Oct 28, 2007

A weekend full of biking, running and Halloween fun!

The forecast was for a mostly sunny weekend but somehow we encountered a lot of rain????
Saturday I headed to Squamish with Graham who was participating the Loonar Enduro race. I opted to take off and go riding with Marlene and Ryan as I was not feeling the loop and race vibe that day. We headed out on the chilly Saturday afternoon to Alice Lake and hit up some of my fav trails in the area (mostly 'cause I can ride these ones all the way..haha)..Rob's/Cliff's Corners are my fav, Rollercoaster and Jack's trail are a close second...we rode around for the afternoon and headed back to the race site where I enjoyed some beers and smokys a la Mark. A great afternoon in Squamish.

I headed for a great Halloween party that evening dressed as a witch. Urban Rec put on a great party. I met lots of new, great people,...some girl guides, sexy bunnies, transformers, etc etc...

Hallow's eve Trail Run put on by the Iron Lung Series was on the schedule for Sunday morning. I awoke, tired and feeling the remains of a good time sat night, the only reason I made it to the start line was thanks to friend Kim Steed who came to pick me up...I participated in a fabulous trail run race through the Lynn Valley trail systems. Lots and lots of stairs (gotta get on a stair master at some point I think), some technical stuff and some speedy gravel aspects. I had a blast running through these trails, in the rain and with a bunch of solid runners. This summer I've been spending a lot of time doing long runs and less on short speed work which becomes very noticeable in races 21km and shorter as it takes me so long to eventually pick up my pace and start moving...some speed training is scheduled for the near future...a fabulous way to spend a Sunday morning and (for those of you who would like to know a great way to flush some of that extra "water" from the system from the adventures of the evening before.)

All in all a great weekend....to end with some beers and pizza at Taylors Crossing....

Oct 26, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I miss you....

Biking to Work

So, I bike to and from work everyday..some are good and some well,...just not that pleasant...this morning it was chilly but really neat so I decided to stop and take a few pics on my way...There was this really neat fog hanging around the city this morning which made for a kind of eerie but beautiful look..with the sun rising, it made for a great fall morning ride to work...

Oct 24, 2007

Hiking in the Snow!!! Saturday Oct 20 2007

Cynthia and I decided to go on a hike on saturday. Our original plan was to hike up the lions but mother nature forced us to choose another safer route. So I decided we should check out Crown Mountain on top and behind Grouse. I was still excited as I had never been up there and love checking out new places. Before we left I figured we would hit snow at some point so we packed some gaitors, gloves and toques....we figured we wouldn't need snowshoes just yet...our surprise was to come. Cynthia has this fabulous tourism pass so we decided since we were going to hike all the way to Crown we could take the free ride up the Gondola to save some time as daylight is rarer as the days get shorter...

To our surprise we got off the gondola to plenty of snow. It looked like winter, it smelled like winter but it was OCTOBER 20TH!!!!! Despite some odd looks and frazzled faces when we told folks where we were heading we were off to play in the snow....We eventually managed to find our trail head and began a fun ascent through hip deep snow. It took us longer than we predicted and we only made it to little Goat before we were soaked and decided to turn back. It was good times and Cyn was a trooper!!!!
Looking forward to the ski season!!!! it's upon us now...

Oct 19, 2007


Another year older....strange? I still feel the same...I was once told that life just keeps on getting better....i am holding them to that one...although I must say life is pretty darn good right now..I have a fantastic job, fabulous friends, and am lucky enough to love my hobby of finding adventures out in the wilderness (most of the time which happen to be out my backdoor)...

Hopefully, I'll have some good stories to share after this evening of celebrations.......i'll be practicing my bowling skills tonight.....could be an interesting one....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!


