If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm Not Dead!

Cough, cough, hack, sneeze, cough. Just blowing the dust off the blog because it's been a little (okay a long) while since anything has been posted. I know I said I'd post the Badwater pics and I will. Not exactly sure why I've felt unmotivated to write anything recently. Could be because we spent most of the summer camping or doing other things than running or sports of any kind. I have to say it was refreshing. But now I'm back!!

One of the summer highlights would have to be riding with 9 guys from work up to Whister. We left on a Tuesday in early September from Vancouver with the weather being perfect. It got a little warm after Squamish because of the slight tailwind and going up all the hills mid-afternoon. I think I clocked the 120km trip at around 5 hours of ride time. After beers and pizza and then dinner at Mongolie Grill, it was hit-the-sack time at 10:30. 6am came early to get ready for the ride home. As energetic as we might have felt after we arrived at Whistler, we were all feeling slightly sluggish the next morning. It didn't help that when we left at 8am the temperature was 8 degrees. Glad I brought my arm and knee warmers, vest, and light gloves. These were especially beneficial for the first hour or so when we were descending way more than ascending.
We missed the headwinds around Squamish luckily and after that we pretty much cruised all the way back to the skytrain in Vancouver for a total of 4 hours. I had big ambitions after this ride to go from my house to Mt. Baker (250km round trip) a couple weeks after but got laid up with a cold. Still not off the radar as I might try it next week depending on the weather.
As for running (oh, yeah, that's what I really do, isn't it?), Carrie and I ventured to Manning Park last week and did the Frosty Mountain 50k and 27k. I was crazily signed up for the 50 thinking it would be a good long training run leading up to the Baker Lake 50k which would be much less hilly than Frosty. Carrie was the smart one doing the 27k. Little did I realize that because I hadn't been doing a lot of trail work, this was going to be tough. Oh, how we think we know our bodies!!
Short summary: There were two guys way out in front after a couple k and I was following a group of eight. Not worried about getting lost I only saw the guys in front of me. On the long first climb we passed the people heading up to man aid station #1 with water in hand. We got to the sign indicating where the first aid station was to be and carried on. Twenty minutes of steep climbing later I saw some runners coming back towards me. My first thought was that there was a bear or something on the trail. Nope, we had just gone the wrong way. All the way back down what we'd just gone up and saw that at the first aid station we were supposed to go right instead of left. Oh, well. If it wasn't before, it definitely was now, a training run.
The path up to the summit of Frosty was mountainous to say the least. With the cold wind, clouds whipping past, and small flakes falling, it felt like an expedition. I basically kept the heart rate down and just made it a long day of training and slogged to the finish feeling actually not too bad in 6:18. Should have been probably a half hour faster if not for the detour but that's racing.
Next up is the Baker Lake 50k this Saturday. Carrie is attempting her first 50k as is my sister. Tracey and Lucy, crew from Badwater, are also running so it will be a bit of a Death Valley reunion minus the heat. Looking forward to pushing myself a bit before a bit of trail down-time to concentrate on the Whistler 50 mile on November 5th. Might as well.

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