puzzle pieces

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My 29km of Trail~

~on top of the world~


The race began at 8:30am...which was actually a late start compared to what I'm used to.
(It was nice to sleep in a bit.)
Race briefing was short, to the point, and only one mention of bear sightings around a carcass that was near the top of the trail.

(my fear of flying equals that of my fear of bears)

The trail started off gently rolling....across a Texas Gate or 2, 
through trees, and over bridges with babbling creeks.

I decided not to look at my watch and pace for as long as I could handle it.
I ran~ 3km,
 without so much as a glance down, 
enjoying the fact that I was surrounded by those mountains and pine air.
My breathing space.

When I DID look down and saw only the 3km on my watch- it hit me.
I had gone only 10% of the run.
I still had 90% to go.

Then a double hit...I had never run more than 21km in my entire life- 
let alone a mountain run for 29.

From there on it was a mind battle.
Not to mention the trail began to incline.

But with that incline came beauty....and it took away the thoughts of knees not wanting to lift.
By the 9km aid station....I was in good spirits and so happy to be a part of the race.
(And happy the aid station had water and oranges:)

The trail would plateau in places and open up in to views like this....

And this.....

But for some reason.,.at about 11-12km?
It rushed over  me- the magnitude of a mountain run.
(Maybe it was the thin air...)

The trail turned form rocks and roots-
to shale.
Non-stop shale with an incline unfathomable to a flat-road runner like me.

Who's average run is about 10km.

And then I looked up.

It seemed as though the run had just begun. 
And unfortunately my body thought I was almost finished.

At one point my legs cramped- from my ankles to the top of my quads.
I just stood there...unable to comprehend what was happening.
A friendly runner passing by....heading DOWN the mountain asked me kindly if I was okay.
When I mentioned off-handedly my legs were cramping and stuck in one position...she asked me when my last gel intake was.

I had forgotten the intake rule of "calories in" on a calorie burning run.
Within  a few minutes of downing a gel- my legs were in motion.
Again...plodding up the never-ending shale trail.

In the photo below:
Those tiny dots on the top of the rocks?
People in my race way ahead of me.
And some of them were actually running DOWN!
I was still going up.

Talk about mind battle.

Maybe that's why the scenes like this below were positioned to the side of me.
(Kind of like distracting a crying baby with a squeaky toy.)

Although in this case....
it was calming a whining 30-something year-old with: 
"eye-level with the clouds" 

Have you noticed I had my camera out during parts of this run?
I only dropped it ~twice.

It was during the last 2 km up to the summit when I decided that looking like my camera and I were here for just a scenery-capture was a good idea.
It gave me a chance to catch my breath.
Someone even called me a tourist.
So much for acting like a runner.

(Bet they can't even remember what the scenery looked like...
so busy were they trying to race against their clock.;)

I finally managed to reach 14.44km and turn myself around. 
Time was about 2 and 1/2 hours at this point.
Never had I run for that long in my entire life.

The run down took 1 and 1/2 hours....
which included consuming more calories at 2 aid stations,
feeling like I was in a dream, 
and at one point wondering where everyone had disappeared to....
(noticing that I wasn't even scared of coming round a corner to find a bear).

Oh...and I also asked a group of mountain bikers if I could borrow one of their bikes.
No one went for the idea.

I just wanted to be able to get down.
Without crawling.

There were times I wanted to sit.
Just sit.

And I also found it almost humorous that when I looked down and saw 19.9Km on my watch....
all I could say was..."Only 10km left!"
10km is my LONG run on a good day~ on flat ground.

It's amazing what you can do when you have to.
And I did.
My feet carried me up and down and off the trail.

Last year I did 16km of this course.
This year...I (literally) tackled the 29km route.

The next distance?
I'm thinking about it.
Maybe after I can walk up the stairs at home here without crawling, 
I'll sign myself up for the 42km Mountain Marathon leg of this race.


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Girl and her Horse

This horse has been a handful since my daughter bought her a few years back.

She's had her moments of stubbornness and just plain stupidity.
She's broken ribs from throwing a full-grown man off her back,
jumped fences,
and ran through fields which are not ours.

Sometimes 1 person can look through all those ridiculous moments and see potential.
They can find the good which is there- but isn't be seen by others..

