Remember when Leonard Nimoy had that show In Search of? No? Well, it was great, filled with paranormal oddities and strange events. I wasn’t searching for that. I have enough odd behaviors and events in my life thank you very much! I am in search of new running trails that will challenge me and give me some new scenery to look at.
I sat down in front of Mapmyrun and began searching out a nice newish 5km trail.
I was looking for a loop but decided 10k was too far for my scheduled 5k Wednesday ( I like a schedule, it keeps me motivated). I liked the idea of the river valley and I also liked the idea of new to me. I settled on an out and back 2.5k through Buena Vista and over to Belgravia. Belgravia looked simple enough, it was registered as a dog park and the elevation made it look flat….oh how simple it is to deceive…
I parked over by the Edmonton Valley Zoo at the Buena Vista Dog park and Edmonton Rowing Club. I strapped on my iFitness hydration belt and fired up a pod cast – a new one this time (Let’s Run Disney podcast). I headed north-ish towards Hawrelak Park. It was going to be hot but I set out just before lunch. The sky was blue and the sun was warm. I love September.
My favourite tree tunnel with the Edmonton Rowing Club in the background.
The wide open spaces of the Buena Vista Dog Park.
This is the wide gravel road that I will be running on for Kathy’s Race for Research 10k in October. Gravel is not my favorite running surface, but practice makes perfect!
Then I came to the foot bridge that spans the North Saskatchewan River. I get here quicker than I use to, it surprised me that it came up so quick!
After I crossed the bridge and entered into Hawrelak Park, I wasn’t all that certain which way to go, luckily I found this map at the end of the bridge. See how flat the trail looks? HA!
I headed down the path, south towards Keillor Road, knowing full well I won’t make it there before I would need to turn around.
Then I came to the part in the road that had me question if I should turn around or keep going. I saw the beginning of the hill but I couldn’t see the rest, it made me think of a roller coaster drop. So the question was: Do I keep going? Do I turn around? The answer? If I am going to run San Francisco, then I keep going. You don’t get good at running hills by avoiding them.
I have to admit that running down the hill was a ton of fun. As soon as I go to the bottom I had to go up again. I lost count as to how many cycles I went up/down. My legs felt the burn after about 7 or 8, then i found this marker:
I run trails all over the valley and this is the first marker I have ever seen. 8km from where? No clue. Then I came to the Saskatchewan Drive stairs – I often call this place Rich and Famous Blvd. At the top of these stairs is the University of Alberta. A bustling metropolis filled with cars, people, trains, buses and noise. At the bottom of these stairs I am in the middle of no where with just me and some coyotes,horses, dogs, a squirrel and runners. Edmonton is the best place to be in the middle of nowhere with a 5 minute walk to Starbucks.
I was so happy to see this sign:
450m until my turnaround point!
YAY I get to run those hills again!
They weren’t so bad, the hills were steep but short. Completely doable. In fact, I plan on adding this trail to my regular 10km rotation. I am beginning to enjoy the challenge of a hill. The reward is running down. Running downhill makes me feel like I am one of those fast gazelles. I like that, it helps me envision who I will be in the future.
I am certainly not the girl I use to be.