Sep 30, 2007

TEAM PLAYER makes an appearance at MOMAR 003 Sept 29 2007 Cumberland....

This weekend would not have been the same if I hadn't had the wonderful opportunity to spend so much time with Graham and Paul....two fabulous and mighty entertaining fellas. Friday night we made it to the ferry with minutes to spare for our reservation ticket. Unfortunately Jordy missed out on the 7 pays to reserve when it comes to the nanaimo ferry...I've had too many time consuming moments waiting 2/3 ferry boat waits in my past. We arrived to the Riding Fool Hostel as everyone was packing up. Partly due to the ferry and partly due to our or maybe my lack of sense of direction....not sure...i'll just blame it on Paul...he was driving...haha...
Saturday morning, was thankfully chilly but DRY (last time you'll hear that word in the rest of this post). Unfortunaltey I was here and there and not really anywhere before the race as I was angry at the world and mighty frustrated as I could not find a single person who could tape my ankles properly for me and I really needed someone to tape them well. So....I ended up doing it myself...probably the worse decision I could have made. By the time I got myself organized the next thing I know we are in our boats and kayaking. I was with Jordy and Paul and Graham were in the second boat. I was impressed with our paddle despite Jordy losing part of his paddle half throughout the kayak session....
then came the run...oh man this run/orienteering section just wasn't met to be for us on this particular day. Right off the bat we took a wrong turn and that unfortunately set the stage for the rest of our lengthy run. We thought we were heading to check point 9 and ended up at 7 (an example of just how well we did..). It was frustrating for me as I wasn't never physically tired on the run but had to be sooo careful not to roll my ankles at all that I took it super easy in the trails watching every step, making sure I had a positive foot plant. I even had to stop and Graham helped me tear half of my tape job part way off as it was ripping through my skin at the bottom of my foot and was annoying me more than my actual ankle. Eventually we made it back to the kayaks ( a little under the weather and frustrated and our mojo levels were a little low to say the least....we had lost at least an hour from mistakes). We shook it off and jumped into our kayaks and had a great little paddle to the other side of the bay.
By the now the rain and wind had picked up and it was fairly cold outside. My fingers were so swollen that I could hardly close my hands in a fist. We had a quick transition (probably 'cause we were sooo cold) and went off on our bikes...It was pretyt chilly on the bike but once we got into the trails it was just really wet and muddy. We did well on the bike and managed to make up some ground, passing many teams. There were some fun trails but the slippery roots defintiely made it tricky at times.
We finally crossed the line in 5 hrs 44min...we were glad to be done but a little disappointed as we really felt like we could have and should have been much faster. We didn't mingle around too long as we were all freezing. Graham, Paul and I changed and hung out in Pauls truck for a while with the heat cranked and the seat warmers on full blast. Graham and Paul were rockstars and eventually got the kayaks on the truck and strapped down.
Our first stop was the beer store...and then a warm cozy lodge....OH and I have to say we experienced our first snow fall of the season..It was clearly wet snow but it was definitely snow. Winter is a coming. Graham and I hung out under warm blankets and a warm fire and watched Shrek while Paul hit the hot tub. We drank and chilled for awhile until we got the energy to put together some sort of toga outfit and head to the dinner and after party.
Dinner was great, beer was delicious and surprisingly we ended up winning FIRST in our category and were the first team of 4 across the finish line. So,.....we celebrated in the pub until the wee hours of the night.
6am Sunday morning Paul comes and wakes us up...oh man...we were up and out in 15 minutes...ROCK STARS....We again just made our ferry reservation. It was an interesting drive as the first half hour you could not see a thing with the dense fog and hard rain and black skies...not sure how Paul managed that one.....number 1!...We also had two double kayaks on teh roof of the car that were half full with water as we didn't not cover the tops...haha..made for a couple of stops along the highway and one heavy truck.
We made it to the ferry, had a delicious ferry breakfast and then headed home.
I managed to squeeze in a 2 hour nap before my last kayak session with Ben. It was fliping and centering the surf ski day. AWESOME, it is freezing and pouring...
I did not want to go outside and just wanted to curl up and stay in bed but my discipline and determination told me otherwise and next thing I know I am on the water with Ben and John in my wetsuit layaking around this huge freight boat.....and then flipping and getting back into my surf ski. So, now I am a pro at doing all this in nice calm waters....the test will be can I perform all this in choppy waves??????? to be determined...
We finished off our session at the Raven with wings and calamari and kayak and biking chat.
I am out and off to bed....I think I deserve it...or at least I owe that to my poor body...

