Remember when I said that one of my goals for February was to not wuss out on my running when it is cold out? Yesterday it was time to put those words into action as it was going to be about -15C at race time for the Nose Hill XC race!
I got so caught up watching the Olympics in the morning that I was cutting it close to make it to the race on time. I had just enough time to park, walk to the start, register and get my traction aids on and then it was go time! Apparently the wind was so bad when the organizers were marking the course on Friday night that they opted to make the 8K course two loops. The run started with a nice, long uphill so that gave me an opportunity to try and warm up. We climbed up and up for the first mile of the race.
When we finally reached the top of the hill there was a super enthusiastic volunteer cheering us on. I so appreciated the volunteers being out there for us on such a cold day. From there we were running along flat ground for awhile and it was nice opportunity to settle in and control my heart rate a bit. We were out in the open along the flats so I could definitely feel the wind at times and it was chilly!!
We turned a corner to run through the woods and the lady in front of me stopped and pointed out this porcupine in the tree!
I’ve never seen a porcupine before and I had no idea they were so large!
I loved the little downhill through the woods. The pathway was narrow and it was fun to dodge around the trees. Kathy, one of the awesome photographers at the XC races captured this great photo of me in the woods!
It was then out of the woods and on to the second lap! By this point in time I was nice and warm even though it was about -13C so I was keen to run the long course. It was back up the hill where I walked a bit and took a couple of photos.
Once I hit the flat I focused on the runner in front of me and just ran. I had plenty left in the tank and even picked up speed! It was back through the woods (with the porcupine still in the tree), and then I had a huge downhill to the finish. I trusted my Kahtoola micro spikes and flew down the hill. What an awesome way to finish!
Of all the XC races I’ve done so far this season this course was the longest, but it was also my fastest paced one. I enjoyed every minute!
Measured course length: 5.04 mi (8.11 km)
Elevation gain/loss: 515 ft (157 m)
Time: 0:59:28 (woohoo, under an hour!!!)
Overall: 60 out of 65
Women 30-39: 8 out of 8