Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Work Travels

Last Sunday I skied with Kobi, her BFF Dino, and my friend.  The weather was stunning and the trails weren’t too bad.  We’ve had a ridiculously long snap of warm weather.

ski trails and dogs

What it looked like last weekend on the trails

Then work took me out-of-town and because of the warm weather I opted to drive the five hours so I could bring my ski gear with me and test out the trails south of here.

After picking up enough food to last me a month, I settled into my hotel and just as I was finally falling asleep, the individual in the room above me decided it was time to return to his room.  Now, to add some context to this, I am in a different time zone in this town, an hour ahead of what I am used to.

Noisy person proceeds to drop large heavy objects on the floor for about 30 minutes.  It sounded like he was dropping weights on a tile floor.

I finally get to sleep only to be awakened by Mr. Noisy at 5AM (4AM my time – thank you time zone change).  He can’t do this quietly either.  I swear he put on his work boots and proceeded to lope around the room for an hour!

At one point it sounded like he was dragging a fridge around the room.  I’m dead serious as I don’t know what else would’ve made that kind of noise.

I changed rooms later that day as I couldn’t handle another night and morning with Mr. Noisy.  The remainder of my stay was a bit quieter.

Recall I brought my skies with me as I heard there were great cross-country ski trails and the weather was super nice down this way too.  Of course the first attempt at finding the trails resulted in me getting lost, but I eventually figured things out and found the trails.

ski and skate trails

Super wide, well-groomed trails, but no dogs allowed.

Once on the trails, I made the silly decision to leave the groomed trails to check out the rest of the trail system.  It was super icy and treacherous on those trails, but I eventually found my way back to the safer groomed trails and managed not to fall and break a hip so everything ended okay.

I did go skiing again on day 3 and stuck to the groomed trails this time.  The ski was good, but lonely without Kobi.

I got to ski with Kobi again on Friday when I was back home and enjoyed this beautiful sunset.  Unfortunately this long bout of warm weather has taken its toll on the snow.  The trails are now a mess of treacherous ice, tree branches and dog poop.  I won’t be skiing until we get some snow again.

sunset

The sunset on our ski on Friday

I’ll have to stick to swimming and snowshoeing and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll attempt to run again.

Ever had a noisy hotel guest ruin your stay (not just the x-rated kind).  Do you like to explore new areas when you travel out-of-town?

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We’re Having a Heat Wave!

sunrise

This is what the sky looked like Saturday AM

It all started Tuesday night.  The forecast noted a wind warning and warmer temperatures.  They were right.  The wind was brutal and it was even raining horizontal for a while.  The temperature jumped to +7C that night.

Since the windstorm it has been unseasonably warm.  Like +5C (with lows to -5C).  It’s forecasted to stay warm all next week too.  This is one long Chinook.

Monday night, prior to the heat wave, I had a moonlight run on the community trail.  Of course it was cold that night (-17C).  Kobi loved it and we were the only ones out there.  We did come across some snow angels though.  No photos as I didn’t have any pockets to put any digital gear in.

I haven’t run since Monday as I’ve been having some weird foot issues.  It started earlier in the month and I had hoped it would just go away, but it hasn’t.  The top of my foot hurts between the ankles.

I’ve been doing some Google research and have self-diagnosed myself with extensor tendonitis.  I’m going to see a physiotherapist on Monday when I’m out of town for work as we don’t have a physiotherapist where I live.  We also don’t have a veterinarian (more for Kobi than me), but I digress.  I shall see what the physio dude thinks.

Skiing doesn’t seem to bother my foot much so I’m doing that.  Thank goodness because Kobi goes a little loco when she doesn’t get run lots (as do I).    We did have a lovely long snowshoe Saturday afternoon as walking doesn’t hurt (no wildlife encounters).

dog in the back of a car

Kobi after our ski in +5C. This is her I-don’t-want-to-go-home-face.

Well, I’m off for another ski as it is a balmy +4C already and Kobi is (un)patiently waiting for me…


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Under Running Wear – Review(s)

I have been wanting to do a running underwear review for a little while as I’m always on the look-out for warm practical cold-weather underwear (mostly  because I live way up north in Canada).

It seems that mostly men’s underwear is made to cover a bit more than traditional girl underwear, but I did find a women’s version of warm under-shorts made by Sugoi.

I test drove three pairs (two men’s, one women’s) during a winter outdoor activity:  cross-country skiing and/or running outside.

