Very important disclaimer

Please be advised that the contents of this blog are opinions only (my opinion, the opinions of my family and the opinions of anyone else directly or indirectly involed in this blog). This is not an accredited training blog, nor is it an accredited anything blog. If you (and you) do anything that this blog says, or don't do anything that this site says not to do, and you get injured, sick or killed, you cannot blame me or my family or blame anyone else directly or indirectly involved in this blog. By reading anything on this blog (including this message) you are saying that you are a person who makes thier own choices in life and does not hold the writer of this blog, the writers family or any one else that may be directly or indirectly involved in the production or writing of this blog, responsible for your stupid and irresponsible behaviors, injuries, sicknesses or deaths. With that said, please enjoy my fun blog.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Finished my Marathon…

…and I even performed with a negative split time. The first half was 2:23 and the second was 2:02. Pretty good hey? The first half was ran on Feb 14th, and the 2nd half was ran today…


Seriously, this years Calgary half was different for me than last year. And it was also the same. I ran a 2:02 half marathon, 4 minutes slower than last year, but 6 minutes faster than I ran my fall half. I am quite a bit more proud for this race than last year. For these reasons.

  • I am heavier than I was last year, by about 10lbs. (I was 20lbs heavier 2 months ago)(Not proud of being heavier, just proud I was able to carry the extra to a good time)
  • I got a strange pain in my metatarsal region of my left foot at about 7k and dealt with adjusting my stride the entire way to try and work out the cramp like feeling that never left.
  • I got a pretty strong side stitch at the 15k mark that never left me until after I finished.
  • Last year I had to walk a lot in the last 2km, thinking I was dying. This year I felt like I was dying, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to, so I kept running. I took a scheduled 20 second walk at 20k, then ran the final 1.1k non stop, even though it is the most significant uphill on the half course. A lady tried to pass me with, like, 20 meters to go, but being the testosterone laden genteel I am, I couldn’t let that happen. I can’t wait for the race photos to come out to see the look of disgust on her face… hehe.

The race was as hard or harder than last year, but I was prepared for it. My mind was ready to suffer. It was good! I was wobbly at the end, but again, I knew I wasn’t dying so I just carried on with my day.

As we were heading home, I realized something. I realized that I like training better than racing. That’s saying a lot because I freaking LOVE racing. The difference in training is twofold for me. One, I never feel wrecked after training, Two, training is social. The race has 5000 people, but it’s my race. In training it’s all teamwork and group motivations and all that stuff. 

DW Traci had an amazing run, finishing her first ever 10k race in 1:08. Fantastic work! Andrew ran his first race too! 1.2k Timbits marathon. and My mom ran the 5k race to a very good result. Poppop was the bringer of the Andrew to the race as we had to leave too early. He had his knee scoped a couple weeks ago, so by this fall he should be brainwashed enough to try some light run-walk events!


The most significant difference from last year to now is that it’s not just me anymore. Last year, I woke up, trying not to wake anyone, drove to the race, waited around by myself, started and ran the race on my own and then went home to relax with my own thoughts and reflections. This year, Traci and I DSCF0371

woke up, my Mom and Dad came over at 5:30 to wait for Andrew to wake up to bring him down in time to see Traci finish and run his race. The club runners had a meeting point to gather at before the start, we all went together to the start and started the race as a group. My Family was all there at the finish, our club runners all met up afterwards and then we went and took part in Andrews run, then went home and all took naps!

It’s a really different dynamic now, and I couldn’t be happier. I am so proud to have gotten to the point I am at in my running (I am formulating a 5 year plan to run a 1:35 half, so I got time to enjoy the now), I am proud of the motivation I have been credited with for getting my family involved in running and I am proud of my running friends and club runners who have stuck by me and have together reached their goals too!

Most memorable moment in the run for me? Seeing the homeless dude pushing his grocery cart down the center of Memorial Drive while runners run past him on both sides. That was pretty surreal.

Most awesome moment! It’s a tie. Seeing how proud Traci was on her 10k awesomeness and then seeing Andrew so proud of his running medal! That boy is going to be beating me handily on the race course by the time he is 8 years old… yikes!

Andrew medal


It’s 5am…

The fuel is ready.


The gear is ready.


The supplies are ready.


the weather…well.


Am I ready?… give me a few hours and I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, read last years race report.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I did something you didn’t do today!

I whacked my trees. To save them from this terrible snowstorm. Why the F*&% is it snowing? seriously.

whacking tree

We have a race start time of 7am on Sunday for the Calgary Marathon, and it’s affiliated distances, and the temp is supposed to be a balmy Oc. that is 32f if you are merkan. I bet if I had to run in 45f/10c I'd get heatstroke for sure.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wow, Just when I thought…

… winter was over and I could run in shorts from now on… 20k on the schedule tomorrow.



