good bye 2022……the year it was….

365 days that we’re….

highs, a few lows…I seem to think there were too many lows, but really not?

Most, if not all we’re self inflected….

I have to say, as usual the reality is a lot better then how I felt…or feel, really.

I remember hearing this, well, in this final episode of Cheers, as Mayday Malone said then, words so true….I’m possibly the luckiest SOB on the planet.

Seriously, I do not know how this all happens, but I’ve been pretty lucky…somehow I’ve managed to convince people that I’m a good guy or something……I’ve been given so many opportunities that we’re pretty amazing….not sure how or why, but it happens?

I’ve became responsible for not one but two Run Clubs, two groups of runners, which at times, most of the time, both groups were, are, kind of the same group of people….but wow….every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, a group of people to run with, new routes…one for the Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club, the other our Running Room crew…not huge, but I run, they run faster…kind of amazed by that, and feeling really, blessed? to have that..

The Sturgeon Valley folks, SVAC, is an amazing opportunity. Actually pretty special….a free membership to probably one of the best gyms I’ve been in. An amazing crew of people…social, and comfortable…it’s kind of become my happy place….I’m always never comfortable….always looking for that trap door….but so far, so good….

Sometimes the groups are larger, sometimes smaller, sometimes just me and one other who’s really really quick….way too quick for me……but there’s also a benefit for because of that…I’ve become a little quicker…not super quick, not like me as a 30 year old, but a lot stronger…..I’ve had to get there just to keep up, or try too.

Our Running Room club was a surprise,

but a pleasent one, and one more thing, chance….I get to run, yet another evening, another group….and again, it seems like the same group week after week, 3 times a week…..how cool is that.

Racing has been almost non-existent… I did miss a few, a few did not starts….but a trip to Vancouver, only an 8K, but that was fun too…..and hey, a trip to the west coast, worked a shift at the Expo, which was kinda fun…and stayed in an Air B&B on Melville Street..the perfect location..I look like I’m actually enjoying myself…had a blast when the start, with that half hour late start…..but Vancouver?…I’m skipping the event this year to run here at home, but may head their at some point later in the year….

August got me to a 10K in Edmonton, a good pace, a good morning…actually felt effortless….and fun…I got to connect with a few folks to run with, and with a STRAVA friend…and yeah, I was outa breath…

The fall got me to my first 5 Peaks race for a while…and had an absolute blast…

The trails of Devon..again surrounded by so many people I knew, not sure why I skip so many of these things…like the Woodstock of running….

And yeah, a year of instructing clinic after virtual clinic….wasn’t sure how that would work at first, but as usual the Running Room asked, I said sure…

I actually like it….huge groups, the Zoom meets have been good, an amazing group of runners, Learn to Runners, 5K, 10K, and Half Marathoners….people from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, Yellowknife, Whitehorse, from the States, and Peru…..

The best part, guest speakers. I never know why, but so many have helped, guest speakers, experts in everything, and they just help, and those in the clinics, and I, get to learn so much….grateful is way to simple a word, but thankful, feeling blessed…..I just reach out and ask…..so many connections with so many amazing people….

Seriously, the topics seem endless..I have to say getting to set up a talk on women and running for two groups so far has to be the most amazing thing ever…a topic I knew was important, but never found the perfect a way to make those connections…and it happened, and seriously I never want to say anything like this was the best, but it was perfect..just what the doctor ordered..

But again, blessed, it happened with a lot of help from a lot of people…..

Seriously, this as been the story of my life…it seems like people, some friends, some random, some just through connections, but everything just seems to work out….with the help of a lot of, friends?

2023? Hope for more of the same. I know I’d like to make my 65th year on this planet special…there seem to be some hurdles in the way, but as 2022 has shown me, things are possible….with a lot of help from a lot of people……grateful, thankful, appreciative, blessed? Yep…..

Goals…….a Run Sunday morning, what used to be called the Resolution Run, 5K….I’ll do a little extra before…..gotta get to about 12K total…

There’s a few other races….but, the first Five Peaks race of the year will be in May, July a visit to do leg 6 at Sinister 7 (I’d better start running hills, a lots and lots of distance) and then why not a full Marathon in Edmonton in August…

I know I have a few issues that may derail those plans……life, family……but I’m selecting races far enough apart so that a little bit of improvising will always be an option…

More and more clinics…may see if there’s some way I can get to that on my own…and why not see if I can get myself certified at something along the way……because, why not, I’m retired and I have 365 days to fill…

That’ll be key for 2023…remembering that….I’m retired.

