Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Cold Clear Morning

A perfect day for running, as long as you layer up and make sure you can stay warm. Actually it's easy to over dress, and I was sort of, which means I was probably dressed about right, a little cold running into the wind, and a little warm running with it. A lot of runners were out too, dressed in various layers. No shorts, like I saw a couple of days ago, but definitely the other extreme, including big honkin' leather mitts and thick scarves.

It's been a week since I've been out, and I felt it. Achy in a few places, thought probably not like I could be given how I haven't been out much the last couple of weeks.

It was icy all over, but most of the trails have clear paths along the edge or down the middle. It's rare to have to actually run on the ice, but there is a  fair amount of dancing left and right to go around the ice patches. Even The Path Under The Stairs had a nice clean lane down the side.

I thought I'd stay with a 10K run, which felt about right for now. I'm not breaking any speed or distance records under the current conditions.

Two weeks ago, I ran the Last Chance Half Marathon, before much of the cold and snow hit. Or was it three...? Talk about middle of the pack; I came in 221st in a field of 468, 143rd out of 211 male runners, 24th out of 44 in my age division. My chip time was 1:54:32 for a pace of 5:28, and ya know, that's pretty darn good!

Last Chance Half Marathon (by my Garmin):
Distance: 20.90 Time: 1:54:43
Average speed: 5:29 min/km. (10.93 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2)

Last Sunday's run:
Distance: 10.17 Time: 1:04:29
Average speed: 6:20 min/km. (9.46 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1)

Today's run:
Distance: 10.24 Time: 1:01:15
Average speed: 5:58 min/km. (10.03 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Strange morning

Another gorgeous fall day. We seem to be getting all the nice weather we were denied over the summer, and no crazy hot temperatures.

The sun was just kinda peeking out from the lone cloud in the sky as I started. By the time I got downtown it was cleared off, and just being a clear sparkling day. Not too busy, and I wonder if the time change messed some people up. Sort of messed my morning, but nothing serious.

Just past Crowchild, two police cars, and a TV news vehicle. That yellow police tape was across the path. A guy carrying a big TV camera and tripod back to the news car said a body was found. It must have been all over by then, cuz at that point, the police were untying the tape and clearing the path. Kinda freaky.

The rest of the run was pretty regular. One thing I did notice was the path below Spruce Cliff is now in shadow at that time of day. With the time change, the sun is higher now instead of shining directly down the path as it usually is when I run there.

On the way back, at 10th Street, a noisy siren was coming up behind me, and as I crossed the turn lane to the island to wait for the walk signal, another police car pulled into that lane to bypass the traffic that had stopped. I was kinda caught in the middle of crossing the lane, and though I had lots of time to get out of the way, it's a little disconcerting to discover a racing police car with all lights flashing, bearing down on you.

Entirely too much excitement for a quiet Sunday morning.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.03 Time: 1:37:18
Average speed: 5:42 min/km. (10.57 kph)
Rest distance: 0.98 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.01 km. Total time: 1:47:18
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Brief Look at Spring

This town is so weird, weather-wise. The last two days have been clear and warm, up to 20C and warmer. Patios were open yesterday afternoon. Yesterday I did an early November run in shorts and tee. Back to a more normal looking day today though, everything frosty and the mountains are white again.

My last run before yesterday was almost two weeks ago, a Sunday long run. That one was in thick fog. No visibility on the bluff and while it was better down by the river, the downtown skyline was lost in the mists above 12 or 15 stories or so. Love running in those conditions cuz the fog seems to absorb sound and makes things look magical and mysterious. Apparently lots of others feel that way too, as the river paths were busy.

The run way back on Oct 24th:
Distance: 16.95 Time: 1:36:11
Average speed: 5:40 min/km. (10.57 kph)
Rest distance: 0.94 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.89 km. Total time: 1:46:11
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
L n K
Yesterday's run:
Distance: 10.10.2 Time: 58:47
Average speed: 5:45 min/km. (10.41 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Sun Sets on Tonight's Run

I didn't get home until a little later than usual, so it was also later than usual for getting out to run. About this time of year, the days are short, and the sun sets early. I noticed it was gone from the sky on the last couple of kilometres. Kind of sad somehow, summer is definitely over and soon another snow will come that won't go away the next day.

I ran to 14th Street, then back to Edmonton Trail again. There seemed to be lots of runners out, and that might be due to the time. I've found that the 5:00 to 6:00 seems to be devoid of runners, but the start to come out during the supper hour.

Today's run
Distance: 10.49 Time: 1:00:40
Average speed: 5:47 min/km. (10.06 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).
L n K

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Squishy Shoe

Not from being wet, mind you, well yes wet, but only a little bit, and just from where my toe was bleeding. A toenail had developed an edge and was digging in a little deep.

That's how exciting the run was, pretty straight forward, run of the mill. It was about average busy as far as running traffic. There was something going on at Eau Claire, and I had to thread my way through a crowd. There were even mats down for timing chips, and several people running toward me with racing bibs pinned on. No idea what it was, but I was out of that crowd after passing the Louise Bridge.

All in all, though it was simply a gorgeous day. The snow that fell a couple of days ago was gone, and the leaves were crunchy again. Sunny and clear, not a cloud to be seen all day.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.54 Time: 1:35:51
Average speed: 5:47 min/km. (10.59 kph)
Rest distance: 1.00 km. Rest time: 10:02.
Total distance: 17.54 km. Total time: 1:45:53
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
L n K

Friday, October 15, 2010

First Snow

It's gorgeous out this morning. Big fat fluffy snowflakes, coming down thick enough to obscure the downtown skyline from across the river. It's piling up on the grass, but still melting as it hits the pavement. Lots of puddles to dodge on the paths, and I wasn't entirely successful.

Not too much of a breeze either, just enough for it to take a little time to warm up running westward into it. I was the only one out there on the north side, and I saw only two others coming back toward home, near Eau Claire.

One shoe refused to stay tied. I've never had a problem before, and can only vaguely remember a couple of other times when I had to stop and re-tie a shoe. Today it was twice, even with the funky string-of-beads style of lace that New Balance uses.

Quite a change from last Sunday's run, when it was warm, and sunny, and the paths were full of runners. Two entirely different climates, two lovely, fun runs.

Sunday's run:
Distance: 17.06 Time: 1:36:24
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (10.59 kph)
Rest distance: 0.99 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.97 km. Total time: 1:46:24
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
L n K
Today's Run:
Distance: 10.21 Time: 59:51
Average speed: 5:51 min/km. (10.06 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Among the Naked Trees

It's fall, no doubt about it. More sun gets through to the ground when you run through the trees, and there's that rustly crunching sound. There's more wind too, and darn but it can be chilly in the morning.

I've changed up things so that my Tuesday run goes east and west. I've been crossing to Eau Claire and heading east to Edmonton Trail, then across to the north side where I go west to 14th Street, and back to Eau Claire again. Amazingly, it's pretty much the same distance as my loop to Crowchild and back.

Running along Riverfront Avenue, for the most part you can stay on the sidewalk, but occasionally you have to drop off the curb when the construction fence crowds you. For all the construction going on, it should look pretty good. But I don't think it'll be done until next spring.

The Friday night run was back on my usual Crowchild loop. It's still warm for running, and I'm glad I can still wear shorts. It was nice and a little less crowded. I think the usual commuters might be thinned out from people making an extra long weekend out of it.

The Path. I'm starting to look forward to getting to that. Not because it means I'm almost at the end of a run, well, I do look forward to that. But I'm having fun pushing hard on the climb. Don't know where that energy is coming from. Love the feeling when I get to the top

Tuesday's run:
Distance: 9.91 Time: 1:01:04
Average speed: 6:09 min/km. (9.74 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).

Friday's run:
Distance: 10.12 Time: 59:02
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.29 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Summer is Finally Here?

Actually, it's not all that summery out. The trees are now nearly naked, and the path is particularly crunchy with leaves. Still, it's reasonably warm, enough for shorts and tee shirt. And for a lot of runners too. Not crowded out there, but busy. And I had a great run. I think I'm finally past the laziness that took over last spring.

I also signed up for a motivator just now. L n K I had thought about doing the Harvest Half Marathon this year, and never got to looking into it. And now it's gone by having been run yesterday. There is one last big run of the year coming up, so I jumped into that. I run the Last Chance Half Marathon on November 14.

Today's run:
Distance: 17.04 Time: 1:38:04
Average speed: 5:45 min/km. (10.43 kph)
Rest distance: 0.94 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.98 km. Total time: 1:48:04
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Friday, October 01, 2010

Indian Summer Hangs On

Another beautiful day, and just lovely for running. The trees have shed a lot of bulk today, with a stiff breeze stirring the leaf piles. I ran the usual route, down to Crowchild and back. The paths were surprisingly busy, and at times the congestion was a little close. Everyone wants to get outside before the real cold weather comes, I guess.

Tonight's run:
Distance: 10.16 Time: 57:37
Average speed: 5:40 min/km. (10.58 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Small Change

I made a little change to my route, about the third time I've gone that way in the last couple of weeks. I cross Prince's Island, but then I head east to the Langevin Bridge at Edmonton Trail. On the north side of the river I go west again, as far as 14th Street, then back along the south side to Prince's Island again. Just a tiny bit longer than the run straight out to Crowchild and back.
L n K
Tonight's run:
Distance: 10.53 Time: 1:01:31
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.26 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Technicolor Run

Wow, is it ever some kind of colourful out there! This time of year is when the view from the bluff can be breathtaking, and so too along the river. There is so much red, which I never expect to see on the prairie. I grew up with poplar yellow and maple brown, nothing red anywhere that I remember. But the river valley is lined with red. Saskatoons? Dogwood? I don't know what bush is what.

I ran the route in reverse of what I've been running it for the past ... how many months? It's so different looking, surprisingly so, going the other way. But all the colour, it's dazzling.

On top of all that, I had a good strong run. The last couple of runs, I think I've been running as good as I was in early spring, before I started slacking for the summer.

