Urban Wildlife: Whale Watching

It was another nice Brooklyn day.  It started wth a three plus mile run on the trails with enough foliage color to produce a day-dreamy run. It is the time of year when the sun is low and the whole day looks like afternoon, but the reddish glow makes the autumn colors and crisp blue skies all the more brilliant.  One of my favorite album covers by New Order evokes my senses in the same way.

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On to whales!!!! I have been jealous of the FB postings of my my sea-oriented friends.  Whales breaching off the Rockaways.  Dolphins off Brighton Beach and Ft. Tilden.  All of these places I have frequented my whole life and have yet to encounter such gracious creatures in the wilds of New York waters.  As I descended into JFK, I eagerly scanned the shores of Long Island to see if I could spot any activity from the sky.  The dominance of the sea relative to the landscape always reminds me that we are a marine city! Sometimes you can smell the saltwater air as far inland as the Nostrand/Flatbush junction.  But back to whales.

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Gotham Whales have actively posting cetacean activity for a number of years now and to me it seems that whale, dolphin (and seal) activity has been increasing each year.  With cleaner waters and organisms lower on the food chain thriving (i.e. oysters and various species of fish and crustaceans) the larger ones are coming back to feed on them. This includes the menhaden or bunker which seems to be a fave of the great mammals.  The American Princess Cruises specializes in whale and dolphin spotting cruises off the shores of Brooklyn, Queens and Western Long Island.  They posted that their last trip of the season would be on 11/26, the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2017. With sightings of 5 and 3 whales on prior trips that week, we took our chance to head out to Riis Landing and hop aboard the American Princess for our whale watching adventure.

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Marine Parkway Bridge 

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Looking West Towards Coney Island 

After a boat briefing, we took off from Ft. Tilden and rounded the peninsula to the Atlantic Ocean.  We passed the confluence of the waters of Jamaica Bay, New York Harbor and the ocean. There were whitecaps and the water was choppy, we were told that this would make the whales harder to spot.  IMG_3530

Kite Sailing near Breezy Point 

IMG_3531Coney Island and the Verrazano Bridge of NYC Marathon and Saturday Night Fever fame

IMG_3537The Confluence of Urban Waters

We were advised to look for bird activity–seagulls and diving gannets.  If the whales are feeding, the birds are feeding too.  We saw several patches of bird activity, but not yet the tell-tale waterspout of a whale.  We continued east past the Rockaways, Long Beach and right off the coast of Jones Beach we finally heard the sigh and saw a waterspout!  There was a whale, logging off the starboard side of the boat.  We grabbed our cameras, left the warm cabin of the boat and ventured into the crisp ocean air to catch a sight of this whale in our local waters.  This whale was resting or napping–slowly moving just under the surface of the water and emerging at almost regular intervals to breathe.  I watched the whale for a little bit, just to absorb the experience of seeing one in the wild this close to hope, before grabbing the iPhone to get some shots of the whale’s dorsal fin. IMG_3561Breathe

IMG_3566Exhale

IMG_3567It was amazing to see such a majestic being at ease in it’s habitat.  There was another boat nearby, but each kept a respectful (and legal) distance from the whale.  There were reports of others in the area, but this was the only one that we were able to see.  These are probably the last of the whales to head further south for the winter.

After spending about 45 minutes with this whale, we turned and headed back (into the wind) west towards Riis Landing.  We were hoping to catch another sighting as we headed back, but we saw a variety of seagulls, gannets and small shorebirds running in groups.  As we docked, the sun was almost setting casting a reddish/orange/purple glow on the surrounding structures, including a curious piece of art that apparently has been there since the 70s.

IMG_3574Low Sun over the Atlantic/Lower NY Harbor 

IMG_3577Art Curiosity 

IMG_3579The American Princess in her Riis Landing berth IMG_3581Ft. Tilden Sunset

Until next year when the whales return, but maybe seal watching trip on a winter return visit to Brooklyn???

