Posts Tagged ‘snow’


Hello there Mr.Sun!

Hello there Mr.Sun!

It’s another nice and warm day to run today!

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of Spring which was greeted by a gloomy sunrise, a snowy afternoon, and ended with a freezing night. As one article noted, Spring has already “sprung” in Canada, but it will get warmer only after a few more weeks.

These photos of Frozen Lakes prove how cold this Winter had been!

Today was relatively warmer with a low of -6 degrees Celsius and a high of -10. I looked outside my window and saw the sun shining brightly over the Canadian Flag of the school in front of our house. I started to gear up for my run and smiled while thinking about how I’m putting less layers of clothes compared to the first time I tried running. This is only my third time running in Toronto (second time here) and I’m not targeting to train or even reach my PR, I just wanted to go out and run!

minus 6 with 30 km/hr winds, but still SUNNY!

minus 6 with 30 km/hr winds, but still SUNNY!


So off I went. I figured how my tropical body is still adjusting and acclimatizing to the elevation, temperature, and freezing wind chills, but in the end it was still a lot better than my previous two runs. I was able to run almost continuously for 40 minutes, taking a few walks only to keep away from stubborn icy pavements. All in all, I was able to keep a pace of at least 8 minutes per km which is close enough for a 40 minute 5k run.

spring run

Signs of Spring?

Signs of Spring?

I’ve been hibernating like a bear for the past months and unfortunately the effects of Reversibility is starting to show.

I hope to get back to my previous level sooner and as the weather gets warmer.

How do you cope with this long winter?

How do you re-training after a break?
Let me know in the comments!

 


Running in Toronto

Posted: March 11, 2014 in Running, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

There's a running oval here somewhere...

There’s a running oval here somewhere…

After months of not being able to run and being stuck at home doing HIIT, the day has finally come! The skies have been cruel for the past months and it is established that this is the worst winter (and longest) in North America. As Spring season is nearing and clocks have been adjusted for Spring Forward, the weather finally rose above freezing point again this weekend. Snow and ice began melting and the sun shines brighter than ever. Today the weather measured a high of +8 degrees Celsius and low of -3. It’s been the “hottest” since I have landed in Toronto! I was able to try running just a couple of weeks ago when the weather rose to +5 degrees C, but I didn’t last long. Coming from a tropical country, I’m used to wearing comfy shorts while running and feeling the warm and fuzzy headwind. I was not acclimatized enough with the cold freezing weather that dried my throat. The altitude is another thing that I have to get used to. In any case, I gave it another shot today and it was good!
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Running around the neighbourhood.

“B” for Billy, or for ‘Burrows Blvd.’


 
I wasn’t aiming for any time or distance — I just wanted to move and run! Also, I’m still not familiar with the terrain and the possible routes I can take. I didn’t intend to “write” the first letter of my name with the route I took today – it just happened while I was trying to look for good running routes!

The last time I tried running, I felt how hard the pavements are near our house so today I tried different routes and pavements. Most parts of the sidewalk are still wet from the melting snow banks but it was good indication that there are no more black ice to keep away from.
I used the Endomondo app on my Blackberry to record my run and it’s slightly inaccurate, especially on that part where it looks like I ran on the snow field!
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What a nice day out! #FirstTime

What a nice day out! #FirstTime

It was a good winter run over all, based on Cool Runnings standard. Also, considering that there will be another snow storm tomorrow, I’m so glad I did run today. According to the news, “winter storm warnings are in effect across southern Ontario from Kingston to Cornwall, with up to 25 centimetres [of snow] predicted in some areas.”

Winter just won’t say goodbye.

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“Courage doesn’t mean you’ll always win. Courage doesn’t mean you’ll always be the best.

Courage means you never give up on your dreams.”

 

 

And that is what the Jamaican Bobsled team did in 1988. There were no snow or ice in Jamaica, of course, but these athletes were determined to join and finish in the Winter Olympics!

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After 2 months and 10 days of migrating to the land affected by the recent Polar Vortex I was finally able to run! Coming from a tropical country, I see snow only from the movies before. Snow seemed to be just as pure as it is white – silent, gentle, and calming. No one ever told me about the wind chill that comes with it or the slippery black ice. A week after I arrived, there was a snowstorm that affected most parts of Toronto. Another week after that, an ice storm came that caused massive blackouts which lasted for weeks. What a welcome for me!

Today was different. For the past weeks the temperature has always been 2-digits below freezing, but for the next five days starting today, it will finally go up above zero! According to weather forecasts, it will snow for the next two days – snow during positive temperature is not good, so I decided to finally face the cold and try out running.

It's better to look up to the skies and see how it's a nice day to run, than look down at the snow on the ground!

It’s better to look up to the skies and see how it’s a nice day to run, than look down at the snow on the ground!

It wasn’t my best run but I learned that running in the cold (i.e., way below tropical temperatures) is not as difficult as long as you are warmly but comfortably clothed.

Here are some tips on running out in the cold:

  • Make sure you are clothed properly.
First, wear something that keeps your sweat from your skin (nylon/drifit) while keeping you warm. I wore arm warmers as well.

First, wear something that keeps your sweat from your skin (nylon/drifit) while keeping you warm. I wore arm warmers as well.

Wear a comfortable but sufficiently warm sweater.

Your second layer should be a comfortable but sufficiently warm sweater.