Still slacking at the write ups, though....
L n K
The run on the 12th:
Distance: 16.66 Time: 1:34:23
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (10.59 kph)
Rest distance: 1.24 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.90 km. Total time: 1:44:23
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
L n K
The run on the 15th:
Distance: 9.79 Time: 58:22
Average speed: 5:57 min/km. (10.06 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

And then I didn't run for about a week...

The run on Tuesday:
Distance: 10.71 Time: 1:02:26
Average speed: 5:49 min/km. (10.29 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
L n K
The run on Friday:
Distance: 10.20 Time: 58:17
Average speed: 5:43 min/km. (10.49 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).
L n K
Today's run:
Distance: 17.41 Time: 1:39:53
Average speed: 5:44 min/km. (10.46 kph)
Rest distance: 1.05 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 18.45 km. Total time: 1:50:53
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Friday, September 10, 2010

On a New Schedule

Friday night runs aren't bad. I think there are more cyclists on the path. It was a nice run though. It's been a grey day, and not that cool. I was hoping for some rain to chill a little.

Mostly just a run like any other.
L n k
Tuesday's RunDistance: 10.25 Time: 58:56
Average speed: 5:45 min/km. (10.44 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Changing My Schedule

At least I'm going to give it a whirl. My Thursday nights are filled up this fall, so my usual Tuesday, Thursday running schedule it going to get heavily interfered with. So I am going to try switching to a Wednesday, Friday schedule. I notice it's not much different - go figure.

It's a nice cool evening, a nice running evening, after all the rain we got earlier in the day. A few big puddles to dodge along the top of the bluff, and a little muddy in places.

I've noticed the starts have been a little stiffer and slower the past couple of times out. It doesn't take long to loosen up, but I'd rather be loose from the start. Maybe a little more intensity is needed in the pre-run stretch.

But mostly, just another run: went out, got sweaty, came home.
L n k
Tuesday's RunDistance: 10.09 Time: 59:27
Average speed: 5:53 min/km. (10.18 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Drippy Drizzle Day Run

It was a little drizzly when I first went out this morning, and for awhile it really came down, but once I changed and got out on the paths, it was back to drizzly. There's a definite chill in the air these days, but with hardly any wind (at least at the start) conditions were excellent for running.

I didn't set any speed record again today, except maybe that last three km before Edworthy Park and the public washrooms. For the last ten minutes of the run, the rain again began to come down, so I was drenched when I finished. The wind came up for a minute or two, too, and like I said, there's a definite chill.

I haven't wrote about runs for a week or so, sorry about that. Last week's long run was kinda nice, sunny and lots of runners out. The mid week runs were non-descript, but it was warmer too. Almost summery. All the details are below.
L n k
Last Sunday's run:
Distance: 16.77 Time: 1:38:52
Average speed: 5:54 min/km. (10.18 kph)
Rest distance: 1.32 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.09 km. Total time: 1:48:52
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
L n k
Tuesday's RunDistance: 10.00 Time: 58:37
Average speed: 5:51 min/km. (10.24 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).
L n k
Thursday's RunDistance: 10.13 Time: 59:14
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.26 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
L n k
Today's Run:Distance: 16.70 Time: 1:38:02
Average speed: 5:52 min/km. (10.22 kph)
Rest distance: 0.82 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.52 km. Total time: 1:48:02
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Was That Summer That Just Wizzed By?

A couple of days ago, we hit 30 degrees. First time this year, we're told. I got to run in it. Got hot and sweaty, so it must have happened. Too bad if you were in the bathroom and missed it when it went by.

It wasn't one to write home about (so I'm writing about it here??), but a decent run by any measure, with the usual aches and pains. My body appears to be outpacing my level of maturity more and more each day.

Thursday's run:
Distance: 10.30 Time: 1:01:14
Average speed: 5:56 min/km. (10.09 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).
L n K

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crazy Time

I just noticed my time on my run tonight. One Hour. Sixty minutes. Exactly. Well, if you ignore the few hundredths of a second past the sixty minute mark.

It was a good run, but mostly taken up by a battle of the inward and outward. I seem to be in a contemplative mood tonight, and tended to look inward, brooding over stuff. I'd rather not do that, cuz I probably look a little spacey and not all there. I'd rather look outward.

In fact, I like being a bit of a tourist when I run, checking things out: the cyclists, other runners, the osprey nest by Crowchild, the rafters on the river. So every time I noticed I was head down and plodding into my messy mind, I would look up and look around.

Some runs are like that.

Tonight's run:
Distance: 10.34 Time: 60:00
Average speed: 5:48 min/km. (10.34 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
L n K

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Smokin'!

Well something is, and I think it's British Columbia. The haze settled over us on Thursday, and my lack of motivation jumped all over that for a ready made excuse. Too smokey to run. All that particulate matter just ain't no good for the lungs.

But it didn't smell smokey this morning. Not like the damp campfire smell that was there a couple of days ago, evoking memories of soggy camping trips of long ago. Does that make it healthier?

This morning, I took a deep breath (koff, koff...) and headed out. It's been cool today, not much good for those longing for real summer, but kind of good for running. I think a lot of people were fed up with waiting for the air to clear. There are loads of people out running this morning.

I wasn't setting any speed records. I guess not getting out there has caught up to me. I was slow. At least a full ten minutes longer than usual to run this distance. I don't think too much about it, I was just happy to finally get off my duff and get out there.

The smoke wasn't noticeable at all, though I did worry about my lungs filtering all that particulate matter from my exhalations. I think we're good, but please, B.C., the bylaw clearly states, no smoking within 5 metres of the entrance, so if you could just take it down the street a little....? Thanks!
L n K
Today's run:
Distance: 16.45 Time: 1:39:22
Average speed: 6:02 min/km. (9.93 kph)
Rest distance: 1.08 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 17.53 km. Total time: 1:50:22
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another One

Finally got a chance to get out and run. Last week was too busy, with workshops and other things going on. Isn't summer supposed to be the slow time? Actually, it mostly is for me. Just last week was taken up by things.

So this was the first run for quite awhile. I felt quite good for not running for almost two weeks. Reasonably fast, and nothing hurt too much. I notice some stiffness that lingers after, but hey, could be age (ya think?)

Nice run on a lingering warm evening, kind of a nice meander along the river. Lots of cyclists, many taking themselves way too seriously, but that's their stress. I had a great run, even pushing hard on The Path. I swear, the lower half of that stretch must be a grade of 20% or more.
L n K
Tonight's run:
Distance: 10.44 Time: 59:20
Average speed: 5:40 min/km. (10.56 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

How to Ruin a Massage

Actually, I'd already done the deed the night before, getting out on the Glenmore Reservoir with a rented kayak. I started out aching across the shoulders from hoisting the kayak onto my car roof, even with the help of a helpful passer-by. However I met a couple of the locals while out on the water:

And this guy too:

The three herons were too quick for me, diminishing to flecks in the sky before I could get a camera out. And the jackfish lurking two feet below me in the weeds was spooked by the movement of my reaching.

The aches disappeared rather quickly after I started running, I think because I was out and moving. It was cloudy and a little cool, and toward the end, there was the beginnings of a shower. I did the mid-interval sprints again, for some of them. After five of those, my right hamstring was twanging. I hoped I would be able to run it off, but the tightness persisted all the way home.
L n K
On The Path, I got aggressive, thinking that it's only 300 metres at a grade of about 25% or more, like, come on wuss, go hard! So I did. Actually, it averages about 15% if I understand the calculation. Steep enough to wake up the calves, for sure.

Sunday's run:
Distance: 16.46 Time: 1:36:01
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.29 kph)
Rest distance: 1.28 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.74 km. Total time: 1:46:01
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Double Your Fun

Or I'll just write up two runs....

Last Monday I was out for the long one, since I had other things going on Sunday morning, and Monday was a holiday. So it was a different crowd, and not as many. I think that may have been due to people being out of town too.

It was a pretty standard run. On the third interval, I tried a mid interval sprint, like I was doing about 15 months ago, running hard and really stretching for the middle minute. It always feels good to do that, especially after the minute is up and I slow down again. It does make the run go faster, although the way I've been running, it sort of put me close to my usual time.

Something I've noticed for ages, is how the path is slumping toward the river. It's like that in several places, but the worst is the half km or so west of Crowchild Trail on the south side of the river. I find I crowd the centre line to avoid feeling like I have one leg shorter than the other. The steep camber is kinda hard on the ankles sometimes too.

Tonight was also a pretty standard run, felt pretty normal and all. Lots of traffic out, cuz it's so nice. There was a lot of music blaring from Millennium Park; no idea what that was about. Maybe it's like when they're building a house and the framers or roofers have a loud radio. With the West LRT construction concentrated there, maybe the construction people have a radio turned up, like to 140 decibels.

Or it could be a party of some kind at the park.

Monday's run:
Distance: 17.10 Time: 1:36:34
Average speed: 5:38 min/km. (10.62 kph)
Rest distance: 0.94 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.04 km. Total time: 1:46:34
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
L n K
Tonight's run:
Distance: 10.17 Time: 59:33
Average speed: 5:51 min/km. (10.25 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Draggin' Behind

Still dragging my backside when it comes to getting out there. This time I have a little bit of an excuse, as I was spending time with my grandsons. Then woke up feeling not well at all, so no run today. I will try tomorrow, if I feel better, and take advantage of the holiday Monday to get some distance in.

There was a nice note left on my on my last entry from Melissa (read her blog!). Gracious, 5:48/mile?!?! That's a seriously fast pace, probably way out of reach of most of us mortals. Glad you didn't hang up your shoes. Keep running and have fun!