 

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Race Volunteer Recap: PPTC Turkey Trot

There are some races that you have just as much fun volunteering for as running.  For me, these races include the NYC Marathon and the PPTC Turkey Trot.

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Post peak foliage

The Turkey Trot offers people the opportunity to burn of their Thanksgiving meal before eating it.  Five miles through post-peak fall foliage in Prospect Park, this annual race draws close to 2500 runners from all over the city, including a number of their out-of-town visitors.  As a member of the PPTC, this is the time to reconnect with old members and meet new ones.  It is the club’s largest race of the year so it is an all-hands-on-deck kind of event for many club members.  In addition, it is a nice way to celebrate another good year of running–people are coming of the high of marathon training, running and/or spectating and making mental goals for the new running year.  Also, you receive the cool runner’s hat/toque (Canadian for hat) for your community service.

Back (the cat who is the Prince of All Things wanted his feet in the photo)/Front of the coveted race hat.

This year I signed up for medals.  It was a 6 am call so after a night of clubbing and minimal sleep (even though that kind of schedule is supposed to be way behind me) I rolled into Prospect Park Lakeside before sunrise.  There were already a number of volunteers gathered, most donned in the club’s signature colo(u)rs of red and white.  I joined the line to sign in and encountered a number of familiar faces.

“Hey, this weather (approx. 34 degreed F) must be really warm for you!” Or some similar comment I would hear from my teammates.

I try to seem robust, puff up my chest and respond, “yeah, I’ve been running in weather colder than this” although my Caribbean-blooded a$$ has on four layers on top, jeans, really thick wools bed socks I bought in a New Zealand flea market (love them, the socks and flea markets) and heavy gloves.  It did feel warm when I left my Brooklyn apartment (one block away from Prospect Park), but I knew I would be standing around outside for quite a while and moving temperature/still temperature feel vastly different.

As the volunteers were gathering, I reflected that there more volunteers here than there are runners in an average Calgary race.  But then there are twice as many people in just the borough of Brooklyn (approx. 1.3 million vs. 2.7 million) alone. It is a numbers game.

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I gathered around the cart with boxes of medals with other volunteers and started to unpack the medals–larger plastic bags sealed with ten medals which were ensconced in their own smaller individual ziplock bags.  So much plastic…ugh!

So we plugged away at unwrapping and sorting medals.  While we were doing this, we discussed a recent posting on the club Facebook page that went something like,”I was wearing my PPTC gear and approached by a man that informed me that he was planning on banditing the race. I told him that he shouldn’t be telling me that to which he responded with some self-entitled crap about it being a free park so he could do what ever he wanted.”  Basically, a bandit is a person who participates in a race, including trying to take advantage of race amenities like water, food and even medals, without paying for the race and getting a number.  We hate bandits. It is a large enough park where one could run 5 miles without “participating” in the race at the same time.

Anyway, once we moved the medals to the finish line we were given strict instructions to mark each person’s number with a Sharpie upon giving them a medal.  We role played runners coming through the finished line in slo-mo so we could commit the process to neurological memory. While this was going on with our crew, other crews were preparing the start and finish line while a roving santa greeted runners.

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Lone santa headed to the start, sun slowly rising

Finish line set-up

Late package pick-up

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Cold and waiting for the start 

With our orders given, we listened for the start of the race and waited for the runners to first loop past the finish line (the bottom 2 mile loop) before completing one full loop (3 miles) of the park to the finish the 5 miles.

It was great to cheer on the runners as they passed, many donned turkey costumes and the becoming ubiquitous running tutus. As the pack started to slow, we anticipated the first runners.  While this is a fun run, the first three women and men receive a gourmet, nope, artisanal, hand-crafted  Sriracha infused pie because this is the new hipster Brooklyn. Joking, they chose from traditional pies (thankfully)–pumpkin, apple, blueberry, etc.  Each pie-winner was given a white cup with their gender place which they then redeemed for their choice of pie.  Of course the choice narrowed with each recipient, with the third woman receiving the last pie of the six.

