Monday, September 1, 2014

labor day weekend ...

the legs were still a little tired, prolly more so from crossfit than fatdawg, but i totally had fun up in glen haffy and north of 9 today!


a little steamy, but couldn't keep the stooped grin off my face …


i ran into a group of hikers having a picnic right in the middle of the trail!  they generously donated a couple pieces of watermelon and sent me on my way!   awesome!!


the lookout …


the pond with the squawky geese that reminds me and nigel of one of his ex-girlfriends - the REALLY evil one …


kool mushroom thingy …


not the birthday tree, but almost as majestic …


great day, great trail, great run …


 and i always love getting back to my car and finding notes like this - one day you're gonna get caught ralph...


a huge congrats to my friend kathy who came SECOND at the crush games in florida!



i went for a short hike sunday and caught the sun setting over the pond in palgrave ...


monday i went for a foggy, drizzly run in albion for an hour.


goldenrod is starting to flower!!


i had good intentions for crossfit, but my little body was just too tired.  so i went in and rolled and stretched while ince and the assman did filthy fifty, and kathy grunted and exclaimed 'jeezuz murphy' more than a few times!


congrats also to one of my kindred running spirits - tone - who finished the deer lake 67k in newfoundland on the weekend!


and FINALLY, look who my brother ran into on the weekend !!!



Thursday, August 28, 2014

fatdawg 53



DOH !





wow!  what an adventure!  it all started in 2010 when i decided to train for the fatdog 100 - which was actually 120 - but that's another story.   i worked my ass off (or according to my friend sera, my lack of ass) off.   i was good.  i went to alaska for a 5 day training camp, i did a 50 miler in new york which almost killed me, and i did a ton of crossfit.  i was ready.  and then 5 days before the race, it was cancelled due to snow on the course.  i was crushed.   i didn't even think about it for the next couple of years.

i was playing with an injury for most of 2013 so i didn't do a lot.  finally in the spring of 2014 i figured i'd make another attempt at fatdog.  i initially signed up for the 70 miler, but on a whim put my name on the wait list for the 120.   big mistake as it would turn out.  not near enough time to prepare for a race of this magnitude.  it was, after all, billed as one of the 9 toughest ultras!  me and derrick did our best with the time we had, but it ultimately wasn't enough.

i arranged everything with my usual lack of intent, but managed to pull it all together.  i found a place to stay thanks to my new hyper buddy oliver - this gorgeous log cabin up on a mountain right near the finish line.   i enlisted the help of my super amazing 'mountain girl' friend leslie to crew and pace me - she's my hero!   i booked my flight just 3 weeks out, and was ready to go.   and yes, i was an annoying mess off and on for about a month.  why the fuck do i do these things ...

i flew into kelowna on the tuesday and stayed with the redhead for the night.  leslie came in wednesday, and after getting some groceries and renting a car, we headed for manning park.    we stopped at this huge fruit stand in keremeos and bought more food, and a milk shake - yes - i actually ate a milkshake.  and other than a bit of gas, i was fine!  haha!  leslie was totally enthralled with the monster zucchini for 75 cents, so she bought a couple. 


we arrived at the cabin around 4 where we met my newest bestest buddy ken niemimaa - labelled 'skinny white boy' by leslie ...


and oliver,  both were ontario boys.    we all got along great, and were joined by a couple of guys from the vancouver area. 
  
thursday morning was spent putting together all our drop bags - excellent distraction!   once that was done we drove over to race headquarters where we got registered and met race director heather.  after that, we went back to the cabin for a big feast.    the nervous energy in the room was incredible.


race day:  my biggest regret was leaving my camera in the car by mistake - i am a fucking idiot!  oh ya, back to race day.   the temp was perfect - not too hot and a bit of cloud.
  

oh ya!!! i met up with super fast incredible runner chris gt downie - another client of derrick's and the winner of the sinister 7 when i ran it in 2009!



