Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cateran and Vancouver 100 Training

We've been doing so much training - it's been hard to find the time to blog! ;-)
Easter Weekend we had 4 good days of training. We had a couple of long outings on the Baden Powell trail that the Vancouver 100 takes place on, some flat running and a 3 hour hike with Fergus on Easter Monday.

A section of the Baden Powell trail - it is rough and very eroded at times.

Some sections of the trail on Grouse is very eroded with sharp drop offs - don't look down! 

Rough but runnable in sections.

This weekend Neil did a solo 50km outing on the Diez Vista (his choice) to experience the journey on this own. He has completed 4 x 50 km runs in the last 2 months. Saturday, I did the climb out of Deep Cove to Mt. Seymour Road return to Deep Cove and then followed by a flat run around Burnaby Lake.

Neil doing a Selfie on the Diez Vista Course. The bay across Burrard Inlet is Deep Cove where I was for my run.
And from the other side......From the Baden Powell trail looking over to where Neil was on the Diez Vista  trail.
Unfortunately my run was diverted on the Burnaby Lake trail due to a Big Black Bear blocking the way. The bears are awake which definitely means spring is here!

More friendly creatures on the other side of the lake! Baby Canada Geese - mom was watching closely.

Today we had a good 2.5 hour run on the Lake View Trail at Buntzen Lake. Near the end of our run we were caught in a hail storm that was quite fierce. The hail hurt as it hit our bodies and we were  totally soaked. The weather this weekend was very unsettled from thunder showers, to hail to moments of warm sunshine.

Today on the Lake View Trail we came across this tree. It has been pecked to death by Wood Peckers.

We are looking forward to our trip to Scotland and the Cateran 110 mile event. I will be crewing for Neil with brother Graeme and Fiona. We have a couple more weekends of good training and plans for some longer mid week outings. We have been consistent with the training and weekly mileage. Our niece Kendall and her husband Chris will be joining us in Edinburgh for our final week in Scotland. We plan to visit Graeme and Fiona in Inverness area on the shores of Loch Ness. Neil is celebrating his 50th birthday on the 23rd of May. Nothing like the gift of a 110 mile event for your 50th!

Craig is in Vancouver next weekend for some Vancouver 100 training on the Baden Powell. Last I heard he was planning on doing more than a 100 km at Vancouver 100. It's an event where you can customize the distance. I have completed several distances over the years varying from 100 km to 25km but I've never considered doing more than the 100km. ;-)  It is a tough course, very gnarly with plenty of climbing on slow moving rough terrain. There are sections filled with snow which often require Yak Traks and poles. Last year after the Cateran we did 50 km. This year I am dreaming big for the full 100km. Happy Trails!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good Training Weekend for the Vancouver 100!

This past weekend the weather was fantastic for mid April in Vancouver. The weather was so warm for the season there were "weather warnings". We tend to associate warnings with cold temps or high winds. The skies were blue with temperatures around 20 C. This set us up for some good training runs.

Saturday we decided to climb Black Mountain from Nelson Creek and do an out and back. This is the big climb which you do from both sides in the upcoming Vancouver 100. Black Mountain is at 4,000 feet with 3,550 feet of elevation gain in 7.7km from the Nelson Creek parking lot. The trail starts out in a nice wooded forest but soon turns into scree fields, boulders and a near vertical climb for quite awhile. I decided to try the journey with poles. I've noticed others using poles on this route. I found them helpful and on the way down went with just one pole to act as an extra appendage. The views at the top of Black Mountain were so clear and with it being so early in the Spring there were no bugs! We could sit and enjoy our lunch without being eaten alive by black flies or wasps!

Heading up the scree section with the poles.
Rough terrain.
Beautiful Day!
Interesting use of Baden Powell trail markers.
We came upon this |"Vancouver Canucks Fan Club Hat" on a rock. The Vancouver Canucks just finished one of their worse seasons ever. The fan must have laid the hat to rest.
 The  journey of up and down the mountain took us 4 hours and 15 minutes including our stay up top.
Baden Powell trail returning from Mountain Highway.
Sunday we enjoyed the Baden Powell trail from Grouse Mountain to Mountain Highway and then return to Grouse. Plenty of ups and downs on a very gnarly trail. 3 hours. 
Tonight after work we met Marla for a climb up the Incline trail in Golden Ears Park (1.2km up with 500 feet of elevation gain) with a nice run down the fire access trail.
 I felt tired tonight - oh but it's a good tired ;-)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Diez Vista

Saturday was the 50km Diez Vista Trail Run. It is a great event with the Race Director being my trail buddy Wendy Montgomery.  I was signed up but have had a bad chest cold the last few weeks and decided to not do it. It's always a tough decision what to do. Neil completed it in his consistent pace! Fergus and I slept in and then set out to meet up with Neil along the course. It was Fergus's first Ultra as a spectator. He thought all the runners were Neil - greeting them all with a big smile and ready for a kiss!

Thank-you Wendy for the arm sleeves - great gift!

 My focus now is the Vancouver 100km event in June. I have ramped up my training on the route which feels really good. It is a tough 100km but it is the type of terrain I really enjoy. With time as with all things in life you learn to know your strengths. I really prefer the mountain trails to the roads or flat running. The next while I will be focusing my training on the Baden Powell. The ski hills are still open so there are some sections of the course we cannot yet access but Spring is here! Neil is doing the Cateran 110 mile even in Scotland in May. Last year we completed the 55 mile event together...what a great journey through the area where the Ambrose family farm was. Neil is turning 50 just after the event and what a better way to celebrate a birthday! ;-)
The Daffodils are blooming!
And the Cherry Blossoms!

Cloud covered mountains but nice Cherry Blossoms in the foreground.
Happy Spring - V100 we go! ;-)