Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Spring Hasn’t Sprung

I’ve been thinking of posting for months and then came to the realization that winter would be over by the time I got around to it.  Turns out I was wrong.  It is officially spring and has been for a bit now (at least according to the calendar), but winter hasn’t let go yet.

Rather than writing about my adventures since December, which would take at least 5,000 words, I shall summarize my most memorable moments since my last post in photos.  I’ve had some epic moments this winter too.  Perhaps I just attract epic adventure much like James Bond attracts gorgeous women.  It’s more probable that it’s just a natural consequence of running in the middle of nowhere with wild animals (I’ve had about 3 adventures with wild caribou alone).  One very memorable run involved a 95 lb golden retriever colliding into the side of my friends knee.  Now I know what bones cracking sound like.   She ended up with a compound fracture on her tibial plateau and will be a in a cast for 12 weeks.  Lesson learned from this, be careful when running with dogs.

Okay, now onto the photos…

7 caribou encountered on this run

Quick trip to the mountains

A little mountain trip

Just out running on the lake

Can you tell we like winter?

Out on the lake again (that’s Zola with us)

Kobi is keeping it real (and I’m trying to look all cool)

Our pack out in the middle of nowhere (a week before the knee break)

Kobi really likes the mountains

Girl power

Okay, that’s enough photo enjoyment.

I have no races planned (except Emperor’s Challenge – if I can get in).  My feelings towards races have evolved since my somewhat dysfunctional year and a half long relationship with Wolverine (recall my heel spur), but that’s an entirely separate post (or series of posts).

As I was closing this post, Kobi showed up at the door with a part of a white tail deer (it’s tail of all things).  I suspect some larger predators had a meal at the expense of the poor deer.  Life in the wild is harsh.  See, I do live an exciting life.

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Cricket is suggesting I not let that in the house

Has spring sprung where you are or is that still up for debate?

Should I have let Kobi in with the body part?  

Which photo is your favourite?

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Catching Up

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That’s how high the sun gets in winter up in these parts

Holy moly people, it’s been a while.  I’ve missed you guys and missed sharing my stories with you.  I’ve had some interesting ones that aren’t so interesting now that they’re old news.

Last time we visited, Kobi was dealing with an injury.  She’s all better now, but it was tough as I felt so much guilt doing anything fun without her that I actually didn’t go skiing and resorted to running on the treadmill.  Yup, I gave up fun for my friend because that’s what friends do for each other.

Okay, so here are some highlights from the last 9 months:

  • I ran one of the Five Peaks races – the one in Golden Ears Park
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I laughed during most of this run.  It was awesome.

  • found a chiropractor for Kobi (only a 5 hour drive for us)
  • Wolverine (my heel spur) hasn’t made his presence known for a while now.  I suspect he’s found someone younger and prettier to torment (that will only make sense if you’ve read my previous posts).
  • spent a solid week at Green Lake where Kobi and I ran and SUP’d every day
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Captain Kobi

  • ran a little mountain race with Kobi where we ran with wild elk
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Post race selfie.  Coach Coty won the 5km and Kobi won the 10km, I came in second.

  • organized and ran the third annual Summit Run-It (with Kobi).  Lots of people didn’t show as the weather was just nasty (wimps), but it was still an epic day
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Kisses at elevation

  • helped organize and participated in a local triathlon and had my first DNF thanks to a tire blow-out and a CO2 cartridge I set off way too early
  • did an insanely difficult mountain hike (three mountains actually) in 7 hours and did not encounter a grizzly bear but did encounter a large section of mountain spiders.  That moment is still burned into my psyche and if I think about it too long I curl up into the fetal position and start shaking uncontrollably.  I am terrified of spiders, but I never  kill them as that would be bad juju and I figure it’s buying me some spider karma.
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Kobi does not fear spiders like I do

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That’s smoke in the background.  BC had a tough year with fires.

  • did a really cool 25km in the Kamloops area – A Walk in the Park (14km, 25km, 50km) that Kobi was allowed to participate in.  I asked the race director if I could bring my dog and he said no one ever asked him that before so he said sure (being a dog lover as well).  All the other runner’s dogs were impressed by her stamina as they all waited for their humans at the finish line.  I have to say that was the most fun race ever.  Really amazing vibe (I won a whistle and plantar fasciitis foot sleeves).
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Kobi ditched me when she saw the photographer and ran with this girl instead

  • did lots of kayaking with Kobi and lots of running (mostly away from mosquitoes and bears).  On one run I ran into two bears literally 200m apart.  Kobi chased them away.  She’s a superstar.
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Paddling around our little lake

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One of my favourite runs

And now we’re well into our favourite season of winter where we run, ski and snowshoe and eat our weight in pancakes and butter-tarts.