we all congregated on this bridge and then somebody fired off a shotgun.  away we went - climbing, climbing, climbing - for about 3 hours.  it was amazing.  when we finally broke the tree line the view was breathtaking - too bad i forgot my camera !  

it would take forever to write down all i saw and did so i'll make it brief.  i climbed up a mountain, i ran down a mountain, i climbed up a mountain, i ran down a mountain, etc.  one of the best sections was the burnt out forest.  a fire had gone thru a few years back so all the trees were black and covered in soot.  the whole area had these really kool greyish white rocks, and the new growth was a bright emerald green.  top it all off with thousands of pink flowers and it was almost surreal.  i just stood there like a slack jawed yokel taking in the beauty of it.   i was lucky enough to meet this guy kevin from massachusetts.  he had a classic boston accent and sounded a lot like fat tony off the simpsons!  he was great!  we ran together for a long time and were able to share the sunset as we ran along one of the many ridges.  i actually did get a shot of this ...


we managed to survive not getting soaked on the river crossing and after a short run down the road we made it to the aid station where leslie was waiting.  i felt okay at this point and i think it was around midnight.  but it was from here that i started to fade.  leslie was awesome - encouraging me, feeding me these NASTY instant mashed potatoes from a sandwich bag which i squeezed into my mouth from a whole in the bottom!  argh!   kevin was a bit slow getting out of the aid station but he managed to catch up.  the three of us chatted and trudged through the night.  it seemed like all we did was climb.  i think it was at this point that my mental toughness jumped ship.  my feet hurt, but prolly no more than any other race.  i just wasn't able to suck it up.  and it think this was when i realized i wasn't going to make it.  but not giving up totally, i pushed as hard as i could to the next check point - which was on top of another mountain ridge.  i actually got us there with only two seconds to spare!   it was 20 hours.  we could have gone on, but i made the call to stop.  i was pretty upset but still, pretty sure of my decision.   the volunteers were incredible.  they fed us quesadillas and gave leslie a good stiff scotch before showing us the way out to the road - a six kilometer hike!  and all i can say about that is leslie and kevin were soooo patient with me and my whining!   thanks guys!


so now that i'm home and have had time to think about stuff, the only bad things were that i didn't complete the race, and that i forgot my camera.  the good things - shit - so many!  i ran 53 miles on some of the most beautiful single track in BC.   i climbed a total of over 14,000 feet to see this stuff!  i saw so many beautiful things that one would never see sitting on the couch.  i met a ton of new people - amazing people!  i realized that it didn't matter that i didn't finish because i did as much as i was physically and mentally capable of at this particular time. and most of all - I HAD FUN!!! 

and will i try again - who knows ...




Saturday, August 2, 2014

not long now !

so i had my last tire run with eddy on tuesday - pulled my little buddy for 8k!  i had a lump in my throat when i put him back in the trunk ...


check out this sweet sunrise the other day ...


what i THOUGHT was my last long run - 5+ hours a week ago friday!  i met up with richard and barb at the top of the 5th.  they were heading in the opposite direction - hiking for twelve hours ...


haha!  they used the little red mazda as their aid station table!


it was still light when i popped out onto the 15th ...


i grabbed this shot in hockley - just before the stoopid skeeters came out ...


my view as the sun started setting ...


this was at the top of the ski hill, just past the golf course ...


i did about 90 minutes in the dark.  good for almost 32k by the time i got back to my car!


on sunday i got awesome news!  my super incredible mountain friend leslie is flying into kelowna and crewing for me!  i was so happy i cried!   i can't imagine anyone else i'd rather have stumbling thru the mountains with me!!!!
 

and then spafford informed me that i had ANOTHER long run THIS weekend - prolly cuz i've been giving him so much grief lately.  so back to hockley and up the 5th - for the last time!  the wildflowers were stunning ...



i couldn't sit for too long - the stoopid deer flies were awful !!!


the skeeters were horrible too, so i grabbed this one real quick ...


and holy krap - who knew they had orange salamanders in hockley !!!


so i put in another 5+ hours.   i'm tired.  but i'm ready.  and i think i'm done freaking out - which is good ...


