5 peaks # 4 – Nakiska/Delta

Well, I completed my last 5 peaks race on Aug 18… I actually end up missing the 5th race on Sep 29 as we will be in Costa Rica.

The Nakiska/Delta course was a great track – for me as a novice/beginner runner 🙂 A lot of flat, and a giant ~2km downhill in the middle. Which was great because I showed up that morning thinking it was 12km – which was tough enough to accept – when I suddenly learned it was 14km. Deer in the headlights ensued.

I made it. I finished 64th. . . Out of 65!  It was a blast, and I am very happy that I pushed myself to “go big or go home”… What a way to end a season 🙂

And now I am starting a brand  new training regime.  I felt like I haven’t been able to make any improvements in my running for a couple years… so I’m obviously not doing this right.   I have a lot of work ahead of me to get stronger & faster for next season!  I’ve started training with Stenia Health & Performance. One of the first things they did was recorded me running. I have some, uh, room for improvement.

Wish me luck!

'Nuff said...

finally, an update on what the bussey’s have been up to…

best. summer. ever.

i have been truckin’ along getting into my trail running groove, towing hubby along, happily, to my weekly training runs with john, paula, jody, christine, carol… on saturday morning (aug 18), i will embark on my final 5 peaks race: nakiska/delta, 12km. i know i can “muscle through it” – and i fully expect to want to die. this is totally ok with me. it’s my last one. go big or go home, right?

hubby has also been causin’ trouble on the trails. the week of july 23, he and his buddy discussed the bussey’s doing the canadian death race in 2013. on thursday, july 25, the north face’s 2012 death race team announced they needed runners due to injuries/sickness. on aug 3, we drove to grand cache. amazingness ensued:

it was such a busy weekend, i did not get any photos

well, that’s partially a lie. it was a busy weekend. but thats not why there are no photos… the main reason for no pics is that hubby participated in one of the events with me this weekend! which is approximately 1,000,000 times better than him being a spectator. not that i don’t love when he takes photos (because, uh, he is awesome); but it is just so much more fun to do something together!

maybe i have turned him into a runner and he doesn’t quite know it yet. SH! don’t tell him! it will be our little secret.

anyway – the weekend!

last wednesday, the physiotherapist gave me the green-light for easy running on pavement. in my head, this translated to full-on-whatever-i-wanted-so-long-as-i-wore-my-ankle-brace-and-remembered-to-not-be-dumb running on any terrain. which meant my 5 peaks race on saturday. it also meant the mud hero race on sunday. and it was fucking awesome.

5 peaks was at a municipal park in Sundre called “Snake Hills”. Much to my dismay, there were no snakes, but there were about 6 or 8, or maybe 12, but also possibly  different number, intermediate hills. they weren’t killer steep, they weren’t killer long… they were just plain old steep & long. the terrain was pretty much heaven… not very technical at all. 90% soft grass or soft dirt… 10% loose gravel or sticks & twigs. we were in this perfect little picturesque forest the entire time. it was a little humid. it was a nice, challenging track.

mud hero was so awesome! first off, it sold out. there were over 4,000 people participating. aside from the cash-gouging tactics, the venue was actually pretty awesome. the course itself was very easy; mostly flat with about 3 uphills. the ~13 obstacles were relatively easy (in comparison to other obstacle races out there, such as Spartan Race). It was a hot, dry day… Which unfortunately meant very little mud. No one was really covered in mud until the final mud pit right at the finish line… and that mud pit was 1/2 dried out, too. HOWEVER, even with the lack of mud, it was by far the most fun event I have participated in. Jamie did really well, even with a horrible cold (from me 😦 ), and Paula and I ran the whole thing together. I wish I had photos. Maybe there will be a couple of me on the Mud Hero website in a few days… If I find some, I will definitely post them!

Next event… 5 Peaks @ Nakiska/Delta on August 18th. I have decided to go for gusto and, failing another injury, I am going to do the full 12km run!

