Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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2013 Most Memorable Moments

Seeing as 2013 is on the way out, I felt compelled to do a little blurb about my most memorable moments of 2013.  So here they are and I warn you, it’s all about me!

January to March – running during the early morning hours with my friends.

runners in the winter

My favorite photo of me and my friends running with our dogs in January

April – me and Simon Whitfield (Google him if you don’t know who he is) after the Vancouver Sun Run in April.

photo with Simon Whitfield

Me and my hero Simon Whitfield

May – Vancouver BMO Half Marathon – ran a personal best and the weather was stunning!

June – local triathlon – won my age group – I was the only one in my age group –  lol!

August – I started this blog and ran the Emperor’s Challenge mountain race (20km).  Came in 2nd in my age group and 6th overall out of the women (and there were more than 10 women, 376 to be exact – 46th out of 586 runners).

finish line of the Emperor's Challenge

The finish line at the Emperor’s Challenge in Tumbler Ridge, hottest day ever!

September – bought my first SUP/kayak and fell in love with paddling…

kayak on a lake

The maiden voyage of Nalu my SUP kayak

September cont’d – lots of bears and Kobi’s birthday party – she turned 2!

Dog and bear poop

Kobi and bear poop

October – Goodlife Fitness Victoria Half marathon.  Ran into my cousin Nate at the start line (totally random).  He passed me at 18km.

November – Vancouver Historic Half, came in second in my age group.

Siwash Rock Vancouver Seawall

This is the view on the run – Siwash Rock on the Seawall in Vancouver – so beautiful.

December – snow…

snow in the trees

Snow

and more snow…

dog in the snow

Kobi is turning into a snow mole

And I ran 1,004 miles in 2013.  The last 6 miles were obtained December 28, 2013!!  I haven’t run since, but I will run tomorrow.

Happy New Year, happy running and all the best in 2014 everyone!

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Enough Snow Already

snow shoes

My snowshoe run/jog attempt

I had the week figured out, or so I thought.  My plan was to alternate each day between running outside and cross-country skiing until Sunday.  The weather forecast even indicated this could be a possibility.  Not so.  I woke up today to a ton of new snow on the ground and more still coming down coupled with a nasty northwest wind.

As a result, I talked myself into running on the treadmill (again).  I think I’m experiencing significant treadmill remorse as I’ve been running on the darn thing so much versus sucking it up and running outside.

Low and behold, 25 minutes into my treadmill run, the power went out.  I was convinced this was the universe trying to tell me to get my lazy butt out the door.  I mean, it is all about me so why wouldn’t a power outage happen solely to convey a personal message?

I sucked it up and got geared up for an outside run and of course just as I was heading out the door the power came back on.  That was the universe laughing at me.

I managed to run jog (very slowly) in snowshoes for 4km.  I thought my heart might explode it was so hard in all the deep fresh snow.  Kobi loved it even though she had to constantly stop and wait for me to catch up.

After the snowshoe we did a wee bit of Boxing Day shopping (a few stores actually open up for the big day in our little town).  It’s mostly an opportunity to run into absolutely everyone you know and chat about stuff.  I did purchase a purple toque and some jeans for a good price.

Not sure if I will be able to ski tomorrow as there will likely be another foot of new snow.  I reckon I’ll be snowshoeing for the rest of winter at this rate or I’ll be buying Kobi her own treadmill so she can run and watch television with me.

snowfall

Some serious snowfall happening today

Have you ever felt the universe is sending you a message?


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More Winter Excitement

dog on a winter trail

Kobi exploring on a new deer trail we checked out today (likely looking for deer poop).

It was another really cold weekend.  I got out for a cross-country ski on Saturday and then opted for a treadmill run on Sunday.  The ski was brutal.  It was slow going because of the cold, there is just no glide when it’s -30C.  I think  Kobi found it cold too, I need to get her a jacket. 

Our Saturday evening walk was fun (insert sarcasm).  It was totally dark, as usual, and I was walking the trail where I’ve seen the moose tracks.  There were no fresh tracks so I figured he or she had moved on.

I was deep in thought with my head down trudging up the trail and of course Kobi was up ahead (slaying dragons).  I heard her bark, which is very unusual for Kobi when we’re out walking – she only barks at strangers and scary things.  So when she barked, I figured it was either a moose, wolves, vampires, velociraptors, or perhaps a lynx.  There are so many rabbit signs on this trail there has to be lynx around. 

Anyway, Kobi barks, I freeze and attempt to see what has her barking.  I see nothing (as it’s pitch black) so I call her and she comes charging back to me 90 mph and races past me towards home.  I take this as a sign that there must be imminent danger and proceed to follow her, fast.  Only I’m wearing snowshoes, my giant aviator hat (with rabbit fur – lynx attractant?) and a Helly Hansen snow suit that is three sizes too big (my husband got it for me and I swear he’s convinced I’m three sizes bigger than I really am or he figures one day I will be so he better buy things that I can grow into). 

snow suit

It felt like I was running pretty fast, like Kenyan fast.  Considering what I was wearing and that my glasses were totally fogged up from the adrenaline sprint, I was impressed I didn’t wipe out.  We made it back to the road just fine and I didn’t see anything in pursuit of us. 

The next day I went back up the trail and didn’t see any tracks so I’m not sure what she thought she saw or heard.  Perhaps she was just messing with me (that would be kind of funny).  I’ve always thought that Kobi is super smart and as a result she knows not to let on that she’s smart so she doesn’t have do too much.   That’s the true definition of smart.