Almost 3 years to the day of being shunned by the rest of us as "unrideable"....my daughter rides her western, English, and bareback. Shes' currently teaching her to run barrels and jump, (within the confines of the corral).

Makes you wonder just what potential lies in all of us.
To learn. To grow. To be who we were supposed to be.
And It OH SO helps to have someone in our lives who can see it....even when we can't.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hitting the Trail

My 2 most favorite places on earth would have to be:

1.  the sandy beaches of anywhere overlooking vast bodies of water,

and here....

2. the majestic Rocky Mountains next door.

I'm heading out into these this weekend to run a 29km Trail Race.

Completely unprepared to race,
but because I feel I can breathe out here...it doesn't matter.
It may turn into a fast sort of hike.....which is fine by me.
 Maybe I can stop to take pictures instead of feeling the need to set a record;).

Regardless....I'm hoping these dusty old Trail shoes hold up for another trek up the mountain.
I'm in need of the head~break before another season of football, school, and
 running in all directions for the kiddos schedules.

Happy Trails to you....wherever this weekend takes you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

in its time....

~What Was~

~What Is~

~What Is to Come~

~There are times in my life I wish I could be in an 
altogether different place.

But it seems to me that you can't get to where you want to be...

 without experiencing the other place first.~

~All places can be beautiful in their time.~

(Thank you all so much for your encouraging words before my races this past weekend. I have to say both the Aquathlon and Triathlon were a learning experience....more of a mental battle than a physical one. 
I completed both....not with times I like, but I crossed the finish lines. 
And for that ~I'm happy:)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

in the span of a lifetime....

There seems to be too many things to do 
and far too many sights too see....

in the span of a lifetime.

Had a wonderful (but it seems very short) visit to the USA with my girl.....
now I just came back home to grab my bike.

I'm off to the sunny Okanagan {in the next~door province of British Columbia}....a 10 hour drive away for my first ever Aquathon and another Olympic Distance Triathlon.

Hoping you all have a wonderful weekend, 
and you enjoy the wonderfulness of 
~the moments within a lifetime.~

Sunday, August 14, 2011

crazy ride life & 10km Race Report


Can I actually call a Race Beautiful?

It was.
In the dark- 
an almost full moon over head, city lights in the distance, with about 1000 head lamps bobbing through a beautiful treed trail overlooking a peaceful reservoir of water.

My son and I toed  the line together, and then I shot off.
(I thought like a rocket;)
Turns he was only seconds behind me- 20 to be exact!

(Picture 1: How he warms up)
(Picture 2: before I beat him;)
(Picture3: 2nd place medal)

We both set records in this 10k.
I beat my time by 3 minutes, and he set his first time ever for a 10k as he has never done this before!
(Like I said~if he trained...)

So for all of you who had no faith I could beat him....I did.
And 20 seconds ahead of the 16 year old is pretty good for "late 30's" mother;))
(Or so I like to think...)


I'm off to the great U.S.of A. with my daughter for a few days.
(She wants to shop. I may sit on a bench and...People Watch.)

Wherever this crazy ride of life may be taking you...have a wonderful week!


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Morning Kayak 
in the Sky

Evening Kayak 
on Waves of Glass

~My Kayak and I have had some 
good days out on the water this week.~

Off to the city this weekend with my oldest as we signed up for a 
10km Night Race together.

It's his first 10km run. 

Bet you the free headlamp we get with our registration 
that he beats me.

(even though he hasn't trained at all....)


Have a wonderful weekend.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

People Watch

I'm a People Watcher.

More so when someone needs to shop. (I don't like shopping.)

Or when we're at an Amusement Park. (I am not a fan of rides.)

So when the kiddos were riding the Roller coaster for the 3rd time, 
I sat on a bench..... and people watched.

People are fascinating.
And interesting.
And sweet and comical....all rolled into one.

I saw these 2 carrying this massive stuffed Penguin around the park all afternoon.
I had to take a photo.

As they walked by I heard one muttering...
"Grand kids! 
Win prizes like this at the games and get us to carry it around all day!".