Sheep River Falls

kananaskis adventures

jamie absolutely loves heading out for day trips into k-country with his camera. so this weekend, we headed out together! we took the long way, started in bragg creek, turner valley. black diamond, longview, and through the highwood pass. it was a very humid, foggy, and rainy day – so we did not get any good pics from the highwood pass. however, on our way through turner valley, we decided to detour to Sheep River Falls. I had never been (and never knew it existed), but since hubby spent half his childhood in the area, he had been many times. it is off the beaten path, so very few people were around. it was almost identical to Elbow Falls, but less developed… so a little prettier.

Sheep River Falls

Sheep River Falls

Jamie exploring the falls

Jamie exploring the falls

Jen down river from the falls

Jen down river from the falls

Once we had explored the falls a bit, we were ready to leave. On our way cresting the hill to head to the parking, lot, we spotted some kayakers! COOL! We stayed to watch them. You can check out all the pics on Jamie’s flicker site (

The Kayakers arrive @ Sheep River Falls!

The Kayakers arrive @ Sheep River Falls!

Courageous Kayaker! Click for more photos.

Courageous Kayaker! Click for more photos.


jasper journeys with jen & jamie

Well, it has been an interesting couple weeks. Last week, hubby and I decided to take a trip out to Jasper to get some fresh mountain air. That we did.

Sunday: Arrive in Jasper, the long way via Edmonton, due to poor driving conditions on Highway 93.  Book a guided ice walk tour. Sleep. For like 10 hrs. We were both exhausted from the previous week which involved lots of fun things, but resulted in significant energy expenditure.

Monday: 9am Ice Walk. Beautiful! It was relatively warm, and not too busy as it was the last weekend of the season. The large ice formations at the top of the canyon were melting quite a pit, and each day the risk of big ice chunks falling increased. It was slippery in spots, but all in all a safe casual walk. Our tour guide Trish was informative and amusing.  Headed back to town, grabbed some lunch and a nap, and then headed back out to explore. We drove along Maligne Lake Road. We were promptly greeted by a couple bald eagles (we weren’t able to get any shots) and a gorgeous Red Fox. Jamie got some fantastic shots of the Fox, which he will post on Flickr. We kept on driving up the road to see if there were any good snowshoeing treks. We found one that looked ok, but it was getting late so we just threw on the gators (yes, dad – the gators you bought for me in JUNIOR HIGH!) and did as much as we could in plain old hiking boots. Baldy Hills is a nice 10=-k uphill loop, apparently the views are fantastic! We turned back at about the halfway point.

Tuesday: After some recommendations for pristine snow for snowshoeing, we decided to trek Medicine Lake. It’s a dried lake bed with a small meandering river through it, with perfect snow. I figured the lake was maybe 3k long. I was wrong. Oh, I was wrong in so many ways: 1.) snowshoeing is not easy, 2.) Medicine Lake is much longer than 3k, 3.) Snowshoeing in heavy, wet snow is a lot tougher than nice dry, hard snow.  At 5.5k, knowing that the end of the lake was still ~2k away, we decided we should head back. I was exhausted and had to pee.

Side note: I have some kind of fear of peeing anywhere but a toilet. Flashback to a snorkeling tour I took in Belize – I held my pee the entire3-4hr trip, which also included lots of sangria and ceviche. As soon as we docked, I sprinted back to my hotel room on the beach. I remember the local caribbean dude yelling “where you goin’ so fast, girl?” and I was made and screamed, “I HAVE TO PEE!”. I met Jamie and my father in law at the entrance of the hotel room, pushed them out of the way, and, well, no need to explain. That evening at dinner with the tour group, I learned that everyone just pees in the ocean. Huh.

Anyway, I had to pee in the bushes. I don’t even know why I am including this in my blog post, but I cheered afterwards – I felt like I conquered something extra that day. Snowshoeing, and peeing in the bushes. We finally made it back to the parking lot, and enjoyed a sandwich on a park bench, looking back at our tracks in the snow. We didn’t do much that evening, but I must say – the beer at dinner was the best damn beer I have ever had.

