I met an amazing woman named Trudy when I went to my yoga retreat in Golden a few weeks ago. She is a fellow yoga practitioner as well as runner who lives in Canmore. She mentioned that she’d be happy to show me some of the trails out there and go for a run with me if I were interested. Hmmm…Canmore, mountains, trees, river, and running? Well you don’t have to ask this gal twice!
So this Saturday I packed up my sneakers and headed out there.
As I was driving towards the mountains it struck me how gorgeous this area of the province is. The soft rolls of the foothills that are all covered in warm yellows from the hay bales, fall poplar trees and non stop farm land; the sumptuous dark green of the evergreen trees that disperse themselves amongst the yellow backdrop, and finally the slate grey of the Rocky Mountains that watch over the whole scene. I was temped to pull the car over and start running nonstop, Forrest Gump style, through the fields! It was that inviting.
When I got to Trudy’s she suggested a few different areas we could run. I was drooling. Hills? Trails? River? Uhm, uhm, I have no idea which one to pick! I wanted to do them all. We ended up heading to where the Canmore Half Ironman swim took place – I forgot the darn name of the lake – we parked there then found the trail we wanted and started to run uphill.
Before I get into the wisdom of hill running in Canmore, let me just say that where we running was definitely a happy place! I love trail running. I love the smell of the trees, hopping over roots, sidestepping berry patches, squishing through moss, and dodging branches. I really did love being on that trail, but my calves and heart were questioning the wisdom of going up and up and up.
Why? Because I was running up a friggin Rocky Mountain is why. I kept thinking there would be a flat spot at some point. I have no idea why I thought that considering I was on a mountain. Ya, my little wee rolling foothills, which include my bonus hill, have nothing on ‘hill’ training out here! It wasn’t just me wondering if this was the right route to take. Trudy, who has run 4 half marathons in the past couple months (one in Iceland!) was also feeling it. The last half she did was just the past weekend so she was still in recovery mode. She’s an amazing athlete, but at about the 20 minute mark we both admitted that this was not the run we should be doing today.
We decided we’d head back to the start and run one of the flatter trails. She let me lead, which may not have been the smartest move. I quickly managed to lose the trail and so we were pretty much bushwhacking. I have no idea how I get myself into these predicaments, I just do. It was then I mentioned to Trudy that I have a blog that was all about the wee adventures I get myself into. This was one of them. It was all good though!
We were having fun climbing down and found our way into a neighborhood somewhere. Trudy wasn’t quite sure where we were, but she’s an adventure seeker like me so was happy to find another trail that ran back into the woods and we followed that. Eventually we made our way back to a flatter section of the trail and took off from there.
We ran along the reservoir, which has a nice gravel pathway. The water in the reservoir is this insane green-blue colour. It was awesome. I asked if you could swim in it. Trudy just said, put your hand in and tell me if you would swim in that! I then noticed the waterfall that was coming off one of the mountains feeding it. Oh. Glacier water. Perhaps not.
We followed this pathway and made our way back to the parking lot. This section of run was brilliant. It was more in line with what we needed today – a little less intensity and it allowed us to chat and get to know one another a bit more. I found out that Trudy is indeed an adventurous person – she’s been to the Antarctic, climbed Kilimanjaro TWICE, among a ton of other things.
I was very grateful to her for sharing with me some of the areas she enjoys running in Canmore. We have more runs planned and agreed that we both wanted to tackle the hilly trail again, but next time we’d warm up a bit more!
One thing I noticed as I ventured around town was just how active the community is there. There were tons of people out walking, mountain biking, hiking, running, and just being out there and moving! I passed a whole family out for a mountain bike ride – kids and all! It was truly brilliant to see.
Trudy mentioned the possibility of renting out her place...my gerbil hopped on his treadmill for a bit. Man could I ever see myself living out there with all the mountains, trails, and active people!
Peace out my nature loving friends!