Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another year over and a new one just about to begin

2009 has been a good year. Generally I have a single workout log for the year, but between computer troubles ealier this year and then switching to training peaks (which I am not a fan of), it took a long time last night to compile the yearly statistics, some of which I had to glean from my blog and another journal I keep. Overall my hours per week were just over 7.8, up 3 hours per week over 2008. I was up in every area, with more running then anything else.

This year I did my first triathlon, my first trail race, ran Ragnar Relay with a group of women I had never met, went backcountry skiing for the first time, and most of all, was more consistent then I have ever been and the most injury free. But of course there is still lots of room for improvement and I will need to stay injury free and be even more consistent to get there.

I have my last workouts of 2009 done, and now to get ready to ring in the new year with a great dinner out followed by a party with great friends.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2010 bring all that you hope for and more.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bluebird Day

My second day in the backcountry couldn't have been much different than the first. There hadn't ben much snow lately and the weather had been sun and more sun. There was also an inversion on Whistler, where the village was about 10 degrees colder than the alpine. That actually meant parts of the alpine had been up to 7 degrees Celcius the day before we were up.

We headed up early Sunday morning, hoping to avoid the lines of the last day. Both the coffee shop and the ticket office were quick, and we were in the gondola early. We were meeting a friend who was a bit behind which meant we were able to get in one run on Symphony before heading over to the meeting point.

We headed out behind Whistler to Flute and Oboe ridge. Lots of uphill slogging. It was warm and even with my jacket off, I was sweating, but I tried to keep my mind off it by enjoying the view. The uphill work is just pure cardio. I think my technique was a bit better today and I didn't end up with the same back of knee pains as I had on the first day. The snow conditions also helped. There wasn't much trail for Graeme to break as there was a skin track almost the entire way.

I learned that I can actually ski in powder. As long as the powder is actually light and fluffy. And its fun! Nice floaty turns. After reaching our peak, the boys dug a pit to look at the snow conditions, while I sat and watched. The snow pack was pretty good, so we were able to ski down the face they wanted.

We decided after that to head out. We thought we would have enough time to do another run, but that it would be cutting it close. Well, it was a good thing we had made the decision we did. We took the Singing Pass Trail out, which Graeme has taken a number of times before, but the trail was in very poor condition. Between blow down all over the trail, to pure icy sections, tree branches across the trail where you had to duck and push the branches out of the way and a lot of creek crossings where it was necessary to take your skis off and jump, it was a slow slow way out. I was very very glad to get back out to the Village just after the sun had set. I was afraid I was going to have to pull out my headlamp and doing that trail in the dark would have been way harder than it already was. Of course after a beer, the bad parts were mostly forgotten and all we were thinking about were the fun powdery turns.

With Black Tusk in the back

Water break and getting stuff together to ski

Uphill slogging

The way out

More uphill slogging


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas comes this time each year

So far it has been a great Christmas season. I love this time of year. The lights, food, drink and of course the people. This year was a bit busier then I'd like leading up and I was not as organized as I usually am, but everything worked out anyway.

Fancy Christmas Eve dinner made by my husband (I am spoiled)

Our tree (I say its fat, but Graeme says it's just big boned)

Christmas Day view from my mom's

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas time!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Palm Springs

A long weekend with a girlfriend. Not the most exciting trip but good to catch up. The weather also wasn't the greatest, but we did get a little sun on the Sunday.

Some pictures from the compound her parents live in (I could never live somewhere like this but it does make for some pretty pics). Hmm even though these are all the right way on my computer they don't want to show up that way here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Worst run of the week vs. the Best run of the week

Thursday morning didn't start out any differently then most. Up to run before work on a cold (below freezing!) morning. I dressed warmly and was off into. Everything felt good on the cold, dark, crisp morning. I was running along, thinking about how nice it was when I saw something coming at me. All of a sudden an owl was grabbing onto my hat and pulling at my hair. Arms waving and screaming and he (she?) let go only to come back at my face. More waving and screaming and it flew away. At that point I was pretty shocked, but still ok. I started to run toward home when I could see the owl return. I had to run yelling and waving my arms until I got to a more well lit area and could no longer see the owl. I wish I had been wearing my HR monitor because my heart was GOING. No blood drawn, likely thanks to my hat, but I did have a couple of sore spots on the top of my head.

