Friday, October 28, 2016

Mixed bag

I have a bit of a strange time in autumn. I start to pull out sweaters and other warm clothing as the outside temperatures dip, and feel bad for not having worn them for so long - it's like I forget that it was too hot to even think about a sweater until very recently. It felt very weird on Tuesday evening to be wearing a longsleeve wool shirt and full-length pants as I prepared to go out for a run near the freezing mark, coming across a pair of freshly washed shirts and a tube bandana thingy that have cooling technology - I'd worn all of them last week because the daytime highs were in the 20's (70's for you Fahrenheit folk), but we got our first real frost that night.

Random photo from Dryden Tract last Saturday

It's been crisp and cool all week, and the howling winds that seemed to take the summer off have come roaring back - gusts over 50kph/30mph on both Monday's lunch run and Thursday morning's rain-soaked shake-out trot. Fortunately both were short, because neither was terribly pleasant - while I can certainly find some beauty on the trails in Mississauga, but I didn't have the time to get to them this week so it was pure urban running.

I've decided that the most depressing colour in the world is "rain-dampened cement"

I'd have dearly loved to get into the woods, especially since I picked up a new headlamp for dead cheap that I'm dying to try out - my very old Petzl Tactikka's 35 lumens are just barely enough to get me through a nighttime run on rail trail, but I have high hopes for the 80 lumen 2014 model Tikka I was able to score for $15 at a local outfitter's members-only sale on Monday.

Your reflective flashes aren't supposed to be brighter than your headlamp.

There is, however, a decent reason for me to restrain my desire to go frolicking in the woods this week: I'm going to do rather a lot of it on Saturday, because it's Horror Trail time again! For a welcome change, the weather is even supposed to be half decent!

The temperature half being the decent. That wind can eff right off.

This year comes with a bit of a different perspective. Since getting my Garmin fenix 2 GPS watch back in April, I've done all of my long training runs on trail instead of road, and seen a lot more challenging and technical trails both in training and racing than ever before. Between Seaton Soaker, Dirty Girls and Iroquoia Trail Test this year I've come to realise how cute it is that I used to believe Horror Trail was a difficult course. I'm not saying the race will be easy - I don't think I'll ever quite get to the point where running for six hours doesn't beat me up, and I'll never stop shaking my fist at the one good-sized hill at Camp Heidelberg - but it's far from the toughest thing I've faced in 2016, and with this being the 7th time I'll toe the line at the 6-hour there it feels comfortably familiar.

Like pulling out a sweater I haven't worn since last fall.

Only much, much harder on the legs.

Goal is just to finish without hurting myself, and have some laughs along the way. I do have a costume, but I'm not revealing what it is just yet - you'll either have to wait for the race report, or just come out and run it!

1 comment:

  1. Have a great time tomorrow! Sorry to be missing it this year, but opted for some rest instead...Old bones are tired. Can't wait to read your recap.


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