I'm mid-way through my business trip in Calgary (teaching a seminar) and since I can get to the training room a little later this morning, I was able to get up early enough to put in a short jog. I guess I went about three miles. I've been having leg and knee pains on the left side most of last week and especially yesterday after wandering all over campus in dress shoes trying to find the training room, cafeteria, etc. Dress shoes just don't cut it, even with orthotics.
So it was a nice surprise to find that my legs didn't hurt at all this morning, not even for the usual amount at the beginning of the run. I was fairly quickly able to go from warm-up jogging to my usual just-under-10m/m pace. I began the morning by trying an energy gel I hadn't seen before: Honey Stinger, which as one expects is mostly honey. The flavor I tried also had ginseng and kola nuts in it. The ginseng gave it a funky but not unpleasant taste, but the kola nuts gave it a nasty texture, not at all smooth like other gels. Still, I'll give the other flavor I picked up a try. I also picked up Sharkies, which appear to be a knockoff of Cliff cubes.
I took the safe bet and ran along sidewalks and roads parallel to the major arteries, keeping them in sight the whole time. I ended up mostly running north beside Crowchild Trail (not a trail; a highway). It was about 8 degrees celsius when I ran and it was sprinkling lightly when I got back. The whole run was in the dark - the sun doesn't come up here until about 6:45. Tomorrow, I'd like to head out further along the Trans-Canadian highway and make it over to the Olympic Park, which I think will put the whole run between five and six miles.
When I got back to my room I discovered that in my sleepiness I'd put my orthotics right on top of my liners, instead of under like usual. The shoes hadn't felt especially different, but I wonder if that made the difference between pain and no pain? I will try it again tomorrow and see. I will also take my cell phone tomorrow to try to get a picture of the ski jump; perhaps it won't be too dark. But don't expect Life-quality photos.
On a larger-picture note: I'm really beginning to consider taking a pass on this year's New York marathon. My training has been lumpy and uneven due in part to some extraneous factors but also - I admit - to a lack of motivation on my part. I simply do not feel ready or that I will be ready. Still, I'm going to tackle the long runs remaining in my plan and see how they go. It is possible things will go well and that after the 18-miler in a couple of weekends, I'll feel like things are a go. But I am keeping in mind that if I put it off, run a February marathon instead, and tackle next year's... it's not the end of the world and it might prevent injuries that would sideline me completely for a couple of months, which would be terrible news for my lungs.