I now have a phobia of running on my own street in the dark. Not so good in the winter.

Sunday's run did make up for it though. Another cold day, but this time I drove down to the West Van seawall to enjoy the sunshine. When I wasn't in the wind I actually felt overdressed. Nothing about the run felt easy. Stride was off, lunch wasn't sitting well, but it was my favourite run in a long time. Vancouver was just so beautiful. One of those days where you are breathing deeply to really try and suck all the goodness in.

And the end of the beach were a bunch of Christmas trees all decorated by local companies, with proceeds of the viewings going to charity. I thought this tree was the best (and most apprpriate for the blog).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Backcountry Day

End result = Ouch!

Saturday morning we headed up to Whistler for my first backcountry day. After a not so quick stop for coffee at Galileo Coffee in Britannia Beach (apparently they have gotten a little too popular. My breakfast was almost cold by the time I got my coffee!) and then waiting in one of the slowest lines ever to buy a lift ticket, we were finally in the gondola and on our way by 10am.

The day was gray with some soft falling snow. Visibilty wasn't great and there was some wind on the high ridges. This was my first time on skins, using free rides and in my new boots. It was a weird sensation to walk uphill with skis on. At first I felt like I would just slide backwards, but unless it was a very steep pitch, the skins did their job. There was a LOT of skinning. And it was not easy. But what was even harder was trying to go downhill. An experienced powder skier I am not. I have been having back issues for the previous week, and after a while, my back was saying enough.

I was looking at it this way. In order to have those perfect, euphoria inducing runs, you have to have bad ones too, whether its your body or the weather or some combination. I often think on the difficult runs how they are necessary to truly enjoy the good ones. I think yesterday's experience was the same. It wasn't all bad, but it was all hard. I think being out there on a bluebird day will be worth the few not so great days that are needed to become proficient - both and going uphill, and moreso for me, downhill.

We made our way back in bounds and made it back to the chair just in time to make it to the gondola to download. On the way home we stopped at Howe Sound Brew Pub in Squamish for some dinner and a beer. They have a lot of great beers, and we took 3 large bottles home with us. By the time we got home I was in full pass-out mode, but managed to stay up for the hockey game.


Exhausted from skinning

Whistler backcountry

This morning when I woke up, my entire body was feeling it. The worst part is the top of my calves. I couldn't bend my legs! I have had trouble walking all day and have spent most of the day on the sofa. Good thing we went on the Saturday and not Sunday so I had a day to recover!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Mountain Adventures (Race Report)

Today was the Mountain Madness Phantom Run. There is a choice of 12k, 19k, or 24k, and I went with the 12k and was glad I did. It was by far the longest 12k I have ever run. I'm not sure how they measure it. Perhaps from a map which doesn't take into account all the hills? And there were hills. Nothing straight up or really long, just lots of up and down and back and forth.

The race took place in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. It was a cold morning and there were actually some snowflakes and sleet while we were standing around before the start. There were about 95 or so people doing the 12K race.

The start is a relatively easy, flat-ish trail, but throughout the race there are steep switchbacks, up and down stairs, up and down everywhere, bridges, and wooden platforms, all of which were very slippery with the combination of being wet, cold and leafy.

I probably should have looked at last years results before I raced, as I had figured I would be out there for about 70 mins. Not so much. 1:33 later I was at the finish line. Good for 7th women (in the 12k). I don't know that pacing would have made any difference had I known it was going to be longer, but the last 30 mins really hurt! I definitely have some room to improve in my fitness and in my downhill running abilities. Something to work on isn't bad though!

This 12k was way way harder than the 10k trail race I did a few weeks ago. It just shows how much of an impact the terrain has.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Mountain Adventures

If you have taken a look at Graeme's blog at all, you can probably tell he likes to ski. More like is obsessed with it.

I started skiing when I was in Gr. 5, and skied through until the end of high school. After not having been on a ski hill in years I took up snowboarding. While it was fun, I never was as good of a snowboarder as I had been a skier, and was not able to keep up with, or even keep Graeme in my sights. So at the end of the 07/08 season, I decided to try skiing again. Graeme got a good deal on some powder skis and I discovered I was still able to ski.

