Spring Flings or Forever Loves?

It’s officially SPRING! The sun has been shining the last few days in Squamish, and it’s inspired me to put together a list of my current favourites.  I’ve got new shoes, a new jacket, a new necklace, and some other great new things that I’m loving this spring.


Hint – 2 of my faves are featured in this photo…

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Me, fake? Yeah, right.

To be honest, I wrote a post a few months back, when I was fuming angry and offended beyond belief.  I was lived and almost shaking with negativity.  That post was written on my iPhone while bumping along a dirt road in Western Kenya, that was riddled with pot holes, mud, and definitely was not a smooth sailing drive.  One of my favourite people in the world snoozed beside me as we bumped along, for some reason, that comforted me, and led me to typing out a very long-winded and emotional post.  I found it therapeutic and a huge release to write it all down, although I knew that I couldn’t actually post everything I wanted to say, and that in order to post anything, I would have to come back to it when I was calmed down and looking at it with a clearer mind.

Basically, this blog is public, and as much as I want to convince myself that it’s ok to stoop to that level and bash others, it just isn’t.  It isn’t who I am as a person, and it certainly isn’t who I want to be in the future.  Part of the reason I haven’t posted and blogged as much in the past few years is because I went from being just a runner in a big group of runners, to a race director and group organizer.  I have to censor some of the things I’d like to say for the benefit of my public persona, and the different companies and groups that I represent, and am the front line for.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not who I am anymore, it just means that I’m more cautious and careful as to what I put out there for the world, and in particular runners in my community, and racers at my races may read.  The Vancouver running and especially the trail running community is an amazing community, but as in any community or group, there’s unspoken issues, dislikes, and impressions that may or may not be truthful, and as someone who’s both out there/involved in the community, and someone who’s outspoken, blunt, speaks their mind (sometimes without thinking first), and isn’t great at sugar coating, or being fake, well, you can imagine I get my fair share, if not more than, misconceptions about who I am.

Anyways, this post is a combination of the post I wrote while in Kenya, edited with a few months of perspective and the post I was encouraged to write after seeing one of my favourite doggie instagrammers @Nalu.co posted about herself and her story, her background, and really just responded to those who “call her out” on instagram and question all of her life choices and decisions through a computer screen without actually knowing anything about her and her life.

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The Plague(s). Yes, Plural.

I get so excited to write, I sit down to make it happen, and then a text pops up on my screen, or an email comes in, and of course, me being me, I can’t ignore it, and before I know it, I’m down the rabbit hole of work.  It actually JUST happened again.  Majority of the work I do is at this computer, and if I try to go on here for purely social reasons, I get distracted and it just never ever ends up working out for me.

And then, over the holidays, I got sick not once, but twice.  And the second time, well, I’m still not 100%.

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#FollowTheLiters, Kenya 2015, The Trip of a Lifetime

Suddenly, I find myself in Western Kenya, in the Kakamega rainforest, with a bright blue team t-shirt, a Kenyan cell phone, a Lifestraw Go Bottle that I’m instructed to use at all times, and surrounded not only by my team members from all over the World (yes, seriously there was people from Canada, USA, Switzerland, India, China, Malaysia just to name a few places…) not to mention all of the local Kenyan staff and drivers.  I’m instructed to smile lots, ALWAYS shake everyone’s hands (no matter if they are covered in dirt), to sing and dance whenever possible, and to not be taken back if there are children that seemed to be frightened by me, as I might be the first white person they’ve ever had the opportunity to see…or touch.  Oh and by the way, we’ll be driving all over the place, there’s usually a huge rainstorm in the afternoon, but sometimes it comes earlier, it’s likely we will at some point get stuck in the mud, the roads aren’t always roads, the drivers drive really fast, and we’ll be visiting 4 schools a day, approx 1.5-2 hours at each school, plus driving to each school.  Sometimes you’ll have a full car, 5 people in 5 seats, sometimes you’ll end up with more in your car.  It happens.  When something goes wrong, or weird, well, you just have to go with the flow, and remember, you’re in Africa.  You may not get lunch, or it might just be chapata (like a homemade naan bread) at a road side stand.  Some schools you’ll be busting your butt to get the Lifestraw Community filters put together and working, other schools, you’ll be busting your butt to entertain 100-1000 kids that speak very very little English.  Guaranteed, when you say, I’m Solana, from CANADA, you’re going to get a ton of laughs and giggles.  Also guaranteed, if you reach your hand out to the kids, you will be swarmed with everyone wanting a turn to touch your white skin.  If you dare, let down your hair, and let them touch it, you’re guaranteed to be mauled (in a good way).


Photo by Jess Daddio.

Whatever happens, you’re going to come out of each and every day, exhausted, happy, grateful for the experience, and thankful for all of the things we take for granted in Canada.

Let me tell you about my whirlwind experience in Kenya this November…

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Hey Girl Hey

Gosh I miss blogging, and holy crap I have a lot to say, but it’s always SO difficult to pick up the pieces and start again.

But, I’m great with to-do lists, so how about we make a “to-blog” list and get it started that way.  Sound good?  Sounds great.

