Saturday, November 29, 2008

Heart's In It...Body Isn't

I would rather be out there where the sun is shining bright this morning but I feel like I've been pulled through a rat hole and pushed back out again! Back in October, a post entitled Running Transcends told how running crosses over into the creative side of me. I shared some scrapbooking pages and mentioned I wrote some poems and may share a poem one day! Well, today's the day! Today my heart's in it...but my body isn't!

Best Kind of Coffee

Sixty minutes and ten kilometers are done,
Running with friends is always so much fun!
It’s time to relax take a load of our feet,
Muffin and coffee we’ll have that deserved treat!
Second Cup, Good Earth a café on some street,
Banff, Calgary, Canmore neat places to meet!
Fashion or politics what’s making the news,
We share our varying opinions and views!
Our ears our hearts with support each of us lends,
Nothing beats running and coffee with great friends!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm So Excited....Update!!!

Cancelled! I am so bummed! I was feeling off as the day went on yesterday. I went into work this morning and went downhill as the morning went on. I made it until lunch time. Now it's time for neo citran and sleep! :-(
...I just can't hide it, I'm about to loose control...and I can hardly wait! I can hardly wait for Saturday's first snowshoe of the season! Nothing like wishing your life away, but it's only work days I'm wishing away! We are planning on doing Ptarmagin Cirque which is along the Highwood Pass. I have never snowshoed here before but have hiked close by and also did a motorcycle trip in this area (my blog post of June 29th called Freedom Ride). The Highwood Pass closes to traffic each year on December 1st because the area gets so much snow it is not feasible to maintain. So Saturday is a do or die situation! I better get down to the basement and find my snowshoes and boots. I also have to replace my hiking pole bottoms with baskets. Gotta find those baskets too. On my way down to the basement, I guess I will bring my bike with me, looks like that's it for biking for this season! Let's all keep our fingers crossed that it is cold this week so the snow doesn't melt and could we be lucky enough to get some new snow before Saturday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

River is Still Running and So Am I!

It's been so long it seems since I ran by the river! It's so pretty there this time of year!
I did the Crowchild Loop!
Sunny! Fresh! -4C!

I headed west around 8:30. It was a nice feeling to be running by the river again, I was feeling strong, I was feeling fresh just like the weather! My heart was singing and my eyes were beaming! Then BAM! For the first time since that dreadful day a few days before Christmas almost a year ago, I saw him. The wave and stare got my attention at the last second before we passed on the pathway. In an instant all the good feelings were erased away, I said something not so nice, very quietly under my breath. Having had to dig deep before and knowing I can, I quickly did and got myself right back up there to that high that feels so good! Now feeling stronger than ever, I had one of my best ever river runs!

The Chili is brewing! The sun is shining! I got my run in!

The Stamps are going to win!

Gotta run...oh no I don't I already did that...gotta go!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

About This Book

You are a woman you cannot run!
You are incapable of endurance sports!
You will not be feminine if you run!
You will cause harm to your feminine organs if you run!

A mere 41 years ago these were the words offered to women who possessed a passion for pushing limits and breaking down barriers when it came to the running scene! These were the beliefs in 1967. It was the year nuclear tests were conducted, Elvis and Priscilla married, Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup, the musical "Hair" opened Off-Broadway! These are not events that would be considered taking place in ancient times (at least I don't see it that way.)

In the 60's, women were not competing in long distance races, there were none to compete in, not at universities nor in the Olympic Games. The longest track race for women at the university level was 880 yards. Thanks to Kathrine Switzer, all that changed!

I can say because of her I can run any race I choose to! I have chosen the marathon distance in the past and have proven I am capable of participating in endurance sports! All my body parts, feminine-wise and other-wise, are still in place and functioning! I can have pretty colored finger nails for my races, I can wear colorful, feminine outfits and even wear a swipe of mascara!

This book was a birthday gift a year ago and I couldn't put it down once I started to read it. I pulled it out to read again before the onset of serious training again. I hope this book, along with the movie "Spirit of the Marathon", I will find motivation!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Game With Photos

I don't want to be left out, so I'm playing along with all the others! The game is to pick the fourth photo out of the fourth folder on your hard drive! Post the photo and then tell a little story about it. Here goes: My fourth folder is called "Miscellaneous" and contains exactly that, a bunch of odds and sods!

This picture was taken on January 21st, 2006 along the Smith Dorien Highway driving home after a day of snowshoeing at Chester Lake. Just before seeing the Mother Moose and her Little One, I remember saying "we haven't seen any wildlife today!" We rounded the corner and there they were, what a sight! The Mother Moose was collared. I remembered seeing a collared pregnant moose the previous year and I bet any money this was her and her baby!

