Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting Back Into the Swing

I felt a lot better out there today. The cramping didn't recur, thank goodness, but I still felt a little stiff in the calves, and legs in general. I still felt heavy, too, and it seemed like my feet were slapping the pavement pretty hard.

The Path Under The Stairs is a little dicey but if I stay on the south side of the path, in the shadow of the ridge of snow piled up from plowing, I'm on packed snow all the way down, and up when I come back. After that, it's pretty clear.

I took the ramp from the foot bridge down to the path along Memorial Drive. It felt like I was doing better this time too. I felt faster, and when I glanced at the GPS when I reached the walk like at 7th Street, the time was about where it usually is when I get to that point.

At 10th Street, the underpass is still under water and a lot of ice. I imagine they'll have to replace the guard rails again in the spring, as the metre and a half of ice will likely bend the existing one pretty bad before it melts away. There is also construction that's been going on since the spring.

The parking lot by the Parks office is still fenced off and full of odd piles of materials and equipment. They've routed the path along the curb beside Memorial Drive, until just past the parking lot it dodges away from the street toward the existing trail.

All reasonably clear, a little packed snow. I climbed up onto the Metawa Bridge at 14th Street as usuual. There was a little bit of a breeze from the west, but by then I was warmed up and not noticing it.

On the other side, it was quiet, and I met the few runners that I'd already met on the other side. At the Metawa Bridge, I crossed quickly when there was a lull in the traffic. The crosswalks aren't in the right place: I'd have to cross 4th Avenue, then 9th Street (which the bridge connects to on the south side of the river) then back across 4th Avenue again. There's no crosswalk on the north side of 4th.

Running down between the Metawa Bridge and the C-Train bridge to go under it, I looked over my shoulder at the mass of ice that had piled up in the underpass. A runner was picking his way through the jagged mess to the other side. I had no confidence that there were no thin spots. It had to be a metre over the lowest point of the path down there.

The rest of the run was no big deal. I still felt heavy but the leg cramps were mostly a memory. The run up The Path was the usual huff and puff, and the steepest part seemed to be unusually demanding. But it seemed to take no time to get to the top.

From there, it was the usual six hundred metres or so to my finish line, a short block to walk, and then some serious stretching on my front step.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.06 Time: 43:10
Average speed: 6:07 min/km. (9.81 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Sad L n K with happy notes.

Weather: Sunny and -9C .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

An Improvement

It's still going slow this season. I've really fallen off the rails here. I didn't get the leg cramps as bad as the last couple of times out, but they were still there. And after almost an hour they were down to a dull ache.

I headed out shortly after sunrise, running toward and along the bluff, and then down Nony's Awful Little Hill to the Centre Street bridge. I worried about being under-dressed. I was feeling the cold, but hoped that I would warm up enough from running.

At the first interval, I was slower than the last time I was out. I let go of any thoughts of having a reasonably fast run, and just concentrated on getting in the distance I wanted and getting it done.

I ran along the promenade, not the hobble that it felt like last time, but the heaviness was still there. I felt like I had gained forty pounds somewhere, the way my foot impact was hammering the pavement. I feel heavy and entirely graceless.

At the C-Train bridge I crossed to the north side of the river. The underpass under the Louise Bridge was still under ice and water, and I imagine the path on the other side might be neglected by the sidewalk plows because of that.

The run along Memorial was a heavy plodding affair. I wasn't improving my time much, and sometimes when I was on a walk break, I missed the chime to start running again.

By the time I got to the pedestrian overpass near the Boy Scouts building, the leg cramps were a distant ache, but I still couldn't get it in gear. I think I was running slower and slower as time went on.

I had another walk break just past Crowchild, and decided to call it a day. I'm usually there after about 30 minutes, but this was at the 40 minute mark, so was way off my usual pace. I turned around.

Something interesting to notice is that with the sun so low in the sky, almost all of Memorial drive from the C-Train bridge to Centre Street is in shadow from all the downtown skyscrapers across the river. Those towers cast long shadows.

When I got to The Path Under The Stairs, I actually managed to feel a bit more energetic and be a little aggressive. Climbing a slope seems to ease the kind of cramps I've been getting. But at the top, I was pretty much used up.

A sunny, beautiful day for running today, and in general I felt better than the last couple of weeks.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.39 Time: 1:08:52
Average speed: 6:37 min/km. (9.05 kph)
Rest distance: 0.68 km. Rest time: 7:00.
Total distance: 11.07 km. Total time: 1:15:52.

Shoes: New Balance 769 (blue).
Today's earworm: wistful L n K.

Weather: Sunny and -11C.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Feeling Old and Slow

It was a tough run this morning. I was looking forward to it, too. It's not too cold, and the snow started just nicely. It's the kind of day that's fun to run through.

I'd also found some shoes yesterday, too, and they were feeling very good this morning. I actually found the same shoe as last time, not realizing it until just now, because they are blue trim instead of the yellow of the last pair. I expected the shin splints, and they came back, not too bad in the beginning. I crossed Centre Street bridge, and was surprised how soon my first rest period came.

I welcomed the walk break, but felt the wicked tightness in the shins. By the second break that hurt lots. I got to the Louise Bridge, and of course with the ice jam that's been on the river for a couple of weeks, the path is under water. So I took the C-Train bridge across to the north side of the river.

At the end of the bridge, I turned briefly to the west, but things hurt. So I turned east to head home. I did start to loosen up a tiny bit, so by the time I got to the ramp up to the foot bridge, I felt I could continue. The plan developed to continue at least to Edmonton Trail, then cross south again and back track to Prince's Island and head home.

After crossing under Centre Street, I thought a little about continuing to maybe Bridgeland Station and crossing north there, running through Bridgeland and up the hill there to head back home. That might have given me a dozen kilometres, at least. But things were no better by the time I reach Edmonton Trail, so I stuck to the original plan.

Interestingly, every interval seemed to be slower and slower. My pace was dismal. It seemed to take forever to get to Prince's Island, and crossing that, to climb The Path Under The Stairs. I stuck it out to my usual finish, but it felt like it took all morning.

Today's run:
Distance: 8.45 Time: 58:51
Average speed: 6:57 min/km. (9.36 kph)
Rest distance: 0..50 km. Rest time: 6:00.
Total distance: 8.95 km. Total time: 1:04:51.

Shoes: New Balance 769 (blue).
Today's earworm: Permanent L n K.

Weather: Light snow at -9C.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hurtin' in Alberta

Jeez, what the heck? I was out - finally - for a run after the cold snap. Just too wussy to get out in that -45C wind chill, I guess. But man this was a hard run.

It was all packed snow, and not so bad for slipperiness. The Path Under The Stairs had a couple of spots at it's steepest that were a little dicey on the way down but for the most part it was pretty good running conditions.

But oh, so slow! No speed, and major pain in the shins. I was locking up, almost. I thought about stopping but figured I might just lock up permanently if I did. And heavy and slow. That's what it felt like. Every step was jarring and I just had no flow with it at all.

Is this what happened when you don't run for two weeks? It was tough!

Today's (actually yesterday's) run:
Distance: 5.56 Time: 37:10
Average speed: 6:41 min/km. (8.98 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Sad and blue L n K.

Weather: Mostly cloudy and -8C

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Late Afternoon Run

When I work at home on a running day, I usually take a break at noon, and run then, but today I felt I was on a roll and kept working right through noon and most of the afternoon.

A half hour before sunset, I was done, though. I changed and stepped out the door. Jeez, it was cold! I mean not crazy cold, but it has cooled off considerably in the last couple of days. The snow we got yesterday wasn't too bad though, and I found that what was icy on Sunday was now packed snow and quite good to run on.

I headed down The Path, taking it easy though. There were still icy spots and I did a bit of a dance at one point when I found one with the heel of my shoe. A little arm waving for balance and I was good.

Across Prince's Island and down the promenade. It was pretty packed and icy, but not bad and I made good time.

I still felt the shin splints but had none of the fatigue that I had on Sunday. It felt much like I was back to my old self, if I ignored the sore legs and heavy wooden feeling in them. Still, my time was off.

It didn't take long to warm up either. Running is funny that way for me, hard to get out and get going. Cold and stiff at the start, but I know if I stick it out, I'm going to feel pretty darn good about getting through one more run.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.09 Time: 42:46
Average speed: 6:01 min/km. (9.95 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Sad and blue L n K.

Weather: Clear and -5C

Monday, November 30, 2009

After the Blizzard

Such as it was. It snowed Friday night after it rained and then it froze and driving was apparently not fun. There was some melting the next day, but it was mostly overcast, and not all that warm. So by Sunday morning there was still lots of ice and packed snow.

I started down the street toward the bluff and it was treacherous, with a good coat of ice and the temperatures warming up to well above freezing. I stayed on the sidewalk rather than run on Crescent Road, much better but still slippery.

Nony's Awful Little Hill wasn't bad, with just one short stretch where I opted to pick my way through the weeds on the side, and the Centre Street bridge was also a littel icy. But once I got off the bridge and on to the promenade, there was no ice at all.

My big problem was just keeping going. I felt shin splints, not debilitating, but hurting. And I had no energy. My pace was way off. I usually try to at least stay to less than 6 minutes per kilometre, but that was a far off goal.

I kept plodding. I felt I had the stamina, just not the strength for my usual speed. The shin splints stayed with me, against my hope that they would disappear if I just kept moving.

By the time I crossed under Crowchild, the legs felt better, and I was feeling a little bit looser. But still my speed was staying down. I stayed on the bike path on the way to Edworthy, as it had been cleared some and there was lots of packed snow where it wasn't bare pavement. By the time I passed the Extreme Bean the shin splints were history.

I think it's partly the shoes. They have just under 700 km on them and they feel heavy and have no bounce, so I think the cushioning in the insole is pretty much gone. On top of that was a night of celebration, though it was low key, and I certainly wasn't hung over, just very tired.

