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.