3 Days on the Trails, in a ROW, say it ain’t SO!

I have to say, I’m quickly getting over what happened last weekend, distracted by the fact that I’ve spent the last 3 days on the trails, yep, on the trails, in the woods, where I belong.  Me and my Salomon Speedcross’ have been living it up!

38 kms filled with roots, rocks, streams, mud, dirt, rain, sunshine, bridges, waterfalls, and it was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.  I am so in love with the last few days of engrossing myself in the wilderness, pushing my limits, and getting back to nature.  Essentially, getting back to myself.

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Just Another Day in the Woods

Last weekend, as you know, I ran a kick ass race on Saturday at the Honey Wagon Half, and got myself a shiny new PR!  Since I’ve found my Sunday recovery trail runs to be both helpful to my body and mind, I decided not to skip running on Sunday. 

And I’m so glad I didn’t, even though I spent about double as long as I wanted in the woods (I blame Katy), and ran without water/food (not my smartest idea).

It was one of the most gorgeous days we’ve seen in a long time.  Sun was out and shining full blast, it was a perfect spring day!

march3:13runcollage

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4 Dry Feet or 16 Wet & Muddy Feet??

Last weekend (not the one that just happened – yes, I am behind on posting), was a bit of an oddball weather weekend for Vancouver.

On Saturday, it was beyond gorgeous.  The sun was shining, there was no clouds in the sky, and it was a warm spring day.

On Sunday, the weather gods were angry at us, and it pissed rain, the entire day.  It was wet and disgusting out, and definitely not ideal running weather.

Which day did I get the privilege of running on?

BOTH!  And both days, for vastly different reasons were great runs.  Let me tell you about my runs.

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Phantom Trail Race – Race Recap

Saturday am, I rolled out of bed and looked outside, and it was gray outside, but it was DRY.  I had made the commitment that I would go and register day-of to run the shortest course of the Phantom Trail Race, the 12km, IF it was dry.

So, I nudged Jay out of bed, and off we went.

The short version :

I had a blast.  I ran strong.  I ran fast.  It was a nice change to just run hard and not worry about saving energy.  I love challenging myself on the longer races, but the shorter ones still have a chunk of my heart.

Spoiler alert : I finished the race in 1:16:32, which was good enough for 7th female (technically 6th female, as the MALE finishing in front of me was wearing a female’s bib #) out of 58, and 26th out of 108 overall finishers.  I’m pretty sure this is my best placing in a trail race ever, but I don’t really keep track.

Since it was a shorter race, and I hadn’t even planned on running it, this recap is a nice short one for once!  Who am I kidding?  I don’t do short.  But it’s definitely shorter than my normal recaps.

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Bellingham Trail Marathon – Race Recap

I can’t decide what to call Sunday – marathon #3 or trail marathon #1.  Neither Cathy or I, nor anyone I’ve talked to has actually run a trail marathon before.  I don’t think they are very common.  In all honesty, a trail marathon has very little in common with a road marathon, other than the overall distance, which in trail racing, who knows exactly how accurate it is..races never seem to be accurate, and you can always hear people discussing who’s GPS is right.

IMO, a trail marathon is more like an ultra, but an ultra is technically anything over the marathon distance, so it wasn’t technically an ultra, but it also wasn’t really a marathon.  Let’s just go with really fricken long trail race?  That sounds about right…

The short version :

I really enjoyed this race, it had a bit of everything in regards to terrain, and the course was laid out really well.  I saw a few areas for improvement, but really very few for a first time event.  The surprises of the day were how cold it was, and that it snowed on us for 30-60 mins of the race in the Chuckanuts.

Spoiler alert : I finished the race in 5:17:42, which was good enough for 13th female out of 39, and 2/4 in my age group, and 44th out of 90 overall finishers.

Of course, I wrote a way too long recap, but feel free to keep reading!

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Hallow’s Eve Trail Half Marathon – Race Recap

On Sunday morning, it was time for yet another race!  Shocker…

This time was a favorite fall trail race, on the North Shore, called Hallow’s Eve.  As I’ve run the 10km route 3 times previously, and with graduating to the longer distances this year, it felt only natural to take on the half marathon course.  I easily recruited Katy and Cathy to run it with me.

