Monday, July 21, 2008

Busy Weekend: Commute by Bike, Open Minds 10k, and Fish Creek - Bankside Loop

The weekend started off with a lovely, sunny Friday morning, but of course because N had dropped me off at work with my bike to pedal home, Friday afternoon's weather was nasty. Around one o'clock, the sky turned dark... luckily it has cleared somewhat by the time I left at 4, and the ride proved very pleasant. I did manage to lose the path a few times (both accidentally and attempting shortcuts), but all things considered it was a great ride.

Since my office is just off Deerfoot and 16th Ave, I made my way across Deerfoot on the pedestrian overpass that lies halfway between 16th and 32nd. There's a rather nice path next to the CPR tracks along Deerfoot, and I was able to make better time than most of the vehicles on the Deerfoot, which was kind of gratifying. I followed that path all the way to Memorial, and picked up the Elbow River pathway at the Zoo, and followed it all the way to the Reservoir. I may have cut a few bends out of the river, but mostly stuck to the paths.

I made it home in about an hour an a half, including stops to look at the map. Not too bad, but I'm sure I can do better once I know the paths. N had ordered pizza, and I was sooo hungry (didn't bring enough food to work) that I ate about 3/4 of the thing! It's okay though, I had salad too. Then I passed out. Seriously-- I passed right out on the couch, woke up at 9:30 to go to bed. I must have been tired!
8:30 Saturday, we were at Edworthy Park for the Open Minds Run for the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta. N was there for the 5k (her first "real" race!), and I was there for the 10k.

I hadn't really given too much thought to my goal for the race, but so many people asked me before the race that I had to have a target. It's been a long time since I raced a 10k--I think the last one was the Forzani's Mothers' Day race, probably 10 years ago, when I was playing sports every day and running somewhat regularly. And would have weighed about 50-60 lbs less. I seemed to remember being somewhere between an hour and an hour ten. Plus, I've been running at about 5-6.5 minutes per km. So "under and hour" seemed to be a good goal.

Chip-timing is great, but you don't know what your time is until the next day. I was running without a watch or my Nike+iPod, and the large race clock over the finish was not working/ not in use. I knew that the race was supposed to start at 9, so when I got to the finish line, I asked N what time it was. 10:01. "I guess that's okay," I thought. "It's around an hour". I'd counted people at the turnaround, and figured I was about 25th overall, so that was something.

Well, yesterday I checked -- good news! The race started at 9:10! My official time is 51:43... that's definitely a PR.
The plan Sunday was to go for a ride either at Eau Claire or Fish Creek Park around 2. I was a little hungover from 2 bachelor parties the night before, but I'm a strong advocate of exercise/fresh air as the best cure for a hangover, so I was actually looking forward to it. But we didn't go until after dinner, which was probably a good thing, it was so hot!

From our place, we rode east through Fish Creek, past the ranch, then north along the Bow. It's so beautiful through there! We rode past Bankview, to where Canyon Meadows Drive meets the park. We made it up the hill, then followed the "on-road-bike paths" through Queensland Downs, Bonavista Downs, past Lake Bonavista and home. It was a good ride, the hills being challenging but not impossible, and the weather just gorgeous.