By: Magi Scallion
Winter came early this year in Golden, BC. The nordic trails opened on November 8, with 15 km of groomed trail. This is two weeks earlier than they’ve ever been able to open before.
Early winter is great news for me as I was struggling with an aging body throughout the fall. I can’t really say that I was injured because I didn’t actually hurt any one thing. It was just like all of my muscles – especially in my lower body – were really tight. I knew that I needed to stretch to improve the situation (or, even better, get a massage) but I was so tight that I felt like stretching didn’t get me anywhere! Needless to say, I was a little frustrated.
I was doing all I could to expedite the return to full running – I shortened my projected runs, did some walking, tried mixing in some other exercise – like rollerskiing and cycling, but nothing seemed to be working. I was like a caged tiger!
For some inexplicable, to me, reason, the arrival of snow has made a huge difference. I went skiing for my first time on November 8 and that created a huge turnaround in my health. I’ve been able to run pain-free since. I think it might be the softer motions (softer even than rollerskiing) that brought my health to a better place. It may also have been using my entire body of muscles to propel myself in a relaxed fashion that helped things along.
This just reminded me how important the change of seasons is. No matter how much of a shock the first few days of -15C are, they are here for a reason and your body needs the seasonal fluctuations to recover, heal, regenerate and come back stronger.
I will curtail my running for the next few months – aiming for 30 minute runs, 3-4 days a week – and mix in a lot more cross country skiing for fitness (1+ hours, 5 days a week). I am sure my body will be happy to return to some epic running come spring!
Born in Nova Scotia and emigrating to British Columbia via Ontario and Alberta, Magi has been running the entire way. Primarily defined as a cross country ski racer, Magi has competed nationally and internationally in that sport. The highlight of her career was competing in the World University Games and the World Cup races in Canada in 2007. Cross country skiers rely heavily on running for cross training and Magi has become an accomplished trail and mountain runner, representing Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2005 and the winning numerous national championships medals.
Today Magi runs for fun… and it’s a lot of fun! Epic mountain runs, city cruises with friends, and more keep her happy and occupied outside of work and school.