Monday, July 11, 2011


LAST year I had something to PROVE- I wanted to make a 'time'. Mission accomplished !
...but in my efforts to run fast, I was frustrated with the difficult course and was angry for half of the run.

THIS year I had something to PROVE- to HAVE FUN! and actually ENJOY the course.                                               
 GPS of the course-horseshoe bay to deep cove:


To stick to my mission,  I showed up at the start line with NO watch.
As usual, I start cramping up at the start of the run... then after encouraging words from Peter Watson, I wind down, relax, and loosten up. Thanks Peter!

The first 'hill'.
Me= fun !
Dirk= Funner
Sean dude (in yellow) = Funnest ! Great attitude!

THE FIRST HALF (0- 25 km)
Up Black Mountain:
"Yaay, the scree slope, my favorite part" I announce, and subsequently got a lot of groans from the guys behind me.  I cautiously climb the boulders as earlier I dislodged a very large rock that bounced down the switchbackes, picking up speed. People were diving into the bushes to avoid injury. Ooops,...

Hitting the top (and probably a 170 heart rate), the expansive view is magnificent on such a clear day! Got a bit of vertigo there- not good when climbing on a cliff so eyes went back to the ground.

To Cypress and Hollyburn:
I was so worried about the snow reports, I actually had a nightmare that I was lost running in the snow. Why did I worry- the snow offered a new level of FUN !  It took mega focus to watch my foot placement.  I saw a guy shoot one leg down a 'post hole' with the other one still on top of the snow- Ouch. Another poor soul "ran though" a puddle, only to sink in thigh- deep ! So I went around that  'puddle'.

Hats off to the trail maintenance- they really had to dig deep to get to a bridge. We even had to climb a rope to get back up on the several feet of snow. Golden shovel award.

Sipping, sliding, and skiing- omg, the 'skiing ' down the hills in trail shoes was a blast! I must admit, by the time we hit hollyburn chute, after over an hour of running in the snow, the ankles and back were getting pretty fatigued.  It was such a pleasure to finally hit dirt.


Cleveland dam to Seymour Demonstration

Pretty much a blur to me.  I just remember going up/down , up/down. Power hiking on the hills, running wherever possible.  I did go off course a couple of times, but quickly re-routed thanks to hollers from other runners.
Amidst the blur of running off the miles, what stood out most on this section was all of the enthusiastic volunteers! Plus there were so many people I have gotten to know from the great trail running community, I felt like I was circled with friends!
Thank you JENNY for keeping me company, and pushing/pulling me (and sharing chips after ) .
Thank you dude in the Stormy shirt (waving in pic above) for the company while you catch me/lose me (and repeat)

Seymour Demonstration to Finish

5 hours in, I got my first sense of woosyness/weakness and started to question if it was ;
        a) my nutrition,
        b)a psychological barrier to cross as I haven't  trained past 5-51/2 hours (racing excluded)
To address (a), I popped a gel, and grabbed a cookie and chips from the aid station as I was craving fatty stuff at this point for some reason. To address (b), well, I just kept running to see what happens-what else can you do.

6 hours in, I got a second wind! I actually started feeling better that I did in the middle of the race .  It actually freaked me out a bit, wondering if I was  losing my mind ! The descent into Deep Cove was a blast- Waaahoooo! flying down roots, steps and rocks. Ripping across the bridges. Weaving in and out of people and dogs like its a videogame. I even ran all the last hills, which was pleasing as last year I could barely run this final section at all.  I owe it all to the great training runs with my friends.

I Cross the finish and see my time: 6:45  !
Only 2 mins slower than last year  AND I had FUN !
Considering the hours of snow running, and how great I felt after, it was a good  'pat on the back' for my spring training.

My Stats (for future reference, cuz I'm a freak, like many other trail runners )
Position :  Overall at 1/2 way point:  76th     position at finish  51st/205 . 12/67 women, 4/26 age. 
Pleased, as there were some amazing athletes attending.
                                                                           AAAHHH the post race soak in the OCEAN!
Water: 3.5-4 L
Coke: 3-4 cups
Carbopro- 2X200 calories=400 cal
Gels- 2                             =200 cal
Fishy crackers (for variety)= 100 cal
2 cookies                          = 100 cal
Handfuls of chipsX2          = 100 cal
Total - 900 on run + 300 breakfast bagel = 1200 Calories (about 170/hour)

Some pics from the race. $ for purchase went to North Shore Search and Rescue- great idea! Its neat to see the VARIETY  of terrain we got to run through in one day- SNOW, SINGLETRACK& GRAVEL ROAD .

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jim's Comeback Race

9 Months Post Pulmonary Embolism.... Not many people would go into a 50 Km race- But Jim did!
4 Months of Running ....Not many people would be ready for a 50 Km race- But Jim was !
He trained hard, got his nutrition downpat and was feeling confident.

Jim decides to do "SCORCHED SOLE" in Kelowna. He heard it was  "EASY"  previous years.
The race director this year decided to make it much more difficult- giving it about  a 2850 meter elevation gain, in the Kelowna desert heat, with no cover!  Thats about 400m more gain than Knee knacker.

7 hours in I'm expecting a   finish line call... no calll. Hmmmm. Finally, 10 hrs  pass and I get a call from his training partner who just crossed the finish line without him. Now I'm worried. At this point I would rather be running the race than waiting!  Apparently, elites who take 5-6 hrs to finish  a race took 7-8 to finish this one.
And wait....
I get random calls from other friends they dropped down from the 50 mile to 50 km as the trail had so much bushwacking it was difficult to run in. They saw Jim at an aid station, sitting in a chair  with reports of  back spasms. They figured he planned to DNF.

"Thats what she said"- Being married to a Physio, one would think he would work on his CORE. But nooo, he did not.  Apparently he was running great till it broke down on him, then every step hurt. Chair!

Impatience is a virtue?
Jim waits in the chair for about an hour and 1/2  with a group of people also thinking of DNF'g . He was told he had to wait until takedown to get a ride back. He is not a patient man, so he got up, and  gutted it out to the finish line.  Everyone was suprised to see him cross 11 hours later!!


It was HOT,
It was LONG,
It was STEEP
It was a lot of BUSHWACKING.

A lot shorter than my race reports!-. A man of few words.  He did later say how beautiful the area was, so he did manage to enjoy the journey :-)
Jim was proud and happy that he finished and he served as an INSPRATION to me. If he can gut out 11 hours in a 50 km with only a few months of training ... could I pull off a 50 mile ???

I ask : "So, has this turned you off from 50 Km's forever? "
His answer: "No, eventually I will forget and go in another one"
Don't we all. ....Dont' we all !