New town, new trails

I didn’t do my usual research of checking out a new place for the great running trails. But after asking around I found a couple good ones. More to come tomorrow. This is up Arrow mountain in Creston, BC

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And this is the wildlife wilderness area near Balancing Boulder, also in Creston.

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Now the snow is coming down hard so it should be even more fun tomorrow.

Cramming it all in – what happens when you lose track of your distance goal

So much for finishing the year nice and easy. My easy days ended exactly 5 days ago when I realized I wouldn’t meet my goal for the year. So I’m trying to cram it all in.

I am going very slow so I don’t get injured but I’m going long. These back to back long days are unusual for this time of year for me but so far it’s working.

My Google Fit said I did 98,000 steps in 4 days. That is from running 20 km x 3 days plus 12 km yesterday plus 2 hour hike, plus Christmas shopping. Of course, the most tiring part is the Christmas shopping, but that is done now.

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Now I just have to average 8 km per day to the end of the year and I will have made it. That sounds do-able. Just don’t overdo it, I keep telling myself. Don’t ruin your January training.

Exhausted

This is how I felt after my run today. Exhausted.

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But it was a sunny day, above freezing, and no wind. Couldn’t ask for more on a late December morning.

Snow, Trails and Sunshine

Winter Running in Kananaskis near Bragg Creek.

Deep snow. Lots of trees. Lots of sunshine. The run was all too short.

Very tough running in the pitted snow covered trail today.

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Enough snow that the bridges weren’t necessary for the small creeks.
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Well troden packed snow trails today. But the footprints made it hard running.

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I didn’t have enough time to get to the lookout at Fullerton Loop, since my family was waiting for me at the car but the trees and adjacent river were just beautiful.

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Yeah, a trail without bikes! There are definitely bikes in the area (even in the winter) so you have to be careful on blind corners on some of these trails. But today it was Christmas trees being dragged back to cars that you had to sidestep. 
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These trails aren’t always passable with dry feet, but today was okay.
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Elbow River beyond the trees

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It must have been national Christmas tree cutting day. We saw hundred of cars returning from this area with trees strapped to their roofs. Even a few people retrieving trees that had previously been on their roofs.

Definitely a great place for your perfect Christmas tree on a perfect Sunday afternoon.

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Elbow Falls, just down the road from Fullerton Loop

Definitely the Wrong Shoes

“Wow, the sun is out.”

“Let’s go for a lunchtime walk. I need some inspiration for a blog.”

“Sure, work can wait.”

“Hmmm. My work shoes have the same Vibram soles as my running shoes.”

“Maybe let’s go for a lunchtime run instead of a walk. How much worse could it be than my normal running shoes.”

“And my work pants fit me pretty loosely, so it should work out okay. And I do have deodorant back in my office.”

“And the sun is still shining.”

“Wee! Let’s go!”

The sun stayed out. Inspiration was all around me. And as a bonus, I got in about 7 km of mostly running so I don’t have to run tonight to keep my streak going.

But I made the mistake of taking my shoes off when I got back to the office. Whew, they stink. I guess that’s why leather shoes aren’t meant for running in. I think I’ll keep a spare pair sitting around the office for next time I need some lunchtime inspiration.

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Hills? Oh, yeah, we have hills!

Hill #1 was downhill - yippee!
Hill #1 was downhill – yippee!

Even in the prairie we can find hills. Maybe not big ones, but lots of them and they can definitely be steep. We found this out first hand in the CRR XC Race series this weekend in Okotoks. The 8 km route was packed with hills that were rarely run-able. Passing people on the downhill was a lot of fun, but definitely treacherous.

At least we didn’t have the ice and side-ways snow we had last year (that came the next day).

Great post-race pot-luck lunch too!

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One more hill

One more hill

How many hills can there be?
How many hills can there be?

Pre-race jitters

Pre-race jitters

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Post-race potluck with lots of Halloween chocolate
Post-race potluck with lots of Halloween chocolate
2 loops and lots of hills
2 loops and lots of hills

Short days, dark evenings

Running along the Bow River

from sunrise…

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to sunset

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Indispensible headlamp

Even with the shorter days, that doesn’t mean we have to curb our running. I’m still getting out there and getting my fresh air (although not all my vitamin D at this time of year)

Too many trails, too little time

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We live in the best place in the world with the mountains on our door step and beautiful running all around us, even in the city. There are too many places to run in Calgary, and too little time.

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