Monday, April 21, 2008

Snow, Cold, Windy & Warm

After the prevous weekend of steller weather, I awoke early on Saturday morning to get in some miles on the legs. I geared up and by 6:30pm I opened the front door to be confronted with falling snow. Here it is mid April, on a weekend that not one week earlier topped 19 degrees, and it was starting to drop minus degrees on me.

I literally stood outside in an early morning haze trying to take in all in and decide what to do. I think I stood there for a least a few minutes despite the very cold air. I stepped back inside. What to do. Had I been still undressed, I think I would have crawled right back in bed. But here I was, all ready to go and the thought of backing out was just not strong enough. I think I knew that I was not going to be able to talk myself out of it but I still stood inside for a good five minutes before I was out the door again... this time to actually leave.

As I went, the snow continued and at times I had to stare my gaze downward as to not get hit in the eyes with the large flakes that were blowing down. I ran my normal flat run into the Colquitz River system and the trees overhead were a nice canopy to shelter me from the wind and blowing snow. Eventually I made my way out to the the Galloping Goose trail and headed over into Thetis Lake Park to meet up with the Harriers. It was a good 15km steady run and I arrived with enough time to fuel up and get my breathing down but not enough to get cold from not moving.

We had a good group run with Shane and Garth and I leading the way through some good rugged trails that Thetis has to offer.

Arriving back at the parking lot, the snow had somewhat subsided but this was just a teasing for what was to come. After a social breakfast, the snow really started to come down and soon, it was a winter wonderland out in Langford. Inches of snow had accummulated and it brought the highway speedlimit from 90 km/h down to about 50. Thanks to Lara for giving me a ride home!

The rest of the day was spent learning how to use an electronic punching system called Sport Ident or SI. This system is used in orienteering events and some adventure races and allows the organization to provide competitors with split times at multiple points along your route which is great for comparing results with other competitors. I'll be using this at the Camp Thunderbird Score-O event and needed to get a handle on how it all works. Leigh Bailey was nice enough to help me out and even had me over for supper which was very nice.

On Sunday, I managed to get in a good 2 1/2 ride with the Wheelers road bike ride and then spent some time with Kim on a nice but easy stroll through many parks around the area. In the end, we hiked around 12 km and saw lots of wildlife enjoying the sunny day that followed the cold (yes, it was now nice and all the snow was gone). There were many birds out including a large Pilated Woodpecker and a little hummingbird that treated both of us with a view of its nest!

Their nests are so small and so camalflaged that it is a pretty rare sight to actually see one. It sat in the nest and was extremely still as to not be seen.
After the hike, I got on the road bike again and did some hill repeats to work on my climbing.
Despite the snow, all in all it turned out to be a good weekend.

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