Monday, April 23, 2012

Do drug dealers work on Sunday nights?

Weird title, I know, but please bare with me....

After last nights' 'adventure' there had been allot of talk on facebook about my getting lost (not unusual in itself). There were many jokes, and they were all funny. Thank you all as I do enjoy entertaining you along my journey, and thank you Bob for writing it so well.

One comment from my running partner, Gail, was "I'm gonna run the hill at midnight! Keep your phone on!" hmmmm, (this is foreshadowing...)

The day is interesting as I am working today by attending a hair show that is in town, catching up on all the latest and greatest things going on in my industry. I have no idea this frenzy about Bob's latest blog post is going on, or even that there was a blog post. After 'work' my hubby and kids pick me up and home for supper we go.  Online I get to see the commotion and find it very amusing, I'm glad I can be a source of laughter today. Through this though Gail and I finally see an opportunity to do a run together today as well. We plan for some speed work.

It always impresses me when I get the chance to see how far we can push the limits of our bodies, and just what can be accomplished in a short amount of time. We learned a few things in a clinic last year (thanks to City Park Runners) but what we remember... well that could be a bit different. Tonights' work out was:

1 mile warm up
30 seconds fast     30seconds slow (recovery)
1 minute fast        1 minute slow
90 seconds fast    1 minute slow
2 minute fast        1 minute slow
3 minute fast        1 minute slow
3 minute fast        1 minute slow
2 minute fast        1 minute slow
90 seconds fast    1 minute slow
1 minute fast       1 minute slow
30 seconds fast 
walk a while to recover then slow run to 1 mile as cool down

We left the house at 9:45pm, (because we have families, and sometimes this is the only time there is that we can run) and arrive at the track just before 10pm. I'm surprised that the track is so well lit, we don't need the headlamp that Gail brought- I love how prepared she is!After our fantastic work out, and we didn't even skip out on the cool down, yeaaaah us!We are tired and looking forward to our on the way home treat, a cup of tea or decaf coffee is our usual choice. We head to the car to get our treat and the comment is made that we should check out 'the hill'. Okay?! And off we go. To the hill. We live in Winnipeg, there is only one hill.  We have run this hill in the later evening before, and we have a cell phone and headlamp, what else do we need? Oh yeah, our sanity! Our question as we proceed to the hill is "Do drug dealers Work on Sunday nights?"

Gail and I arriving at the hill

                                                      Gail in front of the hill

I would like to interrupt this storey right now to inform you all of the facts that Gail and I have not been previously aware of until our last excursion to this hill at a later point of evening. We had been curious on our last trip to the hill as to why there were so many cars driving up and down this hill at such an hour, we were really shocked as to how many people were 'hanging out', walking their dogs, enjoying the view.... Mentioning our late evening run to a few of our experienced running friends we were enlightened that this 'hill' we use as runners, is also used as a 'meeting place' for 'possible?" drug dealers. Ohhh, so that's why there were so many cars driving up that hill that particular night. Yes I am naive! And I don't like to make assumptions about people either!

It is now just after 11pm and we arrive at the hill. There are 3 cars parked at the bottom, so there's lots of parking for us. (I think I mentioned how naive I am?) Gail comments that the SUV probably isn't there as a drug sort of car... because you see it has a ski rack on the top! So that leaves 2 vehicles, and their people to make sure we are aware of. We park safely and as closely to the entrance as we can, which is locked. Yeah, this means that there are no other unexpected cars at the top, and there will be no traffic on the road!

Running up this hill is something I have forgotten about!!!!!! It has been a while, closing on a year I think. Now I realize that I will have to add this to my running schedule once a week for sure! We only run up , take some pictures and run down (my fave!), it's a half mile. We are done for the night and it's only 11:30pm! Woo hoo, we feel like we've pushed through fear once again! Because it was said... we had to try?! As we head to Timmies, we laugh about a car that is turning to go where we've just come from. We are wondering if they are looking for a run as well, or maybe ....? (There is really no other reason to be in this area at this time of night?)

                                                       A view from the top

                                           It really is beautiful to see at night!

A neat thing we saw on the way home was a parking lot hockey game! Nice. It's comforting to know that we are Not the only crazy people out there getting some exercise and having fun this time of night!

What do you do to keep your running interesting?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

A 'Lost' Moment In The Travels of 'N'

Nicole got home last night fairly late from her run with Gail, I was kind of expecting this as typically Nicole's late night runs turn into a bit of a odyssey, for lack of a better word. This one started out no different, she left the house just before 8 with the intent to run to Gail's then they would head out from there for a short run since Gail was limited for time. Life is busy and sometimes very interesting with 2 teenage daughters, and I know that Gail needed this run as much as Nicole so they can vent and also scheme (sorry I mean plan) for the upcoming week.

As I was not there to witness the accounts first hand, I am going off Nicole's retelling of the saga, adding in some insights from my experiences running with these two, plus ad-libbing a little bit just because I can, call it adding some writer's flair.