I rounded Angel's Cafe at least five minutes slower than usual. I switched to the pedestrian path, which isn't cleared in the winter. The snow was packed and there was a little more of it, but just fine for running. Further evidence that my shoes had reached their end was how jarring each step felt. I wasn't hurting by this time, but just felt the fatigue.

The rest of the run went by. I just wanted to get to the end. The Path Under The Stairs wasn't any more onerous than usual, but I was already done before I got there. Running along the top of the bluff, I just wanted to get to the end, and never thought to check out the mountains.

About 15 minutes longer than I usually run this one. I was very glad to be done this run.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.51 Time: 1:45:47
Average speed: 6:28 min/km. (9.36 kph)
Rest distance: 0.89 km. Rest time: 11:30.
Total distance: 17.34 km. Total time: 1:57:17.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: All the Hits on L n K.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Still Being Nice Out!

Can't beat this weather. It's almost the end of November, and we really haven't had any major snowfalls, except for a couple that didn't stick around. Also no real cold snaps, except for a couple of days in October when I dropped to -15 or so. Leave's ya with a feeling that something is just around the corner, waiting to pounce.

I took a break from work, actually getting out a little earlier. Down to the path along the river and it was pretty quiet, as the lunch time crowd wouldn't be coming out until I was almost done.

The chill kinda followed me until I got part way down Cresent Road to the top of The Path. By the time I was at the bottom, I wasn't feeling cold at all. The light breeze that had been biting a little was unnoticeable.

The run was a run. Nothing notable about it, and I plodded down to 14th Street and the Metawa bridge. On the other side, a few lunch time runners were beginning to show, though it was still pretty quiet. I think the fair weather runners were staying in, even though it was a calm, clear, sunny day.

By the time I was on the south side of the river, my shins were burning. I did do some stretching before starting out, but those hurt. It didn't slow me down, just hurt. By the time I got to crossing Prince's Island, I was fine.

I was up The Path not fast, but steady, and not breathless. At the top, as I turned the hairpin to head west, I noticed the western horizon. Wow, clear all the way, with just a few grey blobs behind them. They were mostly dark because of the angle of the sun, but had a few gleaming white parts that were still in the sun.

I took that in until I got to the break in the guard rail where I head north and homeward.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.09 Time: 41:57
Average speed: 5:55 min/km. (10.14 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Easy L n K.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 4C

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beat the Sunset

Rushed home so I could get a run in before dinner, and perhaps even before sunset. Man but it gets dark so early.

The weather is still holding out this fall, and I probably could have run in shorts, but opted for the running tights. Seems like a lot of people walk to work downtown, too. The bridge was busy, though not crowded.

On the promenade, lots of leaves blowing around and the ducks in that little bit of river that flows between the promenade and Prince's Island were making a quite a racket. The trees are naked, of course, but there's squirrels out and they're busy.

Along Bow Trail, nothing exciting. Same as when crossing the Metawa Bridge, and even along Memorial. The Path was the usual challenge, but at the top I had lots left and my breathing was quite even. That's never happened before, so was kinda cool. No slowing up a little to let my breath catch up with me.

Anyway, a good finish, and I was home before dark.

Distance: 7.17 Time: 40:31
Average speed: 5:38 min/km. (10.62 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Lovin' L n K.

Weather: Sunny and 7C

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Wicked Wind from the West

Jeekers, it's some kind of windy out there! Warm enough for shorts and tee, so that was nice, actually spectacular given that it's mid November. But approaching the intersection where I usually start running, there seemed to be a permanent dust devel whipping leaves and other detritus into the air.

I was out at noon again, and it was busy. The Path Under The Stairs and The Stairs themselves were busy, but the start was good. I ran up on the bridge and took the ramp down to the trail beside Memorial Drive.

It wasn't too bad in the trees, but in any clear space, it was a battle against the wind. And I was never sure which way it was coming from, only that it was coming from in front of me.

Someone had pulled in behind me as I took that ramp and they were drafting me, too. It's a little weird having someone just hanging a few feet back off of your shoulder. The awareness that someone is behind you kind of dominates the run, and I find I'm wishing they'd just pass me already.

Anyway, up onto the Metawa Bridge at 14th Street, and down the other side by Bow Trail. Really busy with lots of runners along there. My shadow seemed to fall back a little with the traffic.

After passing the C-Train bridge, and with the widening of the promenade, there was more maneuvering room, but the shadow still took it's time catching up. Finally, just past the helicopter pad, she passed. And I slowed. It was like a pressure valve was suddenly release. Silly, but that's some of the psychology of running.

After that, I crossed Prince's Island and the bridge. I took the two flights of steps up The Stairs to the landing that empties out on The Path. That was slow, with the crowd climbing in front of me. The Path was a slog but I was pushing it, and was breathing hard at the top. The rest of the run was recovering from that effort, trying to get my breathing evened out.

Distance: 7.00 Time: 40:19
Average speed: 5:45 min/km. (10.42 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Easy L n K.

Weather: Sunny and 12C

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chinooky Run

Windy as heck out there this morning, and the temperature had been on a steady climb since late last night. Not super warm but the trend was typical of a chinook.

I wandered westward from my front door toward the nearest mailbox, dropping in a couple of envelopes. And from there I walked south for about a block before the GPS finally found itself. This put me almost half a kilometer farther from my usual start.

Out on to the bluff, with a brisk and slightly chilly wind at my back. There weren't a lot of people out up there, and it was quiet all the way to the Centre Street bridge. Even there, there was no one around.

I passed a couple of guys doing tai chi by Sen Lok Park, then past the dam and duck pond to find orange cones across my path at Eau Claire. I was about an hour and twenty minutes ahead of the Last Chance Half Marathon. I wasn't sure of the start time, but hoped I would be out of the way when it started.

The wind was pretty fierce while running west. Open stretches along the south side of the river past the promenade were where it really got in the way, and I was happy to get into the bush near The Pumphouse.

At Crowchild, the race cones directed traffic onto the footbridge across the river. I kept going straight. I thought that any ice in the sheltered stretch below Spruce Cliff, left from the snows we had a few weeks ago, would be melted by now. I forgot about the natural springs.

The usual drainage for the springs was iced up and blocked and flow is crossing the path. Ice is building up in a few places and it's wet with new water flowing over it. Extremely slippery. I hugged the fence and kept to the strip of leaves piled against it, but still managed to get one foot wet.

After the ice it was clear and almost windless with the bush close into the path. The only spot where the wind made itself felt was just before crossing the tracks into the picnic area of Edworthy.

Across the river, the wind was at my back, and I began to feel a little overdressed. Without the wind, it would have been a good day for shorts. The few trees along the river bank did little to block the wind, so I was glad to have it behind me.

Near Crowchild, I passed the turn around point for the race, and one of the lead runners was just arriving. And nearing Crowchild itself, I met two more coming off the ramp up to the footbridge. Those two too a little while to catch up to me, but not really that long. I can't even imagine keeping up a pace like that for 21 kilometres.

Walkers must have started much earlier as I began to pass many with the racing bibs. Meanwhile across the river, the path was positively crowded. The three kilometre marker was about half way between 14th Street and Crowchild, so the field wouldn't have had time to spread out too much by then.

I kept passing walkers and being passed by runners as I continued along Memorial Drive. At the ramp to the foot bridge to Prince's Island, there was a small crowd. They cheered and clapped as one of the runners that had just passed me trundled by them. They were conspicuously quiet as I came up to them, although there was one guy self consciously clapping with a subdued woohoo to go with it.

The Path Under The Stairs was, as usual, strenuous and so not my favourite part of the run. At the top I was glad to see the chinook arch had moved significantly eastward. The mountains were unobscured and in full sunlight, stark against the pale blue of the sky near the horizon.

I was running full on into that blasted wind and was glad to finally turn northward toward my finish line.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.02 Time: 1:37:32
Average speed: 5:43 min/km. (10.47 kph)
Rest distance: 1.08 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.10 km. Total time: 1:47:32.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Cloudy and 7C.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dark Already???

Man, the time change really twisted things. Suddenly it's dark almost as soon as I get home. Well, not quite, but if I go for a run as soon as I get home, it's almost dark by the time I finish. And now sitting here after a shower after the run, it is dark.

Today was one of those days. A chinook came up, and we could almost be back in mid summer, except for the naked trees. I didn't wear my jacket coming home, and it was perfect for shorts and tee shirt.

The sun was still up when I got to the bluff, and there were some interesting and dramatic cloud shapes on the horizon, back lit by the setting sun. A few minutes later, they were out of sight as I was down by the river.

I swam upstream against the flow of people coming home from downtown, crossing the bridge to Prince's Island. West on the promenade after that, and lots of people deciding to walk home. Not crowded but busy. Almost like a lunch time crowd on one of those gorgeous summer Fridays before a long weekend. That kind of density.

Mostly though, it was a pretty standard run. Lots of crunchy leaves blowing around a bit. And getting darker and darker. I hit The Path Under The Stairs and powered upward, not totally flat out, but I had a good pace. At the top, I ran toward the light, sort of. Westward along the top of the bluff, and then turning toward home.

Last Sunday's run (Nov 1):
Distance: 16.55 Time: 1:35:41
Average speed: 6:02 min/km. (10.18 kph)
Rest distance: .97 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.52 km. Total time: 1:45:41.

Last Tuesday's run (Nov 3):
Distance: 7.13 Time: 38:50
Average speed: 5:27 min/km. (10.32 kph)

Tonight's run:
Distance: 7.23 Time: 39:58
Average speed: 5:32 min/km. (10.32 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K Blues.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 15C.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Luverly Lunch Run

Holy cow, what crazy weather! It was cool and damp this morning, but by noon, the sun was out. At least that's what I saw just as I went to change for a run. Then stepping out the door, it was snowing lightly. By the time I'd gone a block, visibility was down to a kilometre in heavy snow. And yet the sun was still shining. Very weird.

Anyway, down to the bluff, and down The Path. By the time I was half way down, the snow had stopped. As it is said, if you don't like the weather in Calgary, wait five minutes.

