Very important disclaimer

Please be advised that the contents of this blog are opinions only (my opinion, the opinions of my family and the opinions of anyone else directly or indirectly involed in this blog). This is not an accredited training blog, nor is it an accredited anything blog. If you (and you) do anything that this blog says, or don't do anything that this site says not to do, and you get injured, sick or killed, you cannot blame me or my family or blame anyone else directly or indirectly involved in this blog. By reading anything on this blog (including this message) you are saying that you are a person who makes thier own choices in life and does not hold the writer of this blog, the writers family or any one else that may be directly or indirectly involved in the production or writing of this blog, responsible for your stupid and irresponsible behaviors, injuries, sicknesses or deaths. With that said, please enjoy my fun blog.

Friday, April 30, 2010

This weeks workout summary…

ran 15k on Sunday.. blah… was really good, blah, great company on the run…blahblah.

ran 8k on Monday…blah… was really good, blah, great company on the run…blahblah.

Blizzard blew in on Wednesday and put a halt to our speed session out at Sikome Lake. 2 things will stop us from running outside. –35 (f or c, you pick). OR a spring blizzard. you see, we will run in a winter blizzard anytime, but after we’ve had incredibly nice shorts and t-shirt runs, we will REFUSE to run in a rain/snow mix (It could also have been the 90km/hr winds we were having as well) So, I decide to use my not so used membership to Goodlife Gym in McKenzietown.

side note. I bought the gympass, after leaving my PT last Feb, WITH the idea that I would go 3 days a week. (it was a cost consideration) Goodlife charges $40.00/mo. so if I go 3 days a week it works out to approx $3.33 per session. I was paying $200.00/mo for a shared personal trainer that I was pretty faithfully going to 3 days a week, so $16.66 per session. following? Ok, so I never go to the gym. I have been to goodlife exactly 4 times since April, AND I renewed my PTing for 4 months (it ends today) and didn’t go to that either(much.lately). SO in the past year, i have shelled out $1280.00 in gym fees and have gone probably 12 times for a total of $106.66 per session. anyhoo, i digress.

So I actually used the Goodlife membership. I got to the gym feeling pretty good about myself, got changed and hopped on a treadmill for my scheduled 45 minute Hal Higdon tempo run. (run 15 minutes gradually ramping up speed, hold faster speed for 15 minutes and gradually slow down for 15 minutes) My legs felt really weird at first, probably not used to the cushy treadmill, but after a few minutes i actually felt pretty ok. 14 minutes later (of feeling strong and good and pretty proud of myself) a feel a *ping* in my gut. uhoh. what's the protocol for passing gas in a gym? outside you just move to the back of the pack and let free. I’ll hold it.

*ping* yikes. nope, gonna hold it. OK… it’s ok, it’s gone away. I’m ok.

I run the fast portion of the tempo run fairly well, aside from running too fast for the first 5 minutes and having to covertly hit the down arrow on the speed so no one sees me slowing down a bit (humbled) and only a couple minor *pings* to deal with. Did I tell you it is FREAKING hot in this joint? I am a sweaty mess. not the point. I get to the 30 minute mark and I slow down to a fast walk for a quick recovery. *pingpingping* oh gawd. Now I am squeezing trying sooooo hard not to break the dam because if I do, they are going to have to close the gym. 3 minutes of moderate cool down and I’ve had enough. I don’t have the physical strength to hold on anymore. I manage enough time to wipe my machine down, go get a quick stretch and then make it to the washroom stall in the change room. They only have 1 sit down stall and I imagined myself after 20 minutes having to yell at the other guys waiting “there is another washroom in the place…FIND IT!”

I tried to figure out what happened today to put my in this situation of an uncommon (for me) abort of a run and the only thing I could figure out was that I ate a REALLY healthy lunch at a ‘granola’ type of restaurant.

moral of the story? I don’t know. It would be pretty hard for me to say ‘Don’t eat healthy foods if you are not used to them’ but that is what I am going with today. Don’t judge, you weren’t there. If you were, sorry.