Lastly, wear  a warm light weight jacket to make sure you won't freeze after a few laps!

Lastly, wear a warm light weight jacket to make sure you won’t freeze after a few laps!

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Wear additional accessories such as gloves and ear muffs to keep other parts of your body from frostbite.

Wear additional accessories such as gloves and ear muffs to keep other parts of your body from frostbite.

You definitely would like to keep yourself warm by wearing appropriate clothing, but try not to wear too much that it hinders movement.

  • Wear appropriate shoes. Slipping and sliding on the ice while you run is a big concern. However, you wouldn’t want to run using your boots! Make sure that you’re wearing appropriate running shoes. Good news for me that my Asics did well today, I didn’t slip!

  • Try to map out your route . Run on familiar places where you know the roads are properly shoveled and maintained. You can wear snow spikes for your shoes as well if you can’t stay away from icy roads.

    It seems like it was already plowed, but there's still lots of ice and salt on this sidewalk.

    It seems like it was already plowed, but there’s still lots of  snow, ice and salt on this sidewalk.

My shoes and feet loved this clean roundabout!

My shoes and feet loved this clean roundabout!

Deep snow hides the pavement.

Deep snow hides the pavement.

Be careful of slush or ice.

Be careful of slush or ice.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for falling snow or even icicles. Also, remember that some branches could easily fall because of the additional weight of the snow they have been carrying.
Big icicles!

Big icicles!

A large branch had already fallen off.

A large branch had already fallen off.

  • Last and most important of all, stay away from Spider Squirrels (or any wild animals)!

Running in the cold is not as difficult as long as you are careful enough and you are sufficiently warm when you run. Always avoid ice and stay aware of your environment. Warm up properly before you run. Another important thing is to remember to keep yourself hydrated! Even in the snow, a cold drink is still better absorbed by the body for hydration. But for now, I prefer a hot drink after my first snow run.

Hot coffee for my "recovery drink." Don't do this at home! :p

Hot coffee for my “recovery drink.” Don’t do this at home! :p

Keep warm and enjoy your run!

 

 

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My wife and I finally had our first long weekend together! We went eastbound from Toronto to explore Kingston, Montreal, and Quebec via a tour company. Aeda had been to some places there before but winter changes everything!

Our first stop was at Kingston where we went to the City Hall that overlooks the frozen lake Ontario. We were blessed to have the sun shining bright on us in the middle of the day. Kingston is one of the places which claims that the first organized hockey game was played there (1886). However, further research says that hockey was played first in Montreal (1875), and even further east and earlier in Nova Scotia (1800).

Kingston City Hall

 

 

After lunch at Tim Horton’s in Kingston, we headed straight to Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The Hill is part of a “Crown Land,” an area belonging to the monarchs – the Queen in Right of Canada, who is currently Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Peace Tower
The land cannot be sold but only passed on to the next King or Queen. The parliament buildings are three edifices arranged around three sides of Parliament Hill’s central lawn. The Centre Block contains the Commons chambers. It is fronted by the Peace Tower belfry on the south facade and the Library of Parliament is located at the building’s rear. The East and West Blocks each contain ministers’ and senators’ offices, as well as meeting rooms and other administrative spaces.

The Peace Tower, officially the Tower of Victory and Peace (French: tour de la Victoire et de la Paix) is the climax of the view over the Parliament Building. It is not only built as an architectural feature and landmark, but also as a memorial for Canada’s major conflicts during World War I (yes, Canada was involved in a World War). The Peace Tower was named in commemoration of Canada’s commitment to peace. On the third floor is the Memorial Chamber, a richly carved room of gentle light built to honour Canadians who died in the armed conflicts in which Canada has fought since Confederation. The 92.2-metre tower also contains an observation area and the Carillon, a series of 53 bells weighing from 4.5 kg to 10,090 kg. The Dominion Carillonneur entertains visitors to Parliament Hill with regular recitals.

 

There were many other statues and memorials around the area. The one-legged marathoner Terry Fox has a monument right across Parliament Hill to commemorate his death on June 28, 1981.

Terry Fox
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After the Canada-immersion day was done, we were bound for an adventure the next day! We woke up early (a mysterious person, a.k.a. the tour guide, set an early wake up call for us through the hotel reception) and headed to our next destinations. We went to Érablière du Cap – St-Nicolas – Québec for the Sugar Shack, a restaurant which offers meals made with, on, and for maple syrup. Their maple farm also has a dog sledding track where my wife and I had quite an experience with fierce sled dogs and lots of snow.

Don't be deceived!

Don’t be deceived!

Smile while you can  :p

Smile while you can :p

 

We headed to Hotel de Glace – Quebec City’s Ice hotel for more snow and ice. They claim that people can book an accommodation and even sleep in that hotel, but we think otherwise. Building a hotel made of snow and ice is amazing, but the details in the sculptures inside looks even more exquisite!

 

got ice?

got ice?

Wanna sleep on an ice bed after a long chilly day?

Wanna sleep on an ice bed after a long chilly day?

 

 

We concluded our tour walking under the sunset around Old Quebec, a UNESCO world heritage treasure. The area is filled with amazing landscape and sights of wonderful architecture.

Château Frontenac

Château Frontenac

 

 

Winter tour is done — Spring, Summer, and Fall tours next!

 

 

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