The short version :

A super technical and challenging course, this race offers a bit of everything, and is a blast to run in the fall, when the trails are wet, the mud and puddles are deep, and there’s virtually no way to stay dry and clean!

Spoiler alert : I finished the race in 2:25:27, which was good enough for 17th female out of 43, and 4/9 in my age group, and 54th out of 106 overall finishers.

Now, for those of you who want to read the extended version, here it is :

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Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon – Race Recap

Last Saturday we headed across the border for yet another trail race!  This time it was the Lake Padden Trail Half in Bellingham, WA.

Start/Finish line area at Lake Padden :

The short version :

Love, love, LOVE this race!  Even though I literally struggled through 18 or 19 of the 21 kms, the course, the volunteers, the terrain, the views, the friends, and the overall experience made this a great race that I definitely do not regret running!  Not to mention, a fab weekend with new and old friends!

Spoiler alert : I finished the race in 2:07:19, which was good enough for 36th female out of 135, and 15/36 in my age group, and 117th out of 259 overall finishers.

Now, for those of you who want to read the extended awesomeness version, here it is :

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Baker Lake 50KM – Race Recap

On Saturday, I ran my first ultra marathon, the Baker Lake 50K in Concrete, Washington.

Right near Mt.Baker

The short version :

It was an insanely gorgeous day, the route was unlike anything I’ve ever run, and the views along the way were absolutely stunning.  My race went better than I expected, almost everything went according to plan, and I had basically no issues.  It was a long day, but I enjoyed almost every minute of it, and when the going got tough, I dug deep and just kept on going.

Spoiler alert : I finished the race in 5:55:11, which was good enough for 9th female out of 46, and 5/7 in my age group, and 28th out of 115 overall participants.

Now, for those of you who want to read the (super duper way too long) version, here it is :

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5Peaks Buntzen Lake – Race Recap

Last weekend I ran the final race in the 5 Peaks summer series of trail races, at Buntzen Lake.

The short version :

I ran the Sport course instead of my normal “run the longest/hardest distance possible” philosophy.  The Sport course goes along the Energy Trail, and does the lower loop of Buntzen Lake, also know as the Buntzen Lake trail.  This combo is somewhere between 10-11.5 kms, and is almost totally run-able for me.

I wasn’t able to run the whole thing, but I ran a very smart, strong race, only walked up a handful of inclines, and had a blast!

Spoiler alert : I ran the race in 1:02:56, which was good enough for 3/15 in my age group, 7/119  females, & 33/205 runners.

Now, for those of you who want to read the long version, here it is :

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MYM50 – Race Recap

Last weekend I participated as part of a relay team running the MYM50 – Meet Your Maker 50 mile trail race in Whistler, BC.

The short version :

50 Miler, in 1 of the most beautiful cities in the world, almost all single-track trails, after a 30 km warm-up of super technical trails, you go ALL the way UP Blackcomb Mtn, ride the Peak2Peak Gondola, and then go ALL the way DOWN Whistler Mtn!  The race is broken into 7 legs ranging from 7.86 kms to 21.12 kms, can be raced as a solo or a relay team from 2 to 7 members. Course tests all kinds of strengths and trail running skills – the crazy long never ending uphill climb, insanely steep downhill descent, super technical trails, a bit of road running, not to mention the accumulative distance of over 80 kms.  The race website lists the race at being 81.58 kms, but in winner Mike Murphy’s recap of the race, he lists it as 86 kms.  CRAZY LONG, either way.

I found a team of 2 other random people wanting to participate through Twitter & Facebook, and we split up the race into 3 chunks.  I had Legs 4, 5, & 6, totaling about 30 kms.  The most difficult part about my legs was that I was starting my race with the leg that goes straight down Whistler Mtn from the gondola to Creekside.  And then after destroying my legs, I’d still have to run another 22-ish kms.  It was going to be my hardest race thus far in my life, but I was ready for it!

Spoiler alert : My social media team was awesome, we all put our best efforts into our legs, we managed to beat the cut-off, finish strong, and had no injuries or major issues between the 3 of us.  We finished officially in 10:52:25!

Now, for those of you who want to read the long version, here it is :

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