Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

Life at Minus 26 Celsius

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Our flight to Edmonton was comfortable and passed quickly with a bit of napping and inroads made into The Sea Lady, the sixth or seventh Margaret Drabble book I’ve read which after 120 pages, seems well worthy of the praises sung on its covers.  The  long drive from the airport to the suburb of St. Albert was another story.

The Edmonton area has been hit with record snowfalls lately, along with very low temperatures making for treacherous road conditions.  Shortly after leaving the airport we saw several vehicles in ditches, including an overturned jeep.  Along the way, we spotted numerous abandoned vehicles.   Later we were told the likelihood of securing tow truck services during this spell of bad weather is very low.  Tough going but an evening peppered with my father-in-law’s stories of prairie life on the farm, pre-depression certainly gave us an it-could-be-worse perspective.

View From an Edmonton Parking Lot


As is our habit while here, we had our coffee and then drove to the Servus Centre for a morning work-out.  Upon arrival we noticed that it was the busiest we have seen it and discovered that it was the second day of  The Continental Cup, a world-class curling tournament featuring competition between the best teams from North America and the best in the world.

Curlcast coverage included this news item.  “Andrea Schoepp doesn’t have the use of a bicycle during the Continental Cup at the Servus Credit Union Place this week.  If she did, the current world women’s curling champion skip claims she’s be riding from the hotel to the arena and back every day, and never mind the minus-20 temperatures or the ice-bound streets.  “Oh yes,” she was saying this week, “you don’t have it cold here. This is great weather. Definitely not too cold for biking.”

Um, well, I beg to differ.  Sounds foolhardy and life threatening.  Is this bravado the equivalent of curler’s “trash talk”?

As my husband was about to hand over our entrance fee, I interjected excitedly, “Hey look, YOU are a senior!”.  As the attendant reworked the total, he joked that he was disappointed that she did not ask him to show his I.D.  Said I, “I don’t think that is the first time she’s heard that joke”.  At this juncture my observation may not have been wholly appreciated.

I ran six miles on the treadmill, did upper and lower body weights and was pleased to see that they had the sled style leg press machine. You should definitely have a trainer in your gym show you how to use this machine and if a novice, should start out with no weights. The lock and unlock feature on this machine varies a great deal so be careful if you are using a new machine. The demonstration below is a good one.

I also do ankle raises on this machine by positioning the balls of my feet at the bottom of the machine and flexing the ankles up and down. You don’t unlock the machine for this as the range of movement does not require unlocking and to do so would put you in a vulnerable and dangerous position.

View of My Feet in Position for Ankle Raises on Leg Press at Servus Centre

Workout done, I stopped by Booster Juice for a Ginger Hammer, a mix of apple, carrot and ginger juice as an appetizer to a regular outing during our Edmonton visits, a trip to Ricky’s restaurant. My usual choice is one of my indulgences, like my love of poutine, one of four Big Breakfast choices called the Perogy & Egg Platter which includes; 3 eggs, 7 perogies and Bavarian or Chorizo sausage and toast.

Perogy & Egg Big Breakfast

With the 1 p.m. timing of our breakfast, I devoured this treat with gusto, save for two perogys and 1/2 an egg.  Certainly, not the basis of a healthy lifestyle but a reasonable twice-a-year meal for an omnivorous runner with no family history of heart disease.  And there is something to be said for insulating layers of fat when living at minus 26 Celsius.

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