After spending each day absorbing work related information, I was eager to get outside. Unfortunately, Monday and Tuesday brought on a horrible sinus infection (it had been coming on for some time - I just chose to ignore it until my teeth started to hurt). I ended up on antibiotics and had to spend my leisure time resting. It wasn't too bad considering the temperatures dropped to -30 windchill. I did manage a couple shorter easy runs during the week which took me on an interesting tour of Helena's not so finest areas.
On Friday, I was "released" early and headed to the park again for a long workout. The run started out beautiful - sun shining, warm temperatures, no wind. This time, I took the Prairie Trail up and around the mountain to the West End and Backside trails. With all the new snow and high winds we'd had earlier in the week, it was a game just trying to locate the trails. At some point along the Backside trail, I came across a section that was completely covered by snow. I tried to navigate it, but the snow came up past my knees. At this point, I was getting tired, and even with snow gear, I feared getting wet with a lot of traveling yet to do, so I turned back. On the way back, I wanted to take the Ambrose trail around to the car. I ended up on the Swaney trail, which takes you down to another parking area. By this time, the clouds were rolling in and the wind had picked up. Instead of going back up, I ran on roads for another 45 minutes until I reached my car. I ended up getting a 2:15 workout, and was exhausted. I was reminded again of how unpredictable weather can be, especially at above 5,000 feet. The following pictures are from my car at the end of my run - dark clouds, wind and blowing snow.
Double click on each picture if you want to experience the weather more clearly!