This past weekend we travelled to Red Deer, AB to attend my cousin’s wedding. It’s been awhile since we had a wedding in the family and both of my boys were actually in the wedding party as ring bearers. We flew in to Calgary on Friday and made it to Red Deer just in time for the rehearsal which, might I add, left me wondering just how well the boys would perform the next day…
Knowing that I’d be missing the chance to run otherwise, I decided to see if anyone from our Canuck Running Bloggers Facebook group might happen to be close enough to run while I was in town. Luckily, Tina and Crystal were willing to take me out so I could get a taste of what running in the real Alberta winter weather is like.
And let me say, IT’S COLD!
I got up early to have breakfast at the hotel with my dad before bundling up and waiting for the ladies in the lobby.
Crystal said she had some ideas on where to go so we headed out straight from the hotel. Having lots of family in Red Deer, I’ve definitely spent my fair share of time there but it’s been many years and I really had no idea where we were headed. We actually headed straight up a long hill and while I don’t generally like hills, I was thankful for this one because it got my blood flowing quickly and warmed me up!
It was so nice to meet up and get the chance to chat with these ladies for a bit. Tina and I have met at other events before but never had much time to hang out and visit. That is definitely one of my favourite things about running – it gives you such a great opportunity to chat and visit with your friends. This was just the kind of run I was hoping for.
We jumped a big snow bank to get onto a pathway and wound our way through some lovely trails in what I think must have been Kin Kanyon Park (sorry if I got that wrong!) It was pretty cold for this BC girl but with all the snow and the trees and the sun coming up it was truly lovely.
We ended up running about 9.5 km through this park, across some fields and through some residential areas. And while the sidewalks and pathways were pretty much all covered in snow, it was pretty easy to keep my footing. I had debated about bringing snow spikes but in the end I was fine without them and only kind of slipped a tiny bit crossing one road.
So how cold was it really?
Well, the forecast was for -12 but it was actually -18 and -21 with the windchill. That is definitely super cold for me and by far the coldest temps I’ve ever run in. Once we got going however, I didn’t actually feel all that cold. The fronts of my thighs were kind of chilly and my cheeks and nose felt pretty cold but it was nothing prohibitive by any means.
What was prohibitive was the fact that my water pack froze solid! The first time I tried to take a sip, I was able to warm the hose up enough to get a drink but after that, I had no luck. The whole hose was frozen solid. Luckily the girls had another solution however – snow!
By the end of the run my hands were feeling a bit chilly, as were my butt cheeks but overall, I think I fared pretty well! I’ve always admired and respected all of my running friends from colder climates who post pictures of frozen eyelashes and crazy face icicles. I had a few little icicles develop on my cheeks but nothing major and I’m happy to say I survived my first taste of running in the Alberta winter!
Huge thanks to Tina and Crystal for meeting up with me and taking me for a spin. Whenever you ladies are in Vancouver (or Port Alberni Crystal!) let me know and hopefully we can run together again! It is pretty cool having met so many amazing runners and bloggers through the Canuck Running Bloggers group, so nice to know I’ve got running buddies across the country now!