Monday, August 26, 2013

So Much for Winging It

All day Saturday I tried to plan for my Sunday long run.  I seriously had no clue when I'd start or where I'd run from.   Even when I went to bed that night, I was close to saying that I would just run gravel roads from my house whenever I woke up.  I set my alarm for early so I could get it in before the day got too warm.

Up with the sun

But when I woke up and had break, I figured I should probably go into the was just a matter of whether to run Fish Creek or to take my chances on Eau Claire.

There was one stretch that I have been dying to see how it fared in the I headed to Eau Claire and thought I would wing it and try to get as far toward Bonnybrook Bridge as I could.

Ok - I had a plan.  Kinda.

I knew that Eau Claire to Calf Robe Bridge is 10k but I also knew that the path around Bonnybrook Bridge would be closed since the derailment.  So I needed to add on a bit.  I decided that I'd start by running up to 10 Street and crossing over before heading east.  

I'd run this first part of the run since the flood and it has been pretty well restored - functionally - since then.  I mean, they are still rebuilding parts of the bank, but temporary pathways are in place so it is not full of detours.  

When I was almost to Edmonton Trail, I reached the first path closure

The path underneath Langevin Bridge is washed right up on the shore.
Taken later in the run when the angle was better.
I'll never forget the morning I was driving to work after dropping hubby off and I saw some guy ignore the closure and end up knee deep in the river.  How asleep do you have to be?

A quick detour across Edmonton Trail and I was on my way toward the zoo.   As soon as I reached the turnoff - I hit my first real flood detour.

Running around the zoo island was a no go...I had to detour across Memorial and come down the Nose Creek pathway.  No problem.

While I was there, I figured I might as well make a pitstop. and have a good stretch.

Then I carried on down the pathway.  There were a couple of cyclists out there and one other woman passed me running.  When she made a left turn over the creek, I (non-creepily) decided to follow her because I wanted to see if that path would be the one that ran along Deerfoot.

It was.  (She was also much faster than me so it's not like I was really following her...totally not creepy.  She was outta sight in seconds)

The path over there was much less cleaned up than any others I had been on.  There were still piles of silt alongside the path near Harvie Passage

and the path itself was still really silty as well

It was really loud along Deerfoot and I wasn't that comfortable running somewhere so isolated solo, so I made the decision early that I would cross over at Blackfoot and get back onto the other side of the river.

It was from the bridge that I really saw how Inglewood was hit...heartbreaking

Just a shear cliff along the residential.  But I still didn't get how bad it was.  It didn't take long before I hit construction fencing...because the pathway just ended.

Yeah - it's going to be a while before THAT is runable again.

No problem, though, I knew a detour that would take me over to Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

And then I hit the BIG STOP SIGN

Pathway closed from the Bird Sanctuary onward and no easy detour.  There would be no reaching Bonnybrook this day.  Boo.

So I headed back along the detour I'd just taken.  I just love this neighbourhood.  It's really too bad it's so close to the river.  Oh and that it is freakishly expensive to buy a house in...

As I was coming out on the pathway again, I made a new friend.  It's too bad JS wasn't with me - she would have loved him!  In fact - if I hadn't had 10k still to run, I might have tucked him under my arm for my own family...he was such a little sweetie and had no tags or tattoo...

I spent a fair bit of this middle portion walking and taking photos so my pace was super slow (and most of my pictures blew so it's not even like I have something to show for it)

So I carried on...

I was really happy to see the new bridge construction is underway over the Elbow...that will cut a bunch of zigzagging off of running that way once it's finished.

I cut across Fort Calgary

Saw a pirate ship

and made another pitstop at the scary robotic bathrooms in the East Village.  Checked out some new public art...LOVE IT!

About here, I faced the reality that I was coming up short on distance.  I'd hoped to just be able to stop at Eau Claire, but I needed about 3k and that is what that loop back up to 10th Street would give me so I was going to need to pass the finish line before I doubled back to cross it.

I crossed over at Edmonton Trail and carried on - feeling a bit tired, overheated and dead at this point.  I passed Leana's hubby around Centre Street Bridge though I wasn't sure if it was him or not.  I just said Hi and checked with her later where she confirmed I had recognized correctly (I've only met him once or twice).  

I plodded ever onward, crossed over at 10th and hauled my ass back to Eau Claire.  I was ready to be done so I decided to turn up the speed a bit and race it in.  I truly amazed myself here at the pace I could maintain after running 18.5k.

But it felt so good to stop...and I was rewarded with two Bernese Mountain Dogs in the dog obedience class on the plaza outside the Y

Another long run completed.   And enough adventure for one day.  It is still quite draining for me to see all of the flood damage.  While the cleanup has come so far in two months - it is going to be a very long road.

And some Garmin Geekery since I know you're waiting on the edge of your seat to see how slow I went this week...


  1. I ran almost the same route on Saturday, but coming from Edworthy. Bummed to see parts of the trail closed, but certainly inspired to see how much progress has been done.
    I don't get the new public art.. What's with the hand and the paper airplane? My running partner and I talked about it for at least 5k afterword..

    1. I loved the paper airplane. I thought the hand was very Escher-esque so maybe it was brought in to coincide with the Escher exhibit at Glenbow...I don't think they've installed it very well, though. It was hard to get a photo that actually showed the airplane...I think they need to install it someplace a bit lower.

  2. Well! This run was quite the adventure! I still can't believe how all your pathways have been so damaged!

    1. It is really heartbreaking to see it. I've been running so much in the south that I didn't really know how bad it really was. As clunky as this run was - I'm glad I got out to see it firsthand.

  3. Sometimes I'm amazed there is as much left of the pathway as there is! Let's see, comments. Running at sunrise is so nice. Maybe I should try it again. Lately I've been preferring to run during the warm part of the day to help my poor failing metabolism warm me up.
    Right where the old weir used to be is a way to cross Deerfoot. You can run towards max bell, under blackfoot to the canoe club, up the hill and along whatever that road is called, then across the brige over deerfoot that goes to the golf course, but turn left, and there's a nice bit up on top of the hill with a great view of the city. For a while I was running all in there, pre-dawn, during the winter. A bike rider without any lights and I scared the crap out of each other once.
    I am very partial to orange kitties. Big, little, it doesn't matter. Was he a street cat, do you think, or just taking a break from his humans and going for a walk?
    Bridge over the Elbow? It wasn't there last time I looked. I really must get out more.

    1. Yeah - they are making the pathway cross the river right where it meets the Bow. Still early but the sign said it'll open next year!

      He was a very friendly guy so if he was a street cat - it was recent. Just no tags or tattoo on him so he just about got to be Abner's little orange brother ;)


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