Monday, May 17, 2010

2227 miles…

…is how far Martin Parnell has run since Jan 1st.

I’ll let that sink in.

Or 3587kms if you live near me.

wow. 85 Marathons as of today. I asked him on our run on Sunday “what is the hardest part of running this much each day?” he says “Getting out of bed”. yeah. I run relatively long once a week and I get the same feeling. I can’t imagine what goes through his head when he goes out 5 days a week and runs 42.2 kms each of those 5 days. That is exactly 211kms a week. I’d have to look and see if I put that on my car each week…

Yeah. so. The dink I can be sometimes, I arrange to have everyone meet at Sikome lake at 8:30 to hear Martin speak and get our run started. Caroline even emailed me a few days before and told me the sign said the park entrance doesn’t open until 9am. I’m like ‘ No, no… that is for the lake, not the park… the park opens earlier.

nope. wrong… dink…

I am the first one parked at the locked gate. the second person is Martin (of course).


Dammit. I was freaking out. then out of the woodwork, many more people than I expected start to show up. so here we have a bit of a traffic jam.  Traci and Andrew showed up and I asked them to go around to Bow Bottom to see if that entrance is open. I had actually ran down to the lower parking lot before everyone got there to see what I could see. nothing. no-one. I started to hyperventilate a little, thinking about what a non-planning dink I can be, when we saw a parks truck coming up the hill… oh.thank.god. then he turned right and went to a different part of the park. Well, now, I hopped the fence and started chasing this truck… he (on his own) turned around and let us in.

The dink gets a pass, this time. Welcome to Fish Creek Park Martin, right this way…

Martin Sikome

So we all caravanned our way down into the park and lo and behold the gates at Bow Bottom open at 8. wtf. anyway…


We had an amazing group of 30 people, which was probably 15 more than I expected, so that was great! Thanks everyone who showed up and ran!

Once we figured everyone was there I introduced Martin and he told us about his Marathon Quest.


Those of you who read this from areas not in Calgary, please take a look and post a post on Marathon Man, it is an amazing story and he is raising money for an amazing cause. Kids, and Play. If you are so inclined, give him some money. He is doing this whole thing by himself, and can use all the help he can get to get to his goal. You can click here, then click on Sponsor me and you can donate through the ‘Cool Kids Run Club’ fundraising team. Much appreciated.

I’ll ask it again. Glaven, Anthony and Shannon (newly married), Zoe, Run Bitch Run, Thomas, Georgia Snail, Brooklyn, Barefoot Josh, Thin Trade, Robert, Adam, Dawn, Sweat Science, Christopher McDougall and the rest of you lurkers, PLEASE do a post for Martin on your blogs. It is an amazing feat he is undertaking and he is an excellent human being who deserves all the attention he can get for his worthy cause. DO IT!

DO IT!!!

He needs a soap sponsor Josh, see what you can do dammit.

We went for our run, we all ran together for a 3k loop, then everyone split up to do their own distances. CIMG0155

My group was running 18 with Martin, so off we went. You’d think a guy like that, running all these marathons, would be an ‘A’ type, over the top GUY, but he was a really down to earth person who believes in what he is doing. We just talked about stuff. normal stuff.

Caroline, Tracy and Liz were running with us as well, and with them, it’s always funny. Tracy turned 30 the night before and had imbibed a bit, but being the ‘superfriend’ she is, she was here with a smile. At 10k, she was thinking it may not have been such a good idea. the beer helmet took hold for a while, but she did really well and kept up. We stopped not to soon after at Swifty’s for a cookie, and that seemed to help everyone.


I don’t know why Caroline is sitting on the ground.


After a long walk up the only hill of the route, we turned onto a path where this guy was just staring at Martin. We stopped for a photo op with the view, and Liz looks at this guy and just blurts out excitedly “IT’s the Marathon Man!!” and keeps on going without another word… LOL.

We made our way down the ridge in Mackenzie Lake and once we were back in the park we merged onto the main path back to the lake. As we approached the other path there were two ladies running and the one does a double take and says (think the dude from Forrest Gump) “ Hey, you’re the guy, yeah! you’re the running guy, running guy!” , it was too funny. Martin was, as always, was very gracious and signed her boob for her asked her name, and thanked her for the support.

We finished our portion of the run, had a stretch and a Cinnamon Bun and said our goodbyes. Martin still had 24k left, but I was done, so that was good! hehe.

Thanks for running with us Martin, we’ll do it again soon! Good luck, stay healthy, and keep getting up in the morning, the year will be soon done and you’ll be missing it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feelin’ ok.

