Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Falling off the Exercise Endorphin Bus

kitten yawning

How I was feeling today

Yesterday was an awesome day.  It all started at 5AM (not so awesome) when I got up in order to make it to the 6AM Swim Fit class at the pool.  The instructor, just some former competitive level swimming athlete, holds these classes twice per week.  Needless to say, her workouts are not for the faint of heart, although my heart feels a little faint at the end of each session.

Prior to this workout, I indulge in an instant ice coffee mix made by that famous coffee place that originated in Seattle (at this hour of the morning, everything needs to be instant or it just isn’t going to happen).  I know it’s an ice coffee mix, but I break the rules and add hot water and a bunch of half and half/creamo.  It is the sweetest, dreamiest coffee you can have.  If you like sweet coffee, you might like this, it is so good!  There is nothing like a little (maybe a lot of) sugar and caffeine to get you going first thing in the morning. 

Here’s a formula to summarize things:  sugar + caffeine + swim workout = feeling pretty darn good.  I just love caffeine and exercise induced endorphins (likely released to mask the stress I’ve just put myself through – I’ll have to Google that and see if it’s true). 

The only downside was that I was so hungry after the workout I felt like I could eat my body weight in food and had my entire lunch eaten by 10AM.  Recall my lunches are not small – they take 15 minutes to make.  I scrounged and ate every protein and granola bar I had hidden in my desk and purse.  That got me to 11AM.  I had to buy more food. 

Regardless of the issues with relentless hunger, I was in a completely stellar mood all day.  What could possibly make things even better?  A run of course!  I wasn’t going to run but I just couldn’t waste how good I was feeling or how beautiful the weather had turned and besides, Kobi loves to run too. 

After the run, I was still on an absolute happy high and completed more chores in 1.5 hours than I can usually pull off in an entire day.  To top things off, I even had time to make it to the power flow yoga class.  I like to mix power yoga up with my weight workouts so yoga it was and Rushfit will have to wait another day (sorry GSP – I still love you). 

The yoga class was awesome like always, but hard (I only nearly dislocated my shoulder once).  I haven’t been to yoga in weeks and my inflexible hips (from running) and tight upper back (from swimming) make it more difficult (in my head anyway).  

All in all, yesterday was a pretty amazing day.  Today on the other hand, was not so great.  It was either because I was doing housework related chores all day, or that I was having an exercise endorphin hangover, or I was just completely exhausted.  I honestly think it was a hangover, although housework can suck all the fun out of any day. 


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Never Enough Time

many white dogs

Kobi Clones

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the lack of spare hours I seem to have in a day.  By the time I get home from work, walk the dog (or run the dog), do some general tidying up, make my lunch for the next day (very important), make dinner, eat dinner, then do some more clean-up, it’s time for bed!!

This doesn’t even factor in cross-training, washing the floors, picking up the mail, buying groceries, or cleaning litter boxes.  I can’t imagine if there were kids in this picture!

I’ve decided that in order to do all these things relatively stress-free, I need to clone myself.  Wouldn’t that be awesome? 

Here’s what I need for clones:

  1. One that does the house-work, runs errands, watches some television to keep me up to speed on good sitcoms and what’s going on in Hollywood (and the world), as well as plays with the cats and dog
  2. A chef clone that does the cooking, baking, grocery shopping, lunch-making, and plays with the cats and dog 
  3. An exercise clone who would do all the exercising:  running, swimming, biking, walking the dog, weight training, etc (I think I want to be this one)
  4. A clone that is a chiropractor, massage therapist, physiotherapist specializing in sports medicine, and an investment specialist (we all need one of those)
  5. One of us would work full-time in order to cover the costs of our running obsession as well as eating habits and of course just to stay in touch with the outside world
  6. And finally, a spare clone to pick-up where the others might need help and to fill in if someone needs a sick day.

In my bizarre fantasy, we’d all get together at the end of the day over some nice herbal tea and chat about our day(s). 

Okay, don’t over think this as you’ll ruin it and of course don’t even begin to consider the moral rights issues, I’m trying to keep it light. 

Well, time to go walk the dog, tidy up the house, clean the litter boxes, make my lunch, make some dinner, clean-up some more…

Let me know how you fit it all in?  Do you prioritize or run anyway and deal with the messy kitchen later?


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The World Through the Eyes of Kobi

Dog on a dirt road

Kobi at the start of our walk

I am taking a few days off from running as I have an angry left hamstring (it’s been angry since April and I have chosen to ignore it) and I seem to have picked up a bug, likely from two nights in a row of less than six hours of sleep and being around sick people.

In light of that I thought it would be an ideal time to have a guest blogger, the guest being Kobi.  Now because we humans love to anthropomorphize (that was a mouthful and took a few tries with spell check) everything that isn’t human, I am going to write how I think Kobi experiences the world on a walk or a run, but in English. 

