Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First run of the year in shorts!

This has been a pretty cold winter so far, though it's warmed up nicely the last few days. Today, in fact, is warm enough to run in shorts and a long sleeved tech shirt, though really, I could have done a short sleeved. The weather page says 10 C (50 F) and sunny, and I'm pretty sure that's what it was.

But the day started with a swim. I got into the groove right off, within the first 50 m, and settled in at a comfortable pace, checking my stroke every now and then. First K was 18:30 and feeling strong. The second K was 37:10 or so. Finished at 45 minutes with things beginning to fall apart a bit. Well, 44:30 if you insist. The stroke felt strong and relaxed and smooth. Wish there'd been a video camera. Started a dolphin kick set with fins and gave myself a really bad ham cramp, which is about the first time that's happened. Lots of kick and pull. Back into front crawl aiming to be a bit stronger and even better form. Then some back stroke and really easy front crawl to cool down. 1.5 hrs total.

I hit the sweet spot today. As I was getting in another guy was leaving and told me it had been a zoo there with 5 people in each of the fast lanes for a while. Another person joined me as I was doing backstroke, then several people piled in as I was stretching. Just as well I was done, since none of them could swim.

Here's why I went to Princess Auto. Our BBQ came with these stupid little castors, more suitable for an indoor couch or chair. Since the BBQ normally lives in the garage it worked out ok, but one of the castors eventually broke. I went to the BBQ place and they said Princess Auto was the place to go. What a neat place! It's full of all sorts of interesting stuff.

I really like old small town hardware stores, but they've been gradually going out of business, mores the pity. You never knew what you'd find, and the real treasure, as I've come to understand, there was usually a guy there that could answer questions. A handy guy. One who knew what parts you'd need to match up the old stuff in your house to that new stuff in whatever package you bought. Knew that the weird nut or bolt you needed would be in a particular bin in the back and don't be afraid to help yourself to a coffee while you look. Could advise what brand of paint lasted in the local climate. Knew that you'd be better off buying rope rather than chain for what you were trying to do. Knew how to jerry-rig something to hold equipment together long enough to get the job done. Probably knew who was sleeping with who. All sorts of stuff.

In any case, you can see the broken castor and the new one that looks considerably more heavy duty. Plus the little rectangular insert that holds the pin. Doing the replacement was considerably easier than I expected. I was worried I'd break one of the inserts and then where would I be?

While getting dressed for my run I found a brand new pair of socks! Still on the little hanger. Not sure where they've been, but they're out now, and part of the working herd. They won't say this white for long. I was looking at one sock the other day, and it is this gross gray brown. Linda is thinking of giving them a bleach solution bath, but I don't care what colour they are. I figure if you wear blinding white socks, people will assume you're a newbie.

As I said it's warm out, and the snow is melting like there is no tomorrow. It's surprisingly hard to get a shot of your legs when you can't get the camera further away than arms length.

Here's a more traditional self-photo, showing off my deep set squinty eyes, but without the green glow I like so much. I'm not sure how I did that. Compare this to the last several photos of me taken outside.

After fixing the BBQ it was time to run. Warmed up with a bit of leg exercises, and started easy. At first I felt very choppy and stiff, but I soon relaxed. I wasn't caring about pace so I let my legs run at whatever speed felt comfortable. After a while it starting feeling very fluid and rhythmic. I was really enjoying the run, in between dancing over sheets of ice that froze last night after the melt from yesterday. Ran my 5 K route in 33:30, not working too hard. Stretched after. Yoga later tonight, but that can be added to tomorrow's blog if there's anything that needs saying.

My knee is feeling much stronger. For the run, at least, it isn't the limiter anymore. I'm back to working on building my running muscles and skills again.


  1. I think those photos show off your mustache nicely :)

  2. Really? 50F? Did you swim at an outdoor pool?

    I love the locally owned mom & pop hardware stores...the one near us closed about a year ago... Home Depot just ain't the same

  3. The hardware store in kensington is still around... sort of a little mom and pop...
    re: photos of legs, can't you just point the camera down?
    re: bbq castors... those look awesome. Is the bbq still level? mine has two big wheels and two little ones, which seem to have been lost in the last move...


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