Monday, December 12, 2011


I suppose being afraid of the dark is a fear that was instilled in our childhood. The lights go out and the creeps come out...right?

Usually when I get off work it's dark out and I have been getting in my workouts in the morning but somedays that is not an option. I have been avoiding the trails due to lack of sunlight and I've been missing them so much. It's already 'unsafe' to run alone in the trails, which I do 99% of the time, but there's something about being alone and in the dark that has juust got me spooked. I decided last thursday that I was going to get out after work for a nightime adventure in the mountains to prove to myself that it's not that bad and theres nothing to be afraid of. Of course, I have run on the trails at night a few times, both accompanied however.

I figured I would start with the Grouse Grind. I have done it with Peter in the dark before, thus it was somewhat familiar and I would be hiking versus running. There would also be tons of people at the top because nightime skiing is open. I packed my bag, with headlamp, and drove up to the base of the Mtn. I decided not to bring music as I sometimes do in the daytime because I wanted to be able to hear what was going on around me. Looking back, maybe it would have been better if I didn't. There were many times when I thought I heard something or someone and turned around to see what was behind me. Of course, there was no sign of anything or anyone so I pushed on. I was surprised how it seemed to go by so fast. All was good until I saw this glob of what looked like blood in the snow. I am not talking like a dime size glob, I am talking like a small fist full. Hmm, that one shook me a bit. Why was that there? Why was there no signs of anymore? Weird!

I continued on, my heart pounding a little bit more with each step but eventually I forgot about it. I had hit the snow point and put my yak trax on my feet to prevent me from slipping and sliding around. Normally, the Grouse grind is an extremely popular hike, for locals and tourists, but tonight, there was not a soul (except me!). I had hit the 3/4 mark and was getting psyched to be around people once again, until I saw another blood globue! Really, another one???? Come on! At this point, I didn't stop to ponder this one, I just simply pushed my body as fast as it could to the top.

In the end, I made it safe and sound, feeling a little bit braver than the day before. There's a saying that we should do something everyday that scares us. Well, I may not do something everyday but I am counting this!

See you in the trails!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


The sun is shining and the snow in the mountains is abundant (I wrote this post over a week ago). Today, I had the entire day to myself. No work and no friends to play with, so I had the opportunity to create my very own solo adventure. As of late, Peter and I have been hiking the BCMC a few times a week, usually in the morning before work. I know snowshoeing trails exist up there but have never taken the time to explore. I am sure it's not a whole lot different then when I hike around in the summertime but when everything is covered in snow, the terrain just looks different.

I strapped my snowshoes to my pack and started my hike up the Grind to the top. I only saw 2 others on the trail today and one of them must have been in his 80's, very impresive. Once at the chalet I asked en employee about the trails and he gave me the scoop. There is a trail called the Snowshoe Grind trail (SSG) which essentially takes you to Dam Mountain. You can purchase a chip if you want and you can scan it just outside the chalet and upon your return. There is nothing to scan on Dam Mtn, they just go by the honor system.

The trails were easy to find and within no time I was on the top of Dam, eating my lunch in pure bliss. The sun was shining directly on me and I stayed warm and toasty. A fellow was telling me about Thunderbird Ridge, somewhere I had never been. It wasn't to far of a detour so I checked that one off as well. If you are looking to snowshoe to a location more private, Thunderbird Ridge would be it. There were 3 ladies eating lunch and boy did they pack well (i.e- Baileys, banana bread, chocolate santas!). I took a picture of them and then was back on my way to the chalet. Getting to descend (run) downhill back to the chalet was by far the best part.

Grouse was just a zoo today. I couldn't beleive how many cars there were and how many people were at the top. However, where I went was relativily quiet. Can't wait for more adventures soon!

On another note, I have been running lot's but can't say I am really in training mode. Most runs are no longer than an hour before or after 8-11 hours of work. I prefer to go before work as that is when I am the most fresh. After being on my feet for so long, all I want to do is sit down! I am also doing the BCMC 2-3 times a week and strength training, climbing and doing yoga when I can fit them in. So, I am staying active and getting in a good mix of everything.

I was planning on doing some travelling (to New Zealand) at the beginning of the new year but plans changed slightly. I got another job working full-time at MEC (Mountain Equipment co-op) and am trying to juggle that with my personal training/run coaching/lactate balance point testing. It's the busiest I have been for a while but to be honest, I am loving it. I just function better as a busy person. I also appreciate the downtime more. So with all that said, I am going to focus on saving some money and look to head over to Europe in the summer months to explore the mountains, eat delicious food, and hopefully run UTMB (pending I get selected from the lottery).

See you out there!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I must warn you, this is not a typical running post, but more of an introduction to something fun I have been doing every Christmas season (yes, were already getting into Christmas time) for the past 3 years.

My boyfriend Peter has 2 older sisters, Kathleen and Angela. Both of them are awesome. Angela, this middle child, is not only an amazing elementary school teacher, but she is also an award winning scrapbooker. Right in her own home, she hosts dozens of card making classes per year but the one I go to is called 'stamp a stack'. For $15-20 bucks, I get to make 5 copies of 3 different cards that she has hand created, all Christmas theme. In the end, I leave with 15 handmade cards of which I am so proud of.

For me, this is a pretty tedious task and it takes a lot of concentration. I have never actually been diagnosed with ADD but I am pretty sure deep down, I must have a mild form ha! I am always the last to leave and I am not sure how because I am working as fast as I can. The class goes from 7pm-10pm and the time simply flies by!

You can check out her blog HERE
which I highly recommend!!! The cards she produces are just unreal. I have always hand made my own birthday and christmas cards, ever since I was a little girl, and it's fun to keep that tradition going with a more professional look (not that printer paper and pencil crayons is unprofessional!).

On a running note, I have taken the last 4 days off since the 50 miler. My left hamstring is a bit tight and was so during the race. I am running with a client tomorrow so that will be a good test.

See you in the trails!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Whistler 50 mile Race Report!

haha, I sit here and laugh because it has been forever since I have done a race longer than 50km. In fact, Western States 100 in June of 2010 was my last long race. This year has been a bit interesting as far as my running is concerned and I have had to DNF, due to ankle injuries, more than I would like. It's felt as though I had DNF'd more races this year than completed so I was more than excited crossing the finish line at the Whistler 50 miler this past Saturday!

