Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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My Foot, Some Biking, and a Surprise Gift

Spring has sprung, meaning we have mud, snow, ice and dust.

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Running is still on hold.  Wolverine (recall my heel spur’s name) is still cranky and because misery loves company, he found a little friend to share his crankiness with.  I’ve had some medial ankle pain for a while and was originally convinced it was nothing until it hurt so bad I could hardly walk.  Thanks to Google, I was convinced I had Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome, which is a compressed nerve which can be very bad and if you Google the surgery, it’s really really bad.

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Just a cool shot of Kobi with her besty Zola.  I walked, they ran.

Because Kobi was due for her vaccines I decided to hit the road and head south (400km) to get ourselves all fixed up, or at least properly diagnosed.  Turns out I don’t have Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome, I have tendonitis.  I think at some level I was wanting to diagnose myself with something horrible in order to be wrong so that a less bad diagnosis would be better.  Does that make any sense?

I have some exercises and hopefully in a few more weeks I can attempt to run again.  Kobi is also all vaccinated up and good to go.  That’s what we call a win win.

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April weather has been typical:  melting snow, mud, then more snow, then more melting snow and more mud.  April likes to embrace all the seasons.  I did manage to squeeze in some biking with Kobi so she could get some decent mileage in.

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She also gets covered in mud, but we’ve got this nifty little travel shower from Kurgo that I can use to rinse her off outside and make her all sparkly clean again.  I just love this product.

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Just attach it to a pop bottle and voila!  Clean dog.  Thank you Kurgo!!

On a really cool note, I received some delicious goodies that came all the way from New York!  The totally cool runner, traveller, blogger A Fasted Paced Life sent me a box full of Pipcorn.  Thank you so much!!  You can read about it here.  It is so good!!  I’ve already polished off a bag – by myself.  If you can get your hands on this stuff by all means buy some!

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Kobi approves!

I hope you’re all having a lovely April and perhaps one day I’ll run again as I’m sure you’re all getting a bit bored with my walking adventures and totally random blog posts.

Standby for the first bear and mosquito sightings!

 


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Spring (ish)

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I thought I should get a post out before April came along so here goes…

My heel spur, now named Wolverine, is very angry.  To refresh your memory, in my last post here, I decided to name my heel spur and landed on Wolverine as that reminds me of Hugh Jackman, and I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Hugh.

Anyhoo, that bony little hook must be made of Adamantium, just like Wolverine’s claws, as it feels pretty indestructible and sort of like a hot, searing, sharp spike trying to cut through the flesh of my heel.  Yes folks, it really feels like that.  Not the most useful spot to have a steel spike even if you are a superhero.

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Kobi reassuring me that everything will be okay

While I’m on the whiny wagon, I may as well continue feeling sorry for myself as this little Adamantium claw in my heel means I will not be running my first planned half marathon on May 1.  There’s  80 bucks I wont be getting back, but I will be saving hundreds of dollars on hotel and flight expenses, I  guess there’s always an upside.

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How I typically deal with injuries, pretend I can’t see them

Because of Wolverine’s angry return, the bike trainer has been seeing a significant increase in use which means I get to watch a bit more television than usual – that could also be considered an upside.  Kobi sometimes sleeps while I ride, but more often she just barks to go outside and then barks to come back inside about every 3 minutes.  It’s her way of getting back at me for not being able to take her for a nice long 1.5 hour jaunt through the woods.

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How our lives used to look

In other news, I am at least able to walk Kobi and she is tolerating my slower speed, but not so much the reduced distance.  I can also cross-country ski.  We had a little warm snap which turned the ski trails to ice, but then it snowed again so the ice is now covered by a deceptive little layer of snow that has hidden the danger beneath, but ignorance is bliss.  Did I mention that I am not keen on breaking a hip?  It’s one of my many fears, you know, along with my irrational fear of vampires, dinosaurs, and yeti.

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At least we can cover more ground on skis

Well, enough about me.  Hope you’re all having a lovely spring.

What’s your go-to exercise when you can’t run?  Favorite television show that you hardly get to watch?  What’s scarier, vampires or a yeti?  


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Rambling into March

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Snow seal

Well, somehow I missed February.  Likely something to do with it being a shorter than usual month, although this year was the leap year or leap day as Kobi and I affectionately call it.

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Happy Leap Day

 

All was going quite well for me running-wise until I forgot how to check my weekly mileage and unknowingly jumped from 32km a week to 42km then to 50km.  The week of 50k was where things went spiralling downhill.  I actually started spiraling at 42, but I didn’t want to acknowledge the pain so I opted to wait until the pain was not going to let itself go unnoticed.

