Monday, April 26, 2010

Undeniably Spring

Here in Banff, we try not to get to excited about spring for we know that the moment we allow ourselves this pleasure, mother nature will deal us another round of winter.

But I can't help it! The last couple months have been crazy with abnormally warm temps, I've been running dry trails in the valley and this morning, the world out my front window is all about spring. I can't hold back my excitement any longer - it's here! It's heeeere!

There's a thick coat of frost blanketing everything: the neighbors roofs, my car, the grass.

There's a fresh dusting of snow on the mountains.

There's a small herd of elk on my front lawn. Or what's left of my front lawn.

The sounds of robins, magpies and grey jays have been waking me up early as well as the sunshine which is peaking through my window earlier and earlier.

Too say I'm a little bit excited for this change of season is an understatement.

The word
anticipation comes to mind. Anticipation of all the good things to come in the next week, month, 5 months. It's trail running season, baby. It's here, it's now and it's exciting. I got things to do and places to go. I got lists. I got adventures in the works.

On Saturday's run, clearly Simon had spring fever as well. He bust out the Vibram's and even the snow wasn't going to stop him and his 5 toed footies from running 28 kilometers on the Rundle Riverside trail. Damn, dude.


Simon joined myself, Monica, Nikki and a Suzy for a run which was admittedly a whole lot faster pace than I am used to. But it's all good. I can bust it out if I have to. But this one left me feeling like I had run a race! It's good to run faster than you are used to once in awhile and it's fun to go fast! Mother Nature did her spring thing - we got slammed by this storm on the way home and shortly after it was snowing hard and blowing harder. We put our heads down and headed back to civilization and the Canmore Nordic Centre as fast as we could. I think we were out for 3h30min in total.

The next day, I had a blind running date with a friend of a friend, named Leslie. We'd never met before, but being a Leslie - she was cool. This was the longest run she had ever done!

I dragged her out on a lovely rolling loop, with some lakes, some streams and some dead things. Hmmm. The signs and sights of spring. Time to keep running....

We also hit my favorite view point of Lake Minnewanka, where I was surprised to look down from above and see that the lake is breaking up quickly. Last year, it was late May when the ice broke. I was also surprised that the trail I was running, the C-Level Cirque trail had gotten a make-over. The trail work must have been done last fall and the result is awesome. The trail was rutted and nasty and now it's a smooth, runnable hill climb of about 10 minutes, complete with a bench at the top. It's a well used trail, so the trail work was needed and appreciated. It's still a lung buster though - the grade is steep, but the view is rewarding.

We were out running around the woods for 3h52min. I'm having loads of fun re-visiting these trails - trails that have been buried for the last 6 months. It's kind of like meeting up with old friends: comfortable, relaxing and fun.


Danni said...

I am with you! Except for the elk in my yard. I don't have any of those.

Leslie said...

That's because they eat them all in your corner of the world.

RunSueRun said...

you guys are so hardcore (why you did so well at c2m)!! love the elk photos - i'll be envious now? :) hi to keith!

HappyTrails said...

Fortunately the mule deer that peek in our front door are a wee bit smaller than those elk!!! Great pics as always - gotta love those spring snow dumps!

JeffO said...

We had a tiny bit of snow and a freeze this week, way down in Denver. Your altitude trails are about the same as ours. The highway passes were restricted to chains-only for truckers. Strange how so many miles makes so little difference.

Jill Homer said...

Barefoot running in the snow! I love it!

Some friends of mine in Anchorage have a group of about five moose that have been living in their yard for the past week. I think they are just to the point where they are about to name them and declare them pets.

Leslie said...

You know what word I LOVE?
It makes me giggle.

The barefoot dude broke his foot this week on a rock. OUCH. And bummer. I've got myself a pair as well!! So far it's a really fun little experiment, but baby steps. I'm aspiring to run around in the woods behind our condo, but I won't be running in the snow. No. Way. Give the neighbors something to talk about! My Vibrams are Pink. They were also free.