Happy New Year!
As always, January 1st is dedicated to reviewing last year’s walking mileage. So let’s get to it! But before we do, a quick disclaimer: I am including my running mileage in all of these totals, too, but I’m just going to refer to everything as walking mileage because it’s easier.
Here are my walking stats for January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Total number of walks: 347
Total mileage: 5,160
Total number of steps: 11,687,919
Total calories burned: 355,903
Total walking time (minutes): 78,727.87 [that’s about 54.67 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.80
5,160 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Juneau, AK and Barcelona, Spain or between Naples, Italy and Cape Town, South Africa.
And for anyone who’s keeping track (probably no one), yes, this is a new yearly mileage record. I beat 2017’s record of 5,100 by 60 miles, which isn’t a fantastic jump in distance or anything, but it is a new record.
If you know me in real life, I probably have never struck you as someone who would ever say they loved running (especially if you knew me pre-Vancouver).
But I LOVE RUNNING.
I’m addicted to it now. I’d go 14-ish miles every day if I could. The only thing stopping me is the thought that I do NOT want to go through another injury, either with my knee or with something else. So I’ll stick with a few times a week with the 16-mile walks in between.
But holy freaking crap, running feels so good.
It’s felt even better these past few weeks. I don’t know if that’s my body finally just getting used to 14 running miles the same way it got used to 15/16 walking miles or if the colder weather is just that much easier for me to run in.
It’s so relaxing and so freeing and so empowering.
If any of my readers run and are looking for good running clothes, I’d suggest Baleaf. I bought a pair of running leggings from them and a running jacket/coat thingy and they’ve both become my favorite things to run in. The leggings actually stay up around my waist (my other pairs are all too big around the waist and the Baleaf ones are just tight enough to stay in place but aren’t too tight) and the jacket has zippable pockets to hold gloves/music player, little thumb holes in the sleeves, and has a small fleece lining which makes it good for running in the 20-25 degrees range.
It’s December in Calgary and I just went running in shorts and a tank top.
It’s like 50 degrees out there.
I’ve actually kind of enjoyed running in the 30-40 degree range; I don’t get nearly as hot (running is like the only time I produce actual body heat) and so I feel like I can run longer and easier, at least most of the time. When it’s in the 20s it’s a little rougher because my legs start off being really cold and thus feel really heavy and slow, but I can still do it.
I haven’t run in anything below 19 degrees yet, but I’m sure I will at some point.
But yeah, it is unseasonably warm here and it’s weirding me out. It legit feels like September.
So today was the warmest day in like a week and a half and I was SO SICK OF BEING INSIDE that I decided to try running in the snow.
By “snow” I mean the compact snow on the river trail. I’d walked on it yesterday once things warmed up a bit and I felt like it was something I could run on, so I got on my winter running clothes and went to try it out.
I have no idea how people can run on compact snow, because I certainly can’t. I don’t know if I push off harder with the balls of my feet than most people, but it was definitely very slippery and hard to get a good footing. So super frustrating.
Once I got to the first point in the trail where I could get back off (which was like 0.2 miles, haha), I crossed the street and went back to the other side of the road where there was just a sidewalk. This looked relatively clear, so rather than give up on running today entirely, I decided I’d go a few miles on the sidewalk to see if that was better.
And it was.
There were a few snowy/icy places where fartbags hadn’t shoveled, but it was much clearer than the path. So I ended up weaving up and down a bunch of the side roads and going back and forth on the main road until I got to my standard 14 miles. It wasn’t the most enjoyable of walks because of the ice/snow, but the temperature was actually a nice one for running and it definitely beat running on the treadmill.
Plus, it’s only supposed to get warmer this week, so hopefully the sidewalks (if not the trail) will be clearer by the time I run again on Thursday or Friday.
Edit: I have about six blisters on my toes and my quads hurt like hell. I definitely have a different stride and toe grip on the snow/ice than on regular pavement. Which is to be expected, I guess, but still. Ouch.
I got my stuff from the half marathon today! Check it out:
Super cool. The last official race I did was the Vancouver Sun Run back in 2011; we got a bib (obviously, since it was in person) and a t-shirt (which I gave to my mom), but we never got a super cool medal.
Let’s try the full marathon next year!