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This is all thanks to that bony hook in my heel.  I think I’m going to name my heel spur.  Maybe we can develop a more cordial relationship if we’re on a first name basis.  “It” was tolerating runs over 10km, but I think “It” prefers 2 days in a row off every 2nd run.  Now I know.  Hopefully this doesn’t take longer than a week to settle down because us runners are an impatient lot.

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One of our rest days

 

Kobi and I did have some great runs through February and were enjoying the balmier temperatures.  I have to admit the snow conditions have been tough, as in very sand-like.  March is only going to be worse as March is that month where all the seasons fight for territory.

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Kobi likes to eat and run

In closing, here are some highlights since I last dropped in:  I had a bone graft and dental implant – now that was a whole new definition of fun, a few sleep-overs with one of Kobi’s besties – Zola the Rhodesian Ridgeback with an overbite featured above and below, and I got my CGI Level 1!  That’s short for Climbing Gym Instructor.  Yup!  That means I can teach y’all to climb at an indoor climbing wall now!   Run-on and climb-on folks!

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Kobi and the amazing Zola

 

How was your February?  Did you leap on leap day?  Help me pick a name for my heel spur, vote on one of these or suggest a new one, choices are:  Captain Hook, Sid, or Wolverine.  That’s all I got.

 

 


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Baby it’s Cold Outside

Wow, 2 posts in a month?  Don’t fall out of your chair in shock like I nearly did.

Here’s the long and short of it:  it got cold, quite cold actually, but now it’s warmed up a bit.

Here’s more detail, one run was in -23C, one was in -27C, and one was in a balmy -19C.  That’s -9F, -16F, and -2F if you don’t have access to a universal temperature translator.

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This is what running in -23C looks like.  Kobi is checking out my lashes

On our -19C run, we had a house guest.  Kobi’s friend Zola, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, came over for a sleep-over and of course we all had to go for a run.  Fortunately for Zola it was only -19C as she has less hair than I do and gets pretty cold.  She has a snazzy Ruffwear jacket to keep her warm and stylish.

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Out with the girls.  Only -19C!

We ended up exploring several snowmobile trails behind where I live.  The girls probably ran closer to 16km where I only ran 11km.  They’re much faster than me and had to come back several times to make sure I was still tagging along.  It’s hard running on packed snow trails in case you’re wondering.  Imagine running on a few inches of dry sand on top of wet sand, but you’re wearing several layers of clothing and dealing with a bitter wind biting into your face the entire time.  Okay, so that’s not like running in sand, but you kind of get what I’m getting at? Maybe?

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Sun runners

I also think the cold has caused a vitamin deficiency that can only be replenished through the mass consumption of chocolate because I’ve been eating chocolate the way a sailor with scurvy would attack a box of oranges.   It’s been out of control.  Sadly there is a lot of chocolate in my house so I’m still working on topping up whatever cold weather induced deficiency I have.

Hope you’re all staying warm and looking stylish like Zola.

Now it’s your turn…What’s the coldest temperature you have/would run in?  Sand or snow?  Favourite chocolate (mine is currently Lindt salted caramel)?  Sunrise or sunsets?  Mutts or purebreds?  


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Happy MMXVI

 

Happy New Year everyone!

I am not one to make resolutions and I have set no running goals this year as I’ve found life is quite unpredictable lately so it’s best to just roll with it. I say this mostly because of the bony hook growing out of the middle of my heel.  Nothing like a bone spur to put a damper on one’s running goals.

I am running 3-4 times per week, but I need a day off between runs. I’m working on slowly increasing my mileage each run each week and will see if any particular distance starts giving me more grief than another.  I can live with that.  It’s far better to be running than not running at all.

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Running with friends rocks

 

Kobi and I ran on New Year’s Eve and saw the last sunset of 2015. I did not run New Year’s Day – recall the paragraph above – but did head up the highway to the mountains on January 2.

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Last sunset of 2015 – 4:24PM MST

I felt compelled to do something that scared me to kick off 2016 and landed on doing a solo hike up a mountain. It’s a bit unnerving to be out in the middle of nowhere by yourself with nothing but your wits, a multi-tool and some extra clothing (I also had some butter tarts and chocolate covered almond butter balls for snacks).  There was not one other soul out that day, except for a ptarmigan.

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That’s my soul’s shadow

Kobi lead the way as usual, but I was following along at a pretty good clip. When the first summit finally came into view, the wind also picked up.  Picked up is actually an understatement.  If I used expletives in this blog, there would be several inserted here to describe the wind.  My visions of sharing a butter tart with my dog while enjoying the view (and taking some rad photos) were entirely squashed.

