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!