The MEC ultra light merino boxers are men’s boxers and fit a bit large and sit very high (like 1980’s high) and were just a lightweight merino – not as warm as I had hoped.  For folks outside of Canada, MEC is Mountain Equipment Co-op.  MEC would be similar to REI in the USA (I love that store).

men's boxers

merino

The other pair, also men’s, the MEC T2 wind boxer, fit true to size and were warm and made of a super soft fabric.  The bulgy front part has a wind proof fabric on it so it’s extra bulgy for girls.  Regardless these ones fit true to size, were warm and quite comfortable (and don’t ride so high).

boxer briefs

T2 boxer

The Sugoi Mid Zero Bun Toasters have nice long legs and are made from a very soft warm technical fabric.  They fit well, but sit a bit low on the backside, like plumber’s butt low.  That’s the last place I want a subzero draft getting in.  Not to give you more information than you need or want, but I don’t have a ton of junk in my trunk so I think the shorts are the ones lacking on the backside versus me having just too much junk for them.

women's boxers

Sugoi Bun Toasters

I was really hoping to rave about the Sugoi’s as they seemed to have it all and were even made for women.  Perhaps it is just a matter of going up a size.  There is a men’s version of these too and I’d recommend those as the fabric is super soft and warm.

My top pick is the T2 wind boxers for serious cold conditions.  The Sugoi Bun Toasters are very warm and nice and long, but just don’t sit quite right unfortunately.  

Oh, and it just wouldn’t be proper if I didn’t post a photo of Kobi…

dog under a blanket

Kobi keeping toasty


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Winter Wanders

Winter trees

The view during our ski. It was actually snowing really hard when I took this.

It’s been a week mixed with some sun and snow and slightly warmer temperatures.  But of course it’s the weekend now so the temperatures have dropped.  Yesterday was  -20C with a wind-chill of -27C and it’s currently -27C with a -31C wind-chill, but it is sort of sunny out.  It will likely start snowing soon because it seems to like to snow here.

This is how I looked last Sunday after running outside for 75 minutes in -25C, no clue on the windchill.

frozen runner

This is my winter ninja look.

I bought Kobi a pretty little red jacket.  I’m not certain if she needs one or not. She has a good coat of hair, but she is mostly an indoor dog unless we’re out on one of our daily adventures and I’m concerned she might get a bit cold sometimes.   I think I’ll just get her to wear it when it’s -20C or colder, warmer than that and I don’t think she needs it.

dog in winter jacket

Kobi sporting her Little Red Riding Hood jacket

She wanted to pull it off when she wore it for the first time, but during our weekend ski adventure she didn’t seem bothered by it at all and did all her usual dog stuff like pooping, rolling in snow, chasing squirrels and finding dead animal bones.

And for your viewing pleasure, I made this short work-out video with a friend this morning.  Check it out if you want to take your work-outs to a whole new level (and have snow).  Just a few notes:  I’m wearing the cool dark blue snowsuit, the other dog is Kobi’s BFF Ginger Daisy,  those are grosbeaks you hear in the background (birds at my bird feeder), it was -30C out when we did this, and remember you do any new work-outs at your own risk.


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Liebster Award

Liebster Blog Award

So a little while back, I received some cool news.  HealthyLife.HappyLife informed me she had nominated me for the Liebster Award.  Thank you Healthylife.Happylife!!

Apparently there are rules associated:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger – see above
  • List some bloggers with less than 200 followers that you really feel deserve a little blogging love!  See just below this
  • Let all of the bloggers know you’ve nominated them. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you’ve nominated to answer – see below the bloggers
  • 11 random facts about yourself – see below below
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you – see below that

Here are the bloggers that I’m nominating:

  • The Parrot in the Power Lines – she lives overseas (currently in Seoul).  I don’t travel out of country much so I love learning about other countries.  Because she lives in these countries she provides insight into culture and sightseeing that you wouldn’t pick-up on just travelling there for a few weeks.  It’s very cool.
  • Girl Runs Wild – Her blog name says it all!  I love how we can connect with runners all over the world just through blogging and how even if we’re in different parts of the world we can relate to each others running experiences.  I also like her writing style and sense of humour.
  • A Fast Paced Life – she lives in New York and does all these cool New York things, plus runs in tons of races (even as a zombie) and in tons of cool places.  Her race recaps make you feel like you were there with her.  Plus, who doesn’t want to live vicariously through someone who lives in New York?

My questions to you bloggers (noted above) should you choose to accept are:

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world (don’t be practical) where would you live?
  2. What is your favourite hobby/pass-time?
  3. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
  4. Dog or cat person?
  5. Provide 4 words that describe you.
  6. What is your favourite food?
  7. What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done (planned or by accident)?
  8. What is your favourite post you’ve written (please provide a link)?
  9. What is your favourite band/singer?
  10. Who is your favourite author or do you have a favourite book or both?
  11. Why do you blog?

Alrighty, so 11 random facts about me…

  1. I don’t eat red meat (except sometimes buffalo jerky).
  2. I have really straight teeth and have never had braces to get them that way.
  3. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day (oatmeal with frozen blueberries).
  4. I could eat the same food for all my meals day in and day out (mostly because I’m lazy).
  5. I prefer tea over coffee (except I like coffee after a long long run).
  6. I have no tattoos.
  7. I have more running clothes and jackets than work clothes and jackets (I often just dress up my running clothes with work shirts and jackets as a result).
  8. I hoard chapstick and lip balm and have one in every jacket pocket, purse and room in the house so there are probably over 40 chapsticks kicking around this place.
  9. All my pets are rescues (3 cats and 1 dog).  The one cat has to live in the shop as she hates other cats and prefers to live alone.
  10. I absolutely cannot watch scary movies, they freak me out, but I’ll walk in the woods in the dark, go figure.
  11. I eat way too much red liquorice.

