Saturday, April 30, 2016

I'm back. Did you miss me?

I think we all know the answer to that.

The theory was that in late April Calgary would still be cold and snowy, and we would go off to sunny warm BC to say hello to the flowers in Butchart Gardens. Give Linda a flower fix to hold her over the last dregs of winter.

As it turns out, it's been summer in Calgary for the last several months. Here in Sidney BC, it's been sunny and light jacket cool for most of the time here. The flowers have been glorious. I have something like 900 photos to look through. There are a couple real winners in there, I know that already. There's one that I'm amazed at the colour and detail. I think I got everything right for that one. Other's are ok, and some are throw aways. A few I might try to process in Snapseed to improve.  I'm not going to bury you in photos.

We did Butchart Gardens and Abkhazi Gardens, of the two of them, I liked Abkhazi gardens better. Much better. Yes, I know that's heresy for some people, but I have an objective measure. I took way more photos there. I'd happily go back again. Both places serve a very nice high tea.

I got to visit a cousin living in Victoria, as far as I know he's my only relative on the Island. We also got a chance to visit friends that moved here a while ago. On the map it looks like a long way to go, but it was only an hour drive from here, probably a bit less if you know the twisty turny roads. Even into Victoria was only about a half hour. I tried to think of it as driving from one end of Calgary to the other.

The food was amazing! Normally we like to get a place with a basic kitchen, and this was more like a hotel room with a kitchen sink, baby fridge, and microwave.  We had to suffer with this view.

No stove or oven. We ate out a lot and didn't regret it. The choices for coffee and treats were endless. We found a place with a great all day breakfast, and did that several days. The Sea Glass Waterfront grill was a short walk from the room, and was quite a bit upscale with wonderful food. We wandered into one place almost by accident since where we wanted to go at the end of the pier was closed, and were astonished at how crispy the fish and chips were.

I guess key fobs have been getting bigger. We were speculating what could possibly be in it. The chip is tiny, and the battery is the size of a dime. And yet it's this big.

Even though there is a nice looking pool only 10 minutes away, I didn't swim. Trying to get from bed to the pool seemed like a lot of work when I was snuggled in. I did get two nice 5 K runs, one fast, one not so fast but 2 K of it was on a gravelly beach. Plus a 10 K walk along the waterfront in Victoria, plus lots of other walking.

All in all a lovely vacation. Stay tuned for flower and other vacation photos.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Normally I draft while running, but

Not the draft as in following closely behind. That doesn't work when you're a big tall guy following your usual run buddy who is usually described as petite.  Her following me now, should she decide to run that slowly, would drive her mad from boredom and the lack of energy being burned.

No, I'm thinking of drafting as in writing a first draft. Often on my runs or bike rides I'll have a blog composed and titled and everything for when I sit down at the laptop. Sometimes during a swim, but not so often. Too much to think about there.

Today was an 18 K run, and I didn't compose much of the blog, given there were two run buddies today. Two! My buddy Patricia texted and asked if I was good for 18 K. I wasn't so sure, but promised 12 and maybe 15, and would draft a route that could make that work. I checked, and Michelle was happy to come along as well.

Well. At a conversational chatchatchat pace of 7:30 or a hair less, there was lots of chatting. No drafting. There was even more chatting, if you can believe it, when we met Sophia  out with a Running Room group. In fact, all four of of us know each other. How rare is that, to be running with a group, and meet someone who is known by all in your group? Maybe it happens to you all the time, but it's a first for me.

The weather wasn't the best, being just above zero C and kind of dank for Calgary. This is a tough temperature to dress for. I ended up wearing a light jacket over a long sleeved top, which was ok while running, but I got cold whenever I was standing still. Not rain, just sweat that had nowhere to go. So I guess it's a fail on the clothing front today. It's so much easier to dress for running in -10 C and colder, or +10 C and warmer.

The run started under 8th St bridge over Deerfoot. I've started lots of runs there, but I haven't been there in a while. Down to the canoe club again, across Deerfoot and the Bow, up the path through Inglewood (very pretty this time of year!) and across the new bridge by Fort Calgary. There was a short detour into the old Simmon's building while I listened to the goodies at Sidewalk Citizen tempt me, then we were off again across the skipping stone bridge, past the zoo, back up the Nose Creek path, past the car all the way up to 32nd St, and back. 18 K, 2:14.  This fills in another block of bike path on my map. I'll have to get you guys a photo of that.

