Other stuff

Iditarod Trail Invitational

Right now the Iditarod Trail Invitational is going on in Alaska. No I don’t mean the famous dog sled race (although that is going on now too). I’m talking about the Trail invitational that involves people on foot, skis and bike, running, skiing or biking 130, 350 or 1000 mile across the Alaskan wildness.

The 1000 mile race runs from Knik Lake outside of Anchorage to Nome Alaska. For the most part this race follows the Iditarod Trail, the same one that dogs will use but these people head out before the dogs start (in some cases the dogs will pass them by). Fully self-supported; these cyclists and walkers can expect to spend up to a month riding or walking in the wilderness. I can’t imagine sleeping outside in the Alaskan wilderness by myself in a bevy sack on the side on a trail at 40 below but that is what these participants will do if they have to. Tough people these racers.

Iditerod map with Spot tracking of particilants

Iditarod map with Spot tracking of participants.

I’m following Jill Homer, a young endurance athlete/writer who is riding a fat bike in the 1000 mile race. She is the only women in the 1000 mile bike race. I’m so excited because she is almost done! She has made it down the Yukon River and across the sea ice, and now is only about 100 miles from Nome!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

I’ve followed Jill for a few years in all her exploits ever since I read her first book Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide, an inspiring story of her race in The Tour Divide – 2745 miles from Banff Alberta to Antelope Wells New Mexico (where she broke the women’s time record). I didn’t even know these types of ultra-endurance races existed. It isn’t a bad thing for me to find out about these event now because if I was younger I would probably want to do one dragging Glenis with me – Go Blister Sisters!

I’ve thought of Jill and her stories a few time when I find the going tough in a run. Her strength through adversity reminds me that nothing I do is that hard. I can’t wait for her next book.

 

Just a quick update. Jill finished 937 miles in just over 17 days, a women’s course record! We are so impressed! Yeah Jill!

 

Check out Jill Homer’s blog Jill Outside!

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Categories: #happydays, Cycling, Other stuff, Run, Ultras, Winter Running | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Where did June go! Our June Update!

Just a little post to update everyone on what we were up to last month.

June was a training month for us, lots of running and stretching. As June is bug month around here and it was pretty rainy, we were on the road a lot, not too much trail time just so we didn’t get eaten alive by the mosquitoes lurking there.

We did get involved with the Relay for Life. The Relay for Life is a fund raiser that the Canadian Cancer Society holds to raise money for cancer research and to help fund their outreach programs. We don’t usually fund raise but for this event we did manage to pull it together and raise a few dollars. We decided that everyone who donated to our Blister Sister team would get a thank you gift from us so we knitted up socks, finger less gloves and running hats to give the all great people who donated to our team. The event was held in the evening at a local private school’s track. We walked 17k in the 6.5 hours we spent walking around the track into the early morning. It was particularly inspiring when they lit all the luminaries remembering folks who had passed and those who were survivors. It reminded us that we were doing this not for the ones who had passed but for the people who weren’t even diagnosed yet.

Relay for Life luminaries

This is my dad’s luminary.

The very next day we were out having a great time volunteering at ESAR – Emergency Services Adventure Race by Storm Events. The race was held this year at Hardwood Hill Ski and Bike Park, the same park that will host the mountain bike portion of the Pan Am games this month. ESAR is comprised of team made of Police, Fire, EMS, Military and Civilian teams.

Of course we weren’t actually at this venue, we were some there “out there” at CP2 and 4 checking riders and runners in an out of the check points. Checking in and out of a check point helps the organizers keep track of all the teams. If someone checks in and doesn’t check out, we can only assume they are lost or injured and they need help. Try telling an EMS guy or a cop if they don’t check back in I’m call a search party of their co-workers to go look for them. They soon caught on about the checking in and out of a manned check point. We had great time with everyone. We love volunteering at adventure races.

Glenis at ESAR 2015

A Blister Sister in action!

This weekend we are volunteering at the Rebecca Run. For the last 14 years the Blister Sisters have been there to help out any way we can. It really is the best little 5k around, family friendly and very inspiring. Check it out.

My next volunteering roll with be with the Pan Am Games #Toronto2015. I’m tasked with being a floor manager with the Sports Presentation team at Hardwood Mountain Bike Park. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Among all this volunteering we are training. Our next event is the Rock Star Adventure Race. This is our all-time favorite event. There is something about being in the bush with no idea where you are and being able to find your way out that appeals to us (and knowing if we really do get lost someone will come and find us!) With our new found skills with a compass this should be a lot of fun. A race report to come!

Categories: #happydays, Adventure Race, Other stuff, Volunteering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toronto2015 Pan Am Torch Relay (video)

Pan Am 2015 Torch Relay (video)

I had the privilege of participation in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay. I carried the torch in my home town, in front of a few great friends last Friday. I was beginning to think I was just not into the whole games thing until I picked up the torch. It really ignited the spirit of the games. Pretty darn cool. When they dropped me at my start point the first person I saw was the other half of the Blister Sisters! It was just awesome that Glenis was there to run with me and the whole time she was filming this wonderful video of my run. It’s a perfect keepsake for me!

The video is a little off kilter in places but after all she was running up a hill trying not to trip over any one, what a great memory!

 

 Here’s a little about the torch and flame.

