Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A super morning run!

One thing about a somewhat erratic work schedule is that you get to think about where and what works for today, rather than just the same routine over and over again. Today's workouts are a run and yoga. I had an appointment for a 9am blood donor clinic. I was going to meet my coach at Talisman to look at my swim.

Once I dropped Linda off I parked at Inglewood. I used to swim there regularly a couple of years ago now, and it was always quiet. Not many people swam there; the water is kind of warm, and the shallow end is really really shallow, as in I can easily touch the pool bottom while swimming freestyle. Today it was full of kids. Fortunately I wasn't there to swim. 

I walked out toward Blackfoot, and got on the path just near the Bow River. Right up to the very second I got to the path I was wondering if I wanted to run west toward downtown, or east toward the CPR yards. Seeing a glimpse of downtown through the trees made me go west. Calgary's downtown is pretty well oriented with streets NS and avenues EW. You get a nice skyline from a number of places. But some mornings the sun strikes the buildings with almost horizontal light. Today it was a bit orangey, with the clouds still dark behind the buildings. 

It was stunning running through the trees, along the path, beside the river, getting a constantly changing view of the buildings. The light from the sunrise, reflections off clouds and the ground, the changing texture of the clouds in the background, the reflections of the building and city lighting off the different colours of glass make for a remarkable set of images. I'm pretty familiar with the view, but one building looked strange. The building lights and sunrise shadows made it look like a pyramid. The new Encana Bow building is under construction. It's a semi circular shaped building. The inside curve is covered with white sheeting of some kind. The outside curve is not, which I hadn't known. I came around a corner and got the full impact of the building trusses near the top, and lots of really bright construction lights through the lower floors. It looked like diamonds being lit from below a black felt matrix.

My running was the total opposite of last Sunday. My feet felt light and bouncy. I felt great! For the first time I could feel myself running from my core, could feel my abs between my navel and ribs, twisting as my hips and shoulders twisted. This lasted a surprisingly long time, at several different paces. I was getting really good turnover, and the run felt smooth, easy, and relaxed. My breathing was always good, but I've no idea what my heart rate was.  I'm not sure how far or how fast, but I touched the Dean House porch, and headed back. I took a slightly different, shorter way back, so I ended up with a 10 minute warm up walk/run, 30 minutes of super good run, and 5 minutes slow run/walk cool down. This is one of the best runs I've had. I wish they could all be like that. No wonder runners try to drag other people into running.

Going back I was getting a great view of the sunrise. Not a big dramatic one like the sunrise pic I posted a little while ago, but very nice, in an orange pastel sort of way. At one point I was getting reflections of it off the Bow River. I almost stopped to watch it for a while, but it was fairly cool, -5C or so, and I didn't want to stand for too long. 

After a quick shower at the pool I went over to my fave breakfast place, The Galaxie Diner. Awesome as always. Then to donate blood for the 40th time! The actual donation took 5 minutes. They love the veins in my left arm. The rest of the rigamarole took about 45 minutes.

From there I should have gone to MEC to get a new pair of tights. Mine, that were once tight, are now loose, and I noticed one of the seams is starting to come apart, and some of the fabric is starting to show wear. But I didn't. Maybe on the weekend. I hung out at Talisman, and watched some fit people, and some people trying to get fit. I get a kick out of people watching, wondering what sort of a life has lead to them walking like that and showing that face to the world.

We swam in the new pool, which is a first for me. Overall, my swim is not bad, she says. It looks very relaxed, without a lot of extra splashing. My hands, especially the left, cross over centre. I've been rotating my head too much, and my kick is feeble. I've suspected the first, known the last, and the middle is new to me. Worked on fixing it, and drank a bit more water than normal. I tell you, it takes forever to kick 50 m, but it's nice to swim in a pool that long. It ended up being a regular work out, with lots of water running at the end. I'm going to call it a 45 minute swim, 15 minutes deep water running for core. We are both looking forward to seeing the video from the camp in a few weeks. That will reveal some more subtle details about my stroke. It puts me in mind of a guy that's been coached on his swim for years, and has been gradually improving. His blog talked about seeing some super-duper coach for some technique tips and was told "after a certain point, technique doesn't really matter anymore, you just have to put more effort into it." What with breaking one arm, and straining some muscles in the other, I haven't really gone to 100% effort in the pool for more than a year now. Maybe it's time to start working harder.

Then a bunch of work related stuff in the afternoon, and 1.25 hrs of yoga in the evening. All in all, a great day.


  1. sounds like one of the good runs that keeps you addicted too:)

  2. Wow, that run you described was mesmerizing. First, you are good at word choice. Second, you are good at capturing moments. Third, I want to visit Calgary sometime, sounds like a cool place. Except for the hockey team of course (Go Wings!). Kidding, but not really.

    We have to have the bad runs in order to REALLY appreciate the good ones. Sounds like you did.

  3. Great to hear about your amazing run. :) With all the hard work you are putting in Keith, there will be plenty of more runs like that in your future, of that I am sure! :) :)

  4. Good run!! I had my swim video taped for the first time in my life yesterday!! I have never seen myself swim! Was weird. My left arm does something crazy...who knew?

  5. I like people watching too. This sentence nearly made me fall off my chair laughing.

    "I get a kick out of people watching, wondering what sort of a life has lead to them walking like that and showing that face to the world."

    Sounded like a wonderful day.

  6. A beautiful way to describe your run Keith - a run like that is something kinda special I reckon - I LOVE it! Go kick some ass in the pool - swimming hard is FUN! I had my swim taped about a year ago - as an ex-competitive swimmer I thought my technique was pretty good - HA! You see things that you just never imagined! But I have to say I'm not sure I agree with the guy that says at some point you forget the technique and just swim harder - Olympic champions work on technique and drills ALL the time....I always work on the basis of a combination of the 2 :)

    It's great to hear things really clicking - exciting hey - just imagine how you'll be in a couple of months and more - yikes!

    Cheers, Cath


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