Bridges I Run – Photo Collection

There are so many bridges in Calgary. Maybe I should set a goal to run them all. Here are the ones I’ve run in the last little while.

Defeated But Not Out

It was going to be one of those epic hikes. A 5 hour top of a mountain type hike. A cross-training hike for my running addiction. The weather has been beautiful all week and we were itching to get outside.

The googling was done, the packing was done, and a last minute weather check was done. It was overcast when we got up but that wasn’t unusual since it usually takes a couple hours for the sun to really come out. The hint of bad weather came as we were putting our shoes on. It had started to sprinkle. “Don’t worry it never rains in Calgary and if it does it doesn’t last long.”

Well the rain only got stronger as we drove the 45 minutes to the trail head. We turned off the main road only to discover that the winter gates were still closed. It sure didn’t feel like winter.

So we drove on looking for another epic hike eventually getting to another well known trail but we wouldn’t have the views on this hike. We realized by this time that it was going to be a wet hike so we took out our jackets, hats and gloves out of our packs. We started down the trail for a km or so before we really couldn’t go on because of the rain on the icy trail had made it very treacherous.

So we slid back toward the car where we had seen one more trail we thought we could try out that was deeper in the trees and might have less ice. We were still quite determined to get a hike in but the “epic” quality of the available hikes was diminishing quickly. Well this new trail had a little less ice but much more mud so our feet got wet. We were really soaked now. Eventually after about a km we realized there was a geocache in the area so we went a little further to go log it. Having quickly found it we headed back to the car once again. Just before the car it started snowing very heavily – very wet snow. So as we piled into the car and peeled off our wet layers, the consensus was that this time we were defeated. We needed to go warm up. What was going to be an epic 5 hour hike to the top of a mountain with amazing views, turned into a soggy one hour slog in the valley.

There’s always next weekend. Maybe it really will be spring next week.

#1 – Epic hike choice #1: Moose mountain
I had to steal this photo since we didn’t actually get there
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#2 – Less epic but would be an amazing hike in the summer: Powderface trail
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#3 – Cool hike but far from epic: unnamed trail along Prairie Creek

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Wet, wet, wet
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As far as considering this hike as cross-training, I am training for the Vancouver marathon which is bound to be wet and humid. Since we don’t get much of that here in Calgary, I can considering spending time in this dampness as environment conditioning for this race.

P.S. And of course, as we got home, the sky cleared up and it was a beautfiul afternoon.

But we will be back for more mountain epic-ness.

Being outside is where it is at

My bike ride in to work is not usually worth noting but yesterday the sun was just right coming up over downtown. I had to stop to take some photos.

Amazing views are my excuse to spend more time outside.

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We’re Not the Only Crazies Out There

Looking back to when I started running, it seems now that there were more people who understood what I was doing. Going for a run now and then to stay in shape -people can understand that. Having a goal in mind and striving to meet it – a lot of people can relate to that.

Then I ran a marathon and fewer people could understand. Then I ran another and people wondered what was wrong with me. I had already proved something, why do it again?  Did I have inner demons I needed to deal with?

Now that I am running ultras, doing lonely trail runs, and training almost year round there is a very small group of people that seem to understand. I used to be one of a few crazies out there that people knew, but now it seems that when they think of crazy runners they point directly at me.

Finding a group with similar interests is vital. I occassionally meet up with a trail running group just to talk running. But just as important, I think the whole online community has been a godsend for the many crazies out there (no matter the form of their crazy). For me, listening to podcasts of other people doing crazy stuff and being able to find online resources is a lifeline. My non-running friends don’t listen very long to my stories, but during runs with runners that’s what you talk about – running.

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“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
Albert Einstein

Season of fewer layers!

It must be getting warmer out there. I am wearing fewer layers and am staying comfortable without a hat most days.

Also I have been sweating out a lot more, creating more laundry, and needing more water to re-hydrate after.

Next we need the blossoms to spruce our running photos.

Yeah for spring!

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Is it the shoes?

It’s down to the last five and a half weeks until the big marathon – Vancouver Marathon – May 3. The distances are getting really long, and the pressure is on to keep up the speed on the tempo runs. I’d really love to nearly meet or beat my best marathon time, but I don’t know if that really is a possibility. Some days I feel fast, but my longish run yesterday was painfully slow.

This weekend is a fast 15km and then a long 32km. We’ll see how this weekend goes and then I’ll know a little clearer what I’m capable of.

I know the last couple times when I was in the 3:09 to 3:20 range for marathon times, that the training really hurt too. And at that time I was surprised by how fast I was able to go on game day. Hopefully this time is the same.

Maybe it’s the shoes? My better times this season have been with my zero drop shoes but I can’t go beyond 20km without destorying my calves. My “normal” running shoes are more comfortable for longer runs, but why do my legs tire so much sooner?

I’m still experimenting with shoes with only 38 days to go. This shouldn’t be!

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A million bucks

A million bucks! That’s what I felt like when I finished my run today. I ran it fast and hard and kept a great average time. And then I ran an extra kilometer at the end because I was curious to see what was going on in the park. (Turns out nothing was going on, unfortunately).

Some days you just have great runs that build confidence and make you happy to be alive.

Here’s hoping for a bunch more great runs in the last weeks leading up to my next marathon in May.

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Running is nothing more than…

Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.

– found in various places in the internet

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Froot loop bowls for race hardware

My young teen daughters picked up their hardware tonight from the cross country series they ran through the winter. Great job girls and go back for more next year!

I am really proud of the effort they put in. And they continue to smile through that brutal mud, ice and hills.

The age placement prizes were very practical – large customized ceramic mugs / bowls (for their froot loops of course).

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CalgaryRoadRunners.com for more info on the series

Hard effort but miserably slow

My speed repeats felt terribly slow today. I started at work and ran home so I was already tired from the day. Then the wind was in my face the whole way back.

On most runs you get to loop back so the wind should theoretically be at your back for half the run. Not the case when you run in one direction and you can’t pick which direction that’s going to be.

I am sure it wasn’t as slow as I feared but it felt slower on each repeat. But it is about the effort, not the speed, right? And I did put in a lot of effort.

Windy-Storm

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