Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Kettlebell Swing

(Even Lance is doing them!)

I am taking this awesome strength training class with Human Motion called "L.I.F.T Camp". Basically, the owner is not a firm believer in boot camps and the style of training they traditionally put their clients through. Typically, boot camps are just an ass kick and if you come across one, a lot of participants demonstrate bad form and are very susceptible to injury. If you do choose to take one, make sure the instructor is going around and making corrections and is not just getting you to do 10 more push-ups (when your form go's) because that's what the program called for.

This class is much the opposite. The class size maxes out at 4 people. This way our instructor, Kevin, can make sure all 4 of us are doing the exercises correctly and has the time to make corrections.

We use all sorts of equipment, from the TRX, sandbags, big medicine balls, and most often kettle bells. I am now super stoked on developing my kettle bell skills and am looking to do the RKC (Russian Kettle Bell certification) next year. Apparently, the certification is very intense and not everyone passes. You have to do a specific test (strength test) to pass. The owner of Human Motion told me it would probably take me 6-9 months to prepare for the certification, so it looks like I have some work to do!

For those of you who have no background knowledge on kettlebells and any of the exercises you can do with them, I am going to introduce to you the most fundamental exercise of all- The Kettle Bell Swing.

Here is a link to an article by Bill Fox, who goes into detail about the benefits of the kettlebell swing:

Here is a video for those who want to see the movement in action. Although this guy is wearing over-sized clothing, he does a great job at describing some of the most important aspects of the motion. check out this link:

Alright, time for a run. See you in the trails!

Contest Winners

Congrats to Sue Lucus for being the second winner of the Elevate Me Organic Energy bar contest. She gets a free box of their new flavor 'Strawberry Apple Pie' delivered straight to her door step. Way to go Sue!

For everyone else, it isn't too late to still reap the rewards of the contest. Elevate me is offering a 20% discount to anyone who places an order online by Nov 1st. By the by, ordering online is cheaper than buying them from your local super market. Just type in the promo code 'elevatemerules' to receive the discount.

Just a reminder that the bars are Gluten and wheat free, are 24% protein, cold formed, not baked, low fat, high in fiber, and come with no added sweeteners/preservatives or flavors. BAM!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hallows Eve 10km race report

(photo care of Gary Robbins)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this race rocks!

This year I decided to go for the 10km instead of the half marathon. I still haven't done any distance (race wise) over 15km so I didn't think I should start now. Not to mention, I had some ITB tightness going on last weekend at Around the Lake Giv'r take around the 12km mark, which forced me to pull out. 10km was an excellent choice and would serve as some good speed training.

My friend Shauna got back into town yesterday and I convinced her to grab her best thong, throw it over some tights, and head over to my place. When I did this race 3 years ago I wore hot pink tights and a black thong. This year however, I decided to switch it up, black tights and a hot pink thong. I do beleive that the thing gives me super human powers and propels me to run at high speeds.

My other friend, Tom Skinner, sent an email out that morning saying he was too sick to come. Once I told him we were dressing up in thongs he was game and made the trek out from Vancouver. However, Tom, being Tom, took the thong thing to a whole other level and asked me whether or not he should forgo the tights and just rock the thong. I said to him, "If you've got the balls, and I know you have the balls, to just wear the thong, then just wear the thong!"...and so he did and it may have been the funniest thing I have ever seen. He ran ahead of me for the first km or so and I literally was keeled over laughing while running. I had to pass him or my race would have been in jeopardy! (see blurry pic above for peep show of Tom. If you look closely I am wearing a white hat keeled over on the far right because I am laughing so hard))

The course starts at the Jaycee house by Capilano College. From there it heads up passed the cemetery, along Lillooet road, and you dive into Diamond trail heading towards the Baden Powell trail. Once I was on the flats in Diamond I passed a whack of people and while everyone skirted around the mud and puddles, I just plowed on through. This is wear my strengths come in because for the next 15 minutes or so, it's flat and downhill. My main competition was a friend of mine, Marieve. She is awesome and is a fairly new mother. She wasn't too far back and is a daemon on the hills. She started gaining on me as we crested up towards the suspension bridge. There were a few flights of stairs and I could see her getting closer.

My main goal was to run all the hills and stairs. When I did this race 3 years ago I walked every single stair. Now that I am a little bit tougher and not as much of a pansy ass I ran up them relentlessly. My legs were burning but I knew once I got to the top, the lactic acid burn would subside and I would get my stride back once again. I knew that if I could hold her off until we routed back to Diamond trail that I had the win in the bag. We were pretty much side by side at the Gazebo but I opened up a gap pretty quick as we headed back down twin falls towards the suspension bridge. I knew from there, we only had one more climb and then it was home free.