At the Beach last week coming in from a swim, I happened to notice a tiny car.
With a canoe strapped to the top.
It parked and out piled 1,2,3,4,5,.....6! people.
Looked as though dad had thought it would be fun to canoe with his boys for 20 minutes in the beautiful summer evening.
After about 15 minutes of designating seating for all the boys, he carefully (and cautiously) climbed into the ever-lowering canoe, and off they paddled.
Taking on quite a bit of water as they sat so low.


Then across the way at the next table was a young couple.
I guess they threw caution to the wind that night- in a few areas.
They broke the "No Dog" Beach rule,
the "No Alcohol" Beach rule,
and the young man broke the (unwritten but common sense) Beach rule about swimwear.
(Maybe dont' ask about that one,  but use imagination...a bit.)

After leaving their empty and full  beer cans strewn...they took off for a swim. 

At least they left the dog tied up to guard the rest of their beer.

There were several more "situations"....which I dare not show.
And even some I dared not photograph.

People are wonderful.
To watch.

And then all this people watching makes me wonder....

Who is sitting on a bench out there
- watching me?

(Linking in with Written Inc.  for thematic photos on stranger~photography.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.”

~H.Jackson Brown, Jr.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Triathlon~the places it takes me

(taken on a rest stop during one of my long training rides)

I once read a comment on Triathlons and why people do them. It went something like this:

"From the outside, you don't understand it.
From the inside- you can't explain it."

And I really can't explain why I love this sport of Triathlon like I do.

No- I am not good at it, I may be average on a good day.
No- I don't get paid, I pay!
Yes- it can be hard and painful.
Yes- I am tired after I do a run and swim all by 7:30 on a Monday morning.
And on race day~ I don't particularly like getting kicked, hit, and swam over.
Race day also puts my stomach in knots.

So what's so great about this sport?
Why do triathlon people put themselves through this...and for what?

I can't explain it.

Except that at the end of a workout I feel better about the world than when I started.
I like having goals to work towards.
I like trying to get better.
I like the battle I conquer in my head every time I go one more mile.
And~~~ I think the best part is
it's the places it takes me.

On my bike I see things I don't get to see from my front porch, {and catch dragonflies in my helmet}.
I see for miles and miles with no roof above my head.

(open road on an early morning cycle)

On a run I watch sunrises and sunsets, {and cross paths with animals normally hiding from people during the day}.
And when I do Hill Runs...I get to see the sun come up over and over again.
(early morning runs)

My open water swims have allowed me to see the beach from a different angle, {and to experience all different temperatures of water,  sizes of waves, and come face to face with seaweed.}
(my swimming pool)

Races take me to different towns and cities.
I meet people there who also don't understand why it is they do what they do either.
And that part makes me feel a little less crazy:)
And all the while- {if I bring my cell phone}- I get photo opportunities I would miss otherwise;)
I think we all have our Get-Away thing.
It may not be Triathlons. But it's something.
And often  people don't get why you do what you do.

But deep down you know.....
It's because of the places it takes you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Perfect Timing

Packing up after a relaxing Beach Day~
the clouds began rolling in - (yet again).
Sometimes, timing IS everything.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flight Fear

So the Family went to an Air Show a couple weeks ago.
I stayed home. 
~I think that was when I went on my glorious bike ride.~

Several reasons stopped me from attending with the rest of them.
Don't get me wrong- I love adventure and seeing new sights.
(Part of me even secretly thought I should go. 
You only have Just One Life- right?)

But I'm truly not a fan of Flight.

You know why?
There are just too many things that can go wrong.

For instance, look at this:

~~If just ONE wire was out of place....~~

And I have NEVER been good at science....but honestly~ 
How IS it possible for something this large to float in the sky?
I see no feathers.

And that's just the worry from ground.
What about when you get up here?

And I now have proof that planes actually can flip over.
~I can do that well enough on my bike, thanks.~

What about the Traffic up there?
Do you realize just how many planes are in the sky above us at any given moment?
And not one traffic sign.

Then there's the matter of the parachute.
IF you are lucky enough to own one.

And you better hope they don't get tangled.

And is it me...
or does this not look like it belongs in water?
I see.....Duck.

The noise, the crowds, the stress and danger....
No~ I was happy I stayed home.

Now, if someone gave me one of these to ride....

(All above pictures were taken by my son and/or daughter...
who braved the noise and heat of the day.

Without me;)