Patricia is happy as that keeps her on her training plan.  I think it's her longest run ever and that's great! She's going to have a great race! I'm happy, it's my longest run in several years. Well, mostly happy, my hams and calves are sending some protest notes upstairs.  Michelle is happy any run she doesn't have to carry me home, which is all of them so far.

The swim Friday afternoon was excellent! I've mostly had good luck with Friday afternoon swims. I was back in my usual groove. 1k in 18:35, 3x100 all sub 1:45, 1x100 92 seconds, and a cool down 100, plus some water yoga and running. Some of the synchro girls were at it in the other part of the pool. What amazing athletes they are! I consider myself a fairly strong swimmer by triathlete standards (no snickering in the peanut gallery!), but I couldn't even begin to do what they do.

The garden is greening up nicely. The Alberta rose is getting a good start in it's plans of world domination.

I keep expecting Jack to show up. If he hangs around for a while, he won't need a beanstalk, the lilies will do quite as well.

Curtis of course keeps an eye on us when ever we're out and he's in, and is in the middle of giving me a piece of his mind.

One of the tulips. But you knew that. We're just glad they escaped the bunny.

The other plum tree is in bloom too. The bees are happy.

The remainder of the garden is just getting started.

The front is doing really well. I think the yellow things are daffodils.

The plant photos have reminded me of the limitations of an iPhone. I've been thinking about photography as a retirement hobby, and spent part of yesterday exploring camera choices. Holy doodle! And when you get through THAT there's lens choices. Holy even more doodle.

I'm trying to think it through, what I want to take photos of, and how much I'll actually use it. As was mentioned during our run, it isn't something that I'm going to take to the pool, on a bike ride, or on the run. I'm not going to carry it back and forth to work on the off chance the light will be perfect and I'll get the shot of the year of the downtown buildings. Besides, that shot has been done already, by my buddy Neil Zeller.

I'm thinking about two paths, one being starting with a very basic DSLR camera and lenses, and seeing how much I actually use it. If I like it and use it a lot I can move up, and maybe sell the old one. I tend to use my stuff fairly gently. Or I could just go straight to the good stuff, with a tougher learning curve, and trust I'll use it enough to be worthwhile, or that I can resell it. Decisions, decisions.

Do you own a DSLR? How much do you actually use it, compared to the camera in your phone?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Steak and blossoms

It's been quite a week. Lots to do at work, and it's tax time. That moment when your accountant says you owe $nn,nnn.xx, when you expected a small $n,nnn payment owing. Then realize you forgot to tell her you made those installment payments throughout 2015. Oops. It really is just $n,nnn.

I've been feeling like I've been running short of sleep this week, even though I'm getting to bed early, and sleeping reasonably well. Except for the shooting pains in my neck, of course, though those are better after the massage on Wednesday.

The swim didn't happen today. I knew there was lots of stuff at work, and just as well I got there early. Maximo is a swear word, did you know that? Especially where pipelines and dodgy data are concerned.

The run this evening was one of the nicest I've ever done, outside of the ones with my run buddy. I was still feeling a little stiff and sore from the massage, but did a nice warm up walk, listening to my quads complain. I told them we were going to run anyways.

A few steps into the run, and I settled into a 6:30 per K groove, and stayed there. So much for complainypants quads. The first 3 K were  so nice and easy I was thinking I should be running faster. I was barely breathing, my legs were happy, and then I figured why mess with a good thing?  The 2 K coming back are mostly up a gradual hill so I had to work a little harder to maintain pace, but I was never breathing hard. My legs felt light and springy. I could have run further, but figured 5 K  32:30 was good enough, and I'd be running more on the weekend. Better to have a perfect 5K than have it fall apart trying for 6 or 7. Remember, one of the rules for building slowly is to stop before you need to. It was that perfect temperature for running, warm enough to relax and work up a bit of a sweat, but not be dripping and wishing you'd brought water. If every run was like this, everyone would be a runner.