The blizzard had taken hold by the time I got out of the gym. For those who don’t know, My family owns a landscape construction firm and we plow snow in the winter (and spring in Calgary), so we were watching the weather with interest. I went to bed at 1am sort of understanding that we have never been called out after 1am before, so when I got up at 5am to let the dogs out (now you know the answer to the song), there was a text on my phone from 2am saying it’s a full plow request. I looked outside and we certainly didn’t have the accumulations to warrant such a request, so I called in. Apparently the North side of the city got pounded.

So Wednesdays workout went like this:

  • 5:30 am, snow brush repeats, clear windows of car – 67 repetitions
  • 6:00 am, fumble with gate lock, then struggle opening gate against a 90km/hr wind – 1 repeat
  • 6:10 am, snow brush repeats, clear windows of truck – 116 repeats
  • 6:15 am, manipulate 400lb plow out of snowbank and onto front of truck, 3 attempts, 1 successful
  • 6:30 –7:00 am, drive snow plow truck half an hour directly into 90km/hr headwind
  • 7:00am, get fuel
  • 7:00am- 10:00am gas pedal/plow controller/gear shifter combo repeats – 3500 repetitions

IMG_0504  IMG_0508

Yep, my tailbone and my craning neck are the casualties after a workout like that. the Cure? McDonalds Sausage and Egg McMuffin, TWO hashbrowns and TWO large coffees. yum. (imagine that, no *pings* either) I suk.

Thursdays workout.

  • 5:00am, the monkey wakes up and asks for a drink (and tells me under no circumstances will he go back to bed until he gets a drink)
  • 5:01am, fall down stairs
  • 5:01am – 5:08am, lay on bottom of stairs in oddly contorted way, repeatedly answering DW question of  ‘Are you ok’ with ‘I don’t know’  (after she shouted, ‘What happened’ as I'm sure the impact ranked on the Richter Scale.
  • 5:08am, I am pretty sure nothing is broken, but I cannot for certainty say nothing is pulled. As I lay in a modified fetal (think backwards and opposite) position My sense returns to me, and so do my pain receptors.
    • Shoulder – dislocated? don’t think so… maybe tho
    • ankle – battered, not broken
    • hip – bruised, I am sure
    • back…yeah, the back took most of the pounding as I am positive I was fully airborne in the horizontal prone position and came down fully on my back
    • head, well, let’s be thankful that the back of my head took a LOT of the impact when I landed as well, otherwise I might have gotten hurt.
    • hand… what the hell? why on earth does my hand hurt so bad?


Yeah, so the rest of Thursday mornings workout was spend looking for something to wrap this mess up with… It’s not deep enough for stitches, it did bleed really well, but try to figure out how to bandage this wound!?!

like this:


It isn't pretty, but it worked for now. the two little marks on the next finger hurt FAR worse than the big slice. Now how did I get such a gash falling down the stairs? In the name of beauty when we built our house, we put really nice iron stair pickets in along the stairs… yep… I grabbed onto that sucker in an attempt to not land once I became airborne. didn't work although my hand and shoulder gave it the ol’ college try.


I am really looking forward to a nice easy 3k TT tonight.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big Rock Runners…

… provided a link back to our blog on their links page of their website! Thanks!

Big Rock Runners host a very fun event that I ran last year, the Sheep River Road Race. It is on the Monday of Labour Day Long Weekend, Sept 6th. We actually camp out in Okotoks (I know, it’s like, 20kms from the house…hehe) and I just walk up to the start line about a km away.

Here is my race report from last years run.

I Had a Good Race!

I feel pretty good about it. While I didn’t make my goal time, the time I got was really good considering my lack of training this summer. Why was it a good race?

  1. The shirt.
  2. I had a plan to run hard, for each 2.5km segment of the race and take a short walk break to have a drink of water. I did that.
  3. #2 is significant because I usually walk (unscheduled) a couple times in the last 2km as I am tired and sucking wind. While I was tired and sucking wind, my thought was… “Steven doesn’t get to walk even a meter of his race, so I think I can manage to run this lil’ ol thing here to the finish.
  4. I felt like puking at the finish but didn’t.
  5. I got to see my son twice on course, AND just after I finished.
  6. I got to see my wife twice on course, AND just after I finished.
  7. I got to see my parents twice on course, AND just after I finished.
  8. My Time of 55:40 was 4 minutes faster than my previous summer best time!
  9. I got to walk to the start line from the campground, AND walk back from the finish with my beautiful wife. Andrew went back with Poppop and Nan in the car. 