The decision to race was very last minute (weekend before). I tapered for a week and felt pretty well rested overall. I knew going into it that it would challenge me mentally due to the course being 4 x 20km loops but also challenge me physically because it's a relatively flat course, with the majority on pavement. I like to run. I like to get into a flow. Flatter courses let me do that!

I woke up at 3:45, got ready, ate breaky, and left my hotel at 5:40am for the 6am start. My hotel was literally a 2 minute walk to the conference center where the race debriefing was. However, I had a mini panic attack because I was a bit lost. I was told to take 2 rights from outside the hotel lobby doors, but that found me at the Hilton, not the conference center. With a little surge of adrenaline, I ran into some guys who were working the race and they steered me in the right direction. Within minutes we were lined up outside and away we went!

It was pitch black and we ran the entire first loop in the dark. I was roughly 7 minutes behind Jen Segger after the first loop. She set out at an obviously faster pace at which I was not willing to match. Having not run an ultra in quite some time, I was more focused on starting out comfortable, as my main goal was to FINISH this one! However, I was willing to let the competetive spark come alive if that's what it felt like doing. I only had a couple little navigation hiccups in that first loop but overall it was pretty well marked with glowsticks and cones. My only complaint is that the aid stations were not set up with food yet. I actually did not have any food on me as I had planned to feed off the aid stations and after 90 minutes of no food, I started to get worried...and hungry! The temperature was below zero and I didn't find myself feeling all that thirsty and drank way less water than normal.

The second loop was awesome because it was now light out and it was as though I was running a whole new loop! The frost on the ground was stunning and the snow on the mountains took my breath away. Snow covered a few trails in lost lake portion but it was not slick and the footing was great. There were so many volunteers who stood out in the cold for hours and I tried to thank each and every one. The relay teams started at 8am and at this point there were tons of them waiting at the exchange stations. They always cheered us solo ultra runners on everytime we came past and I have to admit, it was pretty cool!

The 3rd loop: THE TRAIN! A few miles into the 3rd loop, I noticed Jen and a few others waiting with a volunteer Marshal. My first thought was, did she drop out (not something Jen is known for)? But then I quickly noticed the train that had come to a complete stop, blocking our running path. She had already been there for 10 minutes and was starting to get really cold. I offered her some of my water as she said she was getting thirsty. A bunch of people caught up at this point. I took this opportunity to stretch out and tried to keep moving. After 12 minutes of waiting there, they finally got the train going. Jen had been there a total of 22 minutes! On a cold day, stopping for that long is not ideal.

I managed to keep warm that entire time and quickly passed Jen shortly after crossing the tracks. I wasn't really into racing today and tried to maintain a steady comfortably fast pace, however, I think I was running the fastest I had been all day and I am sure it was just a rush from now being up front. I can't say I enjoyed being up front all that much. When I was behind, I was so content just doing my thing and listening to my tunes. Now, all I could focus on was Jen and where she was and if she'd catch me. My IT-Band started to flare up, something I had been worried about coming into this race but after I stopped for a minute to stretch it, it seemed to be fine. Muscle discomfort came and went on this lap. At one point my ankle was tight but then my left hamstring got tight and I forgot all about my ankle. This pattern changed around all day. It's interesting how this happens. All I kept thinking to myself was, 'Ellie Greenwood gets tight hamstrings and quads in races, but she still rocks on, you can get through this'.

Loop 4 was by far the most challenging. I just could not maintain the speed I had for the first 3 loops and everything just got tight. My stomach turned off and I couldn't eat gels like I had been in the beginning. Everything else I had been consuming (Cliff shot blocks) were too hard to eat because it was so cold out. I turned to coke and just survived on that for the last 10-15km. My calves started to cramp up pretty bad as well, bringing me to a screeching hault on many occasions. Thank goodness I had packed salt pills in my drop bag as they saved my butt a few times in that last loop. I know part of my problem was that I didn't take in many electrolytes in the first 4 hours. I was filling my water bottle up with water that had Elete (liquid sodium) in it but due to my lack of taking in fluids, I wasn't getting that much.

I managed to keep it together, plugging away the miles, even though I felt like I was moving at a snails pace. It took energy to smile, whereas before it was just written all over my face. In the end, I crossed the line in a time of 6:48 (actual time is 6:36 because of the 12 min at the train). Although I was the first female to cross the line, Jen won the event because she was waiting at the train for 10 extra minutes than myself. I had only made up about 4 minutes on her in those last 1.5 loops. I have to laugh though because I went up to her after she crossed the line stating how sorry I was that she was stopped for so long at the train. I told her she probably would have won if it weren't for that. I was so clueless!!! Of course they would deduct the time spent waiting...why didn't I think of that? The whole time I was running I thought I was winning. makes me laugh.

In the end, winning was not the prize I was searching for that day, so I was still overjoyed with my accomplishment. I am happy I entered. I am happy I finished. I am happy I pushed myself to a 2nd place finish. My aunt and uncle even came out to see me (thanks guys). Thank goodness for them because they helped me hobble back to my hotel room!

I just want to thank the RD and everyone else who helped make this event a success. The after party was awesome and I somehow managed to dance the night away in my less than functional state.

Next up: Deception pass 25 or 50km...TBD.

See you in the trails...which will hopefully be covered in a beautiful pillowy smooth layer of snow soon!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A few months ago, I was lingering on signing up for the Whistler 50 miler, taking place in Whistler this coming Saturday. After 4 hours of running a few weeks back, I was reduced to a walk due to some ITB tightness. This left me a little uncertain to whether or not I would be able to run 50 miles shortly thereafter. So, I ran the next week and the next week with no sign of any ITb discomfort and decided to sign up for the race very last minute. Package pick-up was hapenning at the Running Room on Denman last weekend, so naturally, I put on my runners and ran my butt over the Lions Gate Bridge to the store. I stuffed the hoodie and the rest of the goods in my backpack and ran back home. What a great way to get a workout in!

(The current weather conditions in Whistler as of Wednesday afternoon!)

So it's official, I am racing the Whistler 50 mile race this weekend. The weather looks to be pretty good on Saturday, even though it snowed there today! I am prepping my Shaby Chic look (thanks Kristen for the ispiration) and am excited for race day. The Whistler 50 is the new version of the classic Haney to Harison event. Instead of the 100km distance that it used to be, they downsized the race to 80km. Also, it is no longer a point to point but rather 4 loops of 20km. There is little elevation gain and loss and the majority of it is on paved road...should be fun! haha

Due to my ankle injury this past June/July, I have been doing a bunch of flat trail and road running so I am definetly up to the mundane task of 20km repeats! All in all, it should be a fun day no matter what the weather or terrain because this day is all about running, having fun, and hanging out with good people.