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I had to stay low to the ground so as not to get blown off the mountain

I actually got a little scared at this point and made the executive decision to leave the mountain. Kobi did not object and did what any faster friend would do, hightailed it down the mountain leaving me in the dust – literally.  She did stop periodically to check to make sure I was still following her.  Likely because she can’t drive and needs me to get her back home to her princess bed.

All in all it was an exciting kick-off to 2016 and I’ll probably do something like that again this winter – any excuse to eat butter tarts and chocolate covered almond butter balls (if you want the recipe, just ask).

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Kobi says Happy New Year

Happy 2016 everyone! Do you like to do things that scare you?  How did you kick off 2016? Ever see a ptarmigan (wild chicken that turns white during the winter to help stay camouflaged)?  What’s your go-to high calorie, highest fat possible snack?


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Cool Runnings

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Most epic dog ever!

It’s been so long I’m quite certain most of you have forgotten about me.  I’m still kicking in case you were wondering.

My last post spoke about that jagged little hook growing out of my heel.  Well, it’s still there and it still hurts, but I am running.  It isn’t hurting more, but it isn’t getting better so I figure I may as well keep running. I am hoping I’ll just pound that spur off eventually.

I am still adventuring, but due to the recent cold snap our outdoor adventures last about an hour.    Did you know that running in snow shoes or just in the snow alone (even in the most epic shoe ever made – the Salomon Snowcross) takes much longer than snow free.  I am dwelling more on effort and less on distance right now.

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Just out chatting and running

Not to make this a post about me and my woes, but I will take a paragraph of your time.  My absence is due to the fact that I now work two jobs.  Thanks to the downturn in the oil and gas world, I lost my dreamy job.  I won’t opt for the “fly in fly out” model where I work for a week or two in another community because I have this cool dog named Kobi who means the world to me so I opted to stay put so we could continue to hang out on a daily basis.

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How could I leave this girl?

I will say that working two jobs has taken meal preparation and scheduling things like exercise and running errands to a whole new level.

Perhaps one day I’ll work a normal job with a normal routine and I’ll just be that much more organized.  Ha!  Who am I kidding!  I’ll last .7 hours and I’ll be back to my usual procrastinating self.

Have you missed me?  You probably have missed Kobi, she is pretty cool.  Is it cold where you live?  Snowcross or snowshoes?  Do you even own either?  Thoughts on meal preparation?  Are you ready for Christmas??

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Is it Really October Already?

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Autumn is already done for us

It’s been a while!  Seems I start all my posts like that lately.

I think I’ve been negligent in posting anything because I haven’t really been running much.  Turns out I have a heel spur and because I prefer to live in denial and often believe that you can run off most injuries, I kept running.  Apparently that doesn’t help heel spurs.  Who knew??

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Random photo – Dog on a log

I finally dealt with reality and was able to make the 4 hour trek south to see my physiotherapist.  He’s awesome because he gets us runner types and always tells me how we’re the worst group when it comes to dealing with injuries.  It also helps that he’s a runner.  I take his advice mostly because of that.  He told me about 8 times that I would need at least 4-6 weeks off running and jumping.  He also shoved 4 really long needles into my heel and attached an electrical current to them two days in a row.  If that doesn’t make you listen, I don’t know much else that will.

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Needles and electrical current. What fun!!

He’s getting me some carbon fibre shoe inserts that will provide a little indent for the sharp bony hook growing out of the centre of my heel.  Just the fact that they’re carbon fibre means I will be faster and stronger right?  I won’t mention how much they cost, but they are carbon fibre!!

In other news I’ve been having many walking adventures with Kobi, she runs, I walk or sometimes ride my bike.  If you follow me on Instagram (which everyone should – outdoorrunning) you will have seen that #flatkobi came along on a trek to the coast of BC with me.  She had fun.  It was so hard being in an absolutely epic place to run without my wing girl and not being able to run.  That was absolute torture.

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Flat Kobi at the beach. The beach I could not run.

I’m currently in week 5 of recovery and will likely take one more week off before I attempt to run again.

Injuries really suck as you all can relate to I’m sure.  Anyhoo, maybe next week I’ll be running and posting again??

Know anyone else with a sharp bony hook growing out of their heel bone?  If you do and they have had a positive outcome, please tell me.  If they had to give up running and life as they knew it, please don’t tell me, just lie.  Thanks!!  Happy Halloween!!!