Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In Photos: Heart Mountain

Heart Mountain is located east of Canmore. You can see the heart-shaped mountain from the highway (hence the name). The trail guides say it is an easy to moderate scramble to the summit. The sign warns hikers of what was ahead.

I wish I did some research on the mountain before I went up. Late into the hike, I learned there's a loop that brings you down the mountain to the parking lot. That would have been nice. I generally hate out and backs. But this time,  I erred on the side of caution and went down the way I came up. 

The first part of the hike really sucked. It was all this gravel-like crap for at least 2K. Tina was with me for maybe a quarter of the way before she decided she had enough. It's too bad because the views at the top were amazing. It was a little tricky in spots and I managed to keep my footings. Scree can always be challenging for the faint at heart. But I have great balance so I wasn't worried (that much) about plummeting to my death or tripping and being impaled by a sharp rock. 

Thankfully I met up with Kate and Daniel from Cochrane who pointed me in the right direction. I followed them up the mountain and they went down the other way. It was Kate's first time on Heart. Daniel was a rock climber who was helping build a new climbing area at some point on the mountain.
I took my time on the mountain to snap photos and to think without any distractions. Silence is welcoming. 

I never grow tired of reaching a mountain's summit. It doesn't matter how many times I've been on the top, the views simply fills my heart. What is it they say? Beauty feeds the mind, body and soul.
The hike itself was not too difficult. If you're in reasonable enough shape, you can hike this mountain. Just take your time and watch your footing (especially on the early bit).  I came across many hikers who were of all ages and sizes, two-legged and four-legged. 

I won't even begin to guess which mountains these are in the distance. (Do you know their names?) 

All in all it was a great day to be on top of a mountain. Thankfully the rain held off until I was on the highway back to Red Deer. Small things. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Snapshots of a Saturday

I left Red Deer at the crack of daylight to secure a campsite. I could barely keep my eyes open. Thanks to a certain friend I stayed up way too late on Friday. 

But I was super excited to get out of the city so I didn't mind being a little tired to start off my weekend.  I missed the turnoff at my first choice in campgrounds but I lucked out at Three Sisters campground. One of the campers was evicted in the early hours so I snagged the site. 

The skies were threatening to open up and I wanted to get my tent up before Tina arrived from Calgary. I think I set a new PR in my tent set up. 

I wanted to shake off my 2.5 hour drive with a 10K run around the Canmore Nordic Centre. The skies were getting darker every minute. I thought .. it's only rain. It won't hurt me. I got in just about 7K before the thunder started rolling it. I was drenched by the time I made it back to the Nordic Centre. 

My shoes were soaked. I figured out a makeshift way to dry them quickly. I only brought one pair of sneakers. Tina and I had plans for a hike that night so I needed dry shoes. Lucky for us the sun came out a few hours later. I sat in the Nordic Centre for about an hour to read while I waited it out. 

Later in the day after a quick snack at Communitea Cafe, my new favourite place in Canmore, we headed to Grotto Creek Trail for a walk. 

Thousands of years ago the canyon walls were carved by surging meltwater from receding glaciers. Amazing stuff. It's about a 2K (4K return) easy walk to the waterfalls. We turned back after the waterfalls because it was getting dark.

We snapped lots of pictures and took in the beauty before us. There was a photo op at every turn. What a great way to start off the weekend! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

My week in Crossfit

I feel like I haven't run in years.

It's been 10 days.

I'm under doctor's orders to rest and to take copious amount of drugs to cure what ails me. (Something like that.)

But when running is on the whiteboard, you have to choice but to follow coach's orders.

Short and sweet was the "running." Usually it is when I pick up my pace that I am overwhelmed with negative feedback from my foot. I ran hardish for the 400-metre intervals. My weight for the WOD was light. I have a big weekend of training planned (don't judge me!) so I didn't exactly follow the WOD instructions.

I didn't hear whimper of discomfort. Legs are good. Now it's hours later and my foot/hip/leg are fine. Let that be a lesson to you all - drugs do not always kill.

Speaking of crossfit, I got my fat butt to four classes and one mobility class this week. I was going a little stir crazy with no running in the evenings. (I may have polished off a bottle of red.)

Monday's WOD was challenging to say the least. You know how I suck at rowing ... well this sure was a sweaty one! I still haven't gotten over my fear of jumping since I split open my leg. It was step ups for this girl!

Still I was dripping with sweat (like everyone else) after this one. Great WOD to start the week.

I am heading to Canmore early tomorrow morning. I plan on doing some hiking and some running. I have to go super early to find a camping site. If I don't find one, I'll be heading back to Red Deer that night. Tina is meeting me later in the afternoon.

Cross your fingers that I secure a site. Driving back would be a real letdown. I had a very stressful week and I need some time away from the city.