See you out there!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Last Tuesday was an epically nice day! I knew that THIS DAY was a special one and had to be taken advantage of. Peter and I try and get out hiking on the Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT) every year for our anniversary, however, we failed to do it last year and I was eager to get it in before the snowfall. We normally run/hike the HSCT from Start (Cypress) to finish (Porteau Cove) however, this year we decided to switch things up bit.

(This was cool, the tree had grown over the that's what I call secure!)

(hiking the trail en route to the summit of Harvey)

(On the summit of Mt. Harvey)

We began our adventure in Lions Bay with a steep ascent up towards Mt. Harvey. This was a crazy steep trail, in fact, if the trail were any steeper we'd be climbing! We hiked steadily for 2.5 hours before we reached the summit. Trust me when I say that the uphill challenge was worth it. The view of Howe Sound and the surrounding area was magnificant. I never seem to bore of this landscape.

(The highest peak is the one we did, the smaller one is called Harvey's Pup!)

From there, we descended steeply towards the HSCT. It was a bit chilly up top and the footing was a little frosty, thus we were midful of every step, as falling would not be ideal (if you know what I mean). From there we stopped for a snack at the Magnesia Meadows Hut, which was built in 2008 by a group of West Van High Secondary school students. There was a Journal inside and we wrote a little blurb about our day and read over some of the others from days/months previous.

They day was so stunning that it was hard not to want to linger in the sunshine. However, I had somewhere to be at 6:30pm so we kept walking gingerly along. Normally, we run these trails (where running is an option), however, today, we hiked and simply enjoyed and soaked in the surroundings. We then descended down towards Deeks Lake. The colour of the lakes were not as turquoise as they are in the summer but still beautiful nonetheless. The last time we ran this trail we were with a group of friends (september 09') and we all stopped to jump in the lake to cool off. But today, the lakes were covered with a layer of thin ice and I was content just imagining what it would have felt like.

Before long we were on the long, wet, and slippery descent down towards Porteau Cove. We arrived there 8 hours after we began (a whole work day!). It felt so awesome to be outside for the entire day. And the kicker was that it snowed up there the next day!!!!! For some reason, that made my decision to seize the day even sweeter.

(There was still lot's of snow left over from last winter!)

I was pretty bagged after that hike, but I lead a Tuesday night Speed work session for the Mountain Madness trail clinic. Good thing I am the coach and I can make-up whatever workout I want. That day we did 10 x 1 min intervals. Short and sweet but effective! I was surprised how much pep I had left in my step after being on my feet all day.

(Funny faces!)

I have had so many great memories on the HSCT and look forward to many more to come! If you love mountain running and enjoy great adventures, this is a trail not to be missed. Allow 6 (fast)- 8+ hours to run/hike it. Prime months to run this trail is August, Sept, and/or October.

Next race up is either the Whistler 50 mile and/or Deception Pass 50km.

See you in the trails!

(All Photos were taken by Peter Watson)

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I wanted to run to Squamish today (from north van). I have wanted to all year. However, this morning I woke up and wasn't really feeling it but ignored that feeling and went anyways. I ran all the way along the highway before reaching Nelson Creek parking lot (aka. the start of the knee knacker). I stopped here and all I could think about was how badly I wish I had trail runners on and some more supplies, so I could go for a nice hike/run in the mountains. So, I turned around and ran to Dundarave and had an amazing turkey cranberry sandwich from the Bakehouse with no regrets of changing my plans.

Sometimes, you have to listen to that voice in your head that's telling you that your just not up for your planned adventure today. However, I have made plans to run the first half of Knee Knacker tomorrow!!!

PS- highway running is not the most inspiring! But I will get this goal done sooner or later.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I received a text message from a good friend of mine today, explaining that he was thinking of NOT doing a race he had in mind this coming Sunday. This race is 21.2km and last weekend we blazed 17km of the course.

I asked him simply, why? He answered with, "Don't feel ready. Didn't run all week".

I replied, stating that he was more than ready, considering how well he did at he 17km training run last weekend. Not to mention, he clearly has had one awesome taper! He agreed, but was afraid he wouldn't beat his last time.

Now, this line is all to familiar to me. I often get a little nervous and scared by the thoughts of not being fit enough to beat my previous times. And I don't always look forward to the anticipated amount of "hurt" it will require to put forth such an effort to beat said time. But, this year especially, I have read enough blogs/quotes to understand that this is all just faulty thinking.

Some years, we are going to be in wicked shape, and some we're not. Our fitness will ebb and flow throughout life depending on what is going on. We can't expect to beat our times every year. But, I can guarantee that every race experience will be different, new and exciting, no matter how many times you have competed at the same event.

So, here is to just GOING FOR IT! You never know, you might surprise yourself.

See you in the trails!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


(Dad taking photos on summit of Crown)

One of the things I have come to look forward to every Summer/Spring, are hikes with my Dad. He seems to have a list of hikes he'd like to tick off in the upcoming years and this year, summiting Crown Mountain was high up on the list.

We had organized ourselves to do this hike a month or so ago but the weather turned out to be significantly overcast that day and thus we bailed. However, I could tell the heartache that came over my dad that day because I am not sure if he thought it was ever going to happen.

Last weekend was epic in terms of weather and the forecast on Sunday was calling for a bluebird day. Peter made the suggestion to call up my dad and to go head up Crown. 'Great idea', I thought and bada bing bada boom, it was confirmed. We decided to take the Gondola up and then hike from there. It sort of felt like cheating but I got over that pretty quickly. We headed up and summited Dam Mountain before dropping into the top of Hanes Pass. From there you quickly link onto the trail which takes you up towards Crown. It took us roughly 45 minutes to get near the summit and before we did, we detoured around it and scrambled down towards the Camel.

We were the only one's (except for 2 climbers who were making their way up) at the base of the Camel. The sun was shining perfectly on us and it made for a great spot to lay down and close the eyes. After a while we made our way back up and summited Crown. There were approx. 6-7 people at the summit, one being an 80 year old man (he showed my dad his I.D as proof!) who was fit as a whistle. Of course, he was wearing jeans and didnt carry any water with him, but he has hiked the Lions 37 times!

