Posts Tagged With: winter

January run to the Selby

Today presented with perfect winter running weather. Cold, calm and sunny. The footing was great considering how much ice was under the snow. An easy 14k, we haven’t officially started our training yet. It was beautiful out in the early day sun.

Curiosity got the better of Sisters when we spied a spire peaking above a roadside hill. Up we went to see what was there and found a pioneer cemetery that was all but hidden from view. The Selby Pioneer Cemetery. We have driven and run by this cemetery countless times and had no idea it was there.

Well, finding it warranted a good inspection by the sisters! We dusted off stones and tried to read the engravings. Most stones were from the mid 1800. Young and old people, husbands and wives and kids, from Scotland, England and Wales. We imagined what it would have been like back then, moving to a new country, what port would they land at? How did they end up in our area? All those thoughts started a great discussion for the rest of the run.

We are always find inspiration when we run, just like this!

We are still running and still finding adventures everywhere! Stay tuned!

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Categories: Winter Running | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why not snowshoe before work?

We were really luck the last few days to get a dump of snow. So this morning before work we headed out for a little snowshoeing. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a work out too. You can really feel it in your hips and glutes. The valley looked so peaceful covered with snow as we stomped along. We cut a trail along the river.  The river isn’t frozen over now, too many above freezing days, so the ducks were still there, I can’t figure out why their feet don’t freeze in the water but that’s for another post.

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I’ve been snowshoeing off and on for a long time. I still have the first pair of snowshoes I bought when I was a kid on the farm from the local feed store. They are the older wooden kind with a tail and the cat-gut webbing. I bought them so I could check on the fence around the field my horses were in. Working snowshoes.

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Now we have the light-weight aluminum and nylon snowshoes. They have comfortable bindings and are light enough that we can run in them (although they aren’t made for running). No more special snowshoe shoes, we just use our trail runners and gaiters.

Snowshoes go back a long way. Historians don’t know the exact age of snowshoes but they believe they were invented 4000 to 6000 years ago. They say that North America wouldn’t have been populated without the snowshoe.  Wikipedia had a pretty good write up about the history of the snowshoe. Did you know that snowshoes are a Canadian Icon ? If it weren’t for snowshoes the fur trade might not have happened back when the Hudson Bay Company was in that business.

There are lots of different types of snowshoes depending on the terrain you are in and what exactly you want to do with them like running or back country hiking. Choosing a snowshoe can be as easy as going to your local sports store, farm store or Costco but a little knowledge goes a long way, check out Backcountry’s website.

Snowshoes are getting more technical too,  Fimbulvetr, a Norwegian company has some pretty cool technical snowshoes. They made the Outside (online) 2016 Winter Buyer’s Guide.

We are not in this group!

We are not in this group!

Have fun snowshoeing!

Categories: #happydays | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

A Friday Moment

I really enjoy running along the river near where I live. I am fortunate that I can get out there before work. It’s my awe time. It reminds me that there is a whole other world out there that I miss when I don’t get out an go for a run.

The trail was crazy icy under the fluff of snow that was falling so it turned into a death defying toddle but that gave me lots of time to take photos and just listen to the river.

Just take a moment and listen to the river…

Categories: #thisday | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Winter morning run

Hard to believe it’s the middle of January already! Winter is here and the trails are great even after a few thaws.

The Blister Sister

The Blister Sister

We ventured on to the trails at Ravenshoe this morning and had a great time. The fat bikes have been out so the trails were smooth and it was cold enough that the snow was set and we didn’t do any damage running on them . It was a little icy in patches but our screw shoes kept us upright! We always have a laugh at Ravenshoe, you never know what your going to find in that little wood lot!

Categories: #happydays, Weekly Smile!, Winter Running | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Raid the Rib 2016

Interesting weather for April last Sunday. It was cold, below freezing, damp and even a little snowy at times. Not quite want we expected for a mid-April romp through the woods. It was just perfect weather for Raid the Rib at Albion Hills Conservation Area. From what we could tell the organizers from Don’t Get Lost had a great turn out for the race.

 

Blister Sisters and the Butterfly in action - Facebook images from Don't Get Lost.

Blister Sisters and the Butterfly in action – Facebook images from Don’t Get Lost. Tx.

Our team had a newbie this year, we were fortunate that Stephanie was able to join our team to make up the required team of three – The Blister Sisters and the Band-Aid (although she would have preferred to be called the butterfly strip!) We arrived in plenty of time to plan our route and to fill Stephanie in how an orienteering race works. She was a great addition to our team.

Studying the maps, we picked out the controls that we thought we could get to with in the 4 hour time limit. We did caution Stephanie that this was just an idea we had, we don’t ever really stick to our plan. When alternatives pop up, chances are we’ll take them, so be prepared for anything!

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The first three or four controls were a piece of cake. Partly because of our great map reading skills and partly because the snow cover ground presented a trail right to the control. Track reading goes along with map reading, right?

Off we went down the road and onto the second map. Now, I’ve mountain biked at Albion, it’s a pretty popular place for riding and I have a general idea of there I am when I’m there. I really had no reference for the second map. We had to trust our map reading abilities, which at first proved to be sketchy and we got completely turned around after a couple of controls. No problem, here is where the alternative popped up. We just continued mapping our controls we hadn’t planned on getting but did find just like that. Everything just fell into place!