Now, to answer the questions provided by healthylife.hapylife…

1. Why did you decide to start blogging?

I find myself in funny predicaments and I feel compelled to share those stories.   I was also hoping my folks would read my blog and get a sense of what I was up to, but they haven’t figured out how to follow me yet.

2. What is your favourite post you’ve written? Provide a link!

Probably one of my “earlier” blogs – On a Whim.  I think I’m missing summer activities as we’re in the thick of winter (it was -38C here yesterday).

3. If you could be trapped on an island with any famous individual, dead or alive, who would it be?

Hmmm, so many cool people.  I think I’d have to go with the Dalai Lama.  He’s just so spiritual and kind and wise.  Or maybe Prince.

4. If you and said individual could one have one food on your island, what would it be?

That’s tough because you need a food with everything you need in it (carbs, protein, fat and fibre and stores well), so I’d have to go with brown rice, plus I don’t know if the Dalai Llama eats meat.

5. What motivates you the most?

People who don’t give up regardless of physical challenges they’re faced with.  That always reminds me to be grateful for being healthy and having the ability to run around whenever I want.  Never take your health for granted.  Kobi also motivates me, about three times a day, to walk, run or ski with her.

6. Chicken or the egg?

Chicken.

7. What is your favourite form of physical activity?

Running of course – not counting this year’s New Year’s Day run though.

8. What is your least favourite form of physical activity?

Push-ups.

9. What is one skill you’ve always wanted to learn?

I can’t dive (into water) and I really want to learn how to dive properly.

10. What is your favourite childhood memory?

This memory stands out and I think it’s funny.  I was riding on the handlebars of my older brothers bike and we had found an old boot.  He told me throw the boot as far as I could while he rode the bike while I sat on the handlebars.  I was about 5.  I threw the boot, but went with the boot and skidded across the gravel road on my face.  My brother was convinced we were going to get in serious trouble so I was not to tell mom.  I had a huge swollen lip that was bleeding so of course mom would notice.  When we got home she asked what happened and I said “nothing”.  That’s all I remember.  I think this one is my favourite only because I can remember it so vividly (up until telling my mom nothing happened).

11. What scares you?

Scary movies, wolves, velociraptors, and vampires.

Ta da – done!

dog digging

It just wouldn’t be a post from me without a photo of Kobi


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Life in a Snow Globe

I’m beginning to feel like I live in a snow globe as it never seems to stop snowing.  I did see that big yellow star they call the sun yesterday and for a little bit today, but it’s gone again.  I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen the sun since the beginning of December.  It’s getting depressing.

I decided to run on New Year’s day in town as I figured the trails would be better there, they were worse.  I did get to the see the elusive moose just at the bottom of my road when I was en route to town though, so he or she does really exist – Kobi barked at it.

Moose in the snow

The moose that makes the tracks I keep seeing, it’s a bit blurry.

So back to the run.  It was horrible.  It took me 45 minutes to cover 4.5 km.  I got excited when I could run on part of the trail that the deer had been using as it was slightly easier than breaking trail myself.  I did a lot of cursing in frustration while Kobi was running around having fun.  I need to try to embrace her dog happiness regardless of conditions.

Trails covered in snow

Our New Year’s Day run in the snow.

I gave up on the trails and opted for the road for the last bit of the worst run ever.  Problem with road running is that Kobi needs to be on a leash and she turns into a sled dog the second a leash goes on.  She is from the Northwest Territories so she could be part sled dog, who knows.  Anyway, it was more cursing on my part and Kobi running out of control. Lot’s of fun.

To add to my worst run of the year I came down with a nasty cold that night – compliments my hubby who got it first.  That was karma catching up with me as I am very unsympathetic to him when he gets a “man cold”.

To prove my superior strength to him (as I always boast I am so tough) I went to swim class the next morning and cross-country skied a few hours later.  I did have to go to bed after the ski as I was feeling absolutely horrible and completely drained by that point, but I didn’t tell him that.

The ski was stunning, apart from feeling like digging a hole in the snow and curling up to sleep.  I took this picture during the ski as it reminded me of something from a Dr. Seuss book.

Black spruce in winter

The view during my ski yesterday.

Oh, I want to thank HappyLife.HealthyLife for nominating me for the Liebster Award, how cool is that?  Check out her blog, she is hilarious and also offers these cool training plans.  I’ll address that awesome nomination in my next blog, but first I have a question for you other bloggers.  I understand that I need to nominate a few more bloggers and I read so many awesome blogs, but I suspect some of them have also been nominated in the past.  How do I know if someone has been nominated before, or should I just nominate away?