As the eventual throng came through, we got busy with the medals and sharpies.  Most people were pleasant, some even refusing medals.  We also encouraged them to return to Lakeside for bagels and hot chocolate. And there were the shameless bandits.  Rather than maybe thinking about not running through the finish line (it’s a wide road, with plenty of space on either side) they not only ran through the line, but attempted to claim a medal! We “caught” many of them but there was one in particular who became belligerent all while NOT producing a number. For our sanity and safety we felt that the medal was not worth the confrontation.  He was an assbandit, the worse kind.

As the running crowd thinned, we moved closer to the finish line so that we could give the back-of-the-pack runners their medals just as they crossed the line.  It is always nice to cheer on these runners and makes us middle of the pack and faster runners appreciate the gift of running and fitness.  Watching these runners and walkers, I could tell by the relief and elation upon crossing the finish line that the 5 miles was a significant accomplishment for a number of them.  I applaud them and hope that they have been infected with the running bug and will keep at it!

With the flow trickling to a single runner every 30 seconds or so,  we started to dismantle the finish area, pack up most of the supplies (including extra medals, the metal Turkey part is timeless and will be recycled with a new ribbon for next year) and high-five each other for another Turkey Trot well done!  I went home with a bounty of bagels, some of which I will freeze for later.

To remind me of Calgary, montage of curling apparatus and hockey practice in Brooklyn:

24 hours in Brooklyn

After my morning run, it was time to prepare for my Thanksgiving contributions, but first means shopping.  Headed downtown Brooklyn to the newish Trader Joes, despite the often ridiculously long and winding lines, I love that place.  I always go with a mental note of what to buy and leave with much more.  “I’d like to try this” or “this looks interesting” along with the chocolate peanut butter cups leads to many impulse purchases.  Most get used but some, unfortunately, end up in the freezer cemetery for no other reason than either forgotten or never got around to eating which leads to being forgotten.

After Trader Joes, I went to DSW in a panic over having warm shoes.  I bought some duck shoes of a famous name brand (I try to reserve name brand-dropping for running stuff ;), however if this shoes somehow end up being magical, you will hear about them). Then I went to Flatbush to catch a dolla van and head home to start my cooking marathon (sprint).  Crossing the street (with the sign flashing “don’t walk” as New Yorkers do–in Calgary they actually wait for the walk sign. Even with neither cars nor bikes nor squirrels in sight. Bothers the impatient New Yorker in me to no end–I saw a sign in the sky that connected Brooklyn to Calgary–a reverse Chinook:

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Seriously, look:

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Calgary is on the left in case you are left guessing.

Let the cooking begin however, not before catching a club night with some colleague-besties.

Headed to the city to get some house music all night long (until midnight) I got off at 14th to transfer to the L.  Descending the platform I heard the sweet sound of salsa music echoing from below.  It is a sound that for me has defined my life as a New Yorker. It is a rhythm that says, “These my peeps, yo,” it is a comforting sound of what was and is rapidly disappearing Nueva York.  In NY it seems we all end up being both Puerto Rican and Jewish by default, intersected with your own ethnic identity and/or the identity of the community in which you grew up. Because you are a New Yorker, you know how and where to schlepp in order to get some arepas (and know that it is not pronounced ah-ray-pas).

El Salsero on the platform was one of those old-school tios, the ones you heard on the streets near Calle 116 in Spanish Harlem and still see on the boardwalk at Coney Island. The ones who’s partner always had some arroz con pollo, pasteles y coquito (no matter what time of year) for sale in a cooler.  He had his maracas y guiro painted in the colors of the bandera and I could not help myself but join in the dance. See my man:

Beautiful. Even more so when thinking about the destruction and current hardship that has befallen La Isla de Encanta and the strength of Caribbean people.  However, even strong people have their limits and we need to always remember those who have suffered this hurricane season. Although the headlines have faded, people are still struggling to rebuild.

