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Canadian Christmas Vacation

Photo taken by Roland Roesler near Athabasca, Alberta. View original here
Every clock in my mother's house is wrong. Some are off by an hour, others by an odd amount, like the one in the kitchen is off by 1hr, 19 minutes.
I chuckle at this because I completely understand my Mom's issue with the clocks. She lives 15 miles out of town, and 4 miles down a dirty road. It's "country living" at its best and its were I grew up. My mom operates on her own schedule, up before the sun comes up most morning anyway, she knows pretty much what time it is judging by the light of the day. Operating her own business for over 25 years, during the spring and summer she works around the clock, making the time of day pretty irrelevant. The winter is when her schedule is the lightest. At one point during our visit she asked me, "what day is it, anyway?" This is typical Mom.

Alberta winter's were always hard for me. The days are short and cold, temperatures are commonly -20C or worse, the sun rises at just before nine and sets just after three. The roads are typically covered with ice, making quality running difficult. I'm not sure how I managed training for so many years. Actually, I do, being human, we are forced to adapt.

Photo of Island Lake during the winter, North-West of Athabasca
One week in the cold north each year is not sufficient time to get comfortable with the temperature. My blood is a lot thinner now and the hot Mississippi summers are to blame for that. Most runs during my Canadian Christmas vacation are short and cold. I don't miss running in that kind of weather.

Days spent at Mom's are fun filled, with the exception of the running. One day I swapped my run for a 90 min snowshoe trip instead. Other days I ran for 45min, followed by a snow shoe trip to the river. Snow shoeing was much more enjoyable then facing the cold wind on the flat open road. Fortunately for me, I was in my last week of recovery so the running didn't even matter.

Christmas Day and the final few days of our trip were spent in Edmonton, Alberta with my sister, her husband, their two children, and my father. Though my Dad lives 2.5 hours south in Calgary, he spent most of the week at my sisters to visit with us and the little ones. For sure, the highlight of the trip was watching Maddy and Aiden chase each other around my sister's kitchen for a good half-hour, hyper from the ice cream they had eaten just an hour earlier. The next day we spent a few hours a the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall (yes, an indoor waterpark in the middle of winter). Maddy played so hard she fell fast asleep on my lap just after we ate lunch. The last hour or so I sat in a beach chair with Maddy snooring in my lap, my sister's youngest sleeping in his carrier to my left. It was midday and the sun was still shining through the glass roof of the waterpark, for a second I thought I was enjoying a warm summer day.

The next morning we woke up just after 3AM to catch our first flight to Houston, and then on to Jackson. Then, home.

Yesterday I "officially" started training again. All the holiday eating left me feeling tired and sluggish. I was surprised, however, how quickly yesterday's 13 miles went by. This morning I joined Kelly for 9 miles before using the rest of the day to get myself organized before work starts back tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas vacation. Looking forward to getting caught up on everyone's training. Good luck in 2013 and Run Happy.



Murph. said…
I really enjoyed this. What business is your mother in? Does she run as well?
Murph. said…
Enjoyed this. What business is your mother in?
mfranks said…
Hey! She runs a greenhouse...or nursery as most people call it. She has a website:

She doesn't run much, but she spends all her free time hunting, fishing, etc. Hope you are well!
L.A. Runner said…
I'm glad you mentioned that cold is much rougher on you since moving to MS. You know I live just outside Gulf Shores, and I have become such a baby about cold, too. I told my mom just over break how I couldn't handle it anymore. Is there scientific evidence to support this, or are we just babies?

Glad to see you back training! I'm back at it, too. Are you doing New Orleans again?
Rosalie Davis said…
I met a girl on the plane between Denver and Saskatoon who goes to Mississippi Valley State playing vball. Thought that was neat until I realized she and you were at different places. Too bad as people from Western Canada can be hard to find.
Happy Feet 26.2 said…
Happy New Year M !
Enjoyed catching up with your blog.

so what's up next ?

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