My last run on Tuesday was OK, kinda hot, but well now, ain't it summer? We haven't had that typical prairie dryness this year either, so it's a little close at times, too. But I got out, and ran a respectable time for a slacker, only a little bit off my usual pace.
L n K
My run:
Distance: 10.17 Time: 1:02:15
Average speed: 6:07 min/km. (9.80 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Ketchup

Or Catch Up. I've been bad again about posting, having gone through a week without saying anything. It's been a good week for runs, although maybe the heat has been a little brain and body addling. Last Tuesday I was feeling a little light headed after running, maybe from dehydration? Anyway, catching my breath after, and getting some hydration helped a lot.

Friday was also warmish, and left me a little achy. I felt slow, but the GPS was rather flattering, telling me I'd completed a 12.25 km run. Funny, that route has always measured out at about 10.2 km or so. I'm going to assume it was fibbing, or maybe that was its turn to be heat addled. I'll use Tuesday's distance below as it's more realistic.

Today, well, I did beat some of the heat. Maybe I should alter my Sunday morning routine on days like this, and run first thing while it's still cool. It wasn't all that bad though. One thing about the warm days is the traffic. There are so many runners and walkers and bikers on the paths. It's not crowded, but it's busy. I kinda like that.
L n K
Tuesday's run:
Distance: 10.22 Time: 59:12
Average speed: 5:48 min/km. (10.36 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Friday's run:
Distance: 10.22 Time: 1:01:56
Average speed: 5:48 min/km. (9.90 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 1).

Today's run
Distance: 17.12 Time: 1:39:44
Average speed: 5:56 min/km. (10.30 kph)
Rest distance: 1.11 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 18.23 km. Total time: 1:50:44
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Spitty, Spotty

It looked like rain, a big dark cloud in the west. It isn't really hot out, but I like running in the rain, and it would have felt quite nice even for the heating up I was doing while running. Nuh-uh.

After crossing the river at Crowchild, it was dark and brooding, and there was a tiny bit of drippy spitty rain. But within minutes the sun burst forth, and that was that.

Good run though, and just what I needed.
L n K
Distance: 10.26 Time: 59:59
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.26 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Weather: Distant precipitation and 19C.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Old and Slow

Well, it's how I feel anyway. But actually I felt pretty good too. Such a beautiful morning to be out running.

There wasn't a lot to note about it, other than all the running groups appeared to be starting just as I went by, so there was lots of traffic on the promenade. And the bottle picker who was having trouble with his bike, expressing frustration with a loud carpet f-bombing.

Anyway, I was a little slower than a couple of months ago. But I'm not out to set speed records.
L n K
Distance: 16.68 Time: 1:39:00
Average speed: 5:56 min/km. (10.11 kph)
Rest distance: 1.25 km. Rest time: 10:54.
Total distance: 17.94 km. Total time: 1:49:54

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A Brief Note

That was a bloody hot day for running. I think I was a little too hot, but I ran the usual route.

Distance: 9.93 Time: 1:00:46
Average speed: 6:072 min/km. (9.35 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
Weather: Sunny and 21C.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting Off My Backside

Man, I've got no motivation at all. I've been lazy and not even thinking of running. Perhaps because all the races I signed up for are done. And I'm supposed to be hiking now, getting out in the mountains on the weekends instead of staying in the city, running early to dodge the summer heat.

As I stepped out the front door, my neighbour walked around the corner. Another runner, and much more serious about it than I. We had passed each other often in the last five years, one of us heading out while the other was just back, or passing on the river paths.

So we ran together for awhile and chatted a bit. It was warm, a typical summer day, and we were out in the late morning. At Crowchild, she continued on, while I turned back. Given how often I've been out in the past few weeks, a 10 K was about all I was up to, and I was moving kinda slow, too.

Distance: 10.36 Time: 1:05:59
Average speed: 6:22 min/km. (9.35 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Weather: Sunny and 21C.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Missed the Rain

It's been an odd day over all. Accidents, and several lightning induced fires. Thunderstorms and rainshowers, and sunny moments.

I just missed a shower when I left work, and it cleared quite nicely as I walked home. Of course my rain jacket just soaked up the heat form the sun.

I was out of the door in running gear shortly after I got home, and trundled down toward the bluff. It's busy down there lately, with all those bootcamp groups running, stretching, lifting, climbing, jumping and whatever else they do. It's a little bit of a traffic jam at times.

I tried going westward on the south side tonight. The promenade was sort of busy, but there was lots of room. It was warm enough, and there was a small chance of another shower, but that never materialized.

All in all, it was a pretty unremarkable run, except for the fact that it's the first time I've been out in a week. The Path was a little challenging, but ain't it always so.

Anyway, I had a nice, sweaty, huffy, puffy hour.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.04 Time: 59:31
Average speed: 5:55 min/km. (10.12 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Weather: Fog and 4C.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Schedule

I'd like to get out and do some hiking on the weekends so the weekend runs might take a hiatus for awhile. But tonight was just getting back into the groove.

I took a week off after the Banff Jasper run, a little recovery time. And it felt good to take it. I'm still marvelling at how freakishly good I ran that. I place 31st out of 33 runners on that leg, in other words, not last. So I'm quite happy with that. Given that stellar performance, our team placed 11th over all, and 3rd in the corporate division, which meant medals!! Suh-wheet!!

So anyway, I'm over that, mostly, physically. Back to my natural stiffness. Tonight was good, though. I got a chance to loosen up some. But what a grey day. The rain held off all the while I was out there, but it just kept getting darker and darker.

Nothing special, just a solid run.
L n K
Distance: 10.19 Time: 58:24
Average speed: 5.43 min/km. (10.47 kph)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Banff Jasper Relay

The dreaded Big Bend! This is what happens when you volunteer to do whichever leg they need a runner. No one wants to do this one, cuz you climb 400 metres in the first 5.5 kilometres. It's a pretty relentless climb, and I wasn't sure I was up to it.

I wasn't sure I was even ready to try that morning. I barely slept at all. I got to my hotel at Lake Louise late, and grabbed a late dinner that kept me tossing and turning. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning, all I had for breakfast was a banana and some grapes before I drove the hour and a half to the starting point of the north half of the relay, at Saskatchewan Crossing. I got another banana and coffee, thinking that was about all I could handle about then.

I managed to find some of my other team members, and we susssed out a plan for supporting runners and ferrying vehicles along the route. At 7:00 the first set of runners were off.

Once they had disappeared around the bend, people dispersed to get some breakfast or where ever. I talked a little more with my team mates, and then drove to the first hand off. The first leg was about sixteen and a half kilometres, and our runner was only thirteen minutes past the forced start. Actually a really good run for someone who just started running less than a year ago.

We sorted out some changes about who was driving what and drove to the next hand off point - my start.

Once there, we had about an hour before we thought our runner would arrive. I dithered a bit about how to dress, and decided to go with shorts and tee, with a vest. Over that I wore the required high visibility vest and pinned on my number. I did some stretching and ran up the highway a couple of times, trying to loosen up and settle down.

From the curve in the highway that gives the Big Bend leg its name, the highway slithers up the side of the mountain at what looks deceptively like a gentle slope. From our starting point you can see about a kilometre of it before it curves around the mountain side.

Our runner made great time, showing up well before the forced start time and accompanied by lots of excited loud cheering from all of us waiting at the hand off. In fact he was 19 minutes ahead of the forced start for my leg, so I got a great start ahead of many of the teams. After he handed off to me, I got a loud cheering start from everyone and started down the highway.

The shoulder is terrifically narrow all the way up the first couple of kilometres or so. I tried hard to keep my pace even, pushing enough to make some headway, but paying attention to my breathing, two steps to inhale, two steps to exhale. If I couldn't maintain that rhythm, I would know it meant I was pushing too hard. Just to maintain a good pace it seemed more important to focus on that than on what the GPS was telling me about pace.

I had set up my GPS as usual for a long run, intending to take a one minute walk break for every nine minutes of running. When the alarm went for the first walk break I kept running. This run required a full commitment, so every ten minutes when the walk break alarm went off, I ignored it.

Around the first corner, the road steepened even more. Two hundred metres of that and my calves were aching. I had a knot forming in my hip too, but none of these aches were enough to slow me down. I think my body was telling me that what I was doing was harder than usual.

I pulled back my pace a little to maintain my breathing rate, and runners began to pass me. I fully expected that. On this leg, I think many teams put their strongest runners. Also the slight drizzle that had accompanied me up the long stretch from the start, had turned into a bit of a downpour, then a blizzard. A wind had come up to drive the sleet some, and it stung my bare arms and legs, and my face, and the sound of it hitting my racing number rattled like sand in the wind.

It didn't last. About the time the slope eased considerably the sun came out, and the temperature climbed. The wind died as well. This kind of thing continued throughout the entire run. We were subjected to every kind of weather possible, through several cycles.

This easy slope, though still going upward, was a great relief for the calves. And by the time I reached it, my hip had stopped bothering me as well. About this time the GPS finally locked on the satellites again. It had lost connection near the first curve, so had lost about three kilometres of distance in its register.

The support crew was great, and the first few times they were out with cameras, so I hammed it up as much as I could. I was feeling really good, maybe even a little cocky, so it wasn't too hard. I had them stopping every kilometre and a half so I could get some water, and it gave me another kind of measure of my progress too.

The road steepened once more, enough to get my calves complaining again. It felt like I'd been climbing forever, but I also felt like time was going by pretty swiftly. I tried to remember to look around once in awhile. It's a beautiful place to run. The cloud stayed high, so I could see the mountains. There was lots of snow, and the creeks and waterfalls were full and flowing noisily. Sometimes I could hear the roar of water from somewhere close by.

I finally reached the summit, although I wasn't sure. I didn't see a marker, and I don't know if there is one. But the highway started a downward slope, and I could feel the relief of the pressure in my calves . Runners continued to pass me every once in awhile, and the weather cycled through the hot sun/pouring rain/driving blizzard cycle what seemed like every ten minutes. I met the support team and had a drink every mile or so.

About three kilometres to go, I felt the downward slope more strongly. It wasn't steep, but it was definitely downward now. I lengthened my stride. At the last stop of the support team, I waved off the water, and said I'd see them at the end. I could see the building that holds the restaurants and souvenir shops of the icefields; the highway curving to the left. The big glacier came into view about the same time I resolved the hand off point. I glanced over every once in awhile; it's a pretty commanding sight.

