Wednesday, July 1, 2015

bighorn 76'er

i'm never sure i'm going to get to the finish when i do these huge runs, especially after my track record the past few years, but this time i felt kinda almost nearly 85% confident!  training went well, very well!  i was signed up for the sulphur 50 miler end of may, but decided last minute to ditch the 3:30 wake up, the drive to hamilton, the 4 loops of a course i'd run many times before, the being all fucked up at the end and having to drive home, and planned my own little route instead.  and that way, when i finished, all fucked up, all i had to do was sit in a chair!  i got duncan to drop water on the 5th, got up at a reasonable 6am, packed my shit and ran over to hockley and back.  what could go wrong!?   i was smiling right up until 9 hours, and then i got tired. but overall, i was soooo happy with my 'plan'.   i got in over 12 hours of running, 70k distance and about 10,000' climbing!


i also did some early morning runs - love these ...


where would you rather be ...


an hour tire pull with alice at the end of a 6 hour run ...


 more sunrises ...


a night run ...


a detour over to my friend kim's new property!  i figured this would be a good place for a squat rack!


one last run with alice, and it was time to taper ...


i got my buddy greg to drive me to the airport and i was off to calgary to meet up with my awesome friend leslie for a road trip of epic proportions !!!  minor panic attack as we sat on the plane in toronto for 45min, waiting for them to try and fix some fuel light.  and even more panic when they announced they would be removing SOME of the luggage and putting it on another flight!  AND especially panicked because i had actually checked my bag for the first time in a hundred years AND put ALL my krap in it!  argh!   when we finally arrived in calgary and i saw my beat up old red duffel bag roll down the chute, i shrieked and hugged a random stranger!  what a relief!


leslie met me at the airport, and we drove to banff, but not before we did a little 'shake out run/hike/shuffle' up mount yamnuska!



i LOVE this pic!


on our way back, we spotted a grizzly on the side of the road!


and some sheep!


ohmygawd!   so beautiful!


the next day we drove back to calgary, where i met our other trip mate angela, and finally made our way down to montana.  we spent the night at great falls, and this was the sunrise i woke up to ...


we stopped at the local walmart in butte for an impromptu 'eat out of the van' breakfast!  angela even bought us sippy bowls ...


we got to wyoming early afternoon, and after picking up our race kits we eventually found the 'cabin in the woods' that oliver had rented for us.   kevin from boston showed up just in time for dinner, and we all got settled in.  race start wasn't until 11 the next day for the 100 milers, so we had lots of time to get ready in the morning.  here's a shot of the 4 of us - looking all clean and happy ...


it was a warm one, over 30 i heard, but that didn't really bother me.  what a beautiful area - i was forever stopping and gawking around!  i managed to wipe out within the first 10 miles or so and sprain my finger - what a loser!  made life a bit difficult when i was trying to undo my pack, or change my sox!  hahaha!  anyway, here are a few of the shots i managed to take ...


wildflowers everywhere ...


a pic of me trying to get over one of the wooden bridges - i don't do bridges very well ...


one of the climbs ...


top of one of the climbs - check out the sky!


a few more shots along the way ...


i was feeling great.  i got to the jaw's aid station about 3:30 in the morning - 90 minutes to spare!  i had managed to run most of the night in the dark, BY MYSELF!  i met up with oliver who had decided to pull the chute, as his foot was all nasty from a stress fracture.  that SUCKED!  after changing my sox and grabbing some food, i headed back down the mountain.  i literally almost ran in to kevin on his way up - he had been having stomach issues and was also forced to withdraw.  that SUCKED too!  up to this point, i was able to avoid most of the mud, and i was patting myself on the back for still having a sense of humour about it!  but like the captain says, no high fives until you get back to the car ...     not 5 minutes later i found myself in a bog with double shoe suck happening.   my feet were already getting a bit sore, and here i am, standing in 6" of mud with both feet on top of my shoes.  and because i'm superstitious, i have to fix the left foot first, even though my right foot was wrapped around my shoe and causing me a lot of grief!  i'm cursing like a lumberjack - i may even have said the 'c' word a few times, and trying to put my shoes back on, while standing on a 12" tuft of grass and trying not to cramp!  needless to say, the guy who came up behind me said he DID hear me, but that he didn't blame me, and that he was not offended!   hahaha!

