Winter is here. In full force. The snowbanks in our front yard are now so high that I can’t see over them. All this snow is a good thing – it enables me to get out and snowshoe and skate ski – but I must admit that I can do without all this shovelling…
In between shovelling I’ve been getting out for some fun snowshoeing adventures. I’ve been out three times now – each time at a different location. After only three snowshoeing runs/walks I can see why people are so addicted to snowshoe running. Wow – what a work-out. Combine running with ankle to knee-deep snow and you’ve got a some seriously heavy breathing and burning legs. Oh and toss in a few steep climbs and you’ve got a great way to get outside and have some fun.
It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of running in the snowshoes but once I figured out that I need to lift my knees high and try to really step forward, things started to flow (a little bit). I’m doing a mix of running and walking – essentially because my fitness does not lend itself to outright running and because I’m still nursing some annoying running-induced injuries. But through it all – it is so much fun.
Today I drove out to Relais plein air in the Gatineau Park and explored trail 65. While the main trail is quite packed-down, there are lots of side trails that make for some challenging snowshoeing. I simply followed the already made tracks into the deep snow – for the most part these trails hooked up with the main trails. These side trails afforded me some awesome views, some steep climbs and some tricky descents that involved some jumping, sliding down on my bum, and hanging on to the random tree.
On Sunday I plan to do something I haven’t done in a long time… Skate ski. Yep – it is time to get out and see if I can remember how to ski. It has been six years since I’ve skied… I’m excited and a bit nervous. My plan is to go out early before the crowds arrive and to test out my legs, core and lungs on a flatish section of the Gatineau Park. I’m pretty sure it will be another fun day out in the snow.
Of course with all this activity, my thoughts are wandering towards 2013 and thinking about 2012. I could write a long post about the year that is almost over. But honestly it wasn’t the year that I had “planned” on. Sure there were lots of highlights: racing in the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series (and rediscovering why I love cyclocross), watching Marc race on the road and seeing how happy he was with the success of his young teammates, watching Marc have one of his best cyclo-cross seasons ever, and experiencing racing with such a robust and friendly women’s field in the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series. But along the way, I still have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth – really I’m still angry with my body and this darn disease. It is hard not to think of all the things I missed out on this past year. But there is not time to feel sorry for myself – all I can do is make sure I squeeze the most out of every healthy day I have. This means that in 2013 I might seem unfocused or not “serious” but this is not the case – rather I want to do it all – trail running, mountain biking (can’t wait to get out on my new 29er), road racing (just a little bit), and cyclocross racing. I will be staring with a coach in 2013 and I’m excited to get my fitness back and to build some newfound fitness.
Thanks for hanging out with me this past year – it has been a tough one but I’m confident that 2013 will be a good one.