12 Years a Runner

Running my shoes off over the last 12 years.

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2005 – 400km

2006 – 1600km – Vancouver Marathon, Emporer’s Challenge (21k)

2007 – 500km

2008 – 1600km – Calgary half marathon + Footstock marathon + first triathlon

2009 – 1600km – Calgary marathon + Sylvan Lake half iron

2010 – 1600km – Vancouver marathon, Calgary marathon + Calgary half iron

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2010 Vancouver Marathon

2011 – 1600km – Calgary marathon

2012 – 2800km – Calgary marathon, 50k (Frozen A)

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First time Boston qualifier!

2013 – 3000 km – Boston marathon, Calgary marathon

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Boston Marathon

2014 – 2700 km – Lost Soul 50k, Calgary 50k

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2015 – 3161 km (biggest year by 5%) – Iron Legs 50 Miler, Daughter’s first half, Vancouver Marathon

2015

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2016 – 2400 km, 30,000m vertical !! 100km Lost Soul Ultra, Paced 2 daughters to half marathons.

 

What a journey it has been so far. Hopefully it is far from over.

And just because I like summaries, graphs and trends…

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Didn’t You Pass Me Already?

“Didn’t you pass me already?”, asked the distracted hiker with the enormous camera and off-leash dog.

“Yes. And this is my last loop”, I said.

What I didn’t say was that I had passed her 5 times already on this 2 km loop and that I had done the loop 3 times before that.

Not many people notice us “loop-ers” but I love seeing their confusion and then their amazement when it dawns on them they they have been lapped.

Last year, as I was on hill repeat 10 out of 20, one casual hiker asked how many I was doing. When I said I was working on 20, he was truly inspired and decided to join me. I don’t know how many repeats he did but by the time I finished my 20 he was still going strong. Maybe he was proving something to his girlfriend, but I was happy to see I inspired someone.

Today on my 1 km city trail route, I saw a commercial grass cutting crew on maybe 5 of my 8 laps. On each of my laps I saw most people at least twice – several dog walkers, girl out for graduation photos, grandmother out for a smoke break, and a few other runners. I hope my running has inspired some of them to kick it up a notch even further.

No matter how much or how little our running effort seems to us, it can be a huge inspiration to someone else. Or they can think we are just loopy.

Keep running. Keep inspiring.

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The Run Commuter

I just chanced upon a website and it has inspired me again to pick up commuting to work by running. I know it sounds like a crazy idea, but sometimes when you need to get all your mileage in on a busy week, these crazy ideas seem to crop up.

Many of the articles on the website are on the logistics such as the No Shower Cleanup – Mens Edition (lots of steps but it would seem to be very comprehensive and would leave no one guessing that you had just run to work). Unless you want people to know you ran to work, then you just have to skip a couple steps.

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And of course there’s women’s edition too but I don’t have an opinion on how well that one works.

There’s articles on how to get in the right frame of mind to run to work in the morning.

There’s how to plan a route which is important if you want to incorporate it into your training, or you want to skip the traffic fumes.

And of course there’s lots of advice and reviews on clothes, lights, backpack, bringing your clothes to work wrinkle-free, etc.

Check it all out at http://theruncommuter.com/

As this site says “Live to run, run to work

And we’ll see you (maybe) running on the road or trail commuting to work.

Reward yourself with a run. You’ve earned it

Some people reward themselves with chocolate and Dairy Queen. Some people read a book. Some people have alone time. And some people go out with friends for a treat.

But I treat myself by going for a run. The longer the better. If it is by myself even better. The best is on a lonely in the trail in the mountains. If I wake up the next morning all stiff, I know it was a good one.

I sometimes feel selfish when I run so I need to balance life with running.

Others think I’m masochistic but I’m just fueling a need to get out there and go long.

I know I’m not the only one. Go for it. Reward yourself with a run. You’ve earned it.

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Saturday morning trails

Saturday mornings are meant for runs. Even better if I can get out on a trail. We did 5km on a new trail this morning on some new snow. Couldn’t ask for a better start to a day.

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For the first time in a long time one of my daughters was not sleeping in, so we went for a run together. We were staying overnight at a retreat center and needed a reprieve from the meetings the day before and the meetings this morning. A run was the right cure.

We were probably the first and only ones out on the trails which wound down to a frozen creek, beside the creek for a while and back up a steep trail to finish up in sort of a loop.

We saw one deer but were expecting more. The local family of moose was unfortunately also not around.

It was just us, some conversation and the trail. Perfect.

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50 Lessons in 50 Days in 50 Runs

Today was my 50th day running in a row.

I know, you think I’m crazy. Most people do. But like they say, running is cheaper than therapy.

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I previously posted about someone doing a 50 day running streak and posting 50 things they learned. I don’t think I could come up with 50 things, but this is a great list.

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!

Now I need to decide if I am going to continue this streak. But for today, I’m putting my feet for the rest of the day.

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Objective: Burn Energy

We had some energy to burn on our long drive home after Christmas. It was still light so we stopped in the middle of the mountains at a rest stop and went for a run.

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Couldn’t ask for a better backdrop.

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We were eyeing up a nice virgin snow covered trail but upon closer inspection it was clearly only for skiers. Unfortunately we couldn’t see any other trails at this rest stop, so we had to go on the road. But this little side road had almost no cars on it. It was a significant uphill but that meant significant downhill all the way back.

2km completed

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This was near Field, on the road to Emerald Lake, just outside Banff National Park.

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Activity Objective: burn energy.
Objective completed.
Continue to next objective.

Pre-Turkey Run

Is there a better way to start off Christmas Day than to go for a run? After presents and waffles, of course. And definitely before (not after) the turkey.

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We might still head out to go sledding before dinner, but in case we don’t, at least we got some brisk winter air in with the run.

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We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of snow this Christmas.

Just a short run, from the grandparents place. But the roads were very quiet and the few other people walking were all in a good mood.

Merry Christmas!

Winter Running in the Rockies – Lake Louise

We did a quick stop on our drive through the Canadian Rockies on the way to see the relatives for Christmas. We just couldn’t help ourselves and had to get out and run a bit. Beautiful.

We followed the trails groomed for skiing in Banff National Park in the town of Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies following the river upstream.

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I would love to get out here a bit more. Even though it is only 1.5 hours from home we don’t get here enough.

-15C, snow in shoes, wet socks, frozen fingers and nose. But super fun.

We kept it really short (2k) so we could get back to the road.

Day 33 run streak

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.