Thursday, January 3, 2008

Week of December 31 - January 6

Wednesday: 4.16 miles, 9:01 pace, golf course loop
It was bloody freezing this evening!  The wind gusts were clocked at 70 k from the south and the temperature hovering at -27.  No balaclava, no moon, snow-blown trails... what was I thinking?  Only fools and diehards would run in these conditions!  John, Scott, Deb, and Heather decided any day is good for a run, some are just better than others. John started us off with a quick pace and then fell back after a mile or so.  Scotty took the lead and had us flying along.  We managed to find a little shelter from the wind, but mostly we were fully exposed.  The wind seared like a knife.  I pulled back (i.e. my heart said "whoa, big boy, you're not as young as you feel.") for the last 3/4 mile.   The Running Room staff had hot chocolate and left over Tall Grass cinnamon buns, bless their little souls.  Chalk one up for the diehards (fools?)!
Thursday: 4.13 miles, 9:37 pace, golf course loop
A much nicer evening; good trails, good footage, and perfect temperature.  With no moon to light the way the trail through the forest was pretty sketchy (to use a skateboarders term... didn't know I was hip did you?).  Great company, excellent conversation, an all-in-all perfect run.  The conversation centered around Gwen's new grandchild, Owen.  Did you know if you removed the"O" from Owen and replaced it with a "G" you'd get "Gwen?  How cool is that?  Gwen can't decide which has the nicest ring; Nana, Nan, or Oma.  Grandma is emphatically out! What do you think? :>)  Thanks for the company Gwen, Sandra, Lori, Bruce, Deborah, and Linda.
Saturday: 6.26 miles, 10:24 pace (with walks) , Assiniboine Park return from my front door.
Annette tried to coax the Saturday crew to a game of shinny, but it was nixed or postponed.  Andrea says "I don't do hockey" and Carla replies "What's sponge hockey?" (clearly she missed grade 9 gym class as sponge hockey is one of my two memories of p.e.... sponge hockey and the dreaded showers with the jocks).
Try as I might I couldn't get out of bed to join the Wentworth crew at 8:30.  We had a family gathering to say goodbye to my son who leaves for Japan on the 16th that went well past 1 AM.  It must have been a good party because usually our family gatherings peter out by 9 PM (memo to self... don't ever buy Sake again).  I hear the Wentworth crew had a great turn-out and it was an excellent run to the Forks and back.  
For the fist time ever I ran with Yaktracks.  I was pleased with stability they provided on trails, but I found them pretty annoying on the clear pavement.  I didn't like how they felt on my feet on pavement and the endless "click, click, click" was tiresome.  I'm not sure if I'll use them again.  Certainly in some conditions they're the cat's meow.  I'd be interested in hearing your comments if you'd care to weigh in.  There's also a cheezy poll over there on the right side bar.  The poll will run 7 days and will change weekly.
I went for a lsd solo run and decided to leave the ipod at home.  It was a great run, nice and slow, lost in the basement of my brain, composing a speech I need to deliver in a couple of weeks.   The footing was good, and aside from getting stopped -again- by that damn slow train on Wellington Crescent, it was a textbook lsd run (Stanton would be pleased).  As much as I love running with a group I really enjoy running alone once every so often. It clears the brain.
Sunday: 10.00 miles, pace 9:58 (including walks), Forks return.
I got up early enough to enjoy a cappuccino and read the front page.  As I left the house my first step said "whoa, icy".  My second step said "*@^%$^&" as I picked myself up from my front step.  
Really icy conditions today, lots of brown slush too!  We started with caution, but soon found our footing and aside from the odd spot (especially the Olmand's Creek footbridge) the conditions weren't too bad.  I've certainly had worse.  Runners are terribly paranoid about injuries, rightfully so.  Just ask Ted who is presently nursing a plantar faciiitis injury or Bernice who has a damaged heel is damaged.  By the way, both ran the full ten today... hats off for taking one for the team!  The word out on injuries is R-E-S-T.
The 2:05 group (aka 2:00 lite) started with 13 runners: Bev, Cindy, Mildred, Ken, Gwen, Sherrie, Vivian, Bernice, Bruce, Linda, Deborah, Sandra, and myself.  After a couple of miles several runners fell into a slightly slower pace and continued as a secondary group.  Bernice fell back due to her heel and Bev ran in with her (thanks Bev).
We talked about movies, restaurants, downloading music, injuries, goals and on and on.  We also talked about runners in general and decided none of us has ever met a runner we didn't like, or at least respect.  I believe runners hold a deep connection for one another, even if they have absolutely nothing in common, they know the meaning of fartlek (such a painfully awkward word to use at a garden party.  I place it in the same classification as aspic.).  Also, if you're not enjoying the company of a fellow runner, all you need to do is change your pace, problem solved.
A whole whack of us went for coffee at Timothy's.  Have you ever noticed Scott's appetite? After eye-balling my puffed wheat cake for ten minutes, I finally felt obliged to offer him a slice or risk a poke-in-the-eye.  ;>)
Cheers all, 
M
total mileage for week 24.55
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