yeah, I fell, but felt so good!

An interesting morning……

I had originally planned on biking through the Edmonton River Valley, and then a quick swim in the Kinsmen Sport Centre…..and well, I was tired, it was raining..so, well, time to hit the gym and then run….

I’m starting to love the gym and I guess pumping iron…..I can’t lift much, but that’s not the point, I just know a few squats, bench presses and a few other things will make me a better, well, runner, help with life in the pool and on the bike……and it just feels great.

and I love the room. It’s always relaxed, everyone’s just doing what they’re doing….it seems weird too…not quite the gym I’m used to….I’ve yet to see anyone spot another lifter, it just seems like a lot of people just roaming around doing what they think they should do……

Every so often I feel like offering up some support….but, who am I to do that…..maybe as I spend more and more time in that room, doing what I do, doing a few things that no one else seems to do…..cross bench pull overs, barbell curls, triceps curls……I don’t understand all those that spend time on things like the pec deck, why? I always think of equipment like that as something body builders use to finish up, work on that final touch….it seems like so many just use it to have some place to sit, and look like they’re working out?…….

This morning was good though…every body part got their time…just benches, leg presses, leg curls (my hamstrings need more work then the quads) should presses, rows for my back..and that’s that…time to run

It was a good morning…..I just wondered around, some pavement, took a turn right rather than left, found a ton of off road trails, and kind of got lots in the words beyond the tracks…

so many trails, lots to see, but on my own…..did not see another soul……but go to play…….lots of dead ends, some trails that doubled back on themselves…..and yeah, I tripped because I forgot to lift my feet, I guess, and landed hard, but at least I didn’t hurt anything…..a fun 7K in the woods, on the wrong side of the tracks?

Not another day, I like being able to make changes, improvising…I know some of those that run with me don’t like that, they want that one specific trail with no variation….I like exploring new paths….and maybe getting lost just feels so good….figuring things out…

and yeah, I also found a BBQ…

and a couch hardly used

Tomorrow, it’s time to get that basic first aid training done…..and then what’s next?

I get to do another Sunday morning Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club Run Club Run….and then I’m not sure what’s next…I know, next month, I start making my way to becoming a certified personal and group trainer…am not sure where that’ll lead, maybe another job/career/road….the Running Room is still okay….

I’ve a 10K virtual clinic to start teaching next weekend, I’ve that Wednesday night Run Club or plan for and find a route for….and yep, still selling shoes……

I’ve got a talk to get to on Monday morning with my contact, the manager at SVAC, I’m not sure about what, but, perhaps there’ll be another new road to take….

There’s a lot of them……..gotta pick that right option…saying yes more than saying no..

W

Packing!

Yep, getting ready for the trip to that BMO Vancouver Marathon for the weekend.

I cannot believe I’m flying all that way to run an 8K race, and to work for the Running Room at the Expo for a day…I’ll get paid, and a good chance to see a lot of friends..time to connect, and reconnect.

I do have a new strategy of some sort, to pack minimally, I always pack a ton of stuff I don’t need, or use, and end up having to carry it to my accommodations all over the YVR airport and back again …the Air B&B that I’m staying at has a washer and dryer..so I don’t need a lot of clothes, I can clean what I’ve brought….and have room to buy more!

The week up until now was great….a nice group of Runners with the Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club Run Club on Sunday and Tuesday; Tuesday was a nice surprise……some new and a couple of old friends

…now to build on that…..I’ve got a bit invested in this, and I hope it becomes a success…..I’m working pretty hard to do that, and it’s nice to see it grow.

Wednesday, yesterday evening, yet another Run Club, building that community, and despite the weather, turned out pretty good

It was a nice night… another chance for me to run…and I sucked!!..I need to work on rest and recovery into my program….I just couldn’t get any speed up…

I have no idea why?…..I should have been strong enough to keep up, eventually I did; with any group I’m in charge of, I do like to be with the back of the packers so all have to look back to me, I usually make the route out on the fly……some times, and those in front know to turn around…so it all works…

I seem to be selling myself out a lot…two Run Clubs, I’m thinking of starting something casual during the week for those that can’t run evenings or on weekends, there’s a lot of them, but I just have to figure out how to fit all of that in with my life.

Tomorrow, an adventure begins, and then next week…who knows?

