Jul 30, 2009

Crossfit Vancouver! Lovin it! and much more!

So my week of rest consisted of lots of water sports and some upper body crossfit workouts. Monday morning I was feeling down as my quad was really sore, I could barely walk and all I wanted to do was go outside and play in the sun. My lovely man helped me brainstorm ways to get my energy out, my training in and still keep my leg rested. What did I do

Lots of swimming at New Brighton Outdoor Pool. Some Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Deep Cove, lots of sea kayaking and some upper body work at Crossfit. Needless to say I filled my energy needs and managed to score being in the water most of the time on one of the hottest weeks in Vancouver. Sometimes we just get lucky!

Crossfit has also been good fun... the arms are getting buff and I love the crossfit Vancouver community. If you havent yet checked out this modern new sport do so here.

Lululemon news: keep an eye out for some slackline/acrobatic/thai massage fun in ambleside park. To learn more check out Lululemon Park Royal (info to come in the near future).

Also, I would to send out a link for all those cyclists out there about my friend's Cyclebetes Cyling event. If you are free and would like to participate do it! Good times and a good cause awaits. Cyclebetes link.

I'm off for a kayak tonight in the beautiful Deep Cove Area...

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Jul 28, 2009

Paddling.... the cove.

It was so nice to be on the water on Sunday (so hot outside) and following a day out in the mountains, the ocean is a refreshing change. Friends Johnny and Ben invited Andrew and I out for a Sunday mid morning paddle in Deep Cove/Indian Arm. Johnny and Ben were out killin it in their single surf skis and Ben kindly lent Andrew and I the double Mark 2 surfski. It was about our third time in that boat and the last episode did not fair well...

The waters were relatively calm with the odd boat wash and weird current/wave thing going on. We headed out from Strathcona and turned North past Jug Island, Racoon Island and Twin Island toward the old mill buildings. We crossed the channel, toward the 'ol lighthouse and made our way back. W paddled about 20km and it was awesome. Andrew and I managed to stay in the boat this time (although at times I sure wish we would fall in...the heat was a bugger...but I loved it anyway). The parts I remember are when we were on it with the paddling, we were in sync, the boat wasn't shaky and we were moving at a decent pace... what a ride!

Following the paddle we hit up the Lynnwood (a still standing ol truck stop and they have some killer breakys going....) for food and some more boat chat.... pretty fabulous Sunday in Vancouver....

That night Andrew and I spent hours on the computer looking at flights... We are going to Ontario... The cottage, Augaitis reunion/chaos and good ol lithuanian baseball tournament all awaits us in August.

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Jul 27, 2009

Howe Sound Crest Trail

So I have wanted to run/hike this trail for quite sometime now. It is one of those classic local trails that due to its logistics with cars gets put on the burner for awhile. The opportunity arose and I jumped on it....although I probably should have held my breath for a couple of more weeks.... a typical outcome for a typical go go go athlete....

Howe Sound Crest Tail is an awesome 37km local trail that spans from Cypress Ski Bowl to just South of Porteau Cove. You climb peaks, walk ridges and enjoy beautiful views. Andrew and I had a weekend in town and our good friend Dave had a morning free to help us shuttle our car to Porteau Cove.

We were off off and away at about 1030am... I was so stoked to be on the trail on such a beautiful summer day with Andrew... I tried to ignore the pain in my leg... The first part of the trail is runner friendly so we ran the flats and downs and some ups... At one point I was leading (despite being an adventure racer... i have terrible navigation skills... especially on marked trails) and of course got us off trail.. We made a classic human error once we figured we were off the main track... we kept on going (bad. at this point the smart thing to do is stop and turn around), we bush wacked, we climbed and slid down steep slope and got engulfed in BC bush.... eventually after about 45 minutes of silliness we decided that what we should have done 44 minutes ago was turn around and back track... long story short we eventually found the trail again as well as some new scratches and bruises on our legs... although good times not so good for my already sore quad.

We kept marching on.. The terrain got steeper and rockier and more technical as we came closer to the lions. Although I did not want to admit it at the time my leg became more and more sore... But I wanted to bag this trail for so long... I was not giving up then (typical thought pattern)... But our pace diminished significantly as any big step down hurt. The steeper the downhill terrain the slower I became. I had to bring out the poles to help ease the pressure on my leg. Still,... I wanted to push on (typical).

We past the amazing lions and David's Peak was our next big climb ahead. We didn't realize that we were to actually cimb up and over and down this technical peak... but yup we did... the climb was hot but fun...the descent... slow and painful... hmmm..

