Wednesday, September 10, 2014

haliburton 50 miler

i think i was one of the last runners to sign up for the haliburton 50 miler last weekend.   i was on the fence for ages.  what made me finally decide?  well, a few things.  first of all, i felt like putting myself back in the pain cave for a couple days.  second, i was experiencing a little bit of 'unfinished business' after fatdawg, so i wanted to complete something a bit substantial to boost my confidence.  and third, i wanted another fucking pizza.  seriously!  and besides, haliburton is a great great place to run!

i worked the morning and after packing a few things and loading up a cooler, i was on my way.  the good thing about driving for 3 hours, is that you basically eat for 3 hours!  man that was awesome!  even more awesome was the krazy rain and hail storm i hit on hwy 11 just south of 118!  it was nuts!  i actually had to pull off the road for ten minutes, and sat there listening to the huge chunks of ice bouncing off my car!  once that settled i resumed my journey and made it to base camp just after 4pm.   i got registered and hung around chatting for a bit before finally making my way over to my new buddy oliver's place.   he had offered me a room for the weekend, and i gladly took it.   especially considering how shitty it would have been sleeping in a tent with more thunder and rain storms throughout the night!  i do still feel kinda bad about backing my car into his house though ...


i was up pretty early saturday and got the to start around 5:40.   after giving birth to a small animal just before 6 i was good to go!  it was a little drizzly and somewhat humid, but overall a great temp for running.  the first hour or so was in the dark and a bunch of us ran together.  and of course it wouldn't be an ous race without a straw from this guy!  the incredible ronny gehl!


i also spent a lot of miles chasing these two - steve and adi - before ultimately having to let them go, as i was getting tired towards the end.
 

#bestcoachever - derrick - was at almost every aid station. i looked forward to and loved seeing his sorry mug each time i came in for water and snacks!


speaking of snacks - gary and aid station 6 rocked!  here's a shot of him, me, francesco and chris on the way back, or the way out, i can't remember ...


i was really happy to see this sign ...


and holy krap!  check it out!  rainbow chips ahoy cookies!  i for sure had to sample a few of these ...


my favorite trail in the forest ...


the last few miles were very challenging for me and i was lucky to have chris to run with.  he kept me entertained all the way around the normac loop and then on that final 6k of road.  he was doing the hundred, so after a hug and a picture, we parted ways so he could head back out ...


my time was 12:36 and i was okay with that.


i was real happy to sit my arse down on the bench for a few minutes ...


my only regret was that i didn't get to visit and spend time with 'skinny white boy', who was volunteering all weekend.  here is is with the amazing helen malmberg ...


so yeehaw!  another 50 miler in the books.  overall i can say it was fun, but i was suffering the last few miles.  and the really great thing is that i think i'm finally getting my mental toughness back.  so in other words, i can 'suck it up princess' once more ...


when i got back sunday i went over to gerrrrrr-rrrry and tara's house for a crossfit crew gathering.   mmmmm pool party and BBQ.   jason p brought his adorable little girl erica who was an instant hit with everyone!!


rose, anthony, gabriella and mike.  check out gabriella's frilly bikini ...


and of course i do NOT own a bathing suit, so gerrrr-rrry lent me one of his.  love this shot with kim n and josh!  hiiiiiiiiiiii josh !!


lori and tara ...



gerrrr-rrry and josh ...


i had a super great time and it sure felt good to soak my poor old legs in salt water for awhile!  thanks for inviting us guys - that was awesome!

so what's next - hmmm - maybe a trip to the east coast ...


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 ...