Tuesday Night kayaking....calm after the rains

Tuesday afternoon, I was biking home from work and was thinking "why why why did i decide to go kayaking tonight....????cold, windy and raining....arg"....Ben came to get me at about 6pm....the rain had stopped. We met the gang down at deep cove for 630pm and headed off. Ben and I kayaked in his double kayak which was good fun...I don't think I've ever kayaked with such great speed before...it was exciting...We ended up kayaking to the green flashing marker near the second narrows bridge and it we couldn't have asked for a more perfect october evening to do this on. The waters were calm, the rain had stopped and it was just our little group out on the water. I was given some solid tips from others, which I always welcome...anything to get me faster and more efficient. The lights from the houses and buildings around the water were bright enough so we didn't need to use lights to see where we were heading..The lights from SFU up on Burnaby mountain seemed like they were from some angel from up above (okay that was a little cheesy but hey)..But seriously it was such a great night and a really good work out.. we ended up paddling prob around 15km...AWESOME...I think I found a new passion....oh no....not sure if its a good thing or not...
We finished off our evening at the RAVEN as per usual with food, beers and good conversation. THANKS Guys for another tuesday night to remember!

Oct 18, 2007

Weekend of Oct 13/14 2007 Beautiful Fall Weekend

I arrived back into vancouer on a perfect fall weekend. I slept in on Saturday morning, did the normal post race/travel unpacking and laundry and then headed out for a run in the lower seymour trails. I had planned to go for an easy 1 hour run and then hope on my mtn bike and ride around while the trails were semi dry. On my way home I ran into Tom and Duncan, two guys I met at the Momar race in Cumberland. I decided to join them on their run..always nice to run with others, and I'm always up for meeting new people in the area. We ended up going uo to Lynn canyon area etc. After a lovely run through the woods with these two great guys I looked down at my watch and saw I had been running for 3 hours. So I deeked out close to home and headed back to my place..It was a fantastics day for a run in the trails...life was good. I guess I felt like I could do more so after grabbing some food I headed out on my mountian bike for a little ride before I picked up some stuff at Parkgate Mall. All in all a fabulous day.

I was kind of angry at my laziness when I woke up as I really wanted to participate in the cyclo cross race but at 645am when my alarm went off i could not be bothered to bike for an hour to the race start, race and then bike home...so I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep. I woke up and with my frustrations of not riding to the race and it being another beautiful day I decided to go for a long mountian bike ride...I could use the practice and again love being on the trails at this time of year. I managed to bump into Graham and his buddies as well as Tom and Duncan again..it was a great ride....thought about lots and just enjoyed the crisp air and realized what a beautiful place we live in.
In the afternoon I biked down to deep cove and decided to run the baden powell trail down in that area...It was good but a little too busy for my likings...but always a pleasure to see people outside and exercising...so I can't get too angry....its just gets a little annoying after saying "excuse me, pardon me" over and over again.

Yay for bright colours, crisp cool air, sun, and wonderful trails in my backyard.....

Oct 14, 2007

My week in Trinidad and Tobago

A rest day. I slept in...yay! I read on the beach and I hung out and watched some tv, ate some grilled chicken with Megan and just basically did nothing....

I headed to Maracus Beach with Ryan and his son Alec. We later headed to an interview with Synergy TV along with two other competitiors and we got interviewed about the race. Ryan's friend Jason took me to a concert of a local Indian band. Pantra Music....All in all a fabulous day where I got to experience different things.

So originally I was suppose to head to Tobago with Ryan and others on Tuesday but lots of things happened that didn't allow this to happen. I was a little disappointed at first but everything turned out all right. Ryan organized a flight for me and his friends Mark met me in Tobago. I went on a glass bottom boat tour where we got to snorkel and swim with the fishes. It was fabulous, I just chatted this the guys running the boat...they were cool. Later that evening Mark and I and some of his friends headed to some bars, drank rhum and cokes and played pool....good fun.

before Mark picked me up I ended up going for a walk to Pigeon Point in the morning, it was odd weather as it was sunny and then rained pretty good on me and then the sun came out again. I went swimming in the pool and ocean and then decided I wanted to go for a quick run.
Mark picked me up and we headed to get out ferry tickets for the return trip home....Scarborough is a bustling little town on Tobago...lots of traffic and people..I was glad to get out of there and head to mark's friend house and later back to the beach...Unfortunately the weather wasn't super sunny this day but I played in the warm ocean one last time.....
We were on the ferry with michael and another guy..it was fun, we drank Stag and played cards....Unfortunately it was raining for most of the ride over to Trinidad so we couldn't really hang out outside....
Once I returned to Trinidad Megan and her friend took me out to a few bars....we drank wine and rhum and met some locals.....it was a great last night.

i awoke early early morning to catch my plane back home....it was a long flight and bus ride home to CAN but I made it with all of my luggage.

