It was already 9:00 pm and we had just finished celebrating a new BC holiday called family day. We went to a friends house and had a wonderful time around their fire pit roasting weenies and making smores. I hadn't planned on the fire pit outing and so it displaced the time I had set a side to run. On the drive home I debated whether to run or not. Once I arrived at the house I knew I would regret if I didn't get my run in so I put on my gear, grabbed my headlamp, and headed out the door.
It had rained earlier in the day almost spoiling our campfire but the rain had abated and the clouds dispersed. I chose to run part of the chip trail that circumnavigates the UVic campus but then to summit a small hill nearby called Mount Tolmie. Somewhere in the woods an owl hooted in that deep penetrating hoot that fills the forest, making an eerie seen as I ran through the darkness. Any time I run in Victoria at night my mind always wanders to the many cougar sightings that crop up every year. This night was no different but it didn't really frighten me, more of a heightening of my senses. I exited the forest and ran toward Mount Tolmie.
The little hill is by no means impressive or challenging in the way that the Rockies or many western mountain ranges are but it does get your blood pumping and it is easy to make many repeats to gain some hill training fitness as well. This night was just going to be one single summit and a return home. The stars began to blaze through the lifting clouds on my final approach to the summit and after coming up over the crest of the final hill I was completely surrounded by the warm glow of street lamps and houses and the scintillant haze of downtown on the horizon. Mount Doug was back lit showing it's distinctive silhouette against the partly cloudy sky. I was extremely pleased I gutted it out and got my run in. Many times it is when I am the most conflicted whether to run or not that I am usually rewarded the most for not giving into that voice in the back of my mind. This run was truly a jewel in my early training year and I was rewarded with an inspiring view few people are able to see because they are busy living their lives and can't motivate themselves to explore and enjoy the world around them.
The return trip went as smoothly as I could have hoped for and I made it to my house where I cleaned up and slept the sleep of the training runner.
My headlamp can be seen bouncing down the chip trail on this long exposure shot (top). On the summit of Mount Tolmie with part of the city lit up behind me (middle). Mount Doug back lit showing its silhouette (bottom).