I was up for something different today. So at the point on the foot bridge where I could have turned right to take the ramp down to the path beside Memorial Drive, I went left, down the stairs to the same path, but going east.

Nothing much to say about it. There were a few runners, but after I crossed under the lower level of the Centre Street bridge, they petered out. It was nice though. It's been well over a year since I've gone that way.

I crossed the river at the Langevin Bridge, the old iron one that takes Edmonton Trail into downtown, and at the far end found lots of change. 4th Street no longer exists of the end of the bridge, but you can turn hard left onto an newly extended Riverfront Avenue.

Going west from the bridge, new sidewalk followed Riverfront, but the path is gone for two blocks or so. All dug up, and I hope they replace it. About half way down is a short detour path that goes back to that path on the edge of the river bank.

Under the Centre Street Bridge again, and along the promenade (esplanade?). At this point, I began to wonder how far this route would take me. I wanted at least 7 km, but I was thinking it would be too short if I headed homeward right at Prince's Island.

And it was way too short. I was just over 5 km, and the way back home would barely add a kilometre and a half. I briefly thought of running to the far end of the island and coming back through it, but that still wouldn't have been long enough.

So I continued to the C-Train bridge near the Metawa bridge to 10th Street. Back along the berm beside Memorial Drive, up the ramp and across to the curling club, and up a couple of flights of The Stairs to The Path.

At this point I was close to 7 km, and that was fine. I continued up to the top of the bluff, and along it to the top of The Stairs. From there I headed straight north instead of continuing to 4th Street. And in a few minutes I was home.

Distance: 7.91 Time: 46:00
Average speed: 5:49 min/km. (10.32 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Rockin' L n K.

Weather: Cloudy and 4C.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Love My Sunday Run

Got another bright clear crisp morning to run in. The mountains are all white in their winter shrouds, but oh, so sharp and clear on the horizon. Another sign that summer has passed - no forest fire smoke.

I broke onto Cresent Road and headed sunward. I had a feeling that it wasn't going to be a fast run, and I was more than good with that. A wonderful L n K note to everything, such a clear a beautiful day. I ran along the street, crossing over to the shale path as the guard rail turns into posts at the top of The Stairs.

At the top of The Path I headed instead down Nony's Awful Little Hill towards Centre Street. The Bow is looming large now. The thing is huge and it going to completely dominate the skyline in a few short months. It takes up a substantial part of the view ahead when running down the bridge.

At the far end, I took the little ramp down to the promenade and headed past the Tai Chi practitioners by Sein Lok Park. you know, I think esplanade might be a more accurate term, but promenade sounds right. I was running a little later than usual, and I think I missed most of the group runs, but there were still lots of people out.

It was pretty run of the mill, running wise, all the way to Crowchild. And there, I crossed to the north side of the river. Last week there were lots of icy spots along the trail below Spruce Cliff, and I thought that after the snowfall we had yesterday morning, it might be much worse. The season is pretty much over for that trail.

I thought maybe the running trails might have a few icy spots as well, but they were totally clear. And there was more traffic along the Parkdale Boulevard stretch. Busy. Steady.

Near the Edworthy bridge, a group was forming for a dog walk. I passed them just as they started out, and looped around Angel's Cafe. After a quick stop at the public washroom, I very quickly caught up to the dog walkers again.

The rest of the run was uneventful. Legs felt good, breathing was good. I was in a nice groove. I managed to hit The Path Under The Stairs just as a walk break started, so avoided running the steepest part. Powered up the rest.

The run along the bluff was lovely, still a crystal clear view of the western horizon. And then I was across Cresent Road and heading home.

Distance: 16.35 Time: 1:36:20
Average speed: 5:53 min/km. (10.18 kph)
Rest distance: .95 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.30 km. Total time: 1:46:15.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Rhythm and Blues L n K.

Weather: Sunny and -3C.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Little Run

I was working from home today, so got out for a lunch time run. It was a little chilly, but not so bad. It would have been un-noticed except the darn GPS took it's time syncing up to satellites. I stood at the intersection where I usually start to run, staring at it on my wrist, resisting the temptation to wave it at the sky, in case that would help it find it's way.

About two minutes maybe, and it was locked in. But I'd noticed the breeze by then. It didn't make any difference, since by the time I reached Cresent Road, I was more or less warmed up.

It was pretty grey out. It had been raining first thing this morning, and then there had been a brief explosion of sunlight about mid-morning. I could see the far reaches of the city from the bluff, but the mountains were lost in the grey.

Down The Path and then along Memorial Drive. Reasonably busy with runners and walkers, but not crowded. I ran to 14th and crossed the river there, then back along Bow Trail. Quiet. Steady. It was a little more crowded on the promenade after I passed under the bridge at 9th street (10th Street at the other end, angling a little in its crossing.)

I think I've run that route enough that I sometimes get into a kind of mindless state, not really noticing where I'm going. Running on auto.

At The Stairs I ran to the first landing and on to The Path. I'd started out feeling breathless and heavy, but climbing those stairs seemed to wake me up a little, and I climbed The Path a little aggressively.

At the top, I pushed rather hard, actually. My breathing gets away on me on The Path, especially after the steepest part, and I usually slow along the top to let my breathing slow a little. Today, I just kept pushing. I was keeping a rather slow cadence to my stride but stretching each step quite a bit.

Once I turned off the path along the bluff and onto 4th Street, I was really loping along. And then I was done.

Distance: 6.89 Time: 39:32
Average speed: 5:44 min/km. (10.46 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Cloudy and 4C.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Grey Sunday

Or should I say a gray Sunday? Is it grey or gray? Is this one of those Canadian/American spelling things?

It's actually a very nice day this morning, even if it's grey and threatening to rain. Even if it's not drizzling, it looks like it should be. But not too cool. I did wear the running gloves I got in the swag bag from my last marathon.

The GPS grabbed a satellite right off, and I started running as soon as I stepped across the manhole cover a block down the street - my starting line. All they way to Cresent Road and the bluff, my knees were a little complainy. But I was soon oblivious to them.

I did notice them on the steep part of Nony's Awful Little Hill going down to the Centre Street bridge. That was the last I noticed of them until I got home and had to climb the stairs after showering.

Crossing the bridge I could see a lot of runners below on the trail along the river. I think it was the Gorilla Run. Over the bridge and down onto th promenade, and past Sein Lok Park and the new condos being built where the old Greyhound bus barns used to be.

It wasn't exactly quiet on the trails this morning, but it traffic was sparse. It seemed like even the running groups weren't out, although I think they were probably out earlier.

The trail was damp, like it had rained. I imagine there was some rain overnight, and at times it felt like there was a little bit of a misting happening. The Lawrey Conservation area trails were good, a little bit of ice here and there from the snowfalls we got last week.

The trail below Spruce Cliff was different. In places it was quite treacherous, and after watching the woman who had just passed me nearly wipe out, we both tiptoed along the pile of leaves against the chain link fence separating the path from the railroad tracks.

After the first couple of rolling hills, and into the flatter part, where it's more sheltered, the ice got thicker, but less slippery. The trail wound as it does along the bottom of the cliff under the Douglas fir. And then I was out of the trees, off the ice and traipsing through the picnic area at Edworthy, where a hundred or so, mostly women were dressed for running and carrying bags and bags of bras, many pink. I have no info on what this was about, although there was a sandwich board out in the middle of the picnic area that probably explained it.

On the far side, after a quick bathroom stop, it was more quiet running. At times there was traffic that seemed like a typical Sunday, and at times it seemed like I was the only one out there.

I couldn't decide if I was running fast or typical. I didn't feel used up like I do when I'm pushing hard and my pace is near 5:10/km, which is what I usually feel near the end of the run. But I felt slow at times. The GPS said I was merely being consistent, running about 5:40 more or less all through the entire run.

At The Stairs, I had some bounce on the steps, and instead of running up the two flights to the landing that I could get on The Path Under The Stairs, I kept climbing. I managed to run all the way up, though was puffing hard at the top.

And then I ran the length of the bluff to 4th Street and then homeward.

Distance: 16.49 Time: 1:35:15
Average speed: 5:46 min/km. (10.07 kph)
Rest distance: 1.03 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.51 km. Total time: 1:45:15.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K - wonderful music.

Weather: Starting in fog, and ending in light drizzle, but that was at the airport. 4C all through.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whoops, Missed One!

Oh yeah, I was out yesterday too, in the snow. Darned icy on the side street to the bluff, but after that it was soft and slow in the ankle deep stuff along the bluff, and then the paths were clear. Good run, too.

My stats:
Distance: 7.14 Time: 42:32
Average speed: 5:57 min/km. (10.07 kph)

Still Here

Hey, I'm still here, still running. Well, slacking a little. But I've been out a few times in the last couple of weeks. Like on September 29th:

Distance: 6.74 Time: 39:00
Average speed: 5:46 min/km. (10.37 kph)

And then on October 3rd:

Distance: 16.87 Time: 1:33:05
Average speed: 5:37 min/km. (10.87 kph)
Rest distance: .94 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.81 km. Total time: 1:43:05.

And then there was October 6th:

Distance: 7.05 Time: 39:47
Average speed: 5:38 min/km. (10.63 kph)

And finally on October 12th:

Distance: 6.75 Time: 40:47
Average speed: 5:59 min/km. (10.01 kph)

So I'm still moving, still racking up some kilometres. They're not the most exciting of running experiences. Still, I keep trying to get here and add a post. And I finally made it.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autumn is Here!

Just a beautiful fall day today. Sunny and crisp this morning, and just cool enough to need a jacket by afternoon.

I did run earlier this week, on Tuesday when the temps soared to 28. It was even hotter the next couple of days, but I didn't get to run again until to day

From Tuesday:
Distance: 6.97 Time: 41:16
Average speed: 5:55 min/km. (10.69 kph)

Today was clear, with a slight breeze. I headed down to Centre Street to cross the river, and then down on the promenade. It must have been the time of day - I was out a little earlier than usual - but there were huge crowds running in groups. I met several all the way to Crowchild.

