Training August 22-28 and VanRace Recap

IMG_5454

You know those weeks where everything goes well? You hit all your paces with no problem, your runs all feel great, and you still feel energized! That was how last week felt for me and I am still riding that runner’s high -hopefully right into this marathon! This was another high mileage week and I made more of an effort to do core and strength training exercises which I have somewhat neglected lately.

Monday: OFF. Rode my bike alongside the Sport Chek Robson St Training Club in lieu of running because TAKE YOUR REST DAY. I also did the NTC Gracie Gold Core Strength workout.

Tuesday: I completed my BIG workout I mentioned last week Training Recap: August 15-21 which I delayed a few days. It consisted of a 20 min warm-up, followed by 5km @ marathon pace, 4km @ marathon pace, 3km faster than marathon pace, 2km @ 10km pace, and 1km as fast as possible before a 20 min cool-down. Smashing this workout renewed my confidence and started the week of on a very positive note. I did core as well with the NTC Gracie Gold Core Strength workout.

IMG_5439

Wednesday: I did my regular strength training circuit in the morning before work.In the evening, I did 1 km intervals with the Sport Chek Robson St Training Club alternating between 10km pace and half-marathon pace. These guys really pushed the pace and it was great to see them give it their all!

Thursday: 95 mins/ 17km easy which was done around the Seawall from BC place to False Creek. Thanks to Jess, my final summer visitor for joining me on this run and providing endless entertainment as she navigated the Seawall on a bike for the first time (and with no crashes)!

Friday: 70 mins/ 12 km easy, I took the Sport Chek Robson St Training Club on a run through the trails in Stanley Park ending up at Prospect Point. It was hotty hot, so the trail was a great place to run Friday night to escape the heat a bit. I had never done this route previously and the view was a nice reward at the turn around point! I also did the NTC Core Control workout.

Saturday: The workout today was 60 mins “easy” followed by 45 mins @ marathon pace. It was also a workout where I practice taking gels. I tried two different ones: a Huma Apple Cinnamon gel and an Endurance Tap Salted Maple gel. Let me just say, these are both VERY palatable and easy to get down. I prefer the Endurance Tap Salted Maple because it is more liquid-y than most gels, easier to swallow, and only has 3 ingredients all of which are natural! The Huma one was really good too though. I digested these without any problem and will definitely use them again.

maple_single-R1 (1).png

Sunday: Long run day! I made a last minute decision to do VanRace 30km for my long training run this week. I figured it would be much more fun than running solo, plus the water and aid stations take care of my fueling needs and I’m always up for more practice in the race environment so on the big day, there are few mishaps! I had a great time, the weather was overcast and cool, not the case at all lately, but definitely a welcome change. I was supposed to use this as a training run, rather than compete in it, so I went in with 2 intentions: 1) to feel strong and happy after finishing and 2) to keep my average pace at about 5:30/km.

I did feel strong and happy after completing the VanRace 30km yesterday, in fact, I felt like I could have kept going. I’ll take this as a good sign. When I started running, I was really trying to keep my pace slow and under control, it can be difficult to do this during a “race”. My first few km’s were: 5:38, 5:15, 5:20, 5:24, 5:25. A little faster than planned for the most part, but I was feeling SO good this morning. The next few km’s were: 5:25, 5:27, 5:23, 5:18, 5:27. The middle 10km were: 5:38, 5:30, 5:47( I think this was when I stopped to pee), 5:17, 5:28, 5:40, 5:14, 5:18, 5:07, 5:13. The last 10km were: 5:19, 5:18, 5:21, 5:32, 5:22, 5:03, 5:00, 4:55, 5:04, 4:45.

Time: 2:40:03 Average Pace: 5:19

During roughly km 13-25, I was running with 2 other women along the Seawall, everyone was very consistent. As the km’s started to tick by and the finish line grew nearer, one of the other ladies picked up the pace a bit, and the other started to fall back. Since I was SUPPOSED to run the whole 30km pretty slow, this kind of threw me off because it reminded me that this was indeed a race and I no longer felt like moving quite so slowly. I know a good number of people use this 30km to practice for longer races in the fall, but during the last 5km I wanted to pick it up a bit, so I went for it. I didn’t really feel like I was “working” during this race, so overall, it was a fairly easy perceived effort.

