2nd Annual Calgary 10k

photo (4)The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon event was celebrating its 50th year and as much as it would be nice to collect a huge belt buckle for my collection, my training only positioned me to run the 10k, especially since I am running a 19.1 km leg in the Banff to Jasper relay this coming weekend. Last year I ran the Calgary 10k event for the first time as a visitor to Calgary, as this event fell on the same weekend I was here buying a house, this year I was running as a local proud Calgarian.

A month ago I ran the Sport Chek 10k in 54:31 and although I wanted to better my time by a least a minute this race I purposely set my watches virtual partner for 55 minutes for I needed to be smart about this race. Unfortunately two weeks ago over the long weekend, my left calf seized up completely and after consulting the internet I realized after the second run of the weekend that it could mean a tear to the muscle. Petrified that I would be sidelined for both races I stopped the stretching I was doing thinking that the muscle was just tight and hung up my running shoes until I could get further guidance.  When I phoned on May 20th for an appointment at the recommended sports physio clinic nearby they couldn’t get me in until the 26th, I nearly freaked at the delay but I didn’t want to just go anywhere.  So I did no exercising all that week and babied my calf like my life (/sanity) depended on it, which it kind of did.  As the week progressed my calf greatly improved and by Monday, May 26th I thought I should test the waters and go for a little run before my physio and to my great relief it was still tight but a fraction of what it was the week before.

At Physio, she couldn’t confirm whether it was a tear or not but there was definitely an issue. She asked whether I would be receptive to Medicinal Acupuncture. I said I wasn’t familiar with this type of acupuncture but if it is covered I am game for almost anything.  Since it was covered, she went ahead and inserted a needle(s) within my calf muscle, glutes and lower back and let’s just say I have some tight muscles all over.  She warned me that it might be difficult to walk on my one leg for 1-2 days after and she was right.   I was worried based on the after effects of the treatment whether I would recover in time but by Wednesday I was feeling like I had a new leg and I went out for a cautious 7k run.  No issues.  I then ran again on Saturday morning for an easy 5k with and again no issues.  Let’s just say I am a believer of this type of acupuncture and would highly recommend it to other athletes.

Even though I was part of a small healing miracle I wanted to be  safe running this past weekend.   The great thing about this year’s event is that I have met many people and I somehow convinced one of my new running friends to run this event as well.  Although we agreed to run our own races it was great to be at the start with a familiar face.

The Marathon and Half Marathoners started at 7.00 am, and the 3000 of us in the 10k group started at 7.30 am.  The first 5 k felt great, I didn’t have to resort to any mind strategies to get me to the next kilometer mark but then by 5k the running flow that existed for the first half of the race was gone. It left me, I looked around and it was no where to be found.

1k – 5:17; 2k – 5:09, 3k – 5:18, 4k – 5:26 , 5k -5:37, 6k – 5:40, 7k – 5:11, 8k – 5:35, 9k – 5:33, 10k – 5:08

I can see now looking at my stats, that I started off too fast and then was all over the map, no wonder I had a not as great back half to the 10k.  There is no question I need to work on my pacing!!!

My final chip time: 54:35 

Based on my gun time I ranked 26 out of 270 in my age category (35-39), which puts me in the top 10%.  Next year I will be in the next age category and my goal is a sub 50 minutes. It is doable.

 

 

 

Currie Barracks – Running Photo Essay

Date: May 16th, 2014

Run distance: 11 km

Part of my run involved running through the section of Currie Barracks that is still intact.  Some of this land has already been redeveloped into homes, some of it has been temporarily repurposed (i.e different types of businesses, including a private school) but the rest of it is slated to be redeveloped into a new inner city housing community.

The history of the Currie Barracks dates back to 1933, when the Canadian Army opened  this base.  It is my understanding that it became a major military center over the years housing thousands of army personnel.  It was closed in 1999 and within a couple of short years, everything still standing will be torn done in place of fancy new modern dwellings.

Currie Barracks, guessing this was a whse dock

Currie Barracks, guessing this was a whse dock

 

Looking south towards MRU

Looking south towards MRU. I believe there were homes here at one point, most of them have been relocated and updated in Garrison Woods community. Within a couple of years this land will no longer be empty.

Old weigh scale in one of the Warehouse facility side rooms

Old weigh scale in one of the Warehouse facility side rooms

Currie Barracks C3

Currie Barracks C3

Currie Barracks, guessing this was a whse dock

Currie Barracks, guessing this was a whse dock

Currie Barracks, guessing this was a whse dock

Currie Barracks, guessing this was a whse dock

 

 

Scarboro – Killarney Photo Run Essay

Date: May 13th, 2014

Distance: 9 km

I have decided it might be a neat experience to capture different images on my run as I become familiar with the streets of Calgary. The city is still going through a huge change as post-war time bungalows are being torn down in favour of large, modern homes.  I am drawn to the smaller cottage style homes and feel that my 1200 square foot bungalow is a mansion in comparison. It also fascinates me that large families probably occupied these small homes and rather successfully and now we are drawn to build big homes for smaller families.  At a price – financially and emotionally.

