Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Wild Runnings

white dog

On Sunday, I completed my last long run prior to my two upcoming races.  I wanted this final run to have lots of long hills and rather than driving 1.5 hours up the highway to the mountains, I opted to run a brushed-in old road/trail out my back door.

As you may or may not recall, I live in an untamed part of the world and I am a bit paranoid of large predators.  The trail is very brushy and thick with berries so I’m extra nervous.  What bear wouldn’t want a portion of protein with their fruit?  So I asked Mr. Husband to ride his ATV while I ran.  He agreed.

More or less what my trails looks like

More or less what my trails looks like

It has to be pretty boring to ride an ATV with someone who is attempting to run up a hill.  I say attempting as it doesn’t really look like running, more like a hunched over sllooowwww jog.  Fortunately there are no photos of my less than perfect uphill running form (just think of Quasimodo wearing a camelbak and Asics).

atv

My bear protection

It was nice to have the comfort of company, but it didn’t help that he kept riding up beside me to say he saw more wolf poo.  This happened like 3 or 4 times.  Then he commented on a weird smell at one part of the trail.  I told him it was stink currants, but it was likely a bear.  Bears really stink and if you are ever unfortunate enough to get close to one or close to where one just was, you will smell it.

I tried the “I’m just going to ignore all these comments” approach as ignorance is bliss, but fear won out and I ended up only running the route twice (I was aiming for 3). It didn’t help that at one point Kobi had her hackles up and wouldn’t pass a part of the trail.  It was probably just a weird shadow as her eyesight isn’t that great, but it still freaked me out.  I finished up my run in a more open area and all ended well.

Would you run with wolves or bears?  How’s your hill running form?  Check out my kittens, they’re growing!!

white kitten

Sleepy Casper – he’s so pale.

Cricket knows how to chill

Cricket knows how to chill

 

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I’m so Cool

The temperatures have certainly tempered and I have realized that I don’t mind running in the rain. I used to avoid it, but I’m feeling the love right now, so much so that I ran twice in a row in the rain. The second day it started to pour so hard that we (me and Kobi) had to take shelter under the trees as it was hurting Kobi’s little eyes (she doesn’t wear a hat like I do). My shoes are still a mess from that run as the mud was unbelievable after the down-poor. Good thing I have several spares.

sun and rain clouds

One of my rainy day shots, cool sun laser beam effect or aliens

The rest of the time we’ve just been running to the lake, often twice in a row for Kobi’s sake. She wants to live at a lake.

dog watching loons

Kobi enjoying the loons

The last time at the lake, while Kobi was watching the wildlife, one of these flew towards me (recall my love of these flying beetles of terror).

Long horned wood borer

Notice the hooks on its feet? They really hold on.

I did some pretty cool kung fu/jujitsu arm maneuvers which were very very frightening (even to insects) so I was pretty sure it had flown on by.

A short while later, while I was enjoying the view with Kobi, I felt something on my neck. I did what any well-trained ninja master would do, I screamed, loud and high-pitched. Then I grabbed at the crawly thing on my neck and flung it as far as it could be flung, which was about 2 feet.

Of course there was someone at the lake so they saw my kung fu and heard my not-so-ninja-scream (and probably laughed).  I am so cool.

In case you’re worried about the long-horned-wood-boring-beetle-of-terror, it seemed fine and just crawled around on the ground after the fling. Me and Kobi proceeded to run home without any additional insect run-ins.

Don’t you think those beetles of terror are horribly frightening?  Ever screamed in front of a stranger before (over a bug)?  Does your dog like the lake – wait a minute, what dog doesn’t like the lake? 

And here is a random photo of my adorable kittens (enjoying the clean laundry). 

kittens

Kittens!

 


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Hill Repeats in the Heat and My New Kittens

The title pretty much sums up my last week.

I adopted two new kittens so any spare time I have had has been consumed by hugging, kissing, playing with, looking for and taking photos of my new kittens.   Kittens are a bigger time drain than Facebook, but way more fun and just so cute.

white and black kittens

Aren’t they cute? Casper and Cricket are their names.

It’s been so hot here.  Not Texas hot, but it hits the mid 90’s every day and the humidity is high for us too.  Because it’s been hot I have justified eating lots of ice cream with Kobi.  She’s not complaining.

dog eating ice cream

mmmm ice cream (she gets her own cone)

 

I’ve also been out paddleboarding with my pro Kobi.  She’s so cool.

dog in the water

Kobi pre board

dog on a SUP

Kobi is a pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I’ve been running.  Mostly lots of hill repeats to attempt to get ready for my upcoming races.   Why did I sign up for two mountain trail runs?  Because I love mountains and trails of course, but running hills in this weather is getting hard (as is packing 2 litres of water for every run).

Because it’s so darn hot out, all our routes have to centre around water sources so Kobi can cool off every 10-15 minutes.  I’m desperate to cool off too and went so far as standing in a creek to cool my toes, but realized that water in your shoes makes your feet really heavy.  Oh well.  I’ll remember that next time.  It did feel really good for 2 minutes.

dog in the water

Kobi isn’t fussy when it comes to water, ditch water works fine

How hot is it where you live?  Would you opt for heavy wet shoes in order to have nice cool feet for a few minutes?  Do you eat lots of ice cream when it’s hot out (with your dog)?  Don’t you think my kittens are cute?

 


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Summer Hours

Why is it when you’re having fun time goes by way too fast?  That seems to be how things have been rolling for me.   I’ve also been burning up any spare time preparing for some races.

bear poo

Random photo of very large bear poo on the trail

I did a near Olympic distance triathlon (the swim is only 1000m not 1500m) a few Sunday’s ago and managed a 2:29:59.  My secret goal was to complete it under 2:30. Talk about squeaking in hey?!  I had no clue at any point what my times were so that was a really nice surprise.

dog wearing a shirt

Kobi sporting my triathlon swag

I have two more races this summer:  a trail half marathon in Whitehorse and then a 20km mountain run in Tumbler Ridge 6 days later.  Both are very challenging elevation wise.  I really wanted to do the Whitehorse run and I just couldn’t miss Tumbler (it’s my favorite).  I just hope I don’t get too wrecked from the Whitehorse race.

I have also been up to my new favorite thing next to running – paddleboarding.  I love it.  I suck at it and my technique is probably all wrong, but I don’t care I’m having so much fun.  The awesomest part is that I really really wanted Kobi to board with me and would you believe she had it down in 20 minutes!?  I was stoked.  She is a SUP superstar.  She should have her own reality TV show!

dog on a SUP

Me and Kobi boarding

Those of you who run with your dog know how awesome it feels, but I have to say that paddleboarding with your canine is rad.  Just watching her take in the scenery while we’re on the water is so amazing.  I do get a little worried when she sees ducks or snaps at horse flies, but so far so good.  She even digs her PFD.

dog in a PFD

Kobi demonstrating safe boarding techniques in her PFD

Do you SUP?  Would you want to SUP with your dog?  Ever done two races in one week or am I the only person out there who can’t race plan very well?  What’s the biggest (native) wildlife poop you’ve ever seen out running?