Thinking Out Loud Thursday #5


This post is yet another link up with Amanda at RunningWithSpoons.

  • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” So wrote Charles Dickens at the start of A Tale of Two Cities, a book I used to teach, and lines that so clearly summed up today. What had already promised to be a very long day of work began with me being rear ended when I was a bout 5 minutes from work. My van now has a hole the size of my phone in its bumper. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but the other driver and I are both inconvenienced by the accident and the resulting repairs. Of course I still had to make it through the day, but it was, to quote a friend, a peppy day and my Admin partners and I seemed to be putting out fires. All. Day. Long. On the plus side though we had a good turn out for our Parent-Teacher Interview night, and I won the 50-50 fundraising draw for our #TeamCostaRica school trip.
  • I recently applied to be part of the Team Awesome for #runottawa2017. This is an initiative by the organizers of the Ottawa Race Weekend to harness the enthusiasm social media savvy runners to post updates about their training plans, struggles, goals, and race weekend activities. As this is the Canada’s 150th birthday year, I thought it would be great to be part of this opportunity to connect with other runners to celebrate a sport I enjoy and the city I love to run in. I discovered Team Awesome last year when fellow teacher and runner Rebecca Wemyss wrote about it on Twitter. Here’s hoping I’m selected, but I know there will be lots of other worthy applicants.
  • Jon Snow may not know anything, but I know winter is coming to Ottawa. I have not been shy about being a fair weather runner, and I’m worried that as the temperatures dip and the precipitation turns white I will not get out for runs. In fact today is the first snowfall in Ottawa with a predicated 5-10 cm expected. Thanks Rebecca for this great photo of her last out door track session.


    A photo posted by rebeccaruns (@rebeccaruns) on Oct 27, 2016 at 3:39pm PDT

    Typically the first snowfall doesn’t stick, but at the end of the day there was noticeable accumulation. Last weekend I tried to toughen myself up a bit by running in the rain. Surprise surprise I didn’t melt so I’m sure I can run in snow, but I know I have to build some resilience (and wear proper clothes). This morning as I was walking my dog, my neighbour was heading our for her run. Oh how I envy her confidence running in the cold!

  • On the weekend I managed to do something I wasn’t 100% sure I could actually do. My long run on Sunday was 21.5km, and I managed to run it in 2:09:49. Not only did I run a half marathon, I crushed my previous time by 40 minutes. Of course this was the distance I had been training for most of the year, but my time is still 10 minutes faster than  thought it would be. The accomplishment itself warrants its own post, which is coming soon.

    Distance demon demolished #longrun #runchat #runningdad #Ottawa

    A photo posted by Chris Hale (@seehalerun) on Oct 23, 2016 at 1:14pm PDT


Thinking Out Loud Thursday #4


This is another link up with Amanda at Running With Spoons.

  • I blinked and September was over; now we’re at the first long weekend of the school year, Canadian Thanksgiving. Looking forward to lots of family time and way too much good food. YUM!
  • One of my goals has been to stay active as we move into fall and winter. This week I actually managed to exercise every day. Sunday I had a hard skate with my daughter’s ringette team. We even got on the ice early so there was more than an hour on the ice. Monday the team had dry-land training where the girls did body wieght and cardio exercises followed by a rousing game of handball. Of course the coaches lead the activity — good modelling and team building — so that was hour 2 for the week. It turns out that skating and exercises use similar but different muscles. Tuesday I hit the trails for a run while the team had power-skating. Although I planned for 30 minutes, I was done 5 km in 26 minutes so I kept going, but then I was in the middle of the forest after 6 km and I had to keep running to the end of the trail. As I ran out of the trail and into the parking lot, Strava let me know I had gone 7 km in 39 minutes. The first 5 km were harder than they needed to be, and I sure felt it the next day when all of my leg muscles seemed to be sore. Wednesday was a day for walking, including a nice 3 km walk after dinner. I’m still a bit sore today, but I’ve been walking a lot and stretching too so things are getting better. I may even get in a short run.
  • My average run length these days seems to be about 7 km in about 40 minutes, averaging 5:35-ish / km. A little over a year ago, my average run was 5 km, and I was running about 2 mins/km slower. I am still amazed that I can run as far and as fast as I do. I am a runner.
  • Wednesday October 5 was World CP Day. If you are interested in learning about this day, and about CP, please check out the website

Thinking Out Loud Thursday #2


After a late start to my first Thinking Out Loud Thursday, and a missed Thursday last week, I’m back with my second Thinking Out Loud Thursday. This links up with Amanda at Running With Spoons.

