Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Nearly Running

After being sidelined from running for about 5 weeks I found I had a bit more free time on my hands (and a lot less laundry), time that I should’ve used more productively.  Like tackling some closet organizing or doing some extreme house-cleaning, or even just more house-cleaning as I always have white dog hair and tabby cat hair everywhere.  However, I prefer procrastination over house-work. 

I did knit two pairs of these cool wristlets.  Good for chilly morning blog writing. 

wristlets

Wristlets I knitted. I’m just so crafty sometimes.

Back to the main point of this post, if I even have a point.  I am nearly back to my outdoor running adventures again.  The adventures are a bit short compared to the good ol’ days, but I’m optimistic they’ll be getting longer each week. 

dog sleeping

Kobi resting up getting ready for running again

You may recall I had been tracking my winter snow sport activities, but that came to a halt after the warm snap and my stupid foot issue.  I landed on 102 out of my goal of 150.  If we ever get some nice new decent snow again, I will ski and snowshoe again. 

I should explain that I am a bit of a cross-country ski princess.  I want good tracked trails if I’m going to classic ski.  You see I don’t really like classic skiing.  I love skate skiing.  It’s fast and looks fierce.  Mind you, those Olympic folks make classic skiing look fierce.   I don’t look fierce when I classic ski. 

What really looks fierce is biathlon.  Packing a gun while skiing would be the ultimate in cool and likely command respect (or some weird looks). 

Olympic Biathlete

This is what I think I look like when I skate ski, but I don’t look remotely this cool.

I can totally see myself skiing in the woods on the snowmobile club trails (because those are the only trails you can skate ski on up here) with Kobi running ahead (she’s always faster than me) and me packing a cool looking gun with backpack straps on it.  I feel fierce just thinking about it.

 As there are no set targets to shoot at I would just use trees as my targets.  And because this is the north, I would likely run into an RCMP officer or two in red serge on the back of a dog sled patrolling the snowmobile trails too.  Can’t you see it?

RCMP and sled dogs

They don’t use dog sleds anymore and only dress up in red serge for special events, but it just looks so cool.

I think those biathlon guns are very expensive so here is my reality:  I take hubbies BB gun, attempt to attach some backpack straps to it with duct tape (which will be unsuccessful or just look really stupid), then I’ll end up falling on my back while skiing and really hurt myself and/or breaking his gun.  Still sounds like fun.    

Are there any sports that make you feel fierce?  Real or imaginary.

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Road Trippin’ with My Dog

I had the brilliant idea that it would be fun to bring Kobi with me on my latest work trip out of town.  Kobi was even quite excited about it as she loves car rides – not so sure about 5 hour car rides.

happy dog

Kobi says, “Road trips are awesome!”

The trip started out pretty good.  The roads were in great condition (the highway up here can be horrible if it’s snowing) and I gave myself tons of time to get to the destination as I figured Kobi would need lots of pit stops along the way.

Dog Etiquette

Who knew? We don’t have signs like this where we come from.

We ended up stopping 5 times and taking a lot longer than usual to make it to our destination thanks to all the pit stops and walks.

two dogs playing

Kobi says, “I made a new friend on one of our walks.”

We finally checked into the hotel and I hauled in enough crap to last the both of us at least a month (and I went grocery shopping on top of that).  I like to be prepared.

Dog in the snow

Kobi searching for dragons to chase/slay in the new town.

First night, Kobi barked a lot, but not enough to get us kicked out.  She also didn’t eat so I did what any concerned and responsible pet owner would do, I took her to McDonald’s.  Boy, does she love 1/4 pounder burger patties!

dog licking lips

Kobi says, “Burgers, I love burgers.”

The community I was staying at is in the middle of a big oil and gas boom.  This means there are lots of “out-of-towners” staying in town to work in this industry.  Translation, the hotel I was staying at was full of male oil and gas workers.

Our first morning was an eye-opener.  I was taking Kobi out for her first of 27 walks of the day and literally walked into a “man-gauntlet” of oil and gas dudes waiting for the crew bus.  I figured Kobi would freak out because I was freaking out, but she was pretty cool with it all.

white dog

Kobi says, “So what now?”

By the third night she was completely exhausted, as was I, and she hardly barked at anything.  Could’ve been that she was totally into watching the men’s figure skating short program.

Dog watching tv

Watching the men’s short program. It was awesome! Anyone else watch this?

She was quite excited the morning I packed up all our crap (it took me three trips to the vehicle to load everything up).  She had one final 1/4 pounder burger patty (knowing that she would be going on a cleanse the next day) and we hit the road.

Dog sleeping

Finally going home.  She quickly passed out so that I couldn’t ask her to do any driving.

Travelling with Kobi was definitely a bit more work and at times a bit stressful, but I really did enjoy having the company and it certainly got me out exploring every trail and park I could find, just wish she could’ve done some driving for me.

PS.  I’m slowly easing back into “jogging”.   Standby to see how this week goes…


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The Story of Kobi

Because I’m still on a running hiatus I felt compelled to write more about Kobi,  my running partner, super hero, dragon-slayer and best friend.

She was born on or around the end of September 2011 in the small Hamlet of Fort Liard, Northwest Territories.  Her and her four siblings were brought to my town by someone who had visited Fort Liard.  He was going to attempt to find homes for them.  I have no idea what happened to the mother.

3 puppies

The day I picked up Kobi and her 2 other siblings – 5 weeks old. She might be the one in the middle.

I came across the puppies on a random work visit.  It was turning very cold outside (late October) and the fellow who had the best intentions of helping/adopting them out was overwhelmed by 5 young puppies and the amount of poop they were producing.  My husband was away for the weekend and I felt I could take on the task of finding homes for these little guys before he even got home.  I dream big!