From this emotional moment, I moved on to the Meatpacking District to meet up with some friends/colleagues to head to Club Cielo for a night of house music.  It must have been old-skool-post-disco-pre-deep-house night because for the first hour or so it felt like we went back in time to the legendary Paradise Garage.  And I am sure some of the dancers were the original patrons.  Check out this brother:

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Scroll through for the full effect, light up shirt and laces and all.  After the hour plus of discoish house, the beat pumped up and it was time to close our eyes and get lost in the music.  After sweating for another hour and half, my colleague/friend and I remembered the Thanksgiving dinner that we had to cook later that day.  We shared a taxi, headed through the tunnel back to our borough.

But before cooking, I had to be in Prospect Park at 6am for my volunteer gig with PPTC.  Next entry!

 

Back in My Yard

I am back in Brooklyn.  Landing into JFK last night and seeing distinct shorelines from air–Jones Beach, Long Beach, where the Rockaways connect to Brooklyn, and Coney Island–always makes me appreciate the proximity to the ocean.

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I also look forward to walking the streets of my city and, for better or worse, riding the MTA and most importantly, running in my park, Prospect Park.

This morning I went for my loop plus.  It was a damp morning as it rained during the pre-dawn hours.  Although the trees are past peak, I was able to catch some glimpses of what they looked like a couple of weeks ago with their fading oranges and yellows and with many fallen brown leaves on the wet ground.  The muted colors were heightened by the grey sky and wet, dark branches of the trees.  It was  nice, easy loop and I think that running consistently at altitude makes sea level feel easier, at least that is what I try to tell myself as I huff up the hill.

I finished up my 5 miles with a couple of strides-two on a slight hill and two on a flat.  I will now head out into the shopping throngs to buy my supplies for my Thanksgiving meal contributions because I run to eat to run some more.

 

Chinook Run

Tonight was the Mocha and Marshmallow night run.  It started at 4:44 pm and ended with hot cocoa in glass mugs at the Sunalta Community Center.

I walked from my home to the package pick-up, about a 30 minute 2.2k walk.  While walking I noticed striking cloud formations in the sky.  “Is this the famous Chinook arc that I have been hearing about?” I thought to myself.  I stopped to take  a couple of photos as the arc across the river was beautiful. I also noted that the arc was favoring the NW, the direction (North Pacific) from whence the winds originate.  Since I’ve been in Calgary, every discussion about winter weather includes, “…and then we have this thing called ‘Chinooks’ that can change the temperature by as much as 20 degrees (Celsius).” I mean every conversation mentions these Chinooks.  So, at this point I think I am experiencing the Chinook.

IMG_3321Panorama shot of the Chinook Arc

I get to  Tri-It, pick up my number and then head to the community center to wait in the warmth for the start of the race.  At about 4:20, one of the organizers said that she was walking to the start and strongly encouraged us to join her, so the center emptied out.  It was a 1K walk to the start but seemed like we were walking the race.  The temperature was 33 degrees F, I planned on wearing just my Targets fleece over a short-sleeved top, hat, gloves and tights, but at the last minute decided to wear my jacket.  Glad I did because when we left the center I immediately felt a chill.

We finally get to the start and were joined by other runners who parked closer to that spot (rather than the community center).  We were given our directions, which included being as visible as possible in the dark (they encouraged people to bring headlamps and gave out those little glow in the dark necklace thingies).  After a countdown that felt like New Years Eve we were off.

I felt pretty light and breezy and surprised myself at how fast I was going.  I thought I would just go with it and when I felt tired I would slow down.  However, I was clipping by! Ran across the 10th street pedestrian bridge, along the N side of the river, over the Prince’s Island pedestrian bridge and then it hit me.  The effing Chinook wind, that apparently had my back headed east now was a full-on headwind going back west.  I tried to push through, but the wind was unexpectedly strong.  I mean really strong. Runners I passed now passed me as I had to stop to catch my breath a couple of times. However, the odd thing about the wind was that it was definitely a warmer wind than the winter temperatures of the past couple of weeks.  Although the wind was straight in my face, my nose and cheeks did not sting and my fingers did not (immediately) become numb with cold.  Nevertheless the wind was brutal.  I finally made it to the finish line and was eager to get back to the community center for my hot chocolate.

