Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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12 More Days Until Winter Solstice

dog in the snow

Kobi enjoying all the snow

Time has been flying by and I’m sort of okay with that, for now anyway.  The thing is, we don’t get much daylight anymore and I really just want to get to December 21 when I can get the “shortest” day over with and start counting every extra minute of daylight we get after that. 

My life currently feels like it mostly takes place in the dark except for my highly coveted noon hour walks with Kobi and of course our weekend adventures together.  The rest of the time we’re walking, running, skiing, and snow shoeing in the dark. 

Kobi gets 3 walks a day 90% of the time (unless we’ve done a long run or ski then that counts for 2).  Morning walks and our longer evening outings (walk, run, ski or snowshoe) are all done in the dark.   

I’ve noticed that I keep my headlight directed down at my feet during these “dark” outings and rarely look off to the sides of the trail for fear that I’ll catch some critters eyes  other than Kobi’s looking back at me.  I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I saw another set of eyes.  Likely freeze or scream and then run like an idiot, probably all in that order. 

I don’t know what it is about the dark, but it always instills a slight bit of fear in me.  As you know, I’m grateful for the extinction of dinosaurs, but lately “fear” has been turning my thoughts to vampires.  What a perfect environment for them.  Dark and cold, or do vampires mind the cold?  Not sure.  I don’t think Kobi thinks about fear, I think she just puts it into high gear and gives’r until she runs into something that scares her and then she quickly runs and hides behind me.  I should try that. 

Anyway, I’ve digressed.  What I really wanted to get to were a few new discoveries since my last post: 

  1. Musher’s Secret makes a great protective salve on my face when it’s -20C and colder out (Musher’s Secret is actually meant to protect your dog’s tender toes, see runningwithsam),
  2. I recalled that there are actually days where there is no moon (skied in the woods that one night and this is likely where the vampire thoughts originated),
  3. skate skiing for 1.5 hours straight is fricken hard,
  4. x country skiing for 2 hours straight is also fricken hard,
  5. snow shoeing uphill for 2km – wait for it…really fricken hard, 
  6. and my quads haven’t stopped hurting for over a week now. 

One more update for you…I’m now at 27 out of 150 in my outdoor snow adventures challenge.  I suspect I’ll reach 150 as winter isn’t going anywhere any time soon.


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A Change of Season – Finally

dog watching a squirrel

Kobi on squirrel alert

Last year this time I was already snowshoeing and skiing.  We’ve finally had some snow that might stay, but still  not enough to snowshoe or ski on yet, hopefully soon. 

I’m convinced that I’m not totally cut out to live in a cold climate, but I do like snow sports.  Well, I think I’ve had to learn to like them in order to survive in the north.  I’ve realized that you can focus on the negative stuff and choose to be unhappy where you live or you can suck it up and look around for all the fun stuff you can do.  Hence the reason I’ve learned to love cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snow shoeing and running in the snow in Salomon Snowcross shoes (best snow runners ever!). 

I also love that the bears hibernate during the winter and I only have to contend with packs of wolves.  I am afraid of wolves.  I have never seen a pack of wolves while running (I’ve seen them while driving), but I’ve seen lots of wolf tracks while running.  I wonder if it’s the media and modern culture that has made me afraid of the “big bad wolf”.  I think I’m also scared for Kobi’s sake.  I’ve heard wolves, like coyotes, bait your dog away and then kill it.  That freaks me out. 

Oh, cougars scare me too – any animal that stalks you while in stealth mode is worthy of a danger rating.  I’m just grateful that velociraptors and the dromaeosaurus (thank you C and A for teaching me about that one) didn’t survive the last ice-age.

Tomorrow’s morning run in the dark should be so much fun!  Nothing like a little dose of fear to get you moving.