Icy Wipeouts are Not Cool

The worst part of the wipeout was the new hole in my hard-earned Vancouver Marathon gloves. I worked hard for those gloves this spring and now one of them will have to be turned into a rag (or hung with my medals as a trophy 🙂 ).

It happened on the icy sidewalks in the dark with only 20 meters to go before home. I was momentarily distracted by the neighbours putting up their Christmas lights. I hit a crack in the sidewalk and didn’t lift my foot enough. I went down hard.

I banged my wrist and my knee but I bounced back up again pretty fast. Before I even hit the ground, I think I was shouting at the neighbour that I was okay before I even knew if I was okay or not. (We accuse our daughter of giving the same sort of pre-assurances.)

Now, the next day, I am barely bruised, but it could have been worse.

There is no reason to be trashing myself in December. December is for taking it easy and recovering from a long summer of running, not for healing from scrapes and bruises.

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It’s not always pretty

Getting in a daily run during a run streak is not always prerty. Sometimes you need to pull out all the stops just to get it in.

Like yesterday.

My daughter needed to be at school extra early so I didn’t get a morning run in.

I didn’t remember my running shoes (or winter running gear) so I didn’t get a lunch run in.

I had to be home early so we could leave right away for our evening meeting, so I couldn’t get a pre-dinner run in.

We would be home after 9:00 and I didn’t want to run in our neighbourhood quite that late.

We got to our evening meeting 10 minutes early which was just enough time to squeeze in a 2 km run. But I only had my work shoes (Vibram insoles though), work shirt and heavy coat.

But I ran anyways.

And my daughter came too. But her “formal” evening shoes were bright green running shoes. It’s not fair that I can’t get away with that.

It wasn’t long enough or fast enough to really get all sweaty. But we did get it done.

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It’s not always a great run, but it was a run, and runs have benefits.

Run streak day 18 (23 to go)

Elbow Valley Trail – Places to run

Today I ran with an avid group of trail runners in the foothills between Calgary and the Rockies. There sure are some amazing trails, even in winter conditions.

There was uneven hard packed snow the whole way which made the trail very difficult. Cleats were absolutely necessary today. My ankles will be sore for a few days.

But the views were amazing.

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Mostly single track with a little double track (5 minutes max). Only two bikes, three horses, 8 hikers and no other runners – for 3.5 hours! You don’t get that kind of loneliness on a lot of trails.

Fresh bear tracks only once although it was right beside a fresh kill. We definitely keep the adrenaline flowing on these runs.

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Bragg Creek is 20 minutes west of Calgary. Go another 15 minutes along highway 66.

We ran Elbow Valley Trail starting at Station Flats and turning around at Prairie Mountain.

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It was a great way to start off a Saturday.

21 km – 700m vertical (ie lots of hills!)

Run streak day 15. 26 to go.

Too Much Blood in My Head

Can headstand practice help my running? Some say yes. Others are more skeptical.

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Benefits of headstands:

  • improves core strength,
  • works on balance,
  • improves mental focus,
  • more oxygen in the brain for brief periods (better decision making?)
  • see the world from a different vantage point

I would think that headstands as cross-training is a bit of a stretch but I’m sure there must be real benefits because holding good headstands is hard. Anything that is hard must be beneficial, right?

Either way, I’m looking forward to a headstand photo on a mountain peak.

Running with Teenagers

So I’ve created a big problem for myself. My wife says she had nothing to do with it, and it is my responsibility to either fix it or work through it. She didn’t create this and is quietly laughing as I figure out how to resolve it.

I have two teen daughters (14 & 13). Both daughters are avid runners. I have encouraged their running for many years and they both really enjoy it. They are in every race they can find, school cross-country, school track team, and run club cross country series.

But the big problem comes in that both daughters want to train with me, and only me. Not with each other, and not alone. We don’t have a treadmill, so every run is outside, and every run must be done with me.

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Both daughters race or train up to three times per week, especially in the Spring, depending on how close a target race is at. And now it is Run Streak month (#RWRunStreak) and one daughter is determined to run every day until the end of the year.

I love running and spending time with them. We talk about life, homework (eg. the importance of the Renaissance Period, and reciting pi to nth decimal places), running, and lots of other stuff (eg. how to dance the jive).

I don’t mind all the running and their pace has definitely quickened in the last couple years so I am not really going that much slower than I would normally.

But coordinating our evenings is getting rather complicated. Our evenings lately have been spurts of heading out the door with #1, going back out again with #2, and if I have energy left, going for a stroll with my wife.

The upcoming half-marathon in the Spring is also going to be difficult to figure out. I ran the half with daughter #1 (her first) in 2015 with the younger being jealous that she didn’t get to run a half. This year, daughter #2 wants to run her first half as well. So I’m figuring out how to pace both daughters (and one of their friends) when they all run at different speeds. Wish me luck as I figure that one out.

Running with teenagers can be complicated. But I feel pretty lucky to still have something in common with them.

 

 

 

 

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