I’ve all the time in the world to do everything and anything…..yes,

I have no excuses..I can do almost anything at any time….I know I’m old(er) so I’ve gotta be careful, but, well, just do it!….and get rid of a lot of fat…

Bring on 2023!……

w

32 to 64. Dipped my toe into the snow….

Okay so I’m devistated…….rest in peace Christine….does this get any sadder

Maybe it’s that time of year, next week, 42 years since John Lennon…..33 years since 14 women were killed at the Ecole Polytechnique, two shocks, horrible horrible shocks……but this…just sad.

Yes I’m digging through vinyl, CDs, old t-shirts and posters, whatever Fleetwood Mac….I guess, former bandmates Dann Kerwin, Peter Green, Bob Welch and Bob Weston are up there, Christne McVie has joined the band…….beyond sad.

Got my ass out the door…-23C with wind chill making that feel like -30C this morning…I needed to get those hill repests in..only 4 with a short warm up and cool down, AND IT FELT GREAT!

I really wanna go over everything I wore….it worked, was it too much…nah, it was -30C with the windchill – I loved learning about that though, wind chill is just how it feels, it’s not the temperature, if it’s -30C, it’s -30C, if the weatherman says it’s -40C with the windchill..yeah, that means exposed skin will develop frost bite ASAP….but, well my take away, it’s subjective..

Let see, my Saucony Peregrine+ were perfect.

I didn’t need to resort to my YakTrax…yet!

the snow on top of the ice gave me enough traction….my Stance Rolling Stone socks

were not the best, I needed something maybe warmer…..but again, after about 30 minutes I was okay…my Running Room tights

worked, they sometimes feel a little restrictive, but those panels on the thighs work….the underwear

to keep that body part warm and protected is important too…..really, once I begin moving my lower body parts never really feel that cold…bearable I guess if the right word, I know when I strip off afterwards I can see my skin has turned red and has yep, gotten cold..

Upper….3 layers..one close to the skin to keep me warm, from the Running Room, a little thicker,

the next is my handy dandy Craft top

I think I bought it 6 years ago, it works…then my thermal New Balance Jacket (yes that is my snot….)

…..and on my head, the Maple Leaf Buff

stuffed into the top of that jacket to keep the warm in, the cold out…the balaclava to cover my mouth at times

..and that Brooks toque…..

I’m going to have to dip that toe into the cold a few more times before I feel comfortable…it’s not like throwing on a pair of shorts, a t-shirt and shoes anymore…it’s about being carefull….frost bite is not a good thing right?

and oh yeah my hands..really fun gloves from Running Room and my Little Hotties

Also with it being darker later into the morning, and darker earlier in the evening..a headlamp and lots of reflective stuff will become more and more important…

it was a good morning, glad I did it, my heart rate was good…avg was 138, upper was 159….so that’s low….I’ll be back out on Saturday for something short…Sunday long, am concerned about what the traction will be like, but…well, that’s part of the leaning curve as well…

Hello. I’m a Runner and I’m 63

I turn 64 is about 153 days.

I’m the father of 3…two are adults, autistic, and are still at home.

I sell shoes for the Running Room.…I lead 2 different Run Clubs, 4 runs every week.

I have run marathons (10) half marathons, every other distance you can think of..5K 10K 15K 4 milers.

I’ve taken part in a variety of triathlons…Olympic, half and full Ironman…

Took 2 shots at Ironman Canada….2009 finished the bike portion and bailed, 2010 finished upright and smiling.

I’m now navigating how a retired older guy is supposed to be.

Some days I feel 30ish, some days 63.

I have had a fractured lower left fibula in 1998.

I fractured my occipital bone in 2019.

I own three bikes, my Felt B12

The Cannondale CAAD 8

and my main form of transportation…the good old Marin Bear Valley

and obviously a lawn mower….

I love riding, just don’t currently do it enough…..and still love running and swimming…

It’s been a while since any kid of serious race..my last triathlon, Ironman 2010 in Penticton

my last full marathon…..2015 – Edmonton as a pace bunny..and oddly enough, I don’t have a picture

just this one of the Edmonton half marathon in 2016?

But I have run the SeaWheeze Hal in Vancouver, my last half marathon in 2019

Kind of slow and I show it huh?

My most recent race…the BMO Vancouver 8K this past May

Again I don’t look as happy as you’d think I would…it was actually a fun run……55:54 wasn’t a great time, but enjoyed it…

I am still struggling…I’ve sort of been doing that since 2010 at the Ironman……..just have seemed to have lost my way…

Right now, I do feel good…I have couple of good goals this year….as a 63 year old…..

the main one..a Half Marathon in Victoria

in October…I’ve done it before, I’m pretty sure I can again….I have a few 10Ks before then…..