Once I was inside, it was then I felt that my hands were a little numb, making grasping the mug a little challenging, until the cocoa warmed them and me up.

Despite the wind, it was a fun night race.  The small field of runners and hot cocoa gave the race a more community feel and I am starting to recognize faces from other running events. I am becoming more integrated in Calgary life.

Loving my hot cocoa

The Club

While this blog is mainly about running in Calgary, I also mentioned that I would include some of my more interesting experiences of adjusting to life in Calgary.  This includes efforts to meet new people (which becomes increasingly harder each year after college–and I have been out of college for many years) and navigating a new place.  This is more of a challenge without a car in a city designed for cars.  There is public transportation, but it is not as connected as I am used to in New York City (I will never again take the MTA for granted, but that doesn’t mean that I will not cuss it).

To these ends, I have been volunteering for interesting events.  Last month I volunteered for the Calgary International Burlesque Festival.  I took a burlesque workshop in the summer–Broad Squad Brown Girls Burlesque–and have been more jazzed about the art ever since. My initial connections to the burlesque community led me to Naked Girls Reading.  I saw that there was an upcoming event that needed volunteers, so I volunteered.  However, before I committed, I should have payed more attention to the map.

I get off the long bus ride in what seems like the middle of an industrial park.  As I walk north, expecting to see normal streets with businesses and homes, I saw more industrial stuff along with airport-looking hotels.  Since the clocks changed during the prior weekend, it was dark (and cold, as Calgary is).  I was hoping that the ancestors did not see me and tell my poor mother back in Brooklyn where I was walking during “that time of night.” As I approached  the address, I did not see anything that looked like it would be a venue for the reading.  In a slight panic, I called the organizer, “I am in a very industrial area, I think I am lost!” “No, you are in the right place…” I heard as the phone went dead.  She then texted me (her phone was broken) with the address and with some additional information.

I rounded the corner and there was the number I sought.  I opened the door to the reception area where I was greeted by an older gentleman, “are you one of the readers tonight?” “No, I am a volunteer.  I am looking for K.” When I entered the club, it was decorated in black and red and I immediately saw a pole.  Being a hobby aerialist, I know a dancing pole when I see one.  “So, this is a strip club,” I thought.  I was greeted by the organizer and she directed me to the upstairs to put down my coat and bag.  There I saw a series of beds, an odd chair and shelves full of towels, sheets and lube.  “So, I guess the dancers also have clients,” I thought again, feeling a kind of way by this point.

I returned downstairs and assumed my position as the concessions person.  Chips, “pop” (soda), candy and bottled water for two bucks a piece.  The crowd started to gather, a creative-looking alternative arts bunch, all there in support of the night’s readers.  The theme was “stories from my childhood” and women read from their childhood diaries, class assignments and other mementos that provided insight into the mind/angst of a preteen/teen/postteen girl/young woman.

Each reader, there were about six, was introduced and disrobed before the crowd and started to read.  Diverse in body shape and size, the fact of nudity was a nonissue when listening to their words.  It was not lost on many of the women in the crowd that most of the angst in their childhood writings was around boys and appearance. Unacknowledged crushes, unwanted attention and assault from boys that leaves a girl wondering both wondering what did she do to deserve it and questioning if she should be happy that she received attention from a boy, concerns about weight, wearing make up or not, size of earrings in relation to being a THOT, all kinds of mixed and damaging messages from boys, men, other girls/women, and especially mothers…

Many of the experiences read resonated with those of my own.  The feelings were heightened by the concurrent #metoo campaign that compelled many women to open up about the ongoing sexual harassment and assault that women experience on a regular basis.  It also reminded me of a friend’s FB posting during this hashtag to the effect of not considering (boys/mens unwanted attention) harassment at the time because the messages were that if a boy bothers you that means that he likes you and that you should be happy to get any attention from men because it means that you are attractive to them…etc.  Bah.

