"W E D N E S D A Y"<insert ominous mental crash>.
So last year, back when I was losing all ridiculous amounts of weight, I started—with an eye toward the facilitation of same—running again, something I hadn't done seriously for quite a few years. nickate had previously suggested doing a half-marathon, an idea that I could never quite shake, and it seemed an excellent one finally to pursue.
Beginning to train, I quickly discovered that being 125 lbs ligher made it a whole hell of a lot easier to run long distances (hunh. Who woulda' thought?) and I shortly discarded the idea of doing a half-marathon ("sheee-it; I can do that in my sleep!") in favour of that of going the full distance.
Thus it was that as long ago as last October, I signed up to run the Calgary marathon. Which is occurring, well, later this (Sunday) morning!
And for the last 7 months, with only a few minor hiccups, I have been training regularly. Training going reasonably good. As of the beginning of May, my practice runs were up to about the 35km mark (A marathon being 42.2). Some mixed feelings about that: my goal being to complete in under 4 hours, I would have liked to have been able to hit 40km by this point (adrenaline on the day itself being sufficient to boost me to the needed distance), but not too horrible.
Then, the other week: catastrophe!!
While out training (when I shouldn't have been, but that's another story), I tripped, stumbled, stepped on a kerb awkwardly, and twisted my knee.
Right now I can't run. At all, really. I could probably run 100m right now. Maybe 200m. If there were a large angry dog behind me. With rabies. And I didn't care about doing lasting damage to my knee.
Yeah. Sigh. That marathon in a few hours? Not happening. V. frustrated. And disappointed. And (more than a little) embarrassed. I've been talking this up so much to the people around here lately. And now whenever anyone asks, I can but stare at the ground, shift my toes around, and sheepishy mumble: "not gonna do it."
I mean, there will be other marathons. And I will find one of them in which to run. But this was going to be a little special for me, seeing as how it is almost precisely a year since I started losing weight and all.
Now since I'm not running, I need to find some other form of exercise to help keep myself in shape.
Luckily, it turns out that I can still bike fine. Uses different muscles, I guess. I can feel a tiny tiny twinge when I've been biking for a couple of hours, but nothing more than that. It actually hurts quite a bit less to bike right now than it does to walk. Or climb stairs (actually, going up and down stairs is the worst – it's about on par with running).
Thus, last Sunday, I went on a sightseeing trip out to the town/bedroom community of Okotoks. 'Cuz I'd never been. So, yeah: why not?
It was about 140km round trip.
- I fairly quickly started climbing up into Mount Royal, leaving behind the city centre. Despite appearances in the photo, it was a rather chilly day, and indeed later snowed for a bit, during which I took the opportunity to head inside for a late lunch (May long weekend in Calgary; if it doesn't snow, there's something wrong).
- Curling around the south edge of Mount Royal is the Elbow river, crossed by many cute footbridges. One of which I used to get across. troll_count := 0;.
- The Glenmore Reservoir provides water to the southern half of Calgary. This water is prevented from rushing down the Elbow by the 1933 Glenmore Dam. Wikipedia says it's "one of the heaviest in North America." For, uh, whatever that's worth.
- On Signal Hill in SW Calgary are marked out the numbers of four battalions who trained in the area before heading off to WWI.
* * * * * snow break * * * * *
- "The Most International Place"?? What does that even mean?
- Imposing hilltop fortress! Or, uh, the new SE Calgary hospital. One or the other.
- Calgary, as she sprawls as far as the eye can see. Thumbnail this time just links to a merely huge version. The mega-f*cking-gigantic version is, well, mega f*cking gigantic.
mega f*king gigantic version
- I know there are one or three people on my flist that like teh tall and shiny. Even if 25km of distance mutes the shiny a bit.
- After leaving Calgary behind, there wasn't much that was photo-worthy until reaching Okotoks, aside from the ever-present mountains to the west. (I unfortunately completely forgot about the Big Rock until after dark, when it was too late.)
- General axiom of the day: when something is described using the adjective "olde," it probably isn't.
- It's probably a good thing it was a Sunday evening, and this place was closed. Else I so would have been sucked in, and shlepping all manner of kitchenware back to Calgary on the bike would mayhaps have proved awkward.
- But the quaint Big Dipper Ice Creamery, run out of the front porch of this woman's home, was totally open. It seemed to do a pretty good trade – even at almost 9PM on a cold Sunday evening, there were at least a dozen customers that came by in the 20 minutes or so I took to chow down on my ice cream and coffee. (Does one actually "chow down" on either of those two things? *shrug*)
- Purple. Okay, maroon.
- While "chowing down" may be an inaccurate term to use with coffee, it perfectly describes the activity being partaken of by these deer just outside the town centre. Ah, small-town living.
- Home of the Dawgs.
- Okotoks used to have a train station.
- Wait. So the newthinkspeak for "hospital" is now "health and wellness centre?" What's wrong with calling a hospital a—you know—hospital?!
- The sun sets on the iconic prairie grain elevator.
- Little megachurch on the prairie.
- The sun sets as I set out for home. I will have to come out this way again. Taking a different route back into town than I took on the way down, I noticed a number of things that warranted photos, but needed better lighting. Some day.
- It was fairly late by the time I got back to my usual stompin' grounds.
- Dinner: perogies at the 24h Blackfoot Diner. It's a total Calgary institution, but somehow this was the first time I ever made it in. Surprising given my usual late hours, and the paucity of establishments open at that time (a matter about which I rarely refrain from complaining).
- They've done a really good job of lighting up this bridge in the last year or so. Unfortunately, I was unable to take a photo to do it proper justice. I really like the way the coloured lights reflect off the river, but couldn't get it to come out well on film. All my photos were either too dark, too grainy, too saturated with light from the other buildings, or too something. I went back a couple nights later and took another 100 or so photos. Didn't help.
- Along the Bow.
- Epilogue: I bought these a few days earlier, but so didn't notice at the time that they were "Red Hat" brand. Geekfail!
"You may have your eye on us now, human, but you can't stay vigilant for ever. You will have to sleep some time, and when you do, we will be waiting."