Thursday Night Paddle in the XT Surf Ski Sept 27 2007

I had the wonderful pleasure of kayaking with Ben and Gary on Thursday night. It was my first session out on the surf ski XT. In the back of my mind I was thinking, it was cold and rainy and I am going to fall out of the boat...arg...I have the pleasure of telling you my first experience was a salt free one (I would have said dry but I was kind of wet from the rain). We went out to a little past Cates Park when the waves got a little choppier and my confidence dropped...oh about 50% so we turned around and headed back. I must say I was a little stressed for awhile there. I don't think I have ever concentrated so hard...I REALLY did not want to fall in. There was a lot of self talk and praying going on in my head. It ended up being a great paddle session and once again I wished I had brought my camera out on the boat...I think its time for a waterproof haha. We then retreated to the Raven Pub for our usual grub and beer and kayak talk.

Sep 26, 2007

North Shore News and my little pre-race rant as I was too tired to train day!!!

A fairly new experience for me was chatting with North Shore News today about my trip to Trinidad and Tobago and the race I will be participating in. It should be in the papers shortly so keep an eye out for it. I am getting very exciting about the race and feel so blessed to have so much positive support around me. Gary, you rock! Bryan, Kim, Colin, Cyril, Chris and Marshall, Ben, work colleagues, friends, family...I can not thank you don't understand how grateful I am and how much I appreciate all of your efforts and kindness. This trip and race happened on such short notice and I feel like fate played a small role in its occurence.
Heading down on my own to a country I know little about to participate in a race I know even less about against some top endurance athletes from around the world is going to be quite the adventure. I'm nervous, excited and curious. I feel healthy and fit and ready for the 2 day battle.
Sometimes, it is difficult to step out and take a risk, go on that adventure and head out of your comfort zone to take the challenge but when you can take that first step,.... and are lucky enough to have a wonderful network of people surrounding you its so worth it and that "scary" aspect of it isn't so "scary" anymore and is what makes life....well, LIFE! Too many people are satisfied with keeping dreams....dreams and not following through to make them a reality...too many are nervous to go out and explore (the world, themselves and those around them...). Go out there and catch that wave and see where it takes you.....Mark Twain wrote it well...."...EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER....."

Tuesday Night Kayaking with Ben and the Gang

I wish I had my camera with me last night on our paddle. Probably a good thing I didn't as the probability of me falling in the water was fairly high...I was paddling in a much more unstable kayak than I am used to. We could not have asked for a better fall evening than last night....Although I was concentrating mighty hard on my stroke and more importantly on staying in my boat I managed to enjoy the sunny skies, and aesome sunsets, calm waters and crisp air...I love the outdoors....We paddled just over 10km and as I was changing my stroke technique to a more efficient one I coould feel my back muscles getting sore but loved it....John joined Ben and I and gave me some great pointers. We met up with Gary, Chris and Micky. We later met up at our usual spot The Raven, had a couple pints, some food and chatted kayaking...Another wonderful evening on the water and chilling with some great guys.

Sep 24, 2007

Rubble Creek Trail Run. Cool, Crisp and Beautiful!

I went to bed Saturday night sore and tired and wondering if I could make it to this run in the morning. My alram went off at 630am and I grabbed some clothes and my bag, brushed my teeth put on my running shoes and looked outside. If it was raining I wasn't going to run but to my luck it was once again blue was going to be another gorgeous day. I put on all the warm clothes I had and left my friend Dave's place at 645am and hopped on my bike to meet my ride at Function Junction. We met and drove up to the race start. It was cold, it was early and I was still unsure how i would approach this race. I decided to just enjoy the run and treat it like a trainig run. I was not out to win. So with that in mind I was off. I started nice and slow and managed to keep a good pace where I was never over exerted so i could slowly run up the majority of hills and keep the pace constant. To my surprise as the run went on the better I was feeling. As soon as we made it out of the woods and you could see Black Tusk on the right I was feeling good....tired but not overly as I expected to feel. there was a thing layer of snow/frost on the ground and it was just picture perfect up there. I was so glad I crawled out bed for this worth it. I started to pick up the pace on the downhill portion when I was catching up to the girl in front of me I rolled over on my left ankle...I stopped I shook it off i hobbled around for a bit...teary eyed a nice girl stopped and lent me her first aid kit. I sucked down a bunch of drugs and decided to tough it out and run. I was doing a funky run/hobble/teary upset kind of thing when i went over on my right ankle and then I was down. I was in tears from pain when Russ and Christine came by and walked with me a little. I told them to head down as I could put pressure on my ankles but just had to walk very slowly as not to move them at all. So off they went and i hobbled a long. People were very kind offering me this and that. I graciously took a set of poles and a jacket and some more drugs. THANK YOU everyone for your kind words and offerings. I finally made it down to the bottom and hung out until my ride came back. WHAT a day. We made it back to North Van and I hung out with my frozen bag of peas, watched some movies and relaxed. It was great!

