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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, March 28, 2010

Training is REALLY hard!

If you have to do it by yourself. We had 15 regulars this morning and a new group showed up that had 10 more! It was not hard at all because our group was HUGE! We went West into Fish Creek Park. I know why we don’t do this route in the winter, it’s because the paths are snow and ice covered most of the time, but boy when spring hits, I am all over it! what a scenic run. Lots of Bridges to go over and under (foot, road and rail), lots of rolly trails and scenery out the ying yang! We did an out and back for a total of 11kms, some of our group did 4, others did 8 and we had 2 runners that did 18.

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Erin and Happy Dan, Tina, Kim and Caroline, and then Maria and Judy, go whizzing by!

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Wow, Fast! Zzzzzp… there go Tracy and Liz! (doing 18 today)

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My Dw is 2nd from the right, Cassie is on the right with Stephanie and her friend on the left, It was great to see you out again Steph! CIMG0072

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Here’s Susan and her friend, looking as strong as ever after her 4k turnaround! Wow you have some fast 10k-ers in your group that we saw later! Nice!

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Happy Dan, posing in the forest!

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We ran for a while and as we came up on a little bend in the path, a group of birders were looking around. I was curious so I stopped and asked them what they had found. “What did you find?” I asked. Well, here is a list of what they had captured already and had in cages along the path…

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hehe. Just kidding, no catch and release, they only trap what they need for food…LOL just kidding again! The list had 6 birds on it, the most impressive was a type of woodpecker. They were skulking around looking for a couple more woodpeckers they could hear, but they hadn’t seen them yet. This group was part of Nature Calgary,  and were very nice people. Thanks for the info, we saw them on the way back again, so it was a friendly hello. It’s always a better run when others on the paths are friendly.

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We then saw the very rare Bagel Tree in full bloom. I thought it was a little early for these to have mature bagels ready for harvest, but what do I know? I’m just a runner.

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I took my shoes off with 1.5k to go and had another enjoyable run. Barefoot really is an amazing teacher. My first 2 steps were just like my last 2 in the shoes, and those two steps rattled my teeth, so it was an instant adjustment from my heels to my forefoot. It wasn't long before my instep was getting a bit sore on my left foot, I figured it was because I was up on my toes too far, so I adjusted so I landed quite in the middle of my foot and shortened up my stride and the tugging in my instep went away instantly. Nice. We finished up 10 minutes later, had a good stretch and headed home!

Here is what the out and back 11k route looks like in Google Earth.March 28 Awsome run route

Friday, March 26, 2010

I just finished…

… the book ‘Born to Run’ By Christopher McDougall. If you haven’t read it… do. I wish it hadn’t ended. It made me appreciate running in a way I hadn’t ever before. Even before I finished the book, when I was only part way through, I found myself liking running more and more. Lots of my running friends tell me (and I used to say this as well) ‘I most like the feeling of satisfaction I get at the end of a run’. While reading this book, I found myself enjoying the act of running more and more. My run last Wednesday, which I hope is a sign of things to come, was my most enjoyable run ever. I concentrated on running ‘easy’ and ‘light’, as the books reluctant hero Cabello Blanco (White Horse) puts it, and it really was just that. For me, it doesn’t mean there isn’t effort, as there is still lots of effort, it’s just that my mind tells me that what I am doing is good and honest and I am free to be myself. This alone makes the effort seem easier and lighter, if not incredibly worth it.

So now, at the end of a run, I am pretty sure I am satisfied at the effort and all the things it is doing for me health and mindwise, but I am at least as much sad that the run is over. I am incredibly far from ever being an elite athlete of any kind, but this thing (running) is just getting started for me. I was a passionate runner before reading this book, but it sort of gave me permission to really love it.

Thanks Mr. McDougall for a great book!

It doesn’t matter if you are old or young, big or small… Let’s go for RUN!!! *woot*

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I must be some sort of freak…

… because I shed my shoes again. my BRAND new shoes… hehe. I did my 6x400m interval speed run, and because we had 2 of our runners doing 9 hills and were still at it when we finished, I decided to run their last 3 hills with them. I ran the first one shod, then I stashed the new NB’s in the bush, stripped off the socks and ran the last 2 -400m hill repeats au-natural…

It felt Awesome! I have never scaled hills with such ease and grace. It really felt good! Coming down was a bit tough on the soles, but I went slow and made sure I kept my feet moving, instead of  stomping into the downhill. The second hill felt just as good!