Here I am on course. This is My homage to Silvio DeSalvitore from the Great American Road Race… If you’d seen it, you’d know.  I look much happier than I am in this photo…


Andrew, Poppop and Nan were keeping warm with some early morning calisthenics while they waited for me.


And a couple more action shots… the first one is getting ready to exchange the best High Five ever! I also like the last one because my calf muscle looks rippley… LOL

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 IMG_6967 IMG_6955

I finished the race, got my banana and when I came out, Team ‘me’ were all there. There is nothing like the feeling I get when my boy sits and shares a banana with me at the end of a tough race.


After the race it was back to the camper for Hotdogs and Beans! I think that this meal may qualify for the best post race meal EVER! AND we are still camping. At least until this afternoon. cool.

The entry fee is worth it, Just for the Shirt, long sleeve, very soft technical and a really cool logo AND the race name down the sleeve! I have posted the link on the ‘endorsed’ races on the left side, but for those who have trouble with L/R, you can click here to go to the registration page (Reg. doesn’t actually start until July, but there it is anyway. The course is very scenic, running through the suburban pathways for the 5k, then the 10k continues for an out and back along the scenic Sheep River.

Their group also has LTR clinics and host a couple other events, check them out if you are in Okotoks! (I'm camping there for 10 days in July also, I'll have to drop in for a run!)

Oh, for our southern readers. It’s an all out blizzard here right now. I actually got called out to plow snow last night! yikes.snow plow

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Personal Best today!

Here is Liz’s report from the Police Half here in Calgary!


Calgary Police half Marathon 2010


I shaved 20 minutes off last years Police half time and 4 minutes off my last half in February!


I felt strong for the entire race, kept a very steady pace from start to finish, (average pace was 6:37). I couldn’t believe how great I felt during the entire run, even after the hills which were tough. I took your advice and shortened my walk breaks. I continued to take shorter walk breaks even after 40 minutes, I just walked long enough to take in water and fuel. Getting another PB was great, really great, but now I am going to tell you about the BEST part of today’s race. The BEST part of today’s race  was crossing the finish line and getting my medal put around my neck by my BEST friend and training partner Tracy!! Tracy’s volunteer assignment today was giving out the medals at the finish line!!  Can you believe that! For that reason the Calgary Police ½ marathon 2010 will go down in my training log as the BEST RACE EVER!!! It was such an awesome moment for me!

Awesome, after Tracy’s 5k PB least weekend, now this, what do we do for an encore next weekend?

20 minutes in one year? sweet.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A couple “Cool Kids” events to mark in your calendar!

The first event is:

The Marathon Man is coming! Have you heard about Martin Parnell and his Marathon Quest 250? Martin is attempting to run 250 marathons this year!! WHAT?!? Yep, you heard me right, Martin is attempting to run 250 marathons this year! Why on earth would anyone want to run 250 Marathons this year? For Ego? Nope. For Fame? Not intentionally. For Money? Far from it. Martin is running for an organization called Right to Play.

In the year 2010 from Jan 1st to Dec 31st, In Alberta Canada, Martin Parnell will attempt to run 250 marathons. His goal is to raise $250,000.00 to Right to Play. Right to Play is an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Right to Play also works in over 4,500 Canadian schools to inspire children and support their right to grow and learn, through physical activity.

Does that sound like something you could support? Really, we are all striving to ‘Play’ when we run, aren’t we? And could you imagine if you could not afford your kids sports, so much so that they were never able to play? Well here is your chance to help other kids in Canada and around the world just by running. Cool part is you don’t have to do anything differently that you already do.

I have invited Martin to come and run with us in Fish Creek Park on Sunday May 16th. He will run a 42.2km route that I have mapped out for him. Within that route are a couple loops that will allow you to run with Martin, no matter what distance you are planning on that Sunday. Here is the plan. Martin will start in Fish Creek park at Shannon Terrace. The goal will be for Martin to arrive at Sikome Lake at 8:30am, in time for our regular club run start time. Martin will have put in about 12km when he meets up with us at Sikome.

