Thursday, September 30, 2010

Intervals and Crossfit

To be fully honest, I do not like Interval training. I would much rather do a long run and see lots of stuff. That’s just me. But I’ve been told that long slow distances make long slow runners. And I can’t deny the truth of that. So on Wednesday morning I pulled up the nerve to actually go out for a 10km interval run; 500m run, 500m walk, repeated 10 times.
Data can be found here.
To be quite honest, it was really fun. It was dark and I was wearing a headlamp, and I was just really running anywhere I could in town. I startled many people by traipsing past them with my VFFs, shorts and Tshirt and headlamp early in the morning. Boy, what a nut I am.
001 This is taken from the Farmer’s Market parking lot where I started my run. I am experimenting with my camera to allow me to take shots at night and while I run.
002 Not bad, and getting better. Orion is an awesome constellation, but I think Cassiopeia is far cooler!
The run was good! All my intervals were at my target pace of 4:00 to 4:30, except one. The reason for it was stairs. Since it was so early in the morning, the wooden stairs were frosty and slippery, so I had to mope up them. No biggie though. It’s not like I am out there to beat anything. But I know if I keep up the interval training, I will become a faster runner and some of those goals may come to fruition.
Following my run, I headed over to Crossfit Cochrane for a workout. We mostly practiced some olympic lifts, and I took the time to record M attempts the snatch.
I thought his form is pretty good. He’s teaching me all this stuff, but I guess every once in a while I notice something. Nothing here though.
That’s about it. I am off to do some guinea pigging for Garmin which is always fun!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Faster than Focus

This past Saturday, I wanted to RUN my 1/2 Tour de Cochrane, which is a 22km loop from my home. I usually bike it, and it takes just over an hour, but I wanted to see if I could run it in about 2 hours. That would shave about 50 minutes off of my half marathon time from this past summer. Let’s see how I did.

Run data can be found here.

Sweet, 2:09 isn’t bad, also considering the elevation was 262m. I’ll take it! But as the title of this post suggests, I was running faster than my camera could focus. Or I was in the wrong settings with my camera. Or I was shaking every time I took a photo. I’ll go with the first one. Sorry for the blurry photos, but it gives the illusion of blazing speed and an idea of my loop.

001Early 7am start on a beautiful Saturday morning.

003  There were deer in this shot. Can’t you see them? I surely can’t.

004 Blazing speed! Go Lorne Go!

005The abandoned neighbourhood across the highway from us. So very weird looking.

006Running along the Bow River with fall colours everywhere is so awesome! I love this path!

007These lucky people have a great view. They get to see me run by :-)

008    The trees are showing their true colours. We missed fall last year, so this year is super nice.

009 Crossing the highway 22 bridge. Not even cars could keep up with me!

010 I must have done something right cause this one actually focused.

011No one at all on the paths in the morning.

012  I believe Cochrane is well known for it’s red rock running.

013 Jumpingpound Creek, known as a local swimming hole. Surprisingly busy in summer.

014 Tower’s Trail. A long uphill, but I was proud to run the whole way up.

015 The top of Tower’s Trail hill. Still running, but I honestly have no real way to prove that.

016Kind of a cool shot. The focus must have been working.

017  Some purdy fall colours. I wish fall would last over a month, but in Alberta, it doesn’t.

018Running across the old bridge in town.

019  One of my favourite parts of the run. The run up the ravine from the river. I do wish these photos would have worked.

020You get the idea. Quite pretty.

021I passed a whole group of runners just before this. I was happy to be running solo, but there is also an appeal to running in groups. Maybe I should start a cross-country club in Cochrane.

022   The Ravine that runs through town. I would love to live along here, but the train does run awfully close to these places.

023 I ran past the farmer’s market and into Ranchehouse Ravine. My absolute favourite local spot to run.

024 You can see why I love to run here. Awesome single track running.

025 Incredible single track running. I wish the whole run was like this, but I will take what I can get.

026 The summit of my run, only minutes from home. Is it good to end a long run with a big uphill, then a long steady downhill?