Last season was a few more times on the hill, but with Ironman training, Graeme didn't ski as much last year as he normally would, and well I didn't go on my own. So, this season is going to be my introduction to backcountry skiing. I love to be outdoors. I like hiking and skiing and I love new adventures. Plus if I want to see Graeme at all this winter, I need to be skiing.

Of course when you are heading into the backcountry you have to be prepared, and let me tell you, the gear is not cheap! Once again Graeme was able to get a good deal on free ride bindings, and the rest of the gear was bought at the Alpine Club of Canada's MEC night, where members get a 10% discount.

Fancy new boots

Of course all of the safety gear has to be purchased too. I am now the owner of a beacon, shovel and probe (and skins to let me ski up hill). Last Saturday was spent at an avalanche workshop on terrain, and there are more backcountry courses booked for the next few weeks.

So today, which is a holiday for Remembrance Day, we decided to head up to Cypress so Graeme could show me how to properly use the beacon. The bindings for my skis have yet to arrive, so I snowshoed up, while Graeme went up on skins. About 90 mins of straight up hill. At the top Graeme buried his pack and beacon while I used mine to find where his was.

Graeme had the easier way down, getting some very early season turns, while I ran down, trying not to completely trash my quads!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Masters Swim

So there are a lot of people who say you should do something that scares you once a day. Once a day may be a bit much for me, but I at least met that goal yesterday.

As I have documented, swimming is not my strong suit. I am comfortable in the water, but my stroke is awful. Over the last couple months I have had a lot of encouragement to join the Monday night masters group, which at this point has almost been completely taken over by our tri club. I have put it off for weeks between being sick and being nervous, but last week I said to Graeme if I was feeling better by this week I would go.

So I did. And it was hard. And I was the slowest person (in the slowest lane), but I survived.

I can tell that my fitness level is way higher than my swimming ability. I think at the end of the workout, Graeme was more tired then me. Granted he was swimming in a faster lane, but I just don't have the arm strength/technique to push harder then my fitness level at this point. Not that I wasn't tired!

The coach was nice and even though there were a lot of swimmers, he managed to give me a few tips. I think if I continue to go I will see some real improvement.

So yes, it was scary, but I am glad I went. Now to get up the courage to keep going!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend and Hallows Eve 10K Report

Friday evening started out by helping my mom get set up her new place as she arrived here in Vancouver. Her move here has been a long time coming and I'm glad she is finally here! She is currently staying in a furnished rental that is right across from our old place, and it was fun to spend the evening in the West End again and get to visit some of our old stomping grounds.

Saturday was time for errands, a quick run, actually signing up for the race on Sunday and then our tri club's end of season potluck. It was a good crowd, and Mick, who hosted the evening got a number of good roastings over his adventures of the previous weekend. We were able to stay to the end of the party being that the race on Sunday didn't start until 9:30am.

We headed out to the race about 8:30am this morning. It was a cool morning and I had a hard time deciding what to wear, but decided on full length tights, a tank and a warm long sleeve shirt. I did end up being a bit overdressed, but not to the point that it affected my race.

This was my first trail race and it was a lot of fun! One of my best girlfriends also came out to run and so we got to hang out before and after the race. I have been trying to convince her the North Shore is a good place to live and I think she is coming around. And because it was "Hallows Eve" race, there were lots of great costumes. Including a group of ladies dressed as skunks, and when I ran past them on the trail all turned around and said I startled them and lifted their tails.

So the race. It is a pretty hard route with lots (and lots) of stairs with some good downhill and flat sections. The trail is relatively technical with lots of roots, a couple short switchbacks, along with a lot of raised bridge type walkways.

I decided to start a bit towards the back and I probably should have pushed forward a bit more. The race starts going straight up a hill and I did manage to pass some people in that section. Once you are onto the trail it is hard to get by people. I was stuck behind one woman for a while who was having a hard time on a downhill section when she eventually let myself and one other person by her. I did well on the stair sections, taking them 2 at a time and passing a bunch of people. Of course going down the stairs I think they probably all passed me back.

Overall I felt good about my race. I had been undecided on whether to do it or not as my lungs still weren't feeling 100% from my cold, but it didn't really bother me at all during the race. Overall time was 1:01 and change. Good for 10th in my AG. I'm happy to have had a solid race where I felt pretty strong throughout.

