After that, along the bluff until I turned north on 4th Street, as usual.

Distance: 6.93 Time: 41:53
Average speed: 6:02 min/km (9.93 kph).

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Light rain and 0C (but I'd call it snow.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Long One

This weather is unbelievable. It's almost summery, except for all the leaves being on the ground, and the brown grass. I haven't done a long run for too long, so today it had to happen.

I find the best time to run on a Sunday is starting mid-morning. Today was right one. The satellites were in perfect alignment, so the GPS was ready right off. At the bluff I ran east, looking over my shoulder at the western horizon. Lots of cloud hanging over the front range, though it didn't look like there was any new snow.

The cloud was moving out, and by the time I reached 14th Street, it was quite sunny. I'd worn my running vest over a long sleeve tee, and that was probably too much. Past Crowchild and heading toward the trail below Spruce Cliff, there were lots of people out. Several large groups of six or more, some running, some walking.

It's been awhile since I've done any distance, so my breathing was a little ragged. It wasn't laboured or anything, but it didn't have the usual rhythm. Between not running much lately, and still fending off a little chest congestion, I was breathing just a little heavier. But it didn't seem to affect my running.

On the return leg from Edworthy, it was just as straight forward. But by 10th Street, I was feeling a little depleted. I did the rest of the run OK, and just for fun, finished by climbing the stairs. At the top, I was done. The rest of the way was a slow walk home.

Distance: 15.50 Time: 1:29:31
Average speed: 5:46 min/km. (10.39 kph)
Rest distance: 924.1 m. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 16.43 km. Total time: 1:38:31.

Shoes: Asics GT-2130.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and 9C at the start, climbing to 13C at the end.