Friday, April 10, 2015

Taking it all off

With just barely over 2 weeks before the first of several off-road races for this year, the trails are finally passable again!

First, I managed to cycle down to the farmers' market last Saturday via the Grand Trunk Trail.

Still a lot of ice & snow at the riverbanks.

I could've done without the blinding snow squall that began just as I left the house, and certainly without the couple of patches of ice that remained in some of the shadier spots. Fortunately I avoided any horizontal track stands and arrived safe but muddy at the market. We got our groceries, had some brunch, then I jammed down to the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail to get in a solid 24km. 

It was mild enough to go with just knicks and a long-sleeve shirt - a first for this year's long runs. Because of a rather catastrophic hydration bladder failure, I also ended up doing a serious test of my alternate hydration vest, and finally got to wear my favoured ultra shoes for a decent length run. 

Sunshine and dirt!

Most of the trail was clear, dry and hard packed, though I did find some snow patches in the ditches along the way.

They were smaller on the return trip.

Bare everything

It wasn't until I got down past the 69km marker that things got a little sketchy.



Fortunately, it was only 3 or 4 patches, and none were more than 50m long. The sunshine on the surface made them pretty slippery, though, so I was happy I'd worn actual trail shoes! I often don't bother, since the rail trail is about the least technical you can get while still calling it a "trail".

I managed to lay down a pretty solid time for my jaunt, and felt pretty good after finishing. The combination of a softer surface and especially having finally picked up a couple of new pairs of shoes has got me feeling much better than a month ago, despite running some of the highest mileage of my life at the moment.

I went to the pool directly from the trailhead, got in a quick swim, then emerged to this:


It snowed even more overnight, but I think we may have finally had Sheila's brush. I've only needed a light jacket & full-length tights one evening this week, and that was mainly due to it being wet and windy - it was still above the freezing mark.

The weather might have been damp and foggy last night, then thunderstormy this morning and currently absurdly blustery, but they're predicting amazing things for this weekend. I'm really looking forward to finally being able to ditch the sleeves and go for my first run since Christmas Eve in shorts and a t-shirt!

This is what happiness looks like.

Can this please really be spring? 

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