I passed by all the other 10km runners as they headed up twin falls and I tried to cheer on as many as I could. I worked hard up the hill doing a combination of power hiking and running. I gave mike (who is normally dressed in a cow costume) a high five and headed towards diamond trail. This trail is the reason I do this race. It's flat, technical, and a lot of fun. If I were to do speed intervals anywhere, I would do them on this trail because it has so much variety and changes directions a lot. There was one guy ahead of me but he was holding a steady enough pace that it took me a while to get close to him. I always seem to pick up speed in the final km and in doing so I managed to pass him and sprint to the finish to hold him off.

I finished in 48min and change and couldn't have been happier. My man (the race director)was there to congratulate me and I jumped up, took hold, and planted a big wet kiss on him. It is such a fun race and I encourage all to come out and join in the festivities next year. More pics can be found at the Run the North Shore website.

I am really enjoying the shorter distance races. They are over quick and the suffering is over with in under an hour! I think Peter and I are going to head over to Powell River next weekend and Tom told me there is a 10km in Cumberland which is just a short Ferry ride away. Awesome!

See you in the trails!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Living in the past...

I was training a client the other day and he was having a hard time with the workout. He was doing a lot of negative self talk- saying out loud that he was 'fat, slow, and out of shape'.

At this moment I drew upon many of my experiences with running. I too have gone through periods of negative self talk- I think we all have at some point or another.

This gentleman however, is not the same shape he was in 6 months ago. He is just getting back into it after taking some time off of training. He kept making reference to the fact that he used to be able to do all of these things in the past and was clearly frustrated that he kept having to take breaks.

This instantaneously reminded me of what I feel I have been experiencing and dealing with. I have however, come to the realization that I am not in the exact same shape I was 4 months ago. I can't run for hours up hours like I used to. And I can proudly say that I am totally OK with that! And, I will get back to that when I am ready.

I shared with him my experience with a similiar situation. I told him about my anxieties over not being able to perform as well as I had in the past at a race I had done the year before, where I won and broke the course record. I almost didn't want to go because I knew I couldn't beat my time. I explained that I really had to do some self-reflection on the significance of these feelings.

I think it's really important not to think about what we have done or where we used to be. The only thing that matters is the here and now. The reality of the situation is, no, I am not in the same shape. I have not been running as much as I was 6 months ago, so why am I pressuring myself to beat a time, such an insignificant thing. That day, I went out, I ran as hard as I could and because of the effort, I was happy. I did not think about my time, I just went out and tried hard. For me, that truely is what matters most.

I reminded him that he is not what he was 6 months ago and that it was OK. All that matters is that he was there, giving it his best that day, moving towards where he wants to be tomorrow and in the future. Maybe he didnt do the workout as fast as he thought, and maybe it took longer to complete the exercises selected. In the end, he still finished everything I gave him. He did the work and he tried his best. That's all I can ask for.

Friday, October 22, 2010


There have been a few races in my life where I didn't think that the effort I was putting out was sustainable, only to find that I was able to hold that intensity for the entire race. Who knew you could run at 183bpm (max = 184) for an entire half marathon! That one hurt...

I was reading an article called "How to push past the pain" and it really demonstrates what elite athletes go through to win some of these races. The discipline and the mentality needed to overcome fatigue and the balance between winning and failing to finish.

I wonder how fast I could push my body in a 100 miler. I wonder how early on I could push the intensity. I wonder if I could run some of the early hills and still recover over the long run or would each one slowly tire me out.

I think that is why part of me keeps choosing longer and longer races. I like that I don't always need to go to that pain zone. Western states took me to the physical pain zone (knee pain) and the mental pain zone (wanting to quit) but not the lung/leg burning wanting to throw up zone.

Some of my fastest and best races have been when I didn't feel much at all. I was able to run fast and burn uphills without feeling much fatigue. The feeling when your muscles, mind, and body are all in sync. That could also be the result of a really great taper and everything is rested versus tight and recovering, thus, taking longer to fatigue.

The forecast is calling for rain all weekend. That should make the Hallow's Eve 10km and 1/2 marathon extra special. If you live on the North Shore and haven't signed up, come out! It's a fabulous course and gives us an excuse to dress up and run! Also, my boyfriend Peter is the race director and he puts on the greatest races ever!

