One question

If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory‚Ä®
What would you ask if you had just one question

Which is a good point. What would you ask God if you had one question? Luckily, by definition, the obvious question has already been answered; Is there a god? So we can move onto juicier stuff.
If we want to get maximum value out of the one question, we’ve got to think of the benefit to humanity. Two things come to mind, depending on whether we want to be forward thinking or backward thinking. Both are requests for technology that would help everybody.
“What is the way to travel faster than the speed of light?” With that we would, presumably, be able to conquer the galaxy and spread humanity out. Let’s face it, all our eggs are in the Earth basket right now. Of course God could be a jerk and reveal a method that has too high a cost to use. (First you need a planet made of antimatter…) If we have time we could probably get some scientists and lawyers to come up with the ideal version of the question. Also, it takes away humanity’s victory in finding the discovery. It wouldn’t feel like we made it and deserved it, but had it handed to us. Stuff we get for free isn’t as appreciated.
The other technology, which I can’t phrase in the form of a question here, is a lesser known science fiction trope. Basically, a machine that allows people to see anything that happened in the past. With that we could answer all the questions of history, but more importantly, always have a credible witness to any crime. Everyone would have to take responsibility for their actions.
Of course it is also possible to massively abuse the technology if it was common and not just used in the hands of licensed professionals. It could destroy all privacy when anyone could see what you were up to at such-and-such a time. If used well, I think this would give a good way to clean up humanity. But after looking at what I wrote, it also looks like a good way to start a despotic government.
So I guess the first question is my top choice.

Mountains and the roads that love them

I got up before the crack of dawn to go do a super-run. Starting at 5:30, I ran 51km into the Kananaskis. Since in the Calgary area, the high today is 30 degrees, I thought an early departure time was important. And it helped. Just not completely.
My father was nice enough to be a support vehicle for me, letting me get more water if I needed it, but also letting me know the temperature. It maxed out at 20 degrees, but I don’t think the car took into account that I wasn’t in the shade and the pavement radiated heat. I thought it would be cooler in the mountains.
I eventually ran out of park, so I had to turn around and head back to get the necessary distance. Which means I had to go over the pass twice. The “pass” is another word for small mountain. I had to walk up that monster.
But now I’m done, and I’ll be paying for this for the next couple of days.

Spanish Prisoner

I don’t think I’ve been getting enough sleep lately. I’m wide awake at bedtime, but paying for it the next morning. So I’ve been cranky. I noticed I was far too aggressive while driving home today.
In any case, I had said I would go out to a salsa dancing class tonight. I really should have been packing, or doing hill training, but if I’m invited out, I have to go. Unfortunately, ten minutes after I agreed to go, the person who invited me bailed out. So I ended up going to the get-together, not knowing anyone, and not knowing even who was part of the get-together.
If this was a con game, it would be known as a “bait and switch”.
The class was okay, but the crowd did seem a little old for me. I think I would have been better off going to the Funky Buddha’s salsa night. The dance floor is much smaller, but the girls are younger. And I can be awkward just as easily in a bar conveniently close to home.

Swing low, sweet chariot

Swing class was fun. There were less people there this time. That was probably a good thing because the place where it was held was already fairly hot.
It was pointed out that I was looking sunburnt. I don’t feel sunburnt, but now that I look at my forehead with new eyes, I can agree there is a resemblance to the burning of the skin.
Everyone seemed to like the dipping part the best. It’s a fun maneuver.

Where is this energy coming from?

I went to an informal improv class today. Or at least part of. I would have like to have been there on time, but the aforementioned run took precedence. It was nice, but it has been about a year since I last did improv. Rusty did not begin to describe it.
Still, fun was had by all.
Now, for the first time in years, I am not having pasta on a Saturday night while I am at home. Since I have always done a long run on Sunday morning, pasta was a good source of calories. But since I did the run this morning, I get to have variety.
Ironically, my dinner-of-champions yesterday was poutine. And for lunch today I had a boost drink. It was dangerous, because last week I saw a friend drink one while on the run and end up with horrible stomach problems. Hasn’t affected me. So far.
I am really looking forward to being able to sleep-in tomorrow. And because I can, I get to stay up late tonight. Swing dancing, here I come.

Another day, another marathon

It’s a beautiful day out. But not for running. Unfortunately that is exactly what I did. It was way too hot.
I got a new hydration pack. This one doesn’t leave my neck in a vise. It’s eyesore green in color. However it only holds 1.5 litres. And on a hot day like today, that isn’t enough.
Well, I still have a lot to do today. Including stuff I should have been at two hours ago. But I need to train for running, and this was the day we were doing it.

Predator vs. Prey

A new record yesterday. 51km. That is far too long.
What did help is that I had purchased a hydration pack. This is a minimalist backpack that holds 3 litres of water. That was enough to get me through the entire run. Well almost; I did grab some water from a gas station, but I think I had enough in my pack still to cover it.
The problem was that the pack was designed for cyclists. Which meant that it rode up high on my back; To the point where it had my neck in a clamp. Most of the time I had to slouch over to give it some relief. I’m bruised there today, and I don’t see me ever trying it on again. I’ve already returned it, but now I need to find a new source of water.
We all know what happens when I run out of water.
One of the other problems I have to deal with is calories. After a long, long run, my stomach shrinks to nothing. So I felt very full at lunch, even though I should have eaten more. Heck, dinner was a large slice of lemon pie. That is not a sufficient source of calories. But because my stomach is so small, I don’t feel hungry.
It took me until this evening to figure out why I was so lethargic today. So I’m scrounging my home for any sources of calories and scarfing them down.
Don’t move too slowly around here. I can’t guarantee your safety.