Several others were out too. And by the look of everyone, I was rather underdressed. I stuck with shorts and tee, while everyone else seemed to be dressed for winter weather, with running tights and jackets. I have to admit, it did take awhile to warm up. It was a good half hour before my hands were fully warmed.

The trail through Lawrey Gardens was gorgeous, all the trees in fall colours, and still mostly having their leaves. Lots of leaves on the ground too. It was really pretty along the bottom of Spruce Cliff.

After crossing at Edworthy and starting back, it was a little busier on the trail. I think a lot of people just stay on the north side of the river when they get west of Crowchild, and I think they're missing a very scenic run.

The crowd seemed to thin the farther east I went, although once near the CBC studios it was busy enough. I was have a pretty consistent day, not like my slow start, fast middle, and achy stiff end that I usually have. Well I still had that achy stiff end. But my pace was pretty consistent throughout the run.

Still chilly at the end, but a great run and I had lots of morning left, too.

Distance: 16.61 Time: 1:34:00
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (9.9 kph)
Rest distance: 1.01 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.63 km. Total time: 1:44:00.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K - I think it's permanent.

Weather: Sunny and 4C to start, rising to 8C.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rainy Fall Sunday

Well, so much for that beautiful fall weather. Except it's still a lovely day for late September. Even now, it's clearing off and becoming sunny, if a bit breezy.

Anyway, two runs this week, that I didn't get to writing up about:

September 15:
Distance: 7.10 Time: 39:51
Average speed: 5:36 min/km. (10.69 kph)

September 17:
Distance: 7.00 Time: 40:49
Average speed: 5:49 min/km. (10.29 kph)

Anyway, today started grey and rainy. Not all that cold though; I was out with shorts and long sleeve tee shirt. The rain had almost stopped when I got out the door. The one block walk to start while the GPS found satellites went really quick, and I was running toward the bluff.

I was still undecided about what I wanted to do. I briefly considered running east along the river, so would have needed to take The Path, but at the point where I would have turned, I continued the other way toward the Centre Street bridge.

I ran toward Eau Claire then, and cut through by the wading pool, now all dried up and deserted. One of those September sights that are a slightly sad reminder that summer is done.

Lots of those tents with no walls were set up, and a band was warming up for the AIDS Walk. It was still pretty early yet, so there were too many people out.

I ran straight up 3rd Street to 7th Avenue, turning right and crossing over to continue up 4th Street. About this time the rain started up again in earnest. It was quite light, almost a mist, but I got wet enough. I didn't really notice it too much.

It didn't take long to get to 17th Avenue and across. Traffic was still pretty light. I continued on 4th, and curiously was kind of head down and unaware of what was going by. I sort of woke up across from the old theatre that's a Jugo Juice now.

At the Earl's, I crossed to the other side of 4th since the lights were favourable. Past the Tech Shop, Wildwood and then the Safeway, I crossed with the light to the river side of Elbow Drive.

It's been a couple of years since I've ran along the Elbow. It's a nice running route, and a few were out in the rain going the other way. I slowed to a walk at the suspension bridge at 31st Avenue, and crossed. It's way too bouncy to run across. Down the street to the end of the cul-de-sac where the trail along the river picks up.

There were big groups of runners out down there. I passed a couple while climbing a bit of an uphill grade. I passed the monster mansions on the other side of the river, where the last time I was down that way a little white dog cavorted in one of the yards while a coyote on my side of the river watched intently.

Around a curve where the river bank is reinforced with concrete slabs, and I was in Stanley Park, still passing small groups of runners. Past the park and along the street where a friend used to live. She'd sold the place about three years ago, a beautiful little character home, that was replaced almost immediately by a huge monster of a house.

The underpass under Elbow drive came up fast and it's just a nice little dip under the street adjacent to the river. On the other side the trail only goes another fifty metres or so before turning toward the street. Riverdale Avenue is a picturesque street, with big mature trees, and more monster mansions on massive plots of land.

I met a couple more large groups running the other way on this street, following the long slow curve toward the south. It ends at a parking lot and a path that leads through Riverdale Park, open and grassy among some trees closer to the river, with the odd loose dog chasing a ball.

I soon came to another suspension bridge, which I walked again, cross the river to Sandy Beach Park. The path splits and I went right, climbing a short steep hill that goes past public washrooms and the road up the hill to North Glenmore Park.

At this point a check on the GPS showed I had been running for just about 55 minutes. Time to turn and head back. So after a quick stop at those washrooms, I headed back down the hill and crossed the suspension bridge again.

I had planned to follow Riverdale all the way to Elbow, and follow it back to 5th Street. But at the intersection with 9th Street, there was a gap between river front houses to another suspension bridge. I took that, for a change of scenery and woundup following Sifton Avenue back to Elbow.

At Elbow, I just continued north, following the long curve of it all the way to 5th Street, and then headed north that way. Just an uneventful run to downtown. Past the new court building, I finally hit a red light at 5th Avenue, probably the first one in the whole run. And of course another one at 4th Avenue. Both busy streets.

After that I crossed 5th Street to run along beside the new Centennial Place towers on 3rd Avenue, then dodged around Canterra Tower to the Sheraton. The tents set up for the AIDS walk were still rather quiet, not too big a crowd in the rain, although by that time it had stopped.

Then through Prince's Island, across the bridge to the curling club and up The Path from The Stairs. Less than ten minutes later, I was home.

Distance: 15.37 Time: 1:33:11
Average speed: 6:03 min/km. (9.9 kph)
Rest distance: 1.07 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 16.44 km. Total time: 1:45:11.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K, of course!

Weather: Rain and 8C.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Run That Happened

It was two days ago. Really did happen. And here I am finally writing up about it. Not that it's critical that I do, but I try to say something about when I go out. Just cuz I'm rackin' up the numbers of posts.

Anyway, it was one of those that I went out right after I got home from work and before I was on the L n K. I crossed Prince's Island right off and ran west on the south side of the river, to 14th and then back on the north side.

There is s camber to the path due to slump in the river bank. It kind of slopes toward the water in a few places. It's almost like running on a side hill, and after awhile, you can feel it in knees and ankles.

That's why I usually run the other way, so that the right side of the path is farthest from the river, and flatest. But sometimes running the other way kinda mixes things up. So I did.

Distance: 7.14 Time: 40:41
Average speed: 5:41 min/km. (10.53 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 26C.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Another Hot Run

Somewhere up near 30C, but it didn't feel all that bad. Probably because of the wind. It's been brisk all day, and in fact just after I finished it came up really strong for a few minutes, and now the back yard is full of apples from the old apple tree. Nothing worth picking up, since they're pretty tiny.

On the walk from downtown tonight, this itty bitty spitty cloud followed me home, and it had turned rather grey, so I was hoping for a shower to cool things down. By the time I had a few moments of L n K time, changed and was back outside, it had slipped by and the sky was mostly clear to the west.

I walked a little to warm up, as usual, waiting for the GPS to find itself, and then was off. Not too long into it, I was pretty sweated up. I checked my pace, my stride was only a little bit off optimum.

The usual run, the usual crowd. It was nice along the promenade, actually. Kind of quiet and feeling like things were moving at a slower pace. Crossing Prince's Island and the bridge wasn't too congested either. The Stairs were another matter, but that's become usual on a warm afternoon.

And trotting along the top of the bluff to the finish, the sky was darkening again. But nary a drop of rain or cool breeze, just hot, hot wind.

Distance: 7.12 Time: 40:16
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (10.61 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 26C.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Late Morning

I was working from home again, and was up for running half way through the morning. I waited a little before changing into my gear and heading out.

It was relatively quiet, so I think I was in a pre-lunch lull. Good running though, even with the temperature climbing. Down The Path and along the river, then over the 14th Street bridge and back along Bow Trail to the promenade downtown.

Oh, man, but I was feeling it. Not hurting, but just not having much in the tank. I had put in a fairly strenuous day Sunday, so the leg muscles still needed some recovery time.

The Path on the return was particularly noticeable. I was reduced to short steps, and breathing hard. Still I managed to do a respectable time, which for me is anything under 6 min/km.

Distance: 7.06 Time: 41:12
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.28 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Sunny and 23C.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer Running

Not much but a good run for a late summer noon hour. Actually I was out about an hour before noon, so missed most of the crowd. I felt mostly good, and had lots left in the tank for climbing The Path, when I got there.

I also had a great stretch session afterwards. All feeling very good, and the stiffness that has been plaguing me earlier in the summer is very much less. Lesson learned - keep up the core exercises.

Distance: 7.07 Time: 41:00
Average speed: 5:48 min/km. (10.35 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K, of course.

Weather: Sunny and 21C.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fast Afternoon Slog

It did feel like a bit of a slog. Don't know what's up with that, but lately it's felt a little harder to go, and to keep going.

But anyway, it was a good run. I was out the door almost as soon as I got home from work. It's a little warm out, and there's the slightest of breezes, so it was pretty much for sure I was gonna end sweaty.

The bluff was quiet, but The Path Under The Stairs was busy, as was The Stairs themselves. Lots doing the usual running up and down, plus bikes and walkers.

I ran the north side of the river, watching all the rafters and floaters drifting by. It's been busy out on the river lately. I imagine the kids are getting their last summer things in before school starts.

Across at the Metawa Bridge at 14th and then back along the south side. There's been a lot of digging going on along the sculpture garden between the path and Bow Trail, with lots of plastic pipe and equipment laying around.

The promenade was reasonably busy, but crowded in places with clumps of bikes. There was some traffic at the Jaipur Bridge, too, but not too bad, and the suspension bridge had room enough.

The run up The Path to the top of the bluff was where I really noticed the slogging nature of the run. I haven't had much wind lately in climbing it, but I seem to get to the top in reasonable time.

A run along the top of the bluff to 4th Street, which took me to the parking lot that 12th Avenue had become. I'm glad I don't drive to work. I wandered through the stopped traffic and headed home.

Distance: 7.04 Time: 41:14
Average speed: 5:51 min/km. (10.24 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K, my favourite tune!

