Friday, December 17, 2010

The Snow was Fresh and Deep...









Today Neil and I both had vacation days. We had plans to stay home and prepare for Christmas but the beautiful blue skies and snow covered mountains enticed us for some snow shoeing. We went for a mid afternoon trek on Mt.Seymour on the Dog Mountain trail. It was so pretty and a nice runnable snow shoe trail. The views were spectacular and we could see many of the peaks that we climbed this year in the Bagger Challenge. What a great day!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trying out the New Snowshoes on Mt. Seymour

Today Neil and I went to Mt. Seymour to try out our new snowshoes. They were fantastic! The weather was perfect! Fresh snow on the mountain with brilliant blue skies all day. We moved really well over the snow. It took me a bit of practice to get the technique for the steep down hill. If I leaned back too far I was on my backside sliding down the slope. The trick is to lean forward and put your weight on the toe grips of the shoes - then you are fine! Going up hill was easy and running was fun! It was a great workout. We were out there for about 2 hours. We wanted to go longer but other seasonal commitments were calling! We are excited about going again!
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Powerful Effects of Weather on the Trails.












Friday night the Scottish Comedian - Billy Connelly was performing in Vancouver. It was a great show! The show lasted 2hrs 40 minutes and he went straight through without a break. It was a great laugh! This past week we had more snow and very high winds. We lost a tall Blue Spruce tree in our garden that we put our Christmas lights on every year. It will be missed but the beautiful boughs will get put to good use next weekend at a Christmas Wreath making party and the wood will be dried and used in our outdoor fire pit. The weather has also impacted the trails. Saturday we went for a run on the Baden Powell trail and found it covered in ice and snow. That always makes it a bit of a crazy outing of caution and fear. Sunday we were back in Maple Ridge and went to Hayward Lake and were shocked by the damage that happened from the high winds. Once the authorities learn of the damage they will probably close the trail. I think Neil and I were among the first people through there since the storm. So both Saturday and Sunday's runs were impacted by the power of winter - although early, it appears winter is here! Looking forward to the arrival of the snowshoes this week so we can really embrace winter and do some snowshoe running.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winter Has Arrived!





This weekend winter arrived here in the Vancouver area. Saturday morning the ground was covered in snow and the temperature was below zero. Neil and I had a 2 hour run at Hayward Lake. I love running in fresh snow...the woods are silent and the foot prints of the animal tracks are a good reminder that we are not the only users of the trails! Sunday we met up with Chad and Marla for a 2 hour run. They showed us a trail quite close to home a nice climb up to Hoover Lake. A beautiful snowy outing! The forecast is for cold temperatures early this week (minus 10) and overall a snowy winter. We have ordered new running snow shoes to embrace the predicted winter conditions!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A North Shore Trail Run


Craig and I - Hi Neil!

The starter photo!

Saturday Marla and I joined Club Fat Ass for the 20 km Sweet Go Deep event. Neil had made plans to pour a concrete pad at the barn with Randy and Andy. Randy has been helping Neil with this project for a few weeks now. There was heavy rain early in the morning and I thought will the day go as planned. I thought about a "custom" run as you can do with a CFA event and will Neil be able to pour the concrete? All those crazy thoughts prior to the alarm going off. Once up - the rain had stopped and I packed up my gear and was on my way to pick Marla up. It has been a while since we have had a trail outing together. Marla and I are both students at SFU so the conversation was rich with student schedules, projects due and plans for next term. We made it to Deep Cove in 45 minutes. The car park soon filled up with CFA members for the event. Nice to catch up with many trail friends. We sign in, pose for the start photo and head off. Craig knows the route so we stay with him and his trail knowledge of the area. The trails were soggy and very slippery - unfortunately Craig hit a slippery section of rock and bottomed out! Ouch! A few of us ran as a group which made for good trail chat. Marla and I joined in for the post event lunch and took home a few prizes. Thanks Reagan who hosted the run...it was fun! Looking forward to some more upcoming CFA events in November and December. Today Neil and I did a good 1.5 hour run locally. Trying out a new headlamp tomorrow on a night run - Fenix HP10 - it is supposed to be a good one!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crewing at H2H - 100km Road Race

