Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Soggy Weekend

We ran for 3 hours Saturday AM and 2 hours today. It was a wet, soggy, warm weekend. I have enclosed a video clip of our turn around destination on Saturday -the Lookout on Alouette Mtn. Not much of a view with all the low cloud and drizzle! The good company helped over come the misery of the weather. ;-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Night with Craig Ferguson

Today Neil and I met Wendy and Sibylle for a run on the Dirty Duo route. We met at Jaycee House (well sort of ;-) and did the route in reverse. We were out there exploring the trails for ~ 4hours. Sibylle took the road back near the end (well sort of) but was not there when we finished. We were a bit concerned and Wendy went searching while Neil and I stayed at the car. Sibylle decided to join back onto the trail as the road was a bit boring. She appeared at the car while Wendy was out looking for her on the road. To top off the day 3 out of 4 of us go to the wrong coffee shop post run. Wendy was waiting patiently where we really had decided to go! Never a dull outing! Very mild again this weekend with little chance of snow in the forecast. Yikes - Cypress Mtn is almost bare and they are trucking in snow and bales of straw to construct the site for the Winter Olympic free style skiing and snow boarding. The downhill and other events are taking place at Whistler and it has plenty of snow. The Olympic torch has now arrived in British Columbia working it's way to Vancouver. Our niece Kendall is busy rehearsing for the opening ceremonies and our brother in law is preparing for driving the VIP's around the city. The Canadian Forces have arrived for Olympic security- it is the largest Canadian security by the armed forces in history. Neil and I plan to stay as close to home as possible and watch the events on TV.
Tonight we spent the evening with our favourite and perhaps one of your favourite Scottish comedians - Craig Ferguson. The show has been sold out for weeks but Neil managed to get tickets on Craig's List that were fantastic! We were in the 4th row from the front and we even made eye contact with him a few times. During the show a women in the audience started to vomit and her husband got the attention of the security, she was escorted out the stage door and the doctor went running by with his bag of tricks. Craig handled the situation well and of course managed to pull together concern for her with a little humour about that being a first and how should he interpret this? Her husband shouted out - "must have been the Greek Food" as they left the theater. Of course Craig followed with yes when in doubt "blame the Greeks! He has a nightly talk show from Los Angeles that we watch often. It comes on just before our local late night news and it is a great way to end the day with a good laugh. Thanks Craig for a very good show tonight!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Great January Day in Canada!

Today encompassed a good running outing, dinner in a Pub with friends and a good old Hockey Game - the Vancouver Canucks vs the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After last weekends outing we all decided to run together again this weekend. Neil and I had tickets for the hockey game in the evening so we suggested to start the run later than usual so we could tie our trip into the city with the game. Craig very kindly offered his place as a meeting place and for a shower post run. Sibylle, Wendy, Craig, Neil and I set out at 12 noon for a run in North Vancouver's Lynn Valley. It was the first day the sun was out for a week or so and many people were out enjoying the trails. We ran through Craig's neighbourhood and saw the elementary school he attended as a child and a few other memorable sites. We joined the trails at Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and followed the Lynn loop trail to Norvan Falls. On the return we took an upper trail which Craig calls "Long Lynn Loop". The sun was going down in the sky and we crossed a lot of water crossings. We were all starting to feel the cold so it kept us moving. Craig had a slip on some slippery roots and went down hard. He said he was OK and from behind me I heard him mention that his "cheek" was sore. I overheard Wendy taking a look at it and saying - yeah Craig it's a little red. Looks like that might bruise! Well later on I asked to see the red cheek and suggested to Neil we should take a photo of it. Craig points to his face - oh my - I really thought he meant the cheek at the other end of his body. This of course brought us to a fit of laughter. Neil had some interesting questions about the old growth forest that were preempted with justifying his questions saying I grew up in Scotland and we don't have woods like this there! We joined the Varley Trail at Lynn Headwaters then popped out onto Lynn Valley Road for a few km run down to Craig's condo. 4 hours total. We quickly showered (Wendy and I noticed we were faster than the guys!) and walked over to the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub for some well earned food. We all had places to be so it was a quick bite to eat with some good laughs. Neil and I were happy to find parking near GM Place as many Vancouver roads are already closed for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Olympic Fever is rising! We just need more snow in the next few weeks. Vancouver Canucks had a spectacular win 6-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins who were last seasons NHL winners. Go Canucks Go!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Warm Humid Run

Craig running by me as I stop for the picture!

Wendy, myself and Craig starting up the Seymour Grind.

Craig and Heather

The green and humid West Coast Rain Forest in North Vancouver.

Great run today!! At last weekends party a few of us ultra runners committed to get out on some longer runs together in 2010. Well we started the year off right with a run today with Craig, Heather, Wendy and Neil and I. I was able to negotiate a somewhat later start time (9:30am) as Neil and I had an hour drive to the start. We met in Deep Cove in North Vancouver and ran the trails for 3 hours and 40 mins with some stops to talk to a few people we met along the way! Gilles, John, Karl and other crazy Club Fat Ass members started at 6AM to run 75km today. They do crazy things like this quite frequently! Perhaps because they can and a few of them are training for an upcoming 100 mile event in the USA. The weather here was very warm and humid today. We were all sweating so much. At first I thought it was related to the cold I have but the others were experiencing the same. You can see the humidity in the photos above! Last year at this time we were under feet of snow - it appears the snow decided to fall in the UK this year! On Graeme and Fiona's return to the UK they were stranded at Gatwick Airport for 48 hours waiting for a flight to Inverness. They never did get a flight but managed to rent a car and share it with complete strangers who were also desperate to get back to the Inverness area. I bet they now know each other well after 11 hours together in a car. ;-) I have enjoyed reading the WHW blogs about your outings in the snow, running to work and can empathise with the chaos the snow and ice can create. We are hoping for some white stuff to appear - the running snow shoes are waiting!
We made it through the first week back at work and school in 2010. I am doing a BioStatistics class this term which will fire up some areas of grey matter that have not been used of late. "A" in last terms research and survey methods class - I just about fell off my chair in my study when I saw that. Cheers!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Weekend

The 100th Ultra Cake

Ean Jackson - 100 Ultra Marathons and the cake.

Celebrating the finish of the 100th Ultra with Champagne.

Neil at the finish of the 50km New Years Day Run - it was wet!!

The starting photo of the New Years Day Run - big crowd!

New Years Eve Neil and I spent the night in downtown Vancouver. We arrived a couple of hours before the shops closed and managed some power shopping on Robson Street. I was in desperate need of a new pair of road runners and found just what I was looking for in the Nike Store. Nike Pegasus, a neutral, very nicely cushioned road shoe. I don't do a lot of road running but Neil had signed us up for the Fat Ass Club's 50km run on New Years Day which contains quite a bit of road. This was going to be a first for me - an organized run on New Years Day?? 50km?? I really wasn't keen to do such a distance. A running buddy Wendy and I opted to do 2 hours on the course which consisted of some trails in Stanley Park and the sea wall around the park. Club Fat Ass allows you to be flexible with your distance and you then call it a "custom". The 20km custom was enough for me on New Years Day in the pouring rain. Neil and other brave folks carried on to complete the 50km's. Maybe next year I will be more focused to do the entire distance. On January 2nd we ran close to home for about one hour and today we rode our bikes on the dykes in Pitt Meadows. Overall we were quite active over the Christmas season. We enjoyed being home this year hosting Christmas. Last night we finished off the season with a friends party at our home. About 20 people came to celebrate the year. One of the runners - Ean Jackson just completed his 100th Ultra Marathon on New Years Day. I'm only at 27 - I better get out there!!
Happy New Year!