Aug 31, 2007

Mt Seymour + Dog Mountain + Sunset Aug 29 2007

So Wed after work didn't have any plans so I decided to grab the roadie and my trail shoes, packed some lights and warm clothes and started up Mt Seymour. Its been awhile since I climbed up one of the north shore mountains on my roadie...and I was hurtin a little. I think my body is still recovering from the triple races I did a couple of weeks ago..but I suppose that is no excuse. I took some well marked viewpoint breaks and eventually made it to the top. It was a picture perfect view. You could see Mt Baker and Mt Rainier so clearly....AWESOME. I locked up my bike changed into running gear and headed out to Dog Mountain to catch the sunset. I got there fairly quickly took some pics and then decided to head it back before it got too dark. Its amazing what goes through your mind when you are running through the woods by yourself in the dark....I kept imagining some bear or cougar sneaking up behind me and gobbling me up and then noone knowing where I had gone except for eventually someone finding my canera or something...haha...but seriously, it does make you run a little quicker...It was a good mental exercise for me if I ever decided to do a longer solo adventure race....made it back to my bike while the sjy was a beautiful pink colour, took some more pics turned on my lights and headed down the mountain. Now, as most people who know me know that going down at high speeds is one of my least fav things to do. Well, when its dark out and all you can see is what is in front of you things just don't seem as steep or fast until I looked down on my speedometer...I was gunnin' it. It was quite beautiful actually. I was biking down, on one side it was the last of the pink glow and right in front of me all the city lights were glimmering in the night and it was dead silent all around me except for the sounds of the wind breaking as I flying down. GREAT NIGHT!

Tuesday Night kayak races at Deep Cove kayak Aug 28 2007

GREAT RACE as per usual. The summer is coming to an end as our days are getting shorter and shorter...which always makes me sad.....The kayak this week was quite long and so I tried hard to make it in before dark settled in. I am trying to focus on technique right now so next year I can WIN...haha...but I must admit I probably need some one on one...I love it though, what a great way to spend a tues night. Only 2 left so if you haven't checked out these wonderful races come out for the last 2. I am constantly meeting some great new people and the raven is always a good time. Cheers!

Weekend in Ottawa Aug 24-27

I was in Ottawa for the weekend (hometown...) for work. It was great to see the family, and some close friends. I am terrible at giving a heads up for my sparse home visits and am truly sorry for that. It was so great to see my hot little nephew big now, man those babies grow so quick....its hard being soooo far away...Please remember me Kieffer!!!! haha. Rasa just got engaged so thats some fun exciting news and am totally stoked for one of the greatest parties EVER...(next to my wedding...(if that ever happens...hahaha)). We did some classic Augaitis shopping, strolled the market which is so great in the summers..I tried to work on some sort of tan as I have never been so pale in the summer as I am right now....the lack of sunshine in Van this summer was a little disappointing, although great for sports not so fun those summer beach days we all crave and love....I ended my trip with a great bbq with wine and visitors in our gazibo(sp?)...classic Augaitis style (with candles, lights, and music). Love you guys!

Aug 22, 2007

Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak Aug 21 2007

As it turns out we are finding ourselves lucky on tues evenings here in deep cove. Its been pretty ugly weather and then the sunshine finds it way out just in time for the tuesday night kayak races. This tuesday, it was only a kayak but a long one and my arms were sore the next day. I've been kayaking in an Arlyck IV..not sure what that means really but it needs to make me go faster...haha...or is that my fault??? sometimes its just makes you feel better when you can blame the reason I don't like having the gucci stuff then there goes a solid reason you weren't that fast.....I'm so glad I got myself involved in these races...the people are so welcoming (maybe 'cause I'm still not beating them....we'll see next year....hahah) the atmoshpere is just perfect and it is literally prob one of the best ways to spend 20 bucks. So, last night was my first try without the finger brace...and it felt was nice to finally grip the paddle... I suppose I should take a technique lesson from one of the greats in the near future and then practice practice practice.....hmm...i'm thinking of getting myself a used boat....and a little trailor so i can whip down on my bike with the boat in the back....ghetto I know...but maybe kind of hot???? jokes.
Good job Deep cove kayaks!!!!