As I mentioned before, Nicole left the house prior to 8 and headed over to meet up with Gail, from what I understand they had an uneventful 3.5 mile run (now don't forget no run is uneventful when these two are involved, though I did not get any details, I will leave it up to your imagination) before Gail packed it in and headed home. Now this is where the story gets a little more interesting.

At this point, Nicole decided to head towards Assiniboine Forest to put some extra miles in, now this is not to unusual in itself, but with the time approaching 9 or 9:30, the night quickly settling in and surprisingly Nicole not at all prepared (no pack, no headlamp, snacks, no toilet paper) with her usual supplies, this had potential to be quite interesting. For any of you that are not familiar with our little forest within a city, this is a satellite map of Assiniboine Forest, it is an area nestled within the City of Winnipeg that covers approximately 700 acres of land between Chalfont Avenue and Shaftsbury Blvd, including forest, marsh and some great trails.

Assiniboine Forest Satellite Map

An Aerial Photo of the Forest

So as Nicole got to the entrance to the forest, she noticed a couple of cars parked in the lot as she headed in not thinking much of it at the time, just some dog walkers or organizers setting the trail for the Eco Challenge that was taking place on Sunday. As she made her way in, Nicole realized she did not have her headlamp, with it being a clear and very dark night and her being alone, I would of expected her to stop and think if this was a good idea or not. Well, I'm sure she did stop, thought it looked good and since she had ran in here numerous times before it would be no big deal, but I am just paraphrasing. So off she went, with her ipod on and a smile on her face (once again writer's liberty, I really do not know if she was smiling, I just know I would be because these are some great trails to run). Once she was in the meat and potatoes of the trails, she started to realize she could not really see where she was going, so out came the iphone with the handy dandy flashlight app. As she carried on she decided to take a new trail, not sure why, but seriously lets run in the dark on a trail you are not familiar with, smart idea, no? Once again, new trail, using a Iphone to light her way, she was starting to get a little bit nervous as the standard thoughts start to creep into your mind. Can we say female night runner, pitch black night , unfamiliar trail, two cars in the parking lot with occupants unaccounted for (its funny how the brain starts thinking about this stuff later). Hmmm, what if the cars don't belong to dog walkers, what if......, what if........!

At this point Nicole is starting to get even more nervous, she pulls her ear buds out of her ears, because she thought she heard a dog, or maybe.........., something was rustling in the darkness probably a deer as they frequent the forest, but then again did someone not say they saw a cougar here once or twice.

Whitetail Deer - Very common sight in Assiniboine Park

This bad boy was rumoured to be stationed within the park and surrounding areas for years, I still tend not to believe it but I guess you never know.

Then Nicole heard it again, some noises that sounded like people talking or singing, some one is playing music in the background...... wait a minute, oops that was the music off her ipod (sorry honey, you told me that and I had to add it, it is so you). So Nicole came to a junction and not being completely sure where she was, she decided to turn to the left and head hopefully towards Grant Avenue (remember this blog post about turning to the left Birthday Run, I figured left would be Grant and right would be Waverley, guess not). So as she followed the trail along she was getting more and more nervous, so she decided to text Gail for some advise (yes text Gail and not the husband, gee I feel really loved right now). So with this text, Nicole then discovered her flashlight app on the Iphone turns off, so she was back in the dark again. So playing light on, light off with Gail for a little while, Gail convinces Nicole to let her come out that way to pick her up. I know what your thinking with their track records, soon we will have two lost women in the forest in the middle of the night, suddenly I am thinking about the scene from the Blair Witch Project with the kid with the panic stricken face and the flashlight looking into the camera, not a pretty sight.

As Nicole continues to run down the unknown path, texting back and forth with Gail (Public Service Announcement - I sure hope Gail was not driving at the time, as this is very is very unsafe and also illegal, Save A Runner - Do Not Text and Drive) in the dark, no its light, no its dark....... Suddenly she hears traffic noises, no its not her Ipod, definitely traffic, she must be close to Grant. Yes, there it is, as Nicole breaks from the wilds of the forest, where is she, in the middle of the Grant strip, so there she waits for Gail to come pick her up for a ride home. Disaster adverted, all is well, until next time..............

Moral of the story, never let anyone go for a run in the forest or any wooded area, familiar or not, without the correct gear, especially if it is Nicole. We have been married for almost 17 years, I would like to keep her around for at least another 50.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vibrams KSO's - The Shoes That Take a S**t Kicking and Keep Coming Back For More

Just wanted to start by saying, I R-E-A-L-L-Y like my KSO's. They are by far my favorite running shoe, except for my bare feet that is, but that aside the KSO's are just awesome. I have yet to find another pair that I like as much, but I have also not had any reason to go see what else is out there. My KSO's have not given me a reason too, all they have done for the last 3 plus years is perform. Yes, before you ask, I have had the same pair of KSO's for 3 years, talk about longevity.