After some snacks and some photos we made our way back towards Grouse. There wasn't any snow on the trail but it was frosty and there were patches of ice in sections. I guess it is that time of year! We stopped in at Altitudes Bistro for a beer and some fondue fries (yum!) before making our way back to the car. The wait however for the gondola was over 2 hours so we decided to hike down. This must be why my quads and calves are still sore 3 days later!

(Drinks at Altitudes Bistro)

Epic day, amazing company, and an awesome way to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon. This hike is super fun and spectacularly beautiful and it comes highly recommended.

See you in the trails!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I have been a 'chilly peppers' (Red Hot Chili Peppers) fan since since the tender age of 15/16. It was their 'Californication' album that came out in 2000 that really got me hooked. I don't know exactly what it is about the chili's that I am drawn to, but I think in the end, it must be a combination of their super funk style, creativeness, and sound. At that time I became pretty obsessed with the band and had a major crush on the lead singer, Anthony Kiedis.

I watched (and taped) all their interviews on Much Music and I went out and baught almost every single one of their albums. I have also since, seem them 4 times in concert, have even stood front row, and own 2 pairs of Red Hot Chili Pepper underwear I baught at the first show I attended. I would just like to ad that I no longer own them, too bad.

Again, I don't know what it is about them that draws me in, but whenever I listen to their music, while in the car or on the run, I am willed to move.

They recently came out with a new album called "I'm with you" and I love it. I am sure Peter is starting to get sick of it since I play it in the car all the time but so far he's been a good sport about it. It makes for awesome running music and I highly recommend it to everyone!

I will leave you with their newest song and video release, called The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie. Just click on the title.

So now I must ask you...

What music moves you on the run?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Smith Rock and City of Rocks

At some point, earlier this year, Peter and I decided to go on a fall vacation for roughly 10-14 days. However, the location(s) of said trip had changed numerous times. At the beginning, we had flirted with fast packing the John Muir trail but that idea was quickly forgotten. Eventually, this trip turned into a climbing extravaganza. The weather in all the places we wanted to go were looking good, but only for days at a time and thus we were left to just head out and chase the sun.

Our first stop was the always beautiful Smith Rock, which located 30 miles north of Bend, OR. If you have never been here, you NEED to put it on the list. Not only is it a world class climbing destination, the running here is awesome. This is our 4th trip here in 4 years, 3 of which were in 2011. Every time I am here, life just feels right. Words can’t describe how amazing this place is. CHECK IT OUT!

On our second time in Smith, at the end of a long climbing day, we ran into 3 guys who were finishing up a run. I started chatting with them about their chosen route for the day as it was clear they had been on a longer run. I was pretty unfamiliar with the place at this point and could not remember what they had said but what I learned from them was that there was more running to be had than what I originally had thought. On our next few trips I have kept my eyes out for possible running routes and have always noticed this rocky undulating ridge (see pic below) to the right of the park, on the north side of the river. Peter and I finally pulled out a map and figured out the link up and ran it the next day.

We finished off the afternoon with a stellar multi-pitch, called Sky Ridge, which gave us all the exposure and views we were looking for. After repelling down 3 pitches of climbing, we stood, simply hanging out at the base of the rappel. There was another couple rapping down and as we stood there chatting, one of them yelled something, which just sounded like noise. It wasn’t until we heard a big loud thump right next to us that we realized they were yelling “ROCK!” That incident really made me think about the risks of this sport (we were wearing helmets!). Had that rock been a little bit more to the right or left, some serious damage could have been inflicted. It’s good to have friendly reminders like that to keep you in check and remind us that were not invincible.

After waking up this morning we decided to head over to City of Rocks, which is near Twin Falls Idaho. The drive along HWY 26, has been beautiful and I wish we could just live like this for a while. So simple.

After many hours of driving, I needed to get out for a run! I needed to shake out the legs from sitting for so long. We parked the car at Boise State University and went for a nice run along the river. I guess a football game had just finished because there were hundreds of people wearing their Blue and Orange Bronco's shirts. It was nice to be outside and I even found myself in the midst of a little race with a local girl. I had passed her early on (on the way out) without too much effort and within minutes I could hear the heavy breath of someone behind me (it was her!). Not wanting to relinquish my position, I increased the pace, wanting to make her work a little harder if she wanted to keep up. This made the rest of the run a little exciting because I now had something to focus on. After a while, the sound of her breathing had seized and I suppose she had fallen back a bit. I had to turn around because I was just doing an out and back and as I went by her in the opposing direction, I gave a wave and a smile and she did the same, thanking me for the push.

We spent the night at the Twin Falls Motel 6 and had a lovely dinner at Applebees. I wasn't expecting much from the menu that had way too many choices for this indecisive soul but I managed to find something that tasted great! The next morning we set off for City of Rocks and a few hours later we were in one of the coolest places I have stepped foot in. Seriously, it's as though someone dropped blobs of rock from the sky into the middle of nowhere for us all to enjoy.

We spent that day climbing at one particular crag. There were heaps of cattle close by and all you could hear were the groans and moans of cows. I found it quite humerus because here we were, in what seemed like the most calm, peaceful, deserted place and the sound of the cows was so powerful. Luckily, not every crag was near cattle and you in fact could climb in peace, however, I embrace all sounds of nature!

We were pretty bang on arriving on a Sunday because all the weekend traffic vanished. Crag's that were littered with people earlier in the day were now without a soul. It was simply splendid. After dinner that night we went and climbed some more at a crag that was no more than a 5 minute walk from our campsite. The approaches to most of the crag's are short.

We climbed a half day the next day as our muscles were a tad sore. We went into town to grab some food, but the selection in the small shops was pretty bleak. If you go there, make sure to grab your own produce before hand because most of the shops just carry the essentials. We also had a great lunch at the local Bar and Grill (forget the name) where pints were only $2.45! The weather was looking pretty ugly and we only made it out for one last climb that day. The wind was pretty intense at times and raindrops were coming and going as Peter lead the way up. At one point, the wind was so strong that it blew off his favourite hat, which he got in a case of Bowen Island beer (I already emailed them, they have no more).

Sadly, it rained all night long and with the weather turning, we headed back to North Van early. I can't wait to come back to this place. I have never seen anything like it. There is something about the simple camping, road trip lifestyle that just works for me. I hate commuting it's true, but when I get to explore and see new roads, cities, and states, it get's me excited and time just seems to fly by. I eat simple foods, which is a nice change because there are so many options when living in the city. While camping, I seem to be able to eat PB&J for lunch everyday and it's delicious every time. But back home, I feel the need to be more creative just because I can. And lastly, the quality time you get to spend with your loved one (or friends) is so valuable. Whether it's simply sitting by a fire or playing a game of travel scrabble, the time spent together is so memorable.