My main goal, as always…to get myself back to where as I was a 50 year old….so 13 years ago…..

It’s now August 1st……..I turn 64 on January 1st 2023……

I love what I do…I instruct Run Clinics….right now everything is pretty much virtual…but still love that…I don’t know how many clinics I’ve taken on since 2016, but I just divide my life into 10 and 18 week sessions……I like to share, and I have the experience…

I’d like to become certified as something…maybe enough to lead a spin class…..I’m currently working on that..there’s a lot to learn certainly, but why not, I’m retired, I’ve got some free time…

As that, as an instructor, leading run clubs…yes, some personal trainers feel they need to be the best of the best, and maybe their clients expect that….but, well, my best half marathon time was 1:51 about 22 years ago

My best full marathon was I think 4:04..so I’m not a rock star…more mid pack…..but I know what to do, what needs to be done, how to get to wherever anyone needs to go…the best hockey coach wasn’t the best hockey coach right…..

so pretty much have been there and done all that…….am trying to figure out what those shoes are?

So that’s me…all about me……kind of love where I am right now…at 63…but well, 69 days until the Victoria Half Marathon…time to get serious?

A Great Month. Boy am I sore!

This has been a month of a lot of stuff………biking, spin classes, some strength training, running, walking and swimming….it all adds up, and all good……

This was the morning of a spin..wow, an early beginning…..it was for a fund raising for an Edmonton Children’s Hospital called the Stollery….it was at my gym, the Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club, some of my mates started off a lot earlier then I did, some for 24 hours, me I just thought it’d be a good to wake up at 4AM on a Saturday morning, and rode for a couple of hours…..it was kind of fun, okay it was…..some of the riders had been enhancing the experience with a few spirits, and they were in good spirit…

I think I’m in there at the back……it was fun…..and a, well maybe a good way to wake up…..

I’ve gotta admit the legs have been a bit heavy lately, I seem to have an issue with recovery….and I’m guessing it’s partly age, party, well, I just like doing a lot of stuff……so have come to a bit of a decision…I’m cutting my run training to 3 days a week, making those 3 days count…and then adding cross training, time on the bike, in the pool, in the gym, and spin classes……..am thinking cutting back on the high impact will do the body good, and I’ll still get my endurance from the rest of the training, so all good…..

My run club runs have been great….I’ve a lot of stronger runners to keep up to, so the intensity is there, and my speed is good……and that’s going pretty well…..we sometimes have bigger groups, sometimes smaller…but it keeps me busy

Another virtual clinic is up and running, and along with the few shifts I pull at my Running Room, life is busy/

Next up, the Canada Day 10K is coming up in a week…….looking forward to that, another early day…the start is at 7AM…it’ll be like a nice test, and it’ll be nice to do something with lots of other people, a run I’ve done many, many times before…so all good…..

25 days, 6 random rest days……it’s yep, like lots of play time and play dates…

W

then you go for a run….

yep, I finally went and ran……..10K +1…

I seriously need to get out…it’s like the weight of the world, lots of things to think about, a lot of issues, so, yep..a few steps into a run, and I’m thinking about nothing else but the run….

It was a good 10K run that I through in a bit of a change……basically 2 kilometre intervals with 30 second walks breaks…..and then just ran…made up the route as I went along, even though it became just a lot of straight lines….some point I was running on mushy snow, sometimes bare pavement….the pavement was worse….and it was all that I needed……

There were a couple of disappointments on the run…the ice sculptured on the trail are gone now……..I guess melted..

I guess it’s been a little warm….

I threw in a bunch of hills, some speed……..and it felt so great..

Then after I finished up the 10K, well, there was a coyote, and I figured, why not one more K to give me 30+K for the week

yeah that little dot in the distance is an actual running coyote…the dogs, all the dogs that were on the trails went ballistic…..and well, I run for a bit longer….

Yeah, so I was supposed to run a 10K race this morning, slept in….so I guess I can say I did it virtually…..and made for a pretty good week, of running at least…..tomorrow, another week

I’ll Run Later this morning I’ll whine

Life is just catching up with me, and not sure if it’s depression or frustraition or everything all at once.

Yep, my dad is still in the hospital, apparently for the next 4 to 6 weeks….had a transesesophageal echocardiogram, an infection was found, lots of antibiotics (guess open heart surgery was the other option, at 90, not an option)…..so there’s that

My daughter’s caregiver…my daughter is an autistc adult and needs constant supervison….the lady we have now from a local service, is a waste……basically a baby sitter that give my wife and I some freedom, but at the cost of a daughter that does basically nothing, and has just been regressing….and regressing……..and is basically not engaged, active, and spends 98 percent of her life in her bedroom, in bed doing nothing more than looking at 4 walls……..

