I've been up training at Mt. Washington, BC for the past 2 weeks. We've had a truckload of snow (2 metres in 24 hours at one point), about 5 metres in fact, and a wicked streak of sunshine between Christmas and New Years. It was hard to decide what to do up here - run with yak trax, snowshoe run, xc ski, classic or skate, downhill ski....and when to take a rest from it all with a steaming mug of hot chocolate in hand and lose continuously in Monopoly.
Running and training on a mountain is fun - but it is also hard. There are no flats, no pavement, no stopping in case you get too chilled, wishing you didn't forget your clear lenses as snow darts into your eyes, effort that totally outweighs pace...but in the end, it is beautiful and it more than makes up for it all.
I've had days up here where I've felt invincible and crazy strong, and other days where I just felt beaten down by this snowy terrain. I've been gasping for breath at the top of totally silent and abandoned hills, and I've gone flying downhill kicking snow over and in front of me with my snowshoes. It's so different from the usual routine. I even hit the back of my head yesterday with a self-created snowshoe snowball.
You need balance and respect for this world up here.
I feel very lucky to have had a great holiday break with family and friends. I'm also happy to be moving on to a new routine and new goals, but I'm certainly going to miss the mountain when I leave.