Just a reminder to check out my Elevate Me Bar giveaway and promotion (20% off boxes of bars when you buy online).

See you in the trails!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Alright, so clearly my question was way too easy! I have decided to give this another go (giving away my free sample box) to make it fair to those who won't read the post right way. Nice work Joey for answering the question in under 2 minutes of the blog being posted!!

All you have to do is leave a comment, proving to me that you have checked out the website. Give me a small piece of info that you picked up or learned from visiting it. For example, at first the bars weren't even bars, they were 'power' balls or one of the sponsored athletes is a triathlete named Allison Hooper.

I'll do a draw at the end of the week (Sunday). Whosoever name I draw, wins a box of the new flava!

Also, as a reminder, if you buy online from the website, you will get 20% off on your bars! Just type in the promo code 'elevatemerules'.

See you in the trails!

Elevate Me Bar Giveaway

I have known the owners of Elevate Me (gluten free) Energy Bars for quite some time now. I used to personal train them back when I worked for Innovative Fitness. At the time, Earl was a very fit individual (he still is) and his wife Trish, was very pregnant. Training them both at the same time was a challenge. I developed a solid relationship with these 2 and am proud to be an athlete ambassador for their amazing product (they still use mom's original recipe!).

These bars are are not only extremal delicious, they are very healthy. Most of them have as little as 5 ingredients and all of them are natural. Here is the ingredient list in their all-fruit original bar- whey protein isolate, dates, organic raisins, almonds, apples, cranberries (cranberries, cane sugar, sunflower), papaya (papaya, calcium, citric acid), mango. As I mentioned above, the bar is Gluten free, which is perfect for those who suffer from an intolerance. The bar is conveniently sectioned off into 3 pieces, so you can just grab whatever you feel like and keep the rest for later. Keep them in your car or purse because they make a great snack on the go or fuel pre and post workout. Each bar packs 24% protein (appox 16g), so it acts as a great meal replacement (or recovery product) if you have no time to eat anything.

I asked them if I could give away a box of bars to one lucky reader and they said YES!


Here's the deal: Go to the Elevate Me website. The first person to tell me which Olympic Gold Medalist fuels themselves with Elevate me Energy Bars, wins a box of their new flavor (strawberry apple pie). Just leave a comment with your answer. The first person to get it right, win's the box!

For everyone else, Elevate me is kindly offering a 20% discount specifically to you guys until Nov 1st. To order, go to their website and go to 'buy online'. Put in the promo code 'elevatemerules' to receive the discount.

Try them out for yourself and let me know what you think. I promise you will not be disappointed and if you are, I'll personally buy them off of you. If you think you might want to try one out before you buy, you can get them down at North Shore Athletics as well as most health food (specialty and whole foods) and grocery stores (Queensdale, save-on).

I got my butt kicked at my kettle bell class this morning. However, I showed those push-ups whose boss.

See you in the trails.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Millet Muffins

Every now and then I come across a recipe that I just have to share because it's THAT good. I had been wanting to try it ever since I got the Rebar cookbook. I had been bundled up at home sick for the past 2 days and suddenly had a lot more time on my hands to bake! As my good friend Meghan (who just got engaged!!!) would say, the millet provides the crunch factor (I love crunch factor).

Pumpkin Millet Muffins: yields 15 muffins

2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used apple sauce instead)
1 cup buttermilk (I used low fat)
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used 2/3 and it was great)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup millet (toasted)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (toasted)
1 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (I used ground)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large muffin pan and line with muffin cups if you like. Set aside. Combine eggs, oil (applesauce), buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin in a large bowl and mix together, making sure there are no lumps of brown sugar. Stir in oats. Toast millet in a hot dry skillet until lightly browned and fragrant. Toast the pumpkin seeds and add the millet and seeds to the bowl. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and gently stir to combine. Do not over mix, or the muffins will be dry and tough.

3. Fill muffin cups generously with batter. Sprinkle tops with pumpkin seeds and bake for 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

These muffins are not only healthy but would make a great pre or post-run snack (or desert!). I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I have given half of them away. When you find something amazing, you must share with others!

See you in the trails.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Around the lake, Giv'r take 30km

(There were a few people out in costumes...)

Last Saturday I drove the large and in charge North Shore Athletics (NSA) mobile out to Chiliwack to partake in Around the lake, Giv'r take 30km. NSA sponsors the event, and because of this Peter usually goes out and drops off the tents and prizing and runs it himself. I have joined him for the past 2 years and I must say it is one of my favorite races.

