Day 153: 10.6km in the blizzard along the Bow River!


ice on the Bow River CalgaryIt was a pretty nasty start to the day. Snow, wind and very cold temperatures and of course, today was a long run day. I refused to make an excuses, so I started my long run routine of stretching, coffee and eating my porridge then hit the road for a run.

I should have known what would be in store when I parked the truck downtown and there was a foot of snow on the sidewalks (mostly drifts.) I got to eau claire, ran in to get ready and warm up and as I stretched a couple stopped in the doorway; looked me up and down and said, “You are crazy, but good on ya!” I didn’t even know what to say (probably because my brain was so cold from the windchill: -24) so I smiled and half-laughed (I had a long run ahead of me and I knew it was nuts to be out in this weather.)

At any rate, off I went. I started my warm up part of the run by cruising through the downtown area. I played the old “green light” game, where you just run and whatever walk light you get, you keep going. It was great not having a route because it kept me moving (and believe me it was so cold out you had to keep moving!) It was very slippery and I had snow in my shoes within the first few feet – therefore, I was soaked by the time I got back in.

Once I finished my warm up, I hit the trail along the Bow River. I’m not going to lie, it was incredibly tough. It wasn’t clear, so I was running (mostly slipping and sliding) on snow for 99% of it. Add the wind off of the bow, plus blowing snow and it just wasn’t that enjoyable at all. There was hardly a soul out as well and any time I met another runner we gave each other the, “we are definitely nuts for doing this,” look and nod.

I had planned to complete 14 km today, but my phone died around the 7.3 km point so I decided I’d run back toward eau claire and call it a day. It took me approx 20 minutes from where I was (my pace was 6:07 according to my phone when it died) so I estimate I did just over 3 km by the time it was all said and done. I was disappointed not to get the entire distance in, but I’ve got to say it was MISERABLE out!! Kudos to anyone who got out in it, I saw a few bikers and nordic walkers. It wasn’t fun at all.

Anyway, I’m home and warm now. Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

Day 116: 6km in the slush, black ice and snow. Upside: it’s above zero.

Calgary Slush Snow Ice While RunningTonights blog post is going to be fairly short, like my fuse today. I was slated to run 8km tonight, but there was no way that was going to happen for a few reasons: (1) some Calgarians apparently don’t think the “clean your own sidewalk” bylaw applies to them, (2) black ice, (3) slush/snow, (4) wet socks and (5) my lungs felt like they were going to collapse.

(1) FYI: Who is responsible for clearing snow and ice from Calgary sidewalks? Under Street Bylaw 20M88, the owner or occupant of any private property adjacent to a sidewalk is deemed responsible for the removal of ice and snow from that portion of the sidewalk within 24 hours after the ice or snow has been deposited. So please, fellow neighbours, don’t be lazy! It’s fine and dandy for someone who has the ability to jump into the snowbank to avoid the mess on your part of the sidewalk, but for others with less mobility (e.g.: seniors using scooters, wheelchairs, walkers, canes WHATEVER!) cannot do the same. Be courteous! 

(2) There was black ice under loose, wet snow. I almost fell at least once every 100m or so. It was awful.

(3) Slush/snow was a fricking disaster – it was everywhere! There was hardly any bare sidewalk, except for about 400 m near the end of my run. Lot of help that was! I was soaked within the first few minutes of my run. This is what happens when you get hammered with snow (30 cm) and the temperature stays at -17 for a few days and then warms up to +12 in one day! It makes for a complete mess. I feel for anyone who had to walk/roll to work today.

(4) Do I really need to explain why wet socks are annoying?

(5) And despite the temperature being well above zero and relatively “easier” to breathe, I was having some issues as I’m still kind of congested from my bout with Flu last week.

I refuse to run in this slop, so it looks like I am heading for the DREADmill tomorrow. Gah.

At any rate, here are tonights stats.runkeeper kat macaulay half marathon

  • Distance: 6.1 km (RunKeeper stopped after the first 300m and started again)
  • Time: 40:29 (plus 1:30?)
  • Pace: 6:57
  • Best Pace: 4:47

Day 108: Sunday-funday long run.

kat running outside in calgary

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day out there! The sun is shining and the temperature isn’t too cold (-9). As a matter of fact, I layered up before I went out and I was too warm for the latter part of my run (but better than the alternative). I snapped a few pictures along the way, but I don’t even think they do justice to how beautiful it was out there! It was so clear that you could see the mountains from Canyon Meadows. Unbelievable. Made me miss Christmas and being in the mountains with my family. But…. then I snapped back to reality and kept on moving.

