Welcome to 2017!

The lower mainland in BC has never seen such a wintery winter, at least not as far as I can remember. The last month or so has been full of avoiding ice, charging through powder, and bundling until I look like a yeti.

As much as I can’t wait to put on one pair of shorts and one tank top these winter adventures have also been pretty fun, and even made it an easier decision on some days to stay inside and hammer out a strong cross training routine.

Before I get into goals and ideas for 2017, let’s look back at the final months of 2016! In October I ran my final race for the year, 5 Peaks Buntzen lake enduro course. This was a quick 15km course, over the technical tracks of the Diez Vistas trail. This was also the 6th and final race with 5 peaks for the year which makes for a bittersweet send off into winter. This race had all of the 5 Peaks perks, with swag, amazing food and snacks, awesome first aid (for the bee stings and of course my one fall on course this year happened during my last race), and friends and family celebrating another outstanding season.

Heading into November, all I can remember now is rain. I think it rained a lot, something like 53 out of 55 days if I recall correctly..either way it was a lot of rain. Maybe we should have known winter would also hit hard this year?

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Rain doesn’t stop true west-coasters though, so the adventures continued. Every time I grew more thankful for my Arcteryx Norvan SL jacket. In fall and early winter I found a few new routes (thanks to locals on strava) and routinely trudged up 6km with 1200m elevation gain at Mt. Gloria in Chilliwack. Then for my 28th birthday, I celebrated by taking on an adventure with friends connecting Mt. Gloria to Thurston, and Elk (thank you again Strava locals & friends with navigation skills/senses of adventure).

To kick off winter in December, I took off to Portland for the weekend and explored the beautiful local trails just outside the city. We also were able to detour to some of the trails that are seen in the Gorge waterfalls 50km race! This was well worth the 5 hour drive. Every second was breath taking, staring at waterfalls dropping from high above, cruising along underneath them, and then plunging into creeks (read as raging rivers due to the rainfall). I can’t help but also mention that a scenic run followed by a box of BlueStar donuts, just might be the best thing ever.

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Now it is January and runs have been snow filled. I have never seen snow last in this area for so long. It has been colder than usual and I have had to recall my layering strategies from my Edmonton days. It has been challenging at times to get out and go, but each run continues to challenge me in a new way. To keep myself at it (you can probably guess what is coming here..) I signed up for a race! I am enthusiastic to share that I will be racing another road half, for the first time in about 1.5years! The Vancouver 1st Half is happening this February 5th! I am not sure what to expect apart from sore legs the next day, but I am looking forward to yet another last minute race entry and seeing where I am at on the road these days! Look out for updates on how that all goes down!

Lastly, I am working towards building my race calendar for this year, the only thing I know for sure is that I am in for the Squamish 50/50! Phew, stressful and sold out registration complete. Now to plan for tackling that beast. Here we go 2017.

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