This year however, Peter is away on a climbing trip and I wavered back and forth about having the responsibility of driving the big truck out, setting up/taking down tents, and running. After being convinced into it by Dirk Handke, I picked up the truck Saturday morning and headed out. The new truck drives a lot smoother than my 91' Honda Civic and I had to be careful because it was way to easy to speed.

I had been having a few aches and pains leading up to the race, probably because of all the random activity (running, climbing, kettle bell class) I have been doing without any stretching, massage, or rolling. But, I thought it would be fun nonetheless. I had only run once that week and about 3 times the week before so I was definitely not in prime running shape, but I thought perhaps it the lack of running would have my running legs rested.

Last year, at this point, I was in peak physical condition training for Mountain Masochist and was ready to come out and run my heart out. At this point, this year, right now, I am nowhere near where I was last year, which is totally fine. I just knew I had to re-adjust my goals and not have any crazy high expectations.

When the gun went off, I went out with ease, and settled into a nice pace as we ran a flat couple of km before heading into the steep hills above Cultus Lake. I was leading the female category and was feeling good. As we started up the first major climb of the day, some guy started chatting me up. He told me he had seen my times and thought he better stay behind me. I felt the need to remind him of my current shape compared to last year and that he might want to re-consider. Looking back, I didn't really need to explain that to him. But I guess somewhere deep down, I didn't want to look silly when I finished slower (I need to get over that).

Anywho, out of nowhere this awesome chick whizzes by me like I was standing still. I was impressed! Two years ago the same thing happened and although I did not recognize this person (I only saw her back), I wondered if it was her. The grade of the first climb is stupidly steep. The first year I did this race I walked it. The second year I was determined to run it (once I realized my power hiking is pretty inefficient). Not surprisingly, I found myself doing the same this year. I remember feeling good. It didn't feel any harder than last year, just a bit longer and I was excited for the downhill of fun to begin.

Two years ago when I raced this same lady, I caught her on the long downhill section that followed the steep hill climb, and never saw her again. This year however, she was nowhere in sight. I plugged away at the downhill switchbacks and noticed that I was having some minor pain on the outside of my right knee. This is where I normally feel it when I have a combination of a tight hamstring and ITB. I kept going hoping it would miraculously get better. I knew that if it didnt I would drop out at the relay exchange and call it a day, knowing I had busted my butt for the first half of the race.

After descending a long time, the course spits you out into this open grassy field and then immediately onto the road for a couple of km to the 15km (half way/relay exchange). As I came into the field I could see two people ahead of me, one being the lead female. She clearly is wicked on the hills but I seem to have an edge on the downhill. We descended down onto the road and I slowly reeled her in. By the time we got to the half way mark and the relay exchange we were literally side by side. Now, I must be honest, I don't really enjoy racing someone like that. I'd way rather be the underdog and pass someone and drop them so they were out of sight, or be in the lead and work my butt off to keep them out of sight. When you are neck and neck like that, it just hurts!

My knee pain was not going away but here I was at the relay exchange and I am neck and neck with the lead female, I might as well give it a go and hope the pain goes away. Right away we started up a long switchback hill. She naturally took off, and I watched her float away. As soon as I started to descend again, the pain worsened and it was clear to me that my day was done. There no point in pushing another 13km with the sort of pain I was having. It wasn't the worst it has ever been, but it was enough to know that if I continued, it could potentially put me out for a couple of weeks.

I walked all the way back to the transition area, which seemed surprisingly longer than what I just ran. I had about a dozen people say to me "your going the wrong way!". Thanks...

I wasn't upset that I dropped. I do wonder how my time would have compared to last year and if I would have ever caught that woman. I'll have to wait for next year!

This race is super awesome and it never gets the numbers out it deserves. The location is stunning with the race starting and finishing on the beach at Cultus Lake. They had a fire going and many of the vollies and runners bring homemade goodies.

I can't wait to go back next year! I am glad that I made the decision I did because I didn't experience any pain the next day, however I haven't tried running yet! I've been bogged up at home sick for the past 2 days. Time to try now.

Alright, let's get outside...

See you in the trails!

Melanie Burgon, Holistic Nutritionist

I would like to introduce my long time friend Melanie. I say long time friend because we grew up a half a block away and spent a lot of our elementary school years together. She ended up going to a different high school so I never saw much of Melanie after that. Recently however, we have re-connected and I think what she is doing is very cool and something I would like to do myself one day. Melanie has recently graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and now does her own consulting.

