I made the best of this cross-country ski season, which for me started on December 24th and concluded on February 21st. The two venues, Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Valley combined, invested a lot of effort to maximize trail conditions, despite capricious weather and scarce snowfall. Because Cypress Nordic wasn’t an option this year due to poor snow, I skied only a couple hundred kilometers total, which is nearly half the volume compared to past winters. It was heartbreaking but no surprise that my key race, the Payak50k, was cancelled. My aspirations of Nordic glory therefore postponed to 2016.
|Whistler Olympic Park, my last ski :(|
| Family Day run with Pascal Gray, on the return from |
St Mark's on the HSCT ... making the best of early melt.
|Finally completed the full Dilly Dally loop - Photo by Joel Payeur|
Return to the tribe
And so with all my snow gear promptly packed away, a new set of gear emerges out of storage to facilitate my transition to summer play, and with this a whole new training routine and a giddy return to my trail running tribe.
I’m not registered for the Squamish50 races this year, but I make a point of joining their scheduled group training runs. These are quality, well-organized runs … and basically all “my people” are there. It’s fun. I make new connections at every outing. New running friends, translates to more access (invitations) and ideas (new routes) to future adventures, invigorating an endless bucket list.
|105 runners at the first SQ50 orientation run (23K)|
|We shared excuses about sandbagging the run a little bit, tired/sore, it was simply pleasant|
to chat and take photos, with Dave Melanson and Nicola Gildersleeve
I’ve never done the Gorge Waterfalls 50K, though I’ve ran in that beautiful area a few years ago. With only 6000ft elevation gain, and otherwise pretty flat non-technical terrain, I don’t expect to show a great performance there, it's not my kind of course. I don’t typically register to “running” races, but was looking for a low-pressure season opener – essentially, a scenic group run with aid stations and festive atmosphere.
After Gorge, I’ll be doing a lot of doubles and back-to-backs (double doubles), with some epic adventures in between, as prep for Vancouver100.
|A dusting of snow on Crown MTN with Pascal and Joel see (video)|
As a side bar, I’m addicted to smoothies. Here’s a favourite:
1 tbs nut butter (roasted almond is yum)
1 cup chocolate almond milk
3 stalks organic chard, kale, or beet leaves (spine removed)
1 frozen banana*
1 tbs maple syrup
Optional: 1 tsp Udo oil/other
*if you don’t have chopped frozen bananas handy, use a fresh one, along with 3-4 ice cubes.