I think it's steak night in the neighbourhood, and between steak, there are lots of trees blossoming.   The mix of scents was wonderful! Here's our own tree.

I started on of those walk paths that connect bits of neighbourhood, and decided to keep turning right. Here's what it looked like. It's kind of interesting going in and out of all the cul de sacs. Some are essentially a used car sales lot, others are oddly shaped basketball courts. There was a huge hop scotch pattern in one of them.

I really liked this one little front garden with a water feature in it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

It comes and goes

The pool this morning was a study in contrasts. Well, I was, anyway. Everybody else was about the same. The overall pace was a little slow 1K, 19:20, but the actual pace was all over the place.

I've got some interesting neck and shoulder pain, but mostly it doesn't bother me when I'm swimming. For part of the swim there was lots of clunk and bodily thrash. Splashing, bubbles, and other inefficiencies. Some of the laps felt really good, like I was sliding along on ball bearings. It didn't feel like I was doing anything different, but the slowest lap was 1:03 or so (the shame, hides face) and the fastest was 52 seconds or so. That's a lot of variation in pace over a short distance when you're trying to swim steady.

The hot tub felt really good after.

The run was a bit later than usual what with a few errands after work. Plus it was pedestrian and bike stupidity on the way home! I think the sun had baked their brains or something. One guy just turned hard left in the middle of the block and walked out onto the street without looking. I could see him coming and got stopped, but the driver in the oncoming car didn't see the idiot till the last second. I think there was a pedestrian in nearly every crosswalk on the way home, plus the unauthorized one just mentioned. Bikes all over the place. I mean, all over the roads, the sidewalks, in between, in the cycle path.

It was still nice and warm when I started out, and for all that my legs were feeling a little unsteady, and there was a brief bit where I thought I was going to trip over my own feet, it turned into one of the fastest 6 K ever. Certainly since I started using iSmoothRun. 6K, 37:30, for an average of 6:12 per K. Once I settled in, the run felt really good.

It was really hard to go into work today, and even harder to go back after a quick walk at lunch. Nobody seemed much in the mood to work, but I had a huge data import struggle. Picky picky picky. That batch is done, and tomorrow is a worse import issue. Sigh.

And taxes. I dropped the paperwork off at my accountant, and I dread the followup. No, not paying her bill, she's cheap at twice the price for the stress she saves me. Nor is it paying if I end up owing tax. That's a desirable situation to be in because it means I've held onto my money longer, rather than begging the government to give it back.

No, the problem is questions. Maybe I've missed a form. Maybe I forgot something. Or I get give a choice and I don't understand either option. Dealing with tax stuff or expense account stuff totally stresses me out. My corporate year end is coming up soon, and that's more stress. I actually have to do up a little spreadsheet, and look up all sorts of numbers. Last year I promised myself I'd build the xl as I went along, but did I? NO! Sigh. At least I got my parking statements along the way.

Yeah, I know. First world problems. What first world problems do you have? And don't tell me about pumpkin spice latte withdrawl.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Summer weekend

Started with a lovely run. Add in a bit of gardening, and patio clean up. Add in a visit from a costal buddy in town to work for a few weeks. Awesome BBQ.

First day this year we had coffee on the patio in the morning. We've eaten on the patio a couple times this year, but this is the first time we've had a guest.

Back to work tomorrow. Sigh. I want to take the week off work and run and bike in the warmth.

A Friday sunset. I'd have shown it to you earlier, but Apple Photos and iPhotostream or whatever it's called was being pissy. I'm researching alternatives.

My writing buddy this morning. Me trying to keep my head in the shade.

The patio and garden looking pretty darned spiffy for mid-April!

Snoozing kitties, just because.

Celina expressing her distain for not being let out.

Another view of the patio in the evening.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Then to now

I realized as I was about to push the publish button you'd probably see the full horror of the first tummy shot in your Twitter or Facebook feed, and I didn't want to put you off a meal or anything. So I put in this pair of quiescent kitties. So calming, soothing.

Now to the subject matter at hand.
March 15
An ongoing post starting just after the Talisman 10 mile tri. There was a photo of me being passed by Terry on the run. My gut is way out in front, like below only more so. Sheesh. Time to do something.