To end off the weekend we had a good and interesting meeting at the tri store, and that will be its own post.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What a community we have. And a lesson.

Sunday evening started out as usual at our place. We had just sat down and cracked a beer with the intention of watching Sunday Night Football. It was around 5:30 and Graeme checked his twitter account when he found out that a friend of ours through the tri club had not returned from his morning run on the trails near his home. Mick is an awesome guy, and at 72 is probably still fitter then I am.

Jordan, the president of the club had put out a call for any able runners to come and join the search. As soon as Graeme sais Mick was missing, I said we had to go. We got dressed as quickly as possible and headed up to Mick's house which was being used as a headquarters. When we got there we were directed to the Gazebo in Lynn Headwaters where the North Shore Search & Rescue operation was being run, as well as where Natalie, the VP of the club, was signing in runners and organizing what trails were being searched.

Graeme and I don't know the trails that well, except for one area, which already had people on it. I figured being in a bigger group would be best, especially as none of us were experts on these sections of the trails. We ended up going in a group of 6 and heading east of the Baden Powell. By this time it was dark, but we all had flashlights and headlamps, and with 6 of us had a good amount of light. In is a very interesting experience to be in the middle of the woods in the pitch black. But I can say I never had any thoughts about my own safety. Both due to the number of and the people I was with, and because our focus was all on Mick.

We did a big loop, ending back at the headquarters. Just when we arrived we were told that voice contact had just been made and they thought the person was Mick. It turned out it was. We don't know the whole story of what happened yet, but he ended up getting stuck on the wrong side of Lynn Creek. North Shore Search & Rescue were able to walk him out later that night and he was home before 2am.

Mick is such a lucky guy. I said when we pulled up to his house that it was obvious he had a lot of friends. The street was lined with cars with hardly anywhere left to park. Everyone just wanted to be out there to try to help. Apparently there were over 100 people out on the trails last night looking. What a great community of runners and riders then North Shore has. As well as the amazing volunteers of North Shore Search & Rescue. I am so so glad that someone heard his voice. What an amazing story.

This brings me to the lesson. Be prepared! For those of us living near the trails and the mountains, I think we often take for granted that it really is the wilderness. Let someone know where you are going. If you live alone, at least leave a note saying what trail you are headed for. Carry a phone (not that there is service everywhere, but there is in some places), water, food, a whistle, and especially if you are planning on going any distance, a foil blanket. They take up no room, don't weigh anything, and will keep you warm in an emergency. I can't say I have followed all of these guidelines in the past, but I will be from now on.

This is really a reminder about how something as seemingly innocuous as a standard trail run, on well used trails can turn into something much, much more. How wonderful that this lesson comes with a happy ending.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I have been laid up with a bad cold all week and had done no activity since the back to back long runs of last weekend. Saturday I decided to do an easy 5km just to see how everything felt. Breathing was very laboured and difficult, and there were a couple sore spots in my calf and my right IT band that I am glad I found out about so I was able to work them out a bit.

Up at 6:05am Sunday morning and had half an English muffin and a banana. Race start was 7:15am and we left my mom’s just after 6:30 to drive downtown. Graeme dropped me off and went to find parking while I headed to the start line. I made a quick stop in a portapotty (thankfully I didn’t wait in line at the first set of portapottys once I heard there were more near the start line), did a short warm up and made my way into the 8K crowd. I moved up as much as I could, but was still stuck behind quite a few people talking about hoping for a 10mm pace.

It was a cool, clear morning but I thought that my long sleeve shirt and knickers might actually be too much clothing based on all of the shorts and t-shirts around me. Waiting for the start surrounded by people it was actually pretty warm, but once the gun went off and we headed out to Dallas Rd, it was quite a bit cooler and I was glad with my clothing choice.

Sunrise was about 7:30am and we got to see the lovely pink sky out above the ocean on the way out. First couple miles were ok, but when my garmin beeped, I could see I was not on pace for a sub 40 min time. I pushed the pace a bit, but could feel that my breakfast was not digested and my stomach was not all that thrilled and I had to rein it in a bit. Around 3 miles my shoelace came undone and I had to stop for that. I decided to just push the last 2 miles as much as I could although my left IT band was now starting to hurt.

