Sunday, August 23, 2015

Exploring the Island

*I'm playing catch up today.  I haven't had time to write about my last few long runs so here goes*

August 9, 2015

I was about to be kid free for a week, so what did I do?  Booked a long run, of course...one with a leisurely coffee to follow....and with one of my best runner girls, Tina.  The plan?  To meet at Eau Claire, part way into her REALLY long run and do 12k then drink copious amounts of coffee to help us recover.  Perfect plan.

I got to Eau Claire *just* before she got there so the timing couldn't have been more perfect.


We paused for a selfie (of course we did - it's me and T!) and decided on our game plan


The plan?  To head east! St. Patrick's Island had just reopened and I hadn't been running down here in far too long so it was time to tour!  So off we went into the sun!


and happy as clams to be pounding the pavement together again.  It wasn't long before the new bridge to St. Patricks came into view.


We stopped for a quick relax before crossing.

and then we were there!  The gateway to adventure!

My own jumpshots were dismal.  I should not be allowed to attempt them, ha!

Egads!

Now, for those of you who aren't familiar - St. Patricks Island is right next to the zoo in Calgary.  It used to be this forested place with a little path snaking through the darkness that most runners avoided.  You had to cross a rickety wooden bridge to enter it and it was surely filled with homeless people and wasn't a very safe feeling place to run.   The 2013 floods devastated the island and the rehabilitation since then has made this into a new gem in the city...just look!


Gone is the dark and creepy.  Replaced with sun dappled pathways, unique bridges and wonderful social spaces!   Kudos!  The East Village has an island to be proud of!   

Now it was time to explore! Over the low bridge we went...

and we were soon greeted by this gigantic grassy hill, right in the middle of the island.  The Rise.  (We later discovered that was where they put all of the excess land material following the flood cleanup).

Past here were some wooden tables and benches and the entrance to another awesome ventilated bridge.  



I have to admit - we were taking our sweet time on this run...it was more about fun and conversation than getting in a workout.  Tina was having a difficult run after logging a ton of miles already that weekend, so we took it easy and cranked the fun dial up to 100.

After this bridge, we circled around and stumbled on some new public washrooms that are almost too nice to let runners into.  The sides of the buildings were covered murals showing the history of the island and the flood recovery efforts.  I could have sworn I took pictures but I guess I didn't.  It was interesting.  If you run there - go read it. :P

After the pitstop, we decided it was time to go check out the new "Playmound"  I couldn't fit it all in one shot..even tilting my phone at this ridiculous angle


and we were ready to play....


I decided it would be a BRILLIANT idea to climb through the little tunnel.


The designers of the playground, however, didn't have the foresight to allow for 38 year old women doing it and only made it big enough for a 6 year old to get out the other side...

So I had to back my way out of the tunnel.

While I was getting stuck in tunnels - T was swinging all her cares away...this gal could be the poster child for fun, I tell ya!


Ok...enough play...time to buckle down and run this run.   Or, well - get it done anyway.

Serious workout time - we decided to do some stair work and climb "The Rise"

Yeah - word of warning to anyone who might want to try this - those steps are HUGE!  Not a ton of them, but they are really big-sized stairs to try to actually run up.

But we made it to the top and checked out the view


and then headed back down.



Ran across more bridges and checked out the public art installation "Bloom".  I hear it looks amazing lit up at night.  It's still kinda neat during the day, though.



and then it was time to say goodbye to the island and head on our way.

At this point we still had a few kilometers to make up so we decided to run back past Eau Claire and get the miles in. We Gu'd up (well, T Gorped up) to help us power through.


and away we went.   As we ran, I couldn't help but notice a new addition to the river pathway...signs with ridiculous questions on them... WTF?



So, since I'm lazy, if anyone local knows what they are for - please enlighten me.   Because, as we can all see, the river is MOST DEFINITELY NOT empty.

We ran up to 10th Street and decided to go one more Kilometer and then turn back and check out the Peace Plaza a bit more before we finished off this run once and for all and got to the coffee part already.  


Not much had changed at the plaza...but they've installed the letters since the last time I ran down here...


and then we were in the home stretch...

Back across the 10th Street Bridge


Pretty Peace Bridge in the distance.


and race to the coffee shop!

Ahhhhhhhhh. THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!


mmmmm.

So - not our swiftest run ever, but we went the distance and got to hang out!  That's all I care about.


2 comments:

  1. Looks like you gals had fun! Makes me almost want to train again...I know that creepy area. Glad they cleaned it up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. this was fun! must do it again - once more with VIGOR!!!!! and coffee

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting. Please note that any comments that are offensive will be removed without notice.