the sun started peeking thru the mountains just after 4:30 i think.  it was beautiful.  i can't stop thinking of how scenic this run was.


it kinda went bad after this point.  my legs still felt good, but i was getting stoopid blisters on both sides of my feet.    WTF!?  taping and changing sox wasn't helping.  i even tried changing shoes but that made it worse.  i could feel myself getting slower, obsessing about my feet and wanting to stop.  but i kept pushing, i hated the thought of giving up.   i came into the aid station at 76 miles and asked one of the amazing volunteers to tape my feet so i could go on.  he looked at me and said that i only had 90 minutes to make it 6.5 miles on a technical climb.  i looked at him and asked him to try.  i sat in the chair and waited patiently for him to tape my feet, but i think it was too long.  when i stood up it felt like my legs had melted into my shoes.  i could barely stand and at that point i realized i couldn't suck it up anymore.   fuck!  27 hours and 30 minutes and my race was over.   on the bright side, i got to hang out at a really kool aid station with some really kool people.  this is starchy and heidi , both of whom stopped with me.  and i must admit, it was kinda fun getting a ride back to the next aid station on the back of an ATV!


here's a shot of the elevation profile, just in case you're wondering what the hell i was doing ...


but as always, it isn't just about finishing (at least i keep telling myself that) but it's about having a good time, and i ran until i wasn't having a good time anymore.  i ran in one of the most beautiful places ever, and i got to spend time with awesome friends.  i am lucky to be able to do this.

and the shot you all are waiting for ...


happy canada day!


and remember ...



Thursday, May 21, 2015

hurray hurray it's finally may !

 i just felt like posting some pix!   the warm weather is here - for the most part - and all the flowers are starting to pop in the forest!


not sure who did this but i LOVE it ...


red trillium in hockley ...


bring it on !


super kool cloud shot ...


white trillium...


i've been putting some great mileage in on alice, but ara doesn't seem to like her too much!


spending friday afternoons at the club boxing with darryl, fig and the guys!


i did my first 50k 'training run' of the season up in horseshoe valley - pick your poison.  4 loops with a couple of ski hills thrown in on each!   it was great to hang with some of the runners i hadn't seen in awhile, especially henry and little pink!


me and the captain had done some carb loading with donuts while in arizona so i thought i'd try it.  much to my delight, they had some nasty boston cream at registration.   i scarfed one down as i was pinning on my race bib.  it seemed to work well - my time was just under 6 and a half hours - surprising myself as i figured on coming in closer to 8 ...


two weeks later i did my second 50k 'training run' at the seaton soaker.  this was a little nerve racking, as i had to drive south of 7.  i did manage to grab a couple boston cream along the way, and me and the captain indulged just before the race.
 

it was a really hot day, and everyone did well to finish!  love this shot of kinga, francesco and stephan!  it was kinga's first 50 since a stoopid injury that kept her sidelined for a couple of years and she KILLED it!


francesco thought it would be funny for me to pose in front of this sign - being a 'no frills' kinda gal ...


steve and adi cooling off afterwards ...


and this guy is amazing - hans - 75 years old!
 

again, i was pretty happy with my time.  6:42 - almost 20 minutes faster than last year! the donuts worked again!


and then last weekend i jumped on a plane and headed west to see the redhead!  he did not disappoint!


gee, wonder where he gets THIS from ...


after faking sick on friday morning - 'i shouldn't go to school today daddy, i might make the other kids sick' - we hit walmart to pick up a present for a birthday party the next day!  i was kinda glad - gave me a whole other day to hang out ...


gawd i love this kid !!!