The last 2 miles were a bit faster and my final time was 40:13 which was good for 8/146 in my AG. Of course most of the fast people raced the half or full marathon! So a 5 min PR over the only other 8K I have done right after I started running.

Not quite the sub-40min time I had hoped for, but with the cold I will take it. And it is proof things are going in the right direction, if not quite as fast as I’d like!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall Goals

While I am not especially strong in any of swim/bike/run, the bike seems to be where I am strongest comparatively, both to the amount of time I spend on it, and to the other two sports. Being that fall is not the best time to work on the bike anyhow, I will be working on my two weaknesses. Swimming will be a year round project (and needs to be for me!), and running is going to be fall specific.

I joined the Tuesday night fall run clinic run by North Shore Athletics. I haven’t run with a group like this before but I figured this aligned well with the run-focus. I haven't run on a track or done any kind of focused speedwork since track in high school. And I didn't run in grade 12 (which is a whole other story that I will tell sometime), so its been a long time.

I was a little wary of joining the “advanced” group, but both Graeme and Ramsey said I should. I was definitely at the back of the group on the first day, but I didn’t feel out of place. The second session was actually on the track, so while I am slower than most, as it's running in circles, it doesn't really matter.

I also going to do some running only races, which is something I haven't done in a while. Whern I first started running I was injured all the time. Especially when I set a goal race and trained for it. Over the last year and a half I have tried to build a base and just raced here and there instead of training specifically for a race. I am hoping with the base I have built and continue to build, the run focus won't cause me as many issues this time around. Of course now that I have found the great people at Moveo, when I feel something start to come up, I know where to go.

The first race up is the 8K of the Royal Victoria Marathon on Sunday. Of course I have been sick all week and haven't done anything! I am feeling a bit better now, but still not 100%. So the race probably isn't going to go as well as I had hoped, but I'll give it my best. I'm just hoping I can breathe a little better by then!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Running and running and running some more

So this week was my highest mileage week in a while. It was supposed to have ended with yesterday's long run, which brought me up to just under 30 miles for the week, all on the road.

Graeme and had been talking about possibly running some of the Howe Sound Crest trail with Scott but wasn't sure as he's had some calf issues. We were out for breakfast this morning when the text came and he decided to run and somehow I decided it would be a good idea too.

We met a group from the club in the Cypress Mountain parking lot (Scott, Nick, Jordan, Shannon, Graeme and myself) and headed out. Now, on a good day I am slower then everyone in the group and I was feeling the effects of my birthday dinner the night before and a breakfast out less than an hour before. Oh, plus the miles already in my legs this week. I was off the back the entire time but the day was gorgeous and it would have been impossible to not enjoy it anyhow.

We made our way out (and up!) to St. Marks Summit and turned around there after soaking in the view. It ended up being about a 2 hour run/trek, bringing my run total to over 6.5 hours for the week. My legs are feeling it now!

I think a few more of these will be good for me. It's nice to have people pull you along!

We live in a beautiful place.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another year learned

Today marks the start of my 31st year.

A lot of people have trouble with aging and some seem to try and comfort themselves by calling themselves young at heart. Now, I know I am not old, but that is not me.

I have never thought of myself as a young at heart. I was always someone who people said was “wise beyond their years” when I was younger and that is something I have always identified with. Aging to me is a good thing. I may not get smarter as I get older (I think intelligence level is generally set since birth), but I hope I get wiser.

It also doesn’t mean I lack a sense of adventure, or think I am too old to do certain things. To me age has little to do with what you can or can’t do or what you are supposed to or not supposed to do. Or really with who you are. Who says a 50 or 60 year old who starts something new or likes something that is generally liked by younger people has to be a young at heart. Can it not just be something they like, regardless of age?

To me a birthday signifies another year of opportunity. Another year to try something new. Another year to learn. Whether about myself or about the world.

So what have I learned (or re-learned) this year?

  • To not sell myself short. This is a work in progress, but I have definitely made positive strides. To a lot of people it is probably strange that I have this on a list at all. In some parts of my life this is not something I need work on, but in others it is.
  • That just sitting on the sofa is not me (unless it follows a lot of activity!).
  • That consistency pays off.
  • That my husband’s belief in my abilities may be more accurate than my own.
  • That I need to put myself out there more.
  • That I have a waist!