  • My wife and I recently celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. We are both amazed that the time has flown by so quickly as it seems like just yesterday that we newlyweds. Of course having three kids aged 19 to 13 should have been a clue that we’ve been together for a while, but it just doesn’t seem like 22 years.
  • Last week was supposed to be race week for me. However I decided early in the week that I would not be running the Army Run Half Marathon. It was the right decision, but it left me feeling a little out of sorts all week. I only ran once, and some of my food choices were questionable, especially on the weekend. I’ve started looking for another fall race that fits my family schedule so that I can possibly get a Half PB. Interestingly, my bib for the Army Run was 4905 — I’m 49 and my last/only half was 5 years ago when I ran the  Army Run in a less than stunning 2:49. After a couple of years of relatively consistent running and learning, I had hoped to PB somewhere below 2:30, but it just wasn’t in the stars. Thankfully Ottawa is a great running city and there are other opportunities.
  • Ringette season is upon us so I am back on the ice as a coach. After a summer of running, my legs feel great and skating is pretty easy, except for some different leg muscles I’m now using.
  • This week I ran with my school’s Cross Country Team.  Last year I had promised to get out with them, but I never made it. It was great to be out with the students and coaches for an easy 5k in the neighborhood. It was especially nice for coaches McColeman and Collins to keep the pace manageable for me and the newest team members (5.2k @ 6:33/km).
  • On the last day of summer, I hit the trail and the road for a stress relieving run. While I was hoping to hit 10k, I wasn’t sure given the limited running I’ve done recently. There was no need to worry however, as I ran a 10K PB in 55:31. My splits were very consistent in the first 5k, but slipped a bit in the second 5. That was fine with me though as it was great to be running. No watch, no stopping, just my phone chirping my split times as I zipped along.

Thinking Out Loud Thursday #1


This is my first Thinking Out Loud Thursday – a hopefully regular post inspired by fellow parent, educator, blogger and runner Rebecca at Running.Food.Baby who links up with Amanda at Running with Spoons. Of course starting this on a Thursday but not finding the time until Saturday to finish it isn’t a great start, but I’ve got to try. 

#1 Summer is over!

That’s right, it’s September 1 (now 3rd) and summer is over because I am back at work. After a fantastic summer off we’re back at it. As a 5 school family, we love our time together in the summer but I think we’re all ready to head back to school. Okay, maybe only my daughter is really ready to be back, but the rest of us have had to accept reality.

Bag packed more than a week early

Partial family selfie in BC


#2 Running and Races 

The weather in Ottawa wasn’t exactly conducive to building a solid running routine given that the average temperature seemed to be a hot and humid 40C all summer long, but I did manage to get out somewhat regularly. Of course a nagging ankle pain (Achilles tendinitis?) and then a blister slowed me down in July, but I got back to it more running in August. I finished July with my second Sprint Tri when my times in all elements improved over my first Sprint Tri in May. 

 I also knocked a couple of fun 5k runs this summer. The first was a fundraiser for my daughter’s field hockey club; the run was all trails. I was on pace for under 26 minutes but my Achilles was bothering me so I was over 27 minutes. And that’s how I learned the value of stretching EVERY DAY! The second was the Ottawa Craft Beer Run just last week. Finished with 26:03 time so obese pretty happy. 

I even managed to complete my first virtual 10k race to support Challenged Athelete initiative. 

#3 Trail vs Road

Most of my running this year has been on various trails around my house or behind the sports field where my daughter plays field hockey. I’ve really enjoyed this as it’s usually cooler (a plus given how hot this summer has been), and defined easier to run on. I also got to run on the Pacific Spirit Regional Park in Vancouver, something I didn’t think I should do last time we were there because I didn’t think of my self as a real runner. In the two years since we were last out west, I’ve come to realize I am in fact a real runner and I can run just about anywhere. 

Of course I realized during the summer that I need to spend a kfew title more time running on roads for my legs to remember and adjust to the pounding being on pavements causes my body. My races this week have all included time off the  trails and on the road. Gotta do what ya gotta do. 

This island has way too many hills!

#4 Watch Troubles

I’ve been a Timex wearer for years but this summer two sport watch fails have me reconsidering the brand. I had two (operative word HAD) at the beginning of summer. Both watches had lost the strap band. I’ve been using zip ties to keep the straps down. Then both watches suffered broken bands. Finally one the watches no longer displays all the screen info correctly. Actually that problem was what prompted my to but the second watch a few years ago. I even replaced the battery thinking that was to problem. It wasn’t. So as summer has come to an end, I’ve lost the better of the two watches (I think my nephew hid it during our vacation), and I’m left with a failing sport watch. As the only way to repair the watch is to send it to the approved Timex repair shop in the U.S., I may finally have come to a time when I buy a Garmin or Polar sport watch. 

zip ties and tape are what keep this Timex ticking

#5 Summer Winning

I’ve usually had some luck winning things online, having won a netbook, books, and flowers in the past. It’s been a pretty good summer for me. I’ve scored tickets to see the Chick Corea Trio and Jim Bryson at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. 


I also won a prize pack from Canadian Tire for supporting Canada’s Olympians — a t-shirt and flag.

There were also the Body Glide and t-shirt from Velofix. I’ve enter a few more contest so you never know what else I might come away with. 

So thero goes my first Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Hopefully the next one can actually be published on Thursday.