Sunday, March 27, 2011

Snowy Slog

It's fresh and white and heavy and deep and bright. It's like running on sand, rolling out from underfoot. It's slow going, but a good workout. We have really been getting the snow the last few days, and fog too. The downtown is invisible from the bluff, with cloud almost sitting on the river.
L n K
I didn't get to a cleared path until the end of the bridge across to Prince's Island. The bridge was all right, but the path along the river on the north side was greasy. There was some packed snow footprints that the plow left behind, that felt a little more stable and I tried to keep to those.

I ran the 10K loop, and near 19th Street I met the two little Jeeps with snowplows that keep the path clear. Behind them the path was icy and slippery. I think slogging through the snow would have been better. The pavement was just warm enough to have melted the bottom layer, and that was now frozen into a greasy, slippery coating.

The foot bridge under Crowchild was uncleared but that was OK. On the other side, it was more of the same, only there had been some melting, so it wasn't quite so slippery. In fact the whole south side path was pretty good for traction.

I'm still slow. Sore and achy. I don't know where my energy has gone. I noticed my left toe tended to drag on the swing forward for another step, like I couldn't lift my leg. In fact my whole left side felt weak.

Anyway, a slow slog through snow, really quite a lovely day with all the new snow and frosty trees.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.20 Time: 1:08:27
Average speed: 6:42 min/km. (8.94 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Good morning for running, even thought it looks not so great. We got a good snowfall overnight, and it covered the ground and the paths completely, but not deeply. I changed, dressing lightly because it didn't seem all that cold when I was out earlier, except I had toque and gloves and an extra layer under my fleece. The first couple of kilometres were chilly.

By the time I started to warm up, I was also starting to hurt. My shins were aching. That lasted about half way through, when I crossed the river at Crowchild.
L n K
At Eau Claire was a small crowd, some in safety vests, standing by orange traffic cones. From there on down the promenade was a constant stream of runners with racing numbers pinned in various places. Near the C-Train bridge, I asked someone in a safety vest what was happening. "It's just a race," she said. OK.

At 14th Street, another volunteer was cheering wildly as the walking  contingent came down the ramp off the bridge. So must be a 10K run, 5K walk kind of thing. I continued on, passing runner after runner heading the other way. Beside a small sign announcing 3 km, was another volunteer, in a safety vest, completely absorbed in a book, oblivious to the parade of runners passing in both directions. So I guess it was the Apathetic Volunteers Race.

On the other side of the river, it was much quieter since the race course went farther west from Crowchild. I wasn't fast at all, but by then the soreness was easing in my shins. At 14th Street I could hear the one volunteer still whooping wildly.

Getting close to the foot bridge that would take me back over Memorial to The Path Under The Stairs, I suddenly felt a sharp little stone rattling around in the toe box of my left shoe. Amazing that I didn't feel it work its way down between my foot and the wall of the shoe. Mostly I was able to keep it bouncing around in front of my toes, but occasionally it would dive under my big toe. A couple of limping steps to shake it out of there again, and it would rattling around again. To stop to shake it out, was to risk losing balance and stepping in wet snow with a sock foot, or having my knees seize up from sudden lack of movement. I kept going, thinking I could stand it for the last kilometre.

And that was it. The big puddles were mostly gone, and the snow wasn't that bad. But slow. Just really slow.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.50 Time: 1:09:45
Average speed: 6:34 min/km. (9.03 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Lazy Friday

I love having Friday off. I get to nap and take my time with my morning coffee. And I can go run whenever. It had been a clear sunny day all day, a little breeze with a chill to remind you that winter was still close. I shoulda wore shorts.

The run was just before the commute started, so the cranky cyclists weren't yet out in volume. I still feel achy and sore after a couple of kilometres, still needing to build up from the inactive cold time. The path is much dryer now, gravelly in places from efforts to make the icy parts walkable in the winter. It's amazing how easy it is to get the damn stuff suddenly rattling around in a running shoe. On the 14th Street bridge, I had to stop to shake one out.

By the construction for the new foot bridge, water was pooling, and I caught up to a couple. We picked our way single file past the mini-lakes, and narrowly dodged a couple of waves kicked up by cars on Memorial from the gutter adjacent to the path.

The climb up The Path was uneventful, and the red clay path on the the bluff was nearly dry, though I switched to run along the street at the top of The Stairs. Good run, great day.
L n K
Today's run:
Distance: 7.41 Time: 44:30
Average speed: 6:00 min/km. (9.99 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting Back on Track (Again)

When I left the house, there was a little bit of rain, just a sprinkle. At least it wasn't snow....That started coming down about two minutes later. Seriously, it wasn't a big dump, actually kind of a nice tickley sleet. And once I was hot and sweaty, I didn't even notice.

I am now determined to get out there regularly again, like I used to do, before the cold, dark days of Christmas. It's tough, because even a 7K run feels challenging, and there are aches I don't remember. I think I've let my core strength ebb as well, so the joints are working harder to keep me moving and upright. They let me know how hard they're working.

An added impetus: I have been expecting an email at work, and it finally arrived yesterday. There are efforts to organize a team for the Banff Jasper Relay again, and before I was able to give it much thought, I fired off a two word reply, "I'm in!" So I have not quite three months to get back into some semblance of shape.
L n K
Today's run:
Distance: 7.02 Time: 43:16
Average speed: 6:09 min/km. (9.73 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slow and Sore

Oh man, I am paying for all the slacking. Knees hurt, shins hurt, thighs hurt. Feeling old and slow. However, I'm certainly glad the cold appears to be over with for the moment. (Hopefully the weather gods won't be offended by that and throw us all back into the deep freeze....)

I intended to run the 10K loop to Crowchild but by the time I got to 10th Street, my shins were complaining mightily. When I got to 14th, I knew it was time to cut short and do the 7K loop. Even so, I was moving old and slow.

The nice weather the last couple of days is melting great gobs of snow, and of course the paths are covered with shallow pools of water, which in the morning are glassy patches of ice. Mostly there are gaps beside them, where there is clear pavement or grass. Sometimes you get to practice the curling rink run. A little bit of fun sliding, to take my mind off my aching legs.
L n K
Today's run:
Distance: 7.20 Time: 45:30
Average speed: 6:18 min/km. (9.49 kph)
Shoes: New Balance 769 (Blue)