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.