As I got close to the hand off lane, I saw someone waiting for me - I had beat the forced start! That was totally unexpected. I hadn't thought I'd be anywhere near fast enough on that climb to get to the end before they started the remaining runners at the designated time. As it turned out I was twelve minutes ahead of it. Just unbelieveable!

I slapped the next runner's hand and he took off. I ran out through the lane and a couple of team mates were there with cameras and water bottles. I was elated at how well I'd done, and at how good I felt.

I think this was my strongest, most solid run ever. I had tackled the toughest leg on one long relay through some very challenging terrain, and I'd done pretty darn good.

Here's the elevation profile for the leg I ran from the runner's manual Dig that first six kilometres:

Because the GPS lost satellite contact, I'll use my time with the stated distance of the run.:
Distance: 15.78 Time: 1:37:21
Average speed: 6:10 min/km. (9.73 kph)
L n K!
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
Weather: just about everything possible in the mountains.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

An Attempt to Keep Going

I should have taken the week off, I think. I was still a little depleted from the half marathon, and I think I needed the recovery time. It wasn't a half bad run though.

I went east toward the zoo again, and crossed Memorial at St. George's Avenue to run up Tom Campbell's Hill. And from there I did the usual threading up and down the bluff.

But when I crossed Edmonton Trail, I realized I was going to be late to meet a friend, so I instead of the last two hills, I ran straight home.

It was good, but I didn't feel the solidness in my legs that's usually there. The half marathon seemed to use up any looseness that I normally have.

Tuesday's run:
Distance: 9.08 Time: 56:33
Average speed: 6.13 min/km. (9.63 kph)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

2010 Calgary Half Marathon

I dressed for running, attaching the timing chip to my shoelace, and pinning my bib to my windbreaker. It was chilly and wet when I walked out the door just before 6:00 am. At least there was no wind, but I wore my rain jacket over a fleece on the walk down to the start line for the Calgary Marathon and Half Marathon. The web site said there was no parking near the area, and suggested taking the train. I think the nearest train station to me is about the same distance as to the start line, so walking seemed the best choice.

The walk warmed me up some, too, and got my legs loosened up a little bit. I got to Bridgeland and the park where all the tents and activities were set up, and walked across to the bag check. I stuffed my jackets into the bag that came with the race kit, and stuck on the sticker with my bib number. Then queued up at the porta-potties.

Once through that, I walked and stretched and did some light running to warm up some more, then queued up again. Then some more warming up. I probably should have queued up a third time.

Alexandra appeared out of the crowd as I stopped to stretch my calves at the curb. She took a couple of pictures to send me, my "before" picture, though there would not be an after pic. She was not running but would be handing out medals at the finish line.

About then it was time to queue up for the start. I pushed through the crowd to and got as far up as the 2:30 sign (the expected time to complete the half marathon) before the crowd got too thick to push through. And then it was waiting for the start.

When the start gun went off, it was the usual pushing forward two steps, then standing for a minute while the three or four thousand runners ahead of me funneled through the start gate. I shifted from shuffling to running about five paces from the start mats.

The crowd was pretty thick, and Centre Avenue is a little narrow, so it was slow going for awhile. Turning onto 12th Street didn't make a lot of difference even though that street is wider. It stayed a little congested down to St. George's Avenue, across Memorial and around the zoo. By the time we got to Inglewood, we were spreading out a little.

I was just following the crowd, trying to keep to my own pace and playing tourist a little bit. Turning down 21st Avenue at the Shamrock, I missed seeing those pillows they put on the street to add a punishing bounce to any car that drives over them over 30 kph, and nearly fell. I watched for them all the rest of the way through Ramsay.

After crossing the Elbow River, and getting onto 12th Avenue, it was pretty calm. No standout events, other than the comments while we passed Berard Callebaut Chocolates on 1st Street. that they would have made for a popular aid station.

On 17th Avenue, I was swept along. We made the volunteers for the Lilac Festival on 4th Street wait to cross while we ran through. 17th Avenue went by quite fast.

At 14th Street, the underpass seemed steep both going down and climbing back out, especially as we kept climbing to the top of the bridge over the Bow. The loop around to go underneath and on to Memorial was memorable, as we joined up with the 10K runners who came straight down Memorial from the start line.

From there it was a long slog. I don't know why it feels like such a long slow stretch. It seemed to take just a little time to cross Crowchild, but from there, it felt like miles and miles to the turn around point. It came up fast too, after looking for it for so long.

Flowing eastward, the crowd had thinned considerably, but we were a steady stream along the river. There were a surprising number of people on both sides of Memorial and on the overpasses cheering us on. I remember approaching 10th Street, but not crossing it. I don't really have much recollection of that stretch until we crossed under Centre Street.

I was glad to finally turn up Edmonton Trail just after passing the 20 km marker. Turning onto 1st Avenue, the long hill ahead seemed invisible, and I really didn't notice it much as I climbed it. I guess it's not all that steep.

From there we crossed over to Centre Avenue again, and I kept steady all the way across the line. Nothing left for a sprint to the finish, I was just glad to be done.

Alexandra was there handing out medals with several other volunteers, and she was quite excited that I finished in under two hours. The hug was a nice greeting along with the medal - thanks Alexandra.

I got a Mylar "blanket" but the thin sheet of silvered plastic didn't keep the cold away for too long. I gulped my bananas and cookies, got my jackets from the bag check, and called it a day. I had a good run.

My GPS results:
Distance: 19.71 Time: 1:46:32
Average speed: 5:24 min/km. (11.31 kph)
Rest distance: 1.59 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 21.30 km. Total time: 1:57:32.

The official results are here.
My official time is 1:57:02 for a pace of 5:33.
I was 957th out of 2787, 618th out of 1119 males, 48th out of 111 in my age group.
L n K

Friday, May 28, 2010

Still Winter...?

It's not that bad, but there was still snow on the ground earlier this morning after yesterday's snowfall.

I redid the route that I ran on Wednesday, except this time I cut off the loop around the zoo. That seemed to extend the run without adding much too the hill work. Running from Nose Creek through the zoo parking lot is a pretty gentle slope, and not much of a climb.

Only a couple of pairs of geese were on the path this time, although they were pretty aggressive about protecting the little ones. It's the only time they hiss at me. It's also that time of year when they leave a mess all over the trail in some places, so that a run becomes a bit of a dance.

I did all right on the hills. They aren't all that long, but they're a little steep, which I'm hoping is enough preparation for the next weekend. I'm pretty sure I won't be running on anything nearly as steep.

I over dressed again too. It's a little cool, but not cold enough to sustain snow, which is what I dressed for.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.83 Time: 1:07:42
Average speed: 6.15 min/km. (9.60 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Yellow 2).
Weather: Fog and 4C.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm Back!

Been gone for a couple of weeks, but now I'm back, and I need to start getting into shape for the next big race, which is, um... 4 days away? Sheesh.

Anyway, I did do hills again. This time I stayed on the north side of the river instead of crossing over and running through the East Village. In doing so and trying to cut down my running distance by maybe half a kilometre, I almost got taken out by a goose.

They're back, though they never really left. However they've been messing up the sidewalks and trails in places, so running suddenly becomes an ankle strengthening exercise. Past Centre Street, a pair on the side of the path started hissing at me before I even got close. I ignored them, but as I ran past I was startled byt the goslings hiding in the grass as they suddenly started down the slope to the river.

At the Langevin bridge, a group of school kids were stopped underneath, watching a goose standing on the pier holding the north end of the bridge up. Of course the thing was spooked, being only a couple of feet above the heads of the kids, and decided to make a dash for the river. And of course, just as I was running past. I'm sure that it would have taken me out if I hadn't ducked.

After that, the run was pretty dull. The dinosaurs at the zoo were roaring again, and at the far end a small herd of mule deer lounged in an enclosure. What I thought were bison the last time I went by turned out to be musk ox. This time they were close to the fence and looking my way.

Under Memorial along Nose Creek, then up through the zoo parking lots, the first hill. Down St.George's Drive, then up the path to the top of Tom Campbell's Hill, the second hill. Down Thompson Street, and winding around to 2nd Avenue, 11A Street and climbing a narrow steep path to Drury Avenue, the third hill.

Drury Avenue down to 4th Avenue, then up 4th Street to 7th Avenue, the fourth hill. 7th to Edmonton Trail then 3rd Street, then up 2nd Avenue, the fifth hill. 2nd Avenue, to Samis Road, then across Centre Street and up Nony's Awful Little Hill, the sixth hill.

Down The Path Under The Stairs, then along the path behind Sunnyside, and up one of the new paths slashed across the bluff to the end of 4th Street (West), the seventh hill. then down the path from there to almost the trail behind Sunnyside, and up the next new path to near the end of 7A Street, the eighth hill.

I hope a couple more times of that is enough preparation to survive BJR.

Anyway, not a bad run given I've been slacking for two weeks.
L n K

Today's run:
Distance: 12.76 Time: 1:21:01
Average speed: 6.21 min/km. (9.45 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Weather: Cloudy and 13C.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Change Up

So, looking ahead to what I've got myself into for the Banff Jasper Relay, I thought maybe it's time to change things around a little. It's a little late to be training for hills, but better late than never.

Back in 2005, when I first moved into the area north of downtown, I was training for the Calgary Marathon, and had figured up a route that would take me up and down the bluff in Bridgeland, on the east side of Centre Street. So I thought I'd try and retrace that route.

A gorgeous day, and I should have been out in the morning, but I've had a lot of little tasks to take care of lately. Anyway, midafternoon was a fine time to run. I did waffle on whether to go that route as I ran down The Path and across the bridge to Prince's Island. I probably should have stayed to the north side of the river, but part of the waffling was that I could head west as usual.

But I went east.

