Friday, April 29, 2011

A new milage, Good Friday's activities

A sign along our route we found interesting,

located between homes by the side of the road.

We aren't in Winnipeg anymore!

After a miss print one week a few months back, writing about running to Oak Hammock Marsh, when a close friend corrected the statement and pointed out that it was Fort Whyte we ran to; it became a goal to run out to Oak Hammock Marsh. It has been our longest distance so far, a 28+ miles. Very close to the 50km we hope to successfully run May 14th at the Manitoba trail run in Spruce woods. But this would be getting ahead of myself…..

4am, sitting at Tim Horton’s sucking back a coffee, not for enjoyment, but it seems a necessity at this point in the morning. Then finding out that breakfast doesn’t start until 5am! Did anyone else know this? I was sort of astounded to find out that at 4am, there are NO breakfast sandwiches available! So a muffin had to suffice for the first while. We both arrived a bit late, which was very nice to get in a coffee and muffin before hitting the road, and headed to find another Tim’s 6 miles away, where we would arrive after 5am so we could fuel with the expected breakfast sandwich (finally).

Being more properly fueled (mmmm) we hit the hill! Garbage hill looks a bit different at 6 in the morning. We were also surprised to see someone out walking their dog at this hour on a holiday, nice to know we aren’t the only crazy people out and about. Having joined a clinic at City Park Runners, Tuesday nights I have spent learning to run hills. I’m not yet sure I’m ready to admit this to everyone out there but…….. I have really enjoyed learning more about running hills, running up this thing, or maybe it’s the downhill….. Definitely the downhill! I get a bit of speed built up on the downs and just love the fact that I feel like I can actually keep up with others on a down. I’m not a fast runner at all, but a downhill lets me look like I run.

At this time of the morning we have decided that we are not too worried about our route as it is 6-8am on a holiday and we don’t expect any other questionable characters out and about with us on the road. (keep in mind I would have no idea what a questionable character would look like) Up Notre Dame, down McPhillips and out to Leila, where we find another bathroom break. This is the last known bathroom break we have on our route, and once we hit pipeline road, we don’t know what will be out there for the second half of this run. (Insert music from ‘twilight zone’ here)

We have been packing a lot of things for many of our runs up to this point, mostly food, extra clothing, and water. At this point we had discussed leaving a lot of stuffs behind, get some basics and run with that. So in my pack I filled the platypus with an electrolyte replacement drink, had a container of grapes, half a roll of bathroom tissue (could be needed!), headlamp, extra grocery bag (I’m not sure why either, but it was there), wallet, phone, house keys, pen, band-aids, hand sanitizer, extra shell(looked like rain), extra leggings (in case of getting too cold),contact case and rinse, sunglasses (ever the optimist?), and some gels just in case. This was a nice light load for a change. No I’m not kidding! I think it may stem from reading about a race where there were not enough supplies along the route for the runners who are in the California mountains, running along a 100 mile trail, and a few having to DNF about halfway, because not only one but several stations along the way ran out of water and the rest of their supplies. I know we are nowhere near running this kind of a distance at this point, but it is nice to know that we wouldn’t have to worry about?????? Not sure yet, but maybe we won’t have to if we keep this up. Although, after the lesson learned at the Polar Bear run across Lake Winnipeg this year, when I’m running in a planned event I think I will try and trust the RD’s and rely on their providing along the way. I must have some trust issues?

Pipeline road took us out quite a ways and we were able to see farm lands as we went. Everything was very wet, but we were also hopeful because the flooding was not as bad as we had imagined it might be. Along the way we were greeted by several dogs. This is a bit unnerving, I think I may prefer to run by someone disheveled looking in the city than try to run (walk) by a barking dog who’s NOT leashed and their owner is nowhere around! There was one owner who corralled his dog, then let him go again, only to stand back and call to him. I was a bit concerned about this one as I was unsure what would happen if the dog charged us, but it ended alright as we passed and he decided that we were no threat to his person and he ignored us. There was another dog protecting his land a bit later, he paced back and forth along his property, barked a few times and kept us under watch, but never left his land. Then a little while later we met two retrievers’ who had a really close look at us as they checked us out from their property line, but then came out to give us a good sniff. This was unsettling, one dog had his tail wagging, which made me feel a bit safer but the other wasn’t so sure and kept looking at us to make sure we didn’t do anything to his friend as we were sniffed up close. Through all these dogs, we slowed to a walk as to not give them a chase, but we were really unsure what else to do. There was a time that I had learned a bit of self defense but as I scrolled through the very short amount of knowledge in my head there was really nothing I found that would be useful here. (Not that I am quick enough to use anything I’ve learned anyways)

It was interesting to see and follow a map; some roads look longer than others you know. It was nice to get to the road where we found our last 11 miles lay in front of us, route 220 black dale road, straight ahead. After a while on this road I found myself wondering if I had taken the right turn, thinking that we should be seeing more signs for our destination, forgetting that I have plotted this route to avoid traffic on a busy highway. Only to find ourselves at intersections with a large sign for our destination, another 100 yards or so up from here and we see a sign for a ‘Manitoba Attraction’ 3km away. Along with a cool ‘wildlife crossing’ sign, at this point we were having some excitement about almost being there.

We finally arrived at the sign to mark our occasion of making it. We did finally run to Oak Hammock Marsh. 28+ miles, and we were in hysterics to realize that it was probably another half mile to get to the actual building up the road. So up the road we went, and when our ride drove by we waved him on to meet us at the very end.

Of course we finished with a lunch celebration, but when the food came we devoured it too quickly to get a picture to insert here. I need to say a huge thank you to our husbands and kids who put up with our insanity, and for driving out to get us on our one way journeys.

My lesson learned:
We can only be a successful as our support. Without my family I would not be able to accomplish all that I am; and I would not have the potential to be what I will grow to become.


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