End of the Streak

Warning: This may be the poutiest, moaniest post EVER.

Did you ever notice how the words “streak” and “strike” are very similar? Switch the “a” for an “i”, shuffle and … ta dah.

Finished my run streak. Cold days. Sunny days. Peaceful evenings. Windy afternoons. Toss in a few treadmill runs, and we’re gold. So now, you may ask yourself, why am I on strike.

Because it’s April, dammit. And cold, cold, cold. I’m tired of running in cold, windy conditions. One of my last streak runs, a concerned (very bundled up) walker asked me if I had enough layers to stay warm. Seriously.

But first things first…results of my streak? It was fun to do. It was good to see that the old bod can still run every day and not hurt. Of course I did make sure (after my knee whined a little) to add the big three to my routine more days than not.

The big three? Planks. Bridges. Wall sits. All my favourite (?) core exercises.

Did I lose any weight? Nope. Was I trying to? Again, nope. That’s not really one of my goals.

My resting heart rate dropped a bit, and I think that’s kind of fun to track. I especially enjoyed it the day I went into the clinic and the nurse looked a little concerned. “If you hadn’t walked in here yourself,” she said, “I’d be sending you off to the ER.” Seriously. It was that low (for my advanced age.)

When I was planning this blog in my head, I was going to say how good the streak was for my motivation. Got used to getting up in the mornings and heading out without thinking.

But look. A little wind. A little drop in temperature, and I’m DONE. Clearly not as tough as I thought I was.

Do I have a final streak picture to add. Again, nope. If my phone didn’t freeze in the cold, the battery died. So I have exactly zero photo evidence that it ever happened. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Plans going forward?


Striking today.

Running tomorrow when it’s supposed to warm all the way up 0 degrees C. Yay.

THEN, I’ll see you on the trails.

Streaking – Part II

I was seriously afraid that after only 2 1/2 weeks I’d have to cut short my first ever (hopefully first annual) spring streak. The first two weeks were great. Sunshine. Blue skies. Couldn’t wait to get outside.

Then this… Screenshot_2018-03-23-06-59-54

And this…

I spent Friday wearing my old Saucony Triumph ISO’s.

Error in judgement. With more than 1000 miles on them, they have definitely passed their prime.

Sadly, I came home with an aching left knee.

Uh oh.

I don’t mess with knees. I want to run FOREVER and my knees are pretty important for that plan.

This morning, happily, the knee is better, and I’m just waiting for the sun to peer out from behind the clouds. Then I’ll hit the trail.

The streak continues.

See you on the trails, pals.

PS….Happy birthday to my two favourite girls on the whole darned planet. You know who you are 🙂


So I’ve been reading one of my favourite running bloggers, and she’s just finished a January running streak. Now she is running in Colorado so the running weather is much friendlier than the running weather here. Hmph. It was even 10 C one day when she was out on the trails. Lucky girl.

It’s been cold here, and I’ll admit I’ve skipped a few runs because of the wind chill. Not very brave and tough, me. So…the question that raises its ugly head is…should I streak?

NOT run without clothes. That’s just crazy talk and I don’t want to spend a night in jail. But the kind of streak when you run every day. Even if it’s just a mile. Very tempting.

Think of the benefits…

  • Get back in the habit.
  • Increase motivation.
  • Build self-discipline.
  • Spend time outside every day.
  • Improve.
  • Adapt.
  • Enjoy.

Of course there might be a few drawbacks…

  • Chance of injury.
  • Decreased motivation.
  • Burnout.

Am I willing to take the chance?

Here we are 1/4th of the way through February and with another COLD week on the horizon. Maybe March?

Tell me what you think.

And just for fun….

See you on the trails, pals.

Why? Seriously, Why?

So Phil and I headed out for our weekly run together this afternoon. We waited and waited for the warmest part of the day but settled for the -14 C part. While we were out I entertained myself by listing the reasons why we continue to run outside in the winter.

I came up with eight. I’ll admit it’s hard, very hard, even, to pull on your shoes had head out when the mercury is buried in the bottom of the thermometer and frozen flakes are falling from the sky. But you should. And if it helps, feel free to borrow any or all of my reasons to suck it up and run in the winter.

#8. It’s beautiful. Why is this the bottom of the list? Because it’s ALWAYS beautiful. It’s an amazing world and when you’re running you get to see some of the spots that don’t receive as much press or appreciation. Open your eyes. Enjoy the blue sky and the snowy white blanket.

#7. The trails are not crowded.


Really, really not crowded. And the few runners and walkers and snowshoers you meet will be very friendly.

#6. It ensures your continuing membership in the crazy runner club. -14 C today? No worries. Gotta pay the dues.

#5. You can procrastinate until 9 a.m. and STILL enjoy the sunrise while you’re playing on the trail.

Don’t I look like I’m enjoying the sunrise?

#4. Too many days without running makes you twitchy. And irritable. Really. It’s just better for everyone if you suck it up and head out.

#3. Peace of mind. No worrying about bears in January and February. They’re all napping, enjoying their long winter snooze. I can run without checking over my shoulder every time I hear rustling in the bush.

#2. You sometimes get a glimpse of the future.


Did you know Phil will still be cute when his mustache is completely white?

And #1….Spring is coming.  Trust me. When the day comes for your next half, you’ll be happy you did. Can’t wait.

See you on the trails, pals.

New Year…New Shoes

Honestly, I meant to run yesterday. I had GREAT intentions. That and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Timmies. But it was cold. Baby it was cold. Just about the time school got out and I had lots of time for running, good old mother nature decided to polar vortex the hell out of us. Yikes.

Seriously. -25C. -30C. -35C. And that’s not counting the windchill. Brrrr.