Here’s how it begins….

Where’s the human?  Oh wait a minute, there she is.  Is she wearing shorts or those tight short pants?  Nope, we’re not going for a long fast adventure then, hmmm, what is she doing?  She’s going downstairs, I must follow as fast as possible as she might be trying to leave without me.  She’s putting the big black collar on me, OMG, I am so excited, that means we’re going on an adventure!  (Translation – e collar). 

I want outside now, now, now, let me out first, I must get outside first.  Let me out, let me out, let me out now!!

We’re outside…I must run as fast as possible down the driveway.  I must get there first.  I must smell everything.  Here’s a smell, oh and another, and another smell, oh wait another smell, I must follow this smell. 

I think I’m hearing a word I hear often.  I better run back, oh, there she is, sheesh she is so slow.  Oh, I smell a squirrel, oh, I see the squirrel.  I must climb this tree.  I hear that same word again – sounds like K-O-B-I.  I hear that a lot.  I better go back. 

Now she’s making me sit beside this smooth flat stretch (translation – road).  Why do I have to sit?  I prefer to run.  I’m still sitting, hurry up, I’ve been sitting for hours (translation – 2 seconds).  I heard OK, I must run fast.  Oh, I smell a bear, I smell dogs, I smell a million smells and I must smell them all. 

Wait, now I hear something.  I must chase this sound, I hate this sound.  Why is my neck buzzing?  Huh?  Oh, I hear that word again (translation – Kobi wanting to race a truck but distracted by the e collar and her name).  I love to run, run, run, and smell everything. 

Gotta poop, gotta poop, gotta poop.  This spot isn’t good, this isn’t good either.  Maybe if I spin around a bit, nope, maybe I’ll turn this way, nope, not good either.  I’ll move over here and spin around a few times.  Ah yes, this is good.  I POOPED! 

Now I must run again, run and smell and smell.  Yikes, what is that?  Maybe if I look really big and bark it will retreat (translation – hackles are up).  Where is the human?  I need her to take control of this situation.  I’m freaking out here!  Finally, she has taken control and is standing on the alien.  I can proceed now and investigate and kill the alien, kill the alien (translation – large pink plastic wrapper from house insulation on the trail at first scared Kobi, but then she grabbed it, shook it and ran with it until it was dead). 

We’ve turned around now.  What smell did I miss?  Did I miss this smell?  There is the alien again, whatever, boring.  Oh, I think I smell a mouse.  I smell something here…bear poo, I must pee on it. 

Must run after that loud noise (translation – another vehicle goes by).  Why is my neck buzzing?  I hear that word again (translation – Kobi, come here).  I better run back to her.  Why do I have to sit and wait again.  I hate waiting, it takes forever!!!  Yawn.  Translation – waiting to cross the road again.  I heard OK, now I can run again, yaaaay.  Oh, I see one of those black things in the air, I hate those things. I must chase it and catch it (translation – raven). 

I don’t want to go inside, I want you to throw sticks and chase me.  PLEASE!   PRETTY PLEASE!  Translation – cute brown eyes staring up at me.  Ah ha!  Works every time!  She’s throwing the stick now.  I got it first and no one can ever have this stick back from me.  Just try to catch me!!  I must run fast, as fast as I can around and around the yard.  The human runs so slow she’ll never catch me. 

Okay, I’m ready to go inside now.  Where’s my dinner? 

If we were on a run instead of a walk, imagine the above, but 10x longer.  Dogs are just so much fun. 


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Shred the Trail and Best Birthday Ever

puppy in the snow

Kobi as a baby

It isn’t my birthday, but it is Kobi’s birthday today.  Coincidentally, there is a fun run and half marathon on the same day.  You would almost think I planned it that way, but it wasn’t entirely intentional. 

I was never exactly certain about Kobi’s actual birthdate, but September 21 seemed close (based on the approximate age she was when I found her).  I also liked that date as it’s nearly the equinox which is cool (not so cool that the days get shorter now).  Turns out we also plan a community half marathon and fun run the third Saturday of every September and today’s event fell on the 21st.   

How many dogs can say they have over 100 people, 25 dogs, and a trail run for a birthday party?  I doubt too many and if they are out there, I’d love to hear about their parties! 

Because I’m one of the race coordinators I wasn’t able to run the race, but Kobi did run the half marathon with her Godmother (yes, she has a Godmother) and they both had a great time and ran pretty fast too.

I had the best time cheering on other runners and walkers and would highly recommend any runners out there who haven’t volunteered at a race yet to do so.  It is a lot of fun. 

Happy second birthday Kobi!

dog sleeping

Kobi and her post party nap


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Saving the World and Second Dates

sun reflecting on a lake

The late afternoon sun

Have you ever had one of those moments when things become so clear that everything makes sense?  When all of a sudden you realize you can solve all of the world’s problems?