  • I’m doing a December Beast Streak Run Streak.  I really like November for streaking, but with going to Kenya, that wasn’t an option.  I’m going to have the post up for this soon, with a Google doc so that everyone can play (run) along with me!
  • Kenya – ya I’m not even sure I mentioned that because it happened so crazy fast, and things were absolutely nutty, but I went to Kenya with Lifestraw on their #FollowTheLiters campaign, bringing clean safe water to schools in Western Kenya.  Say whattttt?  Ya, I seriously have so much to tell you, but for starters, Lifestraw, Vestergaard, and anything they touch is wonderful and amazing.  Just trust me.
  • 2016 5 Peaks dates are set, and we’re looking at a great season already.
  • Squamish life is amazing.  100% the right choice to move up here, and between 30 seconds out the door to trail, to the hot tub on our back porch, to the super great small town feel and friends we’ve made, it’s all going really really well.
  • Can you believe it’s December in a week?!?!  Holy cow the fall has flown by.  Nothing really on the Christmas list this year, just grown up crap that we need…like a bedframe, front hallway rug, living room TV, matching cutlery, blah, blah, blah.  Houses are expensive, and look a whole heck of a lot better when they aren’t all mismatched.
  • You may not remember, but when Jay and I met, he lived in and owned an apartment in PoCo.  We’ve had the same tenants for the past 6.5 years, and they’ve decided to move out.  We’ve had to change the carpets, re-paint the whole place, and it’s going up for sale this week!  Crazzzzzy.
  • I have lots of running/racing ideas for 2016, but my feet and ankles still aren’t 100%, and I’m just getting back into regularly running in my Salomons, so I’m not pushing anything or making any solid plans yet.  However….I will say I’m thinking about Lord Hill, Nimble Bear, KneeKnacker, SQ50 (heck, we live here now!), and Golden Ultra for next year.  I would loveeeee to do TransAlpine, especially since our schedule actually allows it, but that damn husband of mine is too fast!

Ok so….my to-blog about list, has kind of turned into a point form updates list.  Opps.

Anything else to tell you?  Not really, I have to spend time properly blogging about Kenya and Lifestraw, and getting our #beaststreak set up.  I’ll leave you with this amazing shot from our trip, from Chris Brinlee Jr.




New Beginnings

Oh hey, I’m still around!  I’m so sorry I haven’t been around for the past few months.  After injuring myself in late June and missing so much fun-ness over the summer, things got a bit crazy…

July was pretty same same, we had a rad Ladies of the Trails night at Salomon West Van, and Jay and I went to a family reunion at Manning Park where we decided to test my ankle and run up and down Frosty Mountain.  Spoiler alert – that was a really bad idea for the body, but so good for the soul.

But then August, August was INSANE.  Why you may ask?  Well, we decided to buy a house and move to Squamish.  Yep, you read that right!

2015-09-29 12.57.29Let me explain…

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I don’t want to talk about it.


I don’t want to talk about my ankle at all.  I don’t want to talk about the fact that KneeKnacker is ONE WEEK away.  I don’t want to constantly hear the sympathetic song and dance from fellow runners.  I’m so effing tired of being the injured kid on the sidelines not getting to jump in and play with their friends.  I’ve actually completely avoided telling anyone about the injury, and only talking about it when it comes up in conversation.  I’m not going to lie to anyone, you know that’s not me.  But, at the same extent, I just don’t want to talk about it anymore.  Even with avoiding it, I’m still having to talk about it multiple times a day.  That’s the first world problem of A) not having any friends that aren’t runners, and B) having amazing and caring and wonderful people as friends.  I obviously appreciate the care and concern, I just can’t handle the constant conversation and reminder of the fact that I’m not running right now, barely walking without pain, and the chances of me running in my goal race for 2015, a race so special to me, the KneeKnacker is slim to none.

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Lana fall down, go BOOM!

Sigh.  Normally when I go quiet on social media it’s because I’m swamped with work and just don’t have time to sit down.  But, this time, it really isn’t the case, at all.  It’s actually a relatively quiet work time, and the real reason I’m quiet, and trust me, I’ve even been quiet with friends and family, only responding to texts but not really talking to anyone at all.

So not me, right?  But, there’s a reason.  A pretty darn good reason, I’d say.  On Wednesday I jinxed myself.  My friend Craig and I were heading out to do a Hanes Valley loop, which Craig had never done, and here I am blabbing away about how you don’t want to get hurt out there, since there’s no shortcuts, you’re just far out, etc etc.  And down I go.  Just after crossing the main Lynn Creek crossing, I slipped, fell, twisted my right foot/ankle, and fell on top of myself.  JINXED.


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Realistic Expectations

I touched on it in my last post, briefly discussing how I’ve realized recently that my goals for 2015 aren’t very realistic or attainable.  What a hard concept to grasp.  Our brains don’t always comprehend the truths of our body.  Which can be a good thing, and a bad thing.

My brain didn’t catch up to my body until this past weekend.  My brain honestly thought that I just needed to build a little bit of a base and could jump back into racing, as the same runner I was before.

I guess my brain didn’t realize just how much things have changed for me.  I still believe in the age old “you’ll come back stronger and smarter then before”, I just don’t quite know how I’ll find the OLD Solana.

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I Miss Blogging!

Holy crap!  I knew I hadn’t “blogged much lately” but I didn’t realize that I actually hadn’t sat down and wrote for over a month.  That’s ridiculous.  And unacceptable.  I have excuses, of course I do.  And I have so much to say, but of course the problem is, where do I start??

My go-to in this sort of situation is a bullet point what’s happening, which is great for catching up, but not great for actually sitting down and typing and letting my heart do the talking.  So, I think I’ll do one of my other favourite kinds of posts.  The verbal diarrhea, get as much out there as possible posts.

So, if you’re lucky for a post of any substance, you should keep on surfing.  If you just feel like having a coffee and reading about me, well then, this is the post for you.

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