Weather: Partly cloudy and 27C.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Running on a Sunday

Finally got back to a Sunday distance run. It's been awhile, almost a month, and it sort of showed. I haven't been slacking exactly, but busy. I've been out of town for three weekends in a row, so missed all those Sunday runs. I was going to wait until later in the day too, but the L n K word was to get the heck out there.

I played with the idea of heading straight south on 4th Street, and then following the Elbow River when I got that far. I think I would probably get as far as Sandy Beach in 8.5 km.

But just too stuck in a rut, I think. I ended up going the usual way after hardly even thinking about changing things. I guess you get in a zone and once on automatic pilot, you end up going where you always go.

It is a nice route to run, and it was a beautiful sunny morning for it. And a lot of people were out, I think for the Bow River Flow. I got up beside the C-Train bridge and found myself in the middle of several of those folding tent style pagoda thngs, under which were parked people and stuff from several bike shops. Off the path, there was a live band getting set up.

Shortly I was under and past the Louise bridge, and left that all behind. There wasn't a lot of traffic of any kind, but steady, like people have got past the urgency of getting out and enjoying summer and are back into a day to day flow.

Running through Lawrey Gardens was a pleasant jog, and once across the tracks, is where I like the in and out of forest and sunlight. I had been trying to stay consistent about pace, and was doing a very good job of staying within a second or two of 5:30/km.

At the south Edworthy parking lot, I had to wait for a very long train. It's probably the first one I've had to wait for this year. It probably wasn't that long a wait, but I could still feel things start to tighten a little while I waited.

Across the tracks, in the picnic area, there was an amplified but still nearly unintelligible voice, bawling about who knows what. I paid no attention, and fled across the foot bridge from it.

There is something about the backleg of this run, where I seem to get an energy boost, and my pace time drops. I found it was dropping to 5:15/km or there abouts, and it seemed impossible to slow it down.

After Crowchild I stopped trying to moderate myself, and just let my feet find the pace they wanted. But I was starting to feel it in the hip.

At the Louise Bridge again, I took a walk break, and then tried to get going again. I was running but the legs were just not up to swinging as fast as before, nor had my stride any length. Hips and hams and calves were hurting.

I hobbled on, with my pace now down to about 6:30. And I was in the middle of the crowd that was down for the Bow River Flow. Strangely, I thought they had the two lanes on the south side blocked for people to walk on. But there were barricades and pylons everywhere, and that yellow Caution tape. I suppose they had some kind of activities planned, but it effectively kept people on the path. I imagine the drivers crawling along in the two remaining lanes were none too happy to see all that deserted road space being unused.

I thought about getting out on the road, but there were too many barriers. I stayed on the path, and managed to dodge and weave through most of the crowd. It wasn't exactly packed.

Up the ramp and across the pedestrian overpass to the curling rink, then to The Stairs. I got up on The Path, and plodded up the 300 or so metres that it stretches along the bluff. I had nothing by this time. NO speed, and certainly stiff and sore. I think my pace might have dropped to around 8:00/km. Pretty sad.

Still I made it up and then ran along the bluff, to turn northward on 4th Street, and homeward. Not a great run, but as always, I'm glad I got out.

Distance: 16.41 Time: 1:35:09
Average speed: 5:47 min/km. (10.354 kph)
Rest distance: 1.80 km. Rest time: 10:02.
Total distance: 18.21 km. Total time: 1:45:11.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Farewell My Bluebell by Merle Travis.

Weather: Sunny and 20C.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Nooner.

Didn't get out yesterday for a run so, since I am not working today, I figured I'd better get out there.

It's sunny and getting hot, but not really hot yet by late morning. I'd just finished a run to the grocery store, so decided to try and beat the noon rush. I didn't quite get out that early, but it was quieter than I expected on the river paths. I think a lot of downtowners take Fridays off in the summer.

The run wasn't too different than usual. I took the same way as always. Bright and sunny and warm. Lots of people out walking and running, and a few on bikes and blades.

The run felt great. I think getting back to maintaining my core is helping a lot. My knees don't trouble me at all even after just a couple of weeks. Lots of other achy spots in the hips are but memories too. Lesson learned!

Distance: 6.87 Time: 40:16
Average speed: 5:51 min/km. (10.24 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Just L n K.

Weather: Sunny and 23C.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Bit of a Break

Not really, but I didn't run for over a week, due to traveling and L n K. Had a nice holiday.

So I have been out a few times since I got back almost two weeks ago. Just the usual mid-week 7 km runs. It's been sort of warm for each one, and I've been feeling my knees. Some reading on the matter suggested that my hip abductors were weak, and putting unnecessary strain on my knees. And wouldn't ya know, after working at leg lifts and crunches and stuff, I noticed an almost immediate difference.

I have seriously let my core work lapse and I'm paying for it some. I am grateful that it's easy to get back on track, and I've been working at that. Just a little effort has made a big difference.

Anyway, my stats for August 11:
Distance: 7.25 Time: 40:29
Average speed: 5:34 min/km (10.68 kph).

And for August 13:
Distance: 7.11 Time: 39:22
Average speed: 5:32 min/km (10.68 kph).

And August 18:
Distance: 7.07 Time: 39:25
Average speed: 5:34 min/km (10.68 kph).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Little Late Reporting

I was out on Tuesday this week, going back to my old schedule. And since, I haven't been focused enough to write, with prep for my holiday to the cost next week. Too excited, I guess, and too much L n K on my mind to think about much else. Of course, it crowds out the memory of what the run was like too.

Anyway, it was pretty good, not excessively warm, but nice. The crowds weren't huge, though there were lots of cyclists. I was also feeling less tight than I have for awhile. I especially noticed it running down The Path Under The Stairs, as I was able to move with some speed, while using the short, quick, knee-saving steps.

The climb back up worked the lungs more than anything, but my recovery times from that kind of heavy breathing has become remarkably short.

Distance: 7.17 Time: 40:10
Average speed: 5:36 min/km (10.68 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Sunny and warm.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Slept In

Not terribly late, but late enough for me. Up at 7:30, and after mumbling through breakfast and another short lie-down, I got dressed for the part, and went out for my run.

It wasn't real hot, but warm enough. There was a good breeze, too, and that helped although it would have been nice for it to have been a cool breeze. Almost total cloud cover, so it wasn't bright. Actually just a very nice summer morning.

Once on the promenade I started catching up with all kinds of traffic. Lots of people carrying folding chairs and heading to Prince's Island for the last day of the Calgary Folk Festival. A few runners were there, too, and the Sunday morning groups from the Running Room.

I decided to do the figure eight weave again, and crossed the river at Crowchild. About two hundred metres down alongside Parkdale, the sun came out, although we were still surrounded by dark cloud. It was actually a pretty quiet run, and the runners were not nearly as numerable as usual. I don't know if that's from everyone out of town, or because it was becoming too warm for some.

Across the river at Edworthy, I got the full breeze, and it felt wonderful, as it seems slightly cooler over the river. Of course, all that stopped once I was in the trees on the other side of the tracks.

It was really quite nice along the tracks below Spruce Cliff. And here there seemed to be more runners than usual. The trail through Lowrey Gardens was much quieter. Strange.

At Crowchild, I again crossed to the north side and continued along Memorial. The cloud moved back in and there was even a half hearted rain shower for a few minutes. By the time I got past the C-Train bridge, I was feeling a little achy, likely because the previous evening's libations were catching up to me.

At the foot bridge, I was running against a tide of people, who parked by the curling club on Memorial, or on Cresent Road on the bluff, all heading for Prince's Island. By then, the music was underway as well.

The usual finish, climbing The Path Under The Stairs, then along the bluff and homeward.

Distance: 17.10 Time: 1:40:18
Average speed: 5:51 min/km. (10.24 kph)
Rest distance: 1.08 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 18.18 km. Total time: 1:51:18.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K, L n K, L n K.

Weather: Cloudy and 18C.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lunch Time Scorcher

Not really. It was hot but not as hot as the last couple of days. However my bod reacts the same no matter how much heat, by drenching itself in it's own juices (ewww...)

Anyway, it was a nice lunch time run, and as usual the crowd was there. Lots of dodging walkers, at least on the promenade between Eau Claire and the Louise Bridge. It was a little thinner for runners and walkers out towards 14th Street.

Distance: 7.06 Time: 39:40
Average speed: 5:36 min/km (10.68 kph).

Another Hot Week

It's been warm and a little on the humid side, too. And here I am again, not writing until long after I've gone out. Hmmm....

Well, the weekend run was pretty good. I took off the usual way, down to Centre Street and across. The Bow is becoming a pretty dominant item on the downtown landscape now, and it's pretty in-your-face as you cross the bridge.

On to the promenade and along past Eau Claire, pretty steady with runners, given how nice it was. It was a pretty uneventful run actually. At Crowchild, I crossed the river to run on the north side for a change. Crossing to the south side at Edworthy, and along the bottom of Spruce Cliff, it's a beautiful stretch of path. The sun was directly ahead at that time of day, and there was this nice glowing effect with all the trees and bushes back lit.

At Crowchild I crossed again, and continued toward downtown on the north side. Uneventful until I got well past 10th Street, where a fire two nights before had demolished an apartment building. Nothing left but a pile of rubble, still attracting gawkers and being sifted through by the fire guys. For such a huge fire - three alarms and 50 firemen - it was such a small space for an apartment building to have been. No visible damage to buildings on either side, but I wasn't stopping to join the crowd.

This was a longer run. Crossing the river at Crowchild twice, making a figure eight of the route I usually run, seemed to add almost a kilometre. I don't think it's quite that far across the river; the GPS tends to be a little off sometimes.

I think I shall have to consider changing things a bit. I love the run but maybe a change of scenery is in order. I will have to think about that.

Distance: 17.22 Time: 1:39:00
Average speed: 5:44 min/km. (10.44 kph)
Rest distance: 1.26 km. Rest time: 10:10.
Total distance: 18.49 km. Total time: 1:49:10.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hot Week

It wasn't all that hot, I supposed when I ran a few days ago. Warm enough. Right now it is hot and will be tomorrow for my long run.