Anyway, I don’t know what I expected, but did not expect to have revelations and resonances with my own lived experiences as a woman.  The readings ended and the small crowd dispersed.  I schlepped back to the bus stop where I had to climb over a snow bank to reach the waiting area.  Took the bus back to where I started (at the university) in order to connect with the train that would bring me closest to home.

Being in Calgary, a part of my ongoing adventures seems to be the journey as well as the destination.

I later emailed the organizer and mentioned that I would consider reading in the future, if at a more convenient location or once I make friends who would become my “ride and die”.

Petroleum Jelly

Growing up Jamaican in Brooklyn meant my mother slathering Vaseline (r) or petroleum jelly  (henceforth VPJ) on our faces during the winters.  It would not only make our skin shine, but protect us from the cold air.   Once I became self-sufficient and made my own decisions about skin care, I abandoned VPJ first for drugstore brands and then for the more pricier department store boutiquey stuff. However I have always had a jar of VPJ around for nostalgic purposes and never really used it until I started marathon training and found it great for lessening blisters and healing hotspots.  Now, with this winter running endeavor, VPJ has returned to its rightful place in my skincare as a wind, snow, etc. protectant.  It is probably the same jar that I have had for a decade or more, it doesn’t expire, right???

So, each morning, I check the temperature, wind chill and wind direction, layer up appropriately, slather my cheeks, chin, lips and eyelashes with VPJ and head out the door.

This past week I had a slow gear up to training as I was recovering from the Last Chance Half on Sunday.  Ran for twenty minutes on Monday, the warmest day at 22 degrees, and then again on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday–with the last two days in a light snow.

I like the quietness of running in the snow, the traffic sounds are muted and there is something zen about listening to the crunch of the snow underneath my snowtrax that keeps my mind off of heavy breathing and stinging cheeks (I am still trying to learn to breathe properly through the balaclava.  On Thursday I saw a lone goose on the path, could not tell if it was injured or wanted to get away from the others who were being rather noisy, but s/he wasn’t there on the way back.  I think the ones who migrate are passing through as they seem extra noisy and crowded during the last couple of weeks.

I thought to this post I would add some pics of what are becoming my standard running pieces.

balaclavaBalaclava from Costcos

JacketRunning Room jacket–wind proof and water resistant, but relatively lightweight to wear over layers.

fleecetopMy favorite Targets Champion fleece lined shirt.  I love the neck coverage and thumbholes.  I have one in purple too that I left in NY for my runs when I visit home.  This one is a size L (I usually wear M but this was all they had left when I realized how much I loved the purple one) and I like the L better because it covers the butt and good for layering. It is probably about 3 years old or so.

TightsThese are the Sugoi tights, they are ok.  I like the reflective details and zippered bottoms, but I feel that the reflective seams rub against the thighs, I have not run long enough in them (yet) to see if I will get blisters.

Brooklyn Ninja with no f***s to give

My PPTC teammate allowed me to adopt that motto.  It was a comment on a picture of her doing the Frozen Half Marathon at 15 degrees, along the Shore Parkway, wind blowing off the harbor, balaclava, hood, and doing her badass winter running thing.  Similar to her I hate the treadmill but we depart with our love of running in the cold.  She is out there in all kinds of weather.

I remember doing a marathon training run with her on a damp autumn morning.  Rain was blowing sideways and I thought (hoping) she would have cancelled.  She came biking down Ocean Ave, tied her bike to the scaffold and off we went. One loop around Prospect Park and then down Ocean Parkway for the long, straight shot to Coney Island.  She seemed rather comfortable while I was freezing.  Damp and cold. By the time we got to the boardwalk, we still had about 3 more miles to make our goal of (I think) 13 that day.  With the sky looking quite hurricanesque we committed to touching each end of the boardwalk to make our mileage.  My wrists were numb and so was everything else.  Lisa left, I had one more colddampass mile. I finished, went for hot chocolate and my hands were too numb to stir the whipped cream.

So, now I run. In the cold. Not damp but cold and dry.  But because I run in the cold and I am in Calgary, I will wear my balaclava and be the Brooklyn Ninja With No F**ks to Give in Calgary (BNWNFGC).