I have detailed the map, in Map My Run. You can have a look at this link.

Distances from Sikome that we can run with Martin are:

- 1 loop around the lake area and back to your car is 3.5km.

- 18km (is what my Calgary Half group is doing that day) is the loop around Sikome, plus the big loop east and North through Fish Creek, across the Sue Higgins bridge into Douglasdale. We will have a pit stop at Swiftys for some fresh baked cookies, then carry on along the ridge in Mackenzie Lake, across the bridge at the North end of the Golf Course and back to Sikome for exactly 18k.

- Any other distances can run the Lake loop, then do an out and back for the rest of your run!

Martin Runs 10 and 1’s like us, and he is very excited to run in the south here with us! This event doesn’t not cost you anything. You are welcome to donate to his cause, and you can do it here. Click on “join the team” and enter your info. If you want to donate cash, bring it with you to the event! You can donate anytime before, during or after the event!  You are not obligated to donate to come and run, you coming out does lots to raise the awareness of this noble cause! Btw, as of April 22 Martin has run 67 Marathons, including Boston!

The Second event is:

The Cool Kids Run Club is having a Fun Run and BBQ starting at 2pm on Saturday June 19th! This is a fun event for our runners, friends and their families. The distances are 2k (Kids run), and 4k and a 6k (guaranteed PBs for most). The event will run from the park behind my house in Cranston and will be run on the Public Pathways throughout Cranston and the BBQ is at our house. My DW Traci has garnered lots of sponsorships for this event including:

- Okotoks Dawgs Baseball

- Calgary Zoo

- Van Houtte Coffee

- Good Earth Cafe

- Sobeys (all the food)

- GU

- Cheechas snack chips

- Ice River Water

- Butterfield Acres

- Kananaskis Heli Tours (really!)

You are encouraged to bring your family! Kids too, as we will run the 2k event before the 4 and 6k events! If you have a family member that doesn’t run, they are more than welcome to come and help out to flip burgers or help on course etc.

Entry fee will be $10.00 per family, or $5.00 per runner, just to cover a bit of the costs that aren’t being sponsored.

I will send out an official invite to our little run community, but make sure you mark off the afternoon of June 19th in your calendars! FUN!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Trio Race Report

Traci and I got out of the house (3 times actually, as we forgot our race bibs first, then our sunglasses) by 8:45 and were on the road down to Eau Claire for the HI Hostels Spring trio. It is a 5k, 10k and 15k distances. Traci ran the 5k and I did the 15k. The 15k was a good distance for me as I was supposed to do a 14k training run anyway. Traci’s 5k was right on track for her training for the 10k at the end of May as well.

We parked underground, and I went to pay the 2 bucks for parking, but the machine didn’t like my money. Thankfully there was a nice lady there who traded me her change for mine and sure enough it worked. Stephanie and Roger were just getting parked as well, so we all went upstairs together to get ready for the race. This is a very small race so chip pickup is nice and easy, and the start area was very relaxed and well, spacious.


DW Traci, Tracy O, Stephanie and Roger relaxing before the race, and the obligatory big head shot of myself…


CIMG0052 CIMG0054 CIMG0055 CIMG0062

CIMG0063Out of 225 runners here, there was 1 barefoot runner. Well almost barefoot. I introduced myself to Brian and asked him lots of questions. Brian has been running in his Vibram 5 fingers for a short time now because he had a lot of trouble with injuries  no matter what shoes he wore. He ran a 5k race (his first in the VFF’s) recently in 25 minutes and he ran this 10k today in 51 minutes… great work! It only fuels my fire to run more barefoot runs… I think I have to wait until after the Half in May though… :(

The race got started a few minutes late for some technical difficulties, but with a pleasant little countdown we were off. we ran for a few hundred meters until we got to the big bridge over the river, and I ran ahead and to get a few action shots of my peeps. The camera malfunctioned when Tracy O and Janet went by, sorry ladies, but I did manage to get a nice photo of my DW as she powered up the bridge. I was cropping down the picture when I noticed the lady in the background stuck her tongue out at me! LOL too funny, I love it! I looked the lady up in the results and her name is Laura Smith. Traci said she was passed by and then she passed this lady numerous times during the race, but in the end the home team won by a minute or so. Traci finished her race in a 2010 PB of 32 minutes, which is 3 minutes faster than her race in  March! Wonderful! CIMG0066a

