|The first shift...Anna, Alex and myself|
Of course, by the time I got to 14th street, I had a choice to make...
Or nice clear level paved path...
Pathway won on that one.
It was such a gorgeous day that soon I had my sleeves pushed up and was feeling a bit over dressed.
Gorgeous view of downtown from 14 street.
My new Road ID (bday gift from Hubby) - just for the sake of sharing...
When I got to John Laurie, I was ready for a pitstop...the only problem is that there aren't really facillities so I ended up ducking into the concealment of these trees. Figured I could call my trudge through the snow "trail running"
And then I was on my way again. The 10k mark came and, instead of turning around I figured I'd go another 5k and try for 30k...it would have been such a shame to waste such a beautiful day.
It seemed like everyone was out with their dogs to enjoy the pathways. I played with so many pups along the way and had a million running companions for 10ft bursts.
When I reached the Charleswood pedestrian bridge...I figured I should maybe get in a bit of trail so I can honestly complete the challenge. So I crossed over into the park.
It was so quiet and peaceful there (especially after running through the off-leash area). I figured I must be close to the sand dunes I used to paint when I lived in the area - so I took off in that direction to seek them out. About 15 mins in, I realized I was farther west than I should be so turned back.
And ran into wildlife...
I've run into deer on runs before. Fish Creek Park is full of them and they usually keep to themselves. Not so much with this little herd (there were 2 more females than show in the photo). As soon as they saw me - they headed straight for me. A sure sign that people are feeding the deer in Nose Hill. I wouldn't have been so nervous if it had just been the females. My experience has shown me that they are curious but mostly harmless. It was that male who had me a bit concerned. If he had gotten spooked, I might have been charged. Since I was solo and not wanting a good goring to be a part of my run, I yelled at them to back off and hoped to scatter them a bit before they got too close. Luckily, one of the females spooked at my yelling and she took off and the male followed her.
And then I high-tailed it out of the park.
Back over the bridge and carrying on west a bit further before I was to turn around.
If you've been following me a while, you know that mid-run math is not my strong suit. A naggy little voice kept telling me to head right to Shaganappi trail and I didn't listen. I told myself that if I turned back at Brenner, it would be enough to get me to 30k.
Until 14th street, I got to run with all of my Canine Companions again. I chose to walk up 14th street hill because I was tired and starting to feel REALLY hungry. The walkbreaks came often after this point, but I carried on and made the best of it.
The one thing I am finding fascinating about this training season is how much better I am doing mentally than I did on my first Marathon. While I try to avoid doing the long distances on my own, they are not as mentally draining as they were last year. Perhaps it is knowing that I will have a group there at the event. Or maybe it is the doing it for a cause that is bigger than me...I don't know. All I know is that the training is going really well. As long as I can stay healthy through December, I will be in the homestretch. Less than 50 days to go!
I made it back to Bedding ton mall in just under 4 hours. 28k on the books. I think all of the hills make up for the lost 2k... and I was just in time to see people packing up early. When my team told me that we still had 60+ jars of cookie mix in a jar and I could see at least 10 tutus hanging up - I was a bit worried that we hadn't done very well. But baked goods saved the day and our team still made around $750!
The Garmin Geekery:
and now I only have 5 more kms to go to make 1000kms for 2012! That's pretty exciting and I intend to do it on Tuesday!