Not far past the Centre Street bridge, I ran into the ongoing construction. They have the river path blocked and most of that area is a parking lot for construction materials and equipment, but there is a sidewalk along Riverfront Avenue now.

At the Langevin bridge, the connection to 4th Street is gone, moved farther east. All the East Village development is changing the arrangement and look of the area. It's still empty, but now it looks like it's being built instead of being abandoned to the drug users and homeless.

The river side is all fenced off, so I followed the edge of it along Riverfront Avenue, on new paving stone sidewalks, past the Simmons mattress building, one of the few buildings left in the area. Looks like it's being used as a project office for the redevelopment.

I found a path between fencing into the park behind Fort Calgary, where a new water feature has been built, and then was able to get to the old suspension bridge to St. Patricks Island. The east end of the island is the zoo, of course, but the west end was once a picnic area, left to become overgrown and unused in the time I've lived here. Even there, though, there's been some cleaning up, with the wild bush removed and new benches installed.

At the zoo parking lot, where Zoo Road skirts the zoo from Memorial Drive and crosses the river to Inglewood, I sprinted across the street. City workers had the access gate into the zoo open, and I could see one of the tigers lounging in his cage just on the other side. Big stripey orange on green spring grass.

At the other end of the short bridge across the part of the river that makes St. Patrick's Island an island, I got on the river path again. Between the path and Memorial Drive, is the dinosaur park part of the zoo, and they've installed some Animatronic versions of the old standbys. The tail of ankylosaur was slowly thrashing in the air just across the fence as I first approached, and near the bridge from the main gate to the island part of the zoo, there was a carnivore of some kind roaring at something. Probably a tyrannosaur.

On the other side of that bridge, is the North American exhibits, though the fence and trees and bush screened that from the river path. I did see some bison lounging at the very end though, as the path turned northward to follow Nose Creek, along the Deerfoot Trail.

More construction; the zoo is building something there, so lots of dust being raised. Crossing under Memorial Drive, I was going to run up the road through the Zoo parking lot but all of that has been rebuilt, so the road actually goes farther north. I just ran over a berm and found myself in the huge new bus stop. It was deserted, too late in the day for school tours, I guess.

The hill climb through the zoo parking lot isn't particularly steep, and it's rather long. Not much challenge. At the top, I came out along side St. George's Drive and follewed it down the hill. I crossed there and began the steep climb up to Tom Campbells Hill Park.

This is the start of the winding through Bridgeland. Tom Campbells Hill marks the east end of the bluff, so as I come out the park gate and on the street, I'm immediately running downhill on Thomson Avenue, which switchbacks onto another street, which switchbacks again onto yet another street that ends up curving into 2nd Avenue. Fairly steep but not too bad.

A block down 2nd Avenue past a school, 11A Avenue runs uphill a block, ending in a steep path that climbs up to a cul-de-sac, on which I again descend. I could have gone further uphill here, to another street just above, and I'll keep that in mind for next time.

At 10th Street I climbed upward a block, then followed the long descending curve of Drury Avenue as it follows the face of the bluff. It joins up with 5th Avenue and 8th Street, then another three blocks east, then south a block to 4th Avenue. Whew!

At 4th Street, I charged up the hill again. 4th Street is ridiculously steep. The sidewalk becomes a stairway for a bit, then a sidewalk again before disappearing all together. It's also a ridiculously narrow street, with barely room for one car after all the parking on either side. Must be tricky parking on such a slope.

At the top of this, at 7th Avenue, it's a couple of blocks to Edmonton Trail, and past my favourite diner. I started the descent down Edmonton Trail, then kept to the right and followed 3rd Street rather than Edmonton Trail's curve eastward. Over the hump in the middle of all the hill side condos and down hill again, to 2nd Avenue.

2nd Avenue is insanely steep, one of those streets where you wonder what the heck somebody was thinking when they built it. The sidewalks are stairways, and at some point long before I moved here, both ends of the block between 3rd Street and 2nd Street were blocked off. I even wonder how they managed to pave such a slope. But it's a great climb.

At the top, it's another block to Samis road, which descends steeply to the top of the Centre Street bridge. And after sprinting across Centre Street, I was chugging up Nony's Awful Little Hill.

Next time I'll continue down The Path again, and up and down the new trails slashed across the face of the bluff above Sunnyside, but for this run I needed to get home and showered as I was meeting friends in a short while.

In all I climbed the bluff six times along this route, after rounding the east end of the zoo. Judging by the burn in my legs, I got a bit of a workout.
L n K

Yesterday's run:
Distance: 12.07 Time: 1:13:37
Average speed: 6.05 min/km. (9.84 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Weather: Cloudy and 13C.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mothers Day Run

My big decision was how to get there. I mean, it's close enough to walk, about 2 km to the start and finish lines. Would I be up to walking home after? And if the weather were to be icky, would I have to deal with a coat, or could I manage without?

I hopped in the car about an hour before. I figured if I got there early enough, I could get into one of the big parkades along 10th Avenue. But of course, the route went down 10th Avenue, and it also was on 1st Street SE and 5th Street SW, so all access to those parkades was blocked by the time I got downtown. Probably had been since the wee hours.

I drove away from the area, and every parking spot was taken. I still had plenty of time before the start, so I went home. And then I did what I should have done from the start, and treated it like a usual Sunday run.

So I went home, pinned my number to my vest, and strapped the timing chip on my shoe. Then out the door and down to the bluff, along the bluff to Centre Street. I ran along Centre all the way to the Calgary Tower, where the start line was. And still had fifteen minutes to wait before the start. It took about 12 minutes to cover the 2 km.

By the time I got down there, it had started to rain, just a light drizzle. There was a bit of a breeze, but it was screened by all the people around. I paced a little around the crowd, stretching calves at the curb.

About five minutes to start, I got into a place between the 5 min/km and 6 min/km pace signs and bounced a little to the music while an aerobics instructor type tried to lead the crowd through some warm up moves. By then the rain had turned to snow, and I think people just wanted to get going.

The wheelchair racers left first, and five minutes later the rest of us got the starting gun. Of course there was the usual surge forward a few paces, and wait, until those in front were able to funnel through the start, and then I covered the 15 metres or so to the start line, and off we went.

Down 9th Avenue, it was pretty crowded. This is a big race and there are a lot of people around. Traffic wasn't too constrictive though, and I was making pretty good time.

I noticed about then that with all the highrise buildings around, I'd lost contact with the GPS system. The darn thing said my pace was over twenty minutes.

At 5th Street we turned south, and the crowd filled the four lanes, even were up on the sidewalks in places. It was a bit of a blur.

I had intended to hold back some, not be so fast, and just enjoy the run, but I guess I'm naturally competitive, cuz I found I was pushing hard, and dodging around slower runners. For the most part there was room to maneuver but occasionally I would get boxed in by runners.

I remember crossing 17th Avenue, and then we were into a narrower stretch of street. I don't think it's narrower, but it always feels so when I drive that way. Most of my attention was on moving forward, and passing and going around others. They had split the road with 10 km runners on the right and 5 km runners on the left. At 25th Street, the 5 km runners went east and the crowd thinned a little.

On Elbow drive we crossed to the far side of the road, letting traffic have the western side. I tried to stay to the middle of the street as much as possible. The chambre of the curb lane was pretty sloped and I find that if I run on such sideways slopes for any length of time, my knees and ankles begin to complain.

It's a lovely part of the city, very nice to run through, but my attention was still on traffic. This is one busy and crowded race.

Just across the Elbow, we turned left onto Landsdowne Avenue, then Centre Boulevard, and on to 42 Avenue through Stanley Park. A total blur. I'm getting the street names from my map book cuz I don't know that part of town at all. At one point there was a walkway from 42nd Avenue onto 1A Street, with one of those posts in the middle that is supposed to prevent people from shortcutting by driving down the sidewalk. Wonder if anyone hit it?

This stretch was all up and down. Not big hills, but they pulled at the calves going up. At first they slowed me down a lot. At 34th Avenue, we went left, a long gentle climb. I felt much stronger on the uphill side and pushed quite hard up the three blocks or so to the top. We were on the left, and those ahead of us were coming back on the right.

Somewhere up near end of the street we reversed directions, and headed down the hill again, this time all the way to Mission Road, where we turned a hairpin corner to continue down hill toward 4th Street. More blur and surrounded by people. On the bridge over the Elbow, just before 26th Avenue, and older couple were walking against the runners, along the edge. Taking the chance to walk on the street instead of the narrow walkway on the bridge.

At 25th Street, we met the tide of humanity coming from 5th Street on the 5 km route. By now most of the 5 km runners were long past, but there are a huge number of people who walk the route. They were kept to the left side of 4th street, while us runners were on the right again.

About now I was having fun cruizing along near the pylons in the center of the street. 4th has that steep chambre toward the gutters too, and I needed the flatter terrain toward the centre of the street. Others were doing the same, so there was some dodging around each other.

Turned right at 11th Avenue and went for a block. Unexpectedly for me, we turned left at 2nd Street, and then right onto 10th Avenue, and then we were running past all those parkades that I thought I'd be able to get into.

We ran a few blocks to McLeod Trail northbound, around the corner and then under the tracks toward Olympic Plaza. Halfway out of the underpass on the far side were the mats that are placed at the finish line, so I started my final sprint. I crossed that line quite decisively. Except it was the finish line for the 5 km, I think. Nobody was slowing down.

I kept going with the rest, and then right in front of City Hall was the real finish line. The track narrowed quite a bit, so with dodging the suddenly crowded field, my crossing of the line wasn't quite so definitive.

I walked with the crowd down the street, past tables full of fruit and drinks. I grabbed a banana and wolfed it down, chugged a chocolate milk, and then looped back for another banana and chocolate milk. I wandered a while, looking for the volunteers who snip the zip strap holding the timer chip on my shoe laces, but finally asked someone where they were. Apparently we get to keep the chip.