I had one of those moments today on my morning run.  I’ve had similar epiphanies during other runs, answers to all the hard questions, only to forget all the answers 2 minutes after my run.  Not today.  The answer is so simple too.  If everyone ran, everyone would feel so good they wouldn’t want fight anymore and we would achieve world peace everyone would be happy and eat healthy.

Of course there are significant flaws with this simple solution to the world’s problems.  But let’s just pretend it could be that easy.  Wouldn’t that be cool?

The weather has been so amazing in this province this past while that I think most everyone in British Columbia is euphoric.  BC is the best place on earth (sorry G, Britain is nice too , but what you lack there is made up for with cool accents, Top Gear and James Bond).

To add to my euphoric state I had a second date with my new “girlfriend” Nalu (the kayak/SUP for those of you unfamiliar with her).  We went out twice today, but I’ll count it as one date as it was all on the same day.  I’m completely exhausted, but sad that I have to leave her tomorrow.  I’ll be back to get her next spring.

I have to admit, I miss Kobi and will be happy to have her back as my running companion and adventure seeker.


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On a Whim

kayak on a lake

The maiden voyage of Nalu

I’m on a break from the north and I’m in close proximity to the most beautiful lake ever.  I decided to pack very light (I have no idea why) and left my wetsuit at home so I haven’t been able to swim as the lake is a bit chilly.

I have been intrigued by stand-up paddleboards (SUP) for a while and splurged and bought a kayak/SUP.

I have a new boyfriend now.  His name is Nalu, meaning wave in Hawaiian.  Correction, I was just told that any water vessel must be a female, so I mean I have a new girlfriend now, her name is Nalu.

I am officially in love with “her”.  I didn’t bother watching any “how to” videos first as often the best lessons (and stories) are those that we just jump into.  I didn’t fall off – yet.  That would’ve been cold but would’ve made for a good story.  I did the stand up version and then the sit-down kayak version.  I love both, I think I need to learn some paddling technique though as I’ve never really paddled before.

I haven’t run in a few days as I managed to injure myself on the plane ride down here.  Yup, only I could injure myself sitting on a plane.  I actually don’t know if it was the plane, the new yoga move (astavakrasana) I attempted a few days ago (that’s a story all by itself), or the fast tempo run (running in fear of Hugo the bear).  Maybe it was a combination of all three.  For whatever reason, as soon as I got off the plane I felt the worst pain in my hip.  I have to admit, injuries that prevent me from running are my worst fear.

I am keen to spend more time with Nalu (as we’re in the early stages of our new relationship), but I will also run tomorrow as my hip feels pretty good.  I hear there is a bear hanging around and there are even cougars (the feline kind) in these parts so I will likely and unfortunately avoid the trails.  I’m off to watch some YouTube videos on paddling now…


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Finally, the Long Run and Only One Bear

white dog after a long run

Kobi covered in dirt and burrs after our long run

You’re probably getting sick of hearing about bears and hopefully soon I won’t be running into them and can write about other adventures, but not yet.  Yesterday’s long run (20km) had no serious bear run-ins, unless you count the one Kobi chased away.  She’s my hero.  Here’s how it all started…

The night before this run I was laying awake in bed trying to think of a route that was outside on trails, would be somewhat safe from bears, and would afford Kobi some off-leash time.  It didn’t help that two of our neighbors had just called to warn us of bears in the neighborhood.

I landed on running in the area where I live (regardless of the phone calls).  There are ATV trails worn in beside the roads and some gravel roads that are okay to run (if all the other neighborhood dogs aren’t up yet).  I also thought being close to a road would be safer as someone is bound to drive by at some point.  The only issue is there is a 1.5km section of lonely road/trail that I have to run through to get to more populated areas, and of course, this is where all the bears like to hang out.

We had no problems at the start of our run.  It was the last 5km that were quite exciting.  That was when the very sweet truck driver stopped and warned me that he had seen a bear about 15 minutes ago.  Not 1km later (in the 1.5km section of no-man’s land)  I smelled the most horrible smell ever.  If you have ever smelled a bear you will never forget it, kind of like skunk, cat pee, and something dead for a long time.

Kobi then proceeded to see the bear and bark and chase it into the woods.  I think I let out a loud expletive and then I know I really picked up the pace.  I only had 4 km to go and really wanted to get this run done.

Why must I run knowing there are bears all over the place?  Three reasons:  1) because they aren’t as bad as Velociraptors, thank God those are extinct, 2) I imagine I’m the star of a cool reality television show, except it would be hard for a camera crew to run behind me and the video would be bouncy and likely cause motion sickness when viewed, and 3) it wears Kobi out and I get a break from entertaining her all day long.  I can hardly wait for Monday’s run.

Dog and kitten

Young Spock, the kitten, would not let Kobi sleep after her run