Monday, March 10, 2008

Back from the sunny south

Actually that would be sunny southern Alberta.

This weekend I made a quick trip down to Airdrie which is about 30 kms outside of Calgary. My niece Kristen lives there with her husband Mark, and two kids. My sister Lynne was visiting them from North Bay, Ontario so I thought I would make a trip down to see them.

It is not like it is right next door, (5 hours) but still when your family is spread out, and opportunities limited, you have to take advantage. So I hopped into the truck at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning and made the trek down. A big travel mug of coffee, some snacks and an iPod filled with new songs and I was on my way. The drive down was extremely uneventful and once the sun came up it was beautiful out. I rolled into Airdrie and 10:30 a.m., 5 hours right on the nose!

It was great to see everyone and I always enjoy visiting with my niece's two kids. They are really good kids and lots of fun. We spent the day sitting outside drinking coffee and catching up. Temperatures had climbed up to +12 C and no wind at all. So by about 3:00 p.m. I finally convinced myself that I should go out for a little run before supper. The weather was just too nice to have the day pass and not get out and enjoy it.

With the nice temperatures, all that was required was shorts, t-shirt and some shoes. Kristen lives in a really nice development in Airdrie at the edge of the northwest side of town. There are a whole network of range roads so I just headed out in that general direction with the intention of getting in at least 10 miles. The running was great and there was lots to see as I ran through some farm land with lots of livestock. At one point, as I ran along a fence line, there was a whole herd of cows running along beside me. They followed along for about 300 metres and then just gradually turned away from the fence and ran across the pasture. I can't say I have had that happen to me before! The road had a gentle rise to it and I felt really comfortable as I made my way out of town. It seemed like in no time at all I was at the 5 mile mark and made my turn to head back to the house. The whole run was effortless and totally enjoyable and I ended up with 10.25 miles in 1:12. The biggest bonus though, was how well I felt during and after.

That night we went out for a delicious Thai dinner in downtown Calgary. Washed it all down with a couple of Tiger beers and left feeling quite content!

I came back early on Sunday morning and stopped in Edmonton to have lunch with Francesca and her boyfriend. We had a really good time together and after a little bit of running around the city to drop Francesca off at residence and take Garrett out to St.Albert to get his truck, I was back on the road, and home by 5:30 p.m. Quick trip but very enjoyable!

Update on the other days.

Friday - Long swim - 3,000 metres continuous effort.

Sunday - off

Monday - Interval swim - 500 metre warm up - 10 x 150 metres with 15 secs rest main set and 300 metre cool down.

Run this evening was 6.2 miles in 43 minutes.

Everything continues to go well as the countdown continues!

Have a great day!

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