This was another run where I practiced fuel intake. I fueled every 30 minutes and had 1 pack of Honey Stinger chews, 1 lemon Huma Gel, and 3 Gu gels: 2 salted caramel, and 1 chocolate. I believe part of the reason I felt so energetic was from all the fueling I did. Never underestimate the impact fueling during a run! I was very happy to have been able to ingest all of this with no GI issues.

I am looking forward to more weeks like this, but if there are some less than ideal weeks that is okay too because it is all part of the process!

Total Weekly Mileage: 110km

Training Recap: August 15-21

IMG_5229

This month is absolutely FLYING by which means my marathon is quickly approaching in only 7 weeks now! I am right in the thick of training with lots of longer runs and higher mileage weeks and let me tell you, my legs are definitely feeling it. The first half of my training week was completed in Tofino. I really enjoy switching up the running scenery for a few days and have been lucky enough to do that quite a few times already this summer! I love finding new routes and really learning a new place by running all over it. On this trip to Tofino, I found a new route that is partially trail, then beach and ends up downtown. I will definitely do this route again the next time I am there. So here is how my last week of training went:

Monday: 2 hrs “easy”, my dad was nice enough to join me on this long run and we chose to go on the sand of Long Beach in Tofino. We made it all the way to the end of the beach and back to Incinerator rock for a total of 21.4km. Running on sand is hard work!

Tuesday: 1 hr “easy”, my dad also joined me for this run in Tofino. We went along the bike path on Pacific Rim highway and then turned onto the path to Long Beach, the very beginning of it, which we did not run on Monday.

Wednesday: This was a speed work day, but I also wanted to try out this trail that starts on Industrial Rd. in Tofino, near Tofino Brewing. We did the warm-up through the trail which takes you to Tonquin Beach, one of the smaller perhaps less popular beaches near downtown. I knew the trail would end downtown and then the speedwork could be completed on pavement which is more favourable for hitting paces. This workout was 3 sets of 3-2-1. It felt good to get my legs moving fast again the weekends’ 30km on Saturday and the 2 easy runs at the beginning of the week.

IMG_5293

Thursday: This was 75 mins easy, I went out on the Seawall solo. I left much later than usual as I wanted to say by to my family before they left. This was promising to be a HOT day, fortunately my 10:40AM departure was still early enough and there was a nice breeze. I also did The NTC Gracie Gold Core Strength Workout today.

Friday: The one day last week I was in town to lead The Sport Chek Robson Training Club group! We ran to the Burrard Bridge for some hill sprints, we haven’t done our hill sprints there in a while and a few of the members remarked on how much EASIER they felt than when we started. It’s awesome to see people feeling fitter, stronger and more confident after only a couple months of running. I did The NTC Gracie Gold Core Strength Workout again today.

FullSizeRender (2)

Saturday: This was scheduled to be a marathon pace interval day of 5km, 4km, 3km, 2km, 1km starting at marathon pace and completing the last km as fast as possible. I was a bit nervous about this because my legs were feeling heavy and tired, maybe my mental strength wasn’t there that day or maybe my legs were really freaking tired, but I started this workout and could not hold marathon pace. I opted to switch it for my Sunday long run, 2 hrs 15 min “easy”. I will do my Saturday workout tomorrow (Tuesday) and plan to nail those paces!

Sunday: Months ago, I found out about this race at The PNE called the Donut Dash 5km, it sounded kind of fun to run around the fairgrounds before opening. I also like to throw in a 5km race every so often to work on speed. Since I ended up being in the middle of marathon training for this race, I did not go in with the intention of running super fast or PB’ing. My goal was essentially to practice running on tired legs and stay faster than marathon pace and I did just that. For a race that looked like a “fun run” there were some surprisingly fast runners! This race is unique because they hand out fair treats on the course, like Oreo Churros and mini donuts, I decided to forgo those though.

Total Weekly Mileage: 96km

This summer has been quite full of visitors with my parents here last week and then my boyfriends’ mom arrived the day my family left! Fortunately, I have been able to get all my running in, enjoy their company and show them the West Coast. This week will be another high mileage week and yet another visitor is coming -my friend, Jess from Toronto, who I have known since we worked at summer camp together, many summers ago! She has never been to Van so I am excited for her to experience this city!