This was the one I really wanted to do in person back in May, but ALAS…
This was not my best run. For whatever reason my legs felt like they weighed like 80 pounds each, so I didn’t end up with a super great time. But it’s probably faster than I would have been able to do it back in May, anyway, so yeah.
Next year I’ll hopefully be able to do the actual factual marathon, and it would be super nice if I could do it in person rather than virtually.
I don’t have high hopes about that, though.
YAY, I did my virtual Bloomsday run today. After much deliberation about how many miles I should walk today (reasons for that will be explained tomorrow), I eventually decided on 10.7 miles (I know, I know – not my standard 15 or 16…again, that will be explained tomorrow). But then I decided that since it wasn’t too hot out (and kind of cloudy) that I might as well use the shortened mileage to do my Bloomsday run today. So I walked for a bit and then ran the 7.46 miles (12k) to represent the Bloomsday distance.
I actually didn’t even run on the river path (a first for me!). The path is usually a LOT busier on the weekends, especially in the middle of the day. So I just ran behind the hospital, back behind the Children’s Hospital, towards campus, and a little bit north of that. The route wasn’t super hilly, but it definitely wasn’t flat, so I think that inflated my time a bit. But hey…the Bloomsday route isn’t flat and I’m sure whenever I’m able to do the Calgary Marathon that that route won’t be completely flat either.
So yeah! I should be getting my Bloomsday shirt in October sometime.
Remember how I said yesterday that the virtual Bloomsday window had closed? Well, apparently they extended it to September 27.
So I signed up for that, too.
Now the question is: do I run Bloomsday “on its own” – as in, it 12k and be done with it – or do I just do one of my normal 14-mile runs and just take note of how long it takes me to hit 12k? The latter sounds like I’d be “cheating” even though I would be running the 12k like everyone else, but just burying it in a longer run. I definitely don’t want to bury it in my Calgary Half-Marathon run, though, because that WOULD be cheating.
At least, to me it would.
When I was talking to my dad the other day, he mentioned that he’d done (virtually, of course; thanks to COVID) Bloomsday before his surgery. He said he’d thought about calling me but ended up not doing it, which is a bit sad, ‘cause I could have totally pulled off a virtual…how many miles is Bloomsday?
*looks it up*
12 kilometers? Dafuq kind of weird distance is that?
Anyway, yeah. I can run that, no problem.
But that got me thinking about the Calgary Marathon, which, had this been a normal year, would have been held at the end of May (I think I mentioned it in my blogs way back then). So I looked it up to see if they’d had a virtual version and LO AND BEHOLD, you can actually participate in the virtual version up through September 27.
So I registered for the half-marathon!
I shall do it this week and hopefully will have a good finishing time. There are no prizes or anything for speed (not like I’d even have a chance, haha) because nothing is really “official” this year, but I’ll get a t-shirt and I’ll be able to cross off “run a half-marathon” from this year’s resolutions.
So somehow I managed to shave three minutes off of my half marathon time today. Three minutes is a lot of time, especially considering that I’ve only been beating my record time by like 10 or 20 seconds at a time, and have only set new time records three or four times since I started consistently running 13.1+ miles at a time.
I have no idea why I was so much faster today. Maybe it was a combination of good running weather (~50 degrees, only very light wind, overcast) and new shoes…though both of those things held last Friday and I was nowhere near a record time.
Maybe it’s the smoke. Maybe I’m smoke-powered. I honestly wouldn’t discount that; my body is weird as all hell.
Also, my dad have to have hip replacement surgery today, but it sounds like it all went well. Yay!
1. I did my longest run ever today: 15 miles. That’s no marathon or anything (obviously), but that is my standard daily walking distance…a distance I never thought I could run. So that’s kinda cool.
2. The case for Kondle came today! Check it:
Now he’s pretty AND protected!
So today should have been the Calgary Marathon, but with COVID, that’s obviously not going on. Hell, people are still afraid to be out on the walking/biking paths, I think.
I wouldn’t have been able to do the full marathon, but I definitely could have given the half marathon a shot. Assuming we’ve got all this virus madness under control by this time next year, maybe I can build up my running and do the actual marathon itself next year.
Y’ALL I ran a half-marathon today.