After I ran 3k barefoot this evening. There was a short section of road that was still covered in sanding chips. That sucked, but the rest was pretty good. My arches and my calves feel it a bit, but it may be the combination of a day of building patios and retaining walls, then running barefoot. It was interesting because I ran the first 3k in shoes and I laboured quite a bit, then took off the shoe for the second loop and felt very light and quick (I am neither on the best of days).

Am having fun with the run club. The Website is great, the newsletter is fun and the people have started to come! We have our core group, and now we are getting new runners thinking about, or actually coming out!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Now that was awesome!

It was a sunny day!


We were running along the golf course again and Kim says, “Neil, look up ahead!” I look and say, “Holy $hit, no way!” Just a bit up the path are Cindy and Doug.


Cindy and Doug.

Doug was the guy I thought died last week pretty much in this same spot. He was not dead, but actually looking pretty good! We ran up to them and it was like a family reunion! It was all hugs and hello’s and Cindy says “I was really hoping to see you guys here today!”


Talk about full circle. Doug spent most of last Sunday in the hospital, 2 hours of which were unconscious. We were told last week during the ordeal, that he had a lung removed due to cancer, but we didn’t know that it was only his top lobe, but what happened last week was he had a seizure and the remaining par tof his lung had collapsed. He just couldn’t get enough air to function so his body just shut down. Doug was a pretty good sport about everything, giving us details about the amazing care he received in emergency and with EMT’s. We chatted for a bit, Kim said her hellos to the dogs and then it was hugs and off and running.


Doug goes in tomorrow for a heart monitor tomorrow but it looks like he’ll be fine! That was a good day.

The rest of the 17k run was pretty nice, a bit hilly but the views more than made up for the extra work it took to get up there. Other than that, not much!CIMG0113

Oh, Welcome new ‘Cool Kid’, Sue. Man do I look like a Gigantasaur next to her… yeesh.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Nice Wednesday Run…

… despite the weather. The wind was down and it really didn’t matter if the path was wet, it was a good evening to run.


We all met at Sikome Lake and while it was nice to stand around and chat, I had to push everyone to get started and run. The warmup on our loop is always nice. it’s a 1k downhill and with the slight breeze today. When we got to our first 400 interval we were ready to go!

The first 3 intervals went by very fast, but I had to adjust the start of the return run a bit as the 3rd 400 ended up up Sikome lake hill a bit, and as this is speedwork, we try to avoid any hills. At the turnaround we had a very quick walk, along with a drink, then it was 2 repeats back to the boat launch parking lot, where there was another opportunity for water before we finished up with the final 4 repeat push. We completed the first 5k in 27 minutes, and the whole 7k run in 38. pretty good, and a major improvement from the first 4 repeat performance a number of weeks ago! Way to go team!

Here is the whole entire group on the path back to the cars after 9 hard intervals


Here is everyone doing post run stretching at the bike racks


Here we all are admiring the strength of the wind over the past few days.


More snowy group photos. In the second one, you can see little Johnny had a bit of a spill and was wet… haha, too funny…boy o boy. See him? right in the middle, up front! right there. he really tore up his pants! hooooooo… funny. Betty and Martha had a really good laugh over that one!

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We’ve gone LIVE!!


Here is the new website link for the

Cool Kids Run Club,

             A Recreational Run Club in South Calgary

you can also follow us on Facebook!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday run adds to the CRAZY week! (warning PG13 language)

What’s the second most scariest thing that can happen on a run? Someone goes down. (First would be, I go down). It wasn’t one of us, or even a runner, but it was very scary. I’ll get to that in a bit.

CIMG0083-1After a dubious weather forecast, we had an amazing day to run. It was about 5c when we started but warmed up quickly and we were in glorious sunshine the entire run. We had a manageable size group today, 4 in the half group, 2 in the marathon group and 2 in the 10k group. DW Traci and Stacey headed west into the park for their 6.5k run, Traci said it was really good, but her calves were feeling the hills a bit afterwards. Tracy and Liz were doing an 8k easy run today as they start their 18 week Hal Higdon Adv2 Marathon plan on Tuesday. Best of luck to both of you, the Credit Union Queen City Marathon is lucky to have you two in their race! I will be posting their plan soon and we will be including their runs in our weekly club emails for anyone who would like to join up! Kim, Dan, Wayne and I were running a 16k route in and around Fish Creek Park and Liz and Tracy tagged along with us for the first 4k before heading back to finish the shortest run they have run in a long time (whatever did you do with the rest of your Sunday?)

We exited the park about 10 minutes into our run and ran on the very scenic park pathways in Midnapore, along the ridge in Sundance and then dropped down into the park just North of Sikome Lake. By this time we were down to the 4 of us and we just chugged along and chatted bout all manners of things. Wayne was having trouble with his knee again, so when we got to the steep hill down into the park, we walked and fuelled, and enjoyed the view.