I’m really looking forward to this…this, I think will be my 10th Air B&B stay, and every time has always been really a nice surprise….great locations, and always have liked the casual and easy way things always work out…….I love Vancouver, and the experience I’ve had with where I’ve stayed has always been a part of that….

So tomorrow, a quick flight I hope, and then coffee on the beach!

30 Days to Vancouver. Luckiest Person on the Planet

seriously I am…the luckiest person on the planet…….life is good, so what do I have to bitch about….

seriously it doesn’t get any better…sure, if I won a lottery…but still, I feel good…

better than I did this morning…that ugly concussion headache gave me a little misery…but throughout a busy day selling shoes (I’ve for some reason become pretty good at that…I guess an old guy like me is someone they can trust?)…..the ache went away…and after an easy 5K-ish run, I feel even better….

Just booked a parking spot for my car at the airport for that final weekend/first weekend of May..so I am going…even picked out the first restaurant I’m heading to for lunch, so a good sign…

Running has become good…maybe it’s having a new location, new routes, new paths, trails and neighborhoods helps….the commitment to the Run Club – I have to Run – so no matter what Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings, I have to show up ready to run…making me consistent, and hopefully setting a good example…

the snow’s almost gone, or is going somewhere…..

Selling shoes and matching people up with shoes is kind of a challenge……an odd one, trying to convince someone that the shoe they like the looks of is exactly the wrong shoe for their feet and knees….sure, you don’t love the colour – yes colour – but it’s a tool, you need that right shoe!

Some customers make you great to feel alive..they get it, they’re runners, there’s something in common, and they get that nothing, NOTHING, feels like that right shoe…..once that’s found, that’s all you need, that’s the shoe…

And sometimes that shoe can get a little pricey

wore my new shoes, the Arahi’s from Hoka today around the store, sweet..and then wore the old pair through the snow ice and mud tonight..and made all the difference in that run

I’m not going to say that right shoe will make you quicker – for me it sometimes does – but it means no issues, no knee issues, no blisters….no nothing, you don’t even notice the shoes as you run…you just run…

Tomorrow’s going to be a rest day…maybe a walk……and the countdown is on

and oh yeah, I begin again instructing yet another Running Room virtual clinic….love ’em…people in a lot of locations across Canada and I’ve even had a few from south of the border (it’s virtual, people from anywhere can sign up at runningroom.com)……it’s always interesting…it seems this one, a 5K specific distance, has fewer people in it so far…but just gives me a chance to be more personal…more social….so looking forward to it…

Running shoes, Running Clinics, and Run Clubs……I guess running’s becoming my running life…….so good!

32 Days; A good evening run…

I don’t usually run evenings, especially Wednesday evenings…but tonight just felt right.

I felt okay…and other than my feet getting a little wet the Hoka Arahi’s felt good….it was nice having that extra cushioning, and sitting almost with enough height to keep me sort of dry….

It’s spring, finally…the allergies are affecting me a bit, but, maybe this year, ignoring them will work…..this year?

I’m really liking life right now….active, involved, connecting…….it feels good, sometimes overwelming….it seems like I want to do lots of stuff, and a lot of things keep presenting things, options, opportunities, and I seem to be unable to say no….

One run club at my club, the Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club

….still figuring out the terrain, and which days, evenings, mornings work best… but a little bit, sometimes a lot of work…….I’m got my two or three days a week selling shoes at our Running Room

which is pretty fantastic, I feel at home once I enter those doors…..and now that Running Room wants me to look after their Wednesday evening Run Club..at a random park in St. Albert….so, surprise!…and yeah, I begin instructing a 5K clinic for that very running room beginning this Saturday…along with training…running, riding the bike, fitness and spin classes…swimming..strength training….life is pretty full…..

The trip to Vancouver is booked…and about a month away…..as Joe Walsh said, life’s been good to me so far….well, except for two things….got the word from my MD today….I’ve an enlarged prostate, and my cholesterol is high….not sure what to do about one……the other…time for a lot more fruit and veggies, healthy eating…..and less salt, sugar……I guess it’s all about being older?

and yeah…an appreciated package arrived today…new shoes and gear….already to run!..thank you Hoka!

58 Days…..an evening at my Running Room

This is home, my comfort place, where everyone knows your name……even on a quiet night, no matter how badly my day(s) have been, it’s where I feel my best.

