Race recap: The first annual Mt. Doug Ascent!

Aka the beer mile race uphill! Hahahah.

Of course, I noticed my last post was- how do you follow up the trip of a lifetime? By moving houses, of course. Now, how do you follow up a moving week? By racing Saturday and Sunday, of course! (I fully realize this is insane, and kind of a bad idea, but hey…I had already signed up so no wussing out!).

Without further ado, race recap 1. Mt. Doug Ascent.

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Grueling grind.

This was a very small race, just a lot of us regulars from the track series that runs over the summer run by the Christie- Phoenix Victoria Run Series, and they offer some fun extras too in the fall- the new ascent, and two x-c runs at Elk/Beaver Lake. This race was sponsored by a new brewery, Caledonian Brewery, and had a bunch of awesome growlers to give away as draw prizes!

I had practiced running up Mt. Doug the weekend prior, doing it twice- again not something I really recommend, and it is extremely challenging and doing it twice made me legs hurt all week! ha! But, I’m also glad I tried it out so I had a very good idea of what to expect–and no joke, it was rough.

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Phew!!

We started at 11am right from the bottom and people zipped up so fast! I didn’t get tempted to start too quickly- I knew too much from my experience last week…So I held my pace (slow) and chugged up the mountain road. I passed a few people, and we huffed and puffed our way up. I was neck and neck with some other girls once we got to the top, and then I kind of faded in the steeper climb to the rocks. They passed me, and I finished around fifth I think?

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A great view

My official time was marked at 11:00, but I think that was incorrect as my Garmin read closer to 10:40? I ran into a fellow runner, Gary Duncan, at the MEC race the next day and he was saying he thought the times all got bumped down, so I had to look at the time above mine for a more accurate reading- which was 10:35, seems about right to me!

Rounded off the great challenge with draw prizes and after losing out all season, I WON one! YEAH!!!! A growler and a bag of special rice from Level Ground Trading. YES!!

I’d say do this run, and enjoy the toughness. Dig in, let the sweat run down your face, relish the pain, and the slowness of it. It’s worth it!

 

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Weekend part 2: The Farm!

As I mentioned, we had a crazy busy weekend with family visiting. Sunday we decided to go to my in-laws farm, as it’s a great place, they wanted to see my parents when they came, and bonus- lambs!!

I got up early (thanks, daylight savings time…) and drove to the barn to do a dressage school on Oats. I wanted to kind of get him revved up and working hard, something I really didn’t want to do with my sister riding him. And so this was a great chance to do it! We worked on an exercise that seems really simple, but as with horses ‘always simple, never easy’…Canter down the long side on the quarter line, as straight as you can do it.

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From my lesson on Thursday. No wonder I didn’t stick the landing well!

Yeah, that was a lot harder than it seems. Not straight, breaking to trot, swapping leads?! Oh, Oats!

So, it ended up being a tough, though very simple, exercise. We worked on it both ways, and I mixed it up a bit by asking for trot, trotting straight, walking on the straight line and then picking up canter. Medium rate of success on that.

My family met me at the barn and we zipped off to the farm. We had lunch there, and it was really nice! The weather SUCKED though. Pouring rain, blasting wind…UGH. A repeat of Wednesday’s hair-raising drive up the Malahat.

I did get to catch a lamb though! We had to rescue them, they got stuck on the other side of the fence from their moms. Dumb animals…it happened more than once actually. How do they survive past lamb-hood?

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Springtime!

We enjoyed our mucky farm visit a lot, and then when we got back to town, we took my mom for a hike up Mt. Doug. It was a good hike, except for the fact that when we got to the top, the wind and rain picked up again and the rain felt like needles stinging my freaking face! OUCH!

We didn’t take the trail back down, we hustled as fast as we could down the road and wow…the weather was sooo horrible. Tree branches were cracking off, it was pouring rain, and the wind was in a frenzy! I was so glad to get back to the car, and even the drive home was very frightening…A tree branch cracked off in front of us while we were driving and fell in front of the car!

Sheesh, can we have a good spring yet??? It is also absolutely FREEZING these days. I hate it! We wrapped up the evening by having my sister make a very tasty Italian potato pizza for us, and her friend stayed overnight because she was going to drive back up the Malahat and the weather was still too dangerous. I think she made the right decisions–I know all too well how scary it can be at night in a storm!