Sunday, January 26, 2014

West Vancouver to Lynn Canyon via Black and Grouse mountains

Besides the snow on the ground, it sure felt like summer:
"Trail running" up Black Mountain.
Adam getting out of the trees.
Looking southwest toward Bowen (r) and Vancouver islands.
Nice, firm snow up to the summit of Black.
Looking north toward the Tantalus range from the summit of Black. 
Descending lower Hollyburn. 
Cleveland Dam; "what are we getting at the store?" Adam and Chris.

Pizza, chips and pop.
Back on the trails; Skyline up Grouse.
Adam on Skyline.
Not much to ski on up there...
Mt. Baker, Shuksan and the North Cascades from Skyline ski run.
Going down Mountain Highway; slow and soggy snow for the first couple of miles.
Downtown Vancouver and the fog, from Mountain Highway.
Me, Chris and Adam.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Of course it happens on the day I don't wear my hydration vest (that always has an extra pair inside).
Ripped in half while it was in my eye; no idea where the other half went. [72 hours, and two visits to the optometrist, later  they pulled the other half out from way up under my eyelid by flipping it inside out]
Time to start always carrying an extra pair around...

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Last year Dave wrote what I think is a great post on some of the less-obvious training he did that he found useful for ultras (especially 50 miles and up). For someone new to distance running, reading it really helped me think about what I might be able to do to improve.

A trap I try and avoid is connecting "improving" only with running faster times in races. While that may be a result, I find it much more satisfying to focus on all of my long runs, of which I do considerably more than races, and go for that golden realm of consistency.

So, a few neglected areas to think about and try to incorporate:

  • Eating more: I usually run closer to the empty side. Eating 100-200 calories per hour is about right for me most of the time, but I realize it won't be enough for the longer adventures I want to try this year.
  • Heat: Same as above; being on the cool side always is nicer than being hot.
  • Actually running: I think I'm a much better hiker than runner.  
  • Adaptability: Feeling comfortable with handhelds, a belt or a pack; or all three. Using poles for some long wilderness trips too. 
  • Safety: For adventure runs, especially by myself, something to put a greater focus on.  
For the eating more category, yesterday Adam and I did a doughnut run. Lynn Headwaters to Deep Cove, on lots of this: 
Baden Powell on Seymour in fine winter form.
...ate one of these:
Honey Doughnuts; the size of two normal ones. 
...and then ran back. Definitely much different than what I normally do, and I actually felt fine on the return trip. 

Anyone else care to weigh in on your own areas for improvement...?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Light up!

At 4:40pm yesterday I was just finishing up a midweek long run. It was dark, rainy and windy. About one kilometer from home I passed by the Gilbert Rd. Fire Station, which had written on it's board, "PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IS FOR ALL AGES." I looked at my reflective arm band and rear flashing light, and thought I was decently lit.

A few minutes later and I'm about 50 meters out from the intersection in front of my building. I see a car stop in the middle of the crosswalk as it is turning left, and the car behind honking. I didn't think much of it, then looked up again a few seconds later and see the driver getting out of their car.

As I reach the crosswalk I see a girl laying down in the street about 3 meters in front of the car. I reach her about three seconds after the driver and another bystander do. Crossing the street, in a crosswalk with a walk signal, the car, turning left, didn't see her, and hit her (but luckily was going slow enough that it only hit her and didn't run her over). She was in all dark clothing, but carrying a pink umbrella.

I stayed with her and the other bystander, talking to her, shielding her from the rain and making sure she was alert and not moving. The driver was obviously shocked and kind of just stood there, being very apologetic, and waiting for the EMTs to show up. The girl, probably around 18, complained only of lower back pain where the car struck her, wasn't bleeding anywhere we could see and didn't appear to have any obvious head injuries.

They arrived in about five minutes and I left. I saw from the window that an ambulance took her away soon after, and I hope there is no permanent damage.

It obviously was very sad to see, and regardless of how Christmas tree-like I may look, I should probably wear more bright gear during these PNW dark days.

Stay safe.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Holiday running

Seems like everyone is getting amped up for summer adventures and races and starting to jump into official "training" season. I'll have to admit that I'm guilty as well. Winter break meant some time away from the office and a lot more running than I would normally do.

In the 16 days starting from the Winter Solstice group run, I ended up doing 120 miles with 25k' of gain, most of it in North Vancouver. Definitely high for me, considering it's supposedly the off season.

But how do you say "no" to this?
View this morning from Skyline in between the Cut and Mountain Highway; thanks Adam.