I laugh and shake my head when I see people changing out their running shoes after 300 to 500 miles logged, sure lets go spend $100 to $200 on new shoes every 3 to 4 months. My little ole KSO's that were purchased for $80 (I believe they are around $95.00 today) have logged some serious miles, both via the run and as my everyday shoe, miles well above 2000 and probably closer to 3000 miles I am sure.

Let's put that into perspective, my shoes have lasted me for 3 years at $80, so that is 1096 days (don't forget about the leap year) or 7 cents a day and I figure I will get at least another year out of them. Or another way of looking at is the mile aspect just based on 2000 miles that would be 4 cents a mile, that some serious bang for your buck.

While your standard running shoe at the low end is $100.00 used for 3 months of running only is $1.11 and that is not running every day. Or 500 miles (I'm using the high end) or 20 cents a mile. So if that is every 3 months, over 3 years that would be 12 pairs of shoes at $1200.00 or $13.32 a day or $2.40 a mile. Well I am no math guru but I am quite sure I am saving a little bit of coinage with my Vibrams, don't you.

My KSO's have been seen every type of running terrain over the last three years, road, trail, mud, streams, snow, ice, rock and sand. They have never complained, bitched or whined about where I was taking them, they just ate it all up and went looking for more. Sure I get funny comments like, 'Look at the gorilla feet' and 'You just need to paint the toes pink' and 'What the hell are those', and the double takes are always entertaining. But for everyone of those, I get a 'Man, those are so cool, where can I get some', to that question I always answer City Park Runners on Portage Avenue.

My KSO's are my favorite because they are just the right amount of shoe. I have tried some of the other Vibram styles, the Flows, the Biklas, etc. just not my cup of tea. The KSO's are basic, no flair (except for the toes) just a true to form, ground feeling beast. They fit my feet like a glove and I feel the ground but provide me with enough protection when I need it. I am a little strange I like to feel the rocks, roots and all the other irregularities of the ground and the surfaces that I am running on. That is why I like barefoot running so much, being one with the ground is very important to me. But when my soles have taken to much pounding (those extra long runs with gravel, or runs that are a little to cold) I know I can pull out the VFF's and keep on going.

The specs on the KSO's show the soles at 3.5mm thick and the weight at a generous 5.7 oz per kick. The great thing with the soles is they are the bread and butter of Vibrams success, in 3 1/2 years my KSO's show some visible wear but the tread is still very evident, even in the areas of most ground contact. Like the back of the heel from years of walking, because no matter what you do your heel hits the ground when you walk (unless you walk on your tippy toes and I do not).

The bottom of my KSO's

Still Quite A Bit of Tread Left (See the Wiggly lines)
and you can almost make out the size (by the big toe)

Even the wear from 3 years of walking is not substantial

So you would be hard pressed to convince me there is a better shoe out there minimal or not. With this in mind I also am planning to use the above shoes for The Canadian Death Race this summer, at least for Leg 4 anyway, my other portion is Leg 1 which I will be going San shoe for, because I can. 

After 3 plus years of running in hers, N has retired her first pair of KSO's (N does more running mileage in her KSO's than I did in mine), and I have bought her a nice pair of black KSO's. I think she is still thinking in the back of her mind that I plan to 'borrow' them soon or something, but that could be farther from the truth. Why would I do that when I still have a good year left in my pair, but maybe next year. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Perfect Runner Part Three

The last installment of the documentary, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I have been asked to remove the documentary from Youtube by the creator, and I am respecting his wishes. If you would like to see this documentary, it is my understanding that it will be available on Itunes in the upcoming months. You can also purchase it directly from the distributor via the following link.

Purchase The Film

You can also learn about the documentary and the creator at the following link:

The Perfect Runner

'The Perfect Runner' Documentary Part Two

Here is part two of the documentary, the last part I will upload and post shortly. This portion includes some footage from last year's Canadian Death Race which I will be running with N this year. Hope you enjoy.

The Perfect Runner - Part Two

I have been asked to remove the documentary from Youtube by the creator, and I am respecting his wishes. If you would like to see this documentary, it is my understanding that it will be available on Itunes in the upcoming months. You can also purchase it directly from the distributor via the following link.

Purchase The Film

You can also learn about the documentary and the creator at the following link:

The Perfect Runner

Saturday, April 14, 2012

'The Perfect Runner' - The Documentary

Well after the premier of this documentary last month, I found out that there was a strong possibility that this would not be broadcasted down south to the United States for the unseeable future. That would be a shame, so I did some digging and found a copy of the documentary that I could post on here for those that missed the broadcast or are unable to see it due to issues beyond their control. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The link below is for the first portion of the documentary, I will be posting the balance tomorrow.

Also please note, if you want to purchase the documentary to help support the film maker you can do so for $20.00 plus shipping. Please support your independent film makers, they are an inspiration to many including myself.

I have been asked to remove the documentary from Youtube by the creator, and I am respecting his wishes. If you would like to see this documentary, it is my understanding that it will be available on Itunes in the upcoming months. You can also purchase it directly from the distributor via the following link.

Purchase The Film

You can also learn about the documentary and the creator at the following link:

The Perfect Runner