Other than that little turn around and missing one control we were sure we were going to find, we had a great race. Stephanie survived and we made it back to the finish with minutes to spare!

Categories: #happydays, Orenteering, Run, Trail Event | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Iditarod Trail Invitational

Right now the Iditarod Trail Invitational is going on in Alaska. No I don’t mean the famous dog sled race (although that is going on now too). I’m talking about the Trail invitational that involves people on foot, skis and bike, running, skiing or biking 130, 350 or 1000 mile across the Alaskan wildness.

The 1000 mile race runs from Knik Lake outside of Anchorage to Nome Alaska. For the most part this race follows the Iditarod Trail, the same one that dogs will use but these people head out before the dogs start (in some cases the dogs will pass them by). Fully self-supported; these cyclists and walkers can expect to spend up to a month riding or walking in the wilderness. I can’t imagine sleeping outside in the Alaskan wilderness by myself in a bevy sack on the side on a trail at 40 below but that is what these participants will do if they have to. Tough people these racers.

Iditerod map with Spot tracking of particilants

Iditarod map with Spot tracking of participants.

I’m following Jill Homer, a young endurance athlete/writer who is riding a fat bike in the 1000 mile race. She is the only women in the 1000 mile bike race. I’m so excited because she is almost done! She has made it down the Yukon River and across the sea ice, and now is only about 100 miles from Nome!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

I’ve followed Jill for a few years in all her exploits ever since I read her first book Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide, an inspiring story of her race in The Tour Divide – 2745 miles from Banff Alberta to Antelope Wells New Mexico (where she broke the women’s time record). I didn’t even know these types of ultra-endurance races existed. It isn’t a bad thing for me to find out about these event now because if I was younger I would probably want to do one dragging Glenis with me – Go Blister Sisters!

I’ve thought of Jill and her stories a few time when I find the going tough in a run. Her strength through adversity reminds me that nothing I do is that hard. I can’t wait for her next book.

 

Just a quick update. Jill finished 937 miles in just over 17 days, a women’s course record! We are so impressed! Yeah Jill!

 

Check out Jill Homer’s blog Jill Outside!

Categories: #happydays, Cycling, Other stuff, Run, Ultras, Winter Running | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

It’s Maple Syrup Time

Winter is passing and cold nights and bright sunny days can only mean it’s Maple Syrup time!  On our run this morning we came across trees tapped along the back road.

There are a number of types of maples that can be tapped and apparently these old beautiful trees are just right.

 

The Blister Sister and some sticky fun!

I had the opportunity to help make maple syrup with a dear friend who tapped the trees on her beautiful property. I always thought it would be a big involved production to make syrup but it wasn’t. She just boiled it down on her barbeque. It was just as simple as the syrup is. Pure Canadian sweetness.

I checked out the web to find out more about maple syrup’s history and production. If you have a minute check it out here. Maple Syrup

The sap is running and trees are tapped!

 

Categories: #happydays, Finds | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Thursday Night Runners

I’m putting in a few hours at the store tonight. It’s cold out, really quite cold, minus 22 with the wind chill. There is a couple of groups going out on training runs.

 Hearty crazy runners! Lol, but then we’ll be out tomorrow morning and it will be even colder! I love running!

Categories: #happydays, Running Free Newmarket | Tags: , | Leave a comment

#Happydays – Frostbite!

It’s been crazy cold lately, almost too cold to run. Almost but not quite. Running in -22C (-7F) requires some precautions before you set out. Even though you think you are prepared things can happen. Just look at my sister’s Frost Nipped ear! Those dangly earrings will conduct cold quiet easily when it’s -22C. When we ran the next day she took the precaution of slipping on a pair of ear bags to protect her damaged ear lobe.

Frostbit is something that can happen to anyone out in the extreme cold, not just arctic explorers. People in more temperate climates can get it too when the temperature plunges and the wind whips up.

If you skin pales or turns red, gets is very cold, hard or waxy looking you just might have frostbite. You don’t have to have all these symptoms to succumb to frost nip, a milder form of frostbite.

There are three degrees of frostbite. Frostnip is a mild form and usually affects your face, ears or finger tips and toes. Superficial frostbite is more serious and affects the outer layer of your skin. Deep frostbite is when the underlying tissues freeze and can cause permanent damage.

You want to be careful when you warm skin that you suspect has been frostbitten. Warm water is the safest way. There is a lot of information on the web on how to treat frostbite. Although if I thought it was serious I would just head to medical clinic. I do know there are things you shouldn’t do like rub or massage frostbitten skin or break any blisters that form.

We had a little chuck about the close call we had with frostbite and took extra precautions running the next day. Our run in the forest was in beautiful bright sunshine and we were out of the wind. Hopefully now that March had arrived we will be putting that nasty frigid cold behind us and we can get on with our training in some more traditional March weather, LOL

Categories: #happydays, Other stuff, Winter Running | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Days it’s only minus 12C out!

Happy day! It’s warm out!

It was only minus 12C (10F)this morning, which was much warmer the the minus 29C (-20F) on the weekend. The wind chill on the weekend was brutal – minus 40C or 40F what ever what you looked at it. Cold!
We were just happy to get in a great run on our screw shoes as the sun came up!

Morning run Feb 18

Foggy glasses, blurry eyes and frozen camera but always with a smile when we are running!

Categories: #happydays, Run, Winter Running | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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