Running in Tofino

We spent our Christmas in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Besides eat and drink with our good friends, we spent most of our time on the beach, either running or walking. Needless to say, it was amazing!

We arrived on Christmas Eve day and immediately went exploring Chesterman Beach. The day was clear and bright and towards the end of our walk we were treated to this gorgeous sunset.

The water was jam-packed with surfers and lots of them didn't even leave the water until it was pitch black!

Each morning Les and I woke up and went for a 4.5 km run on the beach right in front of the house we were renting. It's called Zoe's at North Beach and if you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend it!

The first morning (Christmas Day) it was bright, cold and clear again. Here we are with Max just getting ready for our first run.

Max was in his glory. This dog LIVES for beach time so I'm sure he felt like a kid at Disneyland!

The second morning of our stay it was pouring rain and windy. We went running again and got soaked, but it was totally worth it! I'm not a huge fan of beach running because of the unstable footing, but the sand was so hard-packed and level that running on it was a breeze. I even did some pick-ups and a sprint for the last 300 m.

Later in the day we went hiking and came across this cool totem ...

...and then this bird high up in a tree. I've done some googling and I'm pretty sure it's a young bald eagle.

Our third morning we woke up to a little drizzle but it quickly cleared and promised to be another beautiful day. Sadly though, we had to clean up, pack and vacate by 11:00 am. So no run, but we DID go for another beach hike.

Our little get-away was so fabulous that it has me thinking about destination runs/races again. My last one was a few years ago when I flew to Calgary with a friend to run a half-marathon.

It's definitely time to start scoping out some new adventures.

Happy running!

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New Year's Eve Race

For the past five years Les and I have bid adieu to the old year with a 5k fun run called Run Through Time. It's sponsored by Frontrunners, is held up at the University of Victoria, and is a charity for Runners of Compassion.

The run is two laps (with a quick detour into the centre of the campus) around Ring Road. It's always a dark and COLD run, but it's one of my favourites. I love running in the dark. For some reason I always feel faster. Weird but true!

Rob Reid, the owner of Frontrunners, is always giving to our community, and this race is no exception. It's super cheap at just $20 and this year everyone was given headlamps!

I made the mistake of eating a light dinner an hour before the run. Normally I don't do that but I was starving and cold. I knew it wasn't the brightest thing to do and sure enough, 15 minutes in I was sure I was going to leave my dinner on the road. But happily, that horrible feeling only last about 30 seconds and everything was fine again:)

I ran the race at a steady clip and when I started flagging at 4k I started doing pick-ups. That really helped and I almost beat this 70 something man I was trying to catch. But I missed him by half a stride!

I have to mention the post-run food. It was amazing! Everything was vegetarian and most of it was also gluten-free....perfect for me.

My time was 25:33. Not my best, but I'm very happy with it.



New Shoes!

My running has been less than illustrious.

I'm blaming it on Christmas fatigue. I teach Grade 1 and the little cutie pies just wear me out. I've been on holidays for four days now but I still haven't regained my usual energy. I'm going to up my protein and start taking my iron supplements again and hopefully that will straighten me out:)

In the meantime, seeing as how I don't have any running exploits to share, I thought I'd tell you about my recent purchases.

My third pair of Brook Pureflows finally bit the dust and since the latest incarnation didn't feel as great as the old ones, I switched over to the Saucony Kinvara.

Over the last 4 years I've managed to ditch my orthotics (yay!), though I do wear a little heel lift in my right shoe 'cause apparently my leg is a tad shorter and it was causing a bit of grief with the longer miles. I've also been buying progressively lighter shoes.

The Sauconys (a light racing flat) were feeling pretty good until I went out for a 10k on pavement and my feet got super sore. Huh? That shouldn't happen with brand new shoes. Turns out I was wearing 4 year old shoes by mistake. They're the same colour and I guess I wasn't paying attention. Anyhow, that goofball move set up a minor plantar fasciitis. 

But then I started to worry that maybe it wasn't my old shoes causing my sore heels, maybe these new ones aren't quite right for me. 

So I decided to buy another pair. These are also fairly minimal (and another racing flat) -- the Nike Air Zoom Elite 8.  I wore them today for a 5k run and they felt great! They have more cushioning than the Sauconys which was what I was looking for.

Sadly, they didn't make me any faster (my run was pathetically slow) but at least my feet were comfy. 

I figure I'll wear the first ones for short runs and save my Nikes for the longer ones.

Hopefully your runs are much better than mine these days!

Happy Running and a very Merry Christmas!