That’s the first time I’ve done that since 2017. In 2017, I did it on two consecutive days and gave myself a really bad case of runner’s knee, but that was probably because I jumped from 10k distances right to 13.1 miles. Not the smartest move.
But I’ve been building up to it a bit more this year. Also, for whatever reason, running in general this year is a lot easier than it’s ever been before.
So that’s cool.
Let’s see if I can do more of these!
I forgot how nice it feels to run outside.
Like, running on a treadmill is fine and dandy and a great way to deal with the urge of “NEED TO RUN” when it’s in the negative Fahrenheits outside.
But holy hell, running outside is a completely different experience. It’s so…relaxing? Natural? Calming?
I love it.
Today’s run was probably the easiest run I’ve had in a long while. I set a new fastest 10k time which I’m not going to post on here ‘cause it’s embarrassing how slow it still is and is nothing to be proud of.
But hey, I’m all about the distance more than the speed, right? And now that I can run outside and have more free time due to working from home/the semester starting to wrap up, I can start increasing my distances.
Yo, check out this website.
Basically, you find a challenge with a distance you want to complete, set a goal date, log your miles, and if you succeed in your goal, you get a shiny medal!
I wanna do one. ‘Cause we all know I like shiny things.
I’m going to try for the longest distance one (of course I am): The Route 66 Virtual Challenge. I want a pretty medal!
Edit: hahahaha I completely forgot I signed up for this. I logged a grand total of 30.9 miles and it’s May now. Oops. I wonder if they’ll let me do a mega-update?
I wasn’t planning on doing it.
I’d already walked 12 miles and was just planning to do two running miles on the treadmill at Anytime Fitness.
But I got to two miles and nothing was hurting, so I figured “hey, let’s try three.” No pain. So I figured “hey, let’s try four.”
Since I got hurt back in 2017, I have not run more than four miles in a stretch. But today, once I hit four, I was still feeling fine.
The next step? Seeing if I could do a 10K.
Which I could.
No pain, no issues…everything seemed fine.
So that’s freaking awesome. Now I’m going to have to try my hardest not to a) do a 10K every day or b) try to do even more tomorrow, ‘cause I have a bad history of doing that kind of crap (which is why I ended up with runner’s knee in 2017 after doing two half-marathons in two days after never having run more than a 10K at a time).
Today’s original plan was to stay home all day.
I DID NOT
The weather was too nice to stay inside, but by the time I decided to drag my lazy butt out of the house, it was already like 11 AM. That’s too late to do a full walk and still get some time to myself at home in the afternoon, so instead I put on my gear, walked down to the river path, and did a 4-mile run.
No pain in my leg at all.
This makes me really want to start running more frequently. Of course, I pick the worse season to pick up running again, but I suppose I can go to Anytime Fitness and use the treadmills there until it warms up enough and I can consistently go running outside.
Today marks two years since I busted up my leg/quad/knee whatever walking to Pullman. At the one year mark last August, it was still giving me a decent amount of trouble. Twinging on and off and the like. I was still pretty scared to try running.
Now, though? I barely even think about it. I start my walk and head down the hill toward the river without that fear that I’ll somehow mess up my leg on the hill (going downhill had always been the most painful). I’ve spontaneously started to run (with my backpack on) on some of my walks, barely even worrying about the injury. I am seriously considering trying to get back into running enough to be able to do the Calgary Marathon next year. Like I’ve said, the cardiovascular endurance will probably not be the issue—the only issue might be the injury. But I’m feeling so confident in it now that I feel like I can finally stop using that as an excuse.
So that’s pretty awesome.
Hopefully I won’t hurt it again.
Hopefully I won’t hurt anything else.
I’ve been running (okay, jogging) miles 12 and 13 on my walks on and off for the past week or so, and it’s felt FANTASTIC. I don’t feel comfortable running more than that because I have my backpack with me and running with the backpack is super awkward, but I feel like if I were to try it without the backpack, it would feel even better.
I love running, but I’ve been so wary of doing it ever since I hurt my leg (which has been like two years ago now, haha). But these past few little mini-runs? No pain at all. I hardly even think about the injury.
That makes me want to run more.