Trinidad was great but there really is no place like home....
Its good to be back and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Awards for Tropical Power Coast to Coast Race

Again, the lovely Megan gave me a wonderful leg massage, digging deep intot the muscles to get rid of the knots...fabulous. I then freshened up and socialized before the awards. I've met some wonderful people from Trinidad. I also met some Canadians that have made the move to Trinidad which was neat. I've also noticed that alot of people from this little island have family living in CAN and have either studied in CAN or visited the country before....mostly Ontario though so I told them all to come to Vancouver as it is beautiful and very outdoorsy.....

So I ended up placing 2nd.

A successful 2 days of hard work paid off in many ways and was now ready to chill and relax and learn more about T and T.....

Oct 13, 2007

Day 2 Blanchisseuse to Williams Bay

After an evening of swimming in the ocean, a group rice dinner and some rest we awoke at 4am and drove down to the race start. The race began at 5am, it was still dark out. We had a half hour of riding in the dark on the roughest road conditions...potholes everywhere, gravel and water. I did not know we had to bring bike lights so fortunately Martin lent me his headlamp which allowed to complete the bike but the viewing was not bright and it was tough to see. I managed to stay with a group of about 5 riders throughout this section so I followed closely behind them hoping that they picked the right line. Light broke out as we hit the smooth pavement. It was a rolling road. I was on a winding downhill section when my tire blew. I cruised off the road and a fence stopped me dead. I then proceeded to change my tire. I was a little frustrated but took some deep breaths and just told myself to calm down and just change the tire. It took me longer than it should have but I did it. To only have a linch flat not 30 seconds later. So I did it all over again. By ths time I was extremely frustrated and was upset. but finished my change and off I went. I was angry as i was doing well and was in a good groove before the flat and had lost my momemtum as I jumped back on my bike but I kept going. A long uphill was soon to come and I pushed through it and managed to make up a little ground on some people that had passed me while I was dealing with my flat. The final uphill was a little tough as it was a tough grade and the roads were not ideal as they were in the process of repaving this part....the dowhnill portion was newly paved and fast. I eventually made it to the run.

The run:
again a tough one. the heat was blistering and the run started with a paved uphill....too steep to run....oh boy....I just took it with a quick walking pace. Then we were in the trails.....again so hot that that sick feeling resurfaced for me...I had no appetite and no matter how much I drank I was always thirsty. There was a section where it was so steep I was using both hands and any type of root I could find to haul myself up the mountain. The downhill wasn't too bad, there were a couple of really steep sections but on the most part very doable. Once I got out of the bush we were once again on open road for about 20 minutes...So I took it easy and cruised to the kayaks.

The kayak:
When I arrived at the kayak I noticed that it was different to the one I had tried and set up at the kayak centre...so I spent some frustrating times trying to adjust my feet and set up my drinking system. Eventually i was off. It started off well, the water was not too choppy....but as the kayak leg proceeded the waters got choppier. Eventually the winds picked up and I could see a storm coming our way. I was feeling confident in the sea kayak so at no time did I feel nervous that i would flip but as the storm arrived the waves were big and the winds were strong and the rain came down hard. I kayaked as hard as I could to just move forward (i was moving extremely slowly in the head wind). Eventually the storm passed by and just left us with some choppy water and me sitting in a bunch of water in my kayak with no bailer on hand....oh geez I thought now what? Someone from a motor boat tried to throw me a gatorade bottle to use but it never reached my kayak and so we gave up and I just kept paddling. It was a ltitle more frustrating as the winds kept changing direction and as my boat hit the waves the water in it would swoosh from side to side. Now I was a little worried about tipping. But I fought through, with blistered hands and all. It was such a wonderful feeling crossing that finish line. There were men playing steel drums and people cheering....I did it!!!!! I was proud of myself!!!! Its a feeling that I love and cherish....

