Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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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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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?!  


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Sore Feet

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Howdy everyone.  I know, it’s been a while.  I have tried several times to write a post and I either get 2 sentences or 2 paragraphs in and then just hit delete.  Truth is I’m still bummed and struggling with my return to running and I doubt you want to read a post about what books I’m reading or the toque (that’s winter hat for you all south of the 49th parallel) I’m knitting.  If you do, comment below and I’ll provide some book reviews and knitting patterns.

Turns out, I have stuff to say now, so here goes.  First off, Kobi hurt herself, poor girl.  She was staying at her Godmommas house while I was out of town.  They  went for a walk and Kobi stepped on glass and sliced her toe up pretty good.  I blame the #%@hole who smashed his beer bottle in the woods – I’m sending bad juju to you jerk.

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Injured Kobi face

It was a bad enough cut that she couldn’t walk on it, but because we don’t have a vet in town and I wasn’t home until 2 days later she never went to a vet.  It wouldn’t have been stitchable by then  anyway.  I did talk to my nurse and doctor friend and we agreed that gluing it would be the best option so we glued it.  Kobi also wore a little red santa sock for extra protection, but proceeded to lose the little red santa sock and just the other day she re-found the little red santa sock!  She’s so smart.  She wanted it lost until she didn’t need it anymore then she wanted it found.  My dog is a freakin’ genius.  She is healing up well.  She’ll have a scar, but she’s putting all her weight on it and she should be back running like normal very soon.

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See her santa sock?

Okay, now onto my running woes.  I have been running a teensy bit and hiking a teensy bit.  My foot hurts a lot when I do these things as it seems Wolverine really likes hanging out with me (go here if that made absolutely no sense).  Can’t blame him, I am cool and interesting (and can knit).

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Nice view hey?  One of our teensy hikes.

In my desperation, I went to see a sports doctor in the big city just last week and she said it sounds like it is just plantar fasciitis because of the heel spur  Wolverine.  She didn’t rule out Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome though (recall this post – I am a freakin’ genius).  Anyhoo, she suggested some alternate therapy so I went for it.  Ever heard of prolotherapy?  That’s fancy for dextrose and lidocaine injected where the pain is.  I will say it hurts to have a large needle stabbed into your heel and a bunch of fluid injected into it, but at this stage of the game, it you told me rubbing chipmunk pee on my heel would help, I’d go for it.

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This isn’t prolotherapy, its electrical acupuncture, something else I tried.

I shall provide updates as to whether the prolotherapy seems to help or not.  I did run 2.7km on the treadmill (while Kobi rested on her princess bed) 3 days ago and didn’t suffer excruciating pain afterwards, but my 4km run outside yesterday did cause near excruciating pain.

One final bit of news is that this coming Sunday is my local mountain race.  I’m a bit bummed that I can’t actually run my guts out.  My plan is to hobble up to the top, hang out and take photos of all the other awesome runners and hikers and then either hobble back down or catch a ride with the park ranger.  Kobi will be there and will help with crowd control.  I will for sure post about this amazingly epic event (PS  I’m making handmade medals again).

 

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Kobi is checking out the race route.

Oh, and it snowed the other day – okay that was the final final bit of news.  Happy Global Running Day everyone!

Ever had prolotherapy?  What about electrical acupuncture?  What are your thoughts on these “alternative” treatments?  Wouldn’t you love to run in my mountains?  Your thoughts on snow in May?

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It really snowed on May 28th!

 


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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!!!


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Random Updates

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It’s a been a while hasn’t it?

It’s been so long since my last post, it’s nearly winter. I actually did see snow on the weekend, but it was way up in the mountains so we’re still safe for now.

Wow, so much has happened over the summer I don’t even know where to begin. How about some highlights?

I have been struggling with what I had hoped was just a bruised heel. It’s actually a heel spur and plantar fasciitis. Oh goody!

The heel issue that I was denying started back in June and got really awesome just 3 weeks before my one and only planned out-of-town race this year. Great timing! I still managed to pull off my second fastest time out of 5 attempts at my favourite love-to-hate race, The Emperor’s Challenge.