CIMG0068I paced Tracy O for the first 2.5k as she was attempting a PB in the 5k and I thought I could help her get there with some encouragement and ass kicking for at least her first half of her run. She did amazing and clocked a 29:28 and broke 30 for the first time! This after having a ‘gig’ last night until 1:30am! I wonder if you could have gone under 27 with a good nights sleep? Hmmm?

My goal was to finish with a pace of sub 6:00 per/km. I did that and better, running a 5:46 pace, for a 1:26:16 and an all new PB at the 15k Distance. I am happy with the result as I feel like I’m on track for a sub 2hr half at the end of May (and happy as it was the warmest run since last August, and we all did really well). I need to run a 5:41 pace there, and I feel with the 6 weeks left in training AND the 3k time trials Happy Dan and I have started doing on Fridays, that I should be able to meet my ambitious goal. The Friday runs make it 4 days a week training and that is the first time I have ever ran more than 3 days a week in training. I am 15lbs heavier than I was last year at this time, but for a lot of reasons I am in better shape than I was (does that make sense). I am not injured, I have completely revamped my running style in favour of efficiency, and I have learned how to enjoy every step of my runs, no matter how bad it hurts! Last year at this time I was a complete mess, injured, and hating running.

Oh, other ‘Cool Kid’ race notes, Stephanie beat her goal for today with a 1:06 in the 10k, and her DH Roger won his age group and was 5th overall in the 10k with a 40:29 amazingly fast run! Great job! Janet finished her 10k in 1:09, with a wicked chest cold, way to suck it up and run!

CIMG0067Cool happenchance of the day, I got to meet local running celebrity ‘Pink Chick’. Dawn on the Run is a fixture on the local running scene, RDing a winter XC series and commiteeing all sorts of other races and events around Calgary. She was here training for her first Tri upcoming in a couple weeks and was walking out of the Y when I spotted her. It’s funny to meet other bloggers that you read, because you always feel like you know more about them than you should. Nice to meet you Dawn, now that I am banned from the Running Room, we may see a lot of you, at your race events!

Another great day at the races! Did I ever tell you I love running races!?!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mark you Calendars, Marathon Man is coming!

Martin Parnell, of MQ250 Fame (Marathon Quest 250), will be running a Marathon in Fish Creek Park on Sunday May 16th. This Marathon will be brought to you by the ‘Cool Kids’.


Martin’s goal this year is to raise $250,000.00 for the organization ‘Right to Play’.

Right To Play is an international, humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.

Right To Play also works in over 4,500 Canadian schools to inspire children and support their right to grow and learn, through physical activity.

To raise awareness for this important cause, Martin will attempt to run 250 marathons this year. He started on Jan 1, 2010 and has completed 63 marathons to date! This weekend he will complete his 64th and 65th in Boston, with the 65th on Monday being the granddaddy of them all, the Boston Marathon.

Martins website and blog is a very interesting read! I especially like the parts where Martin constantly gets scolded by his team of caregivers for beating up his body so much on a daily basis. Fun Fact! Martin has to take in 5000 calories in a day, which means when he isn’t running marathons, he is eating.

Stay tuned to your email and this blog for details of this incredible event, and please think about some fundraising for this cause. I have created a fundraising team at MQ250, where you can donate directly to this very worthy cause, I put a goal of $2000.00 for our goal and I think we can blow the top off that! Click here to go directly to the ‘Cool Kids’ pledge form and help Martin achieve his goals!

The run itself has a couple of loops built in so you can run any distance you want with Martin and still be back to your car at the end. I will provide more details in the next few days.

Thank you to Martin and his team for coming to run with the ‘Cool Kids!’.

