Sunday, 14 February 2010

Thousands of people...

...joined us yesterday as we skated along the Rideau Canal.   For the past forty years, Ottawa has celebrated winter with an outdoor winter festival called Winterlude.

It kicked off last weekend but since I was already busy with volunteering at the Pretzel cross country ski rally it was decided a group of us would get together yesterday.  Who knew there would be sooooo many people!!!!

And what amazed me more was that the four of us, coming in different cars from different directions were able to find one another at our exact meeting spot and on time!  Traffic was backed up for miles and there were road closures to maneuver around...but we did it and without incident.   Way to go Girls!!!


We walked over to Dows Lake where there is a pavilion which houses two or three restaurants (Malones and Lago) and most importantly, wash-rooms.  After volunteering at the Hypothermic Half Marathon, I've paid my dues using a port-a-pottie in winter.  So we sneaked into one of the restaurants restrooms, got ourselves bundled up and headed out to the ice.

I haven't skated in years so needless to say I was nervous to get onto the ice and go.  My greatest fear was falling on my knee, so I took it very slowly at first.
Leaving the pavilion area on Dows Lake we skated up towards the canal skating past the outdoor rinks that were hosting The Beaver Cup Pond Hockey tournament.  They were is full flight as we skated past, local radio stations were broadcasting as well as participating.  It looked like an absolute riot, 4 on 4 hockey, the way it was meant to be played ~ outdoors and on a pond.

As we made our way towards downtown Ottawa, we had to dodge kids, the occasional dog on a leash and sleighs on ice blades.  It's a happening spot, there are outdoor café's on the ice, huts set up for putting your skates on or just for resting and of course the world famous huts selling Beavertails and hot chocolate!

It was a great skate until we turned around to head back.  The wind had picked up and it was snowing.  Anyone who knows me, whether it is running, cycling and now skating into a head on cold wind, I just hate it.   Needless to say the workout skating back was hard!!  There were times it felt as if we weren't moving forward at all, but we made it!

Thanks girlfriends!


I'm finding winter more tolerable this year, just being able to do other activities other than running and not being committed to a particular race early in the season has been the cure for me.  Between cross country skiing, snow-shoeing and now skating, winter is my friend.  (did I just say that?)


Getting out and cross-training is keeping me fit, full of energy, healthy of mind and body and most importantly young at heart!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Lily

20 comments:

Wendy said...

Glad you got out to celebrate Winterlude. Next time, beavertails and hot chocolate!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Bert said...

Now that looks like a fun day! Glad to see the Rideau Canal can support that many people at the same time...

prairierunner said...

Glad to hear someone actually "likes" winter.

Anne said...

Sounds like an overall wonderful girlfriends' day! I really love skating outdoors...although I hate the wind also!!
I think it's a great idea to do a bunch of other sports in the winter (and summer)...once I have my first full year of running under my belt, I want to be sure to do that :)

Anne said...

I'd be so nervous all those people would crack the canal ice. As others have said already, it look like a lot of fun too. Glad to see those new skates already coming in handy.

teacherwoman said...

Winterlude sounds like fun! Great pictures!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kim said...

Wow! Sounds amazing!! So fun!

Lisa said...

looks like fun! way to put those new skates to good use!

MarieA said...

If we go out this week we're getting the beaver tails. Garlic and cheese please! If only they sold wine with them it would be perfect.
Looks like it was great fun. Beware,. I don't know how to stop on skates... we could end up at the Chateau Laurier!

Vickie said...

What a fun time! If you have to live through winter, what better way to do it?

Alexandra said...

WOW! What an amazing time you had with your girlfriends! I love the photos, you all look so happy and healthy with your rosy cheeks! There was a story on our news last night showing what it looked like there yesterday afternoon. I was looking for you but there were so many people.

Nice to know you are finding ways to enjoy winter!

bluecolnago said...

that sounds like a great time! woohoo! :)

Alexandra said...

Your comment is on my olympic post! I just double checked! That is how I knew you were skating yesterday! So no need to dang blogger!

Runner Leana said...

Sounds like a terrific day...despite the skating into the wind. It looks amazing out there! I agree, I think all of these winter sports really helps to make the cold weather a lot more fun!

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

Sounds like a great way to celebrate winter - I love your pictures and the fact that you have finally figured out a way to be friends with the season! (I don't think I am there quite yet!)

Julie said...

Hi Lily,
I love your pictures!! It looks like a day packed with fun:) I also have not skated in years but would love to try it again. I would probably be afraid of falling and hurting myself too:) I hope that you have a great week Lily!!

Anne said...

I just sent you some "sunshine" on my blog!

Wes said...

Sounds like a wintery blast! Way to get'er done :-)

ShirleyPerly said...

I remember seeing a photo of that canal before on Wendy's blog (or a link to it). I can't skate worth a darn but it sure does look like fun festival!