Friday 5: Tofino

After running the much anticipated Seawheeze Half-Marathon last weekend, it was great to have some time away from the city. My family from Toronto were in town visiting and we woke up early Sunday morning to catch the ferry to Nanaimo. I am lucky enough to visit Tofino a few times a year because it is one of my favourite places. My East Coast family had not been there for 15 years, which was the first time I visited Tofino! Here are my top 5 favourite things in Tofino:


1. Best Place to Stop on the way: Coombs Country Market/ Goats on the Roof. The journey to Tofino is not short, if you get hungry every 5 minutes like I do, you will need to make a least 1 stop to stock up on snacks. The best way to describe this place is a small town version of a Trader Joes /Pusateris, they have regular groceries, but the real draw is the gourmet and homemade products they offer. I always go for the maple smoked salmon and spicy salmon jerky! They also have a selection of cheeses, chocolates, baked goods etc. there is also a produce market behind them to grab fresh fruit and veggies. And yes, there are goats on the roof, it is covered in grass and they just kind of hang out up there.

2. Best “Quick” Lunch: I know I JUST mentioned Tacofino last Friday 5, but here I go again. This is the original location of Tacofino and definitely the best one, hands down. It is located in a stationary food truck on the way into town. They have communal tables outside the truck, which is handy because once your food is ready you won’t be able to wait to eat it! One thing worth noting is each Tacofino has a slightly different menu, this location has my 2 favourite items: the tuna taco and the chicken burrito (not crispy fried chicken). When we went on Tuesday, there was a line, but it wasn’t daunting, the kitchen works hard and pushes the food out quick. When we were just finishing up, the line had grown to 60 people deep! That’s peak season for you in Tofino!


3. Best Location for a Long Run: I always run when in Tofino, but I had never done a “long run” there. I had a 2hr run scheduled for Monday so it was time to find an appropriate route, enter Long Beach, the name does it justice. It is 16km of sandy beach and ocean, located inside the Pacific Rim Park Reserve. I chose an out and back route starting just past Incinerator Rock to The Qwisitis Visitor Centre. The majority of the beach was empty that day and it was super foggy, but almost looked liked running into a snowstorm.


4. Best Place to Grab a Local Beer: No contest here, Tofino Brewing is the spot. They are located on the way into the “downtown” of Tofino, surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in Canada. The brewery itself is proportionate to Tofino, and has only a few seating options if you want to stay there. This place gets BUSY at night, a favourite among the locals. I recommend filling a growler and heading to the beach for sunset. Or, if the weather isn’t favourable, head to Shelter, downtown, and grab a seat on the patio. They always have Tofino Brewing on draft and there are fire pits, heat lamps and you still have a view of the water.


5. Best Dinner: Since Tofino offers some great fish and shellfish available to purchase and cook, this is a great option if your accommodation has a kitchen. However, if you’re on vacation, you may not feel like cooking every night. For a nice evening out, Wolf and the Fog is a great spot. It is worth reserving in advance to secure your table. To start, the seaweed salad is my favourite, the crunch from the puffed, wild rice makes this dish. Their mains change seasonally, but you can always expect a variety of fish and seafood dishes. This time, they had halibut, ling cod, and mussels. Everyone enjoyed their dinner immensely.

Tofino is always a nice place to escape city life and surround yourself with the beauty of the island. I ran new routes everyday, ate lots of seafood and enjoyed spending time on the scenic beaches, what more can you ask for?

Training Recap: August 8-14, 2016

IMG_5065

When your week of training includes running The Seawheeze Half-Marathon, you know it’s going to be a GREAT week. Other highlights include my first 30km run. So here is what my week of training looked like:

Monday: 55 mins easy with The Sport Chek Robson Training Club. We went along The Seawall and it was just what we needed.

Tuesday: 10 min warm-up, 8 min @ half-marathon pace,  4 min @ 10km pace, 5 min @ half-marathon pace, 2 min @ 10km pace, 15 min cool-down. I did this solo on The Seawall before work. I also did The NTC Gracie Gold Core Strength Workout.

Wednesday: 55 mins easy, ran with The Sport Chek Robson Training Club and we got to test out some Polar watches. I am a Garmin user so it was interesting to try another brand. We went out to Lost Lagoon for some timed intervals so those who don’t run with a watch could see the benefit.

