A reloaded post is a short-and-sweet collection of the (sometimes-interlinked) randomness from my recent life, universe and everything else in between. They would be more detailed but they tend to be events lacking in either (a) details or (b) depth; Or lacking in the time to more fully record them. Enjoy.
It was the long weekend. And as luck would have it, my extra day off landed on the Friday lead-in, granting me a four-day reprive from my desk in the middle of a glorious summer spell of decent weather. So, how did we spend our four days? Let me break it down and put the brakes on this blogging dry spell with a recap.
I Brake For No One
My brakes died. Understatement.
I brought them into the tire and brakes place to have them serviced. It starts with an inspection. “When the mechanics have a look, they’ll let me know if you need any work done and we’ll give you a call with a quote.”
To be fair, those brakes are nearly eight years old and carrying a buck and quarter worth of wear.
“So… yeah.” He tells me on the phone. “You need all new brakes. And discs. I mean, legally I can’t even put your tires back on.”
Two hours and a cool grand later I drive away with a new set of brakes… and decide I’d better listen to my daughter’s protests to “clean your car, dad!” I mean, after spending a thousand dollars on some nearly invisible yet vital chunk of metal for your vehicle, spending another couple hours and fifteen bucks in a car wash so that it feels –and smells– different just seems like a good idea.
Walks and More Walks
I picked Claire up from daycare early. Given the option of going to the brake shop and running errands with dad versus going to daycare to play with her friends and go swimming, she chose the latter.
But, I still stole her away a couple hours early, treated her to some frozen yogurt on the way home, and then swung back to the house to steal away the dog. All of us went for a nice long walk in the park.
The dog got her share of walks this weekend. Less than twenty-four hours later we were back at the dog park, this time with Karin along for the stroll.
It was a quiet wrap to a quiet first couple of days, and good thing too considering what was about to decend upon us on Sunday and Monday.
In for the Long Run
When I do write here, I tend to write a lot about running. Of course. When four to five nights of your week, a double-digit percentage of your free time, and a goodly portion of your discretionary energy budget goes to plodding through the streets in trainers then you tend to think about it a lot. Write about it a lot.
As of writing this, there is a mere nineteen days until the marathon. On Sunday, it was exactly three weeks until the starting gun is fired. And oddly enough, as the training schedule goes, our training has now officially peaked. It reached it’s highest point, longest distance, maximum time on the streets –well, until the race that is.
If you had gone looking for me on Sunday morning you would have found me plodding through a long four-hour loop of the city’s south west. The final distance was a (deliberately) long and slow thirty three kilometer run. That’s right: 33km.
At that distance it is not a feeling of tired that overcomes you: if you can run 33km, your body doesn’t run out of air or gasp for breath. That’s the easy part. At thirty three kilometers you are fully capable of carrying on a normal conversation.
But your legs ache in every conceivable way. You muscles feel like they have been replaced with steel cabling and weighed down with sand bags. Every step feels like your shoes are being pulled back with a just-slightly, but incrementally-stronger force. To stop running, even for a few steps, is to create an invisible barrier in front of you, as if there were suddenly a gaping hole in the sidewalk that required a great force of will and energy to leap across.
I should have gone home and slept after that run. All day. Instead…
Festival of Food Stuffs
Instead I quickly showered and got on a Park-n-Ride bus to the annual Heritage Festival.
Have I written about this before? If you live in Edmonton you know all about this. Three hundred thousand people decend on the city’s showcase river valley park, a park that has been temporarily transformed for three days each year into a sixty-tent food and culture festival extravaganza.
Derek, Shannon, kids, and my folks showed up to partake. It’s becoming an annual family tradition to lead the troupe down to Hawrelack Park on the bus and…
Try any of the hundreds of treats, meats, plates, drinks, bowls, sticks, fried, dried, or liquified ethnic cuisines.
Watch a cultural show.
Visit a display.
And it’s all run by the vast collection of heritage communities that have gelled and organized in our amazing multicultural city.
But walking through the crowds in the heat and sun, particularly after such a long run earlier that morning… not one of my best ideas.
I did eat a lot of various mango-esque things, and a bit of sticky rice. And we all went swimming later that evening: “Ah… hot tub!”
But the next morning I was back down in the same park, this time doing less walking and more cooking.
It was almost-exactly two years ago when I found myself an initiate cuisine du crepe for the French cultural society here in Edmonton.
Our next door neighbours –five years now since immigrated from Paris– who’ve become more and more friends over the past four years, roped me into volunteering, despite my glaring lack of French heritage.
So, when the (automated) “please sign up for a shift” email came through my inbox a week or so ago, I –in a moment of weakness– signed up once again. And for four solid hours of finger roasting fun, found myself yet again, yesterday morning, double-panning it down in the French pavillion cooking crepes for the masses.
That said, after two years –and having purchased an authentic crepe pan and spatula– I’ve now become fairly proficient in the art of French cuisine du crepe… if not quite in keeping up with the blur of multi-lingual conversation that accompanies it.
I slept most of the rest of the day.