Spartan Update!

Photos from my Spartan Sprint (5km) on August 18th!

Photos from Jamie’s Spartan Super (~14km) on September 7th! You better click to see the full photos – he is hiding in his finisher pic 😉

July & August update

Been a pretty fun couple months!

  • Ran the Stampede Road Race 10k with my buddy, Paula – it was a nice, relaxing, sunny run
  • Ran the Red Deer Mud Hero 6k with Paula, my sister Robin, and my husband – Mud Hero this year was much tougher than last year!
  • Then finished off by running solo in the Spartan Sprint 5k – not a good idea – but it was still fun

Just trying to enjoy myself while I work with the doctor to figure out my energy system issues. Sure is tough to keep your chin up when diligent training results in either plateauing on regression – but I keep reminding myself that at least I can do it at all!

Paula & Jen enjoying the Stampede Road Race

Paula & Jen enjoying the Stampede Road Race

Jen & Paula crossing the finish line @ the Stampede Road Race

Jen & Paula crossing the finish line @ the Stampede Road Race

Paula, Jen, and Robin pose before Mud Hero. Unfortunately there are no 'after' photos.

Paula, Jen, and Robin pose before Mud Hero. Unfortunately there are no ‘after’ photos.


Tough Mudder Report!

Oh. My. God. THAT was fun.

~17km of mud, blood, water, sweat, and teamwork.

Our team, Nerf Herders, was AWESOME! Thanks Glenn, Dan, Mark, Chris, and Jamie for helping me through some killer obstacles 😀

(I tried to make this as short as possible, but a 17km course with 20 obstacles makes for a length post! I bolded all the Obstacle Names so you can skim over if you choose)

Just like they warn you, we got covered in mud within the first couple Kilometres at Kiss of Mud. But don’t fret, we got a nice rinse through Arctic Enema – a 1 degree Celsius tub of ice & water up to your chest that knocks the fucking wind right out of you. Holy shit. The dudes with the bull horns yelling at you to keep moving are necessary – because you pretty much lose your shit in that one; but I still loved it!  Carry on to Bush Wacked, which was a steep descent through heavily wooded and mudded terrain. Run some more, and arrive at Warrior Carry – piggy back your buddy ~50m; Jamie piggybacked me, and then I piggybacked Jamie – see ya lata quads. Run some more, and we find Glory Blades… 12′ walls on 60* angle – angled towards you. Run, run, run and get stuck @ the 30min bottleneck of some unlabeled Ice Hill type obstacle. We stood. And we waited. People tried to go around, but you just couldn’t! Finally made it through that boring one and got to Log Jammin’ – a series of logs of various widths and heights forcing you to climb over or go under via strategically places Barbed Wire. Next was Trench Warfare – which was several mud hurdles and mud pools – super muddy and super fun. Then we got to Firewalker – which was a bunch of cinder blocks filled with burning wood – flames got as high as a foot – you had to jump over the flames into a pool of water; that one was really fun, too! Run, run, run; trek through Mud Mile; run, run, run and arrive at Ladder to Hell – a 20′ ladder with rungs about 4′ apart. Run a whole bunch more to Electric Eel – a shallow pool of water you crawl through with live wires dangling above you; somehow I managed to only get shocked once, while Jamie got shocked a gazillion times and was a little ‘out of it’ afterwards. Run run run again, then pick up a large log at Hold Your Wood and carry it for a few hundred metres. Then, my favorite obstacle – Walk the Plank. This is a 15′ platform you jump off of into a deep pool of water. It sounds easy enough, until it is your turn: I got up there, waited for my go-ahead from the volunteer dude, freaked the fuck out, suppressed the freak out, and jumped – all in a matter of about 2 seconds. Then it was over. What a rush; sweet. Run again; watch a lot of people get heat blankets (it was friggin’ cold!) – I didn’t need one since I overheat at the drop of a hat. Then we found Boa Constrictor – a 20′ culvert tube descending into water and then another 20′ culvert tube ascending out of the water; there is nothing to really hold onto – I got stuck in this one!! I’m sure I could have eventually wriggled out of it, but it would have taken another few minutes – hubby grabbed my arm and yanked me out.   Next was Funky Monkey – greased, ascending monkey bars; Mark on our team (who did TM last year) called it the “1-2-Swim”; and that it was. I didn’t even get to swing to 1 bar before I slipped right into the water below.  Then… Then there is Everest: a greased 1/4 pipe. Dan and Jamie managed Everest – which was great – it meant I had 2 team mates waiting to help me up; I ran up that mo-fo and grabbed onto their hands. The 3 of us gave it all we had to pull me up; I got 1 foot up onto the ledge; but by that time my shoulders, back, and core were done. I let go with the intention of trying it again but when I stood up at the bottom, I realized I was shaking – I gave that thing all I had! I would have needed a good 5-min recovery to be able to attempt again, so I said Fuck it and walked around it 😦 This obstacle was the one that scared me the most about TM, and the one that made me want to sign up for TM – definitely a let down. It was after that failure that ‘sealed the deal’ in my mind to do another TM.  Next was Berlin Walls. 12′ walls. Stronger, more coordinated folks ran at those things, pounced off the small 1″ step and hoisted themselves over. Us weaker, less-coordinated people had our buddies hoist us up and then we hoisted ourselves over. I totally bailed on the other side, it was awesome. And then we did another one. This time I climbed over the top a lot slower so I wouldn’t bail again. And finally, we arrived at Electroshock Therapy – the last obstacle at the Finish Line – a 20′ long obstacle of dangling live wires for you to run through. Yet again, I only got shocked once.