Aug 20, 2007

Iron Lung, BCMC trail and Michael Franti Aug 19th

Iron Lung
I woke up Sunday morning, feeling fairly good considering I raced Sat and partied pretty well Sat night. Got myself up and out ready to run a 20km Trail Run Race on the lower Seymour trails. I was stretching and warming up and remembering that on the race the previous day my energy levels wre still quite low....I was debatingin my mind whether I should run the 20km course or the 10km course. Being me, I started off with the 20km thinking I felt good enough at the start line but within the first 2 km I knew my body needed more time to recover so I took my first out and headed for the 10km course. I wasn't puching it mostly because I just physically couldn't but wanted to finish at least something. Now this is the first time I haven't finished a race I entered 9or at least finished it properly) and it was a strange feeling but deep down I knew it was the right choice. My body needed to rest and that was its way of telling me....I should listen more often. I expected to have a nice relaxing afternoon before heading to a concert that evening. I ended up getting in touch with two good friends that I haven't seen in awhile and they were going for a hike up grouse mountain to check out the bears and get some of course I joined....we hiked up BCMC trail and it was fabulous. I had never been on the trail before and its challenging but much quieter than the grind...infact we didn't run into any other parties at all. Definitely my kind of trail. We hiked up, had probably one of the greatest plums I have had in a long time and hung out with the bears....There were some definite kodack moments with the bears but of course none of us brought our cameras.....We descended just in time for me to meet my friend Martin Downtown for dinner before heading to the Michael Franti and Spearhead Concert. All I can say is that it was magical. Micheal Franti and Spearhead put on a stellar performance. Even when the rain came pouring down he just played harder and with even more emotion and love. WOW.....what a way to end a great weekend in the city.

ESAC Adventure Race August 18 2007

I joined up with Graham and Paul to race in a new adventure race up on Grouse Moutain. I had met Graham the previous weekend (he drove me to Stormy) and met his good friend Paul on Friday. The forecast for the weekend was not looking good, rainy and cold...perfect!!! (not really) as it turned out sat morning the rain held out for us. We all took the Gondola up to the top of Grouse and received our maps at about 9am. He received a short race briefing, got ourselves organized and we were off. Our first stage was Mountain Biking....I was little nervous here as I usually use the run as a way to get ahead of everyone (my strength) downhill mountain biking is not my strength...we were off...fairly technical for my biking skills but pulled it off with a little running and biking... We somehow got ourselves in the lead pack and into the first treck was a knarly downhill with a large uphill back to our bikes....catching up with a coupld of teams....we had a good rhythm going. and then it was an uphill mountain bike to the next check point. Slowly but surely we passed a bunch of teams (awesome feeling....finally I was feeling the grove and got myself into a good rhythm..Graham and paul were rocking it)..we had a neat little spine board challenge that we pulled off without a mistake... and it wasnt until the end of the bike stage that we realized we were leading the pack. How excited were we???? very!...our trek was right on. Graham did an awesome job of navigating us through the network of trails up there. We were so speedy that we beat a check point volunteer up there and missed out on a little navigation challenge....we ran into the vounteer on our way of my favorite parts of the trak was the step ascent and descent through the was tricky and thanks for the strong tree roots and braches that helped me make it down in one piece. We finally made it to the zipline...unfortunately due to the dampness in the air the zipline was a little tougher than expected....I sort of got stuck on the thing....prob the toughest part of the race...haha...anyways, we made it down and zipped through the last bike stage to cross the line where a group of twelve or so girls cheered us on. Great job Adrian and Adam!!!! I thought it was quite a successful race not only 'cause we happen to win....but it definitely helps!... Now throughout this race I could tell that I was not fully recovered from my ultra run last hurt and I was tired. Like I said I'm terrible at recovery....I just want to do it all...

The after party was good fun!

Aug 13-17 2007...Dog Peak

-This was a slow training week for me...I think they call it recovery? My 2 least favorite times are the taper and the recovery..what do people do with all this free time? sit and hang out? foreign and difficult for me.
-I got the pleasure of hanging out with Gary R the night before he left for Australia to go race in their XPD race. He took me ona great little hike/run to Dog Peak. We just missed the actual sunset but that yellowish tint was still lingering in the sky which was beautiful. It is an unbelievable view point on a clear night. We just sat on this big rock and looked down upon the shimmering city lights of the lower mainland. You could see Sechelt, the island, the was magical. Behind us some Squamish peaks were poking through and the shadows of the mountain ranges deserve more than words. We sat there for about 2 hours. This may sound cheesy but I fet like an angel watching over the hustle and bustle of those down below. We hiked out with headlamps, taken off route and landed ourselves in some sort of swamp but eventually made it back to the car. The Seymour park worker was waiting there for us t let us out of the closed was 11pm...oops.

The day after Stormy!!!!

The day after Stormy Gary and I were gonna head for a mountain bike ride around Squamish but he ended up having to work so I cruised the river trails and the Brachendale was definitely at a nice snails pace but felt great to get those legs spinning. Afterwards, Gary, Roxy and I headed to Brohm Lake for a little swim as the evening turned out to be the best part of the day.....the toughest part of the weekend was my ride home at midnight from the greyhound bus terminal in Vancouver....I was wasted but had an hour bike witha heavy pack ahead of me....I suppose its the adventure racer in me that finally got me home and in bed at 1am....great weekend!

My First 50 mile Trail Run..STORMY!

