We had thunderstorms Friday, but the sun shone Saturday morning and the air was very fresh. I laced up my new trail shoes and headed out, up and down and uP and down and UP through the doggie parks and escarpments of Ranchlands, Hawkwood and Edgemont. I even got all the way into Nose Hill Park.
It was hard to find my stride at first on the ascents, but the Moose kept calling to me. “Are you going to go around Moose Mountain? or UP it? Can’t go down until you go up, eh?”
The dirt trails were damp but not squishy. Wild grasses tickled my legs with drops of water as I swished through elbow, shoulder, and even head-high prairie meadows. Hundreds of purplebells (alkaline soil here turns all the bluebells purple) and pink and white wild roses nodded their encouragement my way. The mosquitoes seemed to be sleeping in, which was fine with me.
Usually when I’ve done this route, I turn back as soon as I round the top of Edelweiss Point, making it home in 90-100 minutes. Now I’m working on building up endurance to more than four hours of trail running by September’s Moose Mountain race, so I went exploring in the woods and paths between the Point and Nose Hill Park.
I tried out an orange ginger Nuun tab (yum) in my water bottle after 30 minutes. At 60 minutes I downed a Clif Shot Mocha gel (blech), just before crossing Shaganappi Trail into the park. I ran a short 15 minute loop in the park before heading back for a negative split on the way home. I stopped my watch at 1:19 2:19something.
My legs were heavy and achy the rest of the day, but nothing hurt much. The shoes worked well too (no blisters), though I might experiment with the laces to prevent slight internal slippage. The trail shoes seemed a little heavy on the sidewalks, but I appreciated not having to feel every little rock and root along the dirt and rocky paths.
That afternoon I stretched out the hamstrings and calves by doing some weeding in my ski-slope back yard.