Sunday, 28 December 2008

A New Path...

I wasn't sure how today's run was going to go. There was a lot of rain yesterday so that cleared some of the snow from the streets, but also compacted the snow in areas that hadn't been plowed or shovelled.

The grippy thingys for my shoes work well in ice and snow, but aren't very comfortable on bare pavement - for obvious reasons. The little spikes are grouped just behind the toes and on the heel. So when my foot strikes I have this little 2x1 inch patch of spikes that hits the pavement and nothing else. My plantar fascia was feeling it the other day when I had to run on bare pavement for a while, so I was trying to figure out where I could go today that was either almost all snow/ice or bare pavement.

Snow/ice won out. I didn't want to run on the roads because they were narrow from the snow piles around driveways and, well, who wants to run on the road?! I decided I'd run back towards the river, try and find the road I ended up on last time, and run along the dike.

The first part of my run I stayed in the snow banks along the road - what little pavement running I did was pulling on my plantar fascia due to the spikey thingys so I thought it best just to stay in the snow as much as I could. At times I felt like a short, squat deer trying to lift my feet high enough to take a running step! It was less than graceful, but I got the job done.

The snow was pretty compact, once you took a step in the deep top layer, and had the consistency of the hard ice slush that is leftover on the bottom of your slurpee after you suck all the grape/orange/lime soda out. (I like layering my flavours...) My ankles and stabilizers were getting a heck of a workout in the deep snow!

After meandering somewhat lost through the neighborhood I finally found the road I needed to get to the dike pathway. More running on pavement, urgh, until I hit the path, then it was snow, snow and more snow!

Running along the dike is quite nice because on one side you have this row of trees which you can peek through and see the mighty Fraser river. On the other side are farmers fields, which in the summer is quite nice. Now, however, it is just one big blanket of white stuff.

I was getting glimpses of the river through the trees and wondered if I could get down there. I didn't see a break in the trees and wasn't sure what was beneath the snow so figured I'd stick to the path. Then I spotted it - a sign that had the universal symbol for a lookout point! Well now, what is this?!

I hoped off the dike pathway and onto a very narrow trail. I quickly found myself in amongst the trees and heading toward the river. It didn't take me long to get to the river, which was iced up and covered in snow. The sun was just starting to peak through the clouds, which made the entire scene rather picturesque.

I then noticed that the trail I had followed to the lookout point actually went off in the left and right direction. Hmmm... I think I need to follow this trail and see where it goes!

I headed right. I ran and ran until the trail took me back up to the dike pathway. Then I spotted the map. It showed me that the path I just came off of would take me right back to the street that would take me all the way back to the parental units! I could avoid more pavement AND stay in the trees. How cool was this?!

I turned around and headed back on the wee pathway in the direction I'd come from. It was glorious in there. The pathway was lined with evergreens whose branches and leaves formed a canopy along the trail. I could see no sign of civilization so I could pretend I was the might running explorer!

As I ran I could hear the ravens cawing to each other as they hid in the trees, along with the little chipmunks that were merrily chatting with each other. A train was rumbling along on the other side of the river and would blow it's horn every once in a while. The only other sounds I could hear were my feet crunching along the snow and the 'swish-swish' my braids were making on my jacket.

I think I found a little piece of heaven there!

I continued along my merry way. My grippy shoe thingys were working wonders. My ankles were working hard trying not to roll, but I wasn't slipping anywhere. Eventually I was out of the trees and running in behind some townhouses. What a view they have of the river! The path finally ended at the road.

I decided for the last part of my run to take off my grippy thingys and just run in my shoes. The road was wet here but not too slippery. It was actually very ackward running on the pavement with just my sneakers! I had been using so many stabilizing muscles that when I had to run 'normally' they didn't know what to do! I almost felt as if I couldn't get my balance, which is rather ironic.

Knock on wood I made it home safe and sound without slipping on some of the ice I encountered on our road.

What a great run - I can't wait to go back in there. Next time I might even carry my camera along so I can take some photos!!

Peace out my lovely friends.


  1. Sounds like it was a sweet run...those newly found trails are always the best!

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  3. i love hitting trails....perhpas a susi visit is overdue...i ran outside for the first time since i fell of that stupid ladder - when i get my distance up - i am coming to visit.