Sunday, June 30, 2013

The One With All The Dogs

The plan for the day was 2 hours at Nose Hill Park.  No speed, no distance...just a time.  Tina and I arranged to meet at 7:30am so we could hopefully beat the heat of the day.  

After a liberal coating of bug spray, we were on our way up the path...false start.  Tina couldn't remember if she locked her trunk so we were soon back in the parking lot before well and truly heading out.  And back up the steep steep hill to the top.

The first part of the path was wide and paved...not asphalt but the gravel either...kind of like solidified gravel.  This struck me as odd, because I didn't remember the park being paved at all.  Though the last time I ran there - it was November and single track snow...and before that it was probably 8 years ago or so.  So, it's possible things had changed.   It just wasn't the trail run I was expecting to head out on.

I could see the herd of deer that live in the park, but they were way off on another hillside so not really good for photos.

We were almost to the top of the hill when I thought I heard sirens...but they were far off and didn't seem to change in pitch.  It was only when we got close to a stand of trees that I heard the pups.  A young pack of coyotes were practicing their howls.  We never did see them, but it was quite something to hear them.

It is always so pretty at the can see forever.

Since we were all about enjoying the run today, we took a few fun shots of us running :) just can't take us anywhere without us snapping away the whole run...

and that was it for wildlife.   the rest was all domestic.  and canine.   Everyone and their dog (literally) was out in the park for a walk on a warm day.  and it was SUCH a warm day.

We ran up and to the north - all ont he pavement.  About 4k in or so, Tina started to have some tummy issues so we figured we'd head to the Edgemont lot and the washrooms. Soon, we headed out again.  We had to climb back tot he top of Nose Hill again and this time we were on a gravel path.  That gravel path soon became hill after hill.

That pic cracks me up.  It we're both pointing at the hills...but it looks like we have some secret, finger touching hand thing...

We ran along for a while and then came to this:

And decided to turn the run into a true trail run...

Oh yeah - I was taking my New Balance trail shoes for a test run.  I must say, they passed with flying colours.  

Everywhere we turned, there were puppies to pet..or snuggle like I did with this guy:

I love Berners.  If I could've convinced him, he would have come home with me.

I fear Tina may never run with me in an off-leash area again.   I probably spent half the run petting pups.

Soon it was closing in on the 2 hour point and we were headed back to the parking lot.   12k in the bag and a whole lot of baggage from the past week off our shoulders and hopefully left amongst the prairie grasses.

Definitely not the fastest 12k ever run LOL

and the Garmin Geekery

And I didn't quite beat 100km for the month of June...but 96km on a month where I was between training plans definitely isn't shabby. Not too shabby at all.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cotton Socks

Ok - you know you're swamped at work're too exhausted to write about a run until the day after it happens...

So, yesterday I ran.  I decided that I needed to do some work on at least one of my runs this week so it was going to be a hill day.  I went and got changed...only to discover I had forgotten socks!  EEP!

Coworker to the rescue...L had extra socks...that came with a forewarning...they'd be full of holes...

Turns out they were cotton too.  and L has way smaller footsies than my size 11 honkers.  But it was going to be better than bare feet in the kinvaras so I shrugged and headed out.

This shin thing was bugging me the whole time which was annoying.

But I headed up and down some hills.  7 of them to be exact.  Tried to mix it up with pavement and gravel.

It was so hot out, but I was so happy to get out and run.  This week has been so stressful between being unusually busy in the office and having the flooding weighing on me.

About halfway through, I got a hotspot on my arch...luckily it didn't turn into a blister.

And I made another canine friend...well, maybe not a friend per se...he DID NOT like me running by his fence one bit.

40 mins later I was done my 7 hills and on my way back to the office.  Another 5k in the books.   an stress held at bay for another day.

And I tossed those cotton socks.  I'll be buying L a pair of tech socks as a thank you for saving me.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1) Dieting
After a rough week with a few sugar breakdowns and the scale climbing up in climbing back to where I was before my first Dietbet :(

So, I'm back on the wagon.  JS told me about a DietBet she decided to join and I figured I should do it too.  Still trying to figure out my reward if I win...