Cheakamus Challenge...Squamish to Whistler..a beautiful Day!

I awoke several times throughout the night Friday evening to hear rain splashing the house..."Oh man, tomorrow's bike race is gonna suck if its pouring rain like this...."...these were my thoughts throughout the night/morning. On Saturday morning I opened my door to blue skies...I was a happy biker...Geoff, was kind enough to give me a ride up to Squamish. We were a little nervous making it to Squamish being low on gas but we made it with plenty of time to spare. So, we got ourselves organized. I was sporting my new Steed Cycles wear. A little nervous as people were eyeing me up a little more than normal. I took a deep breath and tried to stay with the front pack right off the bat on the road (the roads are my forte). I managed to stay in the front of the mid-pack throughout the roads, got passed by a couple speedy guys but then passed a couple on the hike a bike section..I was getting more comfortable the more we were riding. All was going well, nothing major to report except that I tried to enjoy the weather, the trails, the colours and the crisp air as much as I could and tried not to think of the pain and how tired my legs were. I noticed that my energy levels weren't as high as normal as i still had not fully recovered from my adventure race the weekend prior. Alas I pushed on. It wasn't until the Microwave climb that I looked over to another racer and asked her if it would be terrible if I decided to quit now...she chuckled and said yes...i shrugged and kept going....Tunnel Vision is not my favorite trail as I find it a little technical for my abilities...I made it through and then back on the road...the last climb of the day...always a good feeling. I was surprised how well I descended down big Timber and was glad to cross that finish line. All in all it was a good ride...I ended up grabbing a 2nd place finish for my age group and then resting up for my run the following morning.

**There was nothing more that I wanted to do than ride my bike in the woods on a sunny crisp fall afternoon in Whistler.....I was a happy little biker!***

Friday Kayak Session with Ben Fast

Friday evening turned out to be a beautiful evening to hold my first kayak session with Ben Fast. He was kind enough to take the time to give me some key instruction before I head off to trinidad and Tobago and launch myself into a surf ski and paddle 30km in the ocean. I would say the first 20 minutes in the water were not looking promising. I was a little weary of the tippy boat and couldn't seem to get a handle on some of the technical aspects of paddling. We stopped at a dock..fixed up the distance of my foot rests and headed back to the cove and it slowly started to click. I was using my legs more, I wasn't dropping my arms as much etc etc...and then about 2 minutes before we finished I got it. I was gliding through the water smoothly and quickly. Looking forward to my next lesson....

Sep 19, 2007

Sept 18th the Epic Tues Night Kayak

The deep cove Tuesday night races have come to an end but throughout the last month I’ve met some awesome guys who are keen on kayaking and we have organized to keep kayaking Tuesday nights even without the races. Chris lent me his plastic boat and Gary his paddle. Last night at 6pm it decided to rain and rain and rain but we were a determined little group and set out for our paddle. The waters looked calm from the shore so we were pumped. About 15/20minutes into our paddle things were not as they seemed. It was windy and wavy..Chris and marshall were in surf skis so they headed right I started t follow and gary headed towards our intended route (straight) . I realized that C and M were just trying to find calmer water and a better crossing to head back so I turned around and tried to catch gary to tell him but as I hit Jug island and beyond it just got worse and I couldn’t see Gary anymore so I figured I would just turn around and head back and hopefully run into the other two. Eventually I spotted C and M and caught them and we headed back towards deep cove. We looked back and couldn’t see Gary. So Chris and I did a smaller loop in the calmer water and Marshall got out to get warm. Anyways we were trying to see Gary and he was nowhere in sight until we started heading back towards deep cove kayaks when we noticed him on shore??? When we got there he mentioned that he lost his car keys….the adventure was not to end…Eventually Chris realized they were in his pocket, we laughed and started to pack up and ended the night in good fashion at The Raven with some food and pints. All in all an adventurous evening!

Sep 18, 2007

4th Dimension Adventure Racing Olympic Peninsula WA Sept 15/16 2007

So, last night I wrote this post about the rest in good detail and somehow due to either my technology incapabilities or whatever I lost it all and now I have lost motivation to re-type everything. So its going to be much shorter and less detailed than my first entry.

