Friday, January 20, 2012


Ha, if you take a look at my race schedule, so far, none of the races are in Canada. This was very different from last year because pretty much all of my races were within driving distance. But, to be honest, my goal last year was to stick around and save some money so that this year, I could have a bit more flexibility. I feel like I accomplished this.

I had origionally planned on heading to NZ in January but I am really glad I didn't. Last year, I got back on my ski's for the first time in 13 years and I am so glad I did because since then, I have been to some outstandingly beautiful places.

Thursday of last week, Peter and I lucked out and had a mid-week day off together. Luckily for us, the forecast was just awesome and we went ski touring up on Geribaldi.

Man, the sky was just blue bird and the sun was hitting the snow capped mountain tops perfectly. The tint of my sunglasses made the hosizon look like the kind of ocean you would only find in paradise. Sensational. Had I fled off in January, I would have missed out on all this great skiing. Looks like were heading out again next Monday and Tuesday!

Today, I found out that I got into UTMB. This of course, was all apart of my plan but it didn't feel real until today. I am glad that I didn't do a 100 miler last year because it has made me feel pretty hungry for this one.

The weather here right now is pretty bananas. Basically, just a ton of rain and the trails are quite icy now from the snow we had the other week. Today for some reason I am longing for a nice warm, dry run but will take what I can get. At least its not -30!

I'll try and post some pics in a couple days when Peter's back from his overnight ice climbing trip.

See you in the trails!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Ever since I went to Europe back in 05...for a slim 3 weeks...with my family, I have wanted to go travelling again. I knew the next time I went travelling it would be for a while, a minimum of 3 months. So, on Thursday morning after months of lolligaging and a great lunch with my dad, I booked the ticket. I got a wicked deal, one which could not be refused. Needless to say, I am stoked. Stoked to be back in the season of summer,stoked to meet new people, do some NZ races, and just roll with the wind at my back.

I will of course miss the company of Peter, my adventure partner but as the saying goes "Absense makes the heart grow fonder".

I knew I wanted 2012 to be special and different and I think this experience will satisfy that craving. I signed up for a race in March, The Tarawera ultra marathon, which has varying distances but I'll be doing the 100km. I also want to visit my good friend Gretel Fortmann in Australia, who I met while I was living in Squamish. Gretel has a way of touching (not literally) everyone she comes into contact with and I can't wait to see her again on her home turf (she's an aussie)!

Next race is Orcas 50km. This race has been on my radar for a while and look forward to making the ferry trip over come February!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


As I look back at 2011, a few things stand out in my mind but by far the biggest was Peter and I's 8th month stint living in Squamish. Through working at CBC with Jen Segger and JF Plouffe, I met so many awesome people and a few who will be great friends for life. People always ask me how if feels to be back on the shore. Having lived here my entire life, it feels just about the same as the other 27 years of my life...which have been awesome, so it will always feel great living here.

My running season started off with a bang! A PR at the First Half 1/2 Marathon. I ran a 1:25 and change and my previous best time was 1:27 and change. This was done with no speed work, something I will intend to do a bit more of in 2012.

One of my favorite trips of last year was road tripping to Winthrop Washington to run the Sun Mountain 50km with 4 amazing girlfriends, 3 of whom were living and Squamish (this post would be a lot easier if the 'q' on my keyboard was working better!). Kristy, Gretel, Cathy, and Shauna, thanks for such a fun trip. Here's a few picks to relive the experience.

(Pre-race excitement)

(Post Sun Mountain 50km, everyone finished and the beer is flowing)

(Shauna, Jenni, Gretel, and I out for an awesome trainig run in Squamish)

Another memory that comes to mind is all the climbing I got up to with Peter. In 2011, I did way more climbing than years previous and although I am still learning, I feel like I gained a lot of knowledge and experience last year. Increasing my knowledge and skill level in 2012 will also be a focus of mine (may need to take a course or 2), along with keeping my cool when I can't finish something! Here are a few shots...

(A view of City of Rocks in Idaho...would love to go back here real soon)

(Hanging out in Smith Rock. We ended up here twice in 2011. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this place is magical and I hope to get back here again in 2012)

(Starting up the Cheif, Squamish)

My younger cousin Caitlin began dating a stud of a man by the name of Mark, who happens to be a steller climber. We got to experience some days out together and it was so cool to share climbing with her. Look forward to more outings soon!

Another really awesome experence of 2011 was working with a group of Squamish Nation teen girls. I was contacted by the youth group leaders and together we met twice a week, running or hiking around the city. On a few occasions I managed to get them into the trails where they had never been before. It is experiences like this that remind me how fortunate my life is and how important it is to give back.

(2 girls and 1 youth leader on the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge)

(A group of us on a hike to Quarry rock in deep cove)

In 2011, I got back into skiing! Yes, after a 13 year hiatus, I baught a ski touring set up and managed to get out quite a few times. Living in Squamish made this a lot easier as well. Thanks to Pete for showing me the ropes about backcountry travel and being my tour guide all year.

(Cozying up by the fire at the Red Heather hut)

(Mt. Baker!)

(A few solo days on Whistler/Blackcomb. I prefer to ski with others!)

A crappy part of my year was when I cranked my ankle during the Comfortably Numb 25km in Whistler at the end of June. Gretel and I had slept in her Dodge Caravan at the finish line and ran the 25km to the start, just barely making it there on time. I anticipated taking the next 25km pretty relaxed but I got caught up in the excitement. I saw a chance to pass someone but had to menuevre around him and as I did, the trail dropped off and I jammed my ankle, worse than I have ever experienced. This injury prevented me from finishing one of my favorite races, Knee Knacker 50km, which I was in great shape to race. I didn't race again until November 5th at the Whistler 50miler, where I came 2nd female in a time which was 90 minutes faster than I was anticipating.

A year wouldnt be a year without a few tokem hikes in the bag, especially one's with dear ol' dad! Here are a few pics of Peter, my dad and I's summit of Crown Mtn and our scramble over to the Camel, as well as a few from our hike up to Mt. Harvey.

(Summit of Crown- My dad with his Camera)

(On the scramble over to the Camel)

I started a new (2nd job) job at Mountain Equipment Co-op in North Vancouver. I have really enjoyed the balance of personal training and doing something a little more laid-back. The people who work there are all superb individuals and it's great chatting it up with members about their adventures. Making some extra cash makes me a happy camper as well.

It would be a shame to miss naming all the family fun I had in 2011- Shuswap with Peter's family, Gildersleeve family breakfasts, Dutch Christmas, Thanksgiving at the Leahy's and more...

A big thing for me was supporting my mom out on the Vancouver Marathon course as she completed her first marathon. Weeks later she went on to finish her first triathlon. She is a big inspiration to me and it just goes to show it is never to late to do anything!

Before this post gets to long, I`ll end with a great visit I had with my folks over in Powell River last summer. Peter and I discovered some of the climbing over there as well as some rockin mountain biking. There is endless amounts of fun to be had over there. A goal for next year however is to make it over to Savery Island.

Before I sat down to write this I honestly thought this year was rather low key and I didnt really get up to much, which saddened me a little. Looking back, I can see how foolishly wrong I was. Here is to a great 2012! I look forward to reading all about your crazy escapades as well!