So blogging got away from me. Essentially right before my first 55km, last August at Mt. Revelstoke. But, here I am a good number of months later with many more long runs and races done and now having successfully completed 3 Ultras!

It is hard to fill in all of the time and recap the races, so in brief…

Trailstoke

Location: Revelstoke, BC ♦ Distance: 55km ♦ Elevation: 3500m

IMG_20150829_212912TrailStoke was an amazing and challenging first ultra! This photo was taken roughly half way in and half way up. Overall it was a fun day where my training came through and took me further than I had ever gone. I learnt that in 55km it is possible to survive without proper fueling, as I just wasn’t wanting to stop and eat, but also that I could have had stronger legs underneath me had I been taking in more calories. I only ate roughly 300 calories over 9 hours on this course with 3000 meters of elevation gain, which meant my legs weren’t moving quickly. Luckily, no muscle cramps, no stomach issues (because it was empty), no breakdowns, just beautiful scenery, stormy weather to keep me pushing on, and new friends made along the way!

Bellingham Trail Half Marathon

Location: Bellingham, WA ♦ Distance: 21.1km ♦ Elevation: 762m

IMG_20151118_220748Next up, a birthday present to me from me! Since I moved back to the mainland in mid-September I decided to see more of the local Pacific North West and headed to Fairhaven for the Bellingham Trail Half the day after my birthday. This race offered stunning views, a fast technical ridge run, and “chin-scraper” climbs (as seen on the left). Less of a chatty run and more of a full effort race, this was another fun day spent exploring new terrain, chasing and being chased by racers on the speedy switch backs towards Lake Padden. During this I knew I wanted to push hard and run fast, which ultimately led to starting a bit too fast. With roughly 2km to go I was having a tough go and chose to physically stop, take 2 deep breaths and then continue on. This came after being passed by another female runner and having that sense of defeat. However, taking the moment to recognize I could in fact still breathe I pushed on.  I finished 5th for female, 1st in my age, and 14th overall.

Run Ridge Run 

Location: Port Moody, BC ♦ Distance: 25km ♦ Elevation: 1400m

The distance and elevation profile essential sums it up –> One Hard race, thank you Coast Mountain Trail Series, we expect nothing less!  FB_IMG_1444796128712

While usually this race only occurs in October, CMTS decided to throw it open to us racers again in February. In October it was remarkable! I kept thinking the sun was lighting up the trail, but it was bright from the orange and yellow leaves on all of the trees! I finished the October race 5th for females and 29th overall.

Though I did not feel mentally recovered from the October race, I went at it again. This time around, with a mentality of enjoying it rather than racing. This decision came with learning that the course was also upgraded, literally, to include an additional 300 meters of elevation gain. But, to keep it positive, this took me on a trail right in my own backyard that I had never seen before! I finished this one in 12th for females and 48th overall.

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Lord Hill 20 miler

Location: Snohomish, WA ♦ Distance: 32km ♦ Elevation: 1036m
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Lastly of the brief recaps, another from the Washington region, Lord Hill 20 miler. A two-lap course, with one big climb, single track weaving around swamps, through the forest, and across exceptionally large mud puddles! This course was quick and flowy. The first lap was pretty quiet with just the 50KM racers and 20Mile racers on the course, but by the second lap the energy kicked up, as 10KM racers came on course. I often find lap courses challenging, but having new racers on course and getting to cross paths with all of the racers brought in new energy and helped my push through and find that competitiveness of wanting to keep up with others, despite racing different distances! I finished 2nd for females, 1st in my age, and 10th overall.

 

Coast Mountain Trail Series Photo’s by: Brian McCurdy

Bellingham Trail Half Photo’s by: Glenn Tachiyama 

Lord Hill Photo’s by: Jerry Gamez

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