A few weeks ago Andy Bachmann asked Neil and I if we could crew for him again this year at H2H. Neil would not be doing the event this year because of his ankle injury. I really enjoy crewing for this 100km road race. This event is also a relay with 8 different legs. The relay runners start a few hours later so the ultra runners get a good start ahead of them. There is no aid along the way so the ultra runners rely totally on the crew for food/liquid/possible clothing change and a ride to the start line at 3:30am! Marla was keen to join us in the fun car. Our alarm went at 2am - the event starts at 4am. Andy was at our place by 3am and we transferred his box of goodies and clothes into our car. We met up with Marla at the start at 3:30am. Andy looked focused and said he was feeling good. We saw many familiar faces at the start, this event brings back many of the same runners each year. Marla whispered to me as the runners gathered for the start - do you think Andy could win this today? I hadn't given it much thought up to this point - I knew he had been training well the last 6 weeks and he mentioned he was feeling good. We both smiled and included Neil in our discussion - we concluded it was possible. We cheered the runners off and drove over to the Tim Hortons for coffee. Glenn Pace was crewing for David Crerar and he joined us for coffee. We had a few good laughs over coffee despite it being 4am - we returned to our duty of crewing and gave the runners a cheer as they ran up Dewdney Trunk. Andy asked us to meet him for the first stop after the first relay exchange. All was well and he said he was feeling good. On leg 3 we informed Andy he had moved into 2nd place. We had been enjoying Glenn's company so far but we had to part ways as Andy was flying! We drove ahead to find a place to pull off the road and discovered another runner up ahead. Now we had to inform Andy there was one more runner ahead. Marla and I voted for Neil to tell him! Andy had now passed who we thought was in first and now he really was in 2nd place. He remained in 2nd place until the start of leg 5 where he passed the runner ahead of him and now was in first place! We were one happy crew but our runner was starting to get a little grumpy! This is to be expected so we did our best to meet his needs and his directions of coke/water/S-caps to the finish! We were a bit concerned that he had not eaten much only a few bars and gels early on. But with the amount of coke he was drinking we knew he was definately getting some calories. Marilyn and Ron came out to see Andy and met us at the start of leg 7. They drove back to check where the next runner was. It was a female who was looking strong. We knew that if Andy held his focus and maintained his pace the race would be his. However, we put a wee bit if fear in him that he had to keep it up to stay ahead of her. Neil, Marla and I were amazed as Andy remained so determined and focused. He had some classic remarks throughout the journey that we wrote down. Neil plans to include them in the "movie" we will make for him as a memory of the day. We were a proud crew as we left him on the final leg to drive the car to the finish. Andy finished in first place in a time of 8hours 43 minutes. He was still looking strong at the finish. He showered up and then came back to the finish line to greet other ultra runners and relay teams as they came in. We drove back to Maple Ridge and the crew went out for something to eat but Andy went home to celebrate with Anke and their 5 children. I hear they all enjoyed some Pizza - good...he finally ate! ;-) Exceptional race Andy! We were so impressed with your focus and determination. We went for a run in Golden Ears today and I was focused and determined...thanks! - you have motivated us all!!
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Baggers Dirty Hat







With the Bagger Challenge now complete for 2010 there were no plans to meet fellow baggers for those long days on the mountains this weekend. Neil and I settled for our favourite local trail, Hayward Lake. There was a chance of rain so I grabbed my hat that I had just washed this week after the end of bagging season. It didn't come clean! I often had the hat clipped onto the outside of my pack and with the descent of many peaks taking place on my backside the hat became indredibly dirty. We had a good laugh when I put it on today with much dirt remaining! The trail at Hayward Lake was a carpet of thick maple leaves today. The seasons have changed since we were last there. It is such a peaceful trail - I said to Neil today that when I run on the trail at Hayward I feel a sense of comfort and peace. The trail is always different depending on the season and the weather. It is a very good work out with technical trails and undulating hills. The direction we like to do the trail finishes with 7km of flattish trail that is a good run out. We were done in 2 hours and had time for a quick shop on Robson Street for a few fall essentials. Weather forecast is for stormy winds and rain tonight and tomorrow.