Guys, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’m only a few days away from the Calgary half marathon and I’ve lost all my running mojo. I don’t even feel excited for the race and honestly, I’m kind of dreading it. Or maybe I have the jitters. My training was going well – effortless, really. I was energized, driven, motivated and then I took a few days off to let my body rest (I was beginning to feel achey and tired). Then I got sick with bronchitis and nearly two weeks later, I’m still not feeling 100%. I’m nervous that I haven’t ‘done enough’ in preparation for my race. With this training cycle, I accounted for ‘check out of life emergencies’ so I’m hoping I’ll start feeling better as the week progresses.
I guess you can say my confidence is wavering – part of me is worried I’m not ready, while another part thinks it will be a walk in the park in comparison to my other hobbies. I keep reminding myself that it’s “just” a two hour run – I can do anything for two hours. I spent 3 hours climbing a mountain after work last week and 5 hours hiking up and down a mountain on the weekend, so I can do this.
This morning, I realized the race STARTS at 6:30am on Sunday morning. Good God Calgary, why?
Monday – full body strength + walk
Tuesday – Hiked up a mountain (with Lauren!)
Wednesday – Upper body strength
Thursday – Lower body strength
Friday – 20 minutes easy running on the track
Saturday – Hiked up a mountain
Sunday – Off/Active recovery – two hour canyon walk
Let’s recap the weekend!
After work, I went grocery shopping for burger ingredients, then stopped by the track to get a sense for where I’m at physically and mentally. My lungs and sinuses are still a bit congested but it was nice to get my legs moving again. Plus – summer!! Words cannot express how happy I am to be wearing shorts, tank tops and sandals.
When I got home, I went for a walk by the river with my BF, made jalapeño cheeseburgers and went to bed early. Our Friday nights together have become so low-key. We used to get dressed up, go on a date to a nice restaurant and stay up late drinking wine. Now, we dress down in sweat pants, go on a date to an ice cream shop and can’t wait to go to bed at a reasonable hour so we can read or watch tv together. I prefer the latter- it feels much more natural! As much as I love exploring and adventuring, I’m definitely a homebody.
I was wide awake by 7:30am, anxious to start our adventure for the day: hiking Mount Baldy.
There are a few access points to the summit, but I kept finding conflicting and confusing trail info online. Most of the trails in Kananaskis aren’t marked with clearly defined maps or markers which is equally annoying and appreciated (because it keeps the crowds at bay).
We discovered two trailheads near a creek on highway 40 and after chatting with another hiker about the routes, decided to take the southern trail where we’d conquer two summits, or an entire loop of the mountain.
While I was scrambling to the summit, I kept thinking, “I should really be running right now. But this is so much funner. And harder.”
The views, hiking and climbing in Kananaskis are world-class, but only the locals or true mountain enthusiasts know this. People have a tendency to assume ‘the best of the best’ is in the national parks (like Banff and Jasper) but it’s not true. My friend likes to say, “Kananaskis is all about true exploration. It’s wilder out here. I’ve been here for 20 years and I still don’t feel like I’ve scratched the surface on all of the things to do here.” Word.
After a short traverse, we were ready for the second summit (behind me in this photo) but we couldn’t determine how to safely maneuver the route. There’s a lot of exposure with steep drop offs – one false move could send you falling to your demise. We spotted hikers at the top trying to figure out how to descend and they didn’t seem to be able to figure it out either! None of us felt experienced enough to risk it, so we turned back and took a scree slope back to the trail we started on.
Gross story time: my biggest fear came to fruition after the first summit. I was trailing behind the boy and his friend when I noticed what appeared to be a gash or blood blister on the back of the boy’s leg. “Oh my god! There’s a tick IN you! I’m scared!” We managed to create a pair of makeshift ‘tweezers’ out of a metal tensor bandage clip and extracted the tick. A few moments later, I looked down to find one trying to burrow into my leg. Ew!!!! I’m seriously freaked out by ticks and their potential to carry pathogens that can cause Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever in humans.
I called Alberta Health Services afterwards to find out if we needed to see a Doctor. Long story short – we have to keep an eye out for a bullseye rash, flu-like symptoms and are to submit the ticks for testing in Canmore. My mind was put to rest on Monday when I talked to an AHS health inspector who said there is just one species of tick that is a Lyme disease carrier. And even if we were bitten by by an infected bug, we’re more likely to contract the lesser of two evils: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever vs. Lyme Disease. I’m so grossed out right now.
-Deep Woods DEET bug spray doesn’t repel ticks
-Long pants are a must
I think the only way I’ll ever feel safe in the wilderness again is if I’m outfitted in this type of gear:
There’s nothing as gratifying as a post-hike meal, cold beer, hot shower and a deep sleep afterwards. Hiking makes you so deeply appreciative of the little things in life! It’s made me a better, more grateful person, that’s for sure.
Our first meal back on solid ground was a $24 all-you-can-eat prime rib and seafood buffet at Stoney Nakoda resort & casino. We were all pleasantly surprised by how good the food was – it even included beer and wine!
I filled my plates with lobster tails, calamari, mussels, seaweed salad and veggies. Our table also split a dessert plate filled with bite sized tarts, cake, ice cream and bread pudding. Yum!
(At 10pm, we made an emergency trip to the story for a fudgesicle and ice cream sandwich because I needed it.)
It was an active rest and recovery day. The boy and I spent a couple hours wandering through Jura Creek & Canyon, followed by reading and relaxing on my patio.
… and watching True Detective before falling into another death sleep. Have you watched this HBO series? If you like mystery, murder and Matthew McConaughey, it’s for you.
Calgary marathon running friends: do you feel ready for this weekend’s race? What do you do when you lose your running mojo?
Have you ever been bitten by a tick?
What tv shows are you currently into?