Yes, there are a lot of Running Room’s, this one is and has always been different……it’s not just a store that sells running stuff…..we’re a run hub….everyone that works here runs….everyone…so not only do we know what we sell, and use what we sell, but, well, what do runners like doing more than running….talking about running…

We run with everyone…name a group in this Edmonton reason, one of us have run with them….name a race or fun run…that’s us……yes, Leg 6 at Sinister….yep, whined about the Ambler Loop at Death Race, yeah, experienced that too…..

we even have a pot of gold…..

the way this works best is, we sell what we have, and we have what we sell…..and, we’ve finally got trail shoes!

Gotta love Hokas….one one, and yep, Speed Goats!

yep, I finally made it out for a run today…….don’t I look happy……lots of snow, sort of like running in really deep sand, but not…..

I’m possibly going to bail still……I need a long run, 12-14K long to get back on track, and to have a consistent weekend at least…I may reset aiming at another half marathon on May 15th….but, I really need this trip to Vancouver for May 1st…but he stars are really going to have to align to make this work….I have run half marathons with not of a lot of training, nothing more than a bunch of 10Ks…..and seriously, it’s just four 5Ks…..so, thinking about it.

and tunes, yes we can listen to music at the shop……Aftershokz….love ’em…

Tomorrow’s Saturday….a short early morning run planned, my virtual learn to run clinic, we’re talking about Iron and nutrition with Amy Puzey…..should be interesting…

then the goal is a total of 12K on Sunday…maybe split into a 5K and then something more after the Run Club Run……at least it’ll be an active weekend, maybe it’ll make me feel better by Monday…time to get the head on straight……come Monday, it’ll be alright..

w

Instructing Virtual Clinics for New Runners

So this all begins again on Saturday…and am looking forward to another 10 weeks.

These virtual clinics have become interesting..I’ve instructed a lot of in person clinics, but these are different……..they seemed like they’d be pretty straight forward, but they’ve been populated by a lot of runners that are anything but beginners.

Sure, a few that haven’t taken a step, some that have, or have been power walking, and every age group you could think of….but my most recent included some that had run marathons, half marathons, triathlons amd even a few Sparten races…..which made for a bit of a challenge….how do you keep such a large varied group invested and interested, engaged?

Luckily I like to talk, and sending lots and lots of emails.

So far over 2 sessions I’ve worked with 114 people, very different people, and as usual, with any group, it seemed that I got as much out of being the guy at the front, or leading the Zoom meet, as I hope those in it…..

The questions, the concerns always really make me think and question pretty much everything….how I run, why, footwear, how my feet land, why some things hurt, and why others react differently……how we all run, how we’re told we’re supposed to run…my fave all time questions is ‘how do I breathe?’

Clothing, shoes…effort…and it seems a lot of what I do is basially be a cheerleader…a lot of those just seem to want permission to run…….and to be able to run.

We do seem to make it sound simple right? Just run, put on shoes and just run…..but then, well, run how?……and again, how are my feet supposed to land? And now, the main creature feature is still mid foot strike vs heel strike right?…….

I’m pretty sure I’m going to hear a lot of people Saturday asking how to run in winter, how to run in the cold, and how to not slip and fall……..

The one part that always seems to be a challenge, even more so now is finding guest speakers to talk to this group about things, some maybe I do know a lot about, but when talking about nutrition, injuries, and of course sport bras….sometimes an expert in the field is better…….and also provides a different perspective……and yeah, I know a lot about sport bras, and oddly enough womens running, but, well, coming from someone else just makes more sense…..and, well, nutrition…..sometimes telling others that Snickers bars and Coke isn’t much help either.

Actually that’s a kind of an interesting development, the majority of those taking clinics, and I guess taking up running are female, so that has a lot to do with how I build the topics for a clinic….the days are gone when women are just considered just smaller weaker men……nutrition, training,recovery, strength training (it’s interesting how a female body reacts to speed training as oppsoed to men…for them, it is like stength training)…….aerobic and anaerobic training; women and running, a whole new world, and I actually believe that what works for them, may actually help us men as well…….

Today’s run was a bit of a challenge……the cold, and the trails were pretty rough and full of snow, but still, more strength, and there’s a good feeling to just getting outside, getting that fresh air into the lungs, and feeling frost bite back……can hardly wait for the next heat wave though!

what to wear at -30C and still run

So yeah, it’s cold, really cold, pretty cold…stupid cold!

So what?…..

You’re training, you’re in training….in-door track, treadmill…NOT AN OPTION.