I'm about to change back to my Tuesday/Thursday schedule, I think. Wednesday/Friday is messing me up too much, as far as timing and getting out to run. And maybe I can be a little better at staying up to day on write up.s

No recollection of what I did on Wednesday, other than I was out after I got home from work. Oh, and I sweated a lot after.

Distance: 7.00 Time: 40:36
Average speed: 5:47 min/km (10.34 kph).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Running in Reverse

Hokey smokes, don't know what happened this morning, but I slept in a lot later than I usually do, so after breakfast, instead of my usual excursion for coffee and a newspaper, I headed directly out to run. Seriously, I slept a good hour and a half later than usual.

Anyway, after my usual breakfast I was into running clothes and out the door. A little too soon after breakfast. It wasn't too bad, though, and I was able to run without problems, although I did feel a little heavy.

It was a pretty uncomplicated run, except I ran in the reverse direction from how I usually run it. How daring of me! I did, out of habit, go about 50 metres toward Centre Street before I remembered I was running the other way, so I back tracked and headed down The Path Under The Stairs.

It's a much quieter run going counterclockwise. I did meet more large groups, both coming and going. Big groups going both ways, too. There weren't too many single runners or pairs though, so I wonder if I was a little early for them on that side of the river. I would be about 45 minutes earlier going that way than coming from the other direction.

I found myself in a race, too, with the occasional sign proclaiming so many kilometres in the Robert Hamilton Memorial Road Race. I've never heard of it before, but it's been around awhile, apparently. I stopped near the finish line at the public washrooms at Edworthy Park.

After crossing the bridge by Angel's Cafe, I was on the trail below Spruce Cliff. It was surprisingly quiet given that it was such a lovely morning. The quiet continued pretty much all the way downtown. Perhaps everyone was tuckered out from the next-to-last day of the Stampede? Sleeping off one too many pancake breakfasts.

Anyway, it was an uneventful finish. I'm still not feeling my best with a cold lingering, so The Path Under The Stairs took some effort. After that, I ran along the bluff and then turned home.

Distance: 16.51 Time: 1:36:21
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.28 kph)
Rest distance: 1.00 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.51 km. Total time: 1:46:21.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: A nice sunny morning.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Runs Pile Up

I was out last night for a run, just a quick one. It was fairly warm, and I was pretty sweaty. That's about all I can remember, except for being narrowly missed by some jerk on a bike. I've been distracted by the L n K, and planning for a bit of a holiday.

Anyway, for last Sunday:
Distance: 16.91 Time: 1:35:34
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (10.62 kph)
Rest distance: 0.92 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.83 km. Total time: 1:45:34.

And then for last Wednesday:
Distance: 7.19 Time: 40:16
Average speed: 5:35 min/km (10.71 kph).

And then last night:
Distance: 7.10 Time: 40:17
Average speed: 5:40 min/km (10.58 kph).

I'll try and get back to the usual writing up...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not the Best of Health

I probably shouldn't have gone out. My throat had been a little scratchy all week but I felt fine through it. Only that morning was I feeling a little less than good.

However, I started out, and resigned myself to going slow. After all, Sundays are for distance, not speed. The first interval went as usual. I ran along the Cresent Road and then down to the Centre Street bridge, passing a fresh burn. The old grass was crisped to black, but this years growth was still thick and green, although it was probably well dried in the fire. The burn had surrounded several clumps of honeysuckle and lilac bush, which frankly looked untouched by flame.

Across the bridge and down by Sein Lok park within the usual time, not doing too badly. The second interval ended just past the Louise Bridge, again about right. After that speed dropped a lot.

I wasn't feeling too bad at all for the most part, but I was moving slower. Near the crossing at Edworthy, I could hear a train coming from behind. I knew I wasn't going to make it to the crossing before it crossed, so I dashed down a trail in the grass, across the tracks, and was well down the path on the other side before it it got near.

Through the picnic grounds at Edworthy and across the bridge, past Angel's Cafe. Ten minutes later, I was feeling a little dragged down. Things began to ache. Or at least ache more noticeably. By the time, I reached Crowchild I was huffing pretty hard. Becuase of my stuffed up sinuses, I was breath dry air, and my throat was feeling a little raw just from that.

By the time I reached the Metawa Bridge, I was panting, not breathing evenly like usual, but like I'd been sprinting up The Path Under The Stairs. Hips and knees were aching, and I think my stride had shrunk a bit.

Near Tenth Street, I was limping on a walk break, just a little too stiff in the hip. So enough. I walked up Tenth, through Sunnyside and up the long sloping path along the bluff to home.

Distance: 13.83 Time: 1:21:04
Average speed: 5:51 min/km. (10.24 kph)
Rest distance: 1.23 km. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 15.06 km. Total time: 1:43:43.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson to start.

Weather: Sunny and 19C, warming to 23C.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Last Friday of June

Nice sunny warm evening, end of the month, and last day of school all over. I had a smile for L n K as I got home, and I changed and headed out.

It was nice to be in the late afternoon sun, until the top of The Stairs, where another limo full of another bunch of graduating highschoolers had stopped to disgorge the contents for pictures and whatnot. It's been a constant parade of limos since the first of May.

After that, busy with pedestrians coming home from downtown. I turned of the bridge to Prince's Island onto the ramp down to the path along Memorial, and it was much quieter, almost deserted. After that a quiet run all the way around almost. It always seems quietest between 5:00 and 6:00. There were lots of people at Eau Claire though, and all over the island.

I crossed the bridge, back to The Stairs, and started up The Path. Not too much traffic from there on either. At the top of the path and turning back west, I got the full force of the wind, which I hadn't noticed up till then. It wasn't a big breeze, but noticeable.

And then a nice finish up 4th Street.

Distance: 7.06 Time: 41:24
Average speed: 5:51 min/km (10.23 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 21C.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heavy Traffic

I was working at home today, when the landlord called asking to test the water line to the outside tap. It goes through the ceiling of my bedroom and pops out of the wall just over my bedroom window. He wanted to know if the pipe had burst near the tap, and would I watch for water leakage.

No leakage, just a big gushing flood. The carpet is wet again. I let him pat it dry while I went to find my fan. Once I got the fan going, blowing air over the wet spot, I decided it was time to run.

A beautiful sunny day, but not particularly warm. I got to the bluff and it was already busy there. There were dozens running up and down The Stairs, and it was a little congested at the top. Past that, the path was full of people so I was moving a little slow and weaving a lot.

At the bottom of The Path, several boot camps were going, plus runners, walkers, skaters, cyclers. It was a bit like the Deerfoot at rush hour. I took the lower path along Memorial, since the other was full of people. Even the lower path was busy.

It thinned a little once I passed the Louise Bridge, but still lots out running. Curiously the Metawa Bridge was quiet, but the crowd was on the path on the other side.

It stayed that way all the way back along the promenade and across Prince's Island. At the stairs, I nearly had to stand to wait my turn. By the time I reached the end of The Path, the trail along the bluff was quiet, and that's how it was for the rest of the run.

Distance: 7.10 Time: 40:26
Average speed: 5:42 min/km (10.54 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: The Man in the Moon Is a Newfie, by Stompin' Tom Conners.

Weather: Sunny and 20C.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday Morning Run Again

I've been hiking the past couple of Sundays, but this weekend, with the promise of rain, I went for a run instead. It was grey and drizzly at the start, although the real rain had stopped earlier.

I wasn't getting out too fast either. For some reason, it was a slow Sunday morning, and it took time to get free of my bed, and stay away from my couch. Don't know if I was really tired or just felt lazy, but it was hard to get going.

I went out and began slowly. The hiking is using different muscles and they were making their presence known. All stiff and tight in the hips and thighs, and it took awhile to loosen up some.

I ran down to Centre Street as usual, and across the river. Passing Eau Claire, there were the familiar orange traffic cones to guide another run along the river. I was passing about a half hour before the start of the Father's Day Run for Prostate Cancer.

I passed several runners with numbers, warming up. As I continued, I passed more orange cones, and a volunteer or two. The cones directed the course up onto the Mewata Bridge, while I continued along the river.

From there it was quiet, although there were lots of runners out. By the time I reached Crowchild, what ever rain had been falling was gone and it was just grey skies. And all along the south side of the river, not even a train going by; a pretty quiet morning.

At Edworthy, I crossed and headed back as usual. It was even quieter on that side of the river, and nothing much was happening other than my running. I didn't have the speed that I've had in the past few months, but I was moving respectably.

At 14th, I caught up to the walkers in the charity run, and it was a formidable crowd. It was pretty clear until I got to the underpass at 10th Street, and traffic thickened. It's where the path narrows, right near the C-Train bridge, where the crowds piled up.

After that, I weaved through and past groups, often taking to the grass. People seemed to be having a good time, even the little kids in the extra large tee shirts that must have been handed out.

At the bridge to Prince's Island, the crowd went right while I went left over Memorial, and to The Stairs. A hard plod up The Path, and then after a short walk break, a leisurely run the last 800 m.

Distance: 16.13 Time: 1:35:13
Average speed: 5:54 min/km. (10.16 kph)
Rest distance: 1.53 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.67 km. Total time: 1:43:43.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: The Merrie Melodies theme.

Weather: Cloudy and 10C, with some drizzle at the start.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Still Being a Lazy Writer

OK, so I did run earlier in the week, actually a couple of days ago. I worked from home, so ran at lunch. It was pretty warm that day. In fact that is the most memorable part of the run, feeling the heat from the sun.

Distance: 7.37 Time: 41:19
Average speed: 5:36 min/km (10.70 kph).

Today, was one of those Fridays off, so it was a leisurely day of not quite getting around to all those things I intended to do, apart from grabbing a coffee and a comfy chair at the local Starbucks for some reading.

However, it being quiescent on L n K, I'll finish this writing and the other writing, and then jump into vacuuming, one of those intended tasks.

