Sunday, 29 May 2011

May 28 - Wellington Crescent, Assiniboine Park & Academy Road

I'm going to run in the Manitoba Marathon on June 17 - or at least, I hope I can. My idea with this May 28th run was to amp up my distance and speed, and get a few long distance runs in before the 21K half marathon in 3 weeks.
After this run, I'm hoping to just be able to walk by the end of this week.

May 28 - River Valley Run

I have to thank Jared McKetiak (of the mighty UMFM) for the suggestion of this run. On one of the previous blog posts, he recommended I run onto the Wellington Crescent's run path, a running path between two one way streets that take you all the way to the Zoo in Assiniboine park.
So, off I went on an overcast Saturday morning.

I have to say, the run felt great. With my wife in town house hunting the previous weekend, I wanted to dedicate all my time to a nine-month pregnant lady, instead of my running. Yeah I know - I've grown soft. I had done a couple treadmill sessions in the week leading up to the run, as weather in the Peg had become pretty rainy.
Off I went on a pretty good clip through Wolseley, over the bridge and right onto Wellington Crescent. Speaking of house hunting, this area of town is a neighbourhood my wife and I can't afford - that's for sure.
Mansions. Like, HUGE Mansions all the way along this trail, until the river eventually turns south, and into North River Heights.

Westminster Crescent path

If anything, this area made me miss Edmonton's river valley. While definitely not as close to the water, or hilly as Edmonton's trails - this run was just as littered with joggers out to enjoy a run by the river.

Assiniboine River bend

The trail then continues under the tracks, where I spotted another of Winnipeg's favourite things - murals. This zoo mural is a bizarre gibbon about to attack a cricket player. Umm - ok.


Also, a great little subtle art piece by the bridge was a dozen or so shoes thrown up on a line - but painted yellow, white or red.

Art Shoes.

Past the bridge and into more trails, I couldn't help but think the break from running really helped me. I felt super confident that even though I was almost 8Km in, I had plenty of juice left in the tank. Best not to super overdo it, so I hit the gates, and turned around.

Gateway to the Park

I headed back, this time over to Academy road, past the Jewish Community College on Tuxedo. It's little things like this that endear me to Winnipeg - huge Jewish population, French, Metis, Phillipino, and on and on. This city feels very culturally diverse, regardless of it's population being less than a million.

Academy Road

Down Academy Road, through River Heights was a nice Saturday jaunt - with tons of families, seniors and regular folks out shopping for flowers, produce or coffee along the way. Winnipeg has really done it right - neighborhoods and small businesses living respectfully in close proximity. Edmonton always felt like it had to have shops in one part of town, and homes in another. Maybe it's Winnipeg's relative age - but the way the residential and commercial real estate seem to co-exist is really refreshing.
I headed back up the bridge into Wolseley, switched over from the end of the Sklarboro Country podcast (HENDERSON!) to some music to quicken my pace. I was at an hour and 15 minutes by 15K - easily my best time ever, and I had plenty left in the tank. I felt great.
If this was an indication, I was going to slay at the half marathon in 3 weeks.

Then it happened.
I fell.

I fell bad.

If some of you out there don't know, I only have one eye. I'll save you the gruesome story of the hockey accident that blinded me for another time, but safe to say - my depth perception isn't very good. I'm no good swinging a hammer straight, hitting a baseball anymore, and in this case, judging the edge of the sidewalk coming around a corner.

Basically, my left foot missed the edge of the sidewalk and rolled off into the grass. The rest of my body tumbled, with my right hand and right knee taking the full force of all six foot, five inches, 240 pounds of me being thrown down by mass, acceleration and gravity, onto the hard concrete.

My first thought was, "SHIT! I'M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO RACE IN A FEW WEEKS!" But when I rolled myself over, I saw it might be a bit more than a race I'll need to worry about.
I got up and tried to walk it off but my left ankle felt like it had ballooned inside my shoe. My right knee was also bashed and bruised, and my hands were both bleeding from road rash trying to absorb my fall. The final ten block walk back was probably the hardest of my life, as the adrenaline of the run wore off, the pain set in. I arrived back at the lobby of my apartment to have a couple of painters take a look at me and say "Dude. You ok? You're bleeding."

That's my ankle.
That's my hand.
That's my knee.

Anyways, I hope I heal from this, but likely my running for the next week or so, is on the shelf. I'll make sure to update everyone to say if I'm in or out of the Manitoba half.
I sure hope I'm in.

May 28
Ipod: Sklarboro Country Podcast with Nate Corddry

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Temperature: +15C
Distance 16.1Km
Time: 1 hr 35 mins (last 1 km was walked/ hobbled)

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