I took 3 of the 5 puppies as 2 were going to this fellow’s niece.  Then it was me and my cat’s turn to become completely overwhelmed by the crying and pooping.

I made a makeshift kennel in the shop out of television boxes and other random stuff.  I adopted the little black one out right away and then held onto the two white ones to make sure they went to really good homes.  Two weeks went by and I still had them.

two puppies

Kobi and her sister in the makeshift kennel

After spending a few weeks with these two, I was falling for the one with folded ears, not Kobi (upright ears).  Folded Ears was sweeter, calmer, and more affectionate, also a bit smarter.  I had tentatively adopted Kobi out twice.  The first person declined Kobi after thinking about it (she liked Folded Ears too, but I said I wanted her) and the second family called after four hours with Kobi and said it wasn’t working out, they had an older dog who wasn’t impressed with her.

2 puppies in the winter

Kobi is in the front, her sister is behind her.

Plan B.  I learned there was a young, super nice couple in town looking to adopt a puppy, but not until spring.  I knew how to play that card.  If I were to show up with two adorable puppies in tow at his place of employment, how could he say no.   I placed Folded Ears in his arms and knew I had him at hello.  He brought his wife over that evening and she quickly fell in love as well.

2 puppies sleeping

Kobi and her sister, Kobi is in the front again.

They took Folded Ears and named her Caribou.  I decided I’d keep the other one –  and named her Kobi.

I kept thinking back to Cesar Millan The Dog Whisperer and how he always says, “you don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need.”  That was Kobi.  She was beyond challenging in so many ways.  She seemed un trainable and was not food motivated so it made it very difficult to encourage her to do anything.  She hardly slept and had way too much energy.  She even went so far as refusing to use outside facilities until about 3 months old.  My work-out mat was preferable to the cold outdoors.

We would have playdates with Caribou who would dazzle us with her ability to perform at least 75 different tricks and stunts in three different languages (I’m exaggerating a little bit), and yet Kobi could barely manage “sit”.

two puppies sleeping

Kobi and her sister sleeping, Kobi is hanging her head over the cat bed

Then we started skiing and running together and our life changed.  She was finally content.  Her job is to be my playmate, or more like, my job is to be her playmate.  Her energy level is higher than mine, but she is a great middle-distance athlete.

As far as “areas of improvement”, she is a fearful dog and takes stranger danger to a whole new level.   If new people just ignore her entirely for 10-30 seconds while she checks them out, she’s cool.  Any attempt at touching her first does not go well.  I am constantly explaining to people not to touch, talk or look at her when she meets them for the first time.

dog outside

Kobi getting ready for take-off

Kobi learned to swim in July 2012.  The look on her face when she figured out she could move in this new element was priceless.  It was like a whole new world opened up for her.  She likes to swim for sticks, but she also just likes to swim and explore.  For this reason we stay away from the terribly large rivers that exist in this neck of the woods as she would definitely just swim out and get caught in the current.  My worst fear.

dog swimming

Kobi swimming

Kobi’s likes are her BFF’s:  Dino the wolf hound/Pyrenees, Ginger Daisy the Nova Scotia Duck Toller, her sister Caribou of course, and Kato the cat.  She also loves running and skiing, pool parties, car rides, sticks, blueberries, warm milk, slaying dragons, bouncing tennis balls, and mixed martial arts sparring with Kato.

dog and cat playing

Kobi and Kato sparring

dog eating blueberries

Kobi eating blueberries, she loves blueberries

Least favorite things:  strangers, oranges, and dogs that come into our yard uninvited.

She has tested me in ways I thought I would never tolerate, but she has also been the reason for so many great adventures.  She has shown me another lighter way of looking at the world.  She approaches every run, walk, ski or swim with unbridled enthusiasm.  Something we should all do.  I don’t regret her for a second.

dog and a purple dog toy

Kobi and her purple dragon


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Road to Recovery

Super heroes

Just a funny photo from a fun run a while ago. Me and Superman (and Robin)

What’s that saying again?  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, something like that.

I’m trying to remain optimistic in light of my body working against me.  To start off the new year I developed extensor tendonitis in my foot (no running), then I was plagued with two migraines in two weeks (real ones too, I’ve been cursed with those since I was 12 but they still catch me off guard and knock me off my feet for a good day) and then earlier in the week I had some serious neck/upper back muscle spasm thing going on (no swimming no weights no yoga).  The icing on the cake was all the warm weather we had that turned my ski trails into pure ice (no skiing).

Rather than looking at this in a negative light and feeling sorry for myself, although I do like a good pity party complete with pomegranate martinis, I’ve decided that there must be a reason.  Either A) it’s my body’s way of dealing with issues all at once to get them out of the way so I can really hit the ground running.  Or B) it’s the universe telling me I need a little break as 2013 was a good and busy year and I need some rest.  I’m sure it is likely the universe as it’s always sending me messages and conspiring for my greater good because the world and universe do revolve around me and what’s best just for me – ha – not likely!

Regardless, I like to reflect on such things (while walking the dog) and I’ve realized that I do occasionally need to be reminded of how grateful I should be when I have my health and can run my guts out or at least completely tire Kobi out (more so the latter).

I have also been reading about how a few other bloggers I follow (Prairie Princess Runners and Motivation) have been dealing with injuries so it isn’t something unique just to me.  That helps put things into perspective and probably suggests that it isn’t really ‘B’, the universe having an intervention for just my sake.  But more like, stuff happens and it’s never a good time, but you have to deal with it and that’s life.  Also, never take anything for granted.

Onwards and upwards!