See you in the trails!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Waldo 100 km - DNF!

I'm starting to think that there is a connection with me DNF'ing + 100 km distance + races that start with the letter "W"?

No in all honesty, the reason I DNF'd is simple yet multifaceted but here is the long/short of it.

Since injuring my ankle 7 weeks ago, my training has been less than stellar. I haven't been able to do much downhill at all instead have been more focusing on just being able to run (for my own sanity). Normally, I tailor my training towards the race I am doing and in this case that would have involved a lot more climbing and descending as well as many more miles on my feet.

My decision leading up to the race was a bit blurred. Given the above circumstances, I was unsure whether I should race at all. I continued to train, pain free, as best I could. I went to physio the Tuesday of race week, and my physio decided that although she wouldn't say "don't race", she implied that it would be best if I didn't. I think she was more worried that I may compensate for my ankle and injure something else.

Obviously, the last thing anyone wants is to be injured. Having been injured in the past, nothing is worse then being sidelined, especially in summer. However, I had been feeling really good, in terms of the ankle, and what not, just not as fit as I would like to be. Regardless, there was a brief moment where I decided not to race. Needless to say, that was very short lived. As bad as this sounds, I really was gunning for another WS100 spot and I read that Amy Sproston had dropped, due to making the USA World Cup 100km Team. She was definitely someone I was going to be chasing and the fact that she withdrew from the race played heavily on my mind. Looking back, I can now see how extrinsically motivated this is and it's easy to get fixated on something like this which can ruin the experience of racing and being in the mountains.

In the end, I figured, what do I have to lose? I can always drop if my body goes haywire. I have seen too many under-trained runners tow the line and pull off amazing results, anything was possible. I HAD to try. I think I would REGRET not trying. So, I departed North Van with my friend Chris Downie, and we drove half way and slept in a motel for the night. The next day, we drove the rest of the way to Oakridge. Oakridge is a cute small town of about 3000 people and apparently it is the Mountain Biking capital of the NW. We stayed at the Cascade Motel ($60/2 beds) which I would highly recommend. It is approximately a 25-30 min drive to the Start line at Willamette Ski Resort. We arrived early, with some time to kill because our room was not quite ready. We were told about some hot springs (clothing optional) just up the road. I have never been in a hot springs and I was pretty stoked! There were a few different pools parallel to the river, so we had a little hot/cold thing going on. We kept our clothes on, but there were many who were walking about naked, which was awesome!

After a quick dinner, that we made back at the motel (they have a BBQ), we were off to package pick-up/race briefing. They did a great job getting everyone excited and prepared for the next day and I left there, stoked to be running the following day.

We woke up at 3am, ate, and headed over to the start. It was dark and fairly mild out. Starting in a tank and shorts was perfect. No arm warmers or second layer needed. The race pretty much starts straight up and from the minute we started heading up, I could feel the altitude. I know from past races at altitude, even 5000 feet, that it hits me. This race starts at 5000 and climbs, topping up just over 7000, which isn't terrible. I ran/walked this section and as I was passed, tried to remind myself that there was 100km to go! Once we got into the flowy single track, I started cruising. I was in my happy place and was passing people all over, without much effort. I passed 4 women and after the first aid station I was in 3rd, right where I wanted to be to get that WS100 spot.

However, after A1, you climb, and it's gradual, with lot's of steeper pitches. The female behind me was a strong climber and she passed me (easily) right away, which was a bit discouraging but we all have our strengths. This section was arduous and my moral was definitely dropping. I felt like I was moving at a snail's pace, literally. I did the best I could up to Mt. Fuji but negative thoughts starting playing games in my head. I could see the leaders on their way back down from Fuji so I had an idea of where I was in the pack. I was in 4th, which was not a bad place to be in, but to me, today, I wanted to be in the top 3. Instead of fighting, I started fading. I filled up my 1.5L camelbak and grabbed my fuel from my drop bag and left A2. I've been using the same pack for years, but when I left the aid station, it felt like it weighed 100 lbs. Usually, it feels weightless, but not today.

The section from A2 to A3 was a section that I normally would enjoy and thrive in. It was runnable with a few rolling ups but mainly downs. My body felt like it was already 40 miles into a 50 miler, but in reality I wasn't even 20 miles into this 100km. How could my legs be this tired and sore this early? My mind started doubting my body. I started thinking: (1) you are not fit enough (2) your going to get injured (3) your not going to catch the leaders and get that WS100 spot (4) acid reflux already (5) you are not having any fun. These thoughts literally clowded my mind for over an hour and half. My body was moving, holding pace with a lady who had passed me, but my mind was at a stand still.

For those who know me, I am a pretty positive person, and I like to be that way. This person who was running however, was not me and I was not about to spend the next 7-8 hours in self loathing. Here I was in the this beautiful place, but I couldn't even enjoy it for a second. I was too fixated on the outcome of the day versus why it is that I run. I tried to gain motivation from the early starters that I was passing on the course, but that wasn't even working. I kept trying to talk myself into continuing on, just running the rest of it for fun, but in the end, I couldn't beat this funk. I got to A3, sat down, and just started crying. I was done. I was done beating myself up. I didn't want to do it anymore. The minute I stopped, the negative thoughts stopped, and I was able to enjoy what was going on around me. I even contemplated continuing on because it was the first time all day that I wasn't in my head. However, I chose not to.

I think there are factors that lead to thinking like this: (1) I do believe that I wasn't prepared enough for the outcome I was looking for and I wasn't able to run/race like I know I can, which can be discouraging. Perhaps if I had kept going I would have come around, but it also could have lead to injury like my physio suggested. I mean, my body felt like crap at 20 miles. (2) I do much better when I don't fixate on outcomes. Running, only for the sole purpose of wanting a WS100 entry, is not a good strategy for me.

In the end, I am glad I put myself out there because I have no regrets. I don't even regret not continuing because I can learn from that experience. My ankle was a tad swollen after the event, so who knows what it would have been like after 7-8 more hours of running on it. I think I'll take some time and let it get back to being 100% so I know both mentally and physically I am ready to rock when the time comes.

