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Tag Archives: running

Sacrificing fitness for fun and enjoyment.

This is just plain and simple more fun.

This is kind of about drinking a Dr. Pepper after going for a run.  Don’t worry, it’s not about slacking off and going on a junk food and video game binge for pure enjoyment (though, that does sound appealing).


Partway through the summer, I realized that I had completely stopped running.  I was doing a pretty good job at this (though I don’t exactly enjoy it) through the winter, running to work at least once a week and then doing a group run on the weekend.  With all the riding I’ve been doing to work this summer though, and with all the lovely weather we’ve had in the past couple of months, I hadn’t run since February… until last week.  You see, I’d been putting it off.  I knew I hadn’t been running, and I knew that I was reaping tremendous fitness benefits from the cross-training running was providing, but it was too late.  It had been too long, and I knew I would have to work myself back into it.

I also knew that this would take time, recovery time.  So I didn’t care, I just kept riding.  Getting out of work to 30 degrees and sun outside with mostly east winds meant glorious long commutes home through wonderful Calgary pathways… with a tail wind.  Winter loves to beat me down with cold and headwinds, so the warmth coupled with the conditions made for some purely glorious rides.  My fitness was and is excellent, but I was no longer getting the boost of the cross training, but I also didn’t care.  I just kept riding because it was so nice out.  I knew I was setting myself up for an eventual fall…

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Trail Run on the Coulee

After not being able to run on Saturday with the other monkeys (Graham, sick, asked very sweetly to play with blocks with him and I couldn’t say no), I made it a mission to get out for a trail run on Sunday.  I know the monkeys went down and up the same trail, but I just decided to make a loop out of it from my house.  The weather was fantastic, at about 0 degrees, still cold enough that the creek was frozen enough to run on.

I decided to take out my Salomon trail runners as opposed to the regular Brooks running shoes.  They were awesome on the trail, but the second half of my loop was on pavement and they were really not good for that.  I ended up with sore knees and feet by the time I got home.  I know part of that might be my gait, and I continue to try to work on that.  I also used Yaktrax on this run, which made it much easier to keep my feet on the trail.  Still, I was surprised how much sliding out I still did on some of the really side-cut parts of the trail; definitely not safe to ride a couple parts of this right now!

Here is the loop and the run profile.  It ended up being 78ish meters of climbing  over what looks like about 2km, based on the proportion of the loop that was in the ravine.  I was too lazy to just measure the distance in the GPS software.  I loved running the coulee, but the loop back through my neighborhood was so boring.  I have a nice running loop through Silver Springs that is somehow much more satisfying.  I don’t know what it is about running around Scenic Acres, but it just sucks the will to live right out of me.  I digress, the loop:

Loop on the map, 7.2km

Run profile

Video after the break.

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Addicted to Data

No no no, I’m not talking about Star Trek TNG.  I am talking about the data that my fitness-related devices spit out.  I ran to work this morning after having to leave my bike there last night, and I felt naked.  You see, I left my Garmin attached to my bike, so for my entire run here this morning, I have no heart-rate data, and no distance data, no time data, no elevation data, no location data… it’s just wrong.  And that’s when I realized:  I’m addicted to data.

You see, I’ve run this route to work many times, and I checked the time on my phone before I left and when I got here (so I did 7.6km in 50ish minutes), but that’s no longer enough information for me.  That got me to thinking about the data itself and why I like it so much.  I think it’s the graphs.  I really like those graphs.  I like to try to make as smooth a line as possible through data.  Jaggedy spikes somehow tells me that I’m doing something wrong, or that I’m not fluid or something.  I like clean data to the point that traffic lights tick me off when I reach them on red, because it interrupts the capture of the data in a smooth fashion.  Here’s what I mean:

Green box? It's a stupid traffic light messing up my data collection! The rest of the data is on the move, as evidenced by the pace plot (blue line).

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This time, I really did it.

Okay, you know I was excited about how well I was doing health and fitness-wise a while ago.  Check this out, though, I’ve made it to the goal I originally set (that was 165lbs).  I don’t know what to do now!  I’m maintaining, even through all this Christmas eating and whatever else, but I don’t know what to do next!  I’m thinking about looking at racing bikes next year, we’ll see how that goes.  For now, the data speaks for itself.  While the graph doesn’t show it, I reached a peak weight of 182lbs, and as of yesterday I weighed 164.7 lbs.  That’s almost 20 lbs gone since this summer.  I look at photos of myself and actually wonder who that guy was, because I can see the difference.  I feel the difference, too, which is great.  The goal was to be in better shape to make riding more fun, and the weight has gone with it.  I was never in it to be skinnier, and I’m not obsessed with weight loss.  I just feel freaking awesome now and am addicted to feeling great.  Check it out:

It takes less energy to get up the stairs, now.

I’m now running more, too.  I hate it, I loathe it, but I’m sadistically looking forward to doing it when I do.  I can bang out 6.5 to 7.5km (that’s definitely my body’s current distance limit, structurally).  I have been running to work, and aim to keep doing this at least once a week all winter.  I’m trying to keep under 14km/week in running so far, to not injure myself.  I’ll slowly, slowly, up this as I go.  Just a note, this is something I couldn’t have done a year ago.  I got custom orthotics for my shoes midway through this weight landslide, and it’s made a massive difference in my ability to walk and run.  My feet no longer feel like they’re going to fall off!  As you can see, nothing will stop me:

-22 degrees C cannot stop me, even if I become Frosty the snowman.

Unfortunately, I’m not doing any running this week.  As is my custom, I went on vacation and promptly got sick.  Stress keeps my body in business, and when I dump a load of it, my body gives in to any virus it’s been storing for me.  Not nice, eh?  🙂