Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Top 5 Things...

The Top 5 Things I saw before, during and after my run today-

The sunrise looked like this but
through my front window.

1) The sunrise over Sydenham Lake while I had my coffee pre-run-

I was up at 7am, the sky was turning all shades of orange and yellow and the beauty of it all really had me excited to get outside and enjoy the day and my long run on the trail despite the cool temperatures that awaited me.

If I had a camera this is what my picture of today's
trail would have looked like.

2) The freshly groomed snow on the trail-

I had somehow beaten the snowmobilers outside this morning and was rewarded with the most beautiful carpet of hard packed crusty snow groomed ever so flat and smooth. It was as though it was done just for me and the one other runner who's footprints I followed in for sometime. I felt very appreciative to whoever it was who got up so early on this Saturday morning to do it. Unfortunately the loud snow machines were out tearing up the snow on my return run and I had to escape to the road rather then try to negotiate the rubble of crust and powder they had surely left in their violent wake.

Like this x2

3) Two beautiful white-tailed deer-

I was 10k into my run when in the distance I saw what looked like a tall dog of some kind. Perhaps a Great Dane or a large Lab. I really hoped it wasn't some kind of skinny black bear. It ran off trail upon hearing me approach and I then caught a glimpse of two deer hopping off into the woods and with their white tails held high they vanished in mere seconds.

Like this minus the kids and dogs

4) A Jingle Bell bedazzled horse pulling a sleigh-

Just as I was heading home to pick up my snowshoes to finish off my run I was passed by a friendly horse making the most Christmas like jingle bell sounds. You don't see that kind of thing everyday and it really put a smile on my face.

Hey look it's Santa, The Real Santa!!

5) Watching the kids waiting to see Santa at the Mall-

There was a line of kids at the mall with their parents in tow all waiting to see Santa. It was the very same Santa I had stood in line to see year after year with my daughter. I found myself feeling very nostalgic for that time when she was still young and still believed.

The Top 5 Things I learned on my run today-

1) Getting the layers right on the first long run of the winter can be tricky and you'll probably dress too warm or not warm enough-

 I dressed way to warm and ended up peeling off my top layer after 30minutes of a 31/2 hr run. I learned it's better to carry the extra jacket you might need rather then put it on right away and find out you don't. I had built up a nice layer of sweat before I realized how hot I was and then risked getting colder because of it.

2) Water bottles are not good insulators in temperatures below zero Celsius-

I learned that the nipple of the bottles will freeze first then the liquid will begin to freeze, then the slushy liquid will begin to freeze the hand that is carrying it and as you drink the icy pink refreshment your throat and stomach will begin to ache from the cold. I don't know how I never had any of this happen to me before.

3) Tying a double knot it no guarantee that the laces of your running shoes will stay tied for the duration of your run-

I double knotted both of my running shoes before leaving the house and wouldn't you know it but both of them came undone. I ended up retying them using this method: After you have made your bows grab the ends of both laces. Put one bow and one end of the lace in one hand and the same in the other then make your double knot pulling the bows and the lace ends tight.

4) You don't need as much water on winter days as you would in the summer which leaves you a bit freer to wander further from home and or your water source-

 Today I was able to extend the first part of my run further then I had planned to as I didn't feel a need to return home to refill my bottles. I felt comfortable with 40 oz.(2 bottles) for the entire run whereas in the summer I would have needed 70 oz.(3.5 bottles) for the same time and therefore would have had to return home within 2hrs. Today I carried two water bottles for 3hrs and 20min. and didn't need to go home except that I wanted to pickup my snowshoes. I did consume around the same number of calories though coming in at around 1120(4 scoops or Vitargo) or approx. 300 calories and hour.

5) The second snowshoe run of the year is much easier then the first showshoe run of the year-

 I tried running for 45 min. on snowshoes a few days ago and thought I might collapse after 20min. However today after having already run almost 3 hrs. and 20kms., running on the snowshoes for another 5km actually felt pretty good.