IMG_5046

Thursday: OFF, though I did bike some 28km around The Seawall and downtown since my family is here visiting. I also did The NTC Core Crunch 2.0 it did the trick!

Friday: 40 mins easy/ pre-race shake-out run with The Sport Chek Robson Training Club, we went along The Seawall and man was it hot, but at least it was short and sweet…

Saturday: 20 mins easy pre-race, Seawheeze Half-Marathon, 30 mins easy post-race. I am not going to do a full race review because I was pacing a team-mate through her first half and it was HER race, but I will provide a few details. I felt great when I woke up at 5am, felt amazing during my warm-up, and in spite of the heat and humidity, I felt pretty awesome throughout the entire race! Like I said in my Friday Five: August 12, 2016 post, this is my absolute favourite race. Lululemon organizes a FLAWLESS event and it is impossible to have anything but a spectacular time. I think I had beyond runners’ high, I felt ecstatic during the entire event and for everyone around me. I will definitely be running for a fourth time next year. Oh yeah and my total mileage was 30.4 km, my longest run ever.

IMG_5101

Sunday: OFF.

Total Weekly Mileage: 66.7km

I am off to Tofino until Thursday and can’t wait to do my runs in such a beautiful location. Prepare to be Insta-spammed!

Friday Five: August 12, 2016


The weekend of the most anticipated local running events is upon us. You know, the one that sells out faster than Taylor Swift tickets? I am referring to the Vancouver based fitness apparel giant, Lululemon’s innaugaral half-marathon, The Seawheeze. So in theme with that, my Friday Five will be about Vancouver!

1) Favourite Race: can you guess it? The Seawheeze, of course. This will be my third time running and participating in the event, and it is so much more than a race. For example, it is Friday at 4am and you would be hard pressed to find a Seawheezer who isn’t already in line or soon to be in line at the limited edition Seawheeze show case store. To everyone in line: Hey! I hope this goes by fast.

Instead of having a race expo, there is package pick-up inside the convention centre, and then Jack Poole plaza is set up as an outdoor race expo with sport hydration and nutrition samples, temporary tattoos, nail polish stations etc! It is the perfect combination of fitness and pampering. The other aspect to this event is the yoga. There are 3 classes offered on the Friday before the event and then another opportunity to do yoga post-race at The Sunset Festival in Stanley Park.  

The event description is Run. Yoga. Party. So, The Sunset Festival is the final component. There is live music from multiple bands, food, a limited edition Seawheeze beer, shopping and even flying trapeze -seriously hoping this is back again so I can bust out some moves. I used to do flying trapeze every weekend when I was in middle and high school. 

If you haven’t already done or wanted to do The Seawheeze, I think it’s safe to say you do now! 

2) Favourite Cafe: Birds and the Beets, in Gastown. They get beans from Bows and Arrows which is located in Victoria. I typically get and americano, but the lattes are amazing. If you aren’t feeling like coffee, they have homemade kombucha and craft soda. They bake fresh bread and treats daily, so be sure to try something with your coffee.

3) Favourite Juicery: The Juice Truck! I like to get their Turmeric Tonic the day before a longer race. It also has pineapple, orange, ginger, lemon and carrot in it! So tasty, and… turmeric! 


4) Favourite burrito: Tacofino Gastown! They also have an East Van location and a Yaletown location as well as a few trucks around town. Not recommending you eat this pre-race, but definitely good for lunch after you are done. It will replenish your carbohydrate stores for sure. I usually get the veggie one and add guac, obviously. 

5) Favourite spot to grab a beer: The Alibi Room in Gastown. Post race you deserve a beer! I heard about this place even before I ever visited Vancouver and it does not disappoint. They have the largest and best selection of draft craft beer in Vancouver and probably all of Western Canada. I like to sit at the bar to get insight about beers I have not tried and get my beer nerd on. If you’re hungry, the food is good too, best chicken wings ever with aged garlic vinegrette and cilantro!

Happy Seawheeze and have a great weekend!

Training Recap August 1-7

IMG_4936

Now there are 9 weeks until my marathon! But first, next weekend is The Seawheeze Half Marathon, which is basically Christmas for runners. This will be my third consecutive year running it. This year I will be running with a co-worker who has never run a half-marathon before. She is super fit and plays varsity rugby, so I have a feeling she might kick my butt! After a few solid days of running and training in Squamish last week, I was feeling ready for more. Unfortunately, I got some sort of food borne illness while in Squamish that lasted until Saturday! I still ran though, it just wasn’t the most comfortable.