I actually had a melt down Friday after spending time at home (I work from home a lot) and this person could even be bothered to prepare my daughters lunch….yes, I reacted badly..I think I swore a bit, stomped around, and after fixing my daughter her lunch finally got out for a run……..and now, well, our service says I was bad, and this caregiver wants me out of the house when she is her…so she can do what exactly?…so looking for options and someone else?

I was supposed to do a run this morning, a 10K race I was looking forward to, but, well, not in the mood…it might have made me feel better, or maybe gave me time to think, or think of something else…….but, this morning, I think I’m just going to mope and drink lots of coffee (which I was going to stop drinking!)…..maybe later…..

Life seriously isn’t the best…….

surrounded by a great running community

life is kind of okay…a bit of a hiccup today, but yesterday evening our crew came through for me an my half marathon clinic crew….which was awesome……I felt like I’d done something right and good….

Yesterday did turn out to be a rest day after a good tuesday evening run……today, a sweet 8K run…..

after a frustraiting day with a lot of paperwork and emails, I finally got my butt out the door…

I’d planned an easy 5K, but well, it was sunny, warm..and there was a hill, so why not…

the run felt good, an easy way to clear my head I guess…life has become complex

dad’s in the hospital with multiple issues, blood, heart……and today somehow I pissed off my autistic daughter’s aid who’s seriously not very good….

so, yep, I needed a run, and some adult connection time….

This has got to be a good weekend……tomorrow, a morning run, a visit with my dad, a visit with that virtual half marathon clinic……..Sunday, a 10K run in Edmonton….and I may through either strength or maybe a swim..and, well, maybe some quality family time……

the family and hospital time has thrown me, and my training, my goals……I don’t really know what’s happening day to day, so I can plan all I want, but, well one phone call, a place a need to be, can destroy a day of training……so a marathon? I’m guessing not in 2023?

A Good Night A Good Run, then Coffee….

A good night, an okay run (I didn’t feel all that great, but still ran)…a really good crew, and well, almost 7K….all good..

Still not feeling myself, or at least not great, or positive…..still a little off, not much in the way of positive….but the run, well, I was in my happy place for a while anyway….

Asking for advice and help..why is it so hard ask?

I’m in there somewhere. In a group, possible alone though….but, well, different times. I miss those times…a lot of friends, active, lots of peole around me.

This is old..and just a bit of what I do…..

This is life right….things go along well, and then, well kids, and different issues there….handicapped and yes, just life…then your parents get older, and there are responsibilities there too,,,,,,,and then you look in the mirror, and yeah, there’s you too.

I know, I’ll go over blogs and seek out advice from others….a lot of them will say, look after yourself, and well, then, life?

There’s things that just cannot be pushed and put back……they’re need now?

I’m looking ahead…I know somthings I wanted to do and accomplish this year, 2023, are already gone…there’s just no way to even train for those goals…

But, what am I willing to punt, and will I have a choice….what if it’s a week before race day, and poof, nope?

I’ve got registrations in, I’ve got flight and accomidations booked….but, training for today…not happening!

and what comes with stress? I could sleep for a month…..

when you’re at the end of your nerves, and your nerves endings….maybe a run would feel good, but getting out of bed, getting off of the couch seems like the most impossible thing ever.

Today, this evening is Run Club Wednesday…..hopefully that’ll help me get out of this funk for an hour at least……

Right now, I have no idea what my life will be tomorrow, the next day, or for the weeks ahead….how the F do I create a training plan, how do I book a spin class or anything?……

I know that this isn’t new, and I’m not the only one trying to deal with, this, with life……how do create a road map when you have no idea how you’re going to go where you wanna go?

clear your head go for a run

Another lost glove run, another blog…..nd then you watch and listen to this…maybe cry a bit…what a great tune, heart lifting tune..and Cher still has that voice

a nice run………after a hard day at the office…selling shoes, and stuff around the store, shipped out a ton of run bras (had my hands shuffling through bras..fun huh?)……

man we have a ton of new and cool shoes……..and well, happy people with now happy feet and then, well, I had an hour to kill, surely I could manage a run…

I was a little over dressed…..a little warm, but a good solid, relaxing run…

Yes I was thinking about my dad and mom and the hospital….. so the run calmed me, relaxed me..and hey, I found a squirrel

only 5K………..pace was a slow 7 min per K………but just what the doctor ordered…

I’m going to try a double tomorrow…..a run early and then another later……I just need that, feel like I do…

