after 26 years of running I've got a lot to share…
I've been at this for a while......I'm a semi-retired Rail Roader, who now spends his time working in retail at our local Running Room in St. Albert Alberta Canada. I'm a husband, a father of 3 young adult kids, two whom are autistic and a little bit of a focus and take some time...I retired in 2014, with a goal of making my daily life a variety of running, biking and swimming....I'm also getting older ...currently looking at my 63rd year.....my life at one point was all about music..playing, writing about, some TV work, some freelance writing...and now, I sell shoes and instruct clinics.....I actually began instructing/leading clinics, everything from Learn to Run to 5K, 10K, personal bests, half and full marathoners since 2006 for the Running Room, and have never stopped, and have now added virtual instruction to the resume......I began running/biking/triathloning in about 1996...since, after my first 5K I was hooked....so marathons, half marathons, every triathlon distance you can think of, including the Canadian Ironman....I've done more then a few off road relay races through the Rocky Mountains, raced in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, and New York City.....now, I like sharing...there's nothing better then seeing someone achieve a goal, or that light bulb goes off to discover that running can be enjoyable and fun......I've always been have been a mid-packer, I'm not someone that wins races, I'm where almost everyone else is...I do this for fun.......my future is my kids future, being their dad...but also, being involved and helping others achieve those dreams
So I went for a run…….a fun run this morning, and it turned into a 10K
not super quick, an average pace of 6:49 per K, and I was tired.
Sunday’s 9K and a few short bikes rides to work and back….took a few things out of me….but today felt good.
I just made the route up as I went along……sort of, I knew where I wanted to go……..Coal Mine Road, my trail, okay my fave trail through Erin Ridge…….and then back to the start…and I guess that was almost 10K..then I added a few loops to get me there…
I’ve got to learn to take more pictures….but some on road, a little off road…..and now, I’m really, really tired…..
I skipped yet another race, an off road race race this past Saturday…I just did not feel right or up to it or something, I needed to sleep in..I had things to do, whatever…I have no idea how may races this is now for 2 years, but every time, it’s the same thing..
It’s not like I haven’t done anything…half marathons, shorter races, a few trips to the mountains and relay races, but way to often, I’m a ready to race, and then I pull back…….too often
I’ve a ten K lined up for this very hot Sunday…….I’ve book a hotel room pretty much right on the starting line….so may get this done……..
I’m going to keep on trying, trying to get back to where I was when I was 50……….day by day
So first things first…what do peoples think running shoes should do?
They don’t cure anything, they’re not magic……if you have a gait challenge, you’ll still have that, if you’re injured, no matter what shoe you’re put into…yes, may feel better, but you’ll still be injured…
that’s what medical professionals are for……
An experience at the store yesterday…a mom and son, they’d bought the son a new shoe from someone else, a shoe that was supposed to fix sleeping feet and and sore ankles……..and an unhappy mom….
it took a few minutes to figure out what we happening, just watching one person walking, running…..every step his ankle crossed over with every stride..I could see rhat was why the heel was cutting into the opposing ankle , and in one case drawing blood……
it’s like having pigeon feet, it’s just what is…is there a way, are there exercises that could help, some drills? sure…..a shoe?…The young apparently elite athlete/hockey player (according to his mom) didn’t need such help, according to his mom……but well, the son wasn’t helping……..
A shoe is a shoe……yes, a shoe can provide comfort, yes one shoe can feel better than another, can a shoe help with ankles? I don’t think so……running and training, and weight training, but I believe running on trails, uneven ground would be a huge help……but, unless you can pick your great grandparents, you are what you are….
I had a few successes yesterday, people/customers that’ll listen….that’s a good feeling, but so was this…..trying to calm down a customer, trying to answer a challenge does as well……and interesting thing is, afterwards, you just keep thinking about that customer(s) and what else you could have done, and if there was another answer……..frustrating, but also a learning oppertunity.
And it was a good day…..a good early morning run…I felt strong and had fun…biked to and from the store…so all good…….a good day, challenging, but a good day.
Friday, yesterday, was a pretty sweet day. A long day, but not a bad day…..
Began with me opening our Running Room. The boss is away, we don’t have a lot of staff, and I like getting in early, before I really need to be, so I can get everything I need to and/or want to do done.
It’s just catching the paperwork, cleaning the store, organizing, mop the floor, dust…shuffle some of the apparel, see what’s new…I like putting the brightest stuff up front……and then you record a bit for Facebook, cause some stuff is on sale, we have a lot of cool stuff….so let’s go live!
And then comes the co-worker, and customers.
That makes our store rock!……..I love that part..yes, we get the tire kickers that just want to look…but yesterday, well, the day before a race brings in those looking for nutrition and hydration….and a few weeks before Ironman Canada in Penticton..so folks gathering up what they need, and chatting, and me asking why I’m not going?….I’ve been, but it’s been a while
Could I go back?…..not sure, it would kind of nice…I just have to start training more when I have time…
Then, yes, when the store closed, the fun began….our Friday Run Club begins…..so a great way to say good night…..