Congrats to everyone who finished. Aliza, you are a rockstar! Congrats to Darla and Denise who earned their spots in WS100, I know they wanted it bad. Lastly, congrats to GT Downie who came 4th overall, 2nd masters. Dave Mackey is an animal. Thanks Craig, Meghan,Curt and all the amazing volunteers who put their time and energy into this race. Those Margaritas post DNF were just what the doctor ordered!

See you in the trails!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I've recently been made aware by my boyfriends mother, Flora ("aka: flo") that I have not written a post in a while, which of course I knew. I am not sure what it is. I sit down and write a little bit but never enough to complete an entire post. Then I go and do a whole bunch of new cool exciting things, things I should be writing about to only sit down again and repeat the cycle. I must have 4 unfinished blogs sitting in my computer. Oh well, here goes nothing....

So how to recap an entire month (if not more)? Ever since I jammed up my ankle eons ago at Comfortably numb, I have been just slowly getting myself back to normal. Am I there? Not even close! Ankle wise, it's not bad. My confidence going downhill is at an all-time low, which is giving me all sorts of anxiety regarding this weekends Waldo 100km! I have however been on a lot of outings of 4+ hrs and I have no doubt than I can finish the distance. The question is, do I have the fitness and mental toughness to come top 2 and gain that WS100 spot I want. There are a few fast and strong ladies coming out to this race. Fortunately for me, the one's I am familiar with both have spots to next years race, so we'll see how this plays out. I figured I might as well start sandbagging now! Hey, if things start to get rough, I can always go for the wet waldo award!

(Smith Rock in Bend, OR)

Besides running, I have been climbing a bunch load with Peter. This year has been a great year for me in terms of growth. I climbed a bunch of stuff that I did poorly on last year in Smith Rock and was able to do them clean, however top roping the whole way. The goal for the remainder of the year is to start leading more often. I have lead a few things but I would like to make it more of a regular occurrence. Speaking of Smith Rock, that was one amazing trip. The landscape is just stunning and I can't wait to go back, maybe in the fall. Other than Smith, we've been climbing lot's in Squamish and at Sulley's.

As most of you know, Peter and I moved back to North Van July 1st. We found a great townhouse on lower Lonsdale that we both love. Out of all the places we have ever been in, this one provides the most space with the most privacy. It's also close to both our respective work places. It's interesting...when we were commuting from Squamish to North Van (for work), it was hard not to think about all the gas money and time spent on the drive to and from work. Now however, when we drive to Squamish to play, we never (even for a second), think about the cost. I think in the end, it was the right decision. I don't regret the experience however, because I made some amazing life long friends and met some wonderful people.

I've also been getting into some mountain biking. However, the North Shore is a little less forgiving then Whistler or Squamish. My friend Shauna and I went to Whistler a few weeks ago and rode the blue trails near lost Lake. SOOO FUN! WOW!

This past week, Peter and I were at Shuswap lake with his family. They have been going there every year for about 20+ years. It's always a great time with awesome people and amazing food. It's too bad it fell a week before my race because I think I put on about 5 lbs!!! (kidding, kind of) But that's ok, it's all homemade and well worth it! We pretty much played in the water all day- water skiing, wake boarding, SUP boarding, swimming, and tubing. I had a lot more fun watching Peter's niece and nephew try wake boarding for the first time than I did attempting it myself. It's amazing how fast kids pick up activities!

We came home Friday and were immediately off again the next day to one of my good friend's,Meghan Meagher's, wedding in Pemberton. The ceremony was beautiful, just like the bride (and groom!)and the location was stunning. We ended up driving home that night and rightfully so, we had a big adventure planned for the next day.

(Peter, isn't he just a natural? He sung little Roo to sleep)

(The Brayshaw Family, whom we climb with often in Squamish)

(The beautiful Bride Megs!)

A little sleepy and maybe a bit hung over, we rounded up the troops. Peter, Jenni, Gretel and I hiked up to Hanes Valley from a secret trail (from Grouse that I probably shouldn't talk about because your not really suppose to go up it) and back towards the Lynn Headwaters.

(There was still a bit of snow. Thank goodness we had a tour guide...aka...Peter)

It took us about 4.5 hrs and boy, the boulder field is quite the quad pounder going down than it is going up. Perhaps that outing wasn't the most ideal one when your tapering but oh well, all in the name of adventure! It was great to see Gretel off (France then back home to Australia), as it will probably be a while until I see her again.

This week should hopefully fly by and before I know it, I will be off to Oregon!!!! My oh my I'm nervous! Alright, time to go enjoy the sunshine!

See you in the trails!

Monday, July 11, 2011


(Dirk and I at package pick-up at NSA)

Where does the time go? I have sat down twice since my last post and have written 2 rough draft blogs but they somehow have not made it to the real page. I'll try and make a quick update on all the happenings as of late!

Alright, so....

The day after Test of Metal I ran with the Knee Knacker training group. The run was the first 3/4's of the knee knacker which took about 5.5 hrs. After doing "The Test" one day and the long run the next, my body was trashed and I needed a "down" week bad. However, there was one more week to build before tapering for the knee Knacker. I kept the mid week runs pretty melow and prepped for the Comfortably Numb 25km which was taking place on the Sunday (June 26th). My friend Gretel, who is training for UTMB, had a wicked idea of sleeping in her mom van at the finish line, running to the start of the race, and back, for a total of 50km. I hesitated on the idea but after watching Western States 100 unfold that day I was drawn to spend a long day versus a short day in the trails the next morning. After a 5am wake-up call the next morning, we were off. We made it to the start line with just 10 minutes to spare and before we knew it we were in the race heading back from whence we came.

(Gretel and I in the morning at 5am)

I couldn't help but get excited by all the racers and began racing myself. I think having already ran 25km , my body was all warmed up and I was starting to really push. However, 10km into the race I went to pass a guy. We were on single track trail and I really couldn't see passed him but saw a quick widening in the trail and silently took my chance to pass. As I sped up and extended my stride, the trail all of a sudden dropped off and I was in no proper position to land and jammed up my ankle...BAD. In all of my 5 years of trail running, I have rolled my ankles many times without consequence, but this was different. I heard something GO and I fell to the ground in pain, knowing that I had done something serious. This race is a point to point and there was nowhere near by I could really get out and so I started to walk towards the finish, knowing it would be a long, slow, painful march. I got to the midway aid station and sat down, pondering what to do, when all of a sudden my buddy Gretel came running in. Gretel is such a kind, honest, and generous person and she said she would walk to the finish with me. My patience when it comes to running is pretty bleak and I attempted to start running again. Surprisingly it didnt feel to bad as long as I kept my foot from everting. You can read all about our adventure, with pictures here on Gretel's blog.

