Frozen wetlands have no mosquitos

On a whim I decided to try out a new trail today. 15 minute drive so l had a vague recollection what the trail was like. It followed a small river snaking through the wetlands adjacent to a housing development.

In my 2 hours of running I maybe passed 20 groups of people so that’s not bad. Not as isolated as I had hoped but not crowded.

But the trails were very icy and I had to keep my pace very slow and my steps quite precise on the slipperiest parts.
Just as I was finishing the sunset came out. I guess on the shortest day of the year you can expect that.

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Elbow River, upstream from Glenmore Reservoir

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Carefully placed rock bridge. Cool.
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Super icy in a lot of spots.

The trail was 5km one direction. I had hoped there would at least be a loop. So that was one down side to this trail
But if I remember right and from indications on the trail this area can get very wet in spring and summer.

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Scene from a horror flick? Feels like it.

So this park is called Griffiths Park in Discovery Ridge in SW Calgary

And a bonus at this time of year is that even the wetlands have no mosquito’s.

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2 loops for 20 km

Exhausted

This is how I felt after my run today. Exhausted.

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But it was a sunny day, above freezing, and no wind. Couldn’t ask for more on a late December morning.

Life in the fast lane

Well I did something today I probably shouldn’t have.

It started yesterday when I realized I had 150 km to go to hit my running goal that I had forgotten about. So thinking out loud that there were 12 running days left and working backwards I started to panic. That would be an average of 13 km per day, or I could do 20 km, 8 km, 8 km and  repeat that four times. Or I could run 20 km 8 times in 12 days. But I have only been running 30 km per week for the last 2 months (although I have been out every day since late November). I was going to wait until January to ramp it up.

So after only running 5 km per day, today I jumped it up to 20. I don’t think I can keep up the required pace to the end of the year but I am encouraged that I can up the game with little to no notice. We will see tomorrow how sore I am and if this spurt will last.
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Check out a new running podcast – Here’s a few to get started

There’s tons of quality running podcasts out there that are worth listening to. Most of them are weekly and usually include interviews with runners, tips, and inspiration. Most are about an hour long so they can fit nicely into your running, commuting, or doing dishes.

After a couple years of listening, I have whittled the list down to my favourites. My list in order of which I usually listen to first:

Marathon Talk with Tom and Martin (wide range of topics with quality interviews)

Ultra Runner Podcast with Eric Schranz (featuring the biggest and craziest ultra runners out there). “Now, go out and run”

Runner Academy with Matt Johnson (clinical approach to running all distances)

Marathon Training Academy – Angie and Trevor –“empowering you to run a marathon and change your life”

Talk Ultra – Ian Corless “talking your legs off” (3 hour podcast with lengthy interviews with the best ultra runners out there)

Super easy to set up on your smart phone.

Give it a shot. It makes the runs go much faster (and the dishes too).

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Wearing the Boston colours just because…

Yes that is a Boston Marathon shirt but no I am not running or stretching. I am building virtual reality 3d glasses out of card board for my phone with my daughter. Family time over training.

But of course just wearing the shirt makes you dream a little.

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Google Cardboard
The 3D glasses didn’t work very well, but they were fun to make

10 years young

I just realized I have been running for 10 years and 2 months. 10 years! That sounds like an addiction. Do I need help? Or am I sure this is still good for my soul?

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It is still fun
It still challenges me
I am still taking it to new levels
My family has not disowned me yet
I tell myself I am still sane

Passion does crazy things to a person.

Hopefully I can grow old keeping up this silly sport and can inspire others to do the same.

Still streaking

December 12th = 12 days of continuing the running streak

Inbetween a slow November of running and the need to ramp up the training in January, this December run steak seems to be just right for me. No pressure to run any big distances, or to run any particular times. I don’t even have to run hills or intervals.
I just have to run every day for at least a mile. Most of my days have been 5km so that is enough to keep my legs loose.
My kids roll their eyes but they do make sure I get out every day.

Yes the cold days can be miserable and there is no choice but to get out there. But if you are wishing more people would call you crazy, this is the challenge for you.

And it doesn’t have to stop on January 1st but that would only be for the most crazy ones of us out there

Definitely the Wrong Shoes

“Wow, the sun is out.”

“Let’s go for a lunchtime walk. I need some inspiration for a blog.”

“Sure, work can wait.”

“Hmmm. My work shoes have the same Vibram soles as my running shoes.”

“Maybe let’s go for a lunchtime run instead of a walk. How much worse could it be than my normal running shoes.”

“And my work pants fit me pretty loosely, so it should work out okay. And I do have deodorant back in my office.”

“And the sun is still shining.”

“Wee! Let’s go!”

The sun stayed out. Inspiration was all around me. And as a bonus, I got in about 7 km of mostly running so I don’t have to run tonight to keep my streak going.

But I made the mistake of taking my shoes off when I got back to the office. Whew, they stink. I guess that’s why leather shoes aren’t meant for running in. I think I’ll keep a spare pair sitting around the office for next time I need some lunchtime inspiration.

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Cross Training with my Family

Spending time with the family outside has in recent years gradually turned into cross training for me. Family time used to involve strolls down the block or short slow walks or bike rides. But as they have grown up my 2 girls have gotten much faster and stronger. At 12 and 13 I can still keep ahead of them but it is not always just a”walk in the park” anymore.

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Following in my footsteps

I head to the pool once per week with my 13 year old to do minimum 1500m which takes us about 45 minutes. It is not an inconsequential wade in the kiddie pool anymore.  Also our bike rides are not so slow as they used to be when they had 12″ tires. And when there is a hike, it often involves a mountain instead of a swing set as the goal.
It’s amazing to see them growing up. It won’t be too many more years until I can’t keep up. But until then, no way are they going to beat me!

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Dreaming about the peak

Getting to know the couch (aka not really training)

I am in a pretty quiet zone in my training. At least in the actual running part of the training.

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I ran my A race in mid September as my last hurrah for the season. In October I rarely ran choosing rather to bike commute to keep up the fitness. In November I ramped it up to 30 km per week plus core workouts opting to just keep it slow and let the niggles of my hamstring cool down a bit more.
The plan is more ramping up in December consisting of a 31 day running streak but very few long or hard runs.
December motivation = #Stridesrunstreak (or #RWrunstreak)

I will set my sights on January as the start of the season.
January motivation = jantastic from marathon talk

Still on the couch
Still on the couch

I started this blog last month and I’m devouring podcasts and blogs. And I’m dreaming of a destination marathon but that’s so far from reality I am not even researching it. Oh yeah, I’m also doing winter xc every 3 weekends. So I’m far from having forgotten about running I just haven’t done a lot of it.

But January should be GO TIME!

2015 Plan (as of today at least):
Feb – May = 16 weeks until Calgary Marathon
June – Aug 15 = 10 weeks to 80k Ironlegs

Even with all these plans the mantra is to be flexible with the training and expect it to change.

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Yup still on the couch
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