Category Archives: Photographs

Backpacking long weekend to Russet Lake near Whistler

A photo post!

Gnarly hiking is great training for ultra-running.  Add a heavy rucksack to your back and you have some great strength training too!

With this in mind, Peter and I headed out backpacking into the lovely mountains for a long weekend. Monday was BC day: a holiday! On Saturday we took the Whistler gondola and from the top hiked the musical bumps to Russet Lake. There’s a little backcountry campsite there at the water’s edge. It’s beautiful. Stunning mountains and glaciers surround it.

Here are a few photos of our wonderful weekend. (The “featured image” at the top is a classic Whistler view. It’s taken on our way back to the gondola on Monday, on High Note Trail looking down to Cheakamus Lake. Beautiful!)



Strength training with a heavy pack. I’ve still to suss out the “fast and light” way!


Our view of the campsite at Russet Lake: about a four hour hike from the gondola with a heavy pack. That’s Peter! There’s a little backcountry hut which you can just see in the distance.


Sunday was spent meandering in the alpine


Alpine flowers: Indian paintbrush


More strength training! Doing push-ups in an alpine meadow.


Can you spot the marmot!


Homeward bound!

What I listened to on my Sunday long run

Hiya! Another long run done, yeah!

Here’s Strava showing the route

My earbuds were in my ears during most of my run. Sometimes my head is just full of chaotic thoughts and adding tunes or podcast chatter while running turns the chaos into more chaos. However, this morning I was helped by and motivated by the tunes and chitchat 🙂 First off I listened to an episode of Trail Runner Nation podcast “The British are coming with Warren Pole.” Warren is a regular on TRN and I love the light hearted conversations between Scott, Don and Warren. Warren is very “British” and this is an “American” podcast. The combination is great, and Don and Scott always find something in Warren’s Britishness that tickles them. This conversation was on sports nutrition and although Warren was plugging his new product it was a cool, funny conversation. Check it out if you are an endurance runner.

Next up I listened to some tunes:

I only recently discovered I like Beyonce songs! Last night I started a new Spotify playlist. On it is “Drunk in Love” and boy it gets me fired up. I so want to sing along to the bit that goes la…ah…ah….. however, with me I’m yelling instead of singing as I just cannot sing a tune 🙂

Also on that playlist are Kiesza “Hideaway” (the video for that song is so cool) and