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And now it’s winter!

There, now you’re all caught up.  You can’t tell from this particular post that winter is my favourite season, but it is.  What’s yours?  Are you in the middle of a deep freeze right now?  Best run of 2017?  Have you missed Kobi?

Happy 2018!!

 


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Dealing with Injuries

Just when things start going well and your ex-injury boyfriend (my heel spur Wolverine) appears to be gone for almost good, what happens?  My best friend and adventure buddy gets injured. Yup, Kobi is injured.

Dealing with Injuries

Kobi enjoying an off-leash moment

This started back in January, but I did what I do with my personal injuries, I deny them and try to “run” them off.  That worked about as well for Kobi as it has for me.  I gave her two weeks rest, but rest meant no long runs.  She was still running off-leash on our morning, afternoon and evening walks which added up to almost 5km a day.  That isn’t really rest is it?

Dealing with Injuies

Me explaining to Kobi she can’t run yet

The limp went away and I tested her out by taking her for a short fat bike ride.  The thing with Kobi is that when she sees the bike or me in running gear, she has to run like she stole something regardless of how slow I’m going.  Of course the limp came back.

Dealing with Injuries

Fat biking with Kobi.

I took her south to see her doctor 4 hours away and spent on x-rays what could have bought me a lot of new gear, like an awful lot of new gear (don’t get me wrong,  I’d spend ten times that on her if I had to).

The good news is there was no evidence of arthritis or joint issues.  The bad news is they don’t have a CT scan so we have to assume it’s some sort of soft tissue injury.  The vet said I had to get serious about resting Kobi. She went so far as saying kennel her, limit the stairs, and no walking off-leash – even to poop!  If Kobi could talk or had a middle finger she would’ve expressed what she thought of that plan.  So we compromised, we go for short walks on a leash down the driveway, she gets to poop off leash, and we try to limit the number of trips up and down the stairs.

Dealing with Injuries

Kobi doesn’t get the leash thing

We’re at day 22 now and I haven’t seen a limp for a while.  This is good.  The plan is to limit her walks for another week and a half and then re-introduce short running stints with a few days off in between.  I’m optimistic this will work and she’ll be right as rain again.

Dealing with Injuries

Kobi hugging her sloth. The sloth is a metaphor.

I feel so much guilt that I haven’t skied or biked or snowshoed since the visit to Kobi’s doctor.  I run at lunch from work so she doesn’t see me leave without her.  On my weekend long runs she does see me and shoots hot, sad daggers of “how could you cheat on me like this” into my heart.  The rest of the time I run on the treadmill or ride my bike trainer while she rests on her princess bed.  I don’t feel as much guilt on those days.

Dealing with Injuries

Play time before I hit the treadmill

I need to name Kobi’s injury.  Any suggestions?  Ever had to deal with a running buddy who gets injured?  Coping suggestions?


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Is it 2017 Already?

I had intended to write a post sooner, but I was protesting the lack of snow.  I know silly, as only you suffered the loss, but apparently it worked because it started dumping snow on December 31 and we now have a decent amount to play in.

So here is my “2016 year in review” post with somewhat related cool photos of me and Kobi.

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Snowshoe fun in the tundra

To summarize 2016:  basically it sucked.

Those of you who follow my sporadic posts will recall my tumultuous relationship with Wolverine the Adamantium heel spur.  He showed up back in June of 2015 and the relationship was pretty much over as of January 2016, but I was stupid and did what an overly-excited runner recovering from a frustrating injury does – run too much.  By mid February I could barely walk.  Wolverine was back and we were in a serious relationship.

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Running across a frozen lake

Then I did another smart thing, I took up another sport, but not in moderation, I went totally overboard in the indoor climbing gym and by April I had what is affectionately called “climber’s elbow” (or Medial Epicondylitis).  I couldn’t even lift a cup of tea without cringing in pain.  That injury hung out with me until October.

I was running again by June and I’m still running, not great mileage, but at least I’m out there.  As far as Wolverine and I go, we’re tied up in an ugly divorce now.  I don’t hear from him for days even weeks and then out of the blue, there he is.  He doesn’t stick around long though, just long enough.

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Kisses mid-ski

The icing on the cake was a swimming related injury before Christmas.  I did a fancy flip turn at 700m into my swim (I had actually done about 14 of them prior to this one) and something in my neck went terribly wrong.  I tried to swim it off, but that made it worse.  I could barely lift my arms to get my goggles off let alone get out of the pool the pain was so bad.  Two weeks later and 100’s of dollars spent on chiropractic and massage therapy, I could once again turn my head and braid my hair without crying!