Monday: OFF. NTC Gracie Gold’s Core Strength Workout.

Tuesday:  40 minutes “easy”completed early morning on the seawall. I also did my regular strength training circuit which is made of up various body weight exercises.

Wednesday: Intervals with the Sport Chek Robson Training Club. We typically do speed work on Wednesday’s so we did a fartlek workout that went like this: 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1. You take 1 minute easy jog break between each interval and we were targeting 10km pace for each interval. Our training club gear arrived (finally) as seen in above photo! I also did Joselynne Boschen’s Alpha Abs Workout from The NTC app.

Thursday: 80 minutes “easy” completed early morning on the seawall. I was entertaining friends from Toronto in the afternoon and we ended up cycling 28km all over the seawall and false creek so they could get a feel for the city.

Friday: The workout with the Sport Chek Robson Training Club was hill repeats, so we ran across the Cambie St bridge to do hill repeats on what I refer to as “those tree streets”. We did 6 repeats total, 2 each on Willow, Heather and Ash St up to Broadway. I also did the NTC Yoga Ready Workout, I missed the word “workout” when I started this, thinking it would be a relaxing yoga practice. Not the case! Lots of planks! It ended up being a good arm and core workout though.

Saturday: I finally had a run where I didn’t feel nauseous the entire time, it felt great to feel great again! My workout was: 20 minutes easy, 12 mins @ half-marathon pace, 2 x 3 mins @ 10km pace, 8 mins @ half-marathon pace, 5 mins @ 10km pace, and 20 mins easy. I was super happy to hit my paces after a week of feeling sick. I also did my regular strength training circuit.

Sunday: 80 mins “easy” on the seawall as (almost) always.

Total Weekly Mileage: 66.1 km

Next Saturday is The Seawheeze Half and then I am off to Tofino with my parents, who are visiting from Toronto!

STC: Day 4

Sunday

I woke up at 5am still feeling super sick, not sure if I was going to throw up or what. I had planned to meet the girls downtown at 7:45am so we could warm up together before the race. I got dressed, grabbed the bike and rode to Bean Around The World to see what I could stomach. It was surprisingly COLD out and I had to wear a sweatshirt for the first time! When I got on the bike I noticed a strange sound, I decided it was nothing and continued on to the coffee shop.

IMG_4904

Since it was cold I had hot oatmeal and half of a small coffee. It was a struggle to eat, but I knew it was necessary. As I was sitting there, I started to get anxious about the strange sound the bike was making. I had to ride about 5km to get downtown and if something happened with the bike I would be stuck -since the buses are not the most reliable. I checked the front tire and found it was TOTALLY flat and there was a thumbtack stuck in it, mystery solved. Except for the fact that it was time to go and I had no other way to get downtown! I quickly rode back to the AirBnB put the bike in the garage and saw there was another bike there, a sleek little road bike. I called my host and she said it was cool to use the other bike, whew! I rode downtown and made it with 5 minutes to spare, however I was still not feeling very well.

We did our 20 minutes easy warm-up to the school and then it was time to line up by the start line. Mar told us the result didn’t matter and just to run at a hard effort and get a good work-out. This was a relief because with how my stomach was feeling I didn’t foresee a PB happening. This was a very small race with under 100 participants, probably the smallest one I have done. I found myself enjoying the small field and small town vibes and yelled at every one of our team members when I saw them on the course. If you aren’t going to PB, you can at least have a good workout and a bit of fun right? The course was super flat and fast -well had the potential to be fast. I have never been closer to vomiting during a run than I was during this race, but somehow I managed not to. It was tough, I did not PB. I finished at 36:47, my PB is 36:12. I had fun and I cheered on my team, so it was still a great day.FullSizeRender (1).jpg

 

Post-race I was scheduled to do a workout, this was a first for me. Typically, I would get off easy with something like 20 minutes “easy” after a race. No such luck this time. Since I am technically in marathon training mode, I needed to do a longer run. I did 4 x 5 mins @ marathon pace and then 30 minutes easy to finish my run with a total of 20km. And then I had to bike back to my AirBnb. I stopped for a smoothie and a scone, which were slightly easier to eat. I still wasn’t feeling well though and had a serious need for a ginger beer!

