Run Streak – Day 2

Okay we are going to try this run streak again this year. Starting yesterday until the New Year, run at least 2km each day. I hope to average 5k per day. Wish me consistency.

I know two days in a row isn’t so hard you might say, but how about 40? That will feel good once it’s done.

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The weather has been pretty good recently so at the moment this looks doable. I know it can get much harder on the weeks with miserable weather.

If push comes to shove (like snow storms or treacherous ice), I may head to the gym but I hope to do most of it outdoors.

I have learned from previous years that some of the hardest parts of run streaks are:

1) convincing my family that this is a worthy goal
2) getting into the rhythm of running each day. There is no flexibility in which days to run, only in the distance
3) running late at night some days when there has been no time during the day to fit it in

Some of the best parts are
1) being able to eat anything in sight during the holidays because you have earned it
2) getting into a regular rhythm in advance of ramping up the training in January and February
3) our local running store supports the streakers with a tshirt and festive Saturday morning runs

Challenge a friend. Give it a shot. It will be fun. (At least the weeks without the miserable weather will be fun).

Happy trails.

Flying down the hills

We had a blast a few days ago flying down a mountain. It was a long slog to the top, maybe three quarters of an hour, but the return trip down the single track was fantastic.

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Most of trail was snow covered and icy in some spots. There were shoe sized rocks to dodge. The very solid looking trees right off the trail made sure we didn’t stray off the trail. This was especially crucial at the sharp corners. And to top it off we hadn’t brought any spikes with us so it was even more treacherous than it should have been.

I can’t quite remember the quote from my 14 year old as we were hurtling down the mountain, but between all the heavy breathing it was something to do with the snow, ice, and rocks making this so much fun, especially at high speed. And she made sure she wasn’t always following. She wanted some of the best of the fun too by being up front.

Despite all the sliding and racing at break neck speed, we didn’t wipe out and maybe that is why we are remembering the run so fondly. To top it off the sun was shining on a weekday afternoon where neither of us had to be at work or school. Couldn’t ask for more.

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That’s one run we will have to do again.

9.5km, 1hr 10 m
Snagmore trail starting near Allan Bill just west of Bragg Creek in Kananaskis.

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Coast to coast?

How long would it take to run across Canada?

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Was this guy inspirational or just crazy

Well let’s see.

It is 7200 km by road (Victoria to St John’s according to Google maps).
I run at say 10 km/hr. That would be 720 hours = 30 days straight non stop. “Only” running 8 hours per day would make it 90 days. That would be 8 hours plus breaks, plus slow hills, so maybe 10 hours between breakfast and when I approach a place to have dinner.

There are at least 2 ferries, so you could relax during those few hours and still cover considerable distance.

I don’t know if 8 hours is doable. Maybe a 4 – 5 hour marathon each day so you can appreciate some of where you are. That would make it a 200 day (7 months) journey. That is 7 days per week. With a 7 month journey it would be pretty tough to skip all of winter. And you would be in very flat Saskatchewan and Manitoba for a very long time.

Yikes this is sounding like crazy talk. I know I have heard of people doing this, but man that is some journey.

If I only wanted to do a 10k every day it would take 2 years. But I would get to visit every little town and every Tim Horton’s on the way.

You would have to give up a lot of family to make that happen. And I am sure you would come back a changed person.

But wait. Doesn’t Canada have 3 coasts?

What would it take to do coast to coast to coast?

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To finish off these crazy dreams here is a link to the song “this land is your land, this land is my land

I am going to bed. This topic is too tiring to contemplate further.

Running the city

Nice long run on Friday after work. The sky was threatening rain but it was the wind that worried me most. But I think it was stronger against my back on the way out and it must have calmed down by the time I turned around.

I ran along the top of a ridge so I got some nice vistas of the downtown. 

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On one residential block we counted 47 pumpkins on people’s porches. The decorations are definitely out in full force this Halloween. Unbelievable how much time people put into decorations. But then again it is unbelievable how much time people (me included) put into running.

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This one was 15 km mostly on river pathways.

Lost in Griffith’s Woods

Trails with NO HILLS!  That doesn’t happen very often around here.