At that point, I was cooling down and feeling a bit of a chill. So I shuffled through the crowd to its edge, crossed the C-Train track and ran through the downtown to the Centre Street bridge. Going uphill on it, I could feel the wind. I wasn't warming up much form my exertion, and even Nony's Awful Little Hill didn't warm me up much.

The Garmin said I'd run over 13 km, but given that it was 2 km to the start, that the race was 10 km, and the finish line was a couple of blocks farther from home than the start, I don't believe it. It was probably more like 15 km.

I don't know exactly when I crossed the start after the gun went off, but when I crossed the finish line, the clock was at 52:23. So my race time is probably around 50 minutes.

It was fun though, even with the rain and snow.

Ah. The official results are already posted:
My official time is 51:23 for a pace of 5:09.
I was 503rd out of 2284, 375th out of 1008 males, 39th out of 151 in my age group.

Pretty darn good finish!
L n K

As for the whole run, I'll post the bogus results:
Today's run:
Distance: 13.71 Time: 1:23:59
Average speed: 6.07 min/km. (9.79 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Wish you were here.
Weather: Light snow and 1C.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Dodging the Weather

It wasn't all that nice out last night, still occasionally snowing or raining, and windy. Plus tired and not feeling well. So I wimped out. Hate when I do that.

So this morning, I was determined to make up for that and get out first thing. I'm glad I waited, cuz it's a gorgeous morning. It was still a tad chilly, but no wind and the clouds were just starting to move in.

I remember looking up at a few indistinct puffy blobs floating in from the south as I descended The Path, and then noticing how the sky was full of them by the time I finished. I'm still tired I guess. It was one of those runs were my attention was pulled inward and I run on autopilot.

I did vow to tackle The Path as aggressively as possible. It's fairly steep and a good 250 metres long. Some belated hill training...

I've signed up for the Banff Jasper Relay through the company I work with, and a couple of days ago, they emailed everyone on the team to send in our top three preferences as to which leg we wanted to run. I've always been game to give any position a shot, and I said so after listing the three legs that I thought I'd enjoy most.

Yesterday I learned I have been assigned the the section called Big Bend. The route descriptions rate each leg as easy, moderate or hard, and this one is the only one rated very hard.

Starting at an altitude of 5500 feet above sea level, I will climb up to about 6700 feet over the first six kilometres. The next three kilometres are virtually flat, another couple of hundred feet upward on the next kilometre, and then a steady drop to about 6400 feet by the end at 15.7 kilometres. Ain't gonna be setting any speed records, but I will finish.

However, it is a rather scenic stretch, as I will end just past the Columbia Ice Fields.
L n K

Today's run:
Distance: 10.17 Time: 59:47
Average speed: 5:52 min/km. (10.21 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Always.
Weather: Sunny and 1C.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Another Brush with a Lingering Winter

Man, snow comes and it goes. At least all the snow we got in the last 24 hours melted pretty much on contact. I didn't hear of any problems outside of the city either. It was just a cold windy grey day.

But not so cold I couldn't run. In fact it was quite decent for running.

I got home later than usual from work, but managed to get changed and out the door again before 6:00. The wind wasn't too bad in the neighbourhood, but as I approached the bluff it got stronger in the more open terrain.

Down The Path, across Memorial and on to the path. Quiet out there tonight. There weren't a lot of people out on the north side at least. The detour around the bridge construction is all fences now, and the temporary bridge they're building is almost all the way across.

The path under the Louise Bridge is also blocked, with all the work they're doing there. And I have no idea what it's all for, but I suppose it'll reveal itself eventually.

Straight run all the way to Crowchild, and just across that, on the south side of the river is when I started to run into some traffic. Not the usual herd of cyclists, though there were enough of those. There were lots of runners out, and it may be because of the time. By then, I suppose everyone has had a chance out for their runs.

Because of the construction, the promenade is blocked with temporary fences, and foot traffic is detoured out to 1st Avenue. There are more fences now, plus newly planted hedges and a strip of sidewalk, to direct people to the street and not trample the lawn.

More unremarkable running until The Stairs. I bounded up the two flights to the landing that meets The Path, and found myself in a big crowd of runners. They had set a pace slightly faster than I usually run it, and I enjoyed pushing to stay with them. At the top, the crowd thinned and then stopped at the top of The Stairs, so I had to thread may way through.

After that, just a push to the end.
L n K

Today's run:
Distance: 10.11 Time: 59:01
Average speed: 5:50 min/km. (10.28 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Longing.
Weather: Light snow and 1C.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Motivation Vacation

It's been hard to get my backside out there and running this past week. The weather has been pretty ugly, but I've run in worse weather. I think I used that as an excuse to dodge doing the real work of getting out there and running.

Today was quite nice, just a little bit cool, perfect to run in. I got a bit of an early start too, early enough to get just ahead of all the running groups starting out from Eau Claire. Aside from those crowds, there were lots out taking advantage of the weather.

Running through the Lawrey Gardens was pretty quiet. There were a few people but not like the other side of the river. The gates are still across the path beside the Douglas fir forest, and the little trails around the ends are getting pretty well pounded down.

The ice has been removed at the natural springs, so it's all bare wet pavement. It's still pretty thick on the side, so it's a bit like running down a shallow trench. Even so, things are greening up nicely along the river bank.

I feel the tightness in the hips. It wasn't too bad on the outbound part of the run. After crossing the river at Edworthy, as usual I picked up the pace a little, and then I started to feel it. It didn't seem to slow me down much, or mess up my pace, but there was a definite ache, which lingers as I write this.

There's lots of construction now. There's the Peace Bridge, which has all the redirection in place and a temporary path that runs right against the curb of Memorial Drive. Before that is all the construction at the old Parks office, and even further west, probably about where 12th Street would be, if it was allowed to join Memorial. No indication as to what they are doing there, just lots of temporary fencing around much manly digging and dirt moving.

I got to the bottom of The Stairs and considered changing the routine. Instead of pushing up The Path Under The Stairs, I decided to forge west on the path that circles around Sunnyside along the bottom of the bluff.

They built some nice paths that slash across the face of the bluff, so I took the first one that climbs diagonally toward the top of the bluff between 4th and 5th Streets. And where it joins another path that slashes the other way to meet the end of 4th Street, I followed it downward again. Near the bottom another path slashed upward again to meet the top near 7A Street.

Then I followed the top of the bluff back to 4th Street where I usually head northward and homeward. These trails are for the most part not as steep as The Path, but it added at least a kilometre to my run. A kinder, gentler bit of hill work to finish off.
(L n K)

Today's run:
Distance: 17.39 Time: 1:38:29
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (10.59 kph)
Rest distance: 1.00 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 18.39 km. Total time: 1:48:29.

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Weather: Partly cloudy and 5C, rising to 9C.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The 2010 Police Half Marathon Official Results

My official time is 1:53:59, for a pace of 5:25.
I placed 600th out of a field of 1829.
86th out of 193 in my age division.

Compare it with last year:
Official time was 1:53:34, for a pace of 5:24.
Placed 609th out of a field of 1833.
84th out of 194 in my age division.

Am I consistent or what???
(L n K )

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 2010 Police Half Marathon

Okay, this wasn't looking too great last night, when snow was coming down in great, fat, wet blobs, so thick at times I couldn't see more than a block. When I got up this morning, the snow had stopped, but it was pretty white on lawns and stuff. The street looked wet, and I hoped it wasn't icy.

I was up early, had a good breakfast, and took my time getting dressed. Definitely a day for the thermal tights. I resisted the urge to put on an extra tee, but brought one just in case. I headed out, first to Starbucks, then to Mount Royal University campus. I was early enough that I got a parking spot quite close to the starting line.

I wandered a bit, ran around the parking lot lightly, warming up. Then I went inside and walked into the big room where everything was being set up. It's a broad space, with a running track around a huge pit. Bleachers on one side with spaces between allows you to walk down into it, where volunteers were picking up safety vests and instructions. There was a stage in the middle, and people were already lounging in the seats.

I stretched a little, suddenly feeling some tightness in my hip, and at that moment realized I had forgot my Garmin. I stood for a moment, considering what to do. For a 10K, I wouldn't have bothered, just go run, but for longer distances I rely on it to time my run walks and keep me on pace. Yeah, I know, it's a great big crutch.

It was still over an hour until start time, so I ran to the car, then drove home to get the darn thing. I was back within half an hour, but by then the people were pouring onto the campus, so instead of drifting along with a line up searching for parking, I just pulled into an overflow lot across the street on the old army base.

I got the bib pinned to my windbreaker, and threaded the strip of plastic with the timing chip through my shoe lace. Then joined the crowd crossing the street heading to the race start. One visit to the bathroom, and it was fifteen minutes to go. One more visit and by the time I got out the door and into a spot in the starting crowd, it began to surge forward.

There's always a bit of adrenalin in waiting for the start, and then when we start moving forward, we aren't quite sure it's started, but the people in front of us start running, though sometimes it's more like running in place. And then as people spread out and can take bigger steps, there's the sound at the starting mats. When a chip crosses a sensor, there's a beep, but at the start, it's a million beeps all run together making one long continuous beee-e-e-e-e-e-eep.

The run was pretty nicely paced for the first ten minutes. With width of the lane and the number of people, it kind of throttles you back a little. It's kind of nice since you don't have to worry about keeping a lid on the adrenalin and over doing it at the start, cuz it's too crowded to go fast.

I made some headway along 50th Avenue, and down 19th Street. At the tennis place, we turned onto a narrower road to the water treatment plant. Then onto the narrow path, well, narrow for a few hundred runners, down to the dam holding back the Glenmore Reservoir. On the other side, it stayed narrow, all around behind the Rockyview Hospital.

Just past the hospital we wound through the small neighbourhood of Eagle Ridge. And then onto a narrow path again to the Heritage Park parking area. The trail crosses several driveways in and out of the parking lot, and at every one, on either side of the roadway, there was a post in the middle of the path, to keep cars from trying to drive down the walking paths. I managed to stay aware of most, but one almost caught me, and I managed to sidestep it just in time. I wonder how many people run into those things.