  • The torch relay will start in Canada on May 30, 2015, and will make its final stop on July 10, 2015, at the Opening Ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.
  • It’s on the move for 41 days
  • There are 3,000 torchbearers
  • It travels 5,000+ kilometers on the road
  • 15,000+ kilometers in the air
  • 130 communities
  • 60+ alternative modes of transportation – canoe, bike, boat, roller coaster, air, skydiver you name it, it’s done it
  • There is a second torch relay for the Parapan Am Games in August (I’m not involved in that relay)

Here is a little information about the torch:

  • Length: 65 cm
  • Weight: 1.2 kg (heavier than I thought it would be)
  • Material: aluminum
  • 10 to 12 minutes’ burn time
  • Can withstand winds up to 70 km/h
  • Visible in all weather conditions

We have a few rules to follow about not setting our hair on fire but that was about it. You’ll notice in the video that I was surrounded by police who ran in a “pod” around me. There was a heavy police presence, about 5 more unmarked cars followed us and there were a few on bikes. I’m sure they weren’t there for me; it was all about that flame! Pretty cool!

Categories: #happydays, Other stuff, Volunteering | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Relay for Life – June 19th, 2015

The Blister Sisters are participating in the Relay for Life on June 19th. So many of our family and friends have battled this illness and lost, it’s time to make everyone battling cancer a winner! Relay For Life is a community fundraising event where Canadians across the country join together in the fight against cancer. In 2014, nearly 400 Relays took place across Canada. Funds collected during this even help make everyone a winner! Please support our Team Blister Sisters and the Canadian Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life. Just click on the link (the image) below to donate online.

 

Blister Sisters are participating in the Relay For Life June 19/2015

Blister Sisters are participating in the Relay For Life June 19/2015 –

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Free Little Library Update – Not good news

We ran by something pretty disturbing this morning on our run. Our route took us by the Free Little Library I blogged about back on June 6th, 2014. #100happydays Take a Book; Return a Book. What was so disturbing was that it had been torch! Yup, set a fire – a little library fire! It is just so disappointing to see this happen in our community.

All that is left inside is ashes!

All that is left inside is ashes!

We continued our run and I got to thinking, what would make a person to this. Even if it was a group of humans who decided to so this, one person had to light the fire and that one person could have made the decision not to. The act of someone torching the little library also makes me wonder where they will stop; will it be a back yard shed next, a porch or a garage?

Are books that obscure now? I know that books aren’t quite as appealing any more to a lot of people; even we have e-readers, but people still love to hold and read books. Books are knowledge, discovery, escape, and entertainment. Let’s hope they never disappear!

We have to thank the owners of the little library for their generosity in setting it up for the community to use. It’s unfortunate that now it will be gone.

Categories: Other stuff, Run | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

#Happydays – Frostbite!

It’s been crazy cold lately, almost too cold to run. Almost but not quite. Running in -22C (-7F) requires some precautions before you set out. Even though you think you are prepared things can happen. Just look at my sister’s Frost Nipped ear! Those dangly earrings will conduct cold quiet easily when it’s -22C. When we ran the next day she took the precaution of slipping on a pair of ear bags to protect her damaged ear lobe.

Frostbit is something that can happen to anyone out in the extreme cold, not just arctic explorers. People in more temperate climates can get it too when the temperature plunges and the wind whips up.

If you skin pales or turns red, gets is very cold, hard or waxy looking you just might have frostbite. You don’t have to have all these symptoms to succumb to frost nip, a milder form of frostbite.

There are three degrees of frostbite. Frostnip is a mild form and usually affects your face, ears or finger tips and toes. Superficial frostbite is more serious and affects the outer layer of your skin. Deep frostbite is when the underlying tissues freeze and can cause permanent damage.

You want to be careful when you warm skin that you suspect has been frostbitten. Warm water is the safest way. There is a lot of information on the web on how to treat frostbite. Although if I thought it was serious I would just head to medical clinic. I do know there are things you shouldn’t do like rub or massage frostbitten skin or break any blisters that form.

We had a little chuck about the close call we had with frostbite and took extra precautions running the next day. Our run in the forest was in beautiful bright sunshine and we were out of the wind. Hopefully now that March had arrived we will be putting that nasty frigid cold behind us and we can get on with our training in some more traditional March weather, LOL

Categories: #happydays, Other stuff, Winter Running | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rememberance Day Thoughts

There are so many things we could say about Remembrance Day but to honor our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and friends who served we will just be silent and remember their sacrifice.

Poppies blowing in the ditch.

Poppies blowing in the ditch.

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae.

As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.  www.greatwar.co.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Flanders_Fields

Categories: Other stuff | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Lacing Patterns for Runners

We get asked all the time about how to lace shoes. Just because the lace holes are in your shoes doesn’t mean you have to use them. Here is a good infographic that shows some simple lacing techniques for common foot conditions.
Lacing Patterns for Runners

Categories: Finds, Other stuff, Run | Tags: | 3 Comments

#icebucketchallenge It’s our turn to help freeze out ALS

#icebucketchallenge and the Blister Sisters!

Thanks to my friends Melissa and Karen I was challenged to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I nominated Glenis so that the Blister Sisters could do this challenge together. After Saturday’s long run was the perfect time to get ice water poured on us, after all ice is every runners friend! Now Jean and Al, it’s your turn!

Here is our challenge.

Now off to donate!

UP Date!

Did you hear! All of us who did the icy ice bucket challenge were directly responsible for a major break through in ALS! Click in this link to read more! http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/ice-bucket-challenge-directly-funded-major-genetic-breakthrough-als-research/

 

 

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#happyday We do more than just run!

This is what we do when we are not running!

Knitting projects!

Coffee and knitting!

Categories: #happydays, Other stuff | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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