Griffith Woods is a city park in Calgary with lots of trail types but notably no elevation change. It follows the wetlands adjacent to Elbow River so some trails can get wet.

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The entrance to the park seemed a little ominous to me with signage like this. Especially on the week before Halloween. Good thing it wasn’t getting dark yet.

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I intended to stay off the paved trail and this was possible. And then I determined to stick to single track. That’s where it got a little wild since the single track seemed quite aimless in direction.

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I got lost here. Well not exactly lost but the trail didn’t go in the direction I wanted. I should have stayed to a more main trail. There was this linear pond that I was trying to get around and there was only a deer trail along the waters edge. Lots of thistles too.

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The route I took was not very direct as I noticed from my Strava map after the run. It ended up being 10k taking just over an hour.

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Lots of other walkers out on the main trail but I stayed off that.

Overall it was a great run and I will have to head that way again.

A Stair-ful Run

Stairs are horrible. They make you give more than you intended

Stairs are amazing. They make you give more than you intended.

Love-hate.

Up, down, up, down

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15km with 300m elevation gain on city park stairs and trails.

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And the view from the top.

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The view from the top was worth it. I saw this view a few times on my run this evening.

An Hour Along the River

A one hour run along the river right out my back door. It’s an amazing place we live in.

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My running time suffered today because of all the photos I took but it was some good just me time. Just me and the trails and the river. I love that river. And that trail. I supposed it’s not hard to tell.

Running But Not Seeing

There’s some great pictures to be had if you’re not the one running. If you are the one running, then you can just enjoy it and not worry about that perfect picture.

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We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are

– Calvin & Hobbes

I feel so freed up in this current season of running that I can just run and not feel pressured to put in a certain mileage or timed intervals. I know when the New Year comes around things will change again when I restart the training but for now I feel I can slow down and smell the roses. So refreshing!

Yesterday I ran until it got dark. The day before I regularly stopped for some photos. A few days ago I ran up to the field where they were playing high school football. I stopped to watch a while then jogged home. No pressure to keep pace. No pressure to pack in the miles.

All too soon I will be training again. But for now, I am taking it easy.

Back in the Game

I have been laying pretty low lately but I am getting reinspired to up my game in this shoulder season. That is for both the running and the blogging.

– August 15 – big race
– Rest of August – family vacation
– Most of September – Led volunteer team to Africa
– End of September – hosted company VIPs and attended meetings for the week

So that was 6 weeks to get my brain off of training, racing and blogging.

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In the last week I have watched my daughters race 3 cross country races. I also rode 30 km for charity. But I have hardly run in the last 6 weeks. Well a little here and there but nothing consistent.

Yesterday I made a pact with two work colleagues to do the Pikes Peak Ascent next August in Colorado. That is a long time from now but in a way it is helping me refocus.

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So to kick start this season, this afternoon I went on a 10km trail run in the neighbouring trees. I rounded it off with some core work.

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It was a beautiful day to get out there. The leaves were falling but it wasn’t too cool out there yet. The many colours were a treat.

Inspiring Greatness

Cross country for middle schoolers seems to be a great way to get kids running and a great way to get many of them to actually enjoy it. In the schools in our area, a huge number of kids are on the cross country teams. Meets are huge events. And most of these kids are actually having fun (before, after and even during the events).

It was easy to pick out which kids have the killer finish instinct, which ones can pace, and which ones are just hanging on to the coattails of the one in front of them. Since this was the first race of the season many kids were making mistakes. But that is how we all learn. At the next race next week they will all run smarter.

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But sadly there are fewer kids out there in the older grades as their priorities change or as they get discouraged with their progress.

So I think we need to continue to encourage these youngsters to stretch themselves to be the best they can be. When they get discouraged, we need to help them push on so they don’t quit prematurely. There is so much potential out there.

And they need heros and role models to look up to. That’s us, fellow experienced runners. We are the heros and role models whether we accept the challenge or not, whether we feel we are worthy or not. They are looking to us for inspiration.

So let’s keep running, and let’s keep inspiring those around us to greatness.

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