Along the rest of the path to 90th Avenue, lots of people were hooting and rattling cowbells and other noise makers. That part went by fast. On 90th, I immediately faced a long gentle hill. Last year it seemed to go forever, but today I was over it quick and down the other side, to the entrance to the marina.

Last year they routed us through a playground which had a weird zigzag entrance on each side, impossible to run through, and only wide enough for one person at a time. This year we stayed well away from that weirdness, and were on the main path on the south side of the reservoir.

I knew that long descent was coming, steep and winding into the Weaselhead Flats area, where the Elbow River comes into the reservoir. It seems to take forever to get to it, and once there it was long and winding and steep. At the bottom, it's a straight flat stretch to a foot bridge over the river, and then a long climb up the hill again on the north side.

Where the energy came from, I don't know. I powered up that long hill, barely slowing down from my usual running pace, which of course was not the pace I was running today. Maybe it was adrenalin or something, but I was pushing pretty hard out there. The couple of times I checked my pace it was around 5 min/km, and while I couldn't maintain that on this hill, I probably managed to keep it under 6 min/km.

At the top, I took a walk break, then it was the long stretch, running along 66th Avenue. I had no idea how far I had come. On the other side, before windy hill down I saw a marker for 13 km. Near the end of 66th, I spotted one for 16 km.

I was starting to feel it. My pace was becoming challenging to keep up to, but I found that any grade I was on didn't seem to affect it much. I powered up the walkway over Glenmore Trail, and down into the neighbourhood on the other side.

We zigzagged back onto 19th Street, and about the tennis place, I took my last walk break. I didn't notice the place there at all, just houses on the left, park on the right.

That last bit of rest helped and I felt good as I turned onto 50th Avenue. I didn't see any more markers, so had no idea how much farther I had to go, but I just put my head down and ran. I pushed hard, hoping I could keep it up, and I passed a lot of people on that last kilometre or so.

Coming up to the last curve, the crowd was loud; that was kinda nice. About 150 metres from the finish line, I stretched, lots, and did a full sprint. I passed one girl, who was pushing pretty hard, but she really kicked it down after I passed her, and she passed me. She never got more than a couple of metres ahead of me, but we crossed the line flat out.

After that I got my medal, and was trying to stop vibrating, chugging water and gasping through a coughing fit. After a few minutes, I went inside to scarf down a couple of bananas and cookies, and call it a day.

Today's run:
Distance: 20.07 Time: 1:43:45
Average speed: 5:10 min/km. (11.61 kph)
Rest distance: 1.32 km. Rest time: 11:00.
Total distance: 21.39 km. Total time: 1:54:45.

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Pure L n K
Weather: Cloudy and 2C, and a little breezy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fast Turn

In the weather, that is. It wasn't quite as nasty as a week ago, but it still got cold and windy. Again I started with shorts and a tee, but this time it was about right.

Funny how the path gets so much quieter when the weather turns. Even the cyclists had thinned out.

And I seem to be preoccupied with weather when I write here; what's up with that?

Anyway, the rain didn't start until near the end when I was running the top of the bluff. And it didn't really start to come down with any conviction until I was doing my post-run stretching in the shelter of my front step.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.05 Time: 57:21
Average speed: 5:42 min/km. (10.51 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Endless Longing.
Weather: Cloudy and 13C.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Deceptive One

I felt totally slow out there, dragging and heavy. Dunno what goes on; maybe I should have had a lighter lunch. But my stats are pretty good.

Boy, is it busy out! There were dozens of runners and walkers tonight. It's so nice so I imagine everyone is getting out and enjoying the fabulous weather. It messes up the cyclists though. They actually have to slow down once in awhile. Only a matter of time before they hit someone.

The Stairs were jammed when I went by. I don't imagine anyone is running them for all the people on them, except for the rude ones who push their way through. Several places were jammed with people: the north end of the C-Train bridge, a crowd at the south end of the Crowchild bridge, just before going under the Metawa Bridge and in the big space at Eau Claire at the Jaipur Bridge to Prince's Island.

The Stairs were still jammed on the return trip, but I had The Path almost all to myself. At the top I was right back in the crowds along the edge of the bluff.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.17 Time: 57:36
Average speed: 5:39 min/km. (10.59 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Missing You.
Weather: Sunny and 20C.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting Better

That's what it feels like at least. That I'm running better and faster and smoother. It's spring and it's beautiful out, much too nice for indoor anything. Early Sunday mornings when it's sunny and clear are wonderful running times.

Except it wasn't all that clear. It was just slightly cool, bright and sunny. Still, it took me awhile to get moving. There was a slight breeze that had me thinking briefly of wearing the vest, but naah.

Foot traffic along the bluff was already busy, and the boot campers were tearing up and down The Stairs or running up The Path or laying on mats on the grass down below, crunching and planking and stuff. I ambled past all of that to the top of The Path and kept going down to the Centre Street bridge.

The Bow dominates the east end of downtown now, and it's only three quarters of the way up. There are no walls yet in the lower floors so you can see daylight through the glass. It's just massive.

At the bottome of the bridge, I took the pedestrian ramp down to the promenade and made off toward Eau Claire. Orange cones on the pavement again, so what could be happening today? I must have missed the start by a good twenty minutes or so. The first of a very few runners came toward me once I got past the Peace Bridge construction. And once past the Metawa Bridge there was the occasional kilometer marker.

At Crowchild I kept going toward the Lawrey Gardens. Quite busy down there, though not exactly a steady stream of people. I think people are glad to be able to walk that side of the river now, even if there is still a bit of an ice cap just past the avalanche warning signs.

The ice still covers the path for a good hundred metres or so. But there is a trail of sand making a path along the high side, and with the melting the old sand underneath is coming out so it's pretty easy to walk along. The gate at the far end is locked again, though I don't know why they would bother. It's probably been open for most of the winter. But I like that to get around it, I can dodge into the trees and take the short path that winds through there and around the gate.

Picnickers were setting up in Edworthy Park near where I approached the bridge. It was that kind of day. The parking lot on that side was looking to be filling up, and the north side was busy too. And just past Angel's Cafe, more orange cones and a few runners with racing bibs. I asked someone who said it was the Spring Trio run.

The public washroom is a welcome stop most times that I run this loop. It seems like once I stop there, I get a substantial second wind. As much as I describe the things I go by, I think I kind of zoned out for most of this run, just kind of set the autopilot and went inside of myself. From the washroom to well past the Louise bridge, I occasionally woke up to the fact that I was travelling.

I had a driven quick pace and I was stretching a little. When I came out of my reverie at times, I seemed to be flying. But I felt not there for some of it. Head gone off on some daydream or reverie.

By the time I got near the ramp up to the foot bridge at the curling club, I had to wake up. I was feeling the exertion by then. I consciously backed off a little. I got to The Stairs, didn't exactly bound up them, but I didn't slow too much.

On The Path, I knew I had had a good run because I pretty much had nothing left. Near the top I did push a little to finish it off, but I was breathing awfully heavy.

I ran through almost crowds of people along the top of the bluff, and it struck me again that I was still in the sunshine. At the beginning the western sky had been dark, and the middle part of the run it was mostly overcast. Now the sun was back, the west was clear. A beautiful finish, but I was definitely done.

Sunday's run:
Distance: 17.03 Time: 1:32:32
Average speed: 5:25 min/km. (11.04 kph)
Rest distance: .87 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.91 km. Total time: 1:42:32.

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Yes Ma'am! I'm On It!
Weather: Partly cloudy, 11C at the start, 14C at the finish.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Feeling Off Track

For some reason, I've been feeling out of sync. I'm still getting to the runs when I usually do, and getting back to regularly doing the 10 km loop rather than the 7 km loop has made a big difference. I suppose I tie myself to routine too much, but writing these notes after every run, while not exactly enlightening prose, is part of my running habit, and I've been neglecting it.

It's all part of motivation. Getting back to being motivated to run, through running the longer loop and signing up for a few races, helped. Now I want to get motivated to write more.

Yesterday's run was good. It felt fast for me, and it was. Everything was working reasonably well. The weather, well, it's reasonable. It is early spring still, so there's some chill, and that wind is still pushing at us as we navigate the paths and rails.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut, running the same loop time after time. What I think it is, though, is that there's people out there running the same loop. I think that's what draws me again and again to running the river. Changing the path I run might take me away from that.

Anyway, it was a pretty typical run, I'm running strong and that's about all there is to say.

The Banff Jasper Relay is coming up, and the company I'm working with is putting together a team. Stay tuned.

Yesterday's run:
Distance: 10.16 Time: 55:16
Average speed: 5:26 min/km. (11.03 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Always and Forever.
Weather: Sunny and 11C.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Run

Actually, I didn't write about Sunday's run yet. I did the loop again, running the path along the bottom of Spruce Cliff. There's still a goodly gob of ice covering the pavement at one point, probably half a metre deep still. The nasty snowfall we got Thursday had stuck to it, and it wasn't quite as greasy as the week before. Otherwise a good, nondescript run.

Sunday's run:
Distance: 16.88 Time: 1:33:10
Average speed: 5:31 min/km. (10.87 kph)
Rest distance: .93 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.82 km. Total time: 1:43:10.

Tonight was like that too. I seem to be in a rut.

It was cool, a little breezy. I over dressed as I couldn't warm up on the walk home from work, so I was a little sweaty. The run felt slower tonight, and maybe a little more relaxed. I dunno. But as I often do when running, there were a couple of times when I wanted it to be done.

A surprise as I passed under the Louise Bridge - the stairway up to the patio around the parks office is gone. There has been a lot of construction activity around that building lately, and the parking lot has been fenced off and filled with equipment and materials since last summer.

I don't know what they're doing there, but they have some kind of drilling rig and a small crane sitting there for a few weeks. Goes well with the crane pounding piles for the Peace Bridge. And I notice three more cranes near the Millennium Park. I suppose they are part of the work on the LRT extension.