If you are checking out my blog and read this, then why don't you play along too! It's fun!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


By the way, this is "T"! "T" stands for Teddy but it stands for Ted when he is bad!

White Out My Window

When what to my wondering eyes did appear...but a white winter wonderland when I looked out my window this morning! I went to bed early last night after my long day of hiking, so I am not sure when the snow started to fall. I needed to get my run in this morning, no matter what! I took a couple of pictures at the start of my route and then went for it! I was dressed just right for the whole run. It was so peaceful. There wasn't even the sound of my feet hiting pavement. I enjoyed the scenery and when that captures my attention, my runs go by pretty quick! I'm home now ready to carry on with the rest of my day which is celebrating J's birthday and meeting T!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ribbon Falls in the Fall

Following Ribbon Creek to Ribbon Falls is a popular, long (17 km round trip), easy (elevation 350 or so meters) hike in the summer. The photo shown here is the creek we followed to reach the base of the mountain in the background. You will see the route marked in pink. Ten of us hit the trail head at 9:30 knowing there were folks ahead of us as there was already a large truck in the parking lot. The plan was to stick together and go at an easy pace, also to take time to stop at photo opportunities.
Just as we were getting into the groove, we heard a sound that I had heard before a few years back and it stopped us in our tracks. Having already checked up on trail conditions, avalanche risks etc. I stated that was the sound of gun shots ricocheting of the mountains. I said the website makes notice that hunting season is in effect. Hunting is not allowed though, in the Provincial Park which is on the west side of Highway 40 (where we were) but is allowed on the east side and the sound does echo and carry. I felt I settled everyones' nerves and then we carried on. Not 10 minutes later, we came upon the owners of the truck! Two fellows dressed in camouflage from head to toe, carrying covered rifles across their backs! Holy Shit! They had been hunting, with no success and were heading back to their truck. They started at 4:00 am! We were not telling them they didn't belong here, not when they had guns over their shoulders!

Forward ho along the trail, under an overcast sky shedding the odd snow flurry or sprinkle of hail or rain with a temperature hoovering around zero. The scenery was great with many opportunities for pretty shots. The creek was frozen in parts and flowing in others. As we slowly climbed, we came upon many waterfalls which were just teasers for the one at our final destination.
The further in we went, the warmer it got but yet the more snow along the trail along with many areas of sheer ice. Not to mention, we encountered mud too! My icers came in handy as did the gaitors. The wind came and went and came and went! When it came, it created a blur, a haze, an intriguing effect along the mountain tops.
We had to cross the creek on stepping stones at one point. At about the three hour mark we reached the backpacking camp ground where we stopped for lunch. It was only two minutes to the falls from here, but the picnic tables looked inviting. In the photo you can see the hoist for lifting up your food for storage away from the bears.
Lunch took about 30 minutes. I enjoyed my sandwich, veggies, trail mix, and of course, my coffee and two bite brownie! We headed up to Ribbon Falls where it felt much colder. Most of the falls had frozen but was still such a spectacular view with a thundering sound. We took lots of pictures and even got a group shot once other hikers came along to take it for us.
The hike back was much quicker and uneventful other than most of the ice had melted which made for lots of mud. At the last turn when we could see the parking lot, I let out a sigh of relief! It was a long hike and I was quite tired and thankful it was over! Now, I can hardly wait to get out again on another trail! At this rate, maybe the next time I will have to graduate to snowshoes! WooHoo!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Ride

Have I got lots to learn about cold weather biking! I headed out around 10:00 am, the temperature was about -3 Celsius, it was cloudy with some wind. I was dressed in layers and had a headband on to protect my ears under my helmet. I even wore my poppy! About 20 minutes into my ride, my fingers felt cold, actually very cold, even though I had gloves on. So, of course, not the right gloves for biking. I do have biking gloves but they are fingerless. I thought these Isotoner gloves would work, but they didn't. I carried on biking, wiggling my fingers and especially my thumbs every now and then. Then I realized my feet were getting cold. I contemplated turning around and coming home but other than having cold hands and feet, I was really enjoying the ride. There are probably not very many more days that I can ride so I wanted to make the best of this one. I bit the dust and ended up having a three hour outting. By the time I got home my fingers felt numb and my feet were freezing. Cold weather biking is so different then cold weather running. It's probably time to put my bike in the basement until next spring!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Sunrise Run...

