It was a weekend with good friends, good food, great weather and even better running. About a month ago now, I tackled the Rocky Mountain Soap Company Run by doing the half marathon the first day on my own and then toe-ing the starting line of the 10K the next day with friends of mine from Moose Jaw.
We fueled up for our weekend by heading out to Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company...which, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know this is a Canmore staple. The food was delicious, the restaurant warm and buzzing with activity, our service was fantastic (as always) and the company was awesome!
In order to get ourselves going the next morning, we headed over to Beamers Coffee to fuel up and get warm before heading up to the Canmore Nordic Center for the start of the run. I downed an amazing granola bar and decaf latte and thanked my cheerleaders for hanging with me during the morning. Their support really calmed me as I pondered the challenge of my first trail run ahead.
The first day's run was an unexpected blast with the trail riding up and down a lot more than my muscles are used to. Saskatchewan's flat prairie trails offered no preparation for this hilly course. I did well on the first half and was surprised to see just how fast I had rolled down the hill and into town after six miles. I knew I needed to pace myself as the water stops weren't frequent and I knew that the mantra here would be "what goes down, must come up." My friends G and A were on the sidelines cheering me on as I *slowly* crested the hill back up to the Canmore Nordic Center where we started from. With burning calves and thighs I crossed the finish with my second fastest half marathon time ever!
Following the run, the three of us headed out to tackle a trail hike. We tramped through mud and lots of snow and even heard the avalanches going off in the distance. The weather was perfect for it though and stoked my already growing appetite. In order to finish up our day, we headed to Tapas for dinner and managed to take down nearly three quarters of the menu in one go...I think the bartender was a little afraid of us after watching us polish off dish after dish.
We headed back to our abode at the Hostel Bear and got cozy for the night so we could rest up for our 10K challenge the next day. The three of us met up with another friend of ours, A, at the start of the 10K the next morning (after another stop at Beamers, of course) and we were off. I ran with G for a while and we chatted and tried to keep our breath even as we navigated the ups and downs of the course. G and I parted ways just before the halfway point and as I made my way past the first turn, I was clipped by another runner and took a nasty tumble. G came up and checked to see if I was all right and even ran with me for a bit before she sent me ahead and on my way. I crossed the finish line bloody and bruised, but no worse for wear. Even better, Dave was there to greet as he drove out to Canmore so we could get our vacation started the next week!
The race was great and even better because it was shared with friends. I'm looking forward to heading back next year to take on the mountains again!