Here I am sitting at the Hampton Inn in Calgary, Canada for the third time since December, the second time in two weeks. I am beginning to learn my way around, at least around the northwestern side of town.
Before I got too far into this post, I wanted to reply to the comments on my last post.
Wes: Eugene will be a test for sure. If I am to qualify for Boston I need a 3:30 marathon. I'm very afraid that I won't make it and if I am going to make it it's gonna hurt. I'm going to give it my best shot but ...
Michelle: lets all keep our fingers crossed. I also want to clear up my time. When I'm stopped during training runs, so is my watch. The 3:23 is actual run time. Fortunately I won't be stopping to chat during the marathon and I can usually skip the facility stops during a race.
Jessica and Anne: thanks for the vote of confidence and I really liked that picture myself.
Joe: You crack me up. You're like a kid on Christmas Eve. I've had a hard time keeping up with the present; I hadn't given much thought to the next couple of weeks. Fire when ready!
Now for this weeks runs. I've said earlier that since the mileage totals and weekly runs were shortening up a bit I was going to try to increase the pace a little. Monday I ran the Bonnie Cove 5 at a pretty decent clip. I don't have mile markers along these routes in the neighborhood, so its just go at it as hard as possible and see what the watch says when I hit the finish line. Those 5 miles came in right at 40:00; 8 minute miles. My first thought was - how will I ever keep that up for 21.2 more?
Tuesday I stopped off at the dam on the way home. The dam is sporting some new signage these days. There is a new painted markers with a wavy line and the words San Gabriel River Bikeway. But of course these new marks don't coincide with the old mile markers. I decided to charge up the hill this time. I hit the mile mark in 8:08, about a minute faster than usual. I kept right on chugging away and thought man this is tough. I hit mile 2 in 7:08. No wonder it felt tough. I slowed things down a bit after that but still ended up with 38:30ish for 5 miles. Two pretty hard runs back to back.
My next two runs brought me to Calgary. It took me nearly the whole day to get here on Wednesday. I spent 2 extra hours in San Francisco waiting to get to Calgary. Everything was delayed by heavy fog. I made it to Calgary a little after 5:00 p.m., almost 12 hours after pulling out of my garage at home. I headed straight over to Nose Hill Park. I had worn my running shorts under my jeans. All I had to do was make a quick change of shirt and shoes and off I went. I ran comfortably in shorts and a long sleeve technical shirt with temps in the low 40's. Nose Hill is definitely a hill. From up top you can get a great view of the city skyline to the south and the endless plains to the north. There aren't many landmarks to use as guides. I made it to the opposite side of the park and back but not via the same route I took out. The park isn't really big enough to get lost in but you can get disoriented. I ran strictly by time, putting in 52 minutes which I guess is somewhere a little more than 5 miles. I had to stop or at least hesitate frequently to determine which criss-crossing path I wanted to take and then to try to trace my steps. I had brought by regular street shoes, but the trail shoes would have been a good choice this time due to the sloppiness of the trails in places.
I got up this morning and headed back over the the Bow River Bikeway for an easy 10k in 56:46. I still have about an hour before I have to be at the orthodontists office. I'm not sure exactly what I will do the rest of the afternoon and evening since my flight doesn't leave till 7:00. My other choice was 3:00 but I was afraid that would rush my visit at the docs office.
I've got 15 scheduled for Saturday and the Cruisers are planning on running into Chino Hills State Park which is exactly what I was already thinking. I look forward to that one. Next week I leave again for a whole week between Indianapolis and Chicago. That's were Joe comes in. I'm looking forward to the weekend in West Lafayette, IN which just so happens to fall between my two stops. We've made plans to share our last long run, 8 miles, before his back to back 1/2 marathons and Eugene. Joe has some other plans as well that include a home cooked meal (always a welcome treat and respite from a week's worth of restaurant food) and a personal guided tour of the sights in his neck of the woods; it should be a lot of fun.