Back in the Saddle

Rose Valley

 

Gosh it has been a long time since I posted to  my blog.  It’s not that there isn’t anything that has happened here.  Quite the contrary actually.   My life has changed substantially since my vacation in Copenhagen last March.  To keep it brief, here are the key points in bullet form:

  • I quite my job after 32+ years with my employer
  • I injured my back doing deadlifts in the CrossFit Open competition
  • I started a new job at a small boutique winery which is located 5 km from my home.

All of these events have dramatically changed my life and subsequently my race calendar for the year.  You can’t race as much if you are not employed.  You certainly can’t race if you are recovering from an injury.  Lastly,  your race schedule is certainly curtailed when you now work weekends and holidays.

Despite of all of these challenges, I am very happy to be back trail running.  I have been assembling the mandatory gear required for the TDS race which is one of the races within the Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc series.   At 116 km in length, the TDS is one of the shorter races however it is my understanding that is one of the more technical courses in the series.

Campbell Mountain

Here is a photo of some of my buds from the Buttercups Trail running group. We are out having fun on Campbell Mountain as a thunderstorm is moving in on us in the background.

My training so far has primarily taken place in nearby Rose Valley and Cathedral Lakes parks.  Rose Valley is a good training run for me because it combines 20km of running with a steep hike.

Rose Valley ViewThis is the view from the top of the “Monster Climb” in Rose Valley.

What the trails at Rose Valley do not provide me with is the ability to train at altitude.  For that I must go further afield.  So I have been venturing down to Cathedral Lakes park which is about an hours drive from home.   Cathedral Lakes is a spectacular area to run in however the key drawback is the the alpine area is still completely snowed in.  So far, I have only been able to make it to the 12km mark on the Lakeview trail before having to turn back because of the deep snow.  I might give it another attempt tomorrow.

Cathedral Lakes

The beauty of the Lakeview Trail as it climbs up to Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park

Cathedral Climb

Creating meaningful change in your life is hard and challenging work. Thankfully I have the opportunity to balance these challenges with much valued time spent running and hiking in nature.

Happy Trails my friends.

On the cusp of change

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Tomorrow I will don the corporate costume for the opportunity to perhaps leave corporate life for the last time. The moment is shrouded in irony. Whatever happens tomorrow, I feel like my life is on the cusp of great change. I am happy for that. Although such change also means making sacrifices and giving up so much of what I currently value. I suppose that it should not be any other way.

PDX State of Mind

I am here in Portland taking the Intro to Bike Mechanics course at United Bicycles Institute. The days in the class are long but are well worth it since I am learning a lot. My goals for the class are that 1) I am hoping to become more self sufficient when it comes to emergency repairs when I am out in the backcountry and 2) do more of my own routine bike maintenance.

Portland is the perfect setting for taking a bike mechanic course. The hipster bike culture is completely pervasive. I am envious of my classmates, both of their facial hair and their bikes. LOL. The craft beer industry further fuels this dreamy cycling atmosphere. Oh the hoppy magic elixirs that I have enjoyed! And the food! Every meal has been both diverse in its offerings but also delicious. I could certainly live here if it wasn’t for dark winter days and bone chilling dampness.

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Happy New Year

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Yes, it has been a long time since I have posted here in my blog.  Not that I don’t have a lot to say, I do.  I just have been very busy creating large scale changes in my life.  In fact, I am currently packing my bags for yet another big adventure.  So stay tuned for that as I may just be able to make a few updates this coming week.

Happy New Year to you all.

Time, Truth and Heartburn