What a good long weekend it was. I spent most of it doing just exactly as I liked - reading, running, eating, painting, and hanging out with Husband. The only thing that wasn't perfect was the weather. Saturday was okay but both Sunday and Monday were bitterly cold and windy. I'd have preferred to stay bundled up inside for the duration but that wasn't an option since I plan to run a marathon in a few months.
Sunday's run was an 8k with husband. Bless him for running with me. It was damned cold - about -20C with the windchill - so I'm sure I would have given up and headed home after 2k if he hadn't been with me. The footing was tricky with several inches of fresh snow, and the frigid north wind blowing straight at us for the first 4k made our cheeks sting and our fingers ache. I thought it would be better when we turned around but the wind quickly froze our butts and hamstrings so the return journey felt almost as tough.
The thing that kept us going - besides bloody-mindedness - was the memory of our 1st date anniversary dinner the evening before - pasta with pan-seared scallops, prosciutto, arugula, toasted pinenuts, roasted cherry tomatoes and sauteed red pepper in lemon sauce, washed down with a delightful bottle of Tidal Bay wine. It was delicious meal, if I do say so myself. Lunch on Saturday rich too - asparagus and prosciutto omelette with hunks of Husband's yummy artisan bread. For still more motivation, there was the dinner we had planned to mark St. Valentine's Day - cheese fondue and salad, and a creamy dark chocolate fondue with fruit. Needless to say, the run made it easier to enjoy all the good food and drink.
The forecast for yesterday suggested temperatures might improve later in the day so I slept in a bit, then spent a few hours working on the painting I'd started Saturday afternoon. It's based on an image I found inTerry James' book of photographs of Lunenburg County. I chose it because the lines seemed straightforward and I wanted to try playing with light and shadow. The lines would have been straightforward if I'd been drawing but working with paint is much more difficult. I found the boats particularly challenging. After yesterday's session, they look a little more boat-like but the perspective's still all wrong. I'll noodle about how to fix them this week and try to finish the painting next weekend so I can move on to something else.
By 3:00 in the afternoon, it was clear the weather wasn't going to warm up as much as forecast so I donned the warmest gear I had and headed up the river. The wind wasn't quite as fierce as on Sunday, but intermittent gusts paired with the snow and ice underfoot still made for a tough run. On the upside, the sun was shining brightly when I set out.
And my route took me to and through Peace Park where I stopped several times to take photos of late afternoon sunshine beaming through the pines.
Upon leaving the park, I faced a 6.5k slog into the wind before I could turn away from it and towards home so I didn't stop again until the sun was setting and the sky was streaked with shades of pink, mauve and yellow.
After 16.5k in wintry conditions, our house looked cozy and inviting, and today my legs are telling me it was a good workout. Here's hoping conditions improve a little before next weekend when I plan to run 9k and 18k.
My big goal for the coming week is to get my hill training underway. Now that I've a few more long runs under my belt, my legs should be up to the challenge. I'd also like to spend time on my yoga mat. The older I get, the more important it is to stretch and strengthen - not just my legs but my whole body - especially during winter, when icy conditions make muscles tense up.
By the way, if you're on the lookout for running inspiration, I highly recommend Lawrence Hill's latest book, The Illegal - a well-told story that resonates deeply at this time when people around the world are seeking refuge from troubles they had little or no part in creating.
Hope the weather's good where you are! Happy running and writing, friends!