Race Recap: Last Chance Half Marathon

The Last Chance Half Marathon is the “final race before everyone retreats to their treadmills” because it is effing cold in Calgary ya’ll.  So, I signed up to keep up with this winter running game and score another medal.

The first adventure (for me) was getting to the number pick up.  There were only two days and the hours of the pick-up to the location closest to me conflicted with my work schedule.  So I had to schlep all the way to Marda Loop on my bike.  I am still not quite sold on getting a car (although I am becoming slowly convinced) and pledged to rely on public transport and my bike for as long as possible.  So, I googled the pick up address, Strides Running Store, got my bike from the back yard and aimed southwest.

It was a relatively warmer 40 degrees when I started out, so I had on a t shirt, sweater and light down jacket.  Although I have a low tolerance for the cold, I tend to heat up rather quickly, so layers is always my option when doing something active, even walking a at a normal pace.

The thing about biking in Calgary is a hill.  I am situated in a valley alongside the river so in every direction, except the southeast, I must navigate a hill, a rather long and, at places, steep hill in order to get from A to B.  Not owning a bike since I was a kid, I bought a cheap, used bike on Kijiji in order to try the bike thing out.  I got a sturdy bike, good wheels and brakes, but the gears leave a lot to be desired so this means hauling (rather than riding) the bike up hills.  And for me this also means sweating–at the first hill I took off the down jacket.  I also realized that while the tires are good, they are not snow tires (to my surprise, yes, there are snow tires for bikes!) so at places where there was still accumulated slush, I slipped and slided on the bike, eventually wiping out.

I finally made it to the pick up but not before riding through quaint Marda Loop with modern houses designed to look almost like a New England town, brick facing and all.  Reminded me of some streets in Boston and Philly.  Cute. Got my shirt, number (number 1 because of my last name) so I am ready to run.

The morning temperature was 30 degrees to peak to around 34 sometime during the race.  I opted for my regular Targets compression running tights (light compression), my CEP compression sleeves under the tights, short sleeved tech shirt (in honor of, I wore my Brooklyn Half shirt) and Targets fleece top. I was planning on running in a lightweight long sleeve (also from Targets) with a short sleeved tech shirt, but when I left my apartment and felt the slight wind, opted for the warmer shirt and I was glad that I did.

The race itself was pleasant but uneventful.  There were a couple of icy patches and I felt some slippage, but not too much to navigate. Much of the route was along the river, first west, then turning to the east, before turning back west towards the finish. There was one point where the route was through a residential area and along the sidewalk, as it was an out and back loop it made for narrow running–both the out and backs were on the same side of the sidewalk.

The first part of the race for me was better paced than the second half, I don’t know if I am still getting used to altitude or if I need more endurance training or both.  But I finished.  Not my best time but a finished time. I am always content with a finished time.

The race finished with a brunch and I really enjoyed the fried potatoes and fruits.  I am glad that the temperature was “warm” and sunny because I don’t know how I would have fared had it been way below freezing as it has been for the past two weeks. Oh, and I got another medal.

LastChanceThe number had nothing to do with speed and everything to do with last name.

Temps in Flux

During my yesterday morning run, it was 9 degrees.  Today it was 32 with a slight breeze from the north, wind chill 25 degrees.  Over 20 degrees difference in 24 hours.  I am told that the temperature fluctuation can even be greater with the Chinook winds.  I am waiting for those to see what happens.

Some snow fell over night so it was a slushy run and I had neither snow tracks nor trail shoes, just my naked running shoes.  When I looked out my window, it did not seem so. Yesterday I ran with my trail running shoes and they felt a little hard and there wasn’t much snow, ice or anything on the paths.  Today was different with the light snow, and I felt a little slippy-slidey on some icy patches. However, I was able to wear less layers; my NYRR volunteer shirt from the Brooklyn Half, my fave Targets fleece-lined top, Targets compression tights and a PPTC buff and gloves.