I noticed that too. Those are all mobile cranes, but the skyline still holds a few of the big ones on top of buildings. Only eight are visible now from the bluff. A little over a year ago, I counted twenty. Guess the building boom is over.

Yesterday's run:
Distance: 10.18 Time: 59:07
Average speed: 5:48 min/km. (10.33 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Near My Heart, Always.
Weather: Cloudy and 2C.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Ambush!

By the weather, that is. Man did that turn nasty! When I left work, it was windy, but not too bad. I got home, changed to shorts and a tee, double checked the weather and temp and decided to wear a vest, because of the wind.

It had been pretty grey all afternoon, so wasn't expecting it to be all that nice out. I ran along the bluff and turned the hairpin onto the top of The Path. That's when I noticed a squall coming down the river valley. It was slightly obscuring Spruce Cliff, but I wasn't too concerned. It was still quite decent out.

About halfway down The Path, the snow started, the kind that would probably be called snow grains. And the wind too. It was coming from the northwest, and The Path is well sheltered from that direction.

After crossing to the trail along Memorial Drive, I was in the full brunt of the wind. Still it wasn't too bad, and the snow seemed to peter out. The pavement wasn't even wet. But that wind had a chill to it. It seemed to get colder as I ran and my hands were cold, enough that my fingers and wrists ached a little. I was hoping they would warm up from the exertion, but the wind was slowing that.

Just past the Louise Bridge, the snow squall intensified and so did the wind, like, a lot! But again, it let up by the time I reached the Metawa Bridge at 14th Street. I briefly thought of ending the outbound leg there and settling for a 7 km run, but my hands felt better. My bare arms and legs were fine.

The next kilometre was just plowing into the wind until I reached Crowchild. The snow was barely enough to dampen the pavement on the path, while the wind continued to coldly bite.

I crossed a bouncing footbridge under Crowchild, the wind strong enough to set up some resonance. It was a relief to get to the south side of the river and be running with the wind, and also to be in the lee of the trees and bush along the edge of the river.

Just past the Pumphouse, the snow began in earnest. No more snow grains, this was big fluffy stuff, and wet and heavy too. It was actually kinda nice, and would have been delightful if not for the wind. I noticed then that my bare legs and arms were cold at the skin. My hands were fine though, with the wind behind.

And then the wind wasn't behind. The snow began to thicken. Along Bow Trail, nearly a parking lot at that point, probably from some accident or maybe all the construction for the new C-Train leg, the wind really started to drive the snow hard. There is little shelter along that stretch, all the way to 14th Street.

It was better after than with more trees, but the snow continued to intensify and so did the wind. By the time I reached the C-Train bridge, I was feeling soaked through, and the wind started to suck the heat out of my body. I took the detour around the Peace Bridge construction, at the far side turning fully into the wind, and I got the full brunt of the driving wet snow.

The rest of the promenade, I don't know what it was. I was thinking of the suspension bridge from Prince's Island to the curling club, how exposed it was, and how I'd be running straight into the wind, and how wet and cold my shirt and vest were. It wasn't all that bad, though.

On The Path Under The Stairs I had the wind behind me. I pushed hard all the way up, not so much to be fast or because I felt strong, but just to try and generate some body heat. I ran the top of the bluff head down and into the wind, and finished strong.

At home, I skipped most of the post-run stretching, took a couple of pictures out the front window including this one, and went straight to a long and very hot shower.

Yesterday's run:
Distance: 10.10 Time: 57:27
Average speed: 5:35 min/km. (10.41 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Get me home L n K!
Weather: Cloudy and 10C with winds about 30 kph gusting to 45 kph at the start; an hour later it was snow and -1 with winds 45 kph gusting to 60 kph. Yikes!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

March is Being March

The usual. Big wind, a little cool, cloud, sun, cloud, more cloud. Good running weather if you aren't fighting the wind too much, though

It was pretty usual, home from work and right back out. Boy, it was sure busy on The Stairs. I think there were at least three fitness groups running up and down, plus a large group in the park at the top, and another group at the bottom by the parking lot.

But past that, well it was busy on the foot bridge to Prince's Island, but the path along Memorial was rather quiet. I guess that wind was carrying enough of a chill to keep people on treadmills, or whatever they do when they don't run out side.

At times the wind was really brisk. In fact the foot bridge under Crowchild was bouncing a little, some resonance with the air movement. I usually feel that on the bridge to Prince's Island as it's a suspension bridge, and tends to bounce a little at times. Give a run an odd feel, sometimes squishy as the deck moves downward when your foot strikes, sometimes slappy hard when it's moving upward.

On the south side of the river, there were a few more runners, and a lot more cyclists. It gets a little crazy, and I think some cyclists tend to let safe practices slide a little in their hurry to get where ever they're going.

After the construction site for the Peace Bridge, the promenade was almost deserted. I think most people going east just take 2nd Avenue until it intersects with the promenade at the cul de sac just west of the construction site.

The crossing from Prince's Island to the curling club was still busy, lots of people walking home from work. I managed to get to The Stairs in a break between running groups so no waiting, and the two flights to The Path were unimpeded.

I made a conscious effort to run The Path as hard as I could without collapsing half way up. I think I did pretty good, outrunning a cyclist crawling up the slope.

There was still lots of traffic though, running The Path, The Stairs and the trail along the bluff. And lots of dogs, too. All kinds, from a passive aggressive border collie who fought against the leash by lying down in the middle of the path, to almost colliding with a Great Dane ambling back and forth along the path. Then some stretching paces to my finish line and short cool down walk home.

Still fighting the cough. It came out every once in awhile, not severe enough to slow me down, but annoying. Hope the darn thing goes away soon.

Yesterday's run:
Distance: 10.29 Time: 57:37
Average speed: 5:35 min/km. (10.72 kph)

Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue).
Today's earworm: Just L n K.
Weather: Cloudy and 9C.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Complete Loop

It's still early spring, and temperature-wise, that was very evident. Although not so bad...

I took a chance on shorts and tee, and as a concession to the time of year I wore my running vest too. The first couple of blocks walking were chilly, I thought about my clothing choices, but was pretty sure I'd be warm after fifteen or twenty minutes. I was right.

This cold is a pain. I'm still a little stuffed up, and after a few minutes of huffing and puffing, I began a bit of a hacking cough, that accompanied me throughout the whole run.

On the promenade, I passed a few orange cones, and a glance down toward the Y revealed the finish gate of some run. I saw no one around, so either it was already over or hadn't started yet.

Lots of walkers and runners near downtown. At the west end of Prince's Island, the promenade is blocked off and detour signs direct the foot traffic out to 6th Street and then 1st Avenue to get around the fencing and construction. Construction of the Peace Bridge is underway.

Once I was back on the promenade, I met the first bibbed runner. I met a few more before the C-Train bridge, and a few people standing there cheering them on. Once past the Louise Bridge and along Bow Trail, I began to met dozens of runners, most with bibs. At the Metawa Bridge at 14th Street, I asked volunteers at a water table what was up, and was told it was the Hustle for Hunger run, a 5K and 10K fund raiser.

All along the path toward Crowchild, traffic was heavy with racers, and more volunteers cheering at the bridge there. They were running straight along the river, and thinking it might be clear that way, I decided to head that way too, through the Lawrey Garden Natural Area.

It wasn't too long until I reached the turn around point for the racers, and continued along the trail, hoping it wasn't too iced up. The weather has been pretty nice but maybe not warm enough to eradicate all the ice that builds up below Spruce Cliff from the natural springs.

I crossed the tracks at the west end of Lawrey, and the gate was still across the path just a ways up. A well worn path went around it, and there were a couple of runners up ahead. This stretch, about 100 metres long, has signs warning to not stop because it's an avalanche area. There is no snow at all up on the slope, but the retaining wall they built at the top last year looks formidable from below.

It wasn't too far past that, that I caught up to the couple ahead of me as they picked their way across the big ice sheet that was still across the path. We gingerly picked our way across. Mostly it was a little crusty and graveled, but the ice was wet, and sloped, so it took awhile to get across.

I passed the couple after that, and crossed a couple of much smaller ice sheets. It was nice to get back along that trail, into the trees. The gate at the west end was opened slightly. I wonder if someone cut the chain so they wouldn't have to take the small detour through the trees to get around it.

I passed the parking lot at the south side of Edworthy, crossed the tracks again into the picnic area. Lots of people walking the path, but the foot bridge across to Angels Cafe was quiet.

A quick bathroom break, and continued toward downtown. Being cooler and a little windy, there weren't that many out running once I was out of the racing crowd. The wind was brisk and had a bit of a bite, but I was in shorts and light tee, and it wasn't all that bad.

As usual, my return trip seems to be when I stretch a little more and pick up the pace some. The occasional glance at the GPS told me my pace was pretty good. The traffic was a trickle and I ran head down and hard, well, hard for me.

At the foot bridge to Prince's Island I took the ramp agressively and crossed Memorial to the The Stairs. On The Path I pushed a little bit and was almost past the steepest part when a walk break started. I got to dodge running that part. But it was a nice rest, because I took the last 100 metres of The Path hard.

I'd picked up a rock just before the ramp and it was rattling around in my left shoe. Occasionally it was jab under my arch, or the ball of my foot. It didn't bother me much running up The Path, but was annoying once I was on the trail along the bluff. By the time I reached the top end of The Stairs, I'd managed to shake it into the toe of my shoe, so that it nestled somewhere between a couple of toes.

Which reminds me, I must dump that rock out...excuse me a moment...

...how such a tiny little thing can be so aggravating.

Anyway, I'm all runned out, the cough threatened but never really developed, and it was a good fun morning.

Today's run:
Distance: 16.9 Time: 1:34:56
Average speed: 5:37 min/km. (10.68 kph)
Rest distance: .89 km. Rest time: 10:00.
Total distance: 17.79 km. Total time: 1:44:56.

Shoes: New Balance 769 (blue).
Today's earworm: Easy L n K
Weather: Sunny and 3C at the start, 6C at the finish.