Longer days, icy trails

I like to try and visit the River Valley trail fairly often, if I can, but it’s been getting really hard lately because of the typical and annoying thaw and freeze we suffer through. With no large body of water to regulate temperatures, it can go from warm enough to melt everything down to cold enough to freeze everything in a matter of hours (it’s like going from a nice spring day to a chilly – even frigid – winter night each and every day).  Everything, even the “snow” on people’s lawns, is now ice. Some of it is horribly slick and thick. The trail? Horrendous. Even with my ICETrekkers, the trail can be pretty treacherous.

Consequently, I’ve been avoiding it, except for last week. We had an amazingly sun day, so I planned to hit the trail and take pictures of the sun to show how far it had migrated along the horizon in the past few weeks. Unfortunately, the clouds moved in and it was a dreary overcast afternoon by the time I left work. Nonetheless, I hit the trail, nearly wiped out a number of time, braved the usual hoard of killer magpies (seriously! it’s like walking into the movie “Birds”), pulled my glut or hurt my knee the one time I did wipe out, hit a stair climbing milestone (see below), and got one wee picture of the sun trying to fit it’s way out from underneath the thick clouds.

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So, maybe I just need to stay off the trail for a while. If I feel the need to climb stairs, I have lots in my apartment building, and I can make other long routes home, that are almost as nice.

While the trail may be crappy, I’m definitely enjoying the longer days. It’s now very light out when I leave the house and the sun hangs around long enough for me to miss the sunset because I’m too tired and hungry to hang out waiting for it.

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It is weird – nice, but weird – to be getting home while there’s still daylight. Soon, I’m going to have to start thinking about wearing sunscreen and getting some sunglasees :)

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The stair climbing milestone I mentioned above is small but mighty for me. I suck at stairs. I always have, even when I was fit. I tend to avoid them on the trail, and opt to head up the incline instead, but as I am trying to get fit and stairs are supposed to be a good thing, I do try and take them on occasion. I even count how many I do in each set (set = however many I can do before I have to stop for a beather). When I went on my accidental hike back in November, I climbed a brutal 201 stairs. I had to stop every 25 stairs (every 15-20 by the time I neared the top). A couple of weeks ago, I got to 30-35 per set, despite not making any effort to improve my stair climbing (i.e., I haven’t been practicing). I’m still not practicing, but I am doing a lot more squats and lunges and I was able to do 55 (!!) stairs before I had to stop (I’m pretty sure I could have done 60, but I was being a bit lazy). To me, this is a pretty big deal.

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