April 18, 2010

Sweet Smell of Spring!

Spring?! But it's mid April. Yep, well I live in the frozen Canadian Rockies and it is only this last week that it really feels like spring has sprung and OMG it is so lovely! It feels almost like it was worth putting up with all that snow and bone-chilling temperatures to experience the amazingness of warm sun and bare trails now. It's been warming up for a bit now but 10 days ago - bam - 25cms of fresh snow. I mean I should be excited - I live in a ski town afterall - but I had just begun to glimpse bare trail and it was yanked away from me :( But this last week we've been getting up to 15 degrees in the day and I've switched to 3/4 tights and a t-shirt for my runs which feels like total liberation from the bulky layers of winter. Yesterday I started my 4hr run at 3 degrees and by the time I got back home it was plus 15 - woo hoo!

Today I ran out to Lake Minnewanka which is an hour on pavement each way. There still aren't many runners out but cyclists are coming out of hibernation and we all greet each other with over the top hellos and smiles as we pass each other, clearly happy to be back at our favourite activities. Once at Lake Minnewanka I extended my run to hit the trails along the lake shore - and wow, no snow, no ice - just pure fun on some rocky mountain single track! The trail was pretty dry and even sandy in sections but what I loved most was the scree like tracks - a type of terrain that I always think of so typical of this area and reminds me of my first big hike when I lived here 11yrs ago and learnt the joys of scree skiing on the descent of Cascade mountain. I could have stuck to the trail forever but made myself turn around earlier than I wanted and I was glad I did as the hour back on the tarmac really pounded my hips.

I am so excited about exploring new trails this summer, lots of fun to be had I'm sure. Only trouble is with all this sun, beautiful trails and snow covered peaks, I keep getting flash backs of my summers spent in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland - one place that I would go back to in a flash. I can feel a return to the specacular Jungfrau marathon one year pretty soon...

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