A little about Melanie:

Melanie is a high-energy jovial person, who takes immense pleasure in working with people of every demographic.

Along with her passion for maintaining a high level of fitness, she believes it is as important to maintain a healthy nutritional lifestyle. She personally believes in the importance of eating fresh, locally grown, whole all natural foods to help create a balanced lifestyle. She enjoys getting to know people on a more personal level, as each nutritional case/needs she encounters is different.

Melanie believes that she can assist people in discovering their true potential and help them to focus more on their personal goals. She is a persuasive and thorough motivator and believes that anyone can achieve his or her goals with enough enthusiasm and hard work. She is honored to help anyone she can on his or her journey to creating a more balanced lifestyle both nutritionally and physically. She takes immeasurable joy in seeing people change into happier healthier human beings.

As a graduate from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition Melanie has experience in providing nutritional advice from pre- and post-natal nutrition, children of all ages, adults, seniors and anyone who is energized, open and ready to accept assistance on a new nutritional lifestyle. (she told me she scored highest in sports nutrition!)

She would love to work with you, and bring happiness to all those around her with her winning smile, dynamite personality, adaptability and unshakable lust for life!

To contact Melanie, visit her blog at or email her directly at

Thursday, October 14, 2010


(This beautiful river wraps around this beautiful park)

Like I said in one of my earlier posts, the last time Pete and I came here we ran around Smith. How O' so very exciting it was to come here and explore all that Smith has to offer...well at least a bit of it (it's a big place).

We departed North Vancouver at 4:30pm on Thursday. A minute after we let our place, Peter was having some doubts about whether or not he had packed his guide books. Eager to get there, we took the risk and kept going. The driving was smooth, minimal traffic on the way to the border which had no line-up. First stop, Edaleen dairy for a chocolate/vanilla swirl soft serve cone. This dairy farm is legendary and is a must stop for anyone who goes through the truck crossing.

We continued on and around 7pm we stopped at a gas station to (1) do the obvious and (2) use a microwave to heat up some turkey curry I had made the night before. The attendant for some reason was a little hesitant to let me use it but it said right on the microwave "for paying customers only" - we baught that not enough! Anywho, we quickly got to chatting and after we told him what we were up to he went into a story about his life. Basically, he broke his neck in a bad biking (motor) accident and for the time being was quadripolegic. He spent 2 whole months in rehabilitation at the hospital. They didnt think he would ever walk again. But, miraculously, here he was, walking like normal with a just a few scars to prove it. It really made me think again about how lucky I am to be alive, healthy and able to enjoy all the facets of life.

My landlord yesterday actually commented on how "we just don't stop". Pete and I really do try to make the most of our time. With that said, when we relax, we relax hard, which usually involves renting a DVD series of entourage (or other) while eating pizza and drinking beer. Good times.

Alright, back to the adventure. After contemplating a pit stop at a motel 6 for the night, Peter decided to just keep on driving. We arrived in Smith Rock at 2:00am. We fell asleep pretty quick and awoke to clear blue skies. Wow, what a perfect day for a day of climbing. We ate breakast and packed our bags and it was then that Peter realized he had in fact left the guide books (which he had been studying all week) behind! He has been here 7 or 8 times before so it's not like he didnt know where to go. The first day we got in about 6 climbs. Seems like a small amount but it takes a while to make them all happen. The heat of the day made climbing really challenging and at around 4pm we headed back to the camp site. When we were here 2 years ago the skulls hallow campground was free. They have since added a fee but at $5 a day, it's pretty minimal. Any extra cars are $3. We were expecting some friends to arrive that day but we never saw any. The forecast was looking bleek when we looked mid-week so we thought maybe they chose to stay home. We finished off the night with a plate of fajitas (staple camping food) and decided to forgo the campfire and went to bed.

Saturday turned out to be a drizzly day. I wanted to get a run in and ran the 7.9 miles from our campsite to the Smith Rock parking lot. Peter had been leap frogging the entire time in his car and I finally met him with his radio blaring in he parking lot. However, when he went to start his car, the battery had died. Uh oh, good thing there were sad climbers constantly leaving the drizly crag that wanted to give us a boost! Peter had heard about some caves in Bend, OR that would be dry and fun to climb. I had never seen anything like it!

The volcanic rock was pretty sharp on my tender little fingers and after playing arounf for a bit I watched Pete climb. Bouldering is not my strength but it is something I am working on!

