Where have I been?

So I haven’t been running. My Achilles caused some problems after I ran 5 Peaks Whistler in August. I dropped out of my 50k race in October, and dropped down from the half marathon to the 10k distance for both Beat The Blerch and Vancouver Rock and Roll.

It’s been hard and frustrating for me, and I have had the sinking feeling of doom with my weight since this all went down. I have gained weight, none of my dress pants fit. I feel some days like I am going down in a spiral, not sure how to get out of it.

But slowly, I have been trying to put one foot in front of the other and get back out there. I have taken a friends dog out for short 5k runs around the neighbourhood, and it’s felt good. I went out one day with my friend Suzanne and did 8k around Campbell Valley Park.

Today, I headed out to North Vancouver for the 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Run with proceeds going to the North Shore Search and Rescue. I wasn’t sure I would even get out of bed and go, so I offered to drive Marijke as well… Accountability right?

It was cold, slippery, cold, snowy and did I mention cold? Thankfully I have a few pieces of warm clothing, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Gloves, Buff, toque, fleece running pants and an ugly sweater make for a good day.

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Alanna and I ran a nice relaxing pace behind the rest of the crew, chatting about how our seasons ended up, and listening to the jingle bells on the girls in front of us. We bitched about the hills (seriously there were hills!!) and discussed getting out to do some runs this summer together, since I always enjoy her company.

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The baking that people brought was delicious, and the unfortunate cookies were awesome. Marijke’s fortune was probably the best.

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I did 2 loops, each being roughly 4.7k, and on my first roll of the dice won!! So I chose a gorgeous red Salomon hoodie jacket.

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Overall it was a great day. My lungs struggled a bit with the cold and the running, and my legs/knees are a bit sore, but other than that I feel terrific. For the first time in a long time, I remembered why I love running.

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Golden Ears 5 Peaks

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So let me tell you about this shirt… This shirt was what you got for buying a 5 Peaks Season Pass, which is all 5 races for the season in a discount bundle, which I was beyond excited for last November. So excited, in fact, that I found a back door way to register before registration was officially open. Apparently it caused a bit of…. Excitement? Sorry guys!

Anyhow this shirt was what I snagged at the first race of the 2014 season at Golden Ears Park. Having run the orientation a few weeks before, and after my little “breakdown” over BMO I played it safe and went with the 8km Sport course race day. We also received this kickass Buff as our race swag. Seriously best swag ever!’

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Race day started out cold, wet and dreary. In other words, I was stoked. I was glad to not be stressed about the time and just to get out and enjoy myself. It’s always nice to not to feel the need to race the clock, and instead just enjoy yourself.

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We started out in small waves, more or less you segment yourself to how you feel you will do, with both Enduro and Sport leaving together. I think I went mid pack, with Krista, Stephanie and a bunch of others. Krista ran off ahead of me, and I just started off glad to be out on the trails.

We hit the first water crossing and like any delicate lady, I ran right through it getting my socks and shoes soaked. Krista was there waiting for me, so we decided we would run together. She told me a few times to go ahead, and I had no desire. We ran BMO together and dammit we were going to run this together too.

Muddy shoes, muddy legs, and awesome climbs. After a while I am not sure if it stopped raining or I just didn’t notice it.

But the one thing that didn’t go away? I had to pee. And when I get bouncing downhill, it gets bad. Finally on the last 2ish km of the course there was a trail that branched to the right, and I told Krista I would be back. Only a few of the runners directly behind me started to follow me, instead of seeing the go straight signs. Nothing says embarrassment like telling someone you are running off course to pee.

With that done, away we trudged for the last few km’s. We crossed the finish line at 1:20:02 and it was great!

I always find 5 Peaks races to be well organized, with amazing volunteers, tons of hugs and encouragement. I also love how on the trails, everyone who passes you shouts encouragement and tells you what an awesome job you are doing. It’s amazing really.

So my verdict for this race? Gorgeous scenery, excellent organization and kickass swag. I’ve also managed to obtain a bunch of 5 Peaks swag over the last year….

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So if you haven’t tried trails, do it! Enjoy them and get off the road. Muddy legs required.

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Weekend Trail Love

So after pounding out the pavement for the last few weeks, I finally had the chance this weekend to get back on the trails with some friends. Saturday I was planning on hitting up Buntzen Lake with Suzanne, Nicole and whomever else wanted to for 20k. Sunday was the 5 Peaks Golden Ears Race Orientation.

First off, I LOVE the fact that most local trail races have orientation runs. I love the ability to get out with others to run the race course, and get to see what I am up against for race day. Also, with being so new to trails and not knowing the area it gives me a sense of comfort.

Saturday did not go quite to plan. I did the first loop of LakeView Trail, slow and steady. My body felt great and the views were awesome. But common sense prevailed. I had not been on trails for a while. I was planning on doing 14k the next day and I had just come off a hard week of 2 road halfs. So I only did the first loop

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Sunday again did not go as planned. I balked on doing the 14k Enduro course. My legs were still tired and stiff from Saturday, and I knew I would be extremely slow and sluggish up the killer climb shown on the map. So I opted for the 8k Sport course instead. This was my first time ever running at Golden Ears and I must admit it was stunning. The terrains was not as technical as I thought it would be, and when I finished the Sport I felt guilty for not doing the other loop. Until I heard Russ say that the one climb felt like the grind. I knew then I made the right choice.

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My feet lately on trails have really been hurting. Realization that my favorite brand of socks Injinji were not thick enough made me sad. I had a few people suggest trying their trail socks, which would make sense. I’ve been wearing the lightweight which are awesome but too thin. So I went and bought 2 pairs at MEC of trail socks to see how they work.

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As long as this damned headache that has been haunting me for a week allows, I will be giving them a test tomorrow at the Ladies of The Trail run after work. Pretty excited to see how they feel, especially if they help keep my feet drier after trudging through the water.

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