8.5k total

6k doing speed intervals –shodden

800m of hill repeat- shodden

1600m of hill repeat – barefoot.

all on smooth pavement with bits of sanding chips around. Temp –4c (24f)

It’s Wednesday…

… and do you know what that means kids? Yep.. that’s right! Speedwork!!! or hills or whatever technical run you have planned.

Wanna hear the good news? OK, I’ll tell you anyway… I got new shoes. They arrived in a package from the easter bunny! You see, I ordered them on Amazon USA (saved about $80.00), had them free shipped to my MIL’s in PA and then she shipped ‘em up here along with some very tasty Redstone Chocolate!

They are identical to my current pair except they are… wait for it… YELLOW! *wooOOt* I should be REALLY fast now! On top of that, I got new gym shoes too! they are worn out - blue and silver dirty and dingy, and look a lot like my old running shoes!

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A’ight… I’m out… *Fzzzrzzz* <— *ed note: that’s the sound he makes when he apparates…*

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Next Race…

… Will be the Spring Trio. It’s a race on the downtown pathways starting from Eau Claire. It has a unique distance, that works very well for the training of the Calgary Half. I will be registering in the 15k distance AND I will guarantee a Personal Best at this event. *ed note, it’s his first 15k event

http://www.hihostels.ca/WesternCanada/1016/run_with_hi_spring_trio_5,_10___15_km.hostel

The Date is April 18th, and my training distance would be 14k, so it works! *woot*

Speedmap

I am having fun with Map my Run and Picasa… below is the map result for our speedwork next week.

My run tonight is a 30 minute tempo. 10 minutes of slowly increasing pace, 10 minutes of maintaining the hard pace and 10 minutes of slowing down. Should work out to about 5k. this is run steady with no walking breaks. Hopefully the wind goes down a bit.

For our speedwork next week, all the repeats start and end at a path intersection. should make it fun. I think we’ll keep this route for all our speedwork as it can be cut off and be close to the cars no matter how many repeats we do.

Sikome 400m repeats

Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 ROATM virtual race report

I prepared as good as I did for the race the day before, and so I was feeling pretty ok about running this race. I arrived at the the parking lot and decided to walk the 10 blocks to the start instead of taking the shuttle as it was very busy and was a bit of a wait. I got to the start line, said a few affirmations and waited for the gun. I was very lucky today as I was in corral 1, based on a random lottery of race runners for the Calgary ROATM race. ROATM is Running off at the Mind, and is based in Nebraska. The race is called “Global Warming My @ss, 6.66 mile run”

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*BANG* off went the gun. The race organizers did a terrific job of laying out this point to point course, having the first section be the hilliest and overall it was a net loss in elevation.

Here is a turn by turn recap of the race.          

  • Started heading North on 45th St, enjoyed the undulating path as it is the hilliest part of the run
  • Right turn on 19th ave, heading downhill
  • Veer right onto Glenmount drive
  • Another right takes us onto 25th Ave and past a closed hockey rink. You know it’s close to spring when the outdoor rinks are closed as we will happily skate in 3” of slush
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  • We get to the intersection of 45th St and race marshals turn us around back down 25th Ave.
  • Make a right onto Glencastle St and the first leg of this 5 leg race is complete.

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Feeling pretty good right now, the crowds were a little much to deal with, with a lot of weaving in and out of slow runners, but I managed and was looking forward to the next leg.

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  • East on 26th Ave, make a left onto Kelwood Dr, and we run a long easy uphill
  • Right turn onto 19th ave
  • Right turn on 38th for a nice downhill back to 26th ave
  • Marshalls direct us 2 blocks back to Kelwood, then turn around and head east again down 26th Ave.

Leg 2 was a breeze!