The afternoon was passing us by and we still had quite a long haul to Deek's Creek/Porteau Cove (our car). As we climbed up and over Dave's Peak rumblings were beginning to form in the sky up above... clouds were moving in and we were still far enough from the finish to realize that maybe we needed to re assess our plan (yes, it took me this long and alot more pain to think properly about what we were doing and that I was hurting etc). Luckily, as things could have turned a little more "difficult/interesting/exciting?!?" (wet, wet and wet) we found a random sign that said exit via lions bay...

Although I did not want to admit to myself that we weren't going to make it to the end anytime soon and in complete safety, I finally realized that the right choice to make was to take the exit...arg. I will have to wait yet again for another time to finish this briliant trail (luckily it will be around for awhile). We still had a long long trail down the valley through bush and more bush until we reached the well cut trail that most folk use to get to the lions.

We arrived to lions bay as the rain came pouring down. Some very nice folk driving to Squamish picked us up on the highway and dropped us at our cars... We are ever so greatfull for the kind gesture. We sucked down some NUUN and ate the rest of our rhubarb crumble and chocolate and enjoyed the yellow sunset, huge rainbow and lightning storm. What a day.... what an evening. Vancouver rarely gets thunderstorms... this was special.

for me... I am now forced to rest my leg..... it is sore. I payed my price... I say it was worth it though.... What an amazing trail out our back door. I love Vancouver!

Live, Love, Laugh,..DREAM!

Jul 23, 2009

My return to North America and the amazing Mt Rainier... Adventures continue.

Infact, I don't think my adventures ever stop... I don't think I ever want them to stop. After a very long day of travel I finally got to see someone familiar that I missed tons while away... my main man in the seattle airport... What a splendid sight! woot woot. Not only did I get to see Andrew but he also managed to organize a little hiking/camping trip around Mt Rainier national park.

As luck would have it... Our intended relaxed, lazy 2 day hike/camp around the area took a different turn (I wouldn't expect anything less really). After a long lunch in the meadows with Rainier in the background we ran into the Ranger and to make a long story short we couldn't camp out in the "backcountry". There were a couple of options: turn around, camp anyways, or complete the circuit in a day(1/2 day it was already 3pm). So really there was no option.... off we went to complete the entire circuit... call us crazy/eager/adventurous/?!? we had headlamps, food, wine, etc...we could handle what nature had in store for us.... we picked up the pace and enjoyed funky bridges, big trees, a steep pass and a lovely finish in the dark. Dinner was cooked and eaten at about 1030pm and we were in bed by 1130pm... not too bad?!? and we had the whole next day to get back to Vancouver. I love adventures!

We had a lunch break at my favorite pub in Bellingham, Boundary Bay Pub followed by a quick look in REI and back in Vancouver in time to hit the sack by 8pm...haha (we were exhausted).

A perfect way to finish off my fabulous trip...

I can see that not long in the near future there is going to be a little summit to be had on Mt Rainier...possibly with skis?!?

Pictures here!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!


Acroyoga Immersion Goteborg, Sweden

As luck would have it, 2 days after my race in Sweden there was an acroyoga immersion scheduled in Sweden. How could I not participate? I was introduced to Acroyoga about 1.5 years ago from Jason Magness co-founder of Yogaslackers. I instintly fell in love with this form of yoga/acrobatics and would crave more and more of it. Last summer anytime I would race with the slackers we would play and practice acroyoga. I wanted to learn more but it was so hard with Jason so far away and no one in vancouver to teach me. So I felt it a blessing that this immersion happen to work out for me.

I took the train from Sundsvall to Goteborg with ALL of my possessions and found myself at the workshop the next day. I was still tired and recovering and sore but excited to be there. The five days were acrobatics in the morning and thai massage/therapeutics in the afternoon. I met lots of yogis from Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Norway etc. They all had something new and different to add and were all very welcoming and kind. The feeling of meta (love and kindness) was all around. Also, in Goteborg I met up with one of Rasa's good friends from high school. Her and her husband and little Adam lived not too far away and kindly set me up with a cute little suite and some dinners and lunches. It was great to connect with Karen and Jonas. So, there I was developing a little routine in Goteborg and becoming more and more interesting in acrobatics and yoga.

What did I learn? Well, a lot but mostly that I need to learn to slow down sometimes. I always want to know what is next, how to get better, learn more and more and more and sometimes I think I just need to STOP and BREATH and as the saying goes "stop and smell the flowers" (instead of trying to see all of them, maybe explore one of them more and appreciate it and its beauty). In thai massage it is all about going slow and feeling the other persons breath and following it. There is no rush.... this concept is hard for me sometimes.... I just want to do it all all the time...

