Sunday, March 28, 2010

Today's Long Run

I'm too lazy to blog right now but want to get my stats posted so I am taking the easy way out and just posting actuals, no thoughts or feelings to share this time around!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Neither a JAM nor a JAMB would stop us!

One Saturday it is a leisurely stroll, minimal effort hike, to the following Saturday where you are faced with a challenging, all out effort scramble, yet both being fun and rewarding! I was excited for today's scramble up Door Jamb Mountain and Loder Peak because it is a move in the right direction for pushing my limits and gaining experience and confidence in an area I want to improve and expand upon. With the dictionary's definition of "jamb" being: (1 : an upright piece or surface forming the side of an opening (as for a door, window, or fireplace) 2 : a projecting columnar part or mass) that meant we would be encountering some ups, overs, downs and throughs!

It was amazing how we could just hike up such a steep vertical angle on this type of terrain without sliding. It felt like my boot bottoms were coated with sticky jam.

When we worked our way up to the top, we got to follow over a variety of trail types which afforded us views of all kinds.
Things that you get to do once you reach mountain tops are plentiful!
Of course, I have to have my summit shot...
...then admire Mount Yumnuska...

...and other mountain ranges!
After accomplishing our summit goals, it was time to trek down. My boot points the way down along a gully and at times we were on steep slopes, and post holing through snow where I got myself into a jam a couple of times and I have bruises and scrapes to show for it.
At the bottom we took a break in the sunshine out of the wind, took of a layer and savoured some snacks. Pretty much all the elevation is over with and we just have to follow through a creek bed and a forest. The cairn marks the start of our through portion.
The hard part was over and now it was time to make our way back to the trail head but not before dealing with one more kind of jam! It wasn't our jam but somebody else. What was he thinking! I don't think he was! A couple of my buddies helped him out! It was a day for angels making their presences known!
My GPS went wonky with the incredible wind! Our trek took 7:05 and I calculated that we roughly covered about 8.5km and our total elevation came in at 882 meters. 

Word in from the top is that it was great to be in the company of a big group of familiar faces for today's hike! I second that opinion!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Made The News!

Well, I thought I made the news!

During the morning commute to work, I was minding my own business, tuned in to Lady GaGa, getting myself into the proper mental state to face the day.  Everyone around me was doing their own thing, including the fellow beside me!  Don't know who he was bopping to but he was bopping and reading the paper at the same time.  What he was reading caught my eye!  "Making waves!"  What?  I leaned over for a closer look!  No Sir!  I was not trying to get friendly!  He was reading the Entertainment section which was beside an article titled "Making waves", a blurb about a fashion trend!  What would I know about fashion trends!
"Sunny D Light" tells me the phrase "making waves" is common.  I honestly didn't know that when I came up with my blog title.  I have been asked the meaning of it and why did I choose it!  Back in 2007 when I started blogging, I made a post explaining "Making Waves".  You can check it out here!  How Big Are Your Waves.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Long and Short of It!

There was no way I was going to be out the door running this morning at 8:00 am! I did make it out by 8:38 am though! I was awake early but it was a challenge to get in motion. At this point in training, my long run should be 16km but with my running being off over the last couple of weeks due to a cold and nagging congestion, 16km would not do me any good. I covered a short distance of just over 10 km and was happy with that. I need to get back on track and get my long ones up there.

Once I got going this morning, I really got going! For the first time this year, I ran in shorts! It felt good to bare my legs. I headed out my front door in a different direction which meant tackling gradual elevation right from the get-go. From all the hiking lately, I am becoming the elevation princess! Hills are my friends!

I covered 10.5 km in 1:12.  Sticking with the 10&1 program, the average pace for my 10 minute intervals was 6:38 min/km.  The sun is shining brightly now and hitting directly on my sofa and it is looking very inviting.  After yesterday's hike and this morning's run,  I think I have earned some sofa time before taking on anything else!  So!  Off I go!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring in Cowboy Country

We decided to play it safe today, away from the big mountains where avalanche conditions remain considerable to high, and ring in spring in cowboy country.
I prefer to call it "Mantracker" country! If you have ever watched the TV show Mantracker then you know what I am talking about. We were infringing on his territory. After arriving at the trailhead, gearing up and setting off, it wasn't long before I wondered maybe it would have been safer in the big mountains today.

We saw that the stables were empty of horses, portions of the gate had been destroyed and if that wasn't enough there were even danger signs to warn us! But it was when we saw bullet shells and trail signs shot out, we decided to take cover and check out our surroundings making sure we picked the safest direction to head.
Once we deemed the coast was clear, we trekked on our merry way. The dudes I was with such as Adventure Designer, Agent X, Ms D No Stopping Me and G-Force are a force to be reckoned with so we were safety in numbers.

Yet, just to be on the cautious side, we decided upon a route through the forest. We know horses have issues with this kind of terrain and surroundings.

