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 Railroader, who now spends his time working for the Running Room in Alberta Canada. I'm a husband, a father of 3 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 64th year.....my life at one point was all about music..playing, writing about, some TV work, some freelance writing...and now I lead run groups 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 running dreams, I'd like to introduce others to the joy of running....
On February 3rd 2014 I retired after 35 years working for the Canadian National Railway.
I worked at a couple of postions..as a clerk (I was actually called a telegrapher when I began) and then as a dispatcher/rail traffic controller in a variety of locations around Alberta, the west coast, Kamloops, and yeah, Edmonton was my final stop.
Appently I’ve been told that I retired wrong, because I just went back to work at the Running Room, and have kept busy….
The hardest thing about being retired is coming to grip with not having to be doing something all the time…
I find that with running….I keep forgetting, I don’t have to be anywhere for an expended period time…I could run for hours with no reason to stop…but every run, every bike ride…every swim, I keep getting nervous, thinking I have to be somewhere….I don’t!
The odd thing is, when I was working full time, I trained forever….every weekend, evenings, I just did it…but once I retired, I kept finding reasons not to…..
Then there are days like today, when I don’t really want to do anything……don’t feel like doing anything…
Yeah, I wandered around the yard, dug up and weeded the garden, cut the lawn, and some run clinic run club things…planned out the week to come…and yes the smoke from forest and grass fires fill the air around me has me worried a bit…..okay, a lot……
Actually the smoke has me really worried, because the word is, this could be our summer…lots of fires, lots of smoke where things arn’t burning..
I didn’t think it would bother me…I biked and run in this stuff before, maybe it’s an age thing….but this is awful….I’m looking outside right now and it’s like a dark fog..and the smell in the air says fire……like on the wrong side of a huge camp fire…
Okay so?…Even though I don’t look happy, I’m smiling inside….after yesterday evening’s hill repeats, this morning’s 7K was a bit of a challenge.
It felt good though too, what a gorgeous day….
and that view was worth it…..it’d was a few steps, but worth it….
The goal was to record at a variety locations along the way…and then I was going to edit everything together to create an example of my morning run, and how I planned and did what I do….didn’t really work out….I seemed to have screwed up the start and record….
It’s a route I’ve done forever, but I like it…..a hill, but mostly flat, and enjoyable
I like that at some points the route is unpaved
and the best thing…I also headed inside for a swim……and that felt great too…really good.
I kind of screwed up, after the first length I for some reason stopped my Garmin….then swam 9 more…..without recording…grrrrrr
Is it stilla swim if I didn’t record the effort, and didn’t share…..
So, I added 10 more lengths……which was okay…
Then lunch, a visit for groceries and then to COSTCO…….made a thai stir fry for everyone for dinner…..and then
my 10K clinic….all about breathing, stretching, strength…and intervals….all good
and good day, bad day sort of thing…..the bad, my fave binge worthy show ever….the 100!
yes I’m a Game of Throne type……but the 100 is so amazing….lots of changes, the progression through out is amazing..really the best…..Srannge Things is cool…..but the 100 has become a habit…
Anyway, tomorrow’s Friday…just about a weekend!!!!
I’m the guy in charge of our Wednesday evening Run Club at my Running Room…even though I’m not selling shoes anymore, my bosses still treat me as a staff member and yep, I can still sell shoes and answer the phone, I just don’t get paid to do so…but it’s me, and I’ll always be me…
I’m kind of proud of that image…I guess….
Anyway, usually we have a bigger group, but yesterday, I guess because of the smoggy grass fire air, a lot of the usuallys stayed away….but we had the hard core 5…..and instead of the usual easy and usually flat 6K…we headed off to do hill repeats…at a place we call 7 hills, even though we only did 4 repeats….it was fun, and a challenge….it’s only about 200 meters….grass, and steep….and it does seem longer…and yes, hills make you stronger!
Including the warm up, and the cool down, about 5K….and it was good…I again stepped back into my On Cloud Surfers….I’m going to start adding distance, will have to pay attention and see how the lack of stability works with my pronation….but so far so good, and on grass, all systems are go..
