Yay! It's the weekend - time to get some daylight running in! This weekend the plan was to run both days as I have to work next weekend so it'll be at least two weeks until I can next get a decent longish run in. I've lived in Banff before - for one summer 10yrs ago and for one winter 4 years ago - so I know some of the trails and have been starting out by hitting those and then I'll get to work on new routes. Yesterday I headed out to 'Rundle Riverside' - this heads from the Banff Springs golf course and along the side of the river all the way to Canmore. I didn't make it to Canmore but it was a great run, probably 50/ 50 trail/ road. The first section of the trail was super slick - the water had frozen on the trail and then there was a light layer of snow on the top just to make it extra hard to see the lethal ice. I got a little frustrated as I was so keen to run but soon the trail became more open so more snow had hit the trail and I got a good grip. There was no one else on the trail and I only had animal tracks to follow which was pretty neat. It was a nice mix to do some trail and some snow covered road and by the time I hit home I'd been gone 2h33, with prob about 10mins of stops so felt pretty good :) It was mild too - hovering around zero I ran with my tights up to my knees, a light weight jacket and no tocque - wow!
Today I thought I would do a bit more of a hill workout so decided to run to the base of Sulphur mountain goldola and then power hike up to the top. For some reason my head wasn't quite in it today so I struggled on the 3km or so road run up to the base of the gondola, it was runnable but I wasn't feeling it so was just willing myself on (in part not to lose face to the cars that were whizzing past!). Once I was on the trail I was pleasantly suprised by the number of other people out hiking and also by the soft packed snow underfoot. I had anticipated that it could be pretty slippery but it was fresh pack all the way up and if I'd had more energy I could have run a lot of it, but instead I plodded slowly up, covering the 5.6km in just under an hour. At the top I took a few photos and bundled on a few more clothes for the downhill which I knew would be cooler. The downhill was a blast! Not too steep, but just steady all the way with switch backs and easy footing. Then it was back onto the tarmac for the final run home. This was definitely a 'time on my feet' workout, I never felt awesome; I felt that I should be going faster and feeling stronger, but at the end of the day it was almost 2h40 of being out there and being on my feet :)