Steps leading up to Sunalta neighborhood

Steps leading up to Sunalta neighborhood

House in Sunalta, Calgary (Single home)

House in Sunalta, Calgary (Single home)

House in Sunalta, Calgary (Single home)

House in Sunalta, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Semi-detached home) Estimated value: $1 million +  each

House in Killarney, Calgary (Semi-detached home)
Estimated value: $1 million + each

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

House in Killarney, Calgary (Single home)

2014 Sport Chek Mother’s Day Run

It has been ages since I have last ran a race and Sunday morning I got to break the dry spell at the Sport Chek Mother’s Day Run.  My husband actually was supposed to run the 10k event but due to getting sick earlier and not being able to put the training in I had to step in and save the day, for you couldn’t leave a bib without a runner. Most runners would understand this 🙂

I know my husband will tell you that I sandbagged my target expectations but I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Although I did my best to run all through the winter it was not as stellar as it could have been because of the crazy winter weather we experienced and my pacing is slower than previous years due to a number of factors.  So I told my husband to I was targeting 58 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile when I was warming up by myself I thought long and hard on what might be realistic and I though let’s test the waters, so I set my virtual partner with a goal of 55 minutes.  This number put a little pit in my stomach wondering whether I was crazy or not.  I didn’t realize how hilly the run was going to be when I set this number. In the end ignorance is bliss.

There were approximately 9,000 runners/walkers in both the 5k and 10k event and I goofed before the race even started.  I spoke to another runner who said the 5k’ group goes before the 10k so I didn’t get into the corral but with 2 minutes to go I thought something was not right and tried to make my way to the front.  I made the right decision and there were going to be some 10k runners pissed they didn’t line up.  I felt a little panicked because I wasn’t as far front as I wanted to be and there were a couple of strollers around me and others who were just out for a run Sunday run.  Well 1 minute to go and then off we went.

As expected it took me about 1km to weave my way through the crowd to find a comfortable place.  I am always surprised at how stupid people some people are when going at the front of a large corral when they know they are real slow.  It has nothing to do with faster people being better than slower people but rather it comes down to safety and creating the right flow all along so it is a positive experience for everyone.

Once I found my space and everyone else was more or less at the same pace I tried to find that flow where I was focusing on one kilometer at a time.  I have employed different mind tricks or strategies over the years and this year I dedicated each kilometer to a different person I love. It is a little corny but I have to say it helps.

As you can see this was not a flat course and if I wasn’t training for a moderate leg in the Banff to Jasper relay I might have been pissed at the elevation changes but instead I chalked this up to great practice. I must say I was also impressed at how few people I saw walking up the inclines.  The people around me were strong and even more so motivating to keep up with them.

elevation

In the end my pacing was pretty consistent and the anomalies were consistent.

Laps: (1) 5:25 (trying to weave through the crowd), (2) 5:18 , (3) 5:17, (4) 5:19, (5) 5:21 , (6) 5:29,  (7) 5:36 (the hill) , (8) 5:08 (downhill),  (9) 5:30 (fiddling with the right music I wanted for the last kilometer – doh!),   (10) 5:16

Mike and the girls were watching me in the final stretch towards the finish line and as I saw them he pointed to London. So I ran over to them as London was ready to run the final 100 meters in with me. We have never done that before but it was fitting for this race.

Final Time: 54: 31 Yahoo!  And the first word that came out of Mike’s mouth was ‘Sand Bagger.’

I was definitely pleased with this time but couldn’t help but think to myself. I wonder what I could have done if I was 10-15 pounds lighter. If only I could win that battle.

 

 

 

 

Running alone with my thoughts for 14k – eek!

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This past weekend I was  to run 14k and you would think given that I have run 4 marathons, over 15 half marathons, and countless other races in the last several years that 14k should be a walk in the park for me.   But the idea of running 14k was daunting.   The reason is that I had to run it alone as my weekend training partner is out of town for 10 days.   Eek!

It is interesting for in other circumstances I really enjoy having ‘alone’ time but when it comes to running I need to be part of a larger collective than just me, myself and I.  Having said this I have no issues running a race alone.  Given that I am signed up for two races, 5 and 6 weeks out, a 10k race and 19.1 km relay leg, I couldn’t wimp out and had to get this training run in.  Initially I planned to run on Saturday only to be faced with snowy rain all day that made visibility atrocious. I then vowed to run Sunday afternoon regardless of whether as that was going to be the only time slot left for the weekend.  Thankfully the weather turned around and it was even warm enough for shorts.  Off I went, determined to get it done.

Results….Garmin Distance: 14 km

Breaks: 15 and 1’s (Every 15 minutes would take 1 minute walking break)

Pace Results:  6:06/km, 5:03/km (can’t be right), 7:08, 5:51/km, 6:01/km, 6:16/km, 6:04/km, 6:20/km, 6:06/km, 6:40/km, 6:16/km, 6:27/km, 6:56/km, 5:45/km

In the end I did it!!!! I kept to my intended walk break schedule and finished the last k strong.  There is no question that I would have had an even better experience running with my friends but this solo experience made me accept that going forward I need to practice running alone at least once a week for a few different reasons. One, to build up the confidence that when all of my running comrades are away I can still maintain my practice schedule without fretting unnecessarily. Second, to use it as an opportunity to do some different types of drills, such as focusing to establish more consistent pacing.

 

Thanks for the Memories!

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Dear Winter,

We shared some good times together in the last few months, here in Calgary.  You allowed us to go skating countless times, London enjoyed playing outdoor hockey because of you, and we even had the chance to go cross country skiing, downhill skiing and sledding.  Not to mention the picturesque backdrops you provided us during my runs and walks along the Glenmore Reservoir; which allowed us to capture these photos. Although I was fully committed to this relationship these past few months, I think we now need to see different seasons. Really it is not you but me.  Maybe we can get together again next November if you are free and pick up where we left off.

All the best,

xoxo

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