We came back to the campsite around 3pm and saw that our friends Ross and Nicole and had been by. At this point the rain had stopped and the sky was opening up again. We decided to go hit the crag for a couple hours of climbing before it got dark. Once we hit the parking lot we ran into our friends and the 4 of us climbed together. We still managed to get in 3 or 4 climbs, which made us feel satisfied about the day. There were a few runners in the park and I was only momentarily wishing I was one of them. But, I came here to climb and that's what we did! That night was great. The 4 of us went back, ate dinner, and lounged around a warm and cozy campfire for a few hours. The wine was flowing because at $6 a bottle (same bottle is $13 in Canada) you feel bad if you don't! We inquired about the other couple who were suppose to be here with us (along with new baby and dog) and we found out they had a little fire in their basement suite. We were very sad to hear the news but it seemed as though they were well taken care of my friends back home.

Sunday was an equally amazing day, however, I felt a little hung over from the bottle of wine. The sun was shining and the crag was full of people. The heat of the sun only seemed to intensify the hang over. However, after a few hours and some banana bread to saturate up the alcohol, I had forgotten all about it!

Before I started climbing, I really had no idea the popularity of the sport. It truly is amazing. Even crazier is that in Smith Rock, the routes were all developed by people who had some serious balls! The first bolts for many of the routes (to secure the rope to) are well above the ground. I don't just mean like a jump up and reach but quite a few climbing moves high. Fortunetly, my boyfriend has 'mad skillz' and it doesnt seem to phaze him that much. Me on the other hand, I would be shakin' in my booties! It was this day that I found my first nemesis- Modern Zombie (10d). After ascending the climb with a few breaks I was determined to send it all in one go. I must have tried 5 times before finally succombing to the rock gods.

I find I get frustrated very easily when I climb. I can get down on myself because I am not picking it up as fast as I think I should. Peter makes things look so easy and I often have to remind myself that he has been doing it for 18 years and he SHOULD be better than me, he should have better technique than me. I am always being taught the lesson of 'patience'. Slowly I am learning that I am not always going to be able to walk up to a climb and just 'know' how to climb it. Sometimes, it takes 1, 2, or 3+ times to learn a sequence.

(A view of one of the most classic climbs in Smith Rock, The Monkey Face...Can you see it?)

The night finished off again with a campfire and dinner. I passed out pretty early this night which was perfect because we woke up super early monday morning. We wanted to get in a couple of climbs before heading back home. Again, blue skies surrounded us and because we were up and at em' so early, we were the first car to the parking lot. We literally had the crag to ourselves. We smashed off 2 climbs and headed back to the car and started our long drive home.

(Peter at Mesa Verde on our last day in Smith)

The trip was amazing. The climbing was world class, the company of our friends Ross and Nicole (who we are still getting to know) was fabulous, and Peter and I got to spend some quality time together doing something we love- adventuring, pushing (my) limits, and exploring. I can't wait to go back. This weekend and next I get the house all to myself because Pete is off on another climbing trip in Red Rocks.

I am running Around the Lake Giv'r Take 30km this Saturday. I have not been running all that much in the last 2 weeks but I'll call it a taper and leave the race up to the running gods. I've let go of the fact that I am not in as good a shape as I was last year when I ran this and if I don't get the same time, it will all be ok!

See you in the trails.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The last and only other time I have been to smith rock was exactly 2 years ago. Peter and I went on a 3 week road trip through the U.S.A. He pretty much took me to all these steller climbing destinations (bishop, smith rock, indian creek, yosemite) but because I did not climb 2 years ago, he settled on running through them all with me.

Today we take off for a weekend in Smith, which is located in Bend, Oregon. Before that trip, I remember seeing a photo of Krissy Moehl on the cover of trail runner magaine running through there and thinking how amazing it looked. It really is a special place.

Since I last posted, I have been doing pretty much of the same. My runs have not exceeded 2.5 hours and that has been pretty comfortable for me. As I make my mind up on a goal for the new year, I will start to up the mileage but for now, I am happy where I am. Although my running hours arent anything crazy, I have been filling the rest of my time climbing in and outdoors as well as learning to do all sorts of crazy things with Kettle Bells. Kettle bell workouts can be very intense! I love it.

Look back shortly after the weekend for all the photos from the weekend! I hope the weather stays nice. Also, this will be the first time I am away for thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt Julie`s. I hope all the Gilder`s enjoy the celebration and keep us in your thoughts as you feast away (maybe save us some left overs too...wink wink!!!)

See you in the trails!