Day 1 Toco to Blanchisseuse

We woke up at 4:15am, got our things together, and ate breakfast (oatmeal and a banana). I wasn't feeling super hungry but managed to put down a breakfast knowing that it was going to be a long day out in the sun. Richard, Elina, Martin and I biked down to the race start. It was dark, already hot and so I took it easy on the ride to the bike transition as I didn't want to fall and injure myself before the race even began. We then had to walk about 15 minutes to the race start at the lighthouse on the beach. The race began with a 1.5km run (I only brought one pair of running shoes so I wore my skateboarding shoes for this....I managed and also managed to foget to pick them up at the end of the race....new shoes for me now!!!...I wasn't feeling at all nervous at the beginning of the race..I generally don't for these longer races as they are a little slower and just so much can happen that its more of a curiosity than anything. Right off the bat people got separated, I was at the back of the fron pack...I jumped on my bike and was off. The bike was good, the roads were a little rough at parts and there were some patches of gravel (needless to say I didn't know my road bike could handle such rough road conditions....now I know). I was feeling good on the bike. It was a goergeous bike ride right along the coast line, winding roads and some ups and downs...there were about 7 wooden bridges that we had to cross that were a little nerve racking. The planks were put so that once you commited to one plank you had to ride it the whole way across as there were spaces between the planks that a road bike tire could fall into and throw you off your bike. I managed well on all bridges...There was one tough steep steep hill at the end of the ride....biked the whole way up but wasnt sure I would make it at one point. At the transition Ryan handed me my running gear, I downed a banana and was told Elina was 5 minutes ahead of me (the top girl). I was surprised and headed off into the tropical forest.
The run
It was hot and humid and we started running uphill. I was feeling sick from the heat so took the first hill slow. I eventually got into a groove and starting running but still felt sick from the heat. It would only get harder from here. It was a beautiful run with a good amount of change in terrain, we had lots of uphill, downhills, we ran across 7 beaches (white sand, untouched...spectacular). I ran with one water bottle and kept refilling it in the streams.
I was blessed with the opportunity to see an "earth man" walk about with no clothes on......an experience in itself... It was a tough run,...I couldn't excell at any point to my normal speed becuse of the heat and my ankles. I managed to only have two or three minor rolls on my ankles but really took the downhill aspect of the run easily. About 3/4 of the way on the run I was using a lot of self talk and self motivation in order to keep myself moving. I was feeling sick and tired and once I hit the last part of the run a 3 mile run in the open sun on a gravel road I was done. It was all I had in me to cross that finish line. It was a definite love/hate half hour...asking myself why????? and realizing it once I crossed that line....i crossed the line and went straight into the river. sat there for about 15 minutes and tried to lower my body heat and not be feel sick anymore...Once I felt better I had a fabulous leg massage done by Megan and eventually made it to our place of rest in Blanchisseuse.

Friday Oct 5 2007 Magical Moment in Toco

Ryan came by and woke me nice and early so I could enjoy breakfast with the other international athletes. There were 4 from Florida (2 teams of 2 relay teams), Martin from South Africa, Richard Usher and his wife Elina from New zealand and myself. After breakfast we headed to the kayak centre, where I got a chance to test out the red 7 surf 60 ski. We got it set up for me and into the WARM ocean I went. It was mildly choppy (nothing big), I managed to stay in the boat but was using a lot of extra energy and concentration to balance in the body, energy that should be used to propel me forward....so I tested out the sea kayak...I felt much more stable and confident in this boat and was actually moving quicker becuase of it. After discussing my options with Martin (professional kayaker in SA) and Richard (professional multi sport athlete) I decided to go with the sea kayak as it would probably be more enjoyable for me and I had pretty much a guarantee I would finish the kayak stage in that boat.

We then headed to the bike shop. I bought some canisters (which later on i unfortunately needed to use) and some tire protectors (as I was told the roads were in pretty rough condition...and they were at points..).

