Sunday, April 26, 2015

Vancouver 100 Training

Saturday Neil, Dave and I did a section of the V100 route that climbs from Cleveland Dam to Hollyburn Mountain. We went "up" for about 2 hours and then turned around. We were travelling in snow for a good portion of the outing. The snow was wet, slushy and slippery. Our feet were frozen!  There is presently more snow on the North Shore Mountains of Vancouver than there has been this entire winter!  What a crazy winter it has been. 
But lower down the daisies were flowering in the grass. Spring is here despite the recent snowfall in the mountains. 
Sunday Neil and I did another section of the V100 route from Deep Cove to Seymour Road. The first part of the trail was so busy with people going to "Quarry Rock" where there is a nice viewpoint over the water below. It wasn't that long ago that very few people hiked this trail but now it is very popular with tourists and locals alike. The trail erosion is quite bad. However, beyond Quarry Rock, the crowds disappeared. This was another outing with lots of climbing. The photo shows Neil at a new trail section that replaces the need to run down the road. It is longer and slower than if you took the road option but it keeps people off the busy road and this new section has been nicely constructed. Looking forward to more outings next weekend on the V 100 route. It is a tough one! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Black Mountain from Nelson Creek

Today Neil and I met up with Kirsty and Glyn to hike up Black Mountain from Nelson Creek. It was good to catch up and reunite on the trails. Last summer we did several hikes together, Neil had mentioned to Glyn that this route would be a good stretch of the legs!
The hiking books rate this as: Difficult, 19km return, 1,184m (3, 884 feet) of elevation gain. 8 hours (we did it in 5hours with a good rest break at the top). We usually do this hike a couple of times a year as it features in a couple of local trail running events. It's a tough section for any event!
Lunch at the Top of the Bluffs on Black Mountain. The sun was warm and the visibility was good with views out to Vancouver Island. And the best bonus - no  BUGS! It's a little early in the season for the mighty black flies that make me react with swollen welts.
Glyn and I climbing - it is very steep! Very Steep!

Kirsty and I heading up the first scree field.
Looking forward to our next outing together.
 Here's Fergus cheering for the Vancouver Canucks. It is Stanley Cup Playoff time in Vancouver and ice hockey fever takes over the city.  Last year, Vancouver missed the Playoffs so there is much excitement this year as we take on arch rivals, the Calgary Flames in round 1. 
Go Canucks Go!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Diez Vista 2015

Saturday was Neil's 10th running of the Diez Vista 50km trail run. This event 11 years ago was also our first Ultra Marathon. (It didn't take place one year) We were both signed up to do the event this year which Neil was determined to complete but closer to the date I got into the funk that I wasn't going to do it. I completed the Dirty Duo 50km (52km) in good form a month ago and had some good outings on the trails since but somehow was lacking the desire to do the Diez Vista. It's a tough one, and this would be my 5th completion. I had been on the event trails a few times this year but I wasn't feeling like I had done adequate training on the course. 

Something changed for my mindset on Thursday evening and all of a sudden I became so proud of Neil and I for the many ultra events (160 between us) we have both completed since the Diez Vista 11 years ago. We have accomplished many great achievements in the last 11 years since our first Ultra. What an opportunity to celebrate by doing the event together! 

My thoughts never darkened once I made the decision to run. We towed the start line together and we had a great journey.  I was full of positive thoughts throughout the event. The power of celebrating all the good things we have done together and the fortunate life we have together. I had some niggling foot issues but nothing I knew I couldn't work through with electrolytes and a little Vitamin "I". 

At the start line - Wendy the RD giving us some updates. 
Route changes!!...listening closely. 
The route changes made the new route calculated by one of the runners to be 52km and 8,103 feet of elevation gain, 16, 207 feet of elevation change. No wonder my quads are tender today!
This photo was taken on a long rocky stretch heading to the finish with about 8km to go and one final major climb remaining. 
I am proud of this ultra! Most for how the power of positive thinking can influence our successes. Today the Olympic Cauldron was lit in Vancouver.  Five years on from the 2010 Winter Olympics, it is only ever lit for special occasions.  In our own way, we took this as a symbol of our own successful and highly enjoyable completion of Neil's 10th Diez Vista and my 5th! 
Thank-you Wendy, fellow RD's and volunteers for making this another great Diez Vista!