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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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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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?