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

north face endurance challenge collingwood

as part of my training for fatdawg, derrick decided i should do the 80k up in collingwood last weekend.   what could go wrong?  it's only a ski hill.  as always, i left the logistical shit to the last minute and was scrambling to find a place to stay.  luckily my crossfit buddy darla was kind enough to lend me her chalet - only 2 minutes from the start/finish in the village of blue mountains.   i had a few clients friday morning, came home and packed my stuff, and then headed north where i eventually met up with the captain - by the flags dora, by the flags.  i also ran into my sexy friend alistair and his partner richard, and their buddy noel - who had NO idea what he was getting himself into!  haha!


race start was at 5am - good gawd - so it was an early rise for us!  i marvel at how fresh and unsuspecting we all look at the beginning of these stoopid fucking things …


for sure the only time i'd see these two speedsters - at the start line!  they both came in under 10 hours - 9th and 11th i think ...


we had a great laugh at the numbers these three picked up - talk about pressure!


the morning wasn't too bad, although you could tell it was going to be a warm one.  after about a 2k climb we settled into a nice easy pace.  sunrise was spectacular and i was still sane enough to grab a couple of pictures …



it was a 25 mile loop, which i obviously had to do twice.  the captain was doing the 'sprint' distance, so he only went around once.  by chance we happened to meet up at one of the aid stations!  we were both looking pretty good here ...



as often happens, i get caught up in the event and forget to take pictures.  i can say that the first loop went very very well.  i was strong and running a lot of the hills.  i was actually feeling kind of smug, thinking it wasn't so bad UNTIL i hit the last 8k.  good gawd.  i think they threw in 4 monster climbs, all in direct sunlight.  AND the last mile was down this krazy cascade trail with switchbacks, rocks and about a thousand really high steps!  it was hard enough the first time around, and i was absolutely dreading what it would feel like on the second loop.  regardless, i was still feeling good right up until the 60k mark.  AGAIN - i met up with the captain at the same aid station.  he was looking like shit!   he had like 8 cups of water and electrolyte drink on the go, and was stuffing handfuls of potato chips into his mouth!  he was ranting about pavement and heat and sunglasses and surveys.  it was frightening!  it was at this point that i  think the heat started to affect me, as i was getting kinda dizzy and my left adductor was trying to cramp.   i then felt the old hammies starting to go - what the fuck - i rarely get cramps.  i was drinking lots and taking salt tabs just to stay ahead of them!  haha!  the last 20k were hard, but despite all the seizing up and the wobbliness, i was still running!  yahoo!  thanks eddy!  the second time down the steps was torture - i was grabbing trees and shit just to stay upright!  when i finally popped out of the forest and saw the big red north face arch, i was overjoyed!  i came across the line at 13:49 - eleven minutes to spare!  my buddy onions was standing at the finish line and helped me stagger over to a chair!  it was a good 30 minutes before i could get back up!  we all had a great laugh at my calves - twitching uncontrollably from electrolyte imbalance and calcium shortage - kind of like poltergeist!   (doctor joe later explained what that was all about)


cap was pretty messed up too, so we were quite the pair, walking like a couple of old geezers thru the village to our cars!   i was really hot and my whole body was throbbing.   stooped heat!  we finally got back to the chalet and spent the rest of the night indulging in 'forbidden foods' - ginger ale, chocolate milk, chips and pizza!  as my buddy coach panda would say, 'paleo faileo'  haha!!!


the best part of the run was knowing mfs was with me.  it would have been her birthday on saturday, and i figured a run in the forest was a good way to celebrate.  every time i felt like stopping, i would think of her, kiss my wrist and keep on moving ...


happy birthday mfs - you are always with me …


love you forever …
sisters forever ...