I showered, packed up and went downtown to meet everyone for a post-race brunch. We went to Big D’s, it was a good diner style breakfast spot. I had the Veggie Usual: 2 eggs any style, avocado, potatoes, and toast. To my delight, they had ginger beer! After brunch, it was time for me to say bye to the girls and catch my Greyhound Bus. It was a perfect weekend of running, eating and hanging out with solid people. I hope to do another training camp in the future!

STC: Day 3

Saturday

I woke up super early again -on my own. I had breakfast and biked downtown to meet the other ladies for our short shake-out run. We started at Howe Sound Secondary School, where the race start line is, so we could test out some of the course. I arrived a bit early and naturally had to take some photos, Squamish is just so pretty!

IMG_4827

We went out for 30 minutes easy along the race course on Government St. We started at 8:30am which is when the race starts and it was already super hot! Fortunately, the course was very flat as promised. Once we turned around, we were met with quite a strong headwind which I personally enjoyed due to the heat. However, we were still hoping for less heat and no wind for race day. We finished off by doing strides in the field by the school and that was the end of our run for the day. We decided to shower and meet at the Squamish Farmer’s market to get our race packages (read: bibs and pins) and look around.

IMG_4905

Instead of cycling down to the farmers market, I decided to try taking transit. The transit in Squamish consists of about 3 buses, oh and on Saturday the bus only comes every hour, except it was also 15 minutes late! I made it to the farmers market, met the girls and we grabbed our race bibs from two unsuspecting people sitting on a bench with a sign reading, “Squamish Days 8km Package Pick-up” on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Most low key package pick-up ever! Everyone was hungry so we went to the Copper Coil to have lunch, they have a patio overlooking the farmers market and the street so it was a great spot for people watching. 4/5 of us ordered the same quinoa and sweet potato salad, I added chicken to mine for more protein. The salad was surprisingly REALLY GOOD, I say this because I don’t normally expect pub food to be good. Squamish isn’t exactly a premier dinning destination, so there are a lot of pub type places, but this one is worth checking out. They have a smoker and use it to cook all of their meats.

We walked through the farmers’ market again and got some local goodies. Since it was the day before race day we didn’t want to do excess walking, so we went to the park and sat there for a while relaxing, some of us had naps. We got hungry again and went to Sunflower Bakery/ Zephyr Cafe for treats. We stood outside eating them, remarking that it was again a VERY hot day and hoped for cooler weather on race day. We went for a pre-dinner lay down and to escape the sun for a bit.

IMG_4900

For dinner, we went to The Watershed, it was the view that drew us there and that turned out to be the only redeeming quality of The Watershed. The service was unacceptably slow, one person didn’t receive part of their meal until the server was reminded twice and no apology was offered. Whats worse is as soon as I got home from dinner, I started to feel incredibly ill. As in, stabbing pains in my stomach. Not saying it was from eating there, it could very well have been something else, but when you have a negative experience at a restaurant AND get sick after, it is hard not to assume they are related.

It was not a fun night for me, I felt like I was waiting to throw up, but it never happened. The stomach pain and nausea continued. Not what you want on the eve of race day!

Squamish Training Camp Recap: Day 2

 

Friday

IMG_4648

I woke up pretty early, as in before 6am, without an alarm. We had a trail run planned at Alice Lake and I was going to be picked up at 8:30am. I had oatmeal and strawberries for breakfast and grabbed a coffee from Bean Around The World at the end of the street. I filled my hydration pack, grabbed my trail runners and waited for my ride.

IMG_4662

The drive to Alice Lake only took 10 minutes, we went to the four lakes trails, which were beautiful! None of us had run at Alice Lake before except coach Mar, so we eagerly took in the scenery. She was a great, entertaining guide and we covered a fair amount of trail. The terrain was a mix between flat and some inclines, some easy parts of the trail and some more technical. All in all, it would be considered a beginner trail, I would say. It was an easy 60 minute run day, and it was awesome to do it in the woods. Squamish has a bounty of trails, and Alice Lake is just one example. There are trails everywhere, you just have to find them. After our run, we re-hydrated with coconut water (Thanks, Jes!) and headed to Alice Lake beach to relax for a bit. When we could no longer contain our hunger, we drove to Bean Around The World for some sandwiches and coffee then went back to the beach to eat and hangout.

