Sunday, January 20, 2008

Week of January 14 to January 20

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

4.11 miles, 9.17 pace, steady run, -23 (-31 with wind chill) Golf Course square

 Another chilly one… definite bragging rights for the diehards. Dressing for these temperatures can be tricky.  Too many layers cause discomfort and over heating.  Too few layers causes death!  My toes were cold and my mid-section… ladies please skip this part… was numb, and shriveled to a mere shadow of its former self ... I told you to skip it!

 Nazeer, Lori, Vivian, and I set out a little after 6:00 o’clock.  It was a very quiet run. The normal banter was absent.  Not sure why.  Our frozen jaws could have had something to do with it.  It wasn’t until we turned down the Valley of the Shadow of Death (i.e. the name Vivian coined for the dark trail through the forest), that we started to chatter.  The quarter moon provided some light so we didn’t have to feel our way down the trail as in previous runs. The trail had recently been plowed and it was in fine shape until we hit Corydon.  Here our friendly little jog through the park turned into a Franklin Expedition.  The snow was knee deep and crusty making it pretty well impenetrable. After attempting to hack our way through we decide to cross the ditch and run along the shoulder of Corydon Avenue with high-speed traffic buzzing us from behind.  Scary!  At Shaftsbury Street we returned to the sidewalk and continued on our merry way.

 As the runners from different groups trickled in we warmed ourselves with good chatter and hot tea provided by our lovely Running Room staff.  Thank you Grant Running Room, you’re simply the best!

 PS.  Nice to see Nancy again who has been off due to some nasty ITB.  Welcome back Nancy… it’s good to see your perky smile again.

 Thursday, January 17.

4.51 miles, 9.31 pace, steady run, -17 (–28 wind chill) West on Grant 2.25 miles, return (including Park Boulevard loop)

Our clinic guest speaker this evening was Barb Webb who explained some of the more common runner injures, how to avoid them, and what to do when you get them.  The talk was in depth and far too complicated to review in this blog.  If you weren’t there, you missed a good one, which, segues nicely into… where is everyone?  Is it just me or have our numbers dwindled?  Gotta get those miles in folks.  Don’t let the cold bring you down… embrace it as part of the full package. 

 Mildred, Vivian, Linda, Deborah, David and I had a great, albeit unimaginative, little run.  Wanting to get the prescribed 4.5 miles we headed west on Grant Avenue 2 1/4 miles, stopped, turned, and headed back. Unfortunately, Mildred had to head back after a mile to tend to a delicate personal matter… hmmm, how should I put this… an urgent need to pee!   We tried to convince her to knock on someone’s door and ask to use the loo, but she wouldn’t bite.  Last I saw of her she was running very fast (sub 8:00 pace) in an easterly direction with her jacket tail flapping in the wind!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

6.01 miles, 10:41 pace, steady run, solo, -25 (-36 wind chill), My front door/ Esplanade Riel return (via river trail)

 It is a beautiful sunny day, crisp breeze, and hard packed snow.  Homebound was a little harder on my exposed face so I stopped, readjusted my neck warmer (ninja style), and all was well.  I enjoy cold weather running because it adds a whole new dimension to the sport I love. The challenge of determining just the right number of layers is 1/3 science, 1/3 experience, and 1/3 luck… sometimes the gods are with you and you get it bang-on and yet other times you freeze, or worse, sweat.  You want to avoid sweating in climes like these, and if you do sweat, you better not stop until you’re safe at home, or if you can't quiet make it, just curl up in a snowbank, sleep comes naturally.  Today’s winning formula:

  • Bottom: light polyester long-johns, Running Room winter briefs, outer tights with double layered front, heavier Duo Max trail runners, and the piece de la resistance, a very nice pair of Mirano wool double layer socks.
  • Top: light polyester long-john full sleeve, Stanfield’s polar-therm turtle neck, MEC long sleeved waffle-thermal, MEC zip-up outer layer, Running jacket that covers butt, Running Room neoprene-like toque, wool gloves with nylon mitt, and  neck warmer.

 My left hip is a little sore today.  I need to book a massage with Kristen to get it alligned.  This has happened in the past and she knows just what to do to get them back in alignment. Bye for now.

Sunday, January 20, 2008 

7.56 miles, 9.46 pace (with walks) -30 (-41 wind chill), East on Grant/ Harrow/ Wellington/Sherbrooke/ Wolseley/ Running Room

Definitely the coldest run of the year.  Exposed skin freezing in seconds.  Balaclava icing solid from exhaling rendering them chunky and useless.  Thick white frost forming on faces, heads, and bottoms. Joints squeaking for the first mile or two.  Yup, Dude, it was a cold one... but a dry cold don't-you-know.  Actually, I was comfortable except for my derriere which was frozen, almost solid, for the last 4 miles... it's still thawing as I type 6 hours later.  I bet our friends in Vancouver aren't aren't having as fun as us.  

About 30 brave souls showed up for this morning's run. I suppose it is true that misery does indeed breeds company!

Bruce, Debbie, and Linda joined Terry's group this morning ... something about us being too slow... we're not upset, no way, don't worry, it's ok, really, we don't mind... ;>)...  Vivian, Sandra, Nazeer, Gwen, Lori and I set out at a warm-up pace east on Grant towards Harrow.  En route we got caught up on Gwen's news from her stay in Calgary (all good) and Sandra's news about her stay in Italy (all very good, but evidently she had a little too much pasta). For some reason I reported she was in China in last week's blog... not sure where that came from, sorry Sandra. We ran by the new Stella's restaurant in Wolseley on the corner of Westminister and Sherbrooke.  It's opening in February and should be a real hit with the local tree huggers, myself included.  It was a pleasant run despite the cold and that skitterish black foo-foo dog that lunged at Gwen as we passed, the owner yelling at us to be more careful!  Hmmm, how about reining in your dog, lady?  

Back at the Running Room hot chocolate and tea thawed the hands and warmed the body from the inside out.  The hot beverages encourages runners to hang around a while and chit-chat. The camaraderie at these impromptu tea parties is quite enjoyable, almost the highlight of the run.  It allows us to put faces to names and to catch up on stories from old friends and touch base with an increasingly number of new friends.  Thanks again Grant Running Room... you're the best!

 Nazeer is a good friend.  We trained hard together for last year's marathon and we have grown close over the hundreds of miles of training and racing.  Nazeer has a dream of qualifying for Boston in 2009.  He needs a 4:15 time for his age category which he hopes to achieve in June at the Manitoba Marathon.  Good luck to you Nazeer.  I'll be with you every step of the way.  Nazeer is off to Hawaii for 6 weeks and is registered for an 8 mile run.  Keep in touch Nazeer and keep logging those miles!

Bruce is off to Mexico and Linda and Dick are off to Texas.  Vivian is hoping to accompany her partner Dave to the Boston Marathon on April 21, but has to work out some family stuff before she can commit.  

I was on my way to join the crew for coffee only to discover my car battery dead... flat line dead, Winnipeg -41 dead, anyone got jumper cables dead, dead... not even a whimper!  It appeared that I may have left my running lights, well, running.  By the time I got it boosted my core temperature had dropped more than a couple of degrees.  Nothing like a little sweat mixed with -41 to slur the speech and numb the extremities.  Feeling hypothermic I felt it wise to beetle home to a hot shower and forgo the coffee. Thank you Debbie for the booster cables and thank you Dick for the boost!

Cheezy Poll Results... 57 % feel "safe" running in the dark and 43% felt "somewhat safe", 0% felt "unsafe".

Cheers All,

Michael

Week Total Distance =  22.19 miles

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