Monday, 9 March 2015

Do What you Have To Do

Another Weekend, Another Long Run

With just 3 weeks left before my first TRAIL 21km I needed to get out and put in a solid effort on the weekend LSD run.   So after canvassing the group of awesome people I run with, Jon and Jen joined me with dogs in tow and we headed up to the Batchelor Hills over Kamloops.

Such a gorgeous day to run.  Leaving my apartment at 8:40am the temperature was hovering at -0.5C, but the sky was vibrant blue and The Skywatchers were calling for highs of 17 C for the day.  I'm loving this early spring weather we're getting. 
7:30am from the balcony
Once up the hill I could see this was the right choice for locations, the controlled burns in Kenna were blowing towards town covering it in a thin veil of haze added to by the usual emissions from the mill stack.  And here we were high above it all on the opposite side of the river surrounded by rolling grassland, sagebrush and meadow larks.
Since this is the location for the March Dirty Feet race it was easy to select a route, two adjacent 5km loops make up the race course and give us the opportunity to stop back at the vehicles after the first 5km if we needed to pick up or drop off items.
Looking south from Batchlor Heights
We set out on the hilly portion of our run first, getting the climbs done while still fresh.  Trails are in good condition already, mostly dry with a few areas of shade that still bare the mud we all know and love.  After circumnavigating the first hill we were back at our start point, feeling good and ready for the "easy" loop.  What's easy is the ability to forget that it too is half uphill, a long gentle uphill, but still uphill.  Both the humans and trail dogs found mud along here too, nothing that knocked us off the trail though, just a little streaking up the calves.  Badges of trail running honor.
The second 5km went by really fast and in no time we were back at the vehicles emptying our water bottles and enjoying a stretch with a view.  Jen by far picked up the most mud.  It looked great splattered up her legs to the multicoloured tights she wore.
"Dirty Girl" Jen
The traditional group runfie photo was taken and Jen and Jon headed off to enjoy the remained of this sunny day.
Since that 21km is looming in my near future, I hung back to rerun the first loop again.  Another 5km of long hill climb, slightly warmer and muddier than the first lap that morning.
Finishing my Sunday LSD with 15.5km and some added confidence that the upcoming race might not kill me.
Jen, Jon and Icebox

The gear tested: TNF Enduro Belt 1
During this run I was trying out The North Face Enduro Belt 1 which I won during the snowshoe races this year.  I wanted to see if I could handle having a water bottle bouncing around on my waist for a long run or if I should just stick to the Camelbak pack I have. I was also curious to see if my camera and snacks would fit into the zippered pocket.   The answer was yes, at least mostly. The camera fit well plus I still had room to stuff some banana/coconut chews and a Gu gel.  As for the water bottle bouncing investigation, I found the bottle was pretty good, but no matter how tight the belt, the whole works kept creeping up on me and sitting at the edge of my ribcage.  For short distance or a hike I could deal with this, but anything over an hour and I think I'll stick to the Camelbak for now.