I am looking forward to all of the adventures and learning that 31 will bring and hope it is as good as 30 was.

Monday, September 28, 2009

And the rainy running starts again

Since I have started this blog I have actually done surprisingly little running in the rain. And this isn't for a lack of running, but more the way the weather has worked out. But well, that has changed. As much as we have had great summer weather, living in Vancouver means the rain always comes back.

Before the last week I had shunned looking at or thinking about fall clothes, but the air in the past week has felt like fall and made me look at little closer at the sweaters and boots as I passed by the stores.

So yes, fall has arrived and while I am a summer girl at heart, on a recent run I recalled how I had made the best of weather we had last winter. 30 degree days and floating around in the ocean are always where my heart will be, but there is still fun to be had on rainy and snowy days in the months to come. So, to rainy running, muddy running, and eventually (at least more than likely) snowy running, I am, if not looking forward to all of them, at least embracing them the best I can.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunny Sunday Adventures

Sunday was the day for adventure. We got up bright and early and hit the road just after 6am for the Duffey Lake area, which is about 40km north of Pemberton, which itself is about 30km north of Whistler. The area is home to the Cayoosh Mountain Range. Graeme wanted to do some pre-winter recon on a backcountry skiing area. We hiked in to the hut, which took about an hour and a half (including running some of the decommissioned road). From there you get a really great view of the glacier. It was a relatively warm day, but at altitude it was still pretty chilly.

We had lunch and walked around the area a bit before heading back out. On the way out I managed to bail, not once, or twice, but three times. Luckily nothing more then a couple scrapes and a slightly wrenched muscle in my upper back. The few days of rain easlier this week had made the forest really damp and the wet logs were pretty unforgiving.

The only wildlife we ended up seeing the entire day was a bear on the road in Pemberton. I’d rather see one that way then when hiking!

With no plans for the rest of the day and as it was a beautiful day and just after noon when we finished off the hike, we decided to stop off in Whistler on the way home. We had lunch and beers on the patio in the sunshine while watching the Seahawks (who lost) game on one side, and people on their mountain bikes coming down to the base of the mountain on the other.

After a beautiful drive down the Sea to Sky, we finished off a great day with some homemade pizza (homemade pesto, mini farmers market tomatoes and boconcinni) and a great bottle of Therapy chardonnay we picked up while in Penticton. I wish all Sunday’s could be like this!

Birthday Boy

Somehow this is the 11th in a row of your birthdays we have spent together. One before we were dating, and 10 since.

I hope you have a wonderful day but you probably shouldn't drink as much as you did the first birthday we hung out. I don't think 21 shots of tequila is a good idea for a 32nd birthday. It suited the 21st more.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cultus Lake Sprint Tri Race Report

We left home around 6am and got to the race site at 7:15. It was a beautiful morning and turned into a beautiful day. Got everything set up and had some time so hung out for a bit. It was nice to have Graeme as my race sherpa as when I did Shawnigan he was also racing so this was my first race with support. There were also lots of other people from the club racing and some of their spousal support as well. Eventually I got my wetsuit on and did a quick warm up before they called everyone out of the water for the pre race meeting. I had a slight moment of panic in my warm up but then was ok.

I started off toward the back and ended up having to swim around a bunch of people. My swim was consistent but not fast. I felt really good about my swim the whole time though. Coming back into transition we were swimming directly into the sun and siting was really hard. I went a bit off course but not too bad. I remember thinking about how much easier and more fun this was than my first race. The water was warm so there was no take your breathe away feeling when trying to breath.

Transition went ok. I had some issues with the wetsuit but not too bad. Then I was out on the bike. I felt SO MUCH BETTER on the bike this time then last. I felt like I could push more and was actually smiling and having a really good time. I passed a bunch of people on the bike and I think only a couple guys passed me. There were 2 other girls and I who were all passing back and forth but I beat them both off the bike.

Onto the run. I was sure that at least one of the 2 girls was going to pass me as she really looked like a runner. My legs were heavy and it took a while for them to come around, but they did. All of a sudden, the finish line was coming up. And I mean all of a sudden. It turns out one of the turn around was put in the wrong place and the run was only about 4100m instead of 5000m.

