Monday, May 25, 2015

Tested: Saucony's Peregrine 5

Two weeks = two new pairs of shoes.

My new kicks have been a long time coming. My poor feet and legs have been begging for new for months. No doubt running in old shoes has NOT helped my recovery process.

A few weeks ago, I went to the Running Room to buy the new Peregrine 5 only to find out the store no longer carries trail shoes. Sigh. The last time I couldn't buy shoes in Red Deer, I bought the Salomon which I have a hate-hate relationship with. (Great on snow and awful on regular trail) A trip to Calgary or Edmonton was definitely in order.

I quickly picked up Peregrine 5 while shopping at MEC on Sunday. I got home late that night so I was forced to wait until Monday to give them a run. I can't tell you how great it feels to run in a new pair of shoes. These beauties fit like a glove. My quads were a little heavy from Saturday's hike but these shoes were amazing! (I like how the sneakers make my legs look skinny. This should be a requirement of all shoes!)

I wore my old Peregrine 3 for two years. They were amazing and I like the slight improvements on this new edition.

This Saturday I will run the Blackfoot 25K. I can't wait. The physiotherapy and dedicated stretching has definitely paid off. I am not expecting any record breaking times but I will get the job done.

I have two nights booked at a hotel in Sherwood Park. The last time I ran 50K I nearly fell asleep behind the wheel while I was driving home after the race. I thought it best to stay overnight in a hotel nearby. I am only running 25K this time so I thought I could drive home after the race. But I can't change my hotel reservation.

Oh well. At least this way I will have more time to hang out at the race and I will get in a short run/hike on Sunday. I just found out that Robert and Lorna from Grande Prairie will also be racing. It will be great to see them again. It's always nice to have friendly races at the race.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"A fresh wind is blowing" in Alberta

Outside my running life, I desperately cling onto my job as a newspaper reporter.

We're a dying breed.

But some days I just want to ignore my spidey senses, attend events and witness history as one of the people. Sunday was just the perfect day. Alberta's 17th premier Rachel Notley was sworn in on the grounds of the legislature in Edmonton. I had to be there. Sure I could have snagged press credentials but I just wanted to enjoy the moment. (Maybe I am slipping.)

I had to go to MEC for a tent and trail shoes so I made a day of it. I haven't been to Edmonton since last year. I love the grit of the city. Not the potholes, mind you. A slight detour because of a running event (the irony) threw my GPS out of whack. But a nice police officer helped me with directions. He also ignored the fact that I was using my iPhone as a GPS device.  

After picking up my trail shoes, I headed off to Legislature grounds. I parked in a public parking spot because I didn't want to drive around and fight for a parking spot. I am going to ignore how expensive it was. When I arrived to the grounds there were only about 200 people milling about.

But as you can see, only an hour later there were thousands of people. Whew! I arrived early enough to secure a spot on the steps. I didn't want to fight with people to get a glimpse of the new cabinet and premier.

What an amazing day. I still can't believe I am in Alberta. I have never seen reaction like this for a swearing in of a government. Crazy times indeed. There was thunderous applause whenever Notley spoke. People were crying (I'm serious) crying all around me. Notley and her cabinet were treated like rockstars, not elected politicians.

Clearly the people believe this change is long overdue.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Some like it hot: Hiking Ha Ling

Hoorah for sunny weather. This is a big shout out to Mother Nature – Bravo!

After being sick during the entire May long weekend, I was determined to get out of Red Deer. I went absolute bonkers when I was sick. All I did was stare at my ceiling or the four walls in my bedroom. Too sick and sore to move.

But all is right in my world today. The mountains were calling. I couldn't leave Red Deer until after I bought my ticket to see Stevie Wonder. He's playing in Calgary in July. I lovveeeee Stevie Wonder. I lucked out and got a ticket on the floor. I am crossing my fingers that nobody tall stands in front of me!

Because I left the city late, I decided to just hike Ha Ling. I did this peak last year after the Grizzly Ultra. I remember my legs were sore so I wanted to see how it would go with freshish legs. As well I wanted to test my sore hip. I am feeling much better. The phyiso is definitely doing the trick!

This is what it looks like when you decide to do a hike at 1 p.m. All the people were on Ha Ling. Hiking 101 - Start early to beat the crowds and the blazing mid-day sun.

What a gorgeous day for a hike. So glad I applied and re-applied my 60 SPF sunscreen. I tan way too easily. Loved breathing in the mountain air.

The first bit was the toughest. That's my happy mountain face (above). Once I found my groove I stopped huffing and puffing. Before too long I was passing all the chubby 20-somethings and beer drinkers. I kid you not. There were a few guys drinking Bud on the climb.

I made it! This picture is a perfect example of why I don't want you to take my picture. Thanks for offering. Seriously thank you, random guy. There was one useable one but this one sums up all my past experiences with volunteer photographers. 

I made it to the very top and back down in 2:10. I did stop at the top for about 10 minutes to catch my breath and to prepare for the run down. The descent was pretty smooth. I didn't trip once. In less than a month, I will participate in the Ha Ling Challenge on June 20. In a nutshell, runners/hikers will go up and down as many times as possible in 12 hours. I will be happy with three times!

So my legs felt fine with this short hike. I will probably feel something more in the next few days. But I wasn't limping which is a good sign! Recovery is awesome.