A good day, a regular day for this retired guy….our Running Room, my happy place…I get to talk running, racing, shoes, and then run……the way life should be
Yeah….I run, a bunch of various run clubs…sometimes really quick, sometimes, it’s all about the group.
Who’s in it, how everyone’s feeling, what the end goal is, and where we’re at.
Tonight, we ran, a small group, one recovering from an injury…so a short 4K, easy….broken up with some walks and a good run along the way…..
Does it hurt to do that….nah. It’s a run, there’s fitness, there’s endurance, it all adds up
This is pretty much my story for this week…a lot of days at the RRoom store selling shoes, really not a lot of time to do much else, or the energy….
Today was supposed to be a trail race, but after a long Friday at the office, a short run club run yesterday evening pretty much did me in…the problem with me working full days, or even a lot of days, I don’t do myself any favors….I don’t eat, and even though my coffee’s always black, that doesn’t help me out at the end of the day either…so a short run yesterday….today in the heat I’ll chill, rest and recover, plan Sunday, plan next week….I’ll still be working a lot……and watch some women’s soccer apparently
I always look at runs and swim and bike rides, no matter the distance as beneficial….just being active, strength training, yoga, stretching, it’s all good…..it all feels good….I do this stuff because it’s fun, it’s like playing pick up hockey as a kid, or doing anything as a kid really. This isn’t work, it’s fun…
I’m actually loving doing this Run Club thing…yes, it’s my way to give back, to give everyone a platform, and place to do this with others…..4 Run Clubs a week is a little hard, just mapping out routes, planning….but I love doing it. Not every run has to be super hard or hard at all, it’s all about being fun, enjoyable, social, getting fit, almost accidentally…
Tomorrow’s supposed to be a 14K …may become close to that, maybe 12…but fun….
All good, and I’m look forward to that 10K road race next Sunday……and a week of riding, and running, and being the running social guy that I like to be…and who knows, maybe time for a few selfies
Finally…after taking a few days away from doing anything – 4 days exactly – I needed some recovery time
Today was good……hard, but good, I needed that.
New footwear – the latest from Brooks, the Glycerin 20 GTS….they felt a bit heavy. A little bit of structure..it’ll take a few runs before I decide if I like them or not….I’m still an Adrenaline guy, and the ASICS Nimbus has me bouncing around pretty well, but in order to sell a shoe I have to know how it feels, and how it works…reading about it isn’t good enough, running in them is invaluable….and who doesn’t like new shoes?
Tonight was hard..some of the run was on grass and single track, some on sidewalks and streets……and I just didn’t feel it….the crew I was running with were strong and quick, I just tried to keep up…….and just couldn’t……..out of breath for a lot of it, and just dog dead tired…but in the end it felt okay…
That usually happens….the run starts as a struggle, keeping up to others that are quicker than me, and in the end feels okay…and running with those faster runners, in the end also makes me stronger, quicker…sort of like a great tempo run…
the trick will be, to do it again, tomorrow….keep consistent, and keep calm and carry on…
Yep, a busy weekend..well, okay sort of. I spent all day Saturday at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and forgot the cap and the sun screen….and ouch!……
I love this place…the music, the food, the people……lots of green onion cakes….a lot of tarps
caught a lot of great music, some I knw, but the magic of the folk fest is the tunes and the singers I’ve never heard before, in an amazing setting……and yeah, the sun burn was almost worth it..and I had never heard Matt Anderson live before….wow huh?
Yesterday, spent the morning giving back….supporting my local triathlon..the St Albert Triathlon…standing on a corner directing traffic, riders and runners…and saw an awful lot of great looking bikes…and kept things, ‘why am I not doing this race today?’…….it’s been a long time since I’ve raced, or raced a triathlon…and yep, all that time directing traffic I was planning today’s training…..but yeah, a headache, and that sunburn hurts…so today is rest and recovery…..
I’m already planning for 2023?………I do have a bunch of shorter races planned…this weekend a off road trail race for a group called 5 Peaks and a place called Chickakoo Lake….it’s a 7.9K..not 8K, 7.9K!
The other thing…there was someone I really was hoping to cross paths with randomly at that folk fest, but didn’t happen…..kind of stupid huh?
Someone that was a former employee/coworker that I kind of miss, and parted with on not the best of terms, which really feels uncomfortable, unhappy, and maybe a little angry…a few things that were said that shouldn’t have been, a lot that was wrong….and I guess, I have this stupid urge to set records straight, and maybe fix things so even if we do not ever see each other again, it’s at least parting on good terms, not uncomfortable terms….
I have to admit I wasn’t the best of bosses, and did things probably wrong……my idea of how a running shoe store should run I guess wasn’t right…I always thought we should be a cross between Empire Records and a good coffee shop, and a place where I didn’t have to be the boss, just a co-worker with a lot of different responsibilities……
I don’t know how or where things went wrong, of they did, or why……but yeah, kind of depressing to know it’s something I can’t fix?……really a lot depressing….are bosses, or former bosses supposed to feel like this?…….I love our RRoom, and I finally had the best staff ever….4 people that made that store rock….it was amazing to have them, they just fit into the image I had of the perfect store, running room store…..there have been a few others that have fit that mold, and it’s kind of an emotional thing when they do leave, and yes, it’s retail, and there’s always going to be that turn over…….and yes, there have been a few (exactly 2) that I was glad to see leave, but especially these 4……..well, we’re sort of down to 3,
I guess it does no good to dwell on the past, what’s past is past, you can’t fix it….and should a boss have a broken heart?…….