I decided to cut down on sweets and taper back on the wine a bit. In discussion Michelle generously offered to support me by giving up gummy bears. Not that her petite geometry needs to lose weight.

The big trauma right from the start was freezing 13 of Linda's wonderful cookies so they don't tempt me day to day. These are not empty calorie cookies. Lots of good stuff in them, but there are choices that are more nutritionally dense.

So, for the next month, what does this look like? Wine, no more than one 5 ounce glass a day, and if I miss a day it doesn't carry over. No cookies, cake, bars or other treat sweets. Dial back on how thick the peanut butter and honey is spread on sandwiches.

Not that the scale number is the ultimate or anything, I weighed myself today, and will do so at the end. It isn't the measure of success, it's just an indicator number. (238.8, if you were wondering) Maybe I'll get a cloth tape and do some strategic measurements. (I didn't.) Or maybe I'll get a duplicate of that shot above, same shorts and jersey, see if it makes a difference. (I sort of did.)

March 17
So far so good. I haven't broken down and defrosted a cookie, or bought one from anywhere. I'm still feeling a bit tired from daylight savings time, at least I hope it's that and not my metabolism shutting down on low fuel.

April 16. So much for a near-daily recounting of the month. You weren't interested in the trivia anyways. You want results. RESULTS!

 I'm feeling great! The running has been going really well, running faster, and generally feeling lighter on my feet. Except for the last couple that happened shortly after tough bike rides, so that sort of understandable. The bike fitness is about where I expected it to be. Swimming sort of comes and goes.

Overall I got through the whole month without any sugar cravings. No cheating on cookies, and not even getting carried away with little balls of energy and recovery goodness. No cakes or treat bars. The closest I came to busting on the wine was one Saturday when I had two (measured) glasses, one 3 oz with lunch to finish a bottle, and a 4 oz with dinner. Lots of days I didn't have any wine at all.

There was one bad day where I'd eaten all the dates I'd brought for snacks, and all my lunch, and right after lunch I realized it was a long stretch to dinner. That wasn't much of a fun afternoon. Fortunately there was no work stupidity, or a bout of hangry might have happened.

I even had coffee at Purple Perk with buddies, and didn't have one of their treats in spite of being seduced by the 3 part butter tart chorus. I was pretty proud of myself after that. (Have you seen their treats? They are awesome!)

What is the future? I will go back to eating cookies and treats of course, but the trick will be cut down on the quantities. There's still lots of tummy that can be trimmed back, and I've got several months before the contemplated marathon. The lighter the better for that. The MEC marathon I've got my eye on is in October. So I've got 7 months to gradually build volume, and trim weight. At the 5 pounds a month rate, I could be down to what I weighed in high school, though I was pretty skinny then. I don't think that's a realistic target, or even a particularly desirable goal. During the IMC expo I got weighed, and they said I was 218 pounds. I'd like to be down around there again, and I think that is reasonable.

Here's the current tummy. It wasn't the best place for a side shot, because there's a really steep hill about 2 steps in every direction sideways and forward, but it was the best we could do post run.

That post run just happened to be 15 K, 1:52, for a 7:27 pace. The idea was to start at the canoe club, run down the canal to 50 Ave, cross over, get on the Bow River path, cross on Ogden Rd, go through the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, cross the Bow again at Blackfoot, then run up to the pedestrian bridge over Deerfoot and back to the canoe club.

I'd consulted the detour map, which told me about some detours near 50 Ave. The map was wrong. We ended up going lots further south, and then cut off the loop north of Blackfoot. I was feeling really good till the last K or so. I thought we were at 12 K or so, and was surprised to hear the phone say 14 k. Getting back to the car was almost exactly 15 K and we strolled around the parking lot to cool down. It all makes a very nice addition to the pathway map I'm colouring in.

The swim yesterday was ok, and the one on Wed was very clunky. There was a 6 K, 43 min run on Tuesday that felt very heavy and slow. No surprise after a really hard bike ride.

So the month of no cookies, et al was good. The number on the scale was 233.3, so down 5.5 pounds in a month. I think most of it was off my tummy, since the fit of my pants hasn't changed. I'm pretty pleased about that.

