Saturday, January 19, 2013

California Dreaming

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Summertime,George Gershwin

This is my back door.  We heat by wood.  In order to get wood into the house I have to haul it from the front.  Before I do that however, I have to shovel a path.  That's a lot of shovelling!  Makes for good cross training though.  

Is it just me or have you also had enough snow?  I love winter, but it seems this year I just can't keep up with the shovelling.  The piles of snow along my driveway are so high that I can't pitch the new snow over the old.  And the wind, what's up with the wind? Does it ever stop? Tomorrow morning's 11 miler will be brisk at -29 C windchill, or for my American friends, -25 F.  Centigrade or Fahrenheit, whatever way you look at it, it'll be chilly on the bones.   Thank goodness for technical gear. I could explain my layering, but that's a whole other post. Sheesh man, what's a guy from Winnipeg to do? 

Well for starters I can stop whining and dream of warmer days to come.  

This week we burned 4 wheelbarrow loads, not unusual for this time of the year.  It was pretty chilly outside, but toasty warm inside. Heat from a wood stove has a particular sweetness. The wood is handled a minimum of 4 times before it makes it to the stove. Yup,cross training indeed.  
We're vacationing in Napa Valley, California this summer and my wife found this Napa to Sonoma half-marathon while researching the area for lodgings.  13,000 runners are allowed to register. The course winds through the best wine regions in all of California, and perhaps some of the best in the world.  It's a closed course, so cars are not allowed anywhere near the course.  The only way to the start line is by bus.  I like wine and I like running.  Seems like a perfectly good match don't you think?

Trouble is ... here's where the bubble pops...I was late in registering, but ... here's where I insert the faint hope clause... the race committee holds back 200 registrations for the Second Chance Wait List.  For one dollar, my name was tossed into a hat along with 2000 other hopefuls for a second chance registration. The draw takes place on February 1 so please keep your fingers crossed. I will perform a happy dance on top of Garbage Hill on demand if I'm selected!

I also hope to hook up with a friend from San Francisco to run some trails.  I promised to buy him a beer next time I was in town and I'm a man of my word.

Time to throw another frozen log on the fire.  And I'm pretty damn sure I can find a bottle of red Napa something in the cellar.  Here's to you my friends.  It's a good day... 

photo courtesy of Martial, one of the finest runners in Winnipeg. 

... to be alive.

See Mike Run

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Full Moon Trail Runs

Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance 
With the stars up above in your eyes 

Van Morrison, Moondance, from the album Moondance
Tired of the same old, same old?  Feel a need to let loose and howl at the moon? Maybe the concrete jungle is starting to close in on you?   Then why not change it up a bit and try a Moonlight Run?

Alain Foidart of the Manitoba Trail Runners is spearheading the Full Moon Trail Run series. These runs fall on the evenings of all full moons in 2013 and will be run on different trails in Winnipeg or close to Winnipeg.  Trails may include Whittier, Assiniboine Forest, Fort Whyte Alive, Beaudry, La Barriere Park, Birds Hill Park, The Forks, Bois des Esprit, Churchill, Lyndale, and others.

All runners are welcome.  Bring a friend.  Bring your partner.  Make an evening of it! We'll travel in a pack like the wolves hiding behind the trees... just kidding about the wolves:>).  This is not a speed run so don't be shy.  You can do it and you know in your heart-of-hearts this is a good thing. Your therapist will support me on this one. 

Don't have a therapist? Neither do I, after all, who needs a therapist when you run, but if I did have a therapist, I expect he/she would ask me two questions, "how will you feel running under a full moon" and "how will you feel the day after a moonlight run?". Well, the answers are "I would feel wonderful and the after glow would radiate for days". Come join me.

The runs are about 6 to 10 kilometers and absolutely no runner will be left behind. Alain will post the location and other details of the run as the date approaches.  If the sky is clear you probably won't need a headlamp but bring one along just in case.  

2013 Full Moon Trail Run Schedule:

Saturday, January 26 in Assiniboine Forest.
Monday, February 25
Wednesday, March 27
Thursday, April 25
Friday, May 24
Sunday, June 23
Monday, July 22
Tuesday, August 20
Thursday, September 19
Friday, October 18
Sunday, November 17
Tuesday, December 17

For more information go here.

It's a good day to be alive, under a big old moon.