The weekend started on Friday for me. I had to take several buses down to the ferry terminal. I was lucky to run into a girl I had met recently so she kept me company on part of the trip. Anyways, I had lots of stuff and my bike. I arrived at the ferry terminal saw the PCL buses and the two drivers hanging out outside and decided to ask them about the bus service to victoria. They told me I could by my ticket on the ferry but when I mentioned my bike they shook there heads and told me there was no room....oh boy....then mentioned that a city bus could take me to victoria but I was on a time budget as I needed to meet Todd at the Coho ferry terminal in Victoria. By some random chance there happened to be a carriage free on one of the buses that the drivers totally thought was full of luggage so again luck was by my side and i managed to grab a seat on the bus. Could have been disastrous. I met Todd at the ferry and all was good until we figured out I didn't have a paddle. So we just hoped that someone would have an extra at the race....All went smoothly and we made it to the race meeting just in time. At the meeting we found out a couple of interesting things. First it was going to be a 28 hr race instead of 24hrs fine..except that would mean we would miss our reserved ferry back to the island....arg...we would deal with that later. Second, was we had to drive down and drop off our bikes that night that would take about 2 hrs (more if you drive like LINA) Todd set up camp and worked on the maps while I drove the bikes and dropped thenm off. We got to bed at 130am the night before our 28 hr race and had 3 hours of sleep. The alarm went off at 430am and we had to get ourselves ready in the dark and drive down to the race start. We were off at 630am. We should have paddled in a tandem kayak but due to other reasons we found ourselves in 2 singles...and we were fairly happy about our paddle considering our circumstance....the paddle took about 3,5 hours and off we went on our bikes.... on our bikes the first big frustrating situation we found ourselves in was the misplaced check point. We happen to take a different route than most or all teams that involved an easier road but a bikewack (bushwacking with a bike). We prob lost about 45 minutes and some spots going back and forth looking for the checkpoint and after chatting with a bunch of teams we were certain that it was misplaced. So we went on our way passed one or two teams and then found ourselves on the hike a bike (prob one of the longest hike a bikes I've been on thus far and the descend was a hike a bike as well. ) After check point 10 we were faced with another decision (to bushwack or take the long simple route but one that involved a huge climb on the bikes....) we took the road tired of bushwacking and walking with our bikes...we believe it was the right choice.. We arrived to check point 11 in 3rd place...surprised, we fueled up and kep on going. from there we had a lot more biking to go. Again at check point 12 we made a decision to take the longer but probably safer route to 13...a long slog of a climb...but by this point we were getting pretty immune to these climbs so they just didn't seem as long and hard as the first few....we biked through the night (my lights died on me so I had to deal with just my headlamp by the end which for me was sort of tough....) We hit the kayak portion at about midnight and had a wonderful smooth kayak to the beginning of the rogaine/run/trek section. Todd had planned out a sweet route for us in assumption that we would get all 22 controls. As it turns out this was not the case some controls were much tougher than others and involved some pretty intense bushwacking and steep descends and river crossings.... It rained pretty good on us throughout the night but being in the woods you are fairly sheltered from the worst of it...we had a little fight with devils club to get to one of the check points. Todd did an awesome job in navigating us throughout the area. The toughest part for us was the end but also in some ways the most rewarding. It was 9am we had 1 hour left and had to make some decisions...we weren't going to get all the controls we had planned so we decided to grab 2 more and head back on the road rather than try and bushwack our way back. Then it was 9 25am. Todd looks at me and says "lina we gotta run or we aren't going to make it." I take a deep breath, not too happy about this but pick up my feet and start running...we run and run and run and all I want to do is stop and crawl into the woods and sleep or at least walk. It took my all not to start walking....I was just exhausted overall...after 27.5 hours of racing the last thing i wanted to do was run 8km to the finish....but we pulled it off and that is what makes racing so amazing....we rolled in at 10:18am. 2 minutes from 3rd place. We lost 2 control points but still managed to pull off a 2nd place overall finish by one control. It felt great to accomplish that and looking back it was worth the pain and suffering especially that last little bit....