I have to admit, I didn’t think it would, the smoke did bother me a bit…not enough to make me stop running, but the chest was heavy…
The neat thing about this crew…..they’re all a lot quicker than me, stronger?…and younger…but, even though at some point they pull away…I do have to increase my pace too…so not being able to keep up is okay, trying does make me stronger and my leg turn over quicker….so, has taken me from a 7:30 kilomtre, to a 6:30K….and hopefully these hills will do that too….
and good hard evening…and I think we’re at 228 days to 65…..all good…
Yesterday turned out okay……did a few things around the house before heading out, but the joy of being the house husband while the Mrs. is working, and plus, I’m OCD when it come to that anyway…I’ve redone laundry….because it wasn’t done right?…it’s amazing after 36 years we’re still married, or that I’m alive…
The run was good, a good pace, 6:24 average….that’s okay, I did take a couple of walk breaks….and I enjoyed myself, I got outside for some play time
yes, yes, yes, I need a shave and a hair cut…..
Sometimes a run is just a run (actually for me, most of the time)…there doesn’t have to be a set distance (though I am leaning towards every run being about 10K) or a planned route…..it’s about getting outside and enjoying myself, being alive…..and yes, just moving….
I did have a bit of a heavy chest yesterday, the air is filled with smoke from nearby grass and forst fires, there are a lot of them already this spring…..and along with allergy season, that is a concern, but seriously I know I should be careful, I just never let that stop me…
Well…it’s me and Sasha…(time for that refreshing nostalgic picture…where?)
so far, dad’s made waffles, swept and scrubed the floors, swept the deck and onto the second of three loads of laundry…then the group run tonight…
Well sort of started a new part time job this morning, which meant on a Sunday I was awake at 530AM!!!!
So yeah, because I guess I’ve a some spare time, so why not get involved with our Running Room events crew…because?
We drove up a town just north of St Albert, Westlock…and a great event, this is going to something I’m going to like..despite the waking up at 530 in the morning thing.
All we really do is set up the start/finish line…the gantry….music, timer….and then take everything down.
I guess for other events we do a lot more, but helping with our Running Community….fit right in.
It’s been that kind of that weekend…Friday, my father’s 90 birthday…Saturday, my Learn to Run, 5K and 10K clinic all together for one morning…I had a guest talking about women and running, which I think it vital…in the 3 groups I have about 80 participants, 5 men…..and the story of women and athletics is horrible….I’ll write more about that tomorrow, but the history, the mis-information, the lack of information…horrible…
So yeah, nutrition, menstraition (yes, I have no problem saying that word) basic things….understanding what a menstral cramp is, how contraception fits into the pictiure…..the talk took an hour, and I’m sure we could have gone on longer….
I apreciate that I have so many people in the comminuty to use whenever I take on instructing….a lot of times they do cover things I already know and understand, but others always add things I don’t, or expand on what I already know…running and being active is a lot about always learning..
I had thought about running after today’s event, but by the time I got home, I was ready for a nap..I’ll get back to it tomorrow after a good night’s sleep.
The heat wave has arrived…..a heat dome?….and lots of grass and forest fires around here right now, making breathing a bit of a concern, I do have to be concerned also with the sun…so yes, sun screen…I almost never did wear anything in the past, but also I never usually got a sunburn in May…..skin cancer is always something to protect against….
A good day, a good tired, and yeah, lookig ahead not back
I had a busy day…..you can’t just all the time…..I ran yesterday?…
But yeah, thinks have to get done….I eventually ran…..an simple 5K, my pace seems to be stuck at around 6:30 per K….which is fine, it’s early days….
I’ve been switching back and forth between two shoes……one pair, if I listened, would be the worse shoe for me…I pronate….the other a bit better, more stability, but they both feel great….not perfect, with my funky feet, nothing will be…some better than others….
So, I’ve fallen for my On Cloud Surfers….the furthest I’ve gone on them is 13K…they seemed to be okay. maybe the way the pods work, the shoe works with my feet (secret..on foot pronates, the other underpronates…how’s that for a conundrum)…..
The cushioning is amazing, and the feel, well, like no shoe is on my feet….
But………..I may be trading comfort for injuries down the road?…I’m kind of rolling the dice..
Fo my last two runs, my Hoka Arahi 6s…..
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Arahi 5s…I need some cushioning, and I know structure is always a trade off, but it was like I was running on wooden planks. but the cushioning in the 6s is a nice upgrade….
I know, I know the structure in these Hokas isn’t like structure in other shoes…it’s called a J Frame…..so guides rather than forces, and at the same time, doesn’t force the knees to do anything … but is it enough…
A few more runs will I guess help me decide that…..which will get me through a half, or a full marathon?