Sunrise

Sunday’s sunrise

 


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Life in the North

Temperature chart

Today’s temperature, at least it wasn’t windy

The week has continued to be cold and snowy.  I walk Kobi in the dark in the morning and again in the dark after work.  I feel like I live in the dark.  There’s been so much snow and cold that even I can’t tolerate to run outside, plus I’m not especially keen on running into that darn moose at night.

I can almost see how it would go down too.  I’d be wearing my little headlight (batteries replaced, by the way, so it’s much brighter) and looking down to avoid any eye contact with the monsters in the woods.  Kobi would be off slaying dragons and velociraptors up ahead somewhere out of sight.  Suddenly something would tell me to look up and wham, I’d broadside a moose.  The moose would scream, I’d scream, then I’d panic and turn the opposite direction and run as fast as I could.  I would likely be wearing my running snowshoes which I would manage to trip on, face plant in the snow and then proceed to get trampled by the panicked moose. 

That’s why I’m choosing not to run outside in the dark right now.  I will run outside on weekends during the day when I can actually see what large mammals I may encounter before crashing into them. 

Speaking of darkness, as of today we are at 6 hours and 14 minutes of daylight (hours from sunrise to sunset).  Soon it will be the solstice, 6 hours and 13 minutes of daylight, and then we slowly get more and more daylight minutes that eventually add up to hours.  By June 22 we get 18 hours and 27 minutes of daylight.  How awesome is that?!  That’s when the birds sing until 11:30PM, take a short nap and start singing again at 3AM.  I have lived through enough northern winters to never ever resent getting woken up by birds singing at 3AM, it is such a beautiful sound.  

Oh and another factoid/observation made by me, the wanna-be biologist, snowshoe hare rabbits love eating alder branches.  My brilliant observation skills discovered this on our walks and while picking up Kobi’s poop behind the house.

   

snowshoe hare tracks

Snowshoe hare tracks by the alder bushes

Stay tuned for my weekend update, I’m sure something interesting will happen.  I will be test-driving my new men’s merino wool boxer briefs too.  I really want someone to make practical warm boxer briefs for girls (not cute short ones), and without that bulgy part in the front…

PS.  If you dig my dog Kobi, check out our Facebook page.  I post really awesome photos of her which include absolutely brilliant statements made entirely by her. https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Outdoor-Running-Adventures/639019532794970


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Moose Tracks

Moose tracks

Fresh moose tracks where we walk

We’ve had a week of nothing but snow and cold.  I haven’t run outside much as a result.  Every walk with Kobi involved wearing snowshoes and choking on snowflakes.  It finally stopped snowing on Friday and today (Sunday) it warmed up to -10C.

On our Friday lunch hour walk, in the sun, a moose had meandered along the same trail we were walking along.  I was pretty sure I was going to end up seeing it as the tracks were very fresh and Kobi was pretty excited.  The snow was so deep she had to stay on the trail rather than try to follow the moose tracks.

Dog in the deep snow

Kobi in the deep snow

One thing about Kobi, maybe most dogs, is she loves eating moose and deer poop.  She was thrilled to find some moose nuggets and wasted no time in indulging herself.  I’ve given up trying to stop her and she doesn’t eat so much that she makes herself sick, good thing she can show restraint.   Hey, we all have things we like to eat but know we probably shouldn’t.  Mine is red liquorice.

dog in the snow

Kobi digging for nuggets

Yesterday we had a great ski in the forest.  I’d have taken photos as it was stunning out there with all the new snow and sunshine, but it was -24C and I was reluctant to remove my mittens.

The ski tracks weren’t set yet as it had been snowing so hard for days.  I wanted to ski for 2 hours and on our second loop around we ran into the awesome trail groomer dude who was out setting track.  I did a happy dance when I saw him.   He probably thought there was something wrong with me as trying to dance on skis likely doesn’t look like dancing.

We followed him back in order to have a slightly easier ski on nice set tracks.  I was really tired by that time and Kobi’s feet were full of snow and ice (I felt bad for her).  We motored along and made it back to the parking lot in great time.  I started my vehicle, put Kobi inside, got some of my gear off and then proceeded to lock myself out of the vehicle.

Yup, that’s another of my super powers.  When fatigued I do stupid things. Fortunately there was another girl in the parking lot who leant me her phone (as mine was in the vehicle safe and warm with Kobi) so I could call home for help.  I was only slightly hypothermic by the time my hubby rescued me 20 minutes later (the other vehicle was buried in snow and it was also -24C out so it needed to warm up a tad first).

I will have to teach Kobi how to unlock doors.  At least I had put a warmer jacket on before locking myself out or it would’ve been really bad.

What’s your funny “locked out of the vehicle story”?

Dog paw

Kobi’s feet are adapting to the cold and snow by getting more hairy


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My Review

Originally submitted at SportChek.ca

Best winter running shoe
By Outside Runner from Fort Nelson, BC on 12/11/2013
4out of 5

Use this shoe when running on packed snow, not on bare roads. Super light and amazing traction in the snow. My feet have never been cold in these (I do wear wool socks in them) and I run outside in up to -30C. The attached gator is awesome and keeps the snow out and warmth in. Don’t wear these inside on wood floors or on wooden decks as the metal spikes leave marks. I do get a slight pinch point on the inside ankle, but put a small piece of foam there to cushion that. Wish they came in women’s sizes so all my friends could get them too.

Salomon Snowcross

(legalese)

Salomon Snowcross

My favorite running shoe for snow.