But that was not the end of our adventure we still had to pack up grab our bikes and find a way home....we had missed the ferry we originally booked. Todd was going to drive me to the ferry terminal i was going to walk onto the 515pm ferry and make my way home from there and he was going to sleep and catch the early one back to the island. We neglected to remember that we were exhausted and that driving anywhere would be a problema dn this was soon realized when we drove to pick up our bikes... we nearly drove off the road due to pure exhaustion. So we parked the car and fell asleep to wake up 2 hours later and realizing that i was not going to make the 515pm ferry. So in the end we drove home through seattle. Stopped in Bellingham for some great this point i think any kind of food would have been delicious but it really was good food. Saw my buddy Chris and kept going. I found myself in bed at 11:15pm and asleep at probably 11:16pm. Todd drove to the ferry and slept in his car so he could grab the first ferry to the island...what a trooper!!!! All in all an adventure of a weekend and a fabulous one at that!!!

Sep 13, 2007

CYCLOCROSS....Sept 9 2007

So, this weekend was fairly chill. I acted a little like an 18year old onFri night and I rather not talk about it....sat was recovering day if you get my drift. Went for a mountain bike ride around bridal path etc. but it was cruisy...just to do something active. Crashed early sat night and graham picked me up bright and early on Sunday. We headed to Langley for my first cyclocross race. I don't have a proper bike so I just used my mountain bike. I was super nervous as I knew nothing of this sport and wasn't even using the proper bike but excited at the same time as I love trying new things. So I lined up with the other women B ladies and off we went. I took off and just figured i'd bike and just worry about that. So i did...the first 2 loops I found myself neck and neck with another girl and eventually lost her. I didn't quite understand the whole lap system so when I thought it was my last lap I went hard (as I am not the best sprinter) to cross the line and notice that I had one lap to go so I shook it off and kept going. half way through the lap I had a man tell me I was done but then others tell me to keep going so I figured i'd just keep going just in yeah I did an extra lap...ah more of work out i guess...I ended up winning the womens B category. Looks like I might have found a new fall sport....

Lake Chelan Patagonia Model...labour day weekend

Labour Day weekend.

Lots of travelling but got to do and see and hang out with lots of fun people. My weekend started off with a cycle to the states in the pouring rain. I made it to Blaine to find out the bus to Bellingham would not come for another 1.5 hours. I was freezing and wet and didn't feel like making the trek by bike so I found a nice cafe, changed, had some food and found a sweet novel to read. I went to the bus station to wait another 40 minutes as there was lots of traffic due to the long weekend. So i finally made it to bellingham with knowwhere really to go. I was hoping to meet up with someone in Bellingham but it didn't work out so I found a sweet spot by the water and sat and watched the sunset and read my new novel. About 1.5 hours later Dave P. rolled into town from Seattle, we had food and a couple of drinks and headed down Chucka nut drive to find a place to camp out. We ended up pulling over on a viewpoint pull out off the side of the road and slept in his truck. It was a beautiful view and a gorgeous night..FUN! I loved it. The next morning we were heading to Anacortes Mt erie to go rock climbing although we didn't have set directions of a climbing book for the area. We got to the Mountain scoped it out had no idea where ot go until we ran into some fellow climbers. they gave us an option for a fun crag and off we were. It was my first climb of the season so I was a little nervous at first. Dave rocked the crag. Our last route was a sport route and I finally felt confident and strong but we were done. Before heading to Seattle we went on an hour trail run through some trails in the area. It was great. We got to seattle, showered and went out for a beer to celebrate life and good times. There Colin met up with us (my photographer for the weekend)
I switched cars and I was off with Colin to an awesome local mexican restaurant...We had some drinks , some great food and they were both pretty beat so went back to his place. He had some work to do and I crashed out. The next morning, we got ourselves ready, for the long drive to Lake Chelan. We picked up Delanie, went for breakfast (again a super awesome joint) and made our way east. We finally arrived around 330pm. Drove up to the campsite unloaded and got our campsite ready and took off for photo shoot number 1. We got to a sweet little area that Colin had picked out ahead of time and took a zillion shots from different angles until the sun was gonna leave us. I ran back and we made it to the car just as the sun left us. We drove back to camp, Colin made a fabulous dinner and again just crashed hard knowing the following morning was gonna be an early one. We awoke with the sun, had some granola breakfast and coffee in a can and headed out for round number 2. We went to another great location and shot for several hours. I even got to play photographer for a career??? not yet at least. Then we headed on a long mtb ride home. the first part was a little tough for me.....and involved lots of hike a biking. We were kind of silly and forgot to bring food...oops and I could feel my energy drifting away. Anyways, 3,5 hours later my skills improved dramatically on the bike, we were both smiling and we made it back to the car where Delanie was waiting for us. We had some beers to celebrate a successful photo shoot and bike and off we went back in the car for the long drive home.
Thanks for a fab weekend rock!