027 My beautiful mountains, ever so watchful of me.

028 The long steady run home. Elwood forest on the left.

029 The last jaunt back to the neighourhood.

To sum up, the run was about 50% paths, 30% road and 20% trail. I love the loop, and I hope to someday do it in less that 2 hours, maybe even less than 1:45! The main differences on this run were heavy running shorts (I do notice a difference to my rock shorts), carrying a water bottle (but no rucksack) and running on an empty tummy. I usually exercise on a empty stomach, but adding carbs and electrolytes to my run would probably improve performance. No matter, I love running long distances because I get to see so much, and with so much out my front door, it’s hard to not be motivated to run!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Six Watches

So this morning was a product testing day for Garmin. Nothing really unusual, and I was told it would be easy on me today. Good thing as my feet are sore. So I was at the track at 8am, ready to go. I had six foot pods on me this morning, and with them was six watches. I would walk 1 lap (232.2 m), stop and push a whole bunch of buttons, and repeat that 5 times. Following the walks, I would do the same, except jog 2 laps instead of walk 1 lap. Total distance was about 3.5km in 30 minutes. I’ll add that to my 100 mile challenge.

The interesting thing was that I had to wear running shoes to do the testing. I am okay with that, but what a plush and comfy difference as compared to my Vibrams. The tester was amazed at how I constantly run off my toes. I merely reply that I wouldn’t even know how to heel strike. Each time the ball of my foot would contact the ground, there would be a brief moment (and quite noticeable to me as well) where the shoe would compress. It produced a swish-swish-swish sound as I ran, unlike the pat-pat-pat sound I have when I wear my Vibrams. As weird as it sounds, that slight delay changed my running stride, and at times it felt as if I would roll my ankle. But quick adjustments and adaptation prevented such a thing from happening.

I am nursing a bit of a bruised foot. On Tuesday, I did interval strength / running training outdoors. It was a whopping +1 C outside, and snowing a bit, so my feet went numb. And as they went numb, I began to heel strike. I guess I do know how to heel strike. But it led to a sore arch and bruised heel. It goes to show that when I disconnect the feeling of the ground from my feet, injury is bound to happen.

I also received a call from Manitobah Mukluks yesterday saying that my mukluks would be done and shipped around Oct 15th! Woop woop! So very very VERY excited about that! I can’t wait to run in those and give them my feedback!

No pictures today. If you really want to see the track, check out this post.

I also had some business in Calgary northeast this morning. I GPS’d my ride (took the bike). Stoney trail ROCKS as it only took me 45 minutes, as opposed to the 1 hour + to get to my destination!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rivers of The World

I thought this was pretty cool as I used to live on the Peace River. It’s nice to see things in perspective… Sorry for the blurry photo, but here is a link to the post.


Workout this morning was interval / strength training. Data can be found here.

It’s obvious my speed slowly declined, but I was feeling rather sloggish this morning due to nutrition. Not that I was eating wrong, I just wasn’t eating right for what I was putting my body through. Oh well. Oh yeah, no pictures as I forgot the camera in the car. Ooops.


Monday, September 20, 2010

The City Beat

So I had business to do in the Northeast of Calgary this morning. I wanted to get a run in before work, and I thought I would take advantage of the flat city paths to enjoy my run. I also wanted to feel the pulse of a city on Monday morning. It gave me that “I’m on holidays feeling” that I got when I was a kid and we’d come to the city. So I parked at Shouldice Park. My intentions were to run to the Zoo on the south side of the river and back on the north side of the river. 

GPS data is a little confuddled as I did not reset my watch after my ride home last Friday. So it continued off of my data from Friday. First leg here.

A few km’s into the run, the watch decided to put me on a 5:45 pace for 10km. I had to stop and take photos, so that pace was not really met. So the second leg is here.

009 From the parking lot at Shouldice looking towards the Trans Canada. It looks dark, but there was enough light to not need a headlamp.