But they were waiting. My lovely new Saucony Excursion TR11s. Beautiful. The trail tends to be slippery in the winter. Snow. Ice. Melt. Snow. Ice. Melt. Etcetera. All winter long. So when it hit -6 this morning, it was time to go.

Pretty, aren’t they?

And they were fabulous. Absolutely no slipping. Ice? Loose snow? Packed snow? No problem at all. Only a tiny smidge of slipperiness when I crossed the trestle bridge along the railroad track. That frozen steel sometimes gives me a little grief.

The runner, on the other hand, not quite so fabulous. It’s been a couple of weeks of staying inside watching the world freeze. Did do a couple of easy workouts on the treadmill (thanks Judy), but it just isn’t the same. Started too fast. Slowed. Walked. Panted. Tried again. You know the drill.

But now…as long as it isn’t too cold for the next couple of months, I will….see you on the trails, Pals.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

For the first time in MONTHS I actually made it out for a Sunday morning run. Whatever has been wrong with my head? I love these runs. They’re my hands-down favourite.

Why did I give up running on Sunday mornings? Not because I’m too busy. Usually my weekend mornings look a lot like this…

Perfect Sunday a.m.

So why?

I think it was because I was trying to cut down my miles and let my poor old piriformis heal. But that’s ages ago now and I clearly just got out of the habit. Phooey.

So this morning I tied on my old sneakers and headed out for an easy peasy recovery run. Me. The magpies. And four guys on the trail. Just us out in the beautiful morning.

Why do a recovery run? As runners, we used to think that recovery runs helped remove lactic acid from your muscles after a long hard run the day before. But research shows that’s just hooey. Now we know recovery runs are just one more tool to use to increase your running ability, stamina and speed on fast days. Really.  This Workout of the Week explains the science in more detail than I’m prepared to worry about.

And remember to go SLOWLY. It’s not a recovery run if you push at all. You should not be huffing and puffing and pushing on the hills. Relax. Enjoy. Stop and eat a raspberry if God provides one for you.


See you on the trails, pals.

Just a Walk in the Park


This was hands-down the best song on Phil’s running playlist and very appropriate for our day in the mountains. Now…a day later…fed, watered, slept, and even made it through a day at school, here’s my race report in pictures.

(We did the Banff Marathon – In case this hasn’t been at the very top of your list of very important things to remember.)

The sign says “Happy Father’s Day”. Really.

Started strong and not too fast. Felt good. Stopped to let Dad know I was thinking of him. And went trotting along for the first 10 or so km with not a care in the world. Cool. One-fourth done!!!

Here we are at the turn-around. Not dead yet.

More important than the runners…look at the trees. The hills. The scenery. How many ways do you know to say “breath-taking”?

I think I’m still smiling here.

Were there issues? Absolutely. But not until about the 30 or maybe 35 km mark. Stomach troubles, enough said. Cramping calves. Poor old sore toes. The usual woes. Did I want to lie down by the side of the parkway and invite a bear to eat me? Yep. But we persisted. Walked when we had to. Tried not to moan.

Was there wildlife in the mountains? We saw a squirrel. Three deer. Another squirrel. And a prairie dog. (Maybe he was lost.) We did take a brief intermission about 10 km from the finish when park personnel made us wait at an aid station while they shooed a grizzly bear off the highway. We were happy to wait.

We even managed to muster smiles for the nice runner who took our picture.

Of course the hardest part was the loops through town that made up the last 2 km. We would get close to the finish line, listen to the emcee, and run on by. Around and around and around. But..we persevered.

And lived to run another day.

See you on the trails, pals.

Just a Little Early

When I was a kid, all I wanted was a summer birthday. My sisters – both lucky. Judy celebrated on May 11 and Donna on June 1. Me? Not till December. For years I begged Mum and Dad for a bike for my present, but bikes were hard to come by in northern Alberta in December.

All these years later I still would love to have a party in June. And now… I have one.

June 7 – Global Running Day. Feel free to send presents.

This year I celebrated early. (This was due to misinformation on my part. I was sure it was today. June 1. But it’s not really until next Wednesday.)

Nevertheless… We had our annual all-school field trip scheduled for today so I had to be in my classroom by 7:30 a.m. So at 5:30 there I was out for an easy 5 km to celebrate.

Here comes the sun.







My usual running partner is not an enthusiastic morning runner, so I conscripted the second string.

Happy Early Global Running Day

And happily, we get to do it again on the ACTUAL day.

See you on the trails, pals.

A Beautiful Day for a Run

It was, I kid you not, a beautiful day for a run. By the time I hit the trail after school, the sun was low on the horizon, sending golden streams of light flowing across the snow. Absolutely beautiful. Purple and blue shadows pooled behind trees and bushes. Lovely.

The questions was…why were there so few people out there?

No question really. -17 degrees and just a hint of a breeze. Brrrr.

So although my phone died because of the cold and I have no pictures to show of the beauty, I was not the only living creature enjoying the late afternoon.

My friends included…


One of the coolest things about these big black birds is the amazing variety of noises they make. Listen to just one sample and know they croak; they knock; they click; they mimic other noises. I enjoy listening for them on the trails.


red poll




The red poll is another one of those cheery little birds that hangs around all winter making the day a little brighter.

chickadeeBut my absolute favourite has always been the chickadees. How these tiny birds survive the coldest winter weather is a mystery to me, and seeing them when I’m on the trail always perks me up. Even when they’re invisible, hearing their call makes my day.

Thanks to my friends online for the pix – I wasn’t kidding about my phone freezing. It took almost 3 miles before my hands warmed up, and I was very happy for a mug of tea when I got home again.

Only one thing left to say… See you on the trails, pals. Hopefully when it warms up a bit.