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Another snowshoeing in the tundra shot

There is one highlight of 2016, I bought a fat bike and love it! It’s fricken hard work, but a great alternative to running, climbing and swimming, should I get injured in one of those sports.  Plus I get to wear a cool helmet and goggles – they’re purple.  I’m all about the gear, purple gear preferably.

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Nice helmet and goggles hey?  Safety first.

My little rock star Kobi is fabulous of course.  She’s been very patient with my running issues.

I’m convinced 2017 is going to be a good year.

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Kobi says hi

Hope your 2017 is going well!  Ever pull something bad in your neck?  How much snow do you have?  Isn’t Kobi the cutest?  Chiropractic or massage?  Have you fat-biked?  Need any advice about plantar fasciitis or climber’s elbow – just ask!


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Pre-Winter Update

 

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Cool morning runs

Greetings from the Canadian north!

I have been attempting to be a little bit more frequent in my posts, but I just can’t seem to catch enough time – it’s like trying to hold onto a little slippery snake.

I’ve mostly been busy with life and running and other stuff.  I did run a little local race organized by an awesome local gym operator (Coty at Battle Ready Fitness). It was a 7km run over muddy trails with Crossfit style challenges at 4 stations.  I was beat by a 15 year old kid and I’m okay with that (now).  I won a pedicure though, so I’m stoked. Not so sure the esthetician is going to be stoked when she sees my toenails.

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Muddy feet. Kobi had to sit this one out so she stayed clean

Oh, this was big.  It was Kobi’s 5th birthday on September 21!!  I’m not sure her exact birthdate, but picked that date shortly after I decided to keep her.  I can’t believe my baby is 5 already.

I also helped organize and coordinate a local race in late September -the 6th annual half marathon, 10km and 5km fun run!  Kobi ran with my friend so she got to participate.  I ran the route the day before getting the trails ready.

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Pre race trail checks

We had our first snowfall 3 weekends ago when my southern besty was up for a visit (@eastcoastlaine). We went to the mountains for a day and Kobi loved it.

You’re probably curious how Wolverine (aka heel spur aka plantar fasciitis) is doing – if you’ve been following my blog at all. We’re quite distant now and some days I don’t even hear from him.  I’m not complaining and I would prefer to put all my relationship energy into my running again rather than into him.

I did have a third prolotherapy treatment down in the big city a month ago. Recall prolo is dextrose and pain killer injected into the area causing pain with the intent to send your bodies resources there to deal with the invader.  Perhaps Wolverine isn’t into sugar.  My doctor up here did the treatment for me just yesterday.  My big-city sports doctor gave me a lesson on how to instruct her.

Here was the lesson:

  1. place the needle in the area causing the most pain
  2. push the needle in until you hit bone
  3. back off a little bit
  4. inject as much dextrose as the patient can tolerate.

Okay, just saying that hurts.   It’s actually only bad when the needle first goes in and hits the bone, then it’s not so bad – honest.

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OUCH!!!

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, Kobi and I were featured in the September/October issue of Canadian Running Magazine. We were in an article about runners and their rescue dogs.  Four other really cool folks with rescue dogs were also featured.  Check it out.  And here’s Kobi’s public service announcement:  please adopt, don’t shop if you’re looking for a canine companion.

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Famous dog

Don’t forget we’re on Instagram (@outdoorrunning) and Facebook (Kobi the Adventure Dog).  Follow us there and you’ll see cool photos of Kobi on a daily basis.

The next post should involve me raving about all the amazing snow, assuming I manage to post before June.

Happy running everyone!

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Mid run kisses

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Time Flies

Casper August

Casper says hi

Hi y’all. I’ve been somewhat absent for a while.  It’s all that gardening, lawn mowing and outside adventuring taking up my time (and watching the Olympics most recently).  Anyway, here are some points to get you up to speed since my last post (Summit Runnit):

  • Drove 1400km south to visit my folks and adventure with Kobi. We paddled, biked, and ran lots. Kobi met her social media boyfriend Cash (@eastcoastlaine on Instagram) and they hiked and played on their first real date.
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Kobi and her boyfriend Cash on an action date

 

  • Bought a fat bike and named him Fat Boy Slim. All my bikes are boys by the way. My tri bike is named Magnum (after the ice cream bar I eat after I ride) and my cyclo-cross is named Marcus. I like naming things. Recall my heel spur has affectionately been named Wolverine.
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That’s Fat Boy Slim in the background and Kobi post mud role

 

 

  • Ran my one and only race of 2016 in early August, The Emperor’s Challenge, in Tumbler Ridge. First time I haven’t actually raced a race, but rather participated. I was so grossly undertrained for this one thanks to Wolverine.  At least I ran it.  I have to say it feels kind of nice not to run so hard that you feel like puking the entire time. I recovered much faster too. Wolverine still joined me as he likes destination runs, but I think our relationship is becoming a bit strained. I’m ready for him to leave, but he’s not. We need counselling.
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It was a very foggy and rainy run up and down a mountain

  • And, Kobi is still awesome and we’re still adventuring lots together.
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This is how Kobi looks after 6 days of adventuring and a 3 hour paddle.  Tired.