We then began our journey to TOCO (the village where we would start the race). It was a winding rough road...we made it there for about 5pm. We were staying in a gorgeous guest house with an unbelievable view. We unpacked and Marting, Richard and I headed down to the beach for an evening sunset swim. It was absolutely magical. We could see Tobago across from us, and some jagged spectacular rocks jetting out of the ocean. The four of us (Richard, Elina, Martin and I) had a pasta dinner and set ourselves up for the morning. Richard kindly taped my ankles for me as I was a little worried about them for the mountain run stage of the race. As I rested in bed I was getting antsy about the race and curious about the journey I was about to put myself through....

Seattle Airport Oct 3 2007

I had a delicious pasta dinner with Colin before he drove me down to the airport. At the airport I encountered my first set of frustrations. They were going to charge me extra for my bike, I argued and argued and at last I lost the battle...I was upset and tired...The trip was not starting off on the right foot..to add to my frustrations I got a nice little in depth search of all my things but I went with it and borded the plane. I slept most of the way so don't remember much.

Houston Airport:
Because I changed my flight I was spending 6 exciting hours at the Houston Airport I was so tired after my seattle flight that I found a little corner in the airport, curled up and slept for another 2 hrs. I awoke at about 830am to a bustling airport. I wondered about the airport for the rest of the time. read some mags in the stores, found some books on T and T and read up about the country I was heading to. I was reading a great book called "mercy among the children"...eventually the time passed and I boarded the plane. It's times like these that you wish you had some company. On the plane I sat beside Colin, a natine from Trinidad. He works for Scotiabank and hence has been to Toronto many times..He gave me the low down about the islands, we chatted, I read and eventually said our goodbyes. O was excited to finally reach my destination and check out these islands. Once we landed I knew I had about 45 min before my ride would arrive. Customs was a breeze until again my suspiscious looks and luggage caused me to have another search done. I ended up waiting quite awhile for Ryan to come pick me up and started to get worried and me being me I forgot to bring his number (or any information really with mea) so I kind of just hoped he would come and he did!!! I was glad, relaxed and sweaty like a mad woman....(oh the heat)....I went to sleep excited, nervous and content....

BACK in CAN...

Hey guys, I returned safely to CAN. I have to apoligize for not being able to update my blog until my return. Finding the internet was just not working for me the entire week. If I happen to be near a computer with it, it was down....I will update my race and trip details this weekend. It was spectacular. The race website is updated now with the results and pics. I placed second and had a hell of a time doing it. Will explain it all shortly. Upon my return I heard the terrible news about Richard and Denis, my thoughts and prayers go out to thier family and friends...I knew them through racing.....Sometimes life thows these unexpected curve balls and what can one do but learn, grow, remember, embrace and keep living.


Oct 3, 2007

North Shore News post. sending you this from seattle


Here is the link to the article in the north shore news about my race. Check it out. Its quite good.

So I made it to Seattle. YAY! I'm hanging out with my buddy Colin. He just made me some dinner so this will have to be quick. Smells delicious. After dinner we hit the road and I'm off to the airport for my flight 11:45pm....It's cold and rainy here.....can't wait for the warmth.....


Last minute Frustrations...

This weekend some kind individuals brought insight to me concerning my flight status. I thought I had everything booked so well and it was all falling into place until I realized my connection in Houston was only 30 min and I HAD to make this connection as it was the only flight to Trinidad that day and the next one wasn't until Friday at 1245pm...TOO LATE..not only did I have to make the flight so did my BIKE as I am worthless without my bike in a race that requires biking. So Monday I spent some hours on the phone with the airline. frustrated with them and the whole ordeal but eventually Tuesday evening got things figured out and feel better about the new flight situation. There should be no way I miss that flight to Trinidad. So because of my flight switch I then had to switch my bus schedule....arg....there goes my perfect plan...but it all worked out and I depart today at 130pm. Meet Colin in Seattle, we have dinner and maybe a drink (no worries, just one!) and fly out at 1145pm tonight...the good ol red eye flight....my fav.....oh man. I arrive into Trinidad at 730pm TOMORROW...its gonna be a long travel session and I'm sure worth it in the end....So wish me luck and I will keep you updated as much as I can.