Went out to Miquelon Lake for a quick one night hang.
Tag Archives: Edmonton
Winter came to Edmonton this morning, -9c with the windchill and about a half inch of snow on the ground. Went out for about 7km’s that took about 42 minutes.
On Sunday as part of our training, we were scheduled to run a long and slow 23km but it was also the day of the Edmonton Police Foundation half marathon. So taking advantage of the race opportunity that was pretty close to a training run I decided to run in it (beside, you get a shirt and finishers hat!!)
The race was run out of Fort Edmonton Park and after a night of light rain and waking up to a dusting of snow on the ground it was time to head out to the race. My goal was to finish under 2 hours as I hoped this would be a good gauge of where I was in training. The rain had stopped and it was actually good running conditions. I’m amazed at the amount of clothing runners wear when conditions don’t appear good. Once they warm everything starts to come off and they have to find a place to tie down all unneeded clothing.
My pace to start seemed good and I didn’t have any issues starting about mid pack. I had run this race in 2009 in a time of 1:54:57 and was hoping to be under 2 hours and close to this time.
As the race started I noticed a drone just up a head of us past the start line. This is the very cool video posted on YouTube by KainX from that drone;
The race itself was fairly uneventful. The first rather lengthy hill at 5km was a bit of an effort for me and it took some time to recover from it. I tried to keep my pace up about 5:30. Continuing on the run was just a run but at a faster pace than I was used to. I carried my water bottle with some Nuun electrolyte replacement in it. This has seemed to work for me okay in the past but I had some stomach issues starting about the 16km point. The Nuun tablets are a bit effervescent and I think I closed my bottle to soon after putting the tablet in. This allowed the pressure to build up in the bottle and unbeknownst to me the pressure in the bottle was forcing the water out of the spout. I also thought the bottle shook up a lot during the run and created a bit of foam inside the bottle. Another thing that I did, which I never do, but did because I didn’t think it would come affect me over this distance was to eat a GU gel right before the race start. Like I said, I didn’t have any issues until the 16km point so I’m not sure if the mixture of gel and Nuun was the cause. The tough point for me was the last 2km when I thought I might puke. I was thinking that would make a great finish line photo.
All said, I ran the race in 1:56:33 with an average pace of 5:32. I accomplished my goal of a sub 2 hour run and did not puke!! On my scale of how I rate my runs, I gave this one a “B”. This is how I looked at the end;
Some ugly aches from my past have started to surface, noticeably pains in my calves or more specifically knots. I’ve had this in the past and had to stop running to rest and let it heal. But with more research and self remedies I think I can continue running through it as I seem to have gotten it under control. I do have large calves by the way!! Interestingly enough, this issue is referred to as “Calf Heart Attacks”. Here is a link to a very good article from Runners World that explains the problem;
Basically what it is, is scar tissue from previous micro tears in the calf muscles. They show up in the form of knots which are very noticeable. In the past, while running, it just feels like someone has whacked you in the back of the leg with a baseball bat. That sudden!! I have found that a combination of ice, heat and a bit of common sense seem to make the problem better. As some tools help, like a tennis ball to really isolate the area while rolling the calves over the ball. A foam roller for general maintenance really helps as well. I like the roller over stretching as I feel you really work the entire muscle without putting as much strain on it as you would through stretching. And while I’m experiencing the calf pain, I try not to stretch very hard. I really like my “Stick” as well;
One of the problems that has contributed to the calf issue I believe is that we have had a bit of snow in the last few days and many of the sidewalks/trails haven’t been cleared yet so the running surface is rough and uneven. This tends to add stress to the outside of the shin area just above the ankles as the lower leg adapts to the uneven surface. They are calling for some warmer temperatures that may lead to some melting over the next few days. I don’t necessarily like that as it leads to what I call “sandy” snow that makes it difficult to get traction leading to more effort used to propel yourself. I like it a bit more hard packed for better footing. I have also adjusted my stride, going back to more of a heel strike as opposed to a mid-foot strike which seems to aggravate the calves.
Oh well, this is just all part of the fun and joys of running in an extreme winter climate like we have here in Edmonton.
I just wanted to add a quick video where I go over some of the clothing that I wear when I run outside in the extreme cold. Temperatures for the last week have hovered around -30c (-22f) with the windchill. Clothing is important!!
Sylvia and I went out for a couple hour snow shoe through Hawrelak Park and the river valley trails. It was nothing too hard but a good walk considering we’ve been housebound by cold weather and some winter sickness. The temperature when we went out was -4c with the sun shining. We met lots of cross country skiers, some runners and even a few mountain bikers. The big house belongs to the owner of the Edmonton Oilers. He doesn’t live there!!