There, now you’re up to speed. Now onto recent events, the black bear situation in this neck of the woods is something else this year. Every day for over a month now I have seen 1-2 bears and not while I’m out driving around, but while I’m out walking, running or biking.  I can’t count how many times strangers driving by have stopped to warn me of a bear up ahead.

I’ve run into one big dude a lot.  He scares me. He’s gone so far as snorting and growling at me when I’ve walked by him while he’s lurking in the woods.  Kobi typically smells them first and warns me by getting in her puffy dragon pose and staring at one spot.  She chases them when they come in her yard.

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Too close for comfort.  Kobi hates bears.

 

Another exciting near miss was a few weeks ago.  I rode Fat Boy Slim to the lake and about 2 minutes ahead of me was a sow with 2 cubs.  Kobi picked up the scent and went crazy.  I was oblivious to the potential hazard and didn’t see mama and cubs.  Fortunately there were some folks at the lake who had seen her and were quite concerned about our well-being and how we had made it to the lake in one piece.  They put Kobi in the van and drove her out with their dogs and I rode like a maniac beside their van.

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Splish splash.  We’re happy when we don’t see a bear

I have to say I’m really looking forward to winter. I’m so done with the bears.

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Our mountain run a few weeks ago in Stone Mountain Provincial Park.  A 1.3hour drive from my house.  Jelly?

What are your thoughts on large predators?  Would you still go outside?  Ever adventure too much with your dog?  Do you like my fat bike/tractor? 

Remember we’re on Instagram (@outdoorruning) and Facebook (Kobi the Adventure Dog) if you need a daily dose of Kobi!

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Fun on our last run

 

 


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Summit Run-It

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Group shop seconds before the start.  That’s me and Kobi far right.

We did it! We held our second Summit Run-It on June 5.  This time we advertised, last year we didn’t as we just wanted to test out the idea. This year we had 51 folks participate and about 12 dogs.  Several hiked the route and the rest ran.  The route is uphill for 6km and then you turn around and get to run all the way back downhill.  There are some steeper sections, but they aren’t too long.

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A real mountain man.  He always races in jorts and he’s very fast.

This event is free so you don’t get a race shirt, have catered food or win any prizes. You do get to drive yourself 1.5 hours up the Alaska Highway to the incredibly scenic Stone Mountain Provincial Park.  Water, granola bars and dog treats (for the canines) were available post-race and participants received handmade finishing medals.

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Low budget finishing medals

 

We did have two “aid” stations. We had a park ranger at the mid-point and a volunteer fireman at the turn-around.  These stations only had water for dogs and were primarily there just to provide assistance to participants should it be needed.  The other park ranger and volunteer fireman stayed at the finish line ready for dispatch in the unlikely event of an emergency.  We are in the great white north, so one never knows what one might encounter.

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We also provided free photos of participants taken during the race.

Now onto me, recall I have basically been off running since March with only a few shorter runs completed recently. My intent was to run to the turn-around and then just dawdle along and take photos of the other runners.  I realized early on that one does not sustain running fitness by not running for 3 months.  To avoid vomiting in front of folks, I changed plans and started taking photos much earlier than planned.  I was okay with that.

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Selfie time – aka rest time

I had Kobi in her harness and a bungee leash attached to my waist. This set-up speaks to her inner sled-dog so she pulls very well.  I was worried that her pulling my pathetically out-of-shape butt up a mountain might re-hurt her recently healed foot so she wasn’t on leash for too long.  I can see why folks like canicross.  Man, you can really give’r when you’ve got a dog pulling you.

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Mountain crocodile

Of course Wolverine (aka my heel spur) didn’t want to miss out on the scenery and fresh mountain air so he hung out with me too. On a pain scale of 1-10, I was at a 7 by the finish line.  Just so happens Mavis, our local massage therapist, completed the event and has been working on my foot a bit so she did some post-run work on me.

Let me tell you about Mavis:  she also did this event last year, is close to 80 years old (but looks way younger), still works as a massage therapist, is constantly taking new training in her field, swims three times a week, and hikes like no one’s business.  She is amazing.  She even brought almond cake to share with everyone post-race.

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Mavis the Amazing

It was a good day.  Happy running y’all!

Are you all about the swag or would you dig this kind of event?  Uphill or downhill runner?  Maybe I’ll encourage folks to bring baking next year like Mavis did.  Do you know of someone like Mavis?  Isn’t she the coolest?!