We took our final vacation week for the year to line up with the run I have been training for for the past 7 months. We drove out to BC to visit my parents and my 97 yr old Mormor, and then back to Banff for Saturday’s race.
Here are some brief glimpses from along the way.
At the Mount Robson Interpretive center. There is a beautiful 1/2 km hike around a meadow which is surrounded on all sides by the mountain peaks in this photo. Every 50 metres or so there are information posts with all variety of information on the history, biology and culture of the surrounding areas. After we read and explored for 20 minutes here, Elijah spent the next week interpreting all of the different stages of Mountain Pine Beetle devastation we saw through the mountains.
Little Miss turned five while we were in Oliver as well. My family lives pretty far from us, so we don’t often get to celebrate things like birthdays together. It was nice to have a milestone to share with them.
India, you continue to make us laugh and love harder and stronger every day. You are filled with power and passion, and you don’t let anything get in your way. Your smile and the sparkle of life in your eyes is an inspiration to each of us to grab hold of each moment and live it fully. Thank you for who you are in the world, and for the richness and joy you bring to our days.
Elijah is learning to use our camera, and quite enjoys taking pictures. This family shot was taken by him, as a way of testing out the delayed shot. It’s rare for us to have a picture of our family all together, as one of us is usually behind the camera.
On the way home we stopped at the Vernon Science Center (and it was free because we have Edmonton World of Science memberships!). There was a really cool flight simulator in the cockpit of a real airplane, which all three of the kids (and the dad) spent some time exploring.
After a marathon drive to Banff from Oliver, it was time for the real marathon to begin. My beautiful friend Gretchen came to run 22 km in the mountains with me, and brought along her husband Andrew and our friend Laureen as well. My sister and her family drove out to Banff to cheer us on.
Saturday morning dawned clear and bright, the sun (thank-you sun) shining. The wind was strong, but with the fall colors spinning vivid bands of gold against the background of the Rocky Mountains, it was time to celebrate all of the hard work and RUN.
Notice the little “mom” written in chalk in the heart. The only word India can write independently besides her own name. I would have teared up but by this point (around km 16) I was too tired. For the record, chalk encouragement on the road is really cool. When Gretchen and I saw our names on the pavement, it gave us that little extra bit of power to our step.
We ran through forest, along golf course green, and down the amazing blue green river. Past the smelly hot springs and through gold and green fall beauty. We finished. 22 k. 6 years ago I couldn’t walk around the block without being in excruciating pain. This was a moment for me of victory. And in an unprecedented moment of blog honesty, I’ll tell you I almost didn’t post this picture because I don’t like the way my chin looks and my hair is fluffy and my thighs stick out funny from the bottom of my shorts….but you know what? Forget it. I’m tired of trying to be what I’m not. So I have fluffy hair and a saggy chin. And….gasp!… floppy thighs. And I overcame all of that insecurity and ran a half marathon. Ultimately, every run was a decision. A moment to choose life over death, health over sloth, and challenge over taking the easy way out.
I wonder what my next challenge will be? I wonder what yours will be?