That makes me feel like if I were to train (VERY SLOWLY) for it, I could do the Calgary Marathon next year. I used to be able to do 10k runs without any real issues (again, the only reason I haven’t run that far lately is ‘cause of TEH LEG), and I’m sure I could build my confidence back up to that and then do some actual training to get to the marathon level.
This is all assuming I don’t hurt my leg again. And that I don’t hurt anything else.
Hopefully I won’t!
So the weather in Moscow today sucked (rain). I went to the UI Rec Center to do my walking because even four hours on a treadmill beats walking in rain.
I did 13 miles walking, and as I was doing so, I realized two things:
1. I had the treadmill set on 0 incline. Ever since I got hurt back in August, I’ve had to have the treadmill set at least at 1.5 incline, because this injury, whatever it is, is strange as hell, and a slightly inclined treadmill always resulted in less pain than a “flat” one. Not today. The flat felt good.
2. In fact, there was no pain. At all. I still get twinges every once in a while, especially when walking, but not today. No pain.
So I decided to stop the treadmill at 13 miles, change my pedometer stride from “walk” to “run,” and gave running a shot.
And it worked! Nothing broke/snapped/died. I ran two miles before deciding to stop before anything did break/snap/die.
In fact, as I sit here writing this, I’m pretty sure every part of my body except my injured leg is sore (probably from trying to compensate for it while running, haha).
So there’s that.
I’m going to try to take it slow—which is really difficult for me—but I will work back up to 10k. I will do more half marathons.
I will do my marathon.
I have given you time—multiple months, in fact—to let you calm down and heal from whatever damage I did to you when I did those two half-marathons back to back.
If you do, in fact, have runner’s knee, then the rest from running should have helped.
So tell me, knee o’ mine, why you decided not to get any better and instead start causing pain about 5 km into a very nice, relaxing run this afternoon?
Why you gotta be like that, knee? Why you gotta be a pain when all I want is to give you fun exercise?
WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?????
At least walking doesn’t hurt. I’d be screwed if walking hurt.
So the Bow is really high.
That’s part of the River Walk that runs under Centre Street. They’ve got it closed off because of the amount of water that’s pooling in that low portion.
IN OTHER NEWS, I think I gave myself runner’s knee. I had no idea runner’s knee was a thing, but ever since I did the dumb of jumping from “run a 10k every other week or so” to “let’s run two half-marathons in a week because we can!” my left knee has been giving me some issues. Not enough issues to make me stop walking (it would basically take my entire leg falling off to make me stop walking, let’s be honest), but it starts to hurt after about 12 miles or so.
At least, I’m assuming it’s runner’s knee. Hopefully not something more serious.
‘Cause like hell I’m seeing a doctor.
So it turns out that running two half-marathons in a week without ever running more than 8 miles at a time will lead to disturbing pain in one’s knee.
Anyway. Gonna take a break on the running for a bit, but not for too long. There’s a marathon in October that I might be able to work my way up to in time. We’ll see. There’s also a marathon/half-marathon up in Banff later this month, but I’ll still be teaching and will probably be WAY too busy to take the time to go to Banff and run (I’d only do the half-marathon, of course, haha).
ALSO, Mario Kart is awesome. I’d never played it before (believe it or not), but Nate got Mario Kart 8 for the Switch and we’ve been playing it for a bit now. I don’t know why I just decided to blog about that, especially since we didn’t play tonight, but there ya go.
I like to play King Boo. Look at how cool he looks!
Me: I ran a half-marathon this morning!
Also me: I AM PANICKING BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO GET MY WORK DONE ALSDKFJASDFJDWSFSLG
To be fair, though, doing the half marathon reduced the amount of time it usually takes me to get my 15 miles in, so there ya go.
But yeah, it was kind of accidental. I was originally planning on doing 10k down by the river, which I did. I went out 5k and came back 5k, but then, instead of going back up the hill to get back home, I decided to Forrest Gump it and run in the other direction to see how far I could go.
Which turned out to be 5k out and 5k back again.
Of course, that’s only 12.42 miles, which meant I had to run up that damn hill by the hospital to get to 13.1, which is half-marathon distance. Worth it, though. The furthest I’ve ever run is about 10 miles, but that was with at least three stops. I didn’t stop at all today.
Remember yesterday when I mentioned I’m really bad at training when it comes to running?