Unanticipated Automotive Use

Okay, my plan to run more than I drive hit a speed bump today. On Thursday I need to be in Seattle. So the drive to and from the airport is going to slap on at least 50km. Who knows how much driving I’ll need to do when I’m there to get to and from the job interview.
It will be a lot of driving. And I don’t want to overtrain to try and beat the car. I’m still going to pay attention to odometers. It may work out. And there is always next week.

Run progress

It’s hard to make scientific progress when the variables are too variable.
I am trying to figure out the best way to improve my running. When I ran the first 30km since my injury, I went through Millcreek ravine and headed east, eventually turning around to return. That time I felt horrible by the end. No energy left. I was even walking flat parts. I figured that the reason it went so badly was that I started the run going too fast; I used my energy up too quickly and burned out. Sounds plausible.
On Thursday I did the same route. I kept slow, and I was able to keep running for the entire time. It was even a few degrees cooler. And at the end I felt powerful.
And apparently I was thirty seconds slower?
That’s disappointing.
Today, for the second consecutive Sunday, I ran 42.2km. (I you are running around that distance, you are going to end it at the perfect distance to say you’ve done a marathon.) The first Sunday felt horrible by the end. No energy left. I was even walking flat parts.
This time I started slower. The route was slightly different, but mostly the same. But I was able to keep running the entire time. And this time I brought enough water that I could keep hydrated the entire time without mugging people in their garage. It was even eight degrees cooler. With all these factors, I should be a lot faster. But in the end I was only seven minutes faster.
That’s disappointing. Still, progress.
I’m going to try and focus on the fact that I was feeling fairly good by the end. I could have probably kept running if I had wanted to. But I had gotten my route to end nearly in front of a Subway restaurant and I needed calories. Stat!
I’m thinking of giving myself a challenge. One of those things that prove nothing, but can become a personal accomplishment. The conditions are fairly good that I could try and run further this week than I drive, or am driven. I’ve run 42.2km. The only driving I’ve done today is about 6km to pick up a large pizza that I just inhaled. I don’t foresee much more driving at all this week. Nothing I need to get to except to help a friend move. If I pile on the running, I should be safe even from unanticipated automotive use.
It’s too bad stair training causes so much exhaustion for such a short run.
When I do run, I seem to be trying to make my routes go over trails I know about but aren’t on OpenStreetMap. That way I can add them in when I plug my GPS in. Today’s route followed that pattern. However, my GPS seems flaky lately. It keeps track of distance travelled and speed, but every so often it decides it doesn’t want to keep track of the exact route. So nothing I can use to add to OSM. Especially annoying today when I purposely went down into a rather daunting ravine/cliff near Cameron Heights. I suppose it might not be a trail that can really be navigated safely, but it is still a trail. And once you are in the ravine, there is a realistic trail that should be included.

On the Edge of a Precipice

In the near future my life could go in one of two completely different directions. On Friday I had two job interviews. Both went well. (I think. They did in my head.) One is located in Edmonton, the other is in Pasadena.
Both jobs look exciting and interesting. But the one in Pasadena terrifies me. If I get offered it, I would be a fool not to go. Unless I’m already employed locally. Will I be offered one job? Will I be offered both?
This feels a lot like when I first came to Edmonton. I was employed in Winnipeg at a job that didn’t use my programming talents to their full potential. A company in Edmonton offered me a job related to my skills for quite a bit more money. So I left behind all my friends, family and the only home I knew and moved out west.
This feels very similar. Except in Edmonton I built my life here. In Winnipeg it was essentially handed to me. Here, I had to make friends from scratch. I purchased my own home. I learned all the good running trails. It will be hard to leave that. But because it terrifies me, is one of the biggest reasons to actually go. I should try and be uncomfortable. It can only be good for me.
In sitcoms, if the show is retooled by moving to a different city, they find excuses for the rest of the cast to make the move as a whole. The real world doesn’t work like that.
At least in Pasadena I would have some friends nearby.

Rules to run by

I went for a 35km run in the Kananaskis foothills today. It was a learning experience. Which is annoying because I have to learn things that I already learned before.
Apparently I’ve forgotten some basic running rules.
1) Use Body Glide. Chafing hurts.
It started out nice and cloudy and then got surprisingly sunny. And hot. The wind the weather report threatened me with, wasn’t providing near enough coolness.
2) Sunscreen is a good idea when you are at a higher altitude.
I was on a new route that I had never taken before. It worked out rather well. There are three types of roads out there. Major ones that try and get from point A to point B in the most direct route. Minor ones that are probably laid out in a grid and don’t care about what’s in the way. Medium roads that were probably first designed by settlers who had to take horses everywhere.
3) Medium roads will actually try and go around hills. This is a good thing.
I listened to an iPod most of the way. An audio story would have been nice, but then you might miss part of the story if a motorcycle roars by. However, music isn’t always appropriate.
4) “Eye of the Tiger” while on a hill will not end well. Ignore the music and slow down.
A lot of the route was possibly on the Cowboy Trail. Well, I think I saw a sign marking it as such, but Wikipedia seems to disagree with me. In any case, Highway 762 was actually part of Google Street View. Surprising! It is not a major road or in a urban centre. So before the run, I could take a look as to what the route looked like.
5) In Google Street View, roads look a lot leveller than they are when you are on foot.
It wasn’t horribly hilly, and the road skirted around a number of them. But it certainly wasn’t completely flat.


I’m a big, fat, slob.
In my head, I’m just as healthy as ever. I could probably go run 100km and be fine. Why wouldn’t I be?
But I went out for a run yesterday, planning to do 30km. (I need to get the distance up.) The first half went okay, but I did find I had trouble with the hills and needed to walk parts of them. On the way back though it got worse and worse. Eventually I was walking even the flat parts. I was out of it.
This scares me. A lot.
So, since I’m a disgusting slob I went out and ate lunch (at 6:00 pm) at McDonald’s. Seemed appropriate.
Now, the hope I’m going to cling to is that the reason I did so poorly was that I was running by myself. Usually on the long distances, I’m with friends who slow me down to a reasonable pace. This time I was going at a faster speed, and maybe that burnt out too much energy too soon.

The power of maps

A while ago I discovered Open Street Map.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, having bigger things on my plate. But I’ve gone back to it, and I like what I see. It is basically a combination wikipedia and google maps. All the mapping data is there, and anyone can edit it. I noticed that there was a small paved trail in Edmonton that wasn’t shown, so I added it.
Felt empowering.
But now I have to wonder what evil I can do with this new knowledge.
At the very least, I can start adding in all the running trails that are in Edmonton. I know several that aren’t listed, and it would be nice to have a repository of all of them. (Hmm. Not much information about Grande Cache. That’s not right.) At the very least, it should help for times when I forget my GPS and have to manually figure out how far I ran with a website pedometer.
In other news, I am actually out and pounding pavement as a real runner again. I did 27km on Sunday even. My goal is to be able to run 40km by the end of the month; the sooner the better. In June my goal is to have a 50km and 60km run under my belt. If I can do all that, I should be ready for the Death Race. I know I should go slow and temper my recovery, but I have a deadline looming.
Unfortunately, I did stair training yesterday for the first time since January. My legs are hurting.
Knee feels fine though.