I ended up being 8th overall female in the sprint and third in my AG (out of 15), so podium which was a big surprise.

12:58 2:00 (swim was short - ended up being 650m)
0:39:43 30.2 km/hr
0:19:14 4:49min/km (4km)

I am happy with how I feel about the whole race. Overall it was just a great morning and day and I was happy being out there. Such a huge feeling of redemption after how I felt after Shawnigan (which really wasn't much worse but I didn't feel as good about it) And I am so glad I did this race at the end of the season. Now I feel energized to work hard this winter for next season!

Post race and awards was lunch and beers at a pub with a bunch of people from the club. Congratulations to everyone on their races and thanks to all for the support. I can't think of many better ways to spend a Sunday!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Penticton - The Race

Well they say all good things must come to an end and at least my vacations have to until I win the lottery or become independently wealthy. Of course before the Penticton vacation was over, there was a small matter of a race for Graeme. His race review can be found here on his new blog.

And here's race day from my view.

I was up at 4:15am with Graeme and out the door just after 5am to walk down to transition. Unlike how I would be if I was ever in this situation, Graeme was appeared to be very calm. He headed into transition and I waited by the gates with another tri club athlete's wife for the final good lucks.

I set up to watch the swim and then headed over to get a view of transition in what I thought was an appropriate time. Less than a minute after I arrived, Graeme was out of the water and I was not ready at all with the camera. I ran over to see him head out on the bike, where I heard a "you're a hard person to keep up to" and when I looked over my shoulder, it was my FIL who had found me in the crowd. Once Graeme went by, his parents and I set out in the car. We did a number of stop, let Graeme pass by, then re-pass and do the same. Each time we would pass him, his mom would roll down the window and give a big cheer.

We had decided ahead of time that we weren't going to drive the Yellow Lake section and instead would take the detour out towards Apex Mountain and back into town, as we had heard that you can get stuck in traffic for hours at Yellow Lake. It turned out that it would have been ok, but this way we did get to grab a sandwich and coffee before heading to the run course. We watched Graeme on the out and back portion in town and then drove further out on the run course to see him again. Unfortunately we ended up missing him at the second point.

Back into town and back to the motel to put the beer in the fridge - something that had to be done! We hung out at the motel for a while before heading back out to Lakeshore and to watch the finish. Graeme was done in 11:09 - pretty much exactly where he had hoped and great on a day which ended up having really smokey conditions for the run portion. We waited while he had his massage and got some pizza. He looked great at the finish! We then all headed back to the motel for more beer and more pizza before his parents took off. I had wanted to stay up until the end as we had done last year, but at around 10:30 I was falling asleep and headed to bed.

I was woken up a bit later by lots of loud cheering. I looked at the clock and it said 11:55. I thought it had to be Sister Madonna Buder finishing and so I ran out to the TV (the race shows on the local station) to try and catch her finish. I was too late to see it but it was her. After watching her come in just after the cutoff last year I was so glad she had made it this time!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kettle Valley Rail Trail

After finally locating the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail on Thursday, I knew I had to go back on Friday and do my long run there. The KVR is a 455km trail that runs through the Okanagan Valley and was originally used for the railroads before rail traffic was abandoned along the line and the trail was turned into a multi-use trail in the 1990s. The portion of the trail I ran on goes all the way to Kelowna or over 60km or 40mi.

The views are stunning. I started from our motel and made my way up Vancouver hill (steep!) and then out onto the trail. The immediate views are of downtown Penticton and the lakefront and then as you continue on the trail you run through vineyards and over trestles. I wish I had a mountain bike so I could have spent more time up there. Of course the trail is uphill on the way out - and more then I had realized so what was supposed to be a 90 min run turned into 45 on the way out and 38 on the way back in. And even though I had left just after 8am, it was already hot, and the clay cliffs suck the heat in and make everything around it warm. There were a few shady spots on the trail and I was glad for them.

I ran as far as where we had lunch the previous day (the cute bistro) before I decided my legs had had enough. I wish I had kept going though! I have a feeling I will be back again before I leave.

Penticton and the surrounding areas are actually home to numerous trail systems and there are many local operations which offer bike riding and wine tasting combos. I can’t see too much wrong with that!