Sunday, January 30, 2011

Billowing Snow and Spiralling Eagles

I went snowshoeing today, for the first time ever! It was a gorgeous day for it, sunny and warm. Great workout, about 3.5 hours (including stops for photos and food). Starting at the Cypress Mountain parking area, we followed the trail to Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs. The views were spectacular, and we were lucky to see a family of four bald eagles. It was one of those days when I was so thankful to live where I do, and for my health and the privilege of doing things like this (oh wait, that's every day! :).

Here are a few photos:

Here we're overlooking Vancouver, with Mount Baker in the background:

And my weekly summary:
Monday - 7 miles, roads
Tuesday - 6.4 miles, night trail run
Saturday - 9.5 miles, groomed trails
Sunday - 3.5 hours of snowshoeing! :)

My mileage has been pretty low for the last couple of weeks. I'm hoping to do better this week, but life is crazy busy these days, so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Speaking of Water

This morning I ran about 20k, 12 by myself and 8 with my Sunday morning running peeps. :)

This is where we ran this morning:

The other direction looks on to Stanley Park and the Lionsgate Bridge. On a clear day, Mount Baker is large in the distance:

Weekly Summary
Tuesday - 5.3 miles with my night trail run group. One injury (not me!).
Wednesday - 3.1 miles with the puppy, followed by my 28th blood donation. I was very happy to see that my heart rate and blood pressure were those of an ultra runner. :)
Friday - 15 miles, paved.
Sunday - 12.5 miles, paved.

Total: 35.9 miles

Friday, January 14, 2011

and the streams are all swollen with winter

"Winter" as I knew it growing up was a vastly different beast from what we have here in paradise. I remember one Christmas break in high school when temperatures plunged to -54C. It was so cold that my poor little 1980 Chevette simply could not warm up, and we had to scrape the ice off the windows--from the inside--while we drove; otherwise visibility would have been impossible. I remember massive mounds of snow, so big that we would tunnel through them and build forts. I remember months on end of darkness, cold, ice, blizzards, and ice fog.

Then I moved here.

And here, January looks like this:

Ok, that picture is from a year ago, but we have had days like that this year too! Mostly, though, winter in North Vancouver means water. Lots and lots of water. Water pouring from the sky, water oversaturating the grass, water streaming down the sides of the mountains. A few weeks ago I was driving the Sea to Sky highway with someone and we were both amazed at how many dozens of waterfalls had appeared on the side of the highway.

Today's run was similar. On days when I want some distance but am too tired (or lazy) to run trails, I hit the Seymour Valley Trailway. It's paved, undulating, traffic-free, and gorgeous. On a rainy day like today, it looks like this:

And today, there were dozens of new little waterfalls lining the trailway, and making for a very enjoyable run:

Some people complain about the rain here... I like to remind them that the rain gives us the rainforest... and this wouldn't be paradise without that! :)

(15 miles done!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekly Summary :)

After eating too much and running too little in December, I feel like I'm getting back on track a bit this week.

Tuesday - Night trail run, group, 4.5 miles
Friday - 10 miles, trails, with the puppy (actually it was only 60% trails, 40% roads)
Saturday - 13.5 miles, but the middle part was a 9km hike with 900m elevation gain (went up Lynn Peak). Great workout, and I think I should make this a more regular part of my training!
Sunday - 10k with the puppy, paved

Total: 34.2 miles

Good week! :) Still have to shed the christmas weight though...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Weekly Summary and 2010 Review

Four runs this week, nothing long:
Monday - 4.5 miles, trails, with a friend
Tuesday - 6.2 miles, paved
Saturday - 10 miles, paved
Sunday - 4.4 miles, paved, with two new acquaintances
Total - 25.1 miles

2010 Summary
January - 26.2 miles, just starting again after two injuries and losing all my fitness
February - 68 miles, starting to get my groove back. An ultrarunning friend plants the idea in my head to run White River in July. My first thought: "you're insane, I can't go from 0 to 50 that quickly!". My second thought: "well, maybe I could..."
March - 110 miles, testing out the body to see if I could safely jack up my mileage without getting re-injured. All goes well.
April - 170 miles, my highest month to that point.
May - 160 miles (holding instead of increasing). My first 100k week ever.
June - 187 miles, finding the balance between too much and not enough. More 100k weeks, first time past 300km in a month, first 50k training run outside of a race.
July - 176 miles, 50 of which were in my race. :) I peaked at the beginning of July with a 111km week.
August - 114 miles, recovering and resting when I wanted.
September - 105 miles, same strategy as August, with a few long runs to prep for the marathon.
October - 100.4 miles, including improving my marathon pb by 14 minutes.
November - 134.8 miles, starting to ramp up again for spring ultras. 10k pb.
December - 92.2 miles, slacking a bit with Christmas!

Overall it was a great year, and looking back to where I was one year ago, I am VERY happy with what I accomplished. As I said in a previous post, my focus will come off of running in 2011, so I'm not sure how it will end up, but I'll try to at least keep up my base mileage and run a few good trail races. :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011!!

For awhile I had big ultra plans for 2011. I definitely want(ed) to do some 50ks, at least one more 50-miler (preferably a couple!), and heck, maybe even a 100.

And as much as I'd love to still do all of those things, I have recently realized that some other areas of my life need my focus for awhile--not the least of these is my career (or, if you will, my current lack of a career). I love ultra running, but I have to admit that it takes up a lot of time, energy, and money--all things that are in short supply for me these days.

So with that in mind, 2011 will NOT be the year of the ultra for me. I still want to run a few, but my mileage probably isn't going to get too high, and the races will only happen insofar as they don't interfere with the rest of life. And yet I'm not sad about that, because I am excited about what I'm going to do in the other areas. :)

Now I don't know what my race schedule is going to look like! I will probably stick to races that are local (to save time and money) and just run what works each month.

Still, I'd love to hit 1500 miles this year, which I narrowly missed in 2010. That means 125/month average. So I started with a 10 mile New Years Day run to kick things off. :)