Day 93: A chilly 10km #run through Fish Creek Park

Cownation aka CORONATION street I was a little late leaving for my 10 km run this morning (surprise, surprise). The weather network said it was -15, but felt like -25, so I can’t say I was thrilled to get out there. I ended up in four layers on the top and my arms were still chilled! Scarf, gloves and hat were on pretty much the entire time (my fingertips are still cold!) I was super proud sporting my “COWNATION STREET” shirt that my folks got me from the store “Cows” (out of PEI) and of course, my Rick Hansen “difference maker” jacket 🙂 I definitely think the most important thing to remember while running in these conditions is to layer, layer, layer. Protect your face and any skin. I did end up having a bit of an ice cream head ache, but I’m not sure what I could to do lessen or eliminate that. I think it was just too cold!

The run was pretty great, I do have to admit. I was disappointed that my Wedgie couldn’t make it out, but having a personal best made up for it. After about 2km I had to pee like a racehorse, so I quickly shuffled into an Esso (thank you Esso person for letting me use the washroom without having to buy something!) Then I hit the trail again. The trail was pretty bare, but there were some snow covered icy spots to watch for – incredibly slippery! I met a few people out, but not many. One woman was walking her husky – they were both bundled which was funny to me. I didn’t meet any other runners; seemed like it was mostly folks out getting their dogs out for a quick jog. I have noticed that people don’t tend to pick up after their animals this time of year. I guess they think that if it freezes, it won’t make a mess. Gross, but funny… I ran by a frozen dog turd that looked like a giant chocolate chip. I would have taken a picture but there were some people around and I didn’t want to be “That” person.

Rick Hansen Difference Maker JacketMy legs felt really strong and so did my core. I think this whole #PushUpADay and #PlankADay is really helping me. It may also just be in my head too. I was incredibly happy with my time because the last time I ran a similar distance (in warmer weather) it was about the same. So despite feeling kind of sluggish in terms of speed, I didn’t do too badly. In Arizona I ran a 6:08 min/km pace in ideal conditions; when I ran 6 miles on the treadmill on completely consistent conditions I was around a 6:38 min/km; and the last time I ran a 10km my pace was 6:13 min/km. Today my pace was 6:09 min/km! I feel really close to getting my 10km down under 60 minutes, I just need to shave off two minutes!

My training schedule has me running seven miles next Sunday, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I almost think that I need to start building in increments of half-miles. Does anyone else out there have an opinion on this? There’s also less hill and speed training, which, believe it or not I will miss!

Tomorrow is TRX training @TricoCentre. I’m looking forward to it and checking out the new equipment over there!

Here are todays stats: IMG_6419

  • Distance: 10.02 km
  • Time: 1:01:43
  • Pace: 6:09
  • Best Pace: 4:34

Day 89: Five mile #run in the bitter cold and an awesome first day at #WSHC

One foot in front of the other. Repeat.

IMG_6322Today was a very busy day! I was up early to meet Wedgie for a five mile run at Fish Creek Park. We arrived shortly after 9:30 and started the run. I think the temperature was around -16 – it was cold! The run wasn’t too bad at all, we kept it pretty flat (no hills). It was definitely slippery in areas but we maintained a very consistent pace throughout. We were both commenting that it would be grand to get those toques that have the pony-tail hole at the back – does anyone know what I’m talking about? And, where to get one? I always stuff my hair under my fleece KO hat because I love it and it’s not itchy at all, but a special hat for people with long hair would be awesome too. My legs were definitely cold, but not sore and even this evening after being on my feet all day they aren’t too bad (hopefully not jinxing myself for tomorrow). When we finished and took our post-run photo any hair that was showing, that had even the slightest amount of sweat was an icicle! We also saw a deer, but I wasn’t fast enough to get my camera out and snap a photo. I’m not minding the winter weather running as much as I thought, but I am finding that it takes a while to shake it afterward (I was cold most of the day). Anyone out there have any tips/tricks to get rid of the cold chill post-run? I do dress in layers, but I think it’s a combination of sweating and having to drive home after being out in the cold for almost an hour.

I also completed my #PushUpADay (five) and #PlankADay. (Thank you Runninbear for reminding me!) Sadly, I haven’t even looked at the training schedule tonight because all I want to do is go to bed!

I quickly want to tell you about my awesome day as a volunteer at the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge today. I know it’s not running related, but it was terrific! I have met some really great folks from all over the city. I have seen some familiar faces and think how amazing it is that some of us have been volunteering at many of the same events, though I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised because it’s loads of fun. And it goes without saying that I truly enjoyed my very first LIVE sledge hockey games. Plus, Canada defeated Japan tonight 11-0!! Honestly, the whole time I was watching I was just blown away by the level of fitness these men need in order to compete at the level they do. Their stamina and strength must be out of this world. My arms and core just ached thinking of what a few minutes of just trying out Sledge Hockey would do to me (but I will try some day, it’s on the bucket list already!)

Anyway, that’s it for today. Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

Here are todays stats:dec2run

  • Distance: 8.01
  • Time: 51:25
  • Pace: 6:25
  • Best Pace: 5:02



Day 35: 4 mile run through Fish Creek Park ALONE!

Today was a pretty good run through Fish Creek Park completely solo. Felix stayed home to watch retro cartoons and my usual Sunday running buddy is in Miami! It was really busy at the park today, there was a random car in the lot (taking up three stalls) from what appeared to be a wedding (said “Just Married.”) There were people having picnics and taking loads of pictures; busy spot!