Wednesday: We decided to take it easy, maybe drive out somewhere and do a small walk. Unfortunately, due to the beautiful weather, the entire length of Highway 93 from Jasper Townsite to Saskatchewan Crossing was closed. Maligne Lake Road was also closed. Luckily there are plenty of hikes that start right in town. I picked the Old Fort Pointe hike, and added a few extra km’s from another hike onto it to make it a nice couple hours walk. Unfortunately, when you add deep snow, ice, and poorly marked trails into the mix, things take a bit longer. So, we were exhausted from yesterday’s Snowshoe Expedition, and then were exhausted by the deep snow and maneuvering over the ice… it made for a long, tiring, 4 hr hike. about 3/4 of the way through, we came to a nice hill that we figured would have great views up top. We started the steep but short ascent and were greeted by a family of rams. 1 specifically angry ram. We backed down. Finally made it to Old Fort Pointe with a beautiful view of the town of Jasper and the Tonquin valley. I could also see the parking lot which made me happy. We headed back, got some homemade fudge (mmm), and took the rest of the evening pretty easy.

Thursday: We headed back to Cowtown. Again, we had to go home via Edmonton – Highway 93 was still completely closed, and who knows for how long. We met a friend in Edmonton for lunch, so the detour was worth it. Once we passed Red Deer, we were greeted with the wonderful Snowstorm and got to drive the QE2 in that nightmare, then Stony Trail, and then home.

It was an absolutely fantastic trip. We were exhausted, but we really got to see a lot and we did a lot.

My Marathon Training & Fundraising Update: May 2, 2011

My training and fundraising for the Joints in Motion Honolulu Marathon is getting more exciting every day! It has been just over 1 month since I officially started my JIM (Joints in Motion) endeavor; I would like to share my progress with everyone.

First off, I have reached 36% of my $4800 goal – THANK YOU everyone! The 36% is almost entirely from sponsorships – WOW!!

Training Update:

I officially began training again around April 15. I started a compressed Half-Marathon plan to be ready for the Calgary 1/2 Marathon on May 29. I have been running 3-4 times per week, and cross-training up to 3 times per week. It’s going really well, and I am excited about the May 29 race. This will be my baseline to design the specifics of my marathon training (ie – what i personally need to focus on to make it through the 42km without collapsing in exhaustion and agony!)

I also signed up to be a an instructor with the Running Room for a 5km Running Clinic! This is incredibly exciting; I mean, I’m getting paid to run and inspire “newbie” runners – how good can it get?

Fundraising Update:

BAKING: I have been selling cookies in the office, and will continue to do so until my final November deadline. I have also had a couple “on-demand” requests for other baking. My recent baking adventures include: a fruit tart, peanut butter cup cheesecake, nanaimo bars, any cookie, banana bread, chocolate-espresso cupcakes, chocolate butter cake… i will pretty much bake anything! If you’d like to order some of my baking, please E-Mail me. ALL proceeds go to the Arthritis Society.

PEROGIES: In June, I will also be selling homemade “Donna’s Perogies” – a recipe from my Arthritis Hero, Donna. I have had the luxury of sampling these perogies, and they are delicious. I cannot get enough of them. A team of us will be volunteering our time & donating ingredients in a Perogie-Making-Extravaganza on May 28 to roll out dough, fill the dough, and shape the perogies! I will be sending out a notification out in Mid-May with all the details & prices, but if you know you want some, please E-Mail me and we’ll get your order set up! Again, ALL proceeds go to the Arthritis Society.

Overall, everything is going really well. I am so glad I’m doing this!!

If you would like to help sponsor me, and help the millions living with Arthritis, click here! Or I can also accept “in person” donations, just drop me an E-Mail and we’ll get it set up.