I’ve run on both and never enjoyed either, so never again…ever…if you can handle boredom, sure, but for me, I’d rather watch a blank wall…..

So you bundle up; enough to keep warm and not freeze, but not so much so you can’t move!

The secret is to always remember; as soon as you start to move, you’ll warm up.

Also know that those parts of you that are vital will get warm fluid first, as everything you have rushes in to protect those vital organs……those capitaries heading out to your fingers, your face, your toes, will remain chilled for a little longer…..so expect that, dress for that, knowing that eventually you may have to strip down.

At -30C (which is really really close to -30F) the main fear is frost bite...sure, all exposed skin will freeze in minutes, if not seconds…..but, you are moving – you’re a runner – you will warm up that exposed skin at some point…..

That little white spot…...FROST BITE!….apparently…….I’ve had that before, and if you’ve had it once, it will return…so the experts say……I think it makes me look bad ass?

So?

What do I wear………not as much as you would think….

so this is it…….except for the Hudson Bay Blanket….( which would be oh so warm if you could wrap yourself and run?)

Those socks look kind of like nothing, right?…They’re made by Brooks; I think I got them for free at a store contest….

I just need them to not get and stay wet, and cover up any skin that might otherwise become exposed…

My feet never seem to get especially cold: I just use my everyday shoes (the Brooks Adrenaline mostly). I know for some the combination of mesh and windchill causes problems, but for me, no issues…..everyone is different….so just cover up that mash, go for something that has GORTEX to keep you warm and dry…

My legs have never been a huge concern either……though as I’ve gotten older, I find I just make more of an effort to be comfortable, rather than just enjoying the chill and tuffng it out….

So today, a base layer…

Just a base layer I picked up from the Running Room forever ago, just to retain some heat…. also some protective wind briefs; ’cause, yeah if that body certain part freezes guys, well, pain like you wouldn’t believe, and even worse when that body part begins to thaw!…all from that Running Room stash….

The tights, from Ron Hill are to provide protection from wind chill (google Ron Hill, he’s a pretty interesting character in running lore, amongst other things, having run for every day for 52 years and 39 days, 1964 to 2017, EVERY DAY!) ……these arn’t the best, not especially special, winter specific, but with the layers beneath, the combo works well for me……I do have others that have more of a shield over the thighs, and more winter wind chill specific, but most days I don’t need that, and those tights are a little more constricting..so…I live for minimum!

Upper body, 3 layers…here is what I wear to wick, basically, and to add some warmth

From the Vancouver Running Co. …(yes, I have put on a lot of weight…IT’S CHRISTMAS!) This layer wicks, no sweat build up, and some warmth…….a little skin tight, but it does trap heat…and it’s all I need..

On top…..CRAFT……it’s an older item, but it’s there for the warmth, it doesn’t capture sweat then get soaked and freeze.

The jacket….you see it on top in pretty much every winter selfie I take…..New Balance

It’s perfect….not too heavy, maybe a little too warm on days that arn’t -30C,……..

the real secret is that BUFF……sometimes it does cover my face, but mostly I just stuff it under the top of the jacket to keep my body heat inside, the cold out

Top off the head….

The first concern is that heat escapes out the top of your head……in summer that’s kind of a concern for other reasons….. for winter…..I choose a tuque, today I had a balaclava as well, to help with the cold…….

Then a pair of Brooks gloves, I slip hand warmers into those gloves, something called Little Hotties

and with all of that I’m good to go…….

Today was okay…I know with the ice and snow, it’s slippery (it’s like trying to run on sand, without a beach) speed won’t be the concern; the pace will be slow, the heart rate may not be…..just working on strength, endurance……and hopefully the work will pay off in the spring…

A good week….the march towards 2022 continues…I’ve managed 6 out of 7 days in a row, 8 out of 9 with one rest day….I feel the need for a rest day soon, gotta recover.

The commitment is as close as I could get to 1000K for the year, and almost every day until January 1st!…….I need to do at least 5K on that January 1st, cause, well, turning 63 (BOOOOOOOO) !

Running every day seriously I know isn’t healthy, but sometimes, that challenge helps bump up and inspire………cross training, rest and recovery, yoga, strength, that whole package is important…will work that into the weekly training schedule, starting next MONDAY…….but for this week, run, will try and stay warm….and will make an effort to stay away from that desert tray!