I've not had the chance to run much in the past 2 weeks as work has been manic! Poor excuse I know but sometimes it just has to give as there have been literally not enough hours in the day. So today I was determined to get out there for a run but I must admit the thought of curling up on my sofa for a nap was much more appealing as I'm just wiped right now! But I pulled on the layers - two long sleeves plus a thickish windproof jacket, tights, shorts, wool socks, tocque, neck tube and ski mitts - and I was ready to brave the elements. It has thankfully warmed up today so it was a mild minus 7 but with the wind chill it felt much cooler. I'm finding I'm having to experiment with layers because the worst thing is to get too hot and sweat and then cool off and literally freeze but on the other hand it's pretty miserable to run and freeze because of not enough layers in the first place! Today I got the balance pretty spot on :)
I decided to head out along the road to Lake Minnewanka, I used to cycle this route a lot when I lived here 10yrs ago and knew it would be a quiet road yet it undulates nicely to keep some interest. It took me a long time to get into the groove and if it wasn't for the fact that I won't get a long run in for another week I would have quit and turned back early on as I just felt sluggish. There is definitely more uphill on the out leg of this route which although tough was mentally good to think that the return would be easier. It was also nice that a car passed about every 5 mins or so, so I didn't feel like I was out in the middle of nowhere on my own.
The road was snow covered and could be slippy but for the most part I got good enough traction. I was wearing my Montrail Massochists and feel that trail shoes are good enough for the conditions so far. Lots of people have recommended yak-traks or something similar but to be honest I know they can be a bit finickity and I'd prefer to have the odd slip than to be fussing with extra gear.
I had my iPod on for the entire run, music has become my crutch now I am always running on my own. In Vancouver I probably did about 80% or my runs with friends and although I enjoy running on my own I am finding it tough to stay motivated especially on a longer run now all my runs are solo. So today David Gray came with me and he was perfect for the just over 2hr run :) Right pace, right tempo and mellow enough that I didn't block out the beautiful surroundings. And this really is a beautiful route, it was a shame that it was a little overcast but the wide, snow covered roads and mountain peaks around really are stunning, and I was pretty happy to make it all the way to the lake at the end of the road. This will definitely become one of my standard routes and I know there are options to lengthen it by going on some lakeside trails. But for today 2hrs seemed plenty long enough, which is rather worrying as I know 2hrs is really not that long at all but it was all I could keep my legs going for. Hopefully a catch up on the sleep and I'll be back motivated and energized!