Monday, 28 April 2014

Paths less travelled and blue tape

I just bought a box of clif bars, and the sky is less dark when I head to work: The Calgary Marathon weekend must be getting close. Training is still on course, just about. I had started to feel the left hip flexor get tight, which didn't seem to bode well. 
Chiro-man has me coming in every 2 weeks, and pointed out the left calf was the main culprit. It's certainly tender when using the stick. I've got some magic blue tape to help my left foot spring back between strides.
In monitoring my stride the next day, I could hear my left foot slapping down while the right was fairly quiet (yet another reason not to wear headphones). A bad old habit had crept back in on this one side: lifting my toes. Too much load on the calf then leading to the upper leg doing too much impact absorption. I had to resort to pressing my toes on foot fall, which made for discomfort in the calf and achilles, but since then the upper left leg has felt the same as the right. Got to keep the engine room in top shape. 

Amongst all that, I've run on a few pathways that I've never taken in all these years. Out to the east of downtown Calgary is the zoo, spread out across an island in the river and a small piece on the north bank. There's a pathway on this bank, overlooking the opposite island. So on a lunchtime run, I saw a black bear, some monkeys, a moose, 2 bison and a plastic diplodocus. What takes you aback are the signs that state, "the flood waters reached up to here," above my head on a pathway at least 10 metres up from the river.

I've also been through the area on the southern bank, where there's a bird sanctuary. Having taken quite a hit during last year's floods too, it's a bit stop-start in places. Still, a new path away from the crowds that often walk in moving walls, and the few fair-weather runners who don't know proper pathway etiquette.

Edworthy Park (nw of downtown Calgary) is a true escape, especially on the south side of the river , right down to the coyote warning signs. Unfortunately, it's yet another stretch of pathway closed for flood damage repair. Still very much under repair are the banks connected to 2 bridges in east Fish Creek Park. I will have to wait before I can once again do such a varied 26k - wooded areas, open scrub, twisty paths, long straights, right by the riverbank and up on a cliff edge. I decided to look at a new community I'd spotted on the other side of the Bow river 3k from my house. 
Over the 22x highway, up the hill to Cranston, down the other side and there's Riverside. 760k for a new villa. No way to the river that I could spot. Still, I got to explore and while improving myself, all it cost was a bit of shoe rubber and a bottle of gatorade. The top highlight was seeing an eagle catch a fish.
26k in 2:17 with 3 sizeable hills on that Sunday. Surprisingly good feeling in the legs, and the same on Saturday running 13k home from the gym after 2 hour core workout. 1:12 is a couple of minutes better than I've done it previously. The end of that Saturday is usually a stiff grind, so I'll take that good feeling and run with it.
On my mind that weekend was the beautiful win by Meb Keflezighi at Boston. A year on from the unspeakable, the first American win since 1985, from a man who walked across an Eritrean desert at the age of 12 to escape a civil war. A perfect result.

1 comment:

  1. I love running varied routes. It gets so boring running the same places over and over again. Sadly, Red Deer is so small that I end up covering the same ground often!