I like a shoe that I don’t feel…both do that…..and honestly, I didn’t notice a difference…and a lot of the time, that seems to be for most shoes….after a month or so, a lot of shoes feel the same….
I will say, the Ons were a revelation…I have run in other models, I loved the On Cloudswift…and I’d like to give them another shot, but I know there’ll only be good for anything under 10K….but they made me feel like I was running on my bare feet….
The training, the search continues..and yeah, keep on learning..
Today’s 5.26K was a lunch time fix……..I didn’t really need it……nah, but it felt so good….fourth run in 4 days….and enjoyed the ride.
Junk miles…not really, the schedule does call for a 4K steady run…and it was fun…so why not? like doctor Seuss says, fun is good…..
I stuck to my hood, picked the route as I went along….side streets, a few paths, there was a hill..I had to run between a bunch of I think highschool kids, they parted to let me run between about a dozen of them….it was kind of cool…
and yes , there was a hill
looking forward to tomorrow, and the next 235 days
I’ve been doing this for a long time…..running, and sharing….
I want to say I called myself a runner in about 1996…..looked after an in-person run clinic for the Running Room, my first one I think in 2005…….and except for a few short breaks, haven’t stopped.
Now everything is virtual, with lots of meetings, Zoom meets and the occasional Facebook group chats……
One aspect I like is that I usually learn as much from those in a clinic and I hope they learn from me…….just, every time you never know what the questions and concerns are going to be…how you’d connect and what would connect with those participants…sometimes you don’t, and then the challenge is to figure out what happened, what didn’t work, and how can that be fixed…
More and more I’m going down the road, in the direction more about process rather than product..
Yes, yes, yes, I can talk about footwear and apparel forever (I always seem to have a 3 hour shoe talk in my back pocket)….and yes, those have their place…..but when someone puts that $$$ down, they (for the most part) want to run…..
Thinking about that, more than a few seem to want that permission to run….that motivation, or to get over that reluctance to put one foot in front of the other….
Myself, I’m an older runner…and I’m finding I’m always learning about just what that means…..how do I adjust my training, my goals……and also, more and more I’m finding that learning, understanding, and addressing women and running/exercise has become, a concern, and not worried about saying this, but a passion and a focus…..
I’m not a certified coach…I keep looking into that, and have taken a few courses, one with the North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals (NAASFP) and one with Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA) neither seems what I’m looking forward too, some helpful information, but for the most part just a way to part with a lot of cash for a logo on a business card….really the only thing I’ve done on the education front specifically is getting my first aid and CPR training…..
I don’t really d what I do for a paycheque…at some point I figure it’d be good to, or at least interesting to do…do I have anything to offer…sure…..but as a get rich quick thing, nah…..I just like inroducing other to what I do….and yes, share…
A trainer?……How about just a vessel of information and motivation?…..Do I want to be a YouTube person that tries to impress with my skills nah….I always question that, is the best runner, the best coach….was Glenn Sather the best player? Nah, but a great coach with a great team……
At the start of every clinic, I always think this…doesn’t matter if it’s for Learn to Runners, or those aiming at a full marathon……How do I run?…..Simple, I ask that question, and for 10 or 18 weeks I answer that…..
A good spin this morning….I hadn’t planned for much, but I needed to, or wanted to record something for one of my clinics about hills and stairs…so, a short run, with a few hills and stairs
Didn’t turn out as I wanted, but it was worth the effort…
Managed to get almost 6K out of it…..and after yesterday’s 12K it felt right……not all that quick, but went quick a few times, and get y ass outside, which is always a good thing…
Ran across a friend I hadn’t seen for a while on that run so that was good too….that’s the reason, another reason to get outside and out and about..those random moments…
Weird thing…I changed up my footwear…grabbed my Hoka’s….which I hadn’t used yet. I picked them up months ago, not too long before I bought my On Cloud Surfers, but these Arahi’s felt good…I didn’t really noticed them…which is a good things right?
The thing is, I do need a little stability, and these shoes do that…that’s the difference, so will try them about a few weeks this week…
A new route as well…so a good morning..
Then, into the pool for 1,000 meters….
I don’t have many pix of me swimming…this is about a million years old, but it’ll do….
It felt good to finally get back into the pool…not all that quick, but done…..it actually felt better, easy…I have to build on that, day to day, week to week, just doing stuff.
Okay, so the Edmonton Half Marathon…that a goal…..this August..