  • We continued down 26th Ave until we reached the water station, which happened to be where I parked the car. A brief stop to take in H2O and we were on our way again.
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  • We turned North on the very busy 37th St. I guess If I had one complaint about the race it would be the lack of traffic control.
  • Ran all the way up to 19th again
  • Right onto 19th, over to 35th and down we go/
  • We had a detour onto 23rd to 37th, got turned around again at the halfway mark of the race. The organizers graciously had a scheduled walk break at the half.
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  • Once we were back to running we made our way back down toward 26th ave on 35th and that finished leg 3.

It was an really interesting run as we got to see almost ALL of the neighbourhood, with no lights to deal with and no icy patches do deal with. cool.

  • The third leg started (where else) on 26th Ave, with a left onto 33rd St, back up to (where else) 19th Ave.
  • What’s this? a left turn? yep, we turn left for a block and a half, then have to turn around again and head down 19th to 31st, where we are turned around again (WTH?), and then sent back down 33rd all the way back to 26th Ave.

Leg 4 was really strange. the pack was really strung out by now and we were enjoying some more breathing room on the paths. CIMG0076

Onto the 5th and final leg.

  • Down 26th Ave again
  • Made a right turn on 30th St and headed all the way up to (what!?!) 19th Ave? yep make a right (through a park) re-connecting with 19th for a block.
  • Right turn onto 28th st and go only 1 block until we are turned around (again) by course marshals only to turn back right into 19th.
  • Finally off of 19th we head right on 26th St for the home stretch back to 26th Ave. It’s a mostly downhill finish so it felt fast at this point.

We get to the (supposed) finish area and everyone is looking at each other kind of strange like. I ask “why are you looking kind of strange like”? they say the course is short. You have not finished the race? WHAT THE ****? crap, how much farther? about 300 yards. NOOOOOOOO! erm… ok, we can handle that. so we ran around the finish area until we reached the 6.66 mile distance.  YAY…

CIMG0082 here is me crossing the line (the photographer missed me as I was going to fast at that point) I am first, my first ever win.CIMG0080 It’s a new ROATM record for the Calgary Race and I am so proud. Once all the highfives and hugs were completed we waited a while for the shuttle back to the car, and waited… and waited…

CIMG0084Stupid shuttle never showed up, so we limped back to the car. The had bananas and chocolate milk for the finishers at the Glendale grocery (for a small fee, of 3 bucks a person) and then it was home time. It’s a good thing my DW wasn’t here for the run as I left the car door open as I went across the street for the post race food and awards.

CIMG0085 Glad no one took the car.

Of all the Virtual Races I have run, this is most definitely one of them!

Oh, here is my Garmin Data.

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And what it looks like in Google Earth…

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Huh… would you look at that!! It looks like letters… what is it spelling? R…O…A…..T…..M? Cool. I wonder if that means anything?

CIMG0073To the team in Nebraska, Thanks for the Mojo! it was the second most fun race I ran this weekend!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Diakonos St Patrick's Day Race Reports…

I don’t know what it is about this race, but it is just the most fun ever. I guess after a winter of training it’s the coming out party. It’s also the anniversary of my first race, this one, last year. I will post last years story at the end of this post.

I was up until 3am doing some work in my office, woke up with a headache, didn’t eat or drink anything thing this morning, then went out had ran a great race! I didn’t get a PB like I wanted, I was about a minute short, but I can attribute that to stopping and taking pictures on the course. I will have to factor in the picture stops into my pace schedule.

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CIMG0025Traci and my Mom are in this race too. they are doing the 5k, along with my friend Mary Jo. I’ll tell Mary Jo’s story first. She ran a great race, being her first race ever, having just taken up running 5 short weeks ago. She was having a nice run, keeping out of the way of faster runners, then the unthinkable, she trips a little, has to catch her self against a chain link fence and splits her finger open. She does what all self respecting runner would do, rips the dangling bits of skin off, chucks them to the ground and finishes the race! Nice work! Now the next race, that has no bloods and gore, will feel like a cakewalk! Congrats on an amazing run Mary Jo, you are working incredibly hard and deserve your success!

Mom’s run was pretty uneventful, and she had a great run, Congrats to you too, it’s amazing to see your improvement!