The other piece we were talking about on the run. Typically running at a 7:30 per K pace my heart rate was up in the 130's. Today the average was 120 it says, but it took me a minute to remember to turn the Garmin off at the end. But most of the time it was low 120's today. So I'm running further with my legs feeling fine, at a lower heart rate, while maintaining the same pace. I'm pretty pleased about that too.

Spring is full go here. The grass is greening up, the lilies are going gangbusters. Linda has the garden pretty well all cleaned up from winter, and is thinking about annuals, and filling the planters she found. I still need to pressure wash stuff. Later today, if I get at it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The secret method

There is usually a best way of doing something. Some way that makes it easier, faster, less stressful. Sometimes there's a tool. Just the right tool and all goes well. Without it and you're in a world of hurt. Study this photo carefully. The tool is there, do you see it? It's bright orange.

The something today was cleaning the BBQ. It's been a long hard winter, but the BBQ doesn't get a rest, even in minus 11 c.  The time had come to clean it, lest it become a fire hazard. Here it is, mostly done. The bright orange tool isn't so orange any more.

These are not dirty because of the BBQ cleaning. This is another secret tool. Two for the price of one blog! Wow, what a good deal my readers are getting today! I'm so good to you. These are used for washing my bike chain. I tried some BBQ cleaner and didn't want to get any on my hands. It smelled like oven cleaner, whatever that is.

I'd taken the bright orange micro-fiber cloth and washed it with dish soap. This pulls out all the BBQ guck. Then it was time to go over it again to get the last tough spots off.  This cloth is the secret to cleaning the BBQ. It's amazing! Now it's ready for rack of lamb.

This was the hardest thing I did all day. The plan was to get up about 6 and go for a swim. I was awake about 5:15 and decided that was too early. I next looked at the clock about 9am. Oh well, I must have needed the rest.

Other things got crossed off my list today, so I'm feeling pretty accomplished for a rest day. What am I resting from? There was the big workout going down Road to Nepal on Friday. Then Saturday was a long run. I was feeling very dubious about this, but my run buddy assured me that if I collapsed in a heap, she would carry me back to the car. I'd wanted to fill in the gap in Fish Creek that I hadn't run this year, so forced myself to get ready.

All that build up and we had a very nice run! We started near the MacLeod  Trail parking lot, and ran east to Bow Bottom trail. The wind pushed us along every step of the way. Coming back wasn't so easy, but we pushed hard, and carried on past the car to the bottom of Elbow drive. A cool down walk back to the car was perfect.

My legs felt surprisingly good. 11.25 K, 1:24, nailing a 7:30 pace overall. Downwind was a bit quicker, upwind a bit slower. Lots of other people out on the path on a day just warm enough for shorts and a tech shirt.

Stay tuned for another big day tomorrow. Find out what I'm doing when I play hooky from work.

Friday, April 8, 2016

So RtN says to me HTFU

The Calgary cyclists of you already know exactly what happened today, and where.

For the others of you, contemplate this elevation chart.

The gray line is elevation, the orange line is speed. It was an out and back so the first half is a mirror image of the second half. Here's the route. It goes straight south of 22x on 37 St, only the name is changed. It stops at highway 549, the road that connects Millarville to Okotoks.

Cyclists here call it the Road to Nepal. Good pavement, not many cars, and all hills all the time. The level spots are measured in a small number of feet. Train on this and no course that's not actually in the mountains will phase you.

My riding buddy today was Leana, looking strong in her matching outfit. Our bikes are ready to go!

For all the weather predicted 27 C, it was actually pretty cool, maybe about 7 C when we started. There's a reason we both wore arm warmers till part way back. Good thing it wasn't 27, that and a still day runs my core temperature way up as I slowly churn my way up the hills. Leana is training for Ironman Boulder in a few weeks so the plan was to let her do her thing and I'd try to keep up.

Yeah. She pulled away on the uphills enough that I couldn't catch her on the downhills. This is where you learn how well your time on the spin trainer over the winter worked out. The road will tell you. It told me:
HTFU (the first word is harden.)
You are a weenie.
You haven't been training.
I'm being kind to you on your first ride here because there is no wind. You're welcome.
All the weight on your tires is hurting me, lose more weight.
No, the hills aren't steeper, or longer.
You are getting older and slower, while I am the same.

