Revelstoke!

A few years ago I went to a cocktail event here in Victoria and tried a fun pecan whiskey that was called Revelstoke because they wanted to ‘Stoke the Revel’ and man, it made me laugh every time I thought of it!

So naturally we went to Revelstoke to really get into the party scene 😉

Ok not really but after Christina Lake, we wanted to get some hiking in and my husband is a trip-planner extraordinaire (I am terrible at it, just awful) so we had something different to do and enjoy in each place. We camped for 1 night after an extremely long and kind of tough travel day (avoid Hwy 30…it’s 100km of freaking dirt road and can get very shifty for about 30kms and takes FOREVER)…. We camped at a site just outside the bridge and apparently next to the train, ha.

Marmots blend in really well to the rocks.

Not a restful night, really. Plus Gidget decided she hated camping and her max was 2 days, so she was in a deflated snit about it all day and night, refusing to eat, moping around, just nothing. Argh, dogs! The campsite was pretty lame, sites so close you could peer into your neighbours tent but it had excellent clean and nice washrooms with great showers, so no complaints there!

Ok for one night, no thanks for more- particularly if you are Gidget!

We then stayed at the Stoked Hotel and man the rooms were hilariously small- basically like a closet? Oh wait, no closet though, lol. Oh well Gidget was happy to be in a room again at last, where she belongs like a princess 🙂

Wild strawberries!

We did a small loop the first day of hiking at Revelstoke Mountain National Park (up to Inspiration Loop) and found SO many berries- it was amazing!! Thimbleberries, black huckleberries, blueberries, strawberries and wild raspberries. Lucky us! And…lucky for the bears, because we promptly walked into one on the trail. It stood up briefly, but we shouted as we walked back down the trail and it left us alone, thank god. I had Gidget in a backpack, so I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of a bear encounter…Eeek.

Yes there was snow! It was a sub-alpine lake we were heading to. Eva Lake.

We then went up to the ski jump and that is a cool 1km straight uphill, hot hot hot! Did some great strawberry picking on the way though.

We had a selection of great restaurants and bakeries to go to, so awesome. We took some bakery items hiking with us for a quick lunch, and it was delicious! That night we went out to the Craft Beer restaurant for some sweet beers, mac and cheese and a lame salad (ok the salad tasted great but the dressing was non-existent?!!) So a bit of a miss there.

View from the ski jump. Steeeeep

The next day we set out for a real hike and could leave Gidget in the room. We chose a very accessible loop at the Park, and it cost $20 to drive up and hike there. It was nice to be able to like drive 30 mins to the top of the mountain and hike from there- sooo easy to access, great for hikers like us who are not serious and don’t want to spend two days doing it.

The loop was about 6m, took us to two beautiful lakes, NO bears and three marmots were sighted!!! So amazing. We walk-ran it (I am still recovering from multiple leg injuries 6 months ago) and it was pretty rocky and tough in some spots. I also tripped as I am running in shoes that are no way appropriate for hiking and almost bailed face-first into a rock. Phew!!

It was beautiful to see and a great way to spend the day. We cruised back, chatted with the Park Rangers, and they suggested another short loop to read more about the Indigenous Peoples who lived on the land. It was an informative and fun little loop (1k?) and after that, a short run back to the car for another KM and we were done!

By that time it was getting very smoky. Unfortunately there are serious wildfires and one started up at Sicamous quite close to Revelstoke when we landed there. The smoke started blocking out the sun 😦 We had the great fortune to only be there for 1 really smoky day and then we were off to Kelowna to visit my family.

We enjoyed a new restaurant that night too- the Taco Club! I can highly recommend, good but pricey margaritas with some unusual twists, and I had the burrito bowl and NO WAY could I finish it- my husband had to. Too much food! Always a good thing 😉

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!

 

Race Recap: 10th annual Bear Mountain 10k!

Aka ‘Canada’s toughest 10k road race’…

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Was it? Well, it for sure was no joke.  I would NOT recommend running this race to people who are new to racing. You want to get some good hill training and hill racing under your belt before you undertake this one.

I had some experience with hills, after my Gut Buster attempts and my Sooke race with MEC this year, but even after that this one really did a number on my lungs, weirdly enough. I immediately, right off the start, struggled with breathing. I couldn’t get in a rhythm, felt like I was gasping at times, and had a stitch growing in my neck and on my right side that really made life difficult during the race.

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As with all races, there was an ebb and flow. It started off tough- the Papa Bear hill was 1 mile long and just kept.going. It was quite difficult, I saw some people start walking and I kind of wanted to as well. We reached the peak and it was quite scenic, though I wasn’t really in shape to enjoy what I was running past.

A lot of downhills at this point- a good opportunity to gather speed, but I was running very cautiously too- I’m a bit afraid of downhills as I have a lingering knee injury and my knee doctor tells me to walk down at first, and then sprint…So, I kind of struggled down, and then sprinted. And yes, this did wonders for my horrible breathing, made it a lot worse, argh!

My breathing levelled out and it was a lot of up-down-up-down-up-down, which you would call ‘rolling hills’ and I called it kind of torture! Psychologically, I was on the lookout for the next hill- the Mama Bear hill. We finally got to it, and it was ok..By that time, after 5k, I was feeling it in my legs and my lungs were still giving me a very hard time. I was actually glad for the long downhill by this point!

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We continued on more mild rolling hills but by this point every time we went up, I lost momentum and struggled. I was clutching my side- it really hurt- and trying to breathe as hard as I could into my stitch. I was also coughing a lot and the grossest part was when I’d go to take a big breath, and have phglegm catch in my throat, so instead of a big breath, I’d breathe, and immediately start coughing. GROSS.

So, when we finally met up with Baby Bear, I wasn’t in the mood or shape to do any sprinting, haha. I was glad we were on the home stretch though! As I cruised through to the finish- over some kind of ugly gravel sections, probably the worst footing on what is otherwise a gorgeous course- a TRUCK was parked in the middle of the finish line??!! WTF? So me, and a few other guys I was finishing with, had to dodge this ignorant moron. It was NOT a fun finish, trust me.

Sadly, no finish photos of me either because this bozo decided his massive truck needed to go to the finish instead of me. GAH!

The after party was sooo good though- all the Merridale you could drink, door prizes – that none of us won, booo hoo, and some pretty decent food. I took my time, we did the fun photo booth, and generally enjoyed ourselves. A good day for an excursion-type race!

My time- 53:30- which is fairly ok for this type of race, given my normal 10k times are now ranging from 46:53-47:25. Yes it was that tough!