Day 138: 5km run/skating..

Someecard Valentines Day Card funnySo after a few days of struggling to get up early, I finally managed it this morning! By 7’ish I was fuelled up and out the door. I just ran the old neighbourhood route because I know it well and wasn’t interested in fumbling through a new place. The sidewalks were pretty great except for Acadia Drive – there’s a long strip of sunken sidewalk which was nothing but a skating rink. Absolutely terrifying. Instead of slowing down I just hit the ice full tilt and slid (kind of fun, actually.)

I should have prefaced this post by saying that I absolutely did not want to run this morning. In fact, I was rolling my eyes as I put my sneakers on thinking about the things I would have done in order not to go. But I did. And I had an awesome run with a wicked time! Now, my times aren’t as fast as they were in the summer (5:45 min/km’ish) but I’m starting to speed up again – maybe because the end of winter is nearing? (HAH!) I also got my time down to 3:57/km for a little bit too – very exciting!

Here are todays stats:runkeeper calgary running

  • Distance: 5:08 km
  • Time: 30:59
  • Pace: 6:06
  • Best Pace: 3:57

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!



2013 event schedule and winter running tips courtesy of #RunningRoom

1. Adjust the intensity of your workout.
2. Keep your head covered and your hands and feet warm as a significant amount of our heat loss comes from our extremities.
3. Warm up properly, start your runs at a comfortable pace and slowly build up the pace to a pace slower than your normal training pace.
4. Shorten your stride to improve your footing on icy roads. Wear Ice Grips over the soles of your shoes for greater traction.
5. Carry your cellphone and carry cab fare in your pocket.
6. Wind chill does not measure temperature; it measures the rate of cooling. On a day with high wind chill, prepare for the wind.
7. Run into the wind for the first part of your run and with the wind on the return portion.
8. When running by yourself, run in a loop in case you need to cut the run short.
9. On your first few runs on snow or ice, you may experience slight muscle soreness in the legs. That is because your supporting muscles are working harder to control your balance on the slippery surface.
10. Cover all exposed skin. If you or your running partner have exposed skin, be aware of each other to prevent frostbite.
11. In the winter it’s dark, so wear reflective gear and run facing the traffic in order to be more visible.
12. Mittens are warmer than gloves.
13. Drink water on any run over 45 minutes.
14. Use a lip protector (like a lip balm such as ChapStick) or Body Glide on your lips, nose and ears.
15. Gentlemen, wear a wind brief.
16. Do speed work indoors on dry surfaces.
17. Be aware of hypothermia for both yourself and those running with you. Hypothermia is a drop in your core body temperature. Signs of hypothermia include incoherent, slurred speech, clumsy fingers and poor coordination. At the first sign, get to a warm, dry place and seek medical attention. You are more likely to experience difficulty on a wet and windy day.
18. Do not accelerate or decelerate quickly in the cold weather.
19. Make sure your changes in direction are gradual to avoid slipping or pulling muscles that are not properly warmed up.
20. Freezing your lungs is just not possible. The air is sufficiently warmed by the body prior to entering the lungs. If you find the cold air uncomfortable, wear a face mask; it will help warm the air.
21. Wear a single pair of thermal socks to stay warm.
22. Take your wet clothes off and get dry ones on as soon as possible.
23. Wear your water bottle under your jacket to keep it from freezing.
24. Review runner safety. Safety is even more important in the winter with less light and far more ice and other obstacles on the running paths and roads.

With the temperatures such as they are I wanted to point out a few simple rules to keep in mind if you are going out in this weather.

First, if it is -30°C (-22°F) or colder, you do not have to be a hero. Find an alternative to running outside. This could be a great day for cross-training.

1. Wear three layers: base layer, insulating layer and windproof shell. Some clothing is quite efficient, such as Fit-Wear, and if you have this then two layers will suffice.

2. Do not expose too much skin. Keep all extremities covered, i.e., ears, hands, wrists, ankles and neck. Your respiratory area (nose and mouth) will stay warm because of the breathing business going on.

3. Apply Bodyglide or another type of body lubricant to any exposed skin to help protect it from the wind and drying effects of the cold.

4. Run in small loops close to your home base. If you find it is getting unbearable, you will not be too far away from shelter.

5. Bring cab fare, cell phone and I.D.

6. Tell someone where you are going (route map) and give that person an idea of your approximate time of arrival.

7. If you start to detect frostbite, seek shelter immediately and warm up. Do not stay out any longer.

2013 Running Room Event Schedule Calgary Alberta

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 73: the last 5km in warm weather!

This morning was my last run in Arizona before my Remembrance Day 10k in Calgary tomorrow, where the temperature is hovering around the -16 mark. Good grief!

Surprisingly this morning, the temperature here was cooler than it has been all week, around 65 F. But I completed the usual 5k and didn’t mind it at all; I even could’ve thrown a long sleeve on (imagine that!?). My legs felt a little heavy; I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t stretch enough or if they were just restless. I made it in under the thirty minutes, but don’t know pace/best pace because I didn’t use RunKeeper to track it. I definitely could have run further, but I didn’t want to push it as I need to conserve energy for tomorrow! After tomorrow, I’ll be half-way to half-marathon and I will be starting my next round of training on Monday – no time for breaks!

The past week has been awesome– it was like a nine-day cheat retreat! We had hot dogs, nachos, chips, chocolate, beer, wine, margaritas and loads and loads of Mexican food; simply delightful! And although I’m not looking forward to the cold weather in Alberta, I am looking forward to getting back into a routine (I’ll likely forego cheat days for the next several weeks).  HUGE thanks to our friends, the Millar’s, who opened up Hacienda Millar to us so we could relax and enjoy some beautiful weather. We’ll have to hang onto the memories to get us through the LONG winter in Calgary! 

Tonight we head back to Alberta and to the aftermath of a blizzard (so we hear). Time to really break out the snowsuit and winter gear. But as Anthony D’Angelo  would say:

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

Hope everyone is doing well out there, especially those of you in the eastern United. We’re thinking of you every day!