CIMG0039My DW Traci started the race next to me, but when I started to give her a bit of advice right at the beginning, she gave me the ol’ stink-eye and yelled at me a little, so I buggered off on my own. I stopped a ways up, jumped up on a bench and waited for her so I could get a nice in-race picture of her. She was happy about that, so I am back in the good books. She finished strong and enjoyed her race!

I did the 10k. I had NO idea how I was going to do today. Like I said earlier I didn’t prepare a lick and decided that I was ok with whatever transpired today. What I didn't know was how good I was going to do. I think all the planning and pre-race goal setting is bunk. From now on I just show up and run. It was a pretty uneventful run, I maintained a pretty quick pace (for me) the entire run. I used to have to walk a lot in the final stages of races, but I have got my mind in shape enough over the last year, I am able to run steady for the whole race now. I do walk at the water stations so I don’t spill water on me, but that is it. The other cool part that is different this year is that I can finish a race spent of all effort, but my recovery is almost immediate. This was the first race that I have no noticeable tweaks or twinges to my body, and I feel really good as of 5 minutes after the race. *woot*

CIMG0045 One of our club runners had a world record today! Caroline ran the 6.34k race today in a new world best time of 42:06. I didn’t even know there was this distance available, however she ran it, so it must have been in the race. Actually, Caroline had a tendency to have her mind wander a little when she runs. She states “I really zone out”. So much so that she missed the marshalls instructions and made a wrong turn at the 5k turnaround and ended up coming back toward the start line. When she realized that she was wrong, she turned around for a while, then decided to say screw it and come back to the finish. My first comment was “did you cross the timing mat?” yep, she says (In my head I think that ought to be worth a prize or two in the 10k race, LOL) however she told them right away, and they moved her results into the 5k. We had a good laugh anyway. She is planning on running a hard 10k in about 3 weeks. Good Luck!

CIMG0036 CIMG0042 Happy Dan came through next, Congrats Dan! He beat his 10k personal best by 4 seconds! Nice! (sandbagger). He is generally a happy guy, I must have ticked him off or something… ;0)

CIMG0043 Erin wasn’t far behind. She had a couple falls this winter and was nursing some injuries, but now she is fully healthy and training hard with us for the Calgary Half in May.

CIMG0046 Kim came cruising through in fine style. (we actually missed her and she snuck up on us, so I made her re-run the finish for the photo. What a ham)

CIMG0047 Maria was next, this was her first race, and it was amazing for her. Terrific! She is my new facebook friend, I now have like 6!

CIMG0048 Then there was the best running instructor ever, Susan. This was the goal race for her most recent clinic. All her runners came across strong and so did she! Susan’s story is great, she has battled weight and major injuries in the recent past and here she is in really great shape, still motivating and inspiring runners like me! Thanks Susan!

The best part of this race is the post race meal. BBq’d double cheeseburgers, Starbucks coffee and a big cake. Yum, yum, yum. We waited around for the draw prizes, and after 11 races I am still Suka la Eauf. no prizes for the big man… again. We enjoyed the company of our group and then made our way home. I was craving cake, and Traci sort of paints a nice picture of the one at the race.

Me: “I’m going to get a piece of cake”

Traci: “not me, that thing has been sitting there for 2 hours with little kids running around sneezing on it”

Me: “nevermind”

Traci did offer that we could pick one up at Safeway, so I was stoked. I went in to the store and looked around. Typically they don’t have Chocolate cakes with white icing. Why? I have no idea, but you have to special order the most popular type of cake for some reason. Today was my lucky day though. Not only was there a Chocolate Cake with white icing, but is was a Calgary Flames Cake! AND it was on sale for 9 bucks!!! *Woot* my losing streak is over. I am a winner today!!! *woot WOOt*!!!!

Andrew was pretty happy as well.

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Here are the rest of the pics from the event.

CIMG0035I couldn’t remember her name at the hypo half, so here is ‘Kim’

CIMG0028Dan, Smiling

CIMG0031Cassie, Mom and Janet

CIMG0032The Calgary Herald Photographer that took Andrews picture!

CIMG0051Traci and I basking in the glow of a race well Run!

CIMG0052A pretty bad ass group of runners

CIMG0053Especially this bad ass Sophie!