We stopped at the far end for a snack and headed back. Total ride was 51.84 in 2:23. This actually isn't far off early season rides for me, or when it's windy. My best time for this ride is 2 hours even. Everything felt pretty good for this ride.

Leana was fresh as a daisy when we got back, and I joined her for a 30 minute run, 4.11 K with a short walk break in there. My heart rate was steadily climbing. I think she could have run it somewhat faster.  Not me. This ride and run tells me I'm in no shape to be thinking of a half iron this year.

It's always nice doing a bike ride with buddies. This is the first time I've ridden with Leana, other than being in the same race together. I think I pushed a little harder than I might have otherwise, and I certainly would not have run afterward. We did get to chat along the way a bit. This was her first time, and I think she wants to do it again. Another convert!

We had a lovely snack in the back patio, and talked of many things.

Then a bit of yard work for me. Raking the tiny bit of back yard we have knackered me. It's still not 27 C and just as well. We have some flowers blooming! Such a pretty yellow.

The front yard is looking cleaner, lots of green things in the boxes.

I'm not sure what these are.

Some lilies pocking their heads out in the back garden. If I remember them from last year, they were huge.

I think this is a pansy.

BBQ chicken on a bun tonight. Soon. Just saying.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

An April heat wave

Here, there is no snow. The ground is thawed, and the flowers are growing. There, where my mom lives, it's "crappy out". We had a nice facetime chat this evening, and I'm just as happy I couldn't make out the crappy weather.

Friday is supposed to be well into the twenties, so that looks like a great day for a bike ride! This is so odd for Calgary, to have such nice weather for so long. I've been trying to enjoy it, running or riding outside in shorts and tech shirt. Normally we have a bit of this, then that, then something else. I'll take this!

Monday was not a great day for a swim. First, the hot tub is out of action till the 10th. Sigh. Second, my arms didn't want to swim. Neither did anything else. I was feeling tired and run down from lots of biking and running on the weekend, even though I've been sleeping really well.

Tuesday was a lovely run! 6K, 38 minutes. The fastest 3 K together was 18:11. I hadn't meant to run that fast, but my buddy Patricia ran 3 K in 18 minutes, and I think I was channeling here. I know I can't keep up with my run buddy Michelle when she kicks up her heels, but this is fast for me. My legs felt really good about it, till the last several hundred meters where it turned into a bit of a slog.

Wed swim was pretty good, though my arms had no endurance. Only swam a K, broken up into smaller intervals. Still no hot tub. They are doing something with the sand filters. More sigh.

The cookie challenge has been going for almost 3 weeks now and I have to say I'm feeling great! I think I'm down several pounds at least, and I think that's one reason I'm running faster, and feeling lighter on my feet. I am lighter. There was the butter tart chorus calling me one day, and another day where I finished all the dates I'd brought to work as snacks, plus my lunch, and was hungry verging on hangry. Other than that it's been good.

I can't get over the weather. We've eaten outside several times already, even though there's still a bit of winter guck on everything.  BBQ duck breast, in case you were wondering.

The rain barrels have been removed from winter cover. Like I said, plants are springing out of the ground. This is from the weekend.

I'm losing track. Did I mention I actually signed up for the 10 K at the Calgary Marathon on May 29? So that's the next race. The way running is going lately I'm optimistic about signing up for a fall marathon.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

So I forgot to tell you yesterday

During the first outdoor ride yesterday, I somehow forgot to tell you all about a major, inspiring first for me. I can't imagine how, till Michelle remarked she was astonished it hadn't appeared in the blog. Oops. My bad. Another sign of the impending collapse of my bodily systems.

What was that, you ask? Well, I'm slow on the bike, except for going downhill, and I think that's more Estella than me. Maybe I won the bike lottery and got the production model with ceramic bearings or something. But on the flats and especially uphill I get passed a lot. I don't go on group rides because I'll get dropped. I'm used to it.

But yesterday I passed someone while going up hill! Yay me! Another first!

