Thursday, March 26, 2009


I went back to work on Monday and even though it was very tiring, it felt good to be returning to normalcy! I also started to exercise again which makes me very happy as I have plans for big runs this summer and I'm excited to be able to start working towards those goals. I tried running the other day and managed to do about 25 minutes but my stomach still felt a tiny bit sensitive so I'll be careful with getting back to that. I kept reminding myself that I'm a Death Racer (finished the 125 km Canadian Death Race just less than 8 months ago). I've only been couch bound for the last 7 weeks but it's amazing how quickly I've lost my cardio. However, I'm going to have fun getting it back coz this girl has a lot of miles to run this summer!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

One can never consent to creep
when one feels
the impulse to soar

Helen Keller

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Red, Red, Ready

Have spent another week being entirely inactive which has paid off as I'm not as sore as I was. I'm now starting to think that it's time to get back to some sort of exercise program but figure I should take it nice and slow to start with. Here are 2 of my toys that will help me make the transition from couch to trails; my bike trainer and my newest addition, the rebounder. I figured that running on a hard surface wouldn't be the best thing for my stomach which will probably continue to heal over the next few weeks so the rebounder provides a soft landing. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Major versus Minor

The reality of having had major surgery 4 weeks ago is starting to sink in. The surgery was suppose to be minor with a 2-3 week recovery rate but that all changed once I was in there. I've got another 2 weeks off work to recuperate some more and then I should be able to go back to normal life but with various precautions attached such as no lifting heavy weights, get back into training slowly etc. All common sense stuff. I've got some big goals for this summer and am eager to "get back to it" so have been a little concerned about lack of time to train adequately for everything I want to do. Oh well, I'm just grateful that I'm usually a healthy person. Not being able to do all the things lately I sometimes take for granted, makes me appreciate how lucky we are. It also makes me realize how heavy a lot of the doors are to public buildings - how the heck do weak, old people manage to get them open because I can't!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Interview questions

I came across a fellow Welsh person in blogland called Mark who lives in the States and who's a big runner. I'm taking part in an interview with him, answers below. This is a fun activity - have people contact you to say that they'll participate and you can respond to them with 5 questions. Let me know if you want to play:)

1. What is it about trail running and the mountains that you love?
It gives me a sense of freedom and wonder. When I'm on technical trails, I feel like I'm a kid again and when I'm out in the mountains, I'm constantly in awe of the raw beauty.

2. With your New Zealand connection, are you a rugby fan?
Yes, but I don't have TV so don't follow it any more. When I was growing up in Wales, it was crazy during rugby season as my Mum is a kiwi and Dad is Welsh. You can imagine the fun we'd have when both teams were competing against each other!! Dad lives in NZ (Mum passed away) but he still flies the Welsh flag every time it's rugby season. Yep, and when he's had a few, he starts singing all his favourite Welsh songs! What's the saying: "you can take the man out of Wales but not Wales out of the man"!!

3. What was your most memorable race/run and why?
My first memorable race was a 5 km in my first year of running. I'd had a bad race the month before so did a lot of work on preparing myself mentally for this one and it really paid off. I've always been quite surprised at the power of the mind, particularly when racing. And my other most memorable race was last August when I completed the Canadian Death Race (125 km). I was very focused during the whole race and broke everything down into sections so it wasn't so daunting; it felt so good coming over the finishing line as I had no clue if I could go that distance.

4. Lots of trail runners dislike road marathons (I've even heard the phrase "friends don't let friends run marathons"). What was it about the Las Vegas marathon that convinced you one was enough?
I quite enjoyed the first half as I'd never seen that many people at a race before and the scenery was quite interesting to start with. But then it just got really boring and monotonous. I found that my legs/feet were getting hammered from that same, constant motion and it was hard to stay motivated. The other thing I disliked was seeing all the garbage; it was amazing (thousands of paper cups and outer clothes that people discarded when they warmed up). I was shocked; it's so very different from trail races.

5. Any goals for 2009?
Race wise, I'm going to try a 100 miler in early August. I don't have that much time to train for it but I'll give it a go.
Fun wise, I have a HUGE solo trip planned running through some local mountains in early July which I thought would also help my training (211 km over 4 or 5 days).
And lastly, my goal is to make the most of every weekend in the summer as it is such a short season here (July-Sept).


Cascade Mountain, 2008

Steve, Mike and myself on Northover Ridge, 2008.

Dreaming of summer

The Canadian Rockies are stunningly spectacular and I'm getting excited thinking about all the awesome runs I'm going to do this year. 2008 was a fantastic year full of adventures and big goals. I started the season early by visiting my Dad and running the Tararua Mountain Race in New Zealand which is the hardest 35 km I've ever done. There were gale force winds on top of the mountain that swept me off my feet more than once; I think it's the only time I've ever wished that I weighed more!!

In May I ran my first 80 km and despite my i.t band screaming at me for the last part, it was an awesome race. And then it was the BIG one ..... the Canadian Death Race (drum rolls please). My first ever 125 km. What an experience; I felt so proud crossing the finishing line and despite the i.t band flaring up near the start, I was in fairly good shape at the end. One of my favourite outings was running/hiking up Cascade Mountain which is a mountain that dominates the Banff landscape and I've been wanting to climb it for many, many years so was jazzed that Steve took me up it. An exploratory jaunt out to Northover Pass in Kananaskis was probably one of the best runs I've ever done and definitely one I will return to this year as it's breathtaking out there with lots of wildlife (we saw 4 moose and a grizzly with her cub).

Also on the cards was a road trip into B.C (British Columbia) which was a lot of fun and very different from running here. Just getting to the trailheads in B.C is an adventure - my poor princess car came back with quite a few squeeks!

And I finished the season with my first ever big solo trip into the mountains; 80 km, 3 passes and prime grizzly habitat. Yep, at the end of the day I was wondering what the heck I was doing out there by myself, especially as I was losing daylight. But I survived and it was the biggest adventure I've ever done in my life so I walked away from it with lots of valuable insights (like, don't lose your map!)

And Steve and myself finished off the year with a trip to Las Vegas just for something totally different. We ran out at Red Rocks a couple of times and other nearby forest parks and ended the week with the Las Vegas Marathon. I've never done a road marathon before and I hated it - I'm definitely a mountain girl and will stick with the trails.

One step at a time

I've only been running for the past few years and even though I've always been fairly active, I never managed to get to grips with running. I figured that people were divided into 2 groups; those who ran and those who couldn't. Little did I know that it is something that you can learn!

When my Mum was dying with brain cancer, I figured that I needed some way of dealing with the stress and, seeing as my parents live in a quiet rural area of New Zealand, I decided to buy a pair of running shoes so that I could escape out of the house once a day to shake off the emotions that were choking me at the time. I was crap at running so figured I'd pick up some books from the local library and under the written guidance of NZ legend Arthur Lydiard I tried to become a runner. However, I wasn't able to run any longer than 5 minutes at a time and a lot of the information in the book was too scientific so, by the time I returned to Canada, I decided it would be best to simply join a running class 101 and start at the beginning.

And so the journey began.

Entering blog world!

I've been recovering from surgery for the last few weeks and have spent a lot of time reading running blogs (if you're unable to do any training, why not just sit around and read about it!!) My brother is now in cyberspace and I thought this would be a good way for him to keep tabs on me. All I need to do now, is to live a life interesting enough to write about!

Bear with me as I learn the ropes!