The thing about having a Run Club to look after, you have to be there, you have to show up, so, yeah, maybe a nap sometime during the day, do lots of stuff throughout the day……….and then run again. And yes, I have some house painting to do…

now, a 10K on Friday..sure, a 10K race on Sunday..

w

My Dad……..and yeah, the hospital

Yep……..not always the best relationship….think of dad as Archie Bunker….me, meat head…

Spent most of the day at the hospital……a lot of issues. Almost 90, leaking heart valves, fluid build up, he can’t hear even with a hearing aid, doesn’t understand a lot…..

agrues a lot, with nurses, doctors….hasn’t dealt with aging well, bad decisions, should not be alone, but does not listen……talking with my younger sister who spent a month at home with the folks before Christmas, and it wasn’t fun…..

You know it’s been a life..taught me how to ride a bike, and a few other things, and helped me through a lot of rough times….I wasn’t the best son, call me the black sheep of the family….and mom…OMG, she’s I think just holding on trying to support and guide, but it is harsh.

I guess this is all a part of aging, but it’s a hard challenge……some I guess deal with this better……maybe some worse, but, well, life does go on?

w

-15C -25 with the wind chill….

an not the distance I wanted….but it is what it is right?

It was kind of a nice way to end a week…..I ddn’t doa lot of what I wanted or had planned, but managed to still get a lot done, and yeah, a good week in the old running shoes…

the week that was was….a lot of 5/6Ks…with a couple of rest days, and a couple of 10Ks….and despite the cold, all good…

So, now…..I’m still thinking about this 75 day hard thing…I can do the 75 days in a row, I can, I think 4.5 litres of water every day, stick to a diet (I’m thinking just making it easy…to junk food, just real food….but?)……the two 45 minute workouts every day for 75 days…that’s a head to the wheel sort of thing, I’m thinking maybe inprovising 1 work out a day, and when I can, two…and for 75 days, which will take me to the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon on May 7th..and then possibly the Full Marathon here in Edmonton in August……

Tomorrow’s another day, a Monday…and a new week….

-39C with a wind chill!?

I look like I should be trying out for something on Broadway or something .. and actually it wasn’t that bad though.I think without the windchill it was only -15C…..and only a bit of a wind from the east, so once I turned around I was fine..

I’m not sure how you lose a glove when it’s this cold………but yeah, a really, really good day…..with a short run, but it’s everything that goes around that……

a great morning leading our Half Marathon clinic and a talk about race day prep….a run….and connecting with a lot of running friends for the rest of the day…

and watching YouTube videos about things I’ll never do, but do inspire

Yeah, we’ve all heard that right?….it’s not bad weather, it’s the wrong clothing…..so I dressed for this

The new baselayers worked……Kombi….got ’em from Mountain Equipment Co-op….game changer….

Anyway, tomorrow….gotta go back jack and do it again at 8:30…..hope for about 10K but we’ll see what happens…

A run I really needed to, run?

so, saw a bear during this morning’s run…it seems he lost his can of Coca-cola, and his nose…….but someone gave him a scarf.

The cold air is supposed to arrive again at some point late tomorrow, but today was toastie….or is that toasty?……and as experienced as I am..I was over-dressed and over-heated….which made things that much harder, but 11K on a day I orginally planned to be maybe 4K feels positive…

Okay, so maybe I don’t look happy, but I was…really….my speed wasn’t that great, okay but not awful..I was moving.

snow and ice didn’t help much..it was a little slippery…and traction was an issue for most the run

I actually enjoyed the run…it’s a run and route I used to do all the time, day after day after day……not sure why I stopped. I just would upload each run, different colour each time, all doing the same route….

There were hills, a trip past our healing circle…

But, 11+K……finally. Yeah late last year I hit a few 18K runs……but now, well, I need to get consistent or be consistent…

Last week was great, this week so far so good….but, I do need to work on that training schedule……3 runs, 3 swims, 3 spins/rides…or a combination of all….cross train, but add some strength…work on my stretching a little (I’m not a fan)….

and learn as much as I can……after and during every one.

The one thing I did wrong……..I skipped eating afterwards……actually for a while…okay I made a Starbucks visit, and well, a coke?……yeah, fainting or almost after a run is not a good thing, and I should know better..

I like these things…here in St. Albert, most if not all of the parl benches have a plaque, a name attached to them……at one time I would take my kids for walks, and we’d either write down, or try and remember the names and google them later to see who they were….

Tomrrow…strength, amybe a short run……onward and upwards