Wanna join us in another month of insanity?  You only need to lose 4% of your body weight to win your share of the pot!   Click here to join -  it starts today!

2) Volunteering
I have been in contact with the Weaselhead Preservation Society and will be volunteering with them next Thursday - likely to assess damages to the trails in there.  I am still trying to get more details but there is a possibility we might be able to use more people.  This would be a good one for people who might not be able to do heavy lifting.  I'll keep you all posted.

I still have a couple of days next week open for volunteering so I will keep hunting down opportunities.   I drove by the south end of Fish Creek park today and was in tears over how bad it is down there.  There will be a ton of work to do at the cleanup on July 13.

3) Subscribing
Ok - I've been a remiss blogger.   Google Reader is shutting down on Monday so, if you are a subscriber who uses them, you will need to resubscribe elsewhere.  I have switched over to Feedly and they are doing a "one click" Google reader import so it can be a seamless transition.  If you use Bloglovin - you can also find me there. I'm not a big fan of their interface, but some of you might like it just fine.

Just make sure you act this weekend so you won't lose your entire feed list.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#yycflood Ways to Help

The flood waters are starting to recede and cleanup has begun.   With so many of the downtown towers still closed, that has left a great number of people at home and wanting to help.  Calls for volunteers have been bringing people out in droves!  It is heartwarming to see how many people are ready and willing to step up and help out!  I love this city.

Since I have been planning to volunteer my vacation next week to the efforts, I have been looking at a whole bunch of different ways people can help out and I wanted to share them in case you were wanting to do something to help the efforts but didn't know where to start.

1) Volunteer
This website is an amazing resource for volunteering in this crisis.   Not only is it kept up to date with calls for volunteers, they are also compiling a database of volunteers so they will know who to call on for what jobs.  In just a few short days, it has gone from a Google form to an actual authenticated database.  You can even list if you are a trades person who can help or if you own equipment like pumps and generators.

Daily, they send an email with calls for volunteers.  There is something for everyone - from helping clean basements to sorting clothing donations to driving meals out to the volunteers in the crisis zones.  

Other resouces:

2) Park and Path Cleanup
Many of our city's beautiful parks were seriously damaged in the flooding.  There are several places that you can sign up to help clean them up.  To get an idea of the areas most heavily impacted, check out this map of pathway closures put together by the City of Calgary

  • Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society - Flood Cleanup sign up sheet - they are planning a massive cleanup for July 13.
  • Weaselhead Glenmore Park Preservation Society - no cleanup date set yet...but they have posted a State of the Trails and it will DEFINITELY need some TLC soon.  I have written to see if they are accepting volunteers.  I will post an update once I have heard.
  • There will likely be other calls for path and park cleanup from the city once the situation can be properly assessed.
The damage to homes and lives is not covered by insurance.  Early predictions are that this will be around $5 BILLION in damages.  I expect that number will climb as the full extent of the damage is figured out.  For those who can't be here to help in person - you can help from afar by donating to the many organizations who are helping the city to heal after this tragedy.

  • Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Response  - Call 1-800-418-1111 or donate online
    You can also donate at places like Starbucks and many other stores locally.
  • Salvation Army Alberta Flood Relief Effort  - Donate online or call 1-800-725-2769.
  • Samaritan's Purse Canada -  Donate online or Call 1-800-663-6500.
  • Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre is also seeking various goods and supplies including socks, underwear, hygiene supplies, bug spray, blankets and pillows, towels and plungers. Call 403-699-8260

Like a Turtle...

Amazing how much I need to run this week.   I just want to be out there burning all of the stress off every day.

Today it was so hot out there.  Whose idea was it for me to run at noon again?

Oh yeah.  Mine.  Something about it being the only time I can consistently fit them in during the week.  I remember now.

And don't get me wrong - I am very grateful for the heat.  It will help with the recovery and cleanup efforts in a really big way as we bounce back from the Great Flood of 2013.