Anyway, after a hard day of lunching with friends and reading at Starbucks, I managed to find the energy to change into running gear, and head out.

This week, I've been feeling tight everywhere below the waist. Wednesday's run was stiff and it took almost the whole time for me to loosen up. Tonight was much better, but still I felt some stiffness. I did spend more than the usual time in the pre-run stretching, and that helped.

Another warm day, too, but I didn't feel it so much. It was good up to and along the bluff. Going down The Path Under The Stairs, I felt a little bit of the stiffness, but that's how it has been the last year or so.

I crossed to Prince's Island, and then to the promenade. It was late mid-afternoon, and I was in the lull before the downtown crowd started home. The mobile bike shop is back in place near the C-Train bridge, and it looked like he was having a busy day, with several bikes lined up.

Out along Bow Trail, it was a bit quiet, and across the 14th street bridge.

OK, there is an official name for the bridge - the Metawa Bridge. I'll try and remember that from here on.

On the other side, also quiet. I basically plodded along a near deserted trail, except of course, that stretch from 10th Street to the C-Train bridge, where all paths seem to funnel through. And of course, at The Stairs, all the people running up the stairs. I took the first two flights of stairs to The Path and headed up that way.

From there, along the bluff until my turn northward, to my usual end point.

Distance: 7.08 Time: 40:36
Average speed: 5:44 min/km (10.46 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: firmly L n K.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 17C.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fixing the Plumbing

No run at noon today. The cheap plumbing fixtures in the showers at work are being replaced, since they've all about fallen apart, and Jerry and I decided we didn't want to spend the afternoon being sticky and smelly after a hard noon-hour run.

So I waited until I got home. Beautiful evening and lots of people out. It was actually congested in a couple of spots, at the north end of the C-Train bridge, and on the suspension bridge to Prince's Island.

Mostly just a nice evening and a lovely run.

Distance: 7.08 Time: 39:43
Average speed: 5:37 min/km (10.70 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Mainly sunny and 17C.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Running in the Fog

At least I intended to. By the time I got back from the morning coffee and changed, the fog had fled the river valley. Returning home before that, the whole valley west of 10th Street seemed to be filled with a grey gummy cotton, and beyond I could see the Shaganappi golf course and Wildwood neighbourhood just over the top of it. It looked rather cool.

Anyway, after checking the forecasts, and considering the lovely weather we have been having the last couple of days, I decided to run instead of hike and left a note of my decision on the L n K. I'm not into churning through mounds of fresh heavy wet snow in the mountain forests, although I don't know for sure that it's like that out there. The Sulphur Mountain web cam showed a very nice looking and snow free downtown Banff, but I wouldn't have been going that deep into the mountains.

Cold weather, cold wind. I dressed a little bit for that, with long sleeve running shirt and vest. That turned out to be about right. The vest was a little much in the bush along the south side of the river, but when I crossed to the north and ran along the open park by Point MacKay, I was glad to have the vest. The wind had a bit of a bite.

At the start, I approached the bluff by Cresent Road to the sound of music. Something well amplified was coming from Prince's Island, and the foot bridge below looked crowded. I trundled down toward the Centre Street bridge as usual. Coming up along side Prince's Island from that side, I met dozens of people walking in from Eau Claire, and lots more joining the promenade from all directions. The island was covered in tents and people.

At the west end were signs of the cause, dozens of them proclaiming the fund raising efforts of several groups for the Enerflex Walk for MS. It hadn't started yet, but seemed about to.

After that, not much to talk about until I reached Edworthy, except for meeting the CBC Radio One morning guy just past Crowchild.

At Edworthy, another crowd and some tents, though not quite the size of the one downtown. This was the Stroll for Liver by the River, apparently the first annual of the event. I also managed to get ahead of that event.

At Crowchild I began to catch up to the MS walkers. There seemed to be lots on the 10K walk so a good turnout and good support. The water tables were fantastic, lots of volunteers and great selection of goodies. Plus some of the fund raising results posted on signs along the route were impressive.

At 14th Street, the 5K crowd joined in and for a few short stretches, I was reduced to walking behind the crowds. No rush. At the foot bridge to the island, the crowd had thinned a little. I went left as they all went right, and in a minute or so was gasping my way up The Path Under The Stairs. Zagged back west to 4th Street, down that a ways, and home. No rain or snow, and even sunny. Nice run.

Distance: 16.55 Time: 1:33:43
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (11.64 kph)
Rest distance: 1.16 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.71 km. Total time: 1:43:43.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: On An Evening In Roma by Dean Martin.

Weather: Sunny and 5C, changing to cloudy and 7C.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Must Be the Weekend

The weather has socked in, nice and grey, and cold, and windy. Bleah. Good running weather though. And it's the first Friday of the month, which the organization I've been working for takes as a day off. So time for a morning run.

The physical exertion was good; I needed it, and perhaps some fresh air. Mostly though it was just time to think on L n K and what comes next. Good workout.

Distance: 7.11 Time: 40:46
Average speed: 5:43 min/km (10.46 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K.

Weather: Light rain and 4C.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Catching up

I've been really bad at keeping up with this the past while. Don't know what's up with that. I get a run in and then I'll write it up later, but the next thing I know it's a week later. I only ran once last week, but still I would like to keep this up.

So for last week's run:
Distance: 8.84 Time: 57:35
Average speed: 6:31 min/km (9.21 kph).

I think that's a bogus speed because the distance is more like 9.5 km minimum. My GPS didn't get a fix until we'd been running for awhile.

Anyway, the same again today. And here it the route: After the overpass we head north on Haddon Road, then west on 94th Avenue. That's a bit of a hill to climb to Elbow Drive, which we cross onto Hanover Road. That curves north again, and there is a short connector street, Hub Avenue, which takes us west over to 12th Street. North on 12th, and then westward on 90th Avenue.

At the sound wall along 14th Street is a break that lets you out of the neighbourhood of Haysboro to cross over and continue west on 90th Avenue, and at Jerusalem Road, we cross 90th northward to the paths that lead to and encircle the Glenmore Reservoir.

From there, we run up to the marina, and then turn around and retrace our steps back to our start point.

Today's run (all estimated):

Distance: 9.21 Time: 53:32
Average speed: 5:48 min/km (10.34kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: None.

Weather: sunny and 20C.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lunchtime Run

I was out last night for my usual run, needing to get out and burn off some energy. I did the usual loop to 14th Street, without really noticing much. Perhaps I'm in a bit of a rut, although I do enjoy running along the river.

Yesterday was a little on the cool side, too, with threatening rain and all that. Gee, much like today.

Distance: 6.79 Time: 37:26
Average speed: 5:30 min/km (10.91 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K again (my favourite tune!)

Weather: distant precipitation (whatever that is) and 6C.

Anyway, a co-worker suggested we try and get out today (Wednesday) since it's the day he doesn't work from home. He had a route figured out that would take us to Glenmore Landing and then along the Glenmore reservoir to the marina and back.

We headed down the stairs and outside. A little bit on the chilly side, but nothing to slow us down. An extra nice bit was there was no wind to drive the chill through our running cloths.

I'd forgot to start the GPS until we were across the overpass over the C-Train tracks and were about to cross Southland Drive. From there we headed northward, and from there, our route was a mystery.

Jerry had scoped it out, of course, winding through the various neighbourhoods. I recognized none of it, not even recognizing Elbow Drive until we'd crossed it. And then coming up to the sound wall that protects the adjacent neighbourhoods from the traffic roar on 14th Street.

A long wait at the light to cross, and up 90th Avenue, that long gently rising hill that for some reason was so memorable from the Police Half Marathon a few weeks ago. Only we crossed 90th and got on the path behind Glenmore Landing to the loop around the reservoir.

We took the low path along the shoreline westward toward the marina, watching a motorboat chug out to a floating pier lined with small sail boats and covered with a couple of dozen people.

At the marina, we looped back onto the upper path and headed back east, rejoining our path outbound and retracing our steps.

The nice thing about this loop is that it's almost all up hill to 90th and 14th, so the return is a long descent back toward the Southland C-Train station.

Good run, perfect distance for a lunch time noodle through the neighbourhoods.

Distance: 9.21 Time: 53:32
Average speed: 5:48 min/km (10.34kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: None.

Weather: cloudy and 4C.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Is it Summer Yet?

It's actually a lovely day out, if a little grey. Windless and clear, and the mountains on the west horizon have a kind of glowing quality, probably because the cloud cover out that way is thinner or higher. It's a lovely sight.

After a short L n K, I was out the door and across the street. Walked a block or so as usual, and then started running as I came up beside the playground. The grey is a little bit bleah, but it's the kind of day, and maybe a kind unique to the prairie, that's calm and mild, a kind of eye-of-the-storm kind of calm.

I took the Centre Street bridge across the river and then down on the promenade. Quiet for such a beautiful morning, but busy enough. The first thirty minutes, as usual, were accompanied by the aches and stiffness that seem to have been accumulating for the last few years. By the time I reached Crowchild I was sufficiently loosened up and those aches were put away for the day.

I stayed on the south side of the river, running along below Spruce Cliff and along the tracks. There were no trains at all this morning. I wonder if that's because of it being a holiday weekend. But when I got to the first crossing, it struck me that I hadn't heard or seen any sign of a train. Usually, there are two or three while I'm out there.

By the time I got to Edworthy I was in head down and go mode. The first walk break after crossing the bridge and heading back toward downtown, I could feel a pull in the hip telling me that I'd been pushing it. I kept it up, too, up to the walk break just before reaching the foot bridge to Prince's Island, so that I can feel it not only in the hip and glutes, but all the way down the back of the legs.

The climb up The Path Under The Stairs was no power run. I was actually pretty slow by then, so more of a shuffle. At the top of the bluff I didn't push all that hard either, since by then there's less than a kilometre to go.

Nice run, finished by a good stretch. About time, too, I've been slacking too much.

Distance: 17.47 Time: 1:30:21
Average speed: 5:10 min/km. (11.64 kph)
Rest distance: .9579 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.42 km. Total time: 1:40:21.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K plus something that completely escapes me now.

