Monday, December 7, 2009

The Arrival of Winter

So this morning in Banff....

Current Conditions: Banff National Park
-30 °C
Observed at: Banff
Date: 10:00 AM MST
Monday 7 December 2009
Temperature: -29.9°C
Dewpoint: -32.9°C
Humidity: 75 %
Wind: SSW 9 km/h
Needless to say, it was a little frosty for my run yesterday. I had forgotten how much more challenging running is when it is cold outside. It's still enjoyable and it's still achievable but it just feels like a bit more work! Hard work. I ran up Tunnel Mountain because it's a good choice on a cold day. It's quite sheltered and you generate a heck of a lot of heat with 300m of elevation gain. But then I got too sweaty and then I got cold. I ended up on a 2km trail flat loop trail in the woods, running around in circles going really, really fast to try and warm myself back up. It was kind of funny and it definitely wasn't the right pace for a long run! After I got warm, I headed back up the mountain for another sweaty lap and then charged back home before I got cold again. So I carry extra layers in case that happens...and a dry toque and gloves....and hand warmers just in case....

And, and...AND it's a lot of work! I felt super tired when all was done, but I managed 3 hours and change. Fortunately, the scenery made up for the effort and it was the kind of perfect blue sky day that made it all worthwhile.

It's been a gorgeous week in Banff, with lots of sunshine. The full moon ski on Wednesday night was soooo much fun and spectacular! There were 7 of us who headed out to howl at the moon, but mostly it was just me doing the howling. It was clear and cold and so bright that we didn't need headlamps. We took the last gondola up to Sunshine Village, had us some dinner and then headed out. With the light of the full moon, we climbed out of the resort and above treeline and made 3 short, sweet, enjoyable runs. It was pretty magical to see the mountains and all of that high alpine scenery all lit up by moonlight. The visibility was incredible.

On Friday, I went for a run with Keith for the first time since TransRockies and Post Stress Fracture. It was awesome to be running with my honey again! He is pretty happy to be back at it and it was fun to see the joy back. We did a half hour and then I headed out for a couple of hours along the Spray River by my lonesome. It was a grey day and it snowed lightly the whole time I was out. Again, I had forgotten how much more effort it takes to run in loose snow! It's like running in sand.
Grey Day on the Spray
On Saturday, Keith, Anna and myself went for a gorgeous ski tour and spent 4 hours stomping around in the snow. It was cold and the snow was crusty and wind blown, so we mostly hid in the forest and got some exercise. After our ski day, Anna, myself and Oscar The Dog got in a sweet little 45 minute run in the forest behind my house. Oscar thought it was great! It was a fun day.

We planned our wardrobe.

Heeeey! See that? The big mountain? Over there? That's The Monarch!

Making a few turns...

Super-Keith breaking trail for the ladies

So, the Arrival of Winter brings new adventures and new challenges. I'm embracing it with a celebratory hot tub for a weekend well spent.

Align Center


Stuart said...

Winter wonderland....sweet!

Danni said...

When I come to visit next for ski touring Quinn wants to come too. Ski touring party in Banff!

Derrick said...

Wow...great you've got some awesome winter conditions.

Nice to hear that Keith is back running healthy.

Leslie said...

Hi Stuart, it ain't L.A...that's fer sures!

Hello lovely Danni....2 for 1!
That would be awesome! Now we just need to pick some dates. Wooohoo!

Hi Derrick. Happy winter to you. The boy is baaaack, he's trying to be conservative but there isn't exactly a definitive way to come back from a stress fracture, is there?!? I can tell you he's REALLY happy to be back on the trails and he missed it a ton.

Leslie's Keith said...

Yes...I did miss it a ton...the 'rehab' of cycling and ski touring has been great. BUT nothing replaces going out for a trail run! (Yes Leslie, I'll be conservative and careful not to re-injure...:)

I love clear and cold!


anna said...

OK i don't miss the -30 but great pictures Leslie. :) I should have joined Maria for the WC and some social time with you guys! :)

A xmas package is on its way. Hope Keith is back in business for some delicious german red wine ;-) and of course a selection of the bernts family christmas cockies :)

Meghan said...

Lovely pics, and lovely, well-spent weekend!

You probably know that hand warmers can go anywhere when you're really cold. Stick them in your sports bra, one in front, one in back, or wherever the sweat is to re-heat your core and dry sweaty stuff. That's probably my least-favorite part of cold weather, is getting sweaty then core-cold. Argh!

Yeah for Keith's comeback. He has so many cross training outlets, that's probably helped him with not running too much!


PS. Thanks for pointing out the big mountain!

Gretchen said...

Sweeeet! Winter has finally reached Tahoe too, and I am finding myself ready for some skiing! I definitely don't do as much running when it is cold and snowy, but I sort of like the excuse to get out and tour.
Looking forward to hearing about your adventures all winter long...
Also stoked for Keith's recovery! Wish him the best from me. :)

Anonymous said...

I thought 5F below was cold. Minus 20F ? What WAS I thinking? It was a good holiday but Land of Elvis is where I belong. Keep posting, we really enjoy your blog & Banff !

BTW - You & Keith going to consider doing the Banff triathlon if it comes together next September ? Looks like it could be a really good one.


RunSueRun said...

Umm... brrr?! But absolutely beautiful!! I'll have to make it up there one of these years (but in August). :p

JeffO said...

It's amazing there's any liquid water! How can it still flow when it's that cold? It must be running around to stay warm!

HappyTrails said...

Hey - How do you guys keep your lungs healthy on the long runs in the cold? We need to develop a little better "Banff" skin down here for that sub-zero stuff!!!