Woohoo! Let’s Race. (Upcoming Calgary Races)

There’s lots of amazing races in Calgary and throughout Alberta. Even in the cold winter months there are some hard core runners who can’t get enough and race directors who want to oblige this passion. Most races in December are pretty easy going, especially when you are encouraged to dress up like Santa or wear antlers or something. It’s a great season to jump in to keep your running energized.

Check out the races in my calendar below, or Google it yourself. Other good listings can be found at Running Room, and Impact Magazine.

(Full Google Calendar version here)

If your race is missing, let me know.

Have fun out there!

Treacherous and unforgiving but totally awesome

Pre-race jitters
Pre-race jitters

Winter cross country can be unforgiving but I definitely wouldn’t replace it with easy runs, even on these miserable days.

The Edworthy Cross Country race is put on by the Calgary Road Runners, and includes a potluck lunch with lots of soup and of course chocolate and sweets.

This 7km trail race is never a walk in the park. Spikes are pretty much mandatory and so is the waiver. Running on icy trails next to cliffs caused my heart to skip a couple beats whenever I slipped.

The two big downhills required hanging onto trees several times to keep from sliding, and the uphills definitely resorted us to the slower side of speed-hiking. But there was a short flat section, which as you can see below, provided an opportunity for photos.

No passing on these trails


Short flat section. Where’d that come from?


I paced my 12 year old these year, so we didn’t see the winners but we had fun, didn’t we? The wheezing, side pains, and blood are just a sign of how much fun we had. Right?


edworthy race
7 km in 2 loops. 165m elevation. That’s enough for me today.


If you google it, all the pictures of Edworthy Park are beautiful summer pictures. See here. But the reality is snow and ice at this time of year. Makes for a fun time for sure. Gotta love Canada! And the Alberta weather.

Too chicken to pick my 2015 races already?


Isn’t it a bit early to be planning our races for next year. I’m right in the middle of recuperating from early fall races and Christmas isn’t even on us yet (well I did see lights up already but that doesn’t necessarily count, does it).

So I’ve started the research but the decisions won’t be easy. I discovered that 2 races I want to do are on the same May weekend this year and both are likely to fill up before February. So I have to choose pretty soon. Bummer.

And there are 4 amazing races in August that are on my list but I can only do one. And they all fill up too. And they are all within a couple hours of home.

The enticing emails from the race directors keep on coming and they are not likely to stop (even after I sign up).

Why does there have to be so many great races? Am I too chicken to sign up for too many, or afraid I will pick the wrong weekends for a perfect training plan?


Blackfoot ultra
Calgary 50km
Lost soul ultra
Moose mountain
Iron legs
Canadian death race
Sinister 7


50 things I’ve learned during my 50-day running streak (Re-post)

fiftyI recently read about someone doing a 50 day running streak and posting 50 things they learned. Great list! Number 1 and 3 & 4 are especially true for me. Here’s the start. Link to the rest is below.

50 things I’ve learned during my 50-day running streak

by Matt Frazier

1. I finally understand those “Running is Cheaper than Therapy” t-shirts. The difference in my mood before and after my run is so noticeable that my wife has several times suggested (on certain, grumpy mornings) that I make today an early run day. And rightly so.

2. You can dramatically lower your breath rate (and as a result, your heart rate) if you learn to breathe through your nose and focus on taking more steps per breath.

3. If you don’t have the same trigger for your run every day (waking up, lunchtime, etc.), it’s easy to forget, and find yourself running at dusk to keep the streak going.

4. On that note, running hills right after dinner is a terrible idea.

5. You can go from zero motivation to full-on, can’t-think-about-anything-else mode in only two weeks or so. The key, for me, was inspiring reading and using the tools of habit change to get started.

6. The 10% rule really doesn’t matter much.

7. Hiking up hills can be a much better exercise than struggling to run up them, especially if you’re training for a trail race where you’ll have to hike.

49. A daily run is the perfect trigger for a quick set of pushups, situps, pullups, or whatever you choose. These things are so easy to do, and so easy not to do. Running every day has helped me to remember to do them.

50. This has been way too good, for both my body and mind, to stop at 50 days. I guess it’s 100 or bust!

41 more at this link: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/50-lessons-running-streak

Thanks Matt for these insights!


Lonely gym equipment at this time of year


Outdoor fitness equipment? What a great idea. But some climates are better suited for this than others.

This one near my office was certainly quiet today.

I wasn’t sure who would be using it in this weather.


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