With my revived passion for acrobatics and thai massage I am looking to teach others and spread the love.

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Reports and Updates

Explore Sweden Monster July 3-9th 2009

Six days, 1069km. Sunsdvall, Sweden. Team Yogaslackers (Mark, Sara P, Sara D, Lina).

This was my first time in Sweden and second in Scandanavia (Denmark 2005 Long Distance Triathlon World Champs). Sweden is a beautiful country that is very similar in look to Ontario Canada. I couldn't believe how at ease I felt while there (other than the language barrier). It was Canada with a European twist. The people were great, very friendly and I was surprised at the quality of english I heard from many of the locals. Unfortunately for me this is not South America when it comes to buying anything,...it is much more expensive. Lets just say Ramen was a favorite staple meal of mine...

This adventure race was to be completed in teams of 4 where all teammates complete everything together. Most teams consist of 3 males and a female but ours was different, we had three females and a male. My team consisted of three Americans and myself called the Yogaslackers (www.yogaslackers.com). We began the race in a town called Sundsvall up in Northern Sweden. The complete race was a total of 1069km to be completed in less than 6 days using a large variety of sports. Our team began the race with high hopes for a good finish, we all felt strong but also had never raced together as a team beforehand. The events were pretty wild considering sleep deprived endurance junkies were going to complete them. Mountain biking, white water kayaking, river boarding, rafting and canoeing, mountaineering, inline skating, ziplining, sailing, rock climbing to name a few of the events in the race. Not only is adventure racing a very physically demanding sport but it requires an unbelievable amount of mental strength as well. In a 6 day race anything can happen (good and bad) and each team member needs to keep a strong mental game going (despite fatigue, distress, diet, fear, etc).

Some navigational mistakes in the beginning of the race put our team behind the others after the first section. We all felt a little disapointed I think but remembered that it was a long race and maybe not all was lost so we got on our bikes with relatively high spirits and pushed on. Our strength as a team would have been trekking/running but as luck would have it this race was a bikers paradise. A touch of bad luck would be our story for the next 5.5 days. It seemed like the gods up above just wanted to make an already demanding race even more so for the four of us. Navigational errors, different strengths, flat tires, mechanical bike issues, losing out on the DH bikes, rain, were just some of the unlucky patterns we experienced. Looking back, I can see our strengths and determination. We faught through a lot. We withstood the amazing number of mosquitos, the major bike problems mark's bike kept undergoing (we managed to steal some rest while working on his bike). One of the toughest parts was arriving at the checkpoints while they were tearing things down. The volunteers were amazing and I cant thank them enough for always having a smile on their faces and welcoming us with high fives. We battled through forgotten maps and our support crew getting a blown tire. Another team let us borrow lifejackets and Mark did a fab job navigating without a map...haha... Our team also was the only team not to receive downhill bikes in Are but after a little hissy fit we got on our bikes and had a blast down the mountain. Through it all though there were some fantastic moments and memories: traversing the ridge in the mountaineering section, glisading down the snow, river boarding, rafting, tyrolean across a beautiful and deadly waterfall and working together on the bikes. I love it all and look forward to many more adventure races in my future.

I am proud of the team for keeping the spirits high and the motivation going through the easy and the tough. When just about everyone thought we were done, we kept on going. We were one determined team. It was a beautifully run race and I am so delighted I was lucky enough to participate.

Our Support Crew (Jen and Jenna) put a lot of effort into celebrating our achievements! A little RV party in the local park. Gotta love it! Thanks crew!

More pictures to come when I get them.
Once again thanks Inov-8 for the awesome pack and shoes, nuun hydration, Ibex clothing and Steed Cycles.

whats next? I believe an ultra trail run race is calling my name....possibly Frosty in September. Stay tuned

Jul 1, 2009

In Sweden!

So I made it all the way to Sweden, happy, and in one piece.. It was a long haul from Vancouver, BC but sooo worth it! Sweden looks much like Ontario so far... lakes and greenery and lots of space. It doesn't get dark though.... I woke up at 2am the other night to go pee and it looked like 4pm.... I have been enjoying time in the RV, running in the woods and swimming in LAKES!!! I love lakes. We are heading to Sundsvall this afternoon to the race start. We begin racing in two days... I am pumped! Our team is getting along great and our support team are fantastic! Its girl power time...hahaha...

Explore Sweden= Yogaslackers!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!