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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Big Run

Race # 6 under my fuel belt! Only 8 (or more) to go.

I did my best to get to bed early last night, and even watched TV in the dark, to start the calming process. Basically flipped around, watching snippets of the wedding and such. Oh, and what can only be described as the best episode, ever, of Criminal Minds. The one where the Reaper and Hodges square off...duel to the death. Makes me cry, hard, every time I watch it. And I think I still hold my breath during the fight scene. So intense.

The alarm went off at 6am, and I was thrilled to look outside and see dry roads. No snow or rain. Phew... The temperature was listed at 0C (32F), but there was a windchill of -4C and calls for scattered showers in the morning. What to wear, what to wear?? I went with my old standby of capris, long tech shirt with a tech T over top. No gloves (hot hands), hat (hate hats) or jacket, although I did pack one, just in case. Ate a bagel with PB & strawberries (the grocery store was out of bananas...seriously?!), a glass of milk and a quick cup of coffee. I left the house at 6:50, for the drive to the NW end of town, and Bowness Park. Bowness used to be a separate town for the longest time, before Calgary gobbled it up in the '50's, and it to this day retains that charm, with angled parking, and quaint little houses in big yards. And Bowness Park has picnic areas, skating pond (in the winter), walking paths, is right on the river for boating and tubing (in the summer), an old kiddy train, park, etc. That was the start/finish point for this rather challenging race. Calgary has hills, there's no denying it, as we're in the foothills, less than an hour from the mountains. But many of our races are focused closer to downtown, which are a little flatter. This race is all about the hills!! I've done this race since it's inception, missing only one year when I went to Vancouver in 2009.

Met up with E. from the clinic (who did awesome, by the way), and we both decided we were running how we felt. Training run, race, all out...we'd let the day decide what we did. I started with my usual race pace of run 3m, walk 1 minute, although sadly there were very few water stations on this race (only 3 in total). The route had changed slightly (we used to loop the park first) which made the turn-around a little further out than normal. We run through the neighbourhood of Bowness, before connecting with the Bow River pathway, and run east past Edworthy (where I do boot camp). Turn-around and a water station, then back west to the river point, where we turn and run up 53rd Ave. Turn at the little old church and enter Bowmont Park...or as we all refer to it as "Blood & Guts"...this is where there are hills...lots and lots of hills. Rolling hills, steep hills and curvy, windy hills! And this is where the wind picked up...but making it more pleasant was the wild crocuses growing everywhere (the grass, dry and brown from the long winter was shaded purple by all the flowers) and watching the eagles (or osprey...we couldn't figure out which they were) circling overhead, hunting for lunch. I admit I walked most of the's not that I was tired, it wasn't that I didn't feel well, I just didn't feel the running mojo. Wonder where it went?? I pushed my way through it, walked when I felt like it and ran when that mood helped that I had great friends cheering me on, as many from the clinic were either volunteering or out on their own training run, and screaming my name as I ran past.

I took a lot of time mulling about my mojo, and decided that I'm letting the stress of my life affect my running. That pisses me off! I need to get to Boston, and I'm not going to if I let every one around me bring me down. So that stops now. Not quite sure how yet, but I'm certain to figure out something!

I stopped briefly to remove a pebble from my shoe (leftovers from winter salting) and while I thought I hit start again, Mr. Garmin stopped tracking my run! I did restart it, but lost about 2km worth of data. I'll have to wait till the results are posted, but I think I crossed at about 2:49. Not my best, but not my worst. Rather than dwell on the time, I'll take away a lesson from today (de-stress) and focus on my next race, which is in 14 days!!! In Canmore...I thought today had hills! Uh-oh!!!

Finished, grabbed a juice and a banana (you could tell I was near the end, as most everything was being packed up already...Calgary has a very fast Half group of runners), and then met up with the cheerers at Angel's, a tiny "restaurant" on the Bow River pathway that sells coffee, ice cream, lunch items, and is open all year round. We sat and chatted, while I inhaled a really good breakfast sandwich of egg, bacon, gooey cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo on a rosemary bun. Fabo and hit the spot.

I stopped at Purdy's for Mom (and somehow came out of Reitman's with $150 of new clothes for me!), and then drove to her place to drop off the chocolate, putter around, check out a few things before finally getting home around 3:30. Dragged my butt upstairs and had a little nap for about an hour.

Ate some KD for supper (hey, I ran a Half marathon...I deserve the KD! Don't judge!!) and am now sitting here feeling like I need something more, but I don't know what. I'll have some water and see if that's what my body is actually asking for.

I get to sleep in tomorrow (no 29km training run for me) but have decided to walk down and meet everyone for coffee/lunch later on. Running clinic is fun.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend.


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