Friday, June 29, 2012

Kananaskis Mornings

Ok, so I have not blogged lately. No excuses,  I just haven't. Perhaps there was nothing interesting going on, which is not true. Perhaps I am just lazy :-P

Well I've set some goals lately. Usually my goals are based around a financial goal, or something that is material... Well, I have discovered that those goals are typically shallow and once achieved, they rarely satisfy. Not to mention, they make you focus solely on work. Not fun. So I set another goal. A big goal.


Next August, I am going to run the Canadian Death Race. 127km in Grande Cache, AB. Yep, a trail run. And I am giving myself over 1 year to train for it. I KNOW I can do it! And to help train for it, I am going to do my best to run at least one significant run in true trail conditions each week. Normally, I run the loop around my neighbourhood, but I would like to mix things up and put a good trail run in each week. For now, it will be once per week, and I started doing this last week with a run around JumpingPound loop. I had done this on my mountain bike a while ago, and it makes a fantastic trail run.

Consider this the start of my ultra running training program!

GPS data for JumpingPound Loop can be found here.

Since trading off my cruiser for the dual sport, I take it everywhere. I'm not afraid of gravel anymore, so the bike makes for great approaches in Kananaskis!

I didn't bring my camera on the run, so I took photos of the parking lot. You get the idea.

One of the best things about this loop is that starting from Pine Top Recreation area and finishing there allows you to take a dip in the stream after your run. That is always refreshing at 7:30am!

It was very cold, but what streams in this area aren't cold?
Jumpingpound is a fantastic loop. You're never more than 500m from the road (Sibbald Road), and you can run the loop in a figure 8 fashion (I did clockwise). There is a link in the middle of the trail that takes you across, so I believe you could stretch this run out to about 11km! Fantastic!

This morning I took a kick at Moose Mountain. Being the closest mountain to Calgary, it has always beckoned me to climb it before heading off for my day of work. Originally, I was going to bike it, but training for an ultramarathon leads me want to run more. Plus I enjoy running more than biking, so off I went with an early start.

GPS data for Moose Mountain can be found here.

Once again, the bike makes for an excellent approach, especially with the steep and gravelly access road to the trailhead.

Empty parking lot, but seeing as all the campgrounds in K-country said that they were full (long weekend), it would not be long until people showed. (It wasn't).
The trail follows a ridge to the base of Moose Mountain. Look closely and you can see the switchbacks up to the first summit.
So pretty! Such nice views.

It was obvious that I would not be able to run the whole way.

Looking east towards Calgary. You could easily see downtown highrises.

Looking south towards Prairie Mountain.

View from the first summit (lookout). I wanted to go up to the top to the fire ranger hut, but I ran out of time. Maybe as training continues I will be able to make the whole trail in good time!

View looking southwest. Nihahi Ridge is to the right (illuminated by sun).
The first summit (lookout) plateau.

Looking north.

Looking northwest. Ahhh, the mountains make me smile.

Coming back down was awesome! I had a great pace (less than 5:00/km!)

The trail is wide and rocky, so not too technical at all.

Running in paradise, mesays!

Following the ridgeline back to the trailhead. I could hear the wind rushing through all of the trees. I love that sound.

Looking back at the first summit. I was only about 15 minutes down from the top at this time.

Working my way back along the ridge.

And I get back to the parking lot and this little fella is watching me stretch!
This is the start of something great! If ever you want to come out for 1-2 hour run in the mornings (before work, to boot), let me know and you can join. I'll be covering about 10-15 km once per week now, with hopefully more mileage in the coming weeks!


1 comment:

  1. The Canadian DEATH race?! I think you're insane! ;) Way to go - that's quite the goal!