Basically, since then I tried to rest up my ankle as much as possible, praying it would be better in time for Knee Knacker 50km (KK 50km). I did this race 3 years in a row and then had to sit out the last 2 due to injury. Because I was tapering I really wasn't too concerned by my lack of running at this point and Peter and I were also moving back to the North Shore and my time was spent packing, cleaning, and moving. The week before the KK 50km I grew increaingly worried that it wasn't going to heal in time as it was still a bit swollen. 11 days after the initial sprain I ran on it and it felt alright. Alright enough that I decided I would start the event. Mentally, I knew that if I were to roll it or tweak it, I would drop out immedietly.

(The start of KK 50km, Sean borrowed my La Sportiva jersey because he forgot his. Dirk and Heather also make appearances in this photo)

My biggest weakness in this event has always been the start. My boyfriend Peter killed this event 2 years ago and beat my best time by 11 minutes. The only place he gained time on me was 14 minutes in the first leg. So, the main goal of the day, besides going for the win, was to improve my time on the first split which goes from the start to Cypress aid station. I felt great climbing up Black MTN and my ankle felt golden. I managed to keep all the lead ladies in sight and improved my first split by 8 minutes!

I came into Cypress 4th female and within 2 minutes of 1st place. By the time I got to the Cypress cross country trails I was about 10 seconds off 3rd, 2nd and 1st (who were all running together!!)! By the time we came into the Hollyburn aid station I was running with the leaders (Louise Oram, Lisa Polizi, and Shannon Berardo), pretty much side by side. This was a pretty cool moment for me as I have never run in a lead pack like this before. The craziest part for me was passing Suzanne Evans and Lisa Polizzi. I have these 2 girls high up on a pedestal because in my first Knee Knacker Suzanne won running a 5:18 and Lisa came 2nd in a time of 5:25. In my 2nd year runnning the race, suzanne won again and I finished second, my best time still nowhere near those girls (5:48). These girls were my first ever trail idols and I look up to both of them. Lisa has since had 3 kids and Suzanne has been focusing on road running and it was really special to be back running with them again.

A short while later the 3 of us were bombing down the Hollyburn shoot. This is my favorite section of the entire race. It's a straight shoot of technical downhill, where I would normally excel. I held back a tiny bit as to protect the ankle but at the same time, was chasing Louise and didn't want to let up. I could feel that my ankle was a bit unstable but was surprised at how well it felt hammering down the hill. BUT in the end, all it took was one roll in the wrong direction and I knew it wouldn't be smart if I continued. I was BEYOND CRUSHED! Here I was, 3 years from the last time I was able to run this race, in 2nd place, running in my happy place, and I had to stop. Ann and her dog Benny, volunteers, happend to be a minute away and I was able to call Peter and walk to the road within 5 minutes.

Mentally, I knew this scenerio was a possibility but it's so much harder when it actually happens. Looking back, I have thought about whether or not starting was a good idea. And to answer that, maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. There are always positives and negatives from scenerio's like this. I spent the remainder of the day cheering on all the other runners and had a lot of fun with that. In the back of my head however, I couldn't help but wonder how the day would have unfolded had I been 100% healthy. Congrats to everyone who raced and finished on Saturday. I managed to catch the sprint off b/w Lisa and Louise and boy was that was exciting! Lisa you are such an inspiration! This race holds a special place in my heart, having been my first ever ultra, and I can't wait to come back and try again.

Next up is Waldo 100km, which takes place 70 miles southeast of Eugene, Oregon (aug 20th). Send me all your healing power and I`ll cross my fingers that this ankle heals up soon. If I can manage top 1 or 2, I get an automatic entry into Western States 100, which ultimetly is the goal of the day, as well as to run in new trails and have a lot of fun!

See you in the trails!!!!!

Alright, time to go climbing,

Monday, June 20, 2011


(Me at the start)

While listening to 107.1 MTN FM on my drive home from work, just shortly after Peter and I moved from North Vancouver to Squamish, they announces that registration for the TEST OF METAL was going on at 6:30pm that evening, and to act fast because it usually sells out in less than 30 minutes. One of my goals for 2011 was to try new things and mountain biking was number one on the list. You see, the trails here in Squamish are made up of a lot more cross country riding versus the rugged downhill terrain that is the North Shore. Perfect for a newbie like me. However, the purchase of the bike didnt come as soon as anticipated and I went into this event a little undertrained.

"Don't worry, you'll be fine, you have great cardio, there isn't much technical riding involved at all...except the plunge, but no one rides the plunge"

These were the words uttered most from those I talked to about the event and more specifically about me doing the event, underprepared. Thus, I felt confident that I could tackle this beast no matter what. I managed to get a bike a little over a month before the event, however, running and a little racing were taking up most of my time and concentration, which left little room for biking. Not to mention the weather hasn't been all that fantastic and I'll admit, I'll run in everything, but when it comes to biking, I am a fair weather rider.

Here is what The Organizers say about the event:

June 18, 2011: 67 kilometers, point to point. Over 1,200 meters of climbing and 35 kilometres of singletrack. On paper it’s a 67-kilometre course with over 1,200 meters of climbing and 35 kilometers of single-track. Off paper it’s an unforgettable day for everyone involved from the organizers and volunteers, to the thousands of spectators and of course the riders. For those in the saddle it is in every way a test of mettle. The unrelenting course will take the fastest just over 2 hours, the average competitor 3-4 hours and the humans 5-6 hours."

The test of metal would be my 3rd ride ever on my new bike. My previous MTN Bike experience consists of 6 rides, which were 2-4 years ago. So yes, I am BRAND NEW. As the day drew closer, I was getting more and more freaked out. I kept thinking that this might not be the best idea. I would never recommend someone do a 67km run with only 2 previous days of training, how was this any better? Running is all I really care about, what if I get injured? All these negative thoughts were floating around in my head but in the end, I figured, what do I have to lose. I can always just bike home if things weren't going well!

(All the bikes lines up, seeded, at the start)

Peter had expressed interest in doing the ride with me. I was a bit apprehensive at first because I didnt want to hold him back or be pressured to keep up, but in the end, I said yes and I am really glad I did. I had ZERO expectations for this ride, except to just have fun, enjoy the surroundings, and take it all in. I signed up months prior because it was a fun local event in our new backyard and that is how I had to treat it.