Email me here – , to sign up to our weekly run club mailing list, that will give you the most up to date happenings with our little club here in South Calgary.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cold and terrific training runs…

I’ll say it again. It’s all about the people! Had a banner couple of days for the fledgling club. with 15 or so on Sunday and 10 yesterday, even in the coldest and snowiest of days we have had in a long time.

On Sunday we did 13k, going in and out of Fish Creek park twice, it was a little tougher than our usual flat routes, but I think we needed it! Don’t you think so too team?


These pictures show Roger (40min 10k PR) and Dasha, Happy Dan and Wayne, Erin and Kim. Liz, Tracy and Caroline split off to do a 20k flat run, and Tina and Janet had taken a different route back that apparently included some very precarious creek crossing where the dog actually fell through some ice!

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Little photo op break (man i can’t wait till it greens up around here)


Wayne has been injured lately, but is now on the mend and ready for some hard training. (and world peace)


Did anyone ever tell you we are a bunch of rebels?



On Monday it was Slaining out (Snow and Rain) we all got pretty soaked, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of our group.

In this picture (if you squint real good) you can make out Stacey, Traci, Gerri, and Cheryl)


Here we have Erin, Tina, Janet and Kim!


And in this one, we have all of the above back at the Good Earth Cafe!


Someone wanted a photo of my hair from Sunday… here you goCIMG0035

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Tech Shop…

I had a chance to visit ‘The Tech Shop” on Northland Drive today. I went inside, just to have a look around. It was a very nice store, that was uncluttered, but seemed to have everything a runner would need. I struck up a conversation with the young staff and found them to be surprisingly engaging and, even more surprisingly knowledgeable. I decided I wanted to see the New Balance 1064’s (I run in the 1063’s), and just my luck they had my size.

What I found most interesting ,was, the conversation I had with the sales girl while I was trying on the shoe was very smart and to the point. She spoke like she cared about my welfare, she asked great questions, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there. Other people had streamed in while I was talking to the staff, and they simultaneously looked after everyone with ease and grace.

Great job ‘Tech Shop’ staff. If you happen to be in the area, please make a point of stopping there and shopping there. You won’t be disappointed, I am sure!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Great Wednesday Run…

Had a terrific run tonight. We had a variety of distance run by a nice size group. My Group ran 7x400 intervals and did great. The incredible spring weather made it even better. It’s funny how when you do speedwork, the distances go by in a flash. Breaking up the run into these short bursts, all of a sudden 5k is gone, then we are done and we have completed 8k! Also, we did the first 5k in 34 minutes, that included an extended break at the halfway mark for a water stop at the vehicles. The 10k group did a nice fast 3k and all seemed pleased with their run. After our run, our group broke into an impromptu core workout with some planks and side planks. It was weird, but I think it may catch on. I know a lot of runners add some strength training into the end of their runs. I like the idea. It would save a lot of money in gym memberships I don’t use.

On to Sunday, there is a 13k run scheduled. Our runners training for the Police Half are running 20k *woot*. We will also have groups running 5 – 10k.

Here is the ‘Mixin it up’ run I have come up with for Sunday (yes we climb Sikome hill at 7k, but we get to go down Stinky at 9k)… Click here to see it on Map My Run. There are plenty of ways to cut it off short for those running less than 13, and if you are doing more, you can do an out and back into West Fish Creek a the end.

13k fun run

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The winner is….

Bull motivation

Liz! Congrats. You will receive a 8.5 x 11 framed copy of this poster.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Running Motivation…

If you saw this big boy getting ready to charge at you, would that be enough motivation to run?

I would like you to submit the motivational slogan that goes on this poster.

The chosen slogan (and it doesn’t have to be related to running) will win a actual prize from me! (I did not have permission from the Bull to take this picture, so please don’t tell him)


Photo taken by me near Water Valley, Alberta on April 3-2010.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wednesday Workout

  • Go into store, buy factory made coffee cake.
  • Get in truck, unwrap and start eating.
  • Suddenly notice the partly eaten green fuzz on the bottom of said coffee cake.
  • 279 dry heave repeats on the way back to the store.
  • return to store, get replacement muffin.
  • Dry heave intermittently throughout the rest of the day and most of next day thinking about eating green mold.
  • Wonder why abs hurt so bad today.