...without a sunrise! My day started with a run instead of a shower! No work for me today! Just play! I timed it so I was heading out the door on the verge of sunrise but there turned out being layers of low lying frosty fog filling the sky! It's time to start paying attention to the windchill factor report! Even though I was in pants, gloves, long sleeve shirt and jacket I still felt chilled. My attire was the lighter version more for a cooler summer morning instead of a cooler fall morning and there is a difference. I had a good run at a steady quick pace. Now it's shower time! Ms M is coming for lunch and we plan to carry on with our crib tournament.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Really Close-By Escape

We are so lucky here in Calgary to have Nose Hill Park! It's an environmentally protected area in the middle of the city, only 8 minutes from my home. We spent two hours trying to cover as much of this 11 square kilometer area as we could. As we started out, our vista was the mountains to the west! They seem so close but yet are so far!Our urban hike took us through gullies and ravines where we happened upon this! The path along here was quite slippery, as you can see, plenty of snow.

It turned out to be a good work out on the legs! We had to come out of the ravines and that was when I could feel it in my calfs. It was a couple of hours of up and down and around and over and up again and down again, all the time going at a quick clip.

It's great to be in the middle of the city and experience such a wilderness. Today was my really close-by escape!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Short Escape

Allen Bill (previously known as Allen Bill Pond until a flood in 2005 made it part of the Elbow River) was the starting point of our hike! It is named after a guy from my home province of Nova Scotia! Was I in need of an escape and couldn't get away quick enough this morning! This work week was trying! We had a meeting to brainstorm on a business plan for 2009. We had a compliance meeting with regards to enforcing the rules on privacy, emails, trading, etc. I completed nine on-line courses we have to take at this time each year covering code of conduct, anti-money laundering, risk and liability, harassment in the work place, workplace violence and others. One course I had to take four times before I passed! On top of all this, two days I had some kind of stomach flu, my year-end performance review, plus all our regular work! UGH!

My escape was to the west of the city with a group of folks. Fullerton Loop is a short hike, with not much elevation. It's only 55 minutes west but far enough away that I felt like I escaped! I don't need the long distance and high elevation to get that, lost far from the city feeling, I felt it today and I loved it! It was cool and overcast and parts of the trail still had snow even after the nice weather-wise week we had! These are some of my fellow hikers checking out the map to make sure we were headed in the right direction.

Three quarters of the way through the hike, we came out to an opening and followed the ridge which had beautiful views looking off to the west and down into the Elbow Valley. We stopped here for snacks, to chat and take photos.

This was a pretty easy hike, we took lots of time, probably more time than anyone else ever took on this trail. None of us were in a hurry! I was able to clear my head and rejuvinate and didn't mind at all when it was time to come back to the city. I'm looking forward to tomorrow! This time it will be a very close-by, short, escape! Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Kind of November Biking

When I think of what biking I have done in my life, this was the first time I ever did in November! My calendar reads November 2nd, the scenery color says late autumn, but today's weather screamed summer! Even the golf course was as busy as any summer day!

I enjoyed a very leisurely 32 kilometer bike ride. This babe bought a new pair of biker pants with expectations of having an opportunity to ride in colder temperatures as long as the snow stays away. I tried them out today! I love them! They're keepers! The only thing, it was a little too warm today for them! I was so over dressed for this ride.

I followed the Nose Creek Pathway to the Zoo and stopped to watch these fellows for a bit. I couldn't help but feel sad for the tiny little elephant that lost it's battle with life yesterday. Another sign that hiberanation time is soon upon us, is this fat bushy grey squirrel. He looked ready to explode and was not very quick in motion which is why I was able to get such a great shot.
I veered off in another direction hoping to head towards the Glenmore Reservoir but detour signs were plentiful and the route was taking me places I would rather not go, so did a u-turn and followed the Elbow River for awhile. Do the ducks go south? These ones were having a grand time!

I thoroughly enjoyed today's bike ride. except for that freakin hill just before home! I ran up it fine yesterday but it got the best of me today and brought me to my feet!

Being the optimistic person that I am, my bike is not going to the basement yet. This coming weekend is a four day one for me and my hopes are to ride again!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Kind of November Running

What a way to ring in November! I headed out the door in shorts, a short sleeve shirt and of course, sunglasses! This was at 8:55 am on November 1st and my choice of attire was ideal!

My intentions were to run my Canadian Tire route, but as I motored on, I felt strong in the morning sunshine so decided to continue past the turn-a-round point and head down into the valley. I heard the traffic in the distance but it was masked by the sound of my foot steps and steady comfortable breathing. Everything was in sync! I love it when this happens!

Going down into the valley, I knew I had to come up out of the valley but I wasn't phased by that today! This is a hill that I have yet to be able to bike all the way up! This morning, I beat the hill...keeping a steady slow pace, keeping my mind on getting to the top...I made it there, still feeling strong at the top I then carried on home!

My work is done, now I have the rest of the day ahead of me!