Monday, September 5, 2016

Summer Recap: Run, Fun, and Sun

Today was my last day of summer break. Being a teacher, I get two full months off. This was my first summer since starting teaching, that I made every single day count. 

After the Manitoba Marathon, I was pretty exhausted, so I took the next two weeks off running completely. When school ended I was eager to start running again, but my body had other ideas. The first week back at running was rough, luckily I had lots of friends to run with. I headed out to the Whiteshell for a couple of days and went on some runs with my friend Alex. It was a beautiful few days, as it always is at Betula Lake.

I headed home for a day to prepare for Winnipeg Folk Fest, which I was going to be volunteering from Tuesday to the following Monday. I spent 4 glorious days volunteering in the campground, enjoying the music, and running the trails in the mornings. By Saturday, I was pretty tired from late nights and long days, so I was glad to head to Lac du Bonnet for Shauna and Scott's wedding. It was a fantastic day despite the rain and a few hiccups in my transportation arrangements (my car battery died in Birds Hill and I had to get rescued by my hubby). 

By the next weekend, I was out at the cottage with my friend Mel. We were running and enjoying pizza buns from the famous Einfeld's Bakery. By this time several of us had decided that we were going to train for the Twin Cities Marathon and 10 miler! That's right, I loved it so much that I am going back this year! I logged a 16 miler that weekend and was starting to feel good again. Some of my family was in town from Calgary, so I got to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins from Calgary. By the time I got back from the lake on Tuesday, Kristjan and I started packing for our road trip out to Kelowna for Alex's bachelorette weekend.

We left Winnipeg on Wednesday morning and got to Kelowna Thursday evening. It was a long 20 hours of driving, but it was well worth it! We stayed with my Auntie Marilyn in Calgary overnight on Wednesday and we stayed with Kristjan's Auntie Lesley and her family for the weekend from Thursday until Monday. Kelowna was beautiful! Of course, I was there with a group of runners, so we ran many hills and even got a hill workout in. Highlights from Kelowna: Visiting vineyards, Tree Brewing Company tour and food, running down the boardwalk by the lake, late night Pokemon catching with Syd G., Kristjan and Paul, going out in style wearing our matching pink tanks, playing sociables, floating down the river getting attacked by ducks, meeting a man with a baby that was haunted and so much more! It was an unreal 5 days with friends that I will never forget!

On Monday, Kristjan and I drove to Kamloops with Paul, where we had planned to go on a hike. We ended up running into some crazy hornets or something and giving up on that completely! He ended up taking us to a place called "Paul Lake" (not named after him I guess). There, we hiked a trail that took us up to the top of a cliff. After a short hike, I did an 8-mile trail run that was beautiful, despite me being a little paranoid about running into a bear or mountain lion. I didn't see anything special, just a garter snake. After my run, Paul showed us around town a little bit and we found a nice little rooftop patio to spend the evening on. 

The next day, we headed to Jasper for the night on our way to Edmonton. We didn't think ahead, to book a campsite, but it turned out the overflow camping was just as beautiful! Kristjan and I went for a 6 mile run at Medicine Lake before eating supper in Jasper. Jasper is unbelievably beautiful, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes being outdoors (I liked it better than Banff for sure)! We had terrible reception on our cell phones in Jasper though (I guess that happens a lot in the mountains) we were trying to get a hold of friends but couldn't. In Jasper, we saw mountain goats, a caribou, and a bear. We also saw paw prints that we thought were wolf prints but turned out to be Watson (Alex and Casey's dog). 

For the next two days, we hung out in Edmonton with our friends Jack and Melina and their adorable little kiddies. When in Edmonton, I went on a couple of runs, but spent more time running around after the cute little ones. I also got to spend a bit of time with my cousin Lucas. I also went for a visit to Alex and Casey's. We got back to Winnipeg on Friday before the August long weekend. 

The next day, Megan came and got me at 10 a.m. to go to her cottage. At her cottage, we went for an easy 6 miles and then paddled around 20k to Elbow lake in Nopaming Park. We portaged, we canoed, we portaged, we canoed, we cooked (sort of), we foraged, we boiled our drinking water, we played cribbage, we hammocked, we relaxed, we camped and then we canoed and portaged some more. It was an awesome way to spend a weekend. We got back early on Monday (thankfully) because there was a brutal storm that hit at around 2 p.m.

I spent the next couple of days in the city, logging miles and relaxing. I headed to November Project at the Forks for the first time on that Wednesday. By the next weekend, I had logged 70 miles that week and I was starting to feel a bit more "normal". The next weekend was Alex and Casey's wedding. Spent lots of time with the bride and groom before they had to go back to Edmonton for the year. The wedding was amazingly fun. The Kelowna gang, friends from track, and many others, reunited to make one epic wedding!

The next week, I was putting in the miles that I wanted, but my runs were a bit slower than anticipated. I was ready to put in some serious work! The next Tuesday, my brother Tom and I went to the track and hammered out 800/400/200 x 8, I swear it just about killed me. It must've been about 35 degrees when we finished! I certainly need that workout though. Ever since then, my workouts have been significantly quicker and it has been easier to hit my pace goals.

Finally, two weekends ago I was at Grand Beach hanging out with the trackies. I went on a couple of runs, on one of them I saw a Blue Heron, which I thought was awesome, but apparently they are everywhere. There were big waves to play in and we built an epic sand castle on the beach! During the week, I spent most days in my classroom organizing and planning.  By the next weekend, I was ready to hit the lake again. This time, my own cottage. I headed out with Megan, Vanessa, and Mel. We ran, we canoed, we went to the beach, we played games, and we ate pizza buns of course! 

In August, I worked my way up to a 20 miler for my long runs and then last weekend I went short again to rest up for the big one that I did yesterday! I did my 24 miles in 2 hours and 57 minutes and felt pretty great for most of it! Special shout out to my mama for riding a bike me the whole way and feeding me water! It is making me excited to race next weekend at the Winnipeg 10 and 10 race!

This summer I have run in so many different places, with so many different people. I didn't spend one weekend in the city, and it was perfect! It didn't exactly add up to the best marathon training, but it did keep things interesting and fun! There are 34 days until my next marathon and despite a summer of inconsistencies in my training, I am really looking forward to it! I am feeling strong and fresh and eager to get back to routines and school tomorrow. It has been an awesome summer in so many ways, but I am ready for the next chapter! 

Happy new (school) year everyone!

Congrats Shauna and Scott!
Running at Folk Fest
Ready for our road trip!
Beach babes in Kelowna
Spending some girl time
Vineyards at Grey Monk
Paul Lake Trail in Kamloops
Made it to the top!
Beautiful Jasper!
Camping in Jasper
Congrats Alex and Casey!
Too much fun
Some serious sandcastle building
Running 24 miles - Powered by Chocolate Milk

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