Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget - A Run to Remember

Today was long run #2 and it is my second longest distance in Goofy Training.  Last year, in marathon training - 32k was the farthest I ran...and it sucked.  I really didn't want to dot his one solo and had originally planned to run it with Anna and her gang.  But then my parents announced they were coming for a visit and despite trying hard to find a workable route - it was destined to not work out.   So I headed out solo.

Lemme tellya - watching the temperature on the dash all the way into Calgary was mighty demotivating...

But it was warming up by the time I got to Eau Claire...warming up being subjective....

I had mapped out a route last night on MapMyRun.  It had me run from Eau Claire to Ogden road and then back.  Warm up and then run the last 14k to Edworthy and back.  The main gol was to avoid running into the Last Chance Half.  I considered revising the route into 2 shorter loops done twice and that was what I thought I would do when I got to Eau Claire.

I was all geared up for cold and solo
  • Two pairs of running tights
  • Two long sleeve shirts (one fleece base layer and one 3/4 zip)
  • Softshell jacket
  • Fleece hat
  • brand new Nike convertable mittens (spoiler alert - LOVE THESE!)
  • Hand warmers
  • iPod and my Yurbuds

It was cold, but clear.  Almost refreshing.   By the time I got to the turnaround point on my revised route, I had decided to keep going.  My goal for the day was slow and steady.  I wanted (nay - NEEDED) to finish strong.   The paths were snowy, but not really slippery.  I had my music on and it made the miles go by easily.  I was going at such an easy pace that I didn't even need to take many walk breaks in this first 18k of the run.

Side note - those Yurbuds are so comfy.  Didn't feel them at all AND even though I tugged the cable a couple of times - they never pulled out.  I may have a new favourite brand of earbuds in these.

Such pretty, snowy views.

Just after Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, I ran into the plow...and he was taking up the whole path.  It was a standoff.  He ended up moving into the trees to let me pass.

I hit the turnaround at Ogden road with a smile on my face.

Startled a bunch of migratory birds on the way back.  So funny to see them all take off for a 3 foot flight...

After my second gel, I discovered that my water bottles had frozen solid.  Yikes!  So I was without water for 7k.  Luckily, I don't drink much in the winter...

Before I knew it, I was back at Eau Claire to replensih supplies and have a pitstop.  That was when I discovered that I lost one of my beloved Noodle Hugger headbands :(  One of my favourite prints too.  The green one with the teeny blue cartoon flowers.  Guess I'd better talk to that Etsy seller to see if she happens to have more...

And then I hit the path going the other way.  This was pretty uneventful.  It was late morning and most of the runners were done for the day, though there were still a fair few out there.  I ran out to Edworthy Park, warmed up a bit in the washroom and thawed my starting-to-freeze bottles under the hand dryer and then headed back.

These were starting to get tired and sore from the pounding they were taking.

As I drew closer to Eau Claire, I started to pass all of the memorials that give Memorial Drive it's name.   Once upon a time, they planted a tree along Memorial for every soldier who died in the World Wars.   Unfortunately, most of these were black poplars and they started to encroach and cause problems. So they had to come up with a different way to honour the fallen.

One is this monument.

Another is the new Peace Park that should open soon (I think they were finishing it up for Remembrance Day, but it was still very much fenced off. and they hadn't bothered to knock the snow off of most of it)

 Let us remember those who proudly wear the Canadian Insignia everyday
to bring peace and security around the world.
~ Michaelle Jean, Govenor General

And I finished up by running across the Peace Bridge.

Remembrance Day holds a special place in my heart.  My family on my father's side had a proud military tradition (my dad was actually a UN Peacekeeper) and I was raised in a military town.   Finishing off my Remembrance Day run by following Memorial Drive and visiting the monuments was a fantastic way for me to personally honour those who have fallen so I might remain free.  The only memorial I missed was the rows upon rows of crosses that are erected every November. 

My aching feet have nothing on what they endured.

In the end, I got my 32k in.  Four and a half hours.  And a fantastic solo run to remember.

When I got home - in lieu of an ice bath - I sat in a snowdrift for 10 mins.   It felt AWESOME!!!  Wish I had done it barefoot....

Chillin in the snow...

and now, for the Garmin Geekery:


  1. Good job on your solo long run! It was pretty chilly when the race started, but was so happy to see the sun today.

    1. I was glad I started into the sun so it could warm my face while the temperatures were pretty low. I'm just glad that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I've certainly run in worse. I'd say that the mec race a couple of weeks ago was MUCH worse...

  2. Congratulations on doing that long run solo! No doubt you built some good mental fortitude for the Goofy Challenge with that one!

    1. Here's hoping. The mental aspects are what killed me in marathon training last year. I promised myself I would try to run with other people as often as I could on the really long ones unless I figured I was strong enough to handle it on my own. Finishing this solo and still being able to say it was fantastic was a big stepping stone for me. Shows how far I've come in a year!

  3. Brr...that looks like some very cold running!

    1. A couple of winters ago - I ran one day in -25C. As JS and I were leaving for the run, we passed someone who was wearing ski goggles and had a wreath of frost around his face. We made it 5k that day lol...probably should have turned around when we saw that guy. Training for a half through that winter redefined cold and what is possible. For the most part - this run was just refreshing :)

  4. Hi Cori,

    Sorry we couldn't connect yesterday. I was really looking forward to running with you. Glad you got through it, though. It was a tough run to do alone.

    Hopefully we can meet for a run before I head off to Honolulu!


    1. I'm sad it didn't work out for this past weekend. My parents kind of threw a monkey wrench into the works when they announced their visit.

      I hope we can meet up for a run too. I have 22k this weekend so could always finish off your 32 with you...

  5. Awesome Cori! If you can run in those conditions, you can do anything! Have a great week! ~ monica


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