Weather: cloudy, 12C to start and finishing at 14C.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Catch Up

Darn, talk about lax! I know I've been out running in the past week, but don't remember details.

But here are the stats, however unexciting they are....

For last Sunday:
Distance: 16.69 Time: 1:31:31
Average speed: 5:29 min/km. (10.94 kph)
Rest distance: .8064 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.49 km. Total time: 1:41:31.

For last Tuesday:
Distance: 6.40 Time: 36:55
Average speed: 5:46 min/km (10.40 kph).

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Back to the Schedule

I'm working from home today, and the plan is usually to get a noon hour run. Today I was tempted by other considerations L n K but in the end I was out on my route at noon sharp.

Some time during the morning, it had started to rain, and part of the morning it was more or less a downpour. By noon, it had backed off to a drizzle. I went for shorts and a long sleeve tee with my running vest. About ten minutes into the run I was wishing I had thought to grab my running gloves, too.

Because of the rain, it was a little splishy-splashy in places. Just before the C-Train bridge, I got a bit of a soaking courtesy of a passing car. Because the path is about three feet above the roadway, it was only my legs that got wet.

On the 14th Street bridge, it was a different story. The two foot high wall between the traffic and the pedestrian path ensures that if any water is splashed by passing traffic, the trajectory needed to clear the wall is approximately chest high by the time any water following it reaches any people walking across. The nice thing about the fabrics used for running close is that they don't hold the water, so it wasn't bad.

By the time I reached the helicopter pad, about three quarters of the way around the loop, my hands were finally warming up. There were more people out than I expected given the weather, though still it was pretty quiet out there.

I took the stairs fairly aggressively, and they didn't slow me down much. Perhaps the week off was the break I needed to be able to do that. At the top, I took to the street, since the trail at the top of the bluff was a little soggy.

Nice run, wet, cold... A good run.

Distance: 6.94 Time: 35:56
Average speed: 5:10 min/km (11.59 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: On An Evening In Roma, Dean Martin.

Weather: light rain and 4C.

First Run After the Police Half

And here I am writing this two days after again. Sheesh.

I took over a week off from running after the half. No reason other than I was mostly lazy. Well, and I supposed there were a few days where the stiffness was present, so no runs during the week following. And no run on the following weekend either, since I was L n K out of town.

It wasn't a power run or anything like that either, just a chance to get out and shake some cobwebs off. It was a bit cool, a bit breezy, not wonderful weather, rather nice for running.

Distance: 6.67 Time: 36:26
Average speed: 5:27 min/km (10.981 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: The Man With a Green Thumb, Tommy Emmanuel.

Weather: No details.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Police Half-Marathon Official Result

My official time is 1:53:34, for a pace of 5:24.
I placed 609th out of a field of 1833.
84th out of 194 in my age division.

Very happy with that.

L n K

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The 2009 Calgary Police Half-Marathon

Considering how I felt yesterday, this was a pretty good run. I woke up the day before feeling a little scratchy in the throat, and after meeting friend for breakfast, seemed to be flirting with stomach flu or something. Later in the day, and into the evening, I was better, and suggestions on the L n K of hot water with lemon helped lots too.

This morning, I felt much better. I got suited up, opting for an extra tee between the technical shirt and windbreaker. It was a relief to discover no wind or snow as had been promised in the forecast. It was a little brisk, but actually a beautiful morning.

I drove to Mount Royal College, parked and walked into the building. Given my penchant for usually being ridiculously early, there weren't too many around yet. Lots of police of course, and the technicians were setting up the mats at the starting line, where the sensors pick up the timing chips.

I ran into the WaveRunner and chatted briefly before hunting down the bathrooms. Then went outside to jog up and down the parking lot, stretch the calves and generally try and warm up. It was staying nice, so I decided to strip off the second tee.

Finally the crowd started to gather in the starting chute. I had no idea where to be, so opted for somewhere in the middle. A noisy, chatty crowd drowned out the PA system, but I could make out the last few seconds of a countdown. At zero, there was a great whooping, and then we stood around for a few minutes, while the crowd in front filed out of the chute. It was about three minutes before I finally stepped across the starting mats.

After that, not much to tell. A long run down 50th, then over toward the water treatment plant. That was the first narrowing of the trail. Crossing the dam seemed especially narrow. It was a little wider for a ways, until crossing Glenmore, then in the forest behind Rockyview Hospital it was narrow again.

Coming out beside the hospital, I had some momentary disorientation, not recognizing the construction. I thought for a moment it was all the new stuff that had been built at the entrance to Heritage Park, but that was at least a kilometre and a half ahead of us. This was all new building on to the hospital.

The run through Eagle Ridge was quiet, although a couple of kids had carboard signs and an old stereo going in one driveway. Then the new entrance to Heritage Park, and we were on the trail along the reservoir again. Lots of people cheering here.

We went straight on to 90th Avenue, then right. I had never notice that 90th is a long, long slowly climbing hill. Someone cheering on the sidelines said we were about to reach a nice flat stretch, and I kept waiting to get to it.

At South Glenmore Park we turned in and through the parking lot, and straight through the adjacent playground. The path goes directly through and at each side is one of those narrow jogs in the chain link fence that you have to zigzag through. I think it's to keep cyclists from shortcutting through there, but we ended up almost stopping at both, having to walk through single file.

And then the flat part. All along the south side of the reservoir. It's a long stretch, but didn't seem to take long at all. In no time we were at the long hill that descends down to Weaselhead Flats. There's a little twisting and turning and a lot of the path is sheltered. I was expecting some icy patches, but there was only one bad spot, attended to by a couple of EMS personnel.

Around the last corner and onto the flat part of the Flats, we were surrounded by pussy willow. I began to notice the odd hat or glove on the path, having been lost by a runner up ahead.

The next challenge is the long hill that climbs up from the Flats. Before that a narrow run across the bridge crossing the Elbow river. I hit the hill with lots of energy. I was surprised at how easily I was climbing. I had lots of leg, and didn't slow down much at all. At the top, another crowd cheering, plus the Police Pipe and Drum band performing.

A quick zip through another parking lot, and onto 66th Avenue, and what seemed like the longest stretch of the whole run. It was only about a kilometre and a half, but it seemed to take forever. Finally turned the corner toward Glenmore Trail again, a short buzz through another neighbourhood.

It was after I crossed Glenmore again, the I was pretty sure I wasn't going to beat my PR. Still, I wanted the best finish I could make, so it was head down and push hard. The rest of the race was a blur.

I crossed the finish line only three minutes off my PR, accepted my medal and a bottle of water, and proceeded to have a tremendous coughing fit, probably from breathing in that good old dry prairie air.

I had a great run. Achy and sore, and stiffening quickly, I found the post run snacks and called it a day.

Distance: 20.13 Time: 1:44:15
Average speed: 5:10 min/km. (11.64 kph)
Rest distance: 1.36 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 21.49 km. Total time: 1:55:15.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: It was L n K all the way.

Weather: mostly cloudy, -2C to start and finishing at 1C.

Hard run, and a good run, but no PR out of this one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Very Spring-Like Spring Day

The promise was of sun and warmth. No sun, but we did get the warmth. It's a lovely day out. The chinook arch is standing off a little to the west of the city, and then a clear band of blue sits just out of reach. On the far side, cloud hangs over the mountains, so that everything visible is in shadow.

Down the bluff as usual and across the rive to the promenade. There is hardly any evidence left of winter, just the odd block of ice in the shade of the cottonwood stands. And for some of those, the beavers have already been munching. I didn't see any evidence today, but last Sunday there was quite a bit down by Sein Lok Park. I'd forgotten.

With great weather comes great crowds, and it was busy. No real traffic jams, though I did have to slow in a couple of places to wait for oncoming traffic before passing the odd group.

The Stairs were busy, too, but I didn't have to slow to a walk on any of it; people were reasonably spaced out on them.

A very nice, warm but grey run.

Distance: 6.70 Time: 37:16
Average speed: 5:33 min/km (10.21 kph).

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: L n K (a favourite!).

Weather: Cloudy and 14C.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One Week to the Police Half

For some reason, I was thinking last night that it was time to back off on training, cuz I have a race next weekend. Thinking I just need to do a 10K in the morning. But really, a half marathon isn't much more than what I usually do on a Sunday morning L n K, so what would slacking really do? Feeling sheepishly lazy, I decided to continue with my usual run to Edworthy and back.

I wore just shorts and a tee, and it did feel a little crisp. Not uncomfortably so, and by 15 minutes I didn't notice. In fact the temperature was pretty much perfect for running.

I knew it was going to be another fast run, since the first interval was already fast. I suppose running the down-slope of Nony's Awful Little Hill and the Centre Street bridge helped with that.

Already on the promenade there were a lot of people out. Runners and walkers, and near Chinatown, tai chi and different kinds of meditative activities.

Not too much happened on this run. No races to get in the middle of or anything like that. Mostly just hunkered down and ran. I had a fast start and a fast time, rounding Angel's just before 50 minutes, at least five minutes faster than average.

On the way back, again nothing much other than pushing hard. Near the soccer field at 19th Street and Memorial, I spent a walk break trying to release a little tightness in the hip, but while running it never bothered me at all. It may have been one of those transient aches that seem to get worked out as I continue running.

At The Stairs, I took The Path and pushed hard all the way up. That felt really good, and actually I had a good fast run up the last half of the hill. The really steep part in the bottom half slows me down no matter what, even walking.

Just at the top of The Path Under The Stairs, was my last walk break. Nice to walk along the top of the bluff and take in the view. That left about 600m to the end of the run, and I took it a little slower.

Distance: 16.53 Time: 1:24:23
Average speed: 5:06 min/km. (11.64 kph)
Rest distance: .904 km. Rest time: 9:00.
Total distance: 17.43 km. Total time: 1:33:23.

Shoes: New Balance 769.
Today's earworm: Blue Moon by Tommy Emmanuel.

Weather: mostly cloudy, 4C to start and finishing at 9C.