The first 200 m of todays run was totally straight up a hill. I mean, literally; no easing into it. I don’t even really remember my pace on the hill, I think it was something like 7:00 min/km? And then the next 3 km was a gradual uphill run. It was starting to get warm out, but there was a good breeze. I enjoyed the view, though it was different than the reservoir. It sort of reminded me of the movie “Land before time” – when you looked down into the canyon part of the park it looked like the place all the dinosaurs were searching for – lush and green (although the colours are changing.) I felt really strong through the whole thing and finished pretty fast. I kept a pace of 5:45 for a good part of the run, but when I hit the turnaround point I did slow down a bit (between 6:00/km and 6:08/km). My finished pace was 4:48, which was awesome and strong. The last 300 m I really pushed hard; this was mostly due to a friend discussing track the other night. I can’t tell the story but I know that every time I hit the last 300 m I will be thinking of this and chuckling.

I saw lots of people on bikes today. Most memorably were two older women who passed me on the trail. They were so jovial and enjoying the nice morning;  they even wished me a “Good morning!” before I even had a chance to first (yes – I am still doing “project morning.”) I also saw a couple of kids on their bikes while their father ran alongside. It was funny watching them because they clearly had to keep pace with him despite wanting to push faster. The little boy seemed particularly pissed off about it. He grudgingly wished me good morning after I said it to him. It was funny and made me laugh.

Oh and I saw the guy who drives the recumbent bike around the reservoir. He has the same horn that Jim Carey used in the Mask movie. It was hilarious. He even had his dog with him. I tried to snap a picture (without being a total creep.) But this was the best I could do… Honestly though, if he was doing the trail with his camera on I’m sure he has a nasty picture of me running so I don’t feel like a jerk for snapping his – it’s not like you see a guy on recumbent bike + dog every day!

Anyway, all-in-all feeling good. The cold seems like it’s starting to get better though I was doing lots of sniffing for my run today.And I am super excited that this was my last run before heading east to Cape Breton – YAHOO!!!!! I cannot wait to run the Baddeck Bay Road and around the village. I’ll also probably try to get Kelly’s Mountain in as well. But before that, tomorrow is circuit training – surprisingly, I’m actually looking forward to it!



Here are todays stats:

  • Distance: 6.44
  • Time: 38:51
  • Pace/km: 6:02
  • Best Pace: 4:48

Day 32: 4 mile tempo run in Fish Creek Park with an angry child

Today was our four mile tempo run. We decided to head back to Fish Creek Park because there are lots of trails to choose from, it’s all paved and pretty much even (less bumping around in the stroller.) We parked at the Ranch and ran the direction toward the River/Sikome beach. There were lots of people walking today, we saw a few other kids and some dogs. No wildlife today (thank God.) But I did pack my bear spray and had it handy on the stroller handle (just in case.) We also attached a cowbell to the stroller so we make some noise – cannot sneak up on anyone! I keep forgetting to mention it because now it comes naturally, but we continued with “Project Morning” – it was good. Most people were happy & said hello. 

We completed the 6.4 km, but had to split it up because Felix started protesting in the last 500m. Finally, I ended up stopping the clock and letting him get out and stretch his legs. He refused to walk anywhere and a couple with a dog walked by and Felix hopped up and started walking with them. Of course, when I tried to turn him around he threw a full-on temper tantrum (awesome.) But then we finally got situated in the stroller again and finished the last 400 m. It wasn’t a terrible run. I’m still feeling pretty crappy from the cold, but definitely better than I was yesterday.

I do want to tell you about the hill we did just by Sikome. It was short and terrible (would we have it any other way?) I had no intentions of running any hills today because let’s face it, tempo running is about keeping your speed up and a hill would throw a wrench into it. To be completely honest I thought there was more pathway at the top of the hill that would easily loop back to the Ranch, but that’s not the case. Well, it may be the case but I can’t read the darn legend on the maps…

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the break tomorrow – my body needs a rest!





Here are todays stats:  

  • Distance: 6.48 km
  • Time: 43:24
  • Pace/km: 6:45
  • Best Pace: 5:50


Day 31: 4 mile run through Fish Creek Park (with stroller & cold)

So naturally, woke up this morning feeling even worse than I did yesterday and I was worried about whether I should go running or not. However, I did some google fact-checking and came across an article in Runners World about running whilst being sick. “David Nieman, Ph.D., who heads the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, and has run 58 marathons and ultras, uses the “neck rule.” Symptoms below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, body ache) require time off, while symptoms above the neck (runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing) don’t pose a risk to runners continuing workouts.” Alas, my cold is causing runny nose, stuffiness and sneezing so I sucked it up and went out.

It was beautiful at Fish Creek Park. We saw a few people out but not nearly as many as at Glenmore Park. I did notice a lot of dog turds though – what’s with those people who walk their dogs but don’t pick up after them?! The run was a bit tough as I was feeling like crap; we had to stop a few times so I could clear my nose and throat (yeah, I know, gross…) We hit one good hill and I thought for sure I would have to call for someone to come pick us up, but we survived.

When we finished the run and were heading back to the park we saw Sgt. McGougan from the Calgary Police Service Mounted Unit. It was neat as a few months ago I met him over the phone while putting together the last pieces of the Calgary Stampede Parade Souvenir Program. Felix was very excited to pet Sgt. McGougans partner. We didn’t have long to visit, but he was kind enough to let us snap some pictures! We’re lucky to have our own mounted unit in the city!

All in all (and despite this darn cold) we’re happy to have the run behind us and it wasn’t the worst! Tomorrow is another tempo run which I’m not looking forward to but I’ve been drinking lots of water with lemon and hoping that tomorrow I’ll be feeling better and kick this cold square in the ass.

Here are today’s stats:

  • Distance: 6.41 km
  • Time: 43:36
  • Pace/km: 6:48
  • Best pace: 4:55