Thinking Out Loud Thursday #5

Thinking-Out-Loud2

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.

    Lol

    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

     

A Tale of Two Seasons

Usually my autumn and winter running is much like the start of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Surprisingly, I  have enjoyed running and the the feelings associated with it. Although I have often said I do not exercise and I am not a runner, that isn’t really true. That said, once winter comes along, I stop running. Because where I live it is usually cold and snowy in December. Look at the forecast from this week in 2014:

YOWWeatherDec2014

Do you notice the temperatures? Most days the thermometer registered a number around 0C, but check the fine print. In Canada we use this little thing called wind chill to indicate what it really feels like. That means on most days it wasn’t really sitting just above or below the freezing matr; no is really felt much colder, like -15C (5F for any readers south of the border). And if that’s not bad enough, take a look at snowfall? On December 10, there was 15 cm of snow. That is NOT running weather.

Let’s jump ahead a year. Back in late October, as the weather started to get colder, I stopped running. I managed to time my break perfectly with a case of shin splints which wasn’t fun but it did help add to me excuses reasons for not running. I assumed that we were headed to another cold, wet, snowy autumn and early winter. Oops, I didn’t see the El Nïño effect coming into play quite so early. Look at the weather for this week:

YOWWeatherDec2015

What a difference a year makes! Nice early fall running weather in the middle of December. Of course this doesn’t mean I have actually been running. However, as I was walking my dog and thinking about a comment my daughter made regarding a Green Christmas, it occurred to me that perhaps I had missed an opportunity to log some additional kilometers before the real impact of winter hits. I could have built up some credit before the worst of the winter eating really sets in. Of course hindsight has 20/20 vision; I haven’t taken advantage of this awesome weather, and I’m regretting it. Of course in any year, there are some ups and downs so maybe this is the down for me; when I had the chance to push myself, I didn’t do it.  But next year holds great promise. I’ve already started working out at home with bodyweight exercise and my bike.  I’ve been down this path before, but I’m getting further ahead, and not falling so far behind, as I have other times. As always, there has to be hope.

IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

Excuses, I’ve got a few.

This morning when I stepped on the scale, I thought at first my eyes had deceived me. Did it really register that number? 199. No way. How did it happen? Oh yeah, I spent the weekend at a tournament where I didn’t eat the best food. Sure I used the dreadmill in the hotel, parked as far away from doors as possible, and did yoga in my room, but all that managed to do was help keep the weight gain disaster to a minimum. For the last 3 months my weight has consistently been 3 to 4 pounds lower than that, and I plan to keep it there for the winter. I know the weekend gain doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but having worked so hard to get below 200 lbs, realizing that I could have come so close to hitting that number again in a single weekend is a shock.

I have written before that my exercise typically drops off during the winter.  This year I am only coaching one team, and it only has practices once a month so I’m not getting much skating. My bike is set up in the trainer, but I haven’t actually used it yet. Running in winter doesn’t appeal to me as I fear injury, but I may have to rethink that. I have lots of fitness app, but I’m not using them as regularly as I should.

The idea of scheduling exercise into your daily routine is not new, now unfamiliar to me. Changing my behaviour, however, is another story. I know I’m not alone in this, and that other much more successful runners (and bloggers) have had to double back and re-set their path. Their stories are both familiar and inspirational to me; there is hope and there is a community of support. Clearly, though, I will have to get my body moving.

It’s cold outside

After a very warm Christmas, Mother Nature has decided to remind us that Ottawa is supposed to be a cold city. Walked the dog this morning our usual 1km in a face freezing -17C, but the wind made it feel like -24C. Brrrrr!