Saturday August 11 2007

A month before the race I was towing with the idea of running Stormy or not. Deep down I wanted to run it but was really scared. Scared to fail, scared to hate it, scared to hurt a lot. Just the thought of running for 9 plus hours at one time made me feel ill to my stomach. So,...I kept delaying signing up (which is out of character for me). I tend to sing up early in hopes of some sort of feeling of committment to actually partaking in the event. One month before the race my achilles flared up and forced me to stop running for a little over a week (a crucial time to get some long runs in...) So the week back into running I went for a 4 hour run in Whistler and to my surprise felt great. (and the achilles wasn't a bother anymore): Lesson: it pays to give your injuries a break (a way of your body telling you STOP) So lets fast forward to the week of the race. My though process went something like this ...."should I do it?..yes...oh I don't seems crazy..Am I ready?..not really but you can pull it off...hmmmm" and then I signed up.

The next battle was getting myself to Squamish and finding a lovely person to take me in..Not owning a vehicle and still not knowing too many people in the area can get frsutrating at the best of times especially when you need to get to a race. By pure chance...or was it fate? An old friend from Kindergarden and her husband were in town. We got together had dinner and found out he was racing as well but on a relay team so...I popped the question "how are you getting to Squamish?" He wasn't leaving until the morning of but one of his teammates graciously offered a ride and Gary R. a good adventure racing friend offered a place to lay my head for the night. PERFECT! Phew....

Nutrition: 5 packs of Ciff Bloks, 2 packs of sharkies, 3 cookies, 2 bananas and nuun electrolyte tablets.
-I biked over the morning of the race still tired and not happy I was up so early on a Saturday morning but once I was at the start line with all these fantastic runners getting to run my first 50 miler my excitement and energy rose. It was a little chilly in the morning but decided to brave the cold in my tank anyway as I knew I would warm up fairly quick. I saw a couple of familiar faces like Ean Jackson (great runner who drove me up to Chuckanut 50km race in March). ...and we were off....Its funny when you know you have to run for 80km the start of the race is a lot more relaxed than say a 10km chaotic mad rush start (i liked it...) People chatting away, friends catching up, new people meeting each other. Already, I knew this was my type of community, I enjoyed and wanted to be surrounded by these people in this type of atmosphere. I tried to take it easy from the beginning, tried to get caught up with who was passing me etc etc. When I arrived at the first aid station I managed to catch up with a nice lady runner from California. we chatted away and stuck together for the next couple of hours. I was just doing my thing shuffling along at Lina pace, enjoying the run when after zoning out for awhile up a hill I looked back and she was gone? I shrugged my shoulders hoped she was okay and kept going. Eventually met up with Gary on his bike and his dog Roxy. "Lina you are like 2 minutes behind the first place female and she is a solid are doing great!" my response "What?" Very cool but didn't want to get carried away since I was only about half way done. Chatted with Gary for a bit and eventually hit up 9 mile hill. So this was my 1st time on the infamous "9mile hill" and I imagined it would be the hardest, gutbuster of a hill and was a little nrevous but took Gary's advie of running it smart with a little hike/run rhythm. Caught up to 1st place female to lose her on the first down hill. Now at this point in the race my feet were a disaster. I knew they would be my breaking point on this run as I still felt great cardiovascularly. Running downhill was not fun to say the least ad it was a great mental battle to puch through the pain..they hurt damn bad. Bumped into the great Ean J at the top of 9 mile (always puts a smile on my face)....He was encouraging me to go catch 1st place but it was not in my cards that feet were just getting worse and worse. It wasn't until the last 5 km that mentally I was done...ready for the finish line. I hung onto a man in front of me until he took off a little a head of me on the downhill....arrived at the 2km left mark chugged some coke pushed a little harder...i could taste the finish line at this point. 8hrs and 33min...What a fabulous feeling it was to cross that finish line. To take that challenge and not only beat it but destroy it.....I did not think I was capable of finishing under 9hrs. Now, the bar has been set and there will be more races to come and some just might ne tougher, longer and faster....I'm excited to see what lies ahead and whatever it is I know I am up for the challenge.....

Aug 14, 2007

Tuesday Night kayak races at Deep Cove kayak

Since I moved to North vancouver just over a month ago I started taking part in these wonderful races. They take place every Tuesday night in deep cove. Cost is about 3 bucks and renting a kayak is cheap and you get to go race around the indian arm with a bunch of great kayakers and usually head to the local pub (the raven) afterwards for some drinks and beer. Tues have become one of my fav nights due to these races. Tonight was no exception. It was along paddle with a short swim at the end. It was a gorgeous evening with just enough wind to give you that extra tough feeling. Although my finger is still somewhat broken it feels much better and even attempted the swim with it....I think (the claw I call it) gave me an extra push. Thanks deep cove kayaks for a fab night (even though i dind't win a draw prize..hehe).
live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

The beginning

So, I figured it was time to step it up a notch and let the world in on my little circle of life. Not sure how long this will last or where it may take me but I like trying new things....its like my first little internet adventure...actually maybe second the whole signing into facebook was the first. I'll try to keep you posted on my exciting adventures and life events. I think it'll be a good mental exercise for me and for those interested maybe something somewhat fun to read from time to time.