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The view from the top of the Emperor’s Challenge

Oh, I also smacked myself in the face, lower lip to be precise, with a weight bar at CrossFit. Of course the two most epic CrossFitters from town got to witness my awkwardness. I’m just way too cool. I didn’t cry though and I likely should’ve got stitches as I split my lip pretty good. I have a nice bulgy ugly scar now. Would you believe I did this the day before I had a wedding to go to? Yup! I know how to plan things.

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You can sort of see my cut lower lip (I’m the one on the right). 

The day after that I helped with a colour run that could have no colour because apparently corn starch (the stuff the colour is added to) is actually very flammable. Keep that in mind when you sign up for your next colour run. Just don’t smoke and you should be okay.

We also went on an epic hike up a few mountains the other day. Mountains just make me so happy. Kobi too, she’s just a little mountain goat.

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Kobi posing on the mountain.

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We’re so happy when we’re in the mountains.

An up and coming cool event is happening next weekend.  CrossFit Coach Coty is hosting the first ever trail run with epic CrossFit stations next week! I’m excited! I’m going to try very hard not to smack myself in the face with a kettle bell. I’m sure I’ll manage to hurt myself somehow. It will for sure be in front of an audience too as what better way to humiliate yourself than in front of an aid station and some totally cool CrossFit people who know how not to smack their faces with weights.

I will for sure post after the race and if I hurt myself, I’ll take a photo, unless it’s real bad.

Alrighty folks, that’s it for now. Standby for next weeks epic re-telling of the first ever CrossFit trail run! Bears may be involved!

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One more from the mountains

Seen any snow yet? Ever smacked yourself in the face with a weight bar? Guess how many bears I saw in August? Is it feeling like autumn or winter where you live?


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I am a Fitness Tourist

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Me post-race snacking

I have been off on a short fitness tourist vacation.  I travelled to the beautiful city of Victoria, BC in order to participate in the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon

Here are some standout race and pre-race moments: 

  1. Arrived in Victoria 4 nights before the race, not smart as I don’t sleep well when not in my own bed so I was pretty exhausted the morning of the race. 
  2. Behaved like a complete tourist and walked close to 20km a day hitting museums and stores in the three days leading up to the race.  My feet were killing me and I was convinced I had given myself plantar fasciitis – I’m a chronic pre-race hypochondriac.
  3. Ate way too much fudge, I have no excuse for that one. 
  4. Picked up my race number to see that it was all the numbers in my birthdate, either a good omen or bad one (see number 2).  Seeing as I survived the run I now feel that I just wasted incredible luck and should’ve purchased a lottery ticket instead of registering for this race as I may have been able to retire a millionaire (what are the odds of getting a race number that is your birthdate?).
  5. Applied purple nail polish to my finger nails (toe nails are always purple) as I swear that colour makes me run faster.
  6. Pre-race ritual is to use one of the port-a-potties.  Cost me 20 minutes in a line-up.  Would’ve been faster to walk back to the hotel. 
  7. Made it to my approximate corral location with 5 minutes to spare, looked to my right and saw my cousin in the start line (we’re second cousins).  We always seem to end up running the same races and I see more of him than my other cousins as a result.  Clearly my other cousins need to take up running if they want to visit me.
  8. Carried my own water bottle of Cytomax so I could speed by water stations and avoid choking on cups of water that I couldn’t wrap my lips around.  I dropped the bottle cap at around 15km and didn’t want to toss the bottle as the race was in a residential area and I didn’t want to litter so I held on to it until the next water station.  I looked funny as I was trying to hold a cap-less water bottle very still so as not to splash it all over me for nearly 3km until I made it to the next water station.  I just realized I could have dumped it out. Obviously, all the blood was in my legs and not my brain at that time. 
  9. At about 18km my cousin went flying by me, I figured he was already a head of me.  So I thought, “good, now I can see if I can match his pace and he’ll take me into the finish line.”  Didn’t happen, I looked for that next gear, but I was already in it apparently.  I did keep him in sight.  He is a very fast runner and 14 years younger so he ought to be faster (I try not to dwell too long on the fact that he didn’t really train much for this race). 

I crossed the finish line in a respectable time of 1:37:55.  My post-race gift to myself was a small silver dog pendant that I can wear at all the races that I can’t bring Kobi to.