That was a cold one!

If there ever was a day when I wished for ski goggles on my run, this was definitely one of them.

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There have been many other days for sure but they were in winters past. This winter hit pretty hard today. And it caught me by surprise. Once I stepped outside I quickly realized I needed more layers, even though I already was quite bundled up.

I probably woke up the household with all my comings and going this morning trying to get the right layers but mostly they have gotten used to my early mornings.

This won’t be the only cold day this winter but the first ones are always especially brutal.

Run streak day #4

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.

Edworthy Park Trails – Places to Run

The paved pathways at Edworthy Park in Calgary are is a go-to for most all running groups in the area. But there is so much more than just paved pathways. But it seems few people are discovering the gems found right in the city.

There is a whole bunch of single track too. You just need to step of the pavement and head several meters closer to the river and you will find some great trails. They aren’t as long as you might want want wilderness running, and there are no hills on the north side of the river. But they are much quieter than the alternative hard surface. This morning I found almost no runners and I couldn’t hear the nearby road. And if you go to the south side of the river the trails are more than you’d expect. Lots to explore.

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My run this morning was the 10km loop between the two pedestrian bridges plus the 4 km run to get to and from the park. I ran counter clockwise which obviously was against the flow of most other runners. Either way works for me.

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There seems to have been construction at least somewhere on this loop for the last 8 years I have been running it. Between upgrades, park renovations, and river flooding, there is always something to work on, it seems. But the city prioritizes the pathway for commuters leaving it mostly open most of the time.

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These trails are some of my most run trails because of how easy it is to get there from home, and how nice it is to run along a river.

Between the freeway and the tracks

We have this linear trail along the irrigation canal that obviously is very long and flat. So it is ideal for those long runs.

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West side of irrigation canal

However it parallels the freeway and the railroad tracks through the industrial park. So the setting is not ideal. You really have to zone out to enjoy yourself.

Today on my way out I followed the paved pathway on the west side getting annoyed at how loud the freeway noise was. I noticed the single track along the east side and thought I would try to come back on that side.

When I returned along the other side the noise seemed to just disappear. It was probably that I was just lost in my own world on the windy trail.

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Crossing tracks which lead to downtown

There were very few access points. It was basically 9 km between proper access points where you didn’t have to jump a fence or go through some industrial parking lot. I started at the Bow Waters Canoe Club and turned around at the Glenmore Inn.

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East side of irrigation canal

A couple of the freeway underpasses were a little sketchy with loud traffic above me.

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Another thing that would improve the view was if the irrigation canal was actually full. There was construction happening downstream so it was mostly empty with some ducks playing in the puddles and mud.

I don’t think I would recommend this as a great place to run. There were bikes on the trail and for them it probably wasn’t too far between access points.

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So my run was 18 km with almost no vertical. About 3/4 was on pavement and the last 1/4 was beautiful single track on the lonely side of the canal.

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Starting at the canoe club going south towards the Glenmore Inn

It was my longest run in a while and I felt good about it. My knees are complaining now but they will get over it.

I had promised myself a slurpee after the run (for motivation) but I decided to skip that. I shouldn’t reneg on my promises or I will start to doubt those promises and the motivation won’t work so well next time.

12 Things I’ve learned about my neighbours – while running

Most of my running starts at my front door and heads down the street. Especially in the winter when I have to run in the evenings, I stick to the sidewalks and streetlights, instead of the trails.

Running is a great way to get to know any neighbourhood.

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Some of the things I have learned by running in my neighbourhood:

– where the most likely stretches of sidewalk is to get a second hand high. No one is hiding their marijuana habits these days
– the dingiest blocks are often the most well lit
– no one is ever outside near the biggest houses
– playgrounds are busiest where the houses are the smallest
– the longest driveways have the fanciest cars
– the shortest driveways have the most loved cars
– people go to 7-11 really late in the evening for massive slurpees
– people go to 7-11 really early in the morning for massive slurpees
– I wouldn’t want to be a bus driver late at night in this neighborhood. There are too many mischief makers
– Halloween decorating starts very early
– at some places Christmas decorations never come down
– dogs of all shapes and sizes get people of all shapes and sizes outside. Yeah for dogs!

I guess if you stick to a treadmill you would miss all this entertainment.

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.

One Year of Blogging (& Running)

I love sharing photos of the places I run, hoping to inspire others to keep up this crazy addiction we can running.

Over this last year I have enjoyed sharing my running adventures and along the way I learned a lot about blogging and writing in general.

It has also been a good record of my running journey. Keeping track of it this way is a whole lot better than just a bunch of stats of my times and distances.

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Here is one photo from each of the 12 months of blogging that was taken while I was out running. It was pretty hard to pick out just one good one.

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August 2015 – Ironlegs 50 miler, Kananaskis, Canadian Rockies
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July 2015 – Lots of hills training in the Rockies

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Blogging stats for year one:

8000 views on WP over the year plus the unrecorded “tons” of viewers by email, rss feeds, Facebook and G+

By far the most popular post 328 views РSurviving the whole half which was my race report of the half marathon with my 14 year old daughter

Second most popular 240 views – Trail Running in the Canadian Rockies. Places to run. Inspiration for anyone who lives the mountain trails.

My first blog post (short and sweet) that kicked it all off: Too Many Trails, Too Little Time.

Running while blogging: 3300 km over 12 months in 4 countries

Thanks for joining me on this journey. We’re not done yet.

Tangled or Free?

My current ear buds have been doing very well for me. They are the over-the-ear kind and they sit comfortably. I am quite happy with them.

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Well I was quite happy with them until I got a gift card from Best Buy and started looking at the wireless ear buds. I am very tempted to get them but I am hesitant.

Apparently the sound quality is not as good over bluetooth. But while running would you notice anyway, and most of what I listen to are podcasts, so I’m not concerned about sound quality so much.

The lack of wires would be a defnite plus. I get tangled in my wires on almost every run.

The remote volume and fast forwarding on the ear piece would be very convenient. I could leave my phone in my pocket or backpack and not have to fumble with it midrun.

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But the cheapest ones are $100!! and the one I already have wouldn’t cost me anything.

Has anyone picked up the wireless ones? What do you think? Is it worth it? What brand did you buy?

I’d love your input.

PS about one week after this post I picked up some Jabra wireless ease buds. Not the ones with the in ear heart beat sensor. But they work great! I am still getting used to having to turn them on, then turning on the Bluetooth before starting music otherwise everyone can hear. The audio jacks were more seamless that way.

Podcast Spotlight – Marathon Training Academy

Run a marathon and change your life

Trevor and Angie are an enthusiastic couple who host a weekly podcast for runners aspiring to run a marathon or for marathoners looking to up their game.

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The hour long podcast usually consists of tips, inspiration, and guest interviews. Their enthusiastic approach to encouraging anyone to run a marathon no matter their pace is infectious.

I have been listening almost weekly for a couple years now. We have been following both the progress of Trevor who hadn’t run a marathon before he started hosting the podcast a few years ago, and Angie who started her quest to run 50 marathons in 50 states. Angie is full of tips. She is a running coach and has tons of resources available if you join their network on their webpage.

The Facebook community has over 10,000 likes. That’s an incredible community of listeners.

And we wouldn’t want to leave out their race reviews. There are extensive reviews of the different races they run and tips for people thinking of doing that race next year.

http://marathontrainingacademy.com/

Facebook community here

Marathon training academy – give it a listen.

Here’s the latest episode.

Other podcasts I listen to here

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