We crossed the finish line, and we were done. Just like that. Tough Mudder is not timed. They remind you again and again – it is not a race, it is a challenge. And you even pledge before you start “I will put my team ahead of my course time.” It took us 4:45; we had 1 team member with a really rough start to the run, and another team member busted his knee somewhere ~4-6km from the finish. For context: faster teams with no injuries finished in as little as 2:30.

Jamie wore the GoPro camera on his wrist, and got some cool pics! The GoPro fared relatively well in the super muddy/wet course.

Things are movin’ along quite nicely!

So, I’ve been training at Stenia since lat summer. We spent a few months fixing all my imbalances and breaking all my bad habits. Now we’re into the exciting stuff – all the heavy weights, challenging exercises, and intense runs. This is the stuff I love. Progress is incredibly exciting, and I’ve seen some pretty sweet improvements.

I’m working my butt off to conquer chin-ups. My goal: to be able to do 1 chin-up by June.

This is a very hard challenge for me. chinupsDuring this phase of my program, I am doing 4×6 reps of band-assisted chin-ups. Band-assisted chin-ups use a super strong resistance band looped onto the chin-up bar, and you put 1 or both knees into the band to support your chin-up. Last night, my very last rep on the 4th set was pretty sad – my trainer counts down to 4 to guide me to slowly lower myself… I don’t know if anyone has counted 4-3-2-1 so fast in their entire life as I essentially just dropped – haha – no control whatsoever. I will claim that I worked my ass off, and I was tired.

I’m enjoying and hating the running, too. The weekend is a recovery run – 10k @ 136-146 bpm, monitoring my heart rate (for reals this time – reporting back to my trainer actually makes me follow her instructions) makes for the slowest run ever in my entire life… which, in turn, makes it the easiest run of my entire life! Note: To survive 10k at extremely slow pace, bring on the Audiobook or bring the husband. During the week, I have a 5k run @ 171-181bpm, with the winter cold and my asthma, this has been a killer – pretty sure I sound like an accordion with all my wheezing; and then an interval run of 10 sets – 30 sec sprint & 30 second walk, this one is tough but it’s over in 10min – what a treat!


Tough Mudder is in my grasp. Holy shit, I’m going to do this.

Corey the sloth


sloths & monkeys!

If these photos don’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will… This is pretty much a photo dump, I will put together a more informative post next week.


our first day was so awesome, i’m already posting about it

Well, day 1 is over and it was more fun and exciting than I ever imagined.

We started off by walking from our hotel to the center, thinking it was only 3kms. 50min later we strolled in… kinda hot and kinda tired :s

Anyway, we then began orientation; this consisted of a 1-hr tour to show us the ropes, followed by a 1-hr tour with the tourist groups. Once those were over, we took lunch… after lunch, we were assigned our first ask: lift the palm fronds up on the roof and look for giant grasshoppers and cockroaches. Um… not fun. It took quite a while, but Jamie was surprisingly good at it. Yay Jamie.

Next we were assigned to help other volunteers finish their tasks. I really, I mean really, assumed we’d be lackeys and just cleaning up poop. Nope. Not at all. While Jamie went to go get the monkeys from their daily ranforest/jungle playtime, the other new female volunteer and I were assigned to sloth duty! this meant one on one time (no cuddling though – they bite and scratch) time with the sloths! We were introduced to everyone, and fed them leaves. It was awesome. Then, I took out the possum with a healed broken leg to eat and go for a walk. THis meant watching him chew and chew and chew and chew and chew aaaand chew a dead mouse; follow by a walk (teasing him with his blankie to make him walk); and finally putting him about 3′ up in a little bush and making him climb down. The goal is to release every animal…hopefully the little possum only has a short stay!

While I was off with the sloths, possum, porcupine, agouti, and kinkajou… Jamie was with the monkeys. He borugh them backfrom the jungle, and then had to shovel poop. Ha-ha. But he was then rewarded with playtime and bottle feeding the monkeys… Absolutely adorable. I must note – apparently women are not allowed in the monkey cage anytime a female monkey is in there – this means I probably won’t have much time with the monkeys at all. That is totally ok. I get to play with sloths!



K-Country: Ptarmigan Cirque & Galatea

On the long weekend, hubby, Paula, and I ventured out into K-Country for a couple “easy” hikes. First we tackled the nice little 5k Ptarmigan Cirque loop – primarily to try and see little Pika’s amongst the rocks. Then hubby wanted to check out Galatea – apparently a flat, mild hike – just to get more out of our K-Country trip. So, we grabbed a banana for each of for a snack along the way and off we went.

20km and 2800ft elevation gain later…