That always happens right? You have a few good runs, a few good days, and the world is your oyster…
I know, I can run 21K….but at least it’s a goal, there are a few more half marathons in the fall, maybe I can run the Victoria full…I want to see how comfortable a half is before I commit…….
But today was good….I don’t know why, but grocery shopping has become one of my favorite things…..actually I’ve always loved that, I’m just back getting into finding ingredients, and then cooking up a storm.
Cooking dinner turned out good, improvised and made it up as I went along…..
Played the guitar a bit….got caught up on my clinics, the guitar thing? I want to re-learn some tunes, my dad’s 90th birthday is Friday, my mom plays as well, maybe we can jam?….
Maybe I can crank up some tunes…..I know some same old, same old….
I used to play a lot…another thing I want to get back to doing more…..
I sed to do a lot of things…….interviews, playing, sharing…music was my life at one point, now running
Tomorrow’s Wednesday, another day….it’s been a while since I looked forward instead of backward…..feels way better
Oddly enough that felt really, om, okay……..12K on a Monday morning…
I wish you could bottle this feeling, and drink that every day that I refuse to just get outside……last week was awful…yes, I was in sneeze and sniff city, but I only ran twice…..both good runs, but twice, because I wimped out..
This morning, threw on the shoes, and as soon as my autistic daughter’s respite folks arrived, hoped into the Kona, headed for the river valley..and even when I got to that parking lot, I wasn’t sure…..did I want to run???
I’m there, it took me about 25 minutes to get there, it’d be stupid to drive there and just turn around and drve home…so
adjusted my sock (for some reason, no matter the sock, that sock on my right foot bunches up when I’m driving….) threw my water belt with it’s camera around my waist, ad on my fave Brooks cap, my On Cloud Surfer shoes…and started off up the Queen E Hill….
This morning was a part of an ongoing issue…..I fooling around with my diet, but I still seem to be on the look out for public washrooms, and yes, trees……this morning was the usual with my first stop at the top of that hill….
I actually like that run up that hill at the start..it get’s my heart rate going, breathing a little heavy and I’m set for the rest of the run….it helps me set my pace……
I saw this and a lot of things along the route this morning…am not sure what it’s for
I like things like this……it takes mind off of the run…distracted running as opposed to running in the moment…
The art wasn’t as impressive as I thought…but you have to check it out right?
Distracting…and someone took the time to randomly add some art to the trail I guess is a good thing…
I cannot seem to figure out why my head feels uncomfortable with going long or far…..this morning I again had to trick myself into just keep going……..I got to my usual turn around spot at the Cloverdale Bridge…and well, hesistated for a minute, and kept going
The interesting thing about this route, I know what’s coming…..a choice
and yes, the hill is usually the winner…
It’s called the Seminary Hill (because there’s a seminary at the top)…it’s only 500 meters, there reallys isn’t a spot where it levels up, there’s a little of an increase in the grade near the top….but you’ve gotta go up right?
I did that good, and the joy of going up, eventually you get to go down hill….
and by the time I did that, and crossed my fave bridge…
This where I realized that this was going to be over 10K (which was kind of the goal..I began with 6K, then 10K, finished up with 12K….that’s the way my days go)…..and I love the wooden walkway….those actually always feel better than concrete or asphalt..
and I made a point of that this morning, if there was an option of going off road, I ded
I’m really happy with that run…and running the way I like to run…..without a set goal or route in mind….and enjoying the view
Found where they store the dragon boats….and learned something..
Along our river valley there are benches and marked off spots and parks in honor of certain people, I spotted this, this morning
So you get home, and you google and find out who Allan Stein was……and what he did…this is some of his work
I’ve always done that…usually with my kids when they were younger……see the name, either remember it or take a picture, and when we get home, you see who it was…..and every so often, it turns out it someone you knew, or, sometimes, you see their picture whenyou google, and realize it’s someone you crossed paths with during a run……..
Had a weird thought this morning, and may lead to something…
I spend most of my life running the trails through the river valley..I know most of them, even though, I do occastionally find something new…..why not share that?…Air B&B has these experiences that tourists can sign up for……why don’t I create smething like that……introduce tourists, runners to the running in Edmonton experience?…..hmmmmm…..
I’m retired, retired a second time, still have a few other occupations on the go (run club, run clinics, and event guy) but why not try?……..
Will sleep on it…
Tomorrow, I’m supposed to bike, swim and run…..I may just pick one of those……but, yep, also marking the days down to getting even older….