March 26th, 2013

trans-canada west

Talking about redemption and leaving things behind

Yesterday, I wrote of last year's runnings. Today, 'tis time to turn mine eye to the future, and look at 2013.

T-t-t-t-t. Tut tut tut.

(No seriously, I'm not drunk. I just wish I were.) Instead, I'm typing one-handed, as my other hand rubs a fuzzy, furry feline turned belly-upwards on the desk beside me in an attempt to be endearing. It's working.


So anyway.

  • May 5: BMO Vancouver Marathon.
    It's going to be a short in-and-out trip, but wouldn't mind seeing Vancouver peeps, if there's any reasonable way to make that happen. Expect to arrive in Vancouver the evening of May 3rd, depart sometime May 6th. In addition to the race, I also want to see my centenarian grandmother, who has had a good run herself, but is in declining health, and may not be around much longer.

    Every January, my Calgary crowd takes a retreat out to Banff where we kick off the winter semester by spending a week holed away at a resort playing board games. I always entertain myself (and arguably the others) by going all out and making a huge meal. It started with my “famous” Chicken Mole. The following year was Food from the Pillars of Hercules including a Spanish paella, and Moroccan chickpea soup. The next year it progressed to a full on Southern Barbequeue including a whole pig, and from then, there was no stopping me.

    This year, I paid homage to the aforementioned grandmother, who is Ukrainian, by doing a Свята Вечеря (traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper). I didn't quite do the 12 meatless courses, opting instead (given the nature of the audience) to commit the heresy of adding a few new apostles in the form of non-veggie dishes. but I did manage among other things кутя, борщ, голубці, вареники, пиріжки, патички, котлета по-київськи and ковбаса, not to mention that traditional staple, “pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares.” I managed to forget to take pictures, but it's possible someone else did?

    Because we were a little short on fridge/freezer space, I had put some of my groceries outside at one point to keep them cool. Cue a few hours later as I was preparing something else: I looked up and noticed a couple of elk had wandered up and were mighty interested in the head of cabbage I had sitting on the patio table. They were... pretty tame, even after I opened the door, and tried to shoo them away, bringing the food back in, they weren't particularly scared and kept hanging around the patio for most of the rest of the day.

    A slightly different kind of wildlife than the usual cats, ants, and chit-chats I'm used to dealing with in the kitchen.

  • June 15: Millarville Half Marathon
    Again. Because it's nearby. And easy to get to. And easy to do. And fun. And I like the farmers market at the end. Pretty much that's it: a run of convenience as much as anything else.

  • October 6: Chester Marathon
    This is in Chester. Yes, Chester, as in: the one in the United Kingdom. 'Twill be my first international marathon!

    Why? Well, the short(ish) version is that I have a bunch of friends in the UK I want to visit, and it's been almost 20 years (!!) since my presence graced those verdant-if-infamously-soggy shores. So I found this marathon as an excuse. One of the people I want to visit is a former AWA co-worker (from the UK originally, went back a little while ago) who is also a runner. We did a few runs around here back when he was still around. This one I found is about 30 miles from the town where he's now living, and I've convinced him to sign up and run with me. So.

  • October 13: Canmore Ultra Grizzly Marathon
    Because, you know, doing two marathons one week apart last October just wasn't sufficiently hardcore for me.

    So this year I'm upping the ante. I'm running a marathon, then one week later, I'm running an ultra marathon. In the mountains. With 1.7km elevation gain. Starting at a base elevation of 1.5 clicks. Half a planet away. Jet lag? Come at me, bitch!

    (I may come to my senses before then. But this is me: don't hold yer breath.)

In the meantime I've been training by making damn sure I get my twice-weekly runs in, winter be damned. And weekly squash. And daily strength exercises: I'm up to 75 situps a day, plus about a month back, following the Hundred Pushups regime, I managed to make it to the 100 — am mostly still hovering around there.

Plus my regular biking.

A few weeks back, I went out to Canmore for an evening. It's about 220 km, round trip. Which would have been great (I've done it a couple of times before) except that that night, it decided to do a patented Calgary “snowmageddon” and dump 25cm on us.

I... didn't exactly make it back before the storm hit. That was *cough* fun!

  • March 29: Because I like tempting fate, I'm biking to Kelowna in three days' time.

    I've thought about doing this before, way back during Thanksgiving of 2010. Then I got sick about 5 days out, and that put paid to that idea. But it's nevertheless kept its own little fire burning in the back of my brain for the last 2½ years, and finally the time seems to be right to attempt it again. I've been keeping one eye very firmly on the weather forecast, and with 3 days to go, it looks like the good weather will hold (knock on wood). If things are still clear as of Wednesday, it's a go!

    It will, all things be told, be one crazy mad dash across the mountains to make it. I don't have a hell of a lot of time to spare (see yesterday's post re: work situation... except that's kinda the point: I SERIOUSLY need to unwind, and this is how I do that). So the plan is for a three-day sprint:

    1. The really LONG Friday from Calgary to Golden (265km). Over the Kicking Horse pass. This is by far the longest day, but it's also one I've done before. So I kindasorta know what I'm getting into. (Esp. since I was fatter back then. And on a much crappier bike.)

      I'ma leave Calgary stupidly early in the morning (like 2 AM) with the hope that I will make it in to Golden by 9 or 10 PM at latest (ideally earlier). Then I will find a hotel room and crash. And wake up the next day for...

    2. A much shorter and easier Saturday from Golden, up and over Rogers Pass into Revelstoke (148km). Not only a shorter day, but I get the advantage of the time zone boundary to make it an even “shorter” one still. But I will probably crash pretty hard again in Revelstoke. But with any luck will have a long enough sleep that I will be somewhat recovered for...

    3. The final Sunday push from Revelstoke to Kelowna (190km). This day will be mostly flat, actually. A bit hilly first thing out of Revelstoke, but not much after Sicamous. Which should help things along. Also, the weather will be both more predictable, and just warmer in general by then.

    So. Camera? For sure I will have one on me. Photos? We will have to see. I'm sure there will be some recounting, whether photographically-aided or not. Indeed, this imminent trip is mostly what has pushed me off my ass and prodded me into posting again in the first place!

    So anyway. Following my arrival, the plan is just to leave my (currently winter) bike there at my parents' place for my future use (currently there isn't really one there, which occasionally annoys me), take the bus back and drag my summer bike out when I return. Next winter? We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

    I'm really, Really, REALLY looking forward to the trip.