Dangerous Street

I threw a party tonight. After it was over, I got an instant message from a guest who had driven down Whyte Avenue. “Talk about the scenic route.”
I haven’t been on Whyte for awhile, so I thought I should go and enjoy the half-naked women who patrol this part of town.
Of course, you have to also put up with the crazies who also cavort the streets. But there are hot women. However, if they are outside, chances are they were exiled there to smoke.
The two Kokanee Glacier Girls were looking very nice, but they didn’t seem to want to talk. Weird.

Dowsing rods need not apply

If you look on the web, you can find a site that pretty much states “Although the water in the creeks looks crystal clear it is not safe to drink. If you must drink the water is should be boiled for at least 5 minutes.”
That is not a good sign.
I called into the park to ask a few questions. It doesn’t sound like I’m at a high risk, since the water I drank from isn’t far from the source. They still suggested I go see a doctor. I’m feeling fairly good. I’m beginning to suspect that the burping and stomach irritation I’ve been feeling is because I’ve also been drinking milk that expired (according to the best before date) two days ago. (Friends insist that doesn’t mean it instantly goes to undrinkable, so I’ve been playing with the ragged edge of disaster.)
I also found out that there is plenty of water in the park. If I had continued on the trail for a bit more, I would have found a drinking tap. All the campgrounds have one as well.
So now I have to go back and prove I can do this properly.

Or maybe it was just a Monday?

Yesterday evening was horrible. I came home and went to bed with a stomach and head-ache. I crawled out of bed by eight and got enough energy by nine to reheat some stale leftovers before I went back. Sleep eluded me for most of the night because the stupid headache wouldn’t go away.
Today I feel better. A Tylenol in the morning helped.
Now I have to wonder why I was feeling so bad. When you are awake in the middle of the night, your brain tries to find things to do, and random theorizing is as good a task as any.
The most popular: I was cramped up in a rainy house ever since the long run. Yesterday I walked forty minutes to a training session downtown. This exercise might have finally caught up all the abuse I did to my body. This caused the utter collapse of my health leading to my sickness.
Another theory: I went out to lunch at the Mongolie Grill and possibly spent too much time scraping out the dregs of their rice noodle container. I don’t know how long they had been there, and they may have gone bad.
Final theory: The classroom got stuffy and hard to breath. It was crowded.

Too longer

I did it again today. Four days ago I ran more than I had ever done. I broke that record today.
I had planned to do some mountain hiking this weekend near Canmore, but that got cancelled due to avalanche warnings (probably for the best) so I decided that I would do my Sunday run today. In the Kananaskis. I chose today, earlier than is probably advisable, because it is looking like this will be the only nice day this weekend. Plus, my parents and sister were out in the morning, so I wouldn’t be missing their company.
I crossed the road to Highway 22. I also discovered that the ditch had water in it. The hard way. So my first act was to take off one shoe and try to wring as much water out of my sock as possible. An inauspicious start. I was surprised that I didn’t end up with a painful blister during the run. I did get one, but not in a painful area.
Then I ran.
My plan was to run 46km today. I headed into the park, mostly gaining altitude, but there are valleys in the way. The lowest point I hit was 1230 meters above sea level, and the highest point was 1450 meters. I had my mother’s six year old GPS unit with me to give me an idea of how far I was traveling. At about twenty kilometers in I found I couldn’t trust it; There was a place that I had driven a car odometer, and found it was 20.1km away. The GPS said it was 21.3km. I added three more clicks and then turned around. Now I would be going mostly downhill.
It was not easy though. I had thought there would be water available in the park. Technically, I suppose, that was true, but I was hoping for something more refined than crouching over a creek and trying to fill the bottle with non-silty water. When I was running towards the mountains I had gotten caught in a rainstorm, but you can’t get much water into your mouth with your tongue out. And it was gone by the time I came back again.
It also got hotter and hotter. I now have a nice sunburn. But I think, despite what other people might say, (you know who you are) that I need more sun in my life. I really don’t want to turn into a morlock.
The last ten kilometers were without water. I did harass an innocent road crew worker and got a few gulps of water out of her, but it wasn’t enough. I got sluggish. It was almost like I could feel my blood thickening. And those valleys were now killers. I had walk a large part of them. I’ll say it was because I was worried about my right calf, but really, I was tired. I have to go buy a better water carrying system.
My shirt had been around my waist for almost the entire run. Then, with three kilometers to go, I noticed it was gone. I looked behind myself and saw it lying on the pavement twenty meters away, back up a hill. It took several long seconds before I decided to go back for it. I was very tempted to take a car out later to collect it.


I had planned to finally get back to hill training today. Except I don’t think I should. While doing the really long run on Sunday, I strained my right calf a bit. A year ago I got a large recurring cramp in it while doing the Red Deer marathon. Since then, when all my muscles are tired, it has started to get tight. While pushing up a hill I think I may have done something to it.
So I’m not going to do hill training and instead will try (this is a weird concept) to “listen to my body”.
I’m still going to do an insane distance for next weekend. Unless I do mountain climbing instead.

Too long

Today I ran the longest I have ever done. Later on I found out I had also run the furthest. In other words, I ran more than a marathon, but only by about 100 meters. However, it took about 40 minutes longer than a marathon. It was a training run so I wasn’t pushing it. In fact, I was occasionally stopping to wait for slower members of the group to catch up.
I was out for four hours. Long enough that, even though I started at 8:30, at some point I had to switch from saying “good morning” to people to “good afternoon”.
Four hours of running pretty much ruins your day. After the run and eating a lunch, the day is pretty much gone. And the only deadly sin you have the energy for is sloth.