The route was about 50% bare from snow – which was much appreciated. And the route along Fish Creek was completely bare which was awesome! But with that, I must admit that I didn’t even feel like running this morning (terrible sleep last night; tossed and turned). That was until I read Runninbears blog and was so honoured to see that she’s going to start training for a half in the New Year (I can’t wait to compare notes!) I was reminded just how fortunate I am to be able to run and to have my WP friends to kick my butt into gear and remind me to get out there and just do it! 😉

The beautiful mountains in Calgary My pace was very consistent, it took me a little while to get into a good stride but I managed to maintain it the entire time. I think my best pace was somewhere around the 5:25 mark, but I wasn’t too worried about it since I have a long way to go just to get my distance up; I’ll worry about pace and time later. My intention today was to run a full 7 miles (11.2 km) however, at 6.5 miles (10.5 km) my phone decided to quit and I had no idea where I’d have to go to make up the distance so I threw in the towel as well. I’m a tad disappointed, but I know that I kicked ass during my run, so I’m also pretty happy. I was also getting a bit of a chill, so decided the best thing to do was to get in and start stretching. I’m not sure what I will do for training tomorrow. Believe it or not, I’m sort of missing TRX! I think I may get up early and try to get a work out in before the glorious New Years Eve festivities with our good friends.

Here are todays stats:IMG_6962

  • Distance: 10.51
  • Time: 1:05:46
  • Pace: 6:15
  • Best Pace: 5:25








Day 101: #Hill training in the cold takes my breath away (that and almost choking on gum)!

Hill at Lake Bonavista Downs Tonight was hill training. It was brutal. (This is the hill before winter hit. Just picture grayscale; dark/gloomy with very little Christmas lights…) Instead of doing it for endurance, tonights training was developed so that the runner keeps “race” speed the entire time. We all know that I don’t really have “race” speed, so I tried as best I could to keep my intervals under my usual hill training pace. I haven’t had time to look back and review, but I do think it is a little bit faster.

At any rate, training was as follows: one minute up hill at race pace, and one minute back down. Repeat x 10.

I should have prefaced this by saying that today is cheat day and I have eaten three pieces of fudge, two cookies, chicken strips and fries and two jujubes. So as you can see, I wasn’t kind to my body in terms of fuelling up properly, but hey, we only live once and if the world should end this week, I didn’t want to waste a cheat day!

I pumped my arms as fast as I could but I don’t think it did me any good. I had a belly full of junk. Maybe I should try the whole fasting before a workout?

Anyway, here are tonights stats:Day 101 HILL Training Lake Bonavista

  • Distance: 3.49 km
  • Time: 22:04
  • Pace: 6:20
  • Best Pace: 4:57


Day 92: a BITTER cold #run

This morning I woke up feeling so-so. It took me a long time to rally and get my head wrapped around the idea of running in -27 (even if it was a short one). About an hour after I intended on hitting the pavement – and two cups of coffee later – I finally got out. Boy OH boy, was it cold!! I don’t think any amount of mental preparedness gets you ready for anything colder than -10. I wrapped a scarf around me several times, had a thick long sleeve + my difference maker jacket, hat and leather gloves and I was still frozen. I want to tell you that after ten minutes of warming up, it was fine and not bitter cold, but I’d be lying. It was so cold that half-way through, my phone which was charged to 100% shut off. TOTALLY OFF. So I have no stats for today. I had icicles on my eyelids, scarf, nose, hair, hat – everywhere! When I finally made it home, my thighs were raw red – even though the water in the shower was cold, it felt hot. Incredible – eh? The physical part of running wasn’t too bad, but it was hella slippery. It was lightly snowing when I left, so there was a light dusting on the ice when I got out and I have to say, SHAME on the Acadia Dr people for leaving their sidewalks a mess! How do you expect people to get moving on them? It is your responsibility to keep them clear! We even have landscapers that come snow-blow after snowfall but if they don’t show up within a few hours I will get out and do it myself because I’d feel terrible if anyone fell and hurt themselves! Anyway – enough ranting. Loving the Christmas lights and seeing the Jone’s beating out the Jone’s for Griswold status. Amazing.

And sadly, today was the last day for World Sledge Hockey Challenge. Met lots of great people and really enjoyed myself. A terrific time – can’t wait to do it again next year!

IMG_6409Hope everyone is healthy and happy out there. Since my phone was frozen I have no post-run pics, but I do have this picture from supper where I gladly helped myself to a 32 oz Schooner of Alexander Keiths. YUM!