012 The path along the river. I was hoping to stay on trails along the river the whole way, but that is just not possible. Also, it was extremely slippery mud due to recent rains. I thought better of it and headed back to the paved paths.

013 It’s quite peaceful along these paths with the mild hum of traffic in the distance. Sounds very city-ish.

014 I crossed the river on a footbridge and followed a trail along the river some more. It eventually came to the railroad, where I had to carefully cross them and then hop a fence. A pointy fence. Only one hole in my hand and one in my shorts… The cyclists going by probably thought I looked like a nut.

015 Two roads diverge in a yellow wood…

016I must have been on fire cause look at all that smoke! Go Lorne Go!

017  Some interesting artwork as I got closer to downtown.

019Some stonework in a park. There were tons of commuters on bikes riding into the city. Good on them :-)

020I crossed the footbridge at 10th street (me thinks) and came out in Kensington. I swear I was running faster than the traffic was moving.

022   The pathways are quite nice because I was on the pedestrian path while the path on the right is for cyclists. Makes it that much safer.

023Running back along the river. The cooler air is so much easier for me to run in. I love it! Can’t wait for winter!

024  After a while, the sounds and smells of traffic just gets annoying. This is why I prefer the trails.

025The colours of fall are always beautiful! Even on a cloudy day they can sure brighten things up!

028 Post run foot shot. I think these are wearing out. Although each tear in the shoe tells a story.

All in all, I prefer trails. But given the circumstances of going to the northeast, it’s nice to explore the paths and city by foot, even with the constant thrum of traffic and the bring-bringggg of cyclists. I wanted to go all the way to the zoo, but having to work caused me to cut my run short. No biggie, it was 17.22km in 1:38:34. This means I can do a half marathon (flat) in probably less than 1:50:00.


Friday, September 17, 2010

I just want to Blog about this morning

I’ve wanted to do this for a while, so this morning I finally did. I rode my mountain bike to work! Woop woop! The drive is 21.1 km (weird how it’s exactly a 1/2 marathon), so I figured 1-2 hours to get here.

Commute data can be found here.

I started at 6am this morning, and of course, it was dark. Not only that, it was snowing as well. Not much, but enough to cause any flakes that entered the beam from the headlamp to be illuminated. It looked cool, but I am not a good enough photographer to capture that.

006 Yup, darkness prevails early in the morning. The headlamp is a must though. It told me there was a left turn ahead (which there was).

007Obviously, I did not want to ride on the highways. So I took Cochrane’s paths to the bridge and then to back roads. I had to stop and wait for a train at the crossing. I saw the train coming a ways off, thought I could beat it, but thought better of it. I imagined the headlines in the paper saying “Doofus moron cyclist tries to outrun train. Fail.”

009  Trains in the dark seem creepy. Loud, and no light on the cars. As I crossed the tracks, I imagined “What would happen if one of the cars came detached and was trailing behind the train after it had passed. Man, it could hit me and I wouldn’t even see it coming.”  Sheesh, the things I think of…

011 I was biking along Tower’s Trail and I startled some horses. If I thought trains were creepy in the dark, horses are even worse! To see those piercing white eyes reflecting angst and hatred back towards me… man o man. Oh wait, I just startled them, so I guess they don’t angst or hate me. Sheesh, the things I think of.

012 There were four of them. Demon horses of the dark. Ooooh, new fantasy novel!

014 Eventually, the light did come out, and I got this photo. I was going to delete this picture, but the blurriness made it special. Thank you blurred photo. This is looking southwest from Tower’s Trail and whatever road intersects it. I thought it was pretty.

017 The thing I like most about road signs is how they light up when you light them up (d’uh!). What better opportunity than this unsuspecting light-upable yield sign to get it’s photo taken?

So yeah, just over 90 minutes to work from home, which is 3x longer. But there is something special about being able to use your legs to move you and your lungs to fuel you. It’s so much more satisfying than just sitting in the car and thinking about the day ahead of you. The thing I like most, though, is I am spending my day thinking about the ride home! And, it’s all downhill to boot! Woop woop!