Sort of like this sun burn……a pity party that maybe time will fix?…maybe not…..but I guess there’s always the great memories
For some reason I’m really beat and tired, and I have a busy weekend ahead, so today, getting prepared, planning, eating, and need to sleep.
It/s the weekend of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and the St. Albert Triathlon, going to one, volunteering at the other……
The Folk Fest is an all day thing….9 to 9, a day full of live music, lots of people, possibly friends, and lots of random food beginning and ending with green onion cakes, spring rolls, and lots of food……I love it, but walking up and down folk fest hill throughout the day wears an old guy down..
Then at 7:30 Sunday morning, I’ll be standing at a busy corner with a stop sign making sure cars don’t run over our athletes biking and running…..
You’ve gotta give back right?…..without volunteers none of this stuff ever happens, so yeah….and it’s fun, motivating….I never regret volunteering at stuff, it’s like looking after run clinics, I always get out more then I put in……and heck, this will be for a full 5 hours, there’s breakfast, a BBQ, and then off to work to sell running shoes…..a full weekend…
Odd thing, getting ready for a weekend like this is a lot like getting ready for an active weekend, planning, gathering everything I need together, checking out my footwear, the weather…what I need to pack…wear (will it be warm enough for shorts?)……..
Even with this hiccup in the training schedule, I kind of feel okay…I had a few great runs this weekend…I should be able to bike to and from the Running Room store on Sunday afternoon…and I can get my long run done on Monday……all good….bring on the Folk!
woke up an hit the gym…..pumped iron for an hour ….. and had a blast doing it
as I’ve been doing this, getting in touch with being 63, doing more than just running has become my motto
and it’s not just about my physical health, but it’s just fun….
the gym has kind of become my playground for adults….just making use of every piece of equipment…if something I wanted to do was occupied, I just went to something else…benches, machines, every piece of equipment almost…now I’m pretty much sore everywhere, so it must have worked….
and this evening….RUN CLUB WEDNESDAY
We had an honest to goodness group…..a good 5K run, and they followed me!……
a great way to end a Wednesday…and the coolest thing, a variety of paces..some quick, some quicker, and some just out for the run…..my dream group……..
a perfect evening, and a good day….
Yesterday evenings Run Club was just one other person, someone I had to keep up too….that was great too..it makes what I do, and doing just what and where I want to be…….
I get to share, instruct a but, lead….and do what I want to do…….with others
Tomorrow’s kind of a day off , virtual run clinic in the evening……..the day time…..life on the bike, maybe a swim if there’s a lake open…….just being active….doing stuff….being me….and bringing others along for the ride..
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?
I like doing stuff with other people….I don’t always do that, and there have been times when I haven’t been the most reliable person in the world, but whenever I can, things always seem to work out for the better.
This weekend was a perfect example……a new Friday evening Run Club
With someone that hasn’t run with us for a long time, but it was fine..even though just under 5K, broken up into 3 and 1s (run 3 minutes, walk 1)….the smile on that face was worth it, a bit of fitness for all..it all adds up, and we get to share what we love to do…so all good……and something I’ve always done, so bringing stuff back to where I’ve been…..and one more Run Club to add to my weekly schedule.
Saturday..out on the bike with more friends….it was so much fun, enjoyable….50K, I wasn’t that quick, but when it was my turn to set a pace, it felt so good…..again, something I used to do every Saturday, so nice to get back to that…….
At this point in my life/family commitments, I can only do this every second Saturday, but making that commitment, and being able to gather others to do something, felt right……loved it…for me, everything I’ve done, races, triathlons, marathons, has always been more about the journey than the results…it’s about doing stuff with others, with friends, making those commitments.
And then yesterday’s 10K (I should have gone further)……but, we had a Sunday group……that worked!
We had people!…….this worked out so well, and for a lot of the run…even though dead tired, I did feel strong, and just at the start, just felt so good….right..and running with friends, old and new…..
This is kind of what my life used to be like at it’s best……it’d be so great to get back to that..just running, biking, swimming, working out, yoga……eating, groups, a variety of groups…..is this the start of getting back to that?….Hope so.
Recently someone asked me what the secret to this life was, and right from the start, as much as I like my me time, it’s about being social…..doing stuff with others….while chatty Cathy time doesn’t really work in the pool/lake…or really on a bike, but it’s doing with others, starting, finishing, during…this is kind of how it really started and took off for me….joining in with a Saturday morning group, a group that carried me along…all those years ago…hopefully now, I can share that somehow…….
The one secret too, has been doing a lot of stuff….that was when I was in my best shape ever, nothing scared me…..and I’ve said this before, but I never really trained…I just did, stuff…..biked, ran, swam etc……I mean, why not?….I don’t know if I felt fit, but it felt good…and everything else fit in, work, family life….just life felt good, maybe the secret to a good life, a life well lived…….so, am I back to that?