I decided to take my new favourite route through Canyon Meadows, for it's shady streets and to just enjoy the process and not worry about pace.  I wanted to run it straight through but I seem to be drinking-while-moving impaired so had to stop a few times to drink water.

As I was coming down off of the overpass across Anderson, I made a new friend.

Her name is Rosie and she is a year and a half old.  In true basset fashion - she decided she wanted to take her overweight owner over the overpass, but the owner didn't want to Rosie went without her.  I could hear the owner trying to get her back so I helped out with a "Wanna run with me, ol' Girl" and she definitely did.  I ran her back to her owner and had some puppy snuggles.  The owner tried to convince me that I should come by and pick her up for a run whenever the owner didn't want to take her out.  Tried to make it seem like it would be a great deal for me to do so.

She seemed very crestfallen when I told her I just run there - and don't live there.   Rosie wanted to keep running with me so it took a while to get her on a scent trail to stay behind as she was quite intent on following me.  Ahhh - takes me back to when Cancerhound was that age.  Nope - not getting another bassett/basset mix as a future him, but um, yeah...

After that - I carried on.  Got stopped for a bit at the lights at Anderson and then finished the loop without further adventure.  

Another 5k in the training journal for this week.

I just looked at my totals for the month of June so far and, considering I haven't been on a training plan, I think I've done pretty well at keeping my mileage up.

from DailyMile
I may actually come out with higher mileage than any other month in 2013 by the end of June, since I am planning to run both Thursday and Friday a trail run on Sunday.   Not too shabby.  If only I'd done so well at maintaining my weight this month.  Might be time to find another Dietbet

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Most Uncomfortable Run

(Grr...apparently none of my posts this week have pushed.  I'm blaming the flooding...)

Today, I had my most uncomfortable run to date.   After the devastation of the weekend, I NEEDED a run. Something to help me process the junk code that has been filing through my brain since all of this flood stuff happened.

I was running along all happily - running my new Canyon Meadows route - and everything looked like it would be sunshine and lollipops for the run.   Well, I was overheating a bit but that's nothing new...

and then I hit the lights at Elbow and Anderson... 2.5k in and I was hit with an IBS flareup.  YOUCH!
Breathing through it.
The next 2.5k were the most agonizing of my life - alternating between sprinting (to get the heck back to the office) and walking while clutching my stomach.   I haven't had a bad flareup in a couple of years so this took me entirely by surprise...I wasn't sure if I was going to puke from the pain or crap my pants (TMI - I with it)

So - it wasn't a very fun run.  but I got it done and was very happy to see the end of it.

Just let me die in peace now...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Set to Wandering

(For some reason this didn't publish Sunday as planned...)

This morning, I had to drive our little houseguest home and, after I dropped her off, I somehow found myself at the river.  I hadn't planned to go down there, but something drew me down there to see it for myself.

Once I got past the media circus on Crescent Road (which is located on the ridge above downtown, for those of you not from here), I found our city forever changed.

I am beyond words about it all.   As I walked, I made notes of my observations.  I think they say it best.

Humid. So humid.

Generator hum

Police tape.  One officer commenting "I would think it should go without saying to NOT go under the tape"

White fluff.   The poplar trees still think it's business as usual.

Avenue of mud.  Riverside avenue and the lower deck of the bridge are caked in mud.

Media shitshow

"I always forget how nice it is down here" So many people only there for the show.

Police tape in the breeze

Army on patrol. Choppers overhead. Trucks on Memorial.

Rushing water.   So fast.

Memorial drive has a new memory now.

Donuts for the police officers.  People carrying tokens of appreciation to those keeping us safe.

Meditative sadness.  So many people staring out over the water with tears on their cheeks.

So much sightseer litter it will need a cleanup effort of its own.

Water like chocolate milk.

Other images from the walk:

It was so hard to see it all.  When I talk about a meditative sadness - it really was the overwhelming feeling of the day.  the water is receding but it still has a way to go and who knows what horrors lie beneath the areas still submerged.

My walk today only strengthened my resolve to get out and help with the pathway cleanup on my vacation...but who knows how much pathway still exists :)