We made considerable elevation to higher country through the forest and when the forest opened up we arrived at amazing, colorful rock formations.
Our plan was to summit a hump we could see in the distance where we would have a view and could take a lunch break. Along the way, we could see the big mountains off to the west which were spectacular and would make for a great lunch spot but there was the possibility this could be Mantracker's hitching post and he would no doubt be looking for a lunch spot with a view too!
Our choice spot was wide open, where we could spot any movement, had amazing views, with the sun shining down on us. We took an extra long break, no one was in a hurry.
We officially rang in spring at noon! Everywhere you looked, there were signs of spring! After a leisurely long lunch, it was time to let our guard down and trek on. During our six hours, we covered 16km and finished up pleasantly depleted!
As spring carries on, it will soon be time to conquer big mountains again! In that territory, one can physically be "on top of the world" where as today, I felt "on top of the world" coming out a winner in Mantracker country!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Biking into Spring

Aaaahhh! That was what I said to myself after a mere 15 minutes on my bike today!  I was so ready for this!  It is still winter but I went biking into spring.  Even though it felt springy, I knew from experience it would still be quite chilly sitting on a bike and riding into the wind.  I wore my headband underneath my new helmet.  I wore my padded biking shorts underneath my long windbreaker biking pants.  I wore my Icebreaker hiking shirt underneath a soft shell and a windbreaker jacket.   I tried out my new neoprene toe covers overtop of my sneakers.  All the underneaths and overtops were a perfect combination! 
Everything about today had that spring feeling!  The turkeys at the Zoo were hot to trot and fanning their tails!
I watched winter float on by!
The Canada Geese were all paired up!    
Brown earthy tones are in abundance this time of year but I was able to find some color along the way.  I crossed over the bridge from the south to the north near the Zoo and noticed these stuck in the middle of each banner that lined the way.
I love the beginning of a new season!  It brings hope!  It brings anticipation!  Its almost like the first day of the new year, it brings the opportunity for a new beginning!  
I covered 34 kilometers which is a little more than I had planned for my first time out this year.  I didn't want it to end but knew I had to play smart and not over do it.  Aaaahhh!  That's what I said to myself after 2 hours and 30 minutes of biking!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St Patrick's Day 10km Race

You play smart!  You win!  That was my game plan for today's St. Patrick's Day 10km race and that is what happened! Well, in my books I played smart and I won!  Even yesterday on my way to pick up my race pack, I was still wondering if I would even attempt to run.  My last run was March 3rd and since then I have been trying to beat a bug.  Standing in the line up for race pack, then getting my bib and seeing my shirt, my focus started to shift! That was all it took!
We had ideal race conditions, path was perfect, weather was wonderful.  My race plan was not to race but to use this more as a training run so no pressure.  I played smart!  I ran an even keel pace throughout and even felt I had some to give on the home stretch, so I did!

I finished in a time of 1:02:47 with an average pace of 6:17 min/km.  It wasn't my fastest 10km nor was it my slowest.  I placed 93 out of 199 females and 6 out of 17 in my age category.  
I'm very happy with my results! I feel like a winner!  I enjoyed some sunshine and cheered on others as they came down the home stretch.  Then it was time to enjoy a bar-b-qued burger and a slice of cake.  Today's race was in support of the Diakonos Retreat Society.
Now its time to get serious about my running and get well prepared for the Police Half Marathon the end of April.  Today put things into perspective on how I am doing so far and it also lit the fire again for my running passion!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Missing an Important Run

My training program called for an LSD of 16km today! I missed it! I wasn't able to get out my front door this morning let alone get my head of the pillow! UGH! On the drive home from yesterday's hike, I started to get a headache. At first I thought it was too much sun and not enough water! Then I thought I was giving myself a headache by talking too much! Yes! I was talking lots, I was still on a high! When I woke this morning, I realized it had nothing to do with the sun, lack of water or too much talking, the headache was the beginning of a flu bug.

What to do? There is no way I will get a 16km run in through the coming week. I hope to at least get two short ones done after work, depending on how I feel it could be just one. I have a 10km race on Saturday and I want to hike on Sunday. I am debating whether to forgo the 10km race and do the 16km LSD that day. I don't want to give up my Sunday hike! I wonder how important that 16km run really is! Oh! What to do!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Between Seasons

It's that time of year in the Rockies when the trail conditions are so all over the map, that it makes it hard to find a place to go that is safe, that you can leave your snowshoes at home and reach a summit with just your hiking boots and icers.  I'm feeling I have had enough snowshoeing this season.   We found the perfect place to go today!  Barrier Lake Lookout!  This was my 6th trip there over the past 10 years and I have a feeling it won't be my last.
Whenever I hike this trail, it's a different experience each time!  Different trail conditions and different folks make it seem new each time.  The trail starts at Barrier Lake which glowed in all its glory today.
Some things remain the same, yet I am still able to find the unique and unusual.  I like to think I have an eye for that.  If you look at the photo with the lightning rod, you will see a fan shaped mountain in the background, that is Mount Yumnuska.  It's on my to-do list!
This area for hiking is not far from Calgary so you are not in the really big mountains but it is far enough away that you can still get that "on top of the world" feeling.  I feel it standing here looking down at the Highway ....  
....and I feel it here!  This was as far as I could go to the edge!  My friend "Sunny D Light" went even closer!  See that big mountain on the right?  That's Mount Baldy which is also on my to-do list!  
After spending a little time at the Prairie View Lookout, we then carried on up the last steep icy slippery stretch to the Barrier Lake Lookout.  This was our lunch time view!  See that dark narrow pointy mountain in the back range more to the left?  Well, that's Ha Ling Peak!  It's on my to-do list as is the one next to it and it's called East End of Rundle.
Most of my photos, I take landscape but today, for some reason, I ended up with lots in the portrait format.  Here are a few.  I guess today there were more things that seemed upright!    
At the end of our ascent, instead of taking the trail back to the dam, we went to the shore of the Lake, played around awhile and then followed it for a distance before climbing up over the rocks to the road.  It just seemed prettier down along the lake side.  We had lots of views today in all directions. It sure makes a difference when you have a clear blue sky!    It was so clear that I could see some of what my future holds in store for me!  So many mountains to climb!