For the first time, I planned a route the ran over the 22x bridge and took us to the east side of the river. I like that stretch of run in the trees and along the river. Wayne was feeling done, so he decided to take it easy and walk over to the pedestrian bridge where we would meet him a while later as we looped around on the other side. Kim, Dan and I continued on and soon we saw a peculiar site. A goose on a log. It that weird? I thought it was. As I was trying to get closer and closer (manual zoon on the Palm Pre) I was hoping the tasty bird wasn’t going to attack me. He didn’t, and I still like chicken better.


Once we were across the river and on the other side, we just got into a nice rhythm, but ahead on the path we could see what looked like an emergency of sorts. From a distance we could make out someone on the ground with 2 other people bent over him. I commented that it didn’t look good, and as we got closer it was apparent that it sure wasn’t good at all. An older man was laying on the side of the path, very ashen, and very incoherent. Another runner had just arrived and was talking to 911 already and another fellow who just arrived was waving his running partner to hurry up as she was a Nurse. (thankfully), I have been trained in Infant CPR, which had an element of Adult CPR included however I really badly didn’t want to put my knowledge to the test. Not much in the way of intervention was needed as he sort of came to and was trying to get up, however he was still very groggy and sick looking. His wife and dogs were there and she was explaining that he recently had a lung removed due to cancer, had suffered emphysema and just a few days earlier had an epileptic attack as a side affect of all of the above. We were about 1k from the nearest vehicle access and the lady talking to the 911 Dispatch was having a hell of a time trying to direct the emergency crews to the site. As the guy was sitting up now and seemed a bit better I called to the golf course (we were adjacent to the 3rd hole of Mackenzie Meadows GC) and asked if they would come out in a cart and pick the guy up so the Ambulance didn’t have to come down the pathway. He said he would come right now. While we were waiting, they were talking with the poor guy and he was saying he didn’t want to go back to the hospital, he just wanted to go home… very sad. His dogs were beside themselves as well, whining and crying a lot. Enough that extreme dog lover Kim was on the ground looking after them.



All of a sudden the guy was out again. he flopped onto his side and I actually thought he died right there. He was the color of  ash and was completely limp. His mouth was foaming and his eyes pretty much rolled back into his head. That was scary. The nurse was yelling at him and shaking him. She did find a pulse and he was breathing, so no need for additional work except to keep him breathing. We saw the emergency crews pull into the golf course parking lot, but there was no access to the path from there, so I said screw it, took my fuel belt off and took off running to go get them . By the time I got to the entrance the emerg had figured it out and were headed the right way. I turned around and ran back to the site. The second ambulance came up behind me so I pointed the way but  just up ahead there was a group of people that couldn’t figure out how to get off the path. A lady didn’t know which way to go so she kinda danced in the middle of the path and I yelled out “GET OFF THE PATH!!!” she seemed confused so I yelled again louder “GET OFF THE PATH”. she finally got out of the way and her husband yells back at me “I KNOW HOW FUCKING BIG AN AMBULANCE IS!”… so as I ran by this was the exchange.








him - “FUCK OFF”


his wife off in the distance - “he’s an EMT, he has perspective”

me to myself as I was too far away by now for retort - “even worse lady, it was all your fault your husband almost got his ass kicked anyway”

So thankfully by the time I got back to the scene the guy was moving around and they had him on a gurney already loading him into the ambulance. He really REALLY didn’t want to be there by the way he was trying to unload himself, but I guess that is better than being dead.

I figured there was nothing left to do, so I went up to the wife, said “take care and best of luck” and we set off running again. Total time elapsed at scene? 20 minutes. I put my fuel belt back on, took 2 steps, 1 breath and it *popped* off. What the hell, I just run an additional 3k as fast as I can run, and I actually got fatter…

When we got to the pedestrian bridge Wayne was waiting there (admirable, I never would have trusted that we were coming after that long of a delay) and as we rushed to the Ranche visitors center (Kim had to pee) we recounted the story to him.

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By the time we reached the Ranche I was pretty pooped. Still had 5k to go though. We all had a pit stop and a rest to collect ourselves then headed out walking for a while just to try and get back into the groove. As we were walking we witnessed another near fight between a biker and runner that were trying to pass us… pretty funny when it’s not me. The walk was actually a nice chance to snap a few scenic photos.


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We eventually started running again and in no time really, we were done our 3hr 16k run. Longest run outing ever for me, and longest distance ever for Happy Dan too! Congrats Dan, I still think you should run the half, as you are covertly training for it…

So that was the Sunday run to end an already ridiculous week. Take care of yourselves everyone, and for goodness sake carry your cell phone on your runs. My phone used to get all wet in my fuel belt, so all I do is line the little pocket with paper towel and voila your phone is safe, scratch free and dry!