Howling Trails

Squamish 50 Orientation #1 (32k)

Yesterday was a 32km orientation run the Arct’eryx Squamish 50k race on August 10th. Jess, Kat, Ben and Cody and I packed up the car and headed up to Squamish for a fun adventure on some new trails.

It’s been only two weeks since racing the BMO but my legs were feeling great. And although I hadn’t ran trails in a couple of months I was ready to power hike up them hills and enjoy the views while at it. I didn’t really take into consideration this chest cold/soar throat that had been bothering the day before, or the importance of electrolytes when you are going to be exercising for 3, 4, 4.75+ hrs. Needless to say it certainly wasn’t my day. Poor Kat had to constantly wait for me at every hill to catch up.

Before we even got to 6k I was already planning on dropping out at the aide station. My lungs hurts, my HR was topping out at 90% and my throat hurt to swallow. I managed to work through that initial place of bad thoughts and get past the aide station only to feel like puking for the next 6km. I even called Jess crying at 22k asking if he could pick us up at Quest because the thought of having to run down the last 3km from Quest from Canadian Tire made me want to die.

Then something happened at around 23k. Kat and I swore we could hear the thumping of a bear right by us. We both looked at each other, wide-eyed, and just booked it down the trail. I no longer felt any stiffness or pain in my legs, my lungs were just fine and woooooop! down we went none stop. This surge of adrenaline gave me a 2nd wind. I was chilln now, at least until we were just about at Quest. Then we heard the nose again! We stopped dead in our tracks. The same thumping noise was coming from the trail directly in front of us. I panicked to to get the peanut butter that melted into my whistle and just starting blowing it as hard as I could.

Kat looked at me and said “I’m done! this is not fun anymore!” (I should mentioned that we’ve been on the trailed for well over 4 hrs at this point) I knew there were a couple of ladies right behind us. So we waited for them to catch up to us and warned them about the bear. They just laughed at us and told us that wasn’t a bear we were hearing, it was the mating call of a freakn grouse! You have got to be kidding me!

By the time we got to Quest (28k) we were both hurting and been on our feet well over 4 1/2 hrs. (Making it an entire hour longer then my next longest run) It didn’t matter, we booked it down Mamquam Rd, keeping a 4:55 pace down the hill. (pretty good considering all of the above, if I do say so myself) We both decided to stop right as our Garmins beeped the last km and walked into the parking lot to find the boys changed and relaxing in the grass. Howe Sound Brewery here we come!

Next orientation is in 3 weeks, we just have to decide to on the 37k or the 47k this time.

Group photo before we got going.

Seems that Jess, Cody and Ben had a much smoother run than me.

Creepy bone mobile, Jess and Ben chilln on a dude chilln log, Kat on a mossy hill and running over a 10 foot high shaky bridge.

Gary Robbins ruled it yesterday marking the trails as he ran, although coming upon this one arrow we did question his judgement briefly.

Seeing the Howe Sound after 3.5 hrs was even more rewarding than when you see this view from The Cheif