Walk of Life

We had a brief spell of excellent weather this past weekend.  Temperatures were well above normal for this time of year, probably influenced by the chinook conditions down south.  Sunny, warm, not too windy, not too icy – great conditions for a nice Sunday stroll.  Didn’t even need to wear gloves or a toque.

My neighbourhood has a nice network of trails.  Some wind around natural and/or constructed wetlands, some follow the pipeline corridors that criss-cross the county.  It’s fun to get out into fresh air and look for wildlife.  Most of the water birds have flocked off already, but I saw two pairs of blue jays and several chickadees yesterday.  They should be around all winter.

Heritage Hills Wetlands, 27-Nov-2011

The Nike + iPod gadget is a pretty fun little system.  You put an accelerometer in your shoe, and it communicates your telemetry wirelessly to your iPhone.  You can keep track of distance travelled, pace, and calories burned all while listening to your iPod.  I usually just put my iPod on ‘Shuffle All’ but you could easily create a walking playlist if you so desired.  I kind of dig the eclectic mix I get by shuffling all songs.

Meadowview Trail, 27-Nov-2011

Yesterday I got on a pretty good roll, and ended up covering 14.6 kilometres over 2 hours and 40 minutes.  The trails were, for the most part, clear and dry.  There were some icy spots and slushy spots around the wetlands and in the shade, but conditions were otherwise pretty close to ideal.  When I covered many of the same trails back in February, after a particularly bad thaw/freeze cycle, I could have put on my hockey skates and finished in record time – they were that icy.  My gore-tex shoes were more than able to handle the trail conditions yesterday.  Hopefully we get some reasonable weather all winter and I can continue to get out at least once a week.  Long walks are great for clearing your thoughts and getting your priorities organized.

Some of the songs that I remember coming up on shuffle yesterday:

  • “Wishful Thinking” – Joel Plaskett
  • “There She Goes, My Beautiful World” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • “Carbon Monoxide” – Cake
  • “Terrible Love” – The National
  • “Architects & Engineers” – Guster
  • “Tribulations” – LCD Soundsystem (probably coincided with a spike in my pace)
  • “Break Me Gently” – Doves
  • “No Cars Go” – Arcade Fire
  • “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” – Elvis Costello
  • “Moves” – The New Pornographers
  • “Private Universe” – Crowded House
  • “Still Is Still Moving To Me” – Willie Nelson
  • “How To Fight Loneliness” – Wilco
  • “Uprising” – Muse
  • “Second Son” – Elliott Brood
  • “I And Love And You” – Avett Brothers
  • “Infinity” – The XX

I quite like the variety of styles and genres you stumble into using ‘Shuffle All’.  It’s like tuning into a really cool radio station that is precisely on your wavelength.

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