Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dogsledding VS. Ultra Running

Dogsledding as a Christmas Present
We head back to Invermere  B.C. for Xmas and I find out my dad got us a 'dogsledding tour'. I was a bit unsure at first, but once we went to Toby Creek Adventures and were driven past Panorama ski hill,  to a camp the excitement built up. We met the mushers and helped hook up the dogs. Megan and I were strapped in securely, and Jim and Aaron(the musher) were at the back.   The dogs were smaller, and friendlier than expected. Once the harnesses were hooked up they went nuts! With all the howling etc, you would think they were at some major race!!
Dogsledding Vs. Ultrarunning
OFF we went... faster than I expected.  We get to chatting with the musher. He has done the Iditarod - wow!  So I start the questioning:
1."Do you usually start this fast??"- answ- 'no- we start slow at the start- Save up for the end'
2."What do you do at checkpoints/camp?"
- answ- " we give the dogs nutrition and look after their feet"
3."What type of fuel do they use?"
- answ- "dogs burn fat like we burn carbs". Their diet is largely fat".
 -Immediately after a workout, they are fed a high fat treat
4."What kind of Mileage do they practice?"
-answ- "10 miles, 3 times a day now...we build up/peak/taper"
4."How do you determine which dogs are fit for the race?"
- Answ- their build (perfect lean/muscle), their feet (compact) and their ability to eat during a race. If they cant eat during stress, they will not make the race!! ...

I can certainly see the similarities with ultrarunning!   The head musher thought that with our training so far, we would make great mushers in a multistage dogsled race. 30-40 degrees C below.... no thanks! Not to mention that when Jim got to drive alone, the sled was headed toward a rock so he.. LET GO!(#1 no-no in dogsledding), leaving his poor wife (me) and daughter strapped tightly  into the sled,pulled blindly by the dogs, tilting at a 45 deg angle as we went up the side of the rock!  Thank god the head musher got control of them. We finished off the chilly trip with hot chocolate around the fire, amidst beautiful scenerey.
Of Course we RAN
With no immediate races, it was nice just to run for fun (and keep some level of conditioning over the winter).
Over the week we were in the kootenays, only two days it warmed up to minus 10-15 degrees. Warm enough to run without your nostril hairs freezing together.

12 mile out and back run (6 mi up/6 down) along endless logging roads back into the Purcell mountains.

When the snow got too deep to run on the logging roads, we resolved to do a 15 mile run out on pavement through farmland.  7 miles out in the boondocks, we come across a guy in a mack jacket, with a large axe on his right shoulder stumbling out of the bush..."Melvin! " I holler with excitement.  I was certainly glad to see this farmer I knew from years back, but I was more excited /relieved that I knew who the dude was with the axe! ahhh, only in the Kootenays.

Well, after a wonderful Christmas in Invermere with my Parents , its back to Vancouver, and running in the rain. Its a price I gotta pay to have the warmer temperatures  :)


Thursday, December 10, 2009


Yaaay! the Diez vista 50 K is happening!!! This is a MAJOR goal of my running.
Here is the  short story;
- After breaking my tibfib I get into trail walk/running for my rehab.
-My first trail race is the 5 peaks diez vista ( only 14km section). I place top10. psyched.
-I show up to view the 'crazies ' doing the 50 K diez vista finish line, um, 4 yrs ago.
-I watch Susan Evans cross the line- WOW!  I am so impressed by a woman in such great shape.
-It is now a DREAM  to do this race'. I show up to cheeer the 50K finishers every year .
- Jim and I train... me recovering from a broken leg, him from a pulmonary embolism (welder, 2 pack a day smoker- obviously he quit)
-Did  several trail races and a 3:34 marathon together- NOT the endgoal... was training for the 50K
-Did the Frosty 50 K .  NOT the endogoal... was just practice for the Diez vista..
-Find out the Diez vista might not occur--oh no! ... and now the great news . It is happening! Yaaay!

.... I'm actually thinking of a post race party as I live 5 min away from the finish. Hmm. Luv2run, luv2 party!