Today was a quest to fill in more of the map. Michelle and I drove to Angels by Edworthy park, started our tech, and started our legs. Across the bridge, along the path to 14 St, across, and back. 11 K, 1:22, rock steady 7:30 pace on legs that were feeling meh about the whole thing.

I suspect I wouldn't have done it if I'd tried to do it alone. The ride yesterday was a good solid effort, perhaps I'd pushed a little harder than I thought I had. My legs weren't dead today, but were tired. After the run they're feeling pretty good. All I can say is the hot tub better not be out of action tomorrow morning!

Along the way we discovered someone has been busy playing with rocks in the bow river. Very cool! There was more in one of the little islands, but I didn't take a photo. I love this kind of ephemeral art. They've put a lot of time into it, knowing the river will wash it away at some point, or that some goon could come kick it over for jollies. No, I don't know what the little sign says. If any of my readers have looked more closely and know, please comment.

After the run we nibbled yummy Linda gluten free scones, drank coffee, and played with Snapseed to figure out the save. Pooched. They've made it easy to do anything but save it to the camera roll. Screw you Google. The hunt for a replacement has already started. I'm thinking about the whole process of what happens after I take a photo. Where it goes, if it gets edited, what it gets used for, all that. Not happy with the current state of affairs.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

First outdoor bike 2016

During the ride at one point I had that POSH song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang going through my mind, and I was trying filk it into windy out, uphill home, but it wasn't working very well.

Yes, you remember the song, don't lie to me. It's the traveling life for me, Port Out, Starboard Home, POSH with a capital P O S H. Now that I've got that going around in your brain we will get onto the ride.

It's so nice here today! I've had rides at the height of "summer" that were not as nice as this. But we didn't just ride. I'm to star in a movie Michelle directed, filmed, and produced, and will edit. The subject matter is torrid and riveting for a certain audience. It's about taking the trainer tire off, and putting a road tire on.

Once I showed her how it worked, I made her do part of it for herself. That way, when (not if) she gets a flat out in the boonies, while it's raining or snowing, with a bear padding along to see if she would be good eating, she will have the confidence to get it done and be on her way. Which might explain why she wants to ride with me. Unless we're going downhill or she wants to draft, she can go faster than me. The cats knew she had arrived before I did!

This time I didn't have one, I didn't have 2, I had 3, count'em THREE means of keeping track of time distance stuff. Of course they all disagreed. That will be later for the many numbers fiends that make up my devoted readership.

The short and simple result is 55.5 K, 2:40, not trying to work too hard.We stopped for a few minutes in the middle to figure out where we were, and had to go south some more.

The first half, from home to 22x, and out to 22 was into a moderate wind. Going south wasn't bad, and along the diagonal was pretty good, if uphill the whole way. Then north on 37 St, or whatever it's called south of 22x, and all the rest of the way home was a cross or head wind. Not that I'm complaining. It makes for a better training ride.  Lovely warm, shorts and bike shirt for me, and most of the people we saw.

We saw a ton of other people out on bikes, and got a chuckle out of a cop speed trap on 22x just before city limits. They had one car pulled over as we got there, and pulled over 2 more as we went past. Not too many motorbikes, which is good.

After the ride was some yard work. It's April 2, so it seems just a little perverted to be working on the lawn.

After the yard work came why we do the yard work. That's BBQ duck breast. First outdoor meal this year! I don't even have the sunshade up yet, or pressure washed anything back there. Maybe tomorrow.

And the numbers and graphs I know you've all been waiting for.

Bike Garmin iPhone (Ismoothrun)

Distance Km 55.76 55.49 55.52

Time 2:39:29 2:38:00 2:39:13

Avg Speed 21 21.1 20.92

Max Speed 76.2 74.8 76.1

Elevation Gain
642 619

Elevation Loss
641 601

Avg Heartrate

Max Heartrate

And the elevation pace stuff, can't forget that! This is from iSmoothrun. From that peak elevation you get an awesome view of the city, and if you ride it the other way the mountains are spectacular.

From the Garmin. I believe the heart rate. The blue line is pace. I was all over the place.

I don't have any idea what the cadence is measuring. The Garmin is on my wrist. It isn't hooked up to anything but the heart rate monitor.

All in all an excellent weekend so far!