IMG_4901

After the sand and sun, we drove to downtown Squamish and had gelato. We also cruised the local shops. It was HOT, and we were tired after a lot of time in the sun. We decided to take a bit of a pre-dinner siesta. I showered and actually managed to fall asleep briefly, I am NOT a napper, but I was exhausted. We had dinner at The Howe Sound Brew Pub. I chose a burger with salad and a glass of their anniversary dry hopped sour beer. It was all quite good and satisfying. The burger was super juicy. I would definitely recommend Howe Sound Brew Pub for lunch or dinner when in Squamish!

Squamish Training Camp Recap: Day 1

IMG_4686

I spent the last 4 days in Squamish, BC to partake in a run training camp with my coach and a few of the other ladies she works with. There was a lot of running (duh), some beach time, a lot of eating and exploring the town and an 8km race. I will go into detail day by day, but I will divide them up because it will be way too long for a single post!

Thursday

Took my new Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged out for a test run and interval workout, read the review here: Shoe Review: Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged

After that I quickly showered, grabbed my bags and hopped in a cab to the Greyhound station. The bus departed from downtown Van at 10:30am and arrived in Squamish at 11:50am, not bad at all. My AirBnB host graciously offered to pick me up from the station in Squamish, and showed me some cycling routes around town. The rest of the group was coming from Victoria late afternoon, so I had a day to myself. I dropped my stuff off in my room, changed into workout clothes and prepared for an adventure. My plan was to cycle downtown and grab lunch, cycle to the base of The Chief and hike to the top. The ride downtown was easy and flat, I rode on the highway which wasn’t as scary as you might think. For lunch, I chose Zephyr Cafe (38084 Cleaveland Ave, Squamish, BC) they have a very healthy menu with salads and rice bowls etc, and cater to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free diets. Though I eat everything, I prefer health centric dinning options and Zephyr was awesome! I had a rice bowl with organic chicken, it hit the spot and fueled me for my adventure.

Then it was time to ride to The Chief, Google Maps said it was only 3km away, down highway 99. No problem! Well, I made it those 3km and found the left turn, but instead of noticing the minuscule sign indicating one of the parking lots for The Chief, I kept on going. I totally blame Google Maps, well, mostly. It said to continue and so I rode up and up this gravel road. I later realized this was a logging road called The Sasquam River Trail, which explained why I was the only person on it aside from a few cars parked here and there doing who knows what. In the spirit of adventure I kept on going, hoping The Chief was around the corner. After an hour or so and a lot of climbing, I decided I didn’t need to climb The Chief and turned around. Biking up hill was hard, biking downhill was freaking scary on a gravel trail where brakes don’t respond as quickly as they do on concrete. I made it out of there with no damage and to my surprise, there was The Chief on my left hand side, where I had began my bike ride to nowhere!

IMG_4589

I locked the bike up in the parking lot, and walked towards the main lot, where the hike begins. My legs were definitely tired from the running and cycling I had already done, but I was not leaving without completing this hike. I had heard the hike compared to The Grouse Grind (which I have also never done), but the main point is, I was told it was pretty easy. It did not feel easy climbing wooden stairs for 1 hour and 20 minutes! After the stairs, it gets more interesting because you have a metal chain to hold onto, followed by a ladder and more chain and then climbing up the rock to the top. It was hard and it was hot, but it was totally worth it because this is what I saw at the top…

IMG_4610

IMG_4622

I ate a protein bar, took a bunch of pictures, rested my legs for a bit and then decided it was time to descend because I was hungry for dinner and Mags 99 was calling my name! The descent was even harder, my legs were shaking and twitching. I had planned to stop at the waterfall and soak my legs for a bit in what I figured would be very cold water, that plan went sideways when I was greeted by a giant, scary, barking dog who ran towards me. Getting a dog bite half way down The Chief was not on my agenda, so I carried on. I got to the bottom, jumped on the bike and headed to Mags 99, a mexican restaurant and Squamish classic just off the highway, near The Chief. I got their salad with pulled chicken and a Howe Sound Lager, beer never tasted so good.

IMG_4644

We had a trail run planned for Friday morning, so I knew I  had to do something to relieve my legs and grabbed a big bag of ice from the gas station on my way home and spent the next 2 hours icing various parts of my legs.