Saturday, 23 June 2012


I got back to Calgary last saturday and was probably not going to have the time to write this until the following weekend but now I can because I have a cold. Boo. Still, another benefit of being on a constant mission for fitness is quicker recovery from illness. A good thing too, I don't really enjoy the hurricane-force sneezes.
But to get back on point (!), 4 days after the dual joy and disappointment of the marathon, my wife and I flew to the UK to see my family. A holiday can easily derail one's training, but if it's straight after a marathon it helps with recovery for the same reason.
In the mornings I would join my wife in abs exercises using a video from the Korean "Figureobics" series. Jung Da Yeon, the lady who started it, had been overweight and this 40+ year-old mother of 2 got herself in shape. I might have even lost weight that week, my waist certainly got slimmer. In 2006 I was a 40", now I'm a 31". The first time I did more than a walk was playing football (aka soccer) with my nephew. Just short of his 7th birthday, his ball-control skills are way beyond mine. All I could do was outrun him.
My first run was exactly 2 weeks after the marathon with my Dad on his sunday route. It's roughly 13 k. Once we got to a hill around halfway, he told me to go on ahead. I used to ride my bike around most of those back roads, so quite a refresher course. This was also about the only morning on which it didn't rain, a nice reminder of the English un-weather. Dad was pretty pleased right after, as I was with him for the first half, and he was chasing me for the 2nd, he said he'd gone 2 minutes quicker than usual. The quickest in 2 years in fact, perhaps from the last time I visited.

For 5 days, A-Chang and I went to Vienna and Budapest.
Lots of walking done, and I went for a run in each city (you haven't visited a city until you've run its streets). Up and down the river in Budapest, and got a bit lost in Vienna. I wore the headcam and the link for the vid is at the end of this post. I didn't wear my watch for either run, just wanted to get the legs going and look around.  
I missed Fish Creek Park
On the first sunday back, I headed out to Fish Creek park for a 14k run. I felt heavy, probably due to the "utility belt" I'd gained while away. I kept thinking I was going slowly, but my garmin kept giving me sub-5min/k splits. A small  amount of speed work on wednesday, then my cold.

The Stampede Road Race 5k is 2 weeks away - at the moment a sub-20 minute time would be wonderful. A PB? I doubt it right now, but if it's there for the taking I'll take it. One favourite running quote from Steve Prefontaine that I carry with me on race day is, "to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift". A race, for me, is about giving my best on that day and re-affirming why and how much I love to run.

To see the Vienna/ Budapest video, click here.