By race day, I was actually pretty excited as it was all so new to me. 800 people lined up at the start and we seeded ourselves pretty far back. I think Peter had a better idea of where we would finish up then I did. I couldn't believe how many people were lining the streets, cheering us on. I was smiling from ear to ear.

To get straight to it:

1. There were moments of utter joy
2. There were moments where I didn't know how the hell I was going to get down the steep rocky/routy path ahead of me, but I just let the bike do the work and most of the time, I really surprised myself.
3. I almost cried once.
4. I think I was the only person who couldn't wait to get to 9 mile!
5. I remembered to turn my shocks on once we got back into the trail from the road sections!
6. I have A LOT of bruises and fell into a lot of bushes
7. I ran my bike down the plunge, congrats to those that can ride that!
8. I didn't compare myself to anyone.
9. I rode a lot more than I thought I would.
10. I loved how I was the only one who ever really stopped and got off my bike at aid stations to eat. I rarely do that in running races, so I made sure I took advantage.
11. I loved having my boyfriend there with me every step of the way. On that note, he would ride ahead and wait for me at junctions, we weren't side by side, which is why I think it worked.
12. Will I do it again?....that's a great question!

Great event, great volunteers, and great ambassadors out there for bike aid. I would recommend this event to anyone. It is a great begginner course because it isn't all technical. The biggest challenge of the weekend was that I doubled it up with a 5.5 hour training run the next day (first 3/4's of the Knee Knacker). It was perfect because I was fatigued from the ride but not too sore. Tons of climbing (both days)!!!! I wish I could say and now I rest but there is one more week of building before that gets to happen!!!!

Looking forward to Comfortably Numb 25km this weekend in Whistler!!!

See you in the trails!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


(Peter and I taking time for lunch on BelleyGood Ledge...It's a good thing I am not afraid of heights!)

My boyfriend Peter notified me that it has been a while since I have blogged and to his credit it has (for my standards).

This has truely been the spring of diversity and I have been loving every minute of it. I had to throw out my routine of running both days on the weekends, so as to enjoy long days out on the climbing wall with my main man/climbing partner. You don't understand how difficult it is to mentally and physically break a routine such as weekend double long running, but I've done it!

(View at the top of Lava Flow before going down Ring Creek Rip)

AM: Run/Hike with client in the Headwaters
PM: 3 hour MT. Bike ride with my friend Cathy (2nd time on new bike, 2nd time riding in quite a few years). This ride was super fun and challenging. We went from my house in Valleycliffe, up 9 mile logging road all the way to and down ring creek rip, and back home so as not to bike the plunge. My bike was having some gear issues and after bonk hill, it would no longer go into my granny gear. This made riding uphill from there on in very taxing, but I managed! The way down ring creek was fun but I forgot to turn my shocks back on. I thought the ride felt a bit stiff! The hockey game was on but the canucks were in boston and we lost bad anyways so I was happy to have been out riding! This ride was kind of my test to see if I could manage the test of metal on very little MT. Bike training and I think I should be fine.

(My bike posing for the camera)

(Cathy trying to fix her cleat)

TUESDAY: PM: Easy shake out run, 50 minutes. Legs a bit tired from the previous day.

WEDNESDAY: 3.5 hour trail run. This run was to make up for the weekend day I was going to be missing climbing. Peter and I carpooled to Nort Van today and I had a bunch of hours to kill after my work ended (10am) and when his ended (3pm). I went out for a killer run which started at the headwaters, up BCMC to Misquito creek, powerlines to Grouse, back up BCMC to Skyline, up Skyline (steep ass incline) to bottom of the cut, down old MT. HWY logging road to secret 7 MT. Bike trail, and back to headwaters. There was still a bunch of snow at the base of the cut but none going up skyline which was nice!

AM: Afternoon strenth session (which I happily felt the next day)
PM: Multi-Pitch Climbing up Jungle Warfare with Peter

(At the top- I swear I am not posing, I was actually trying to bend down.)

FRIDAY: I had about a 90 minute gap in between clients and I had to get to the bank so I decided to run up to the bank from the automall to Lynn Valley, deposit some cash/cheques and return back. I had done this run the week before and it took me just over 50 minutes, I knew that if I hauled ass I could do it in under 50min. And haul Ass I did! It's an awesome run because you work hard up hill for about 20 minutes and then tempo along lynn valley road (flat) and then it's flat back and all downhill. I love ripping on the descent back....ouuuuu weeeee! My official time was 49:10! That night it was back to watching another hockey game! This time we won!

SATURDAY: Peter, our friend Mark, and I were suppose to head up a 15 pitch multi-pitch sport climbing route this morning but the weather kind of crapped out on us. Luckily Mark, who is also training for Knee Knacker, brought his running stuff. Peter hasn't really been running due to injury but he trooped it out and kept us on our toes. Man can that guy powerhike! We went up the Chief (in record time, for me)and did a circuit of the 3 summits (thanks Mark for the beef jerkey at the top) before making our way over to the Squaw Trail and ascending the Squaw Peak. We eventually came out onto a logging road which joined up with 9 mile and we were back home in just over 3:30.

SUNDAY: The weather was much better today so Peter and I did the route which we cancelled on the day before. We were climbing by 7am (the route goes from the base of the Chief to the very top where the hikers would be sitting) and were back at the bottom by 4pm. All I could think about was yam fries from the Living Room, a local venue here in Squish.

(A little scramble on the approach to get to the base of the climb)

(Climbing the Black Dyke)

(Peter at the top of the Chief, it was super cool to just pop up and over the top to all those hikers...some guy even hiked up a fake Stanley Cup!)

I'm pretty pooped from the week of activity. I feel like I could use a rest week but this is the last big week before Knee Knacker tapering so I might as well go into it feeling a bit tired and push through. I am sure I'll come around by the weekend! I am really looking forward to all the races ahead, next up is Comfortably numb 25km not this Sunday but next. I haven't done it for a few years but just like Iron Knee 25km, it is one not to be missed!

Peter and I signed up for test of metal (67km) which is happening this saturday. I know it's going to leave me feeling a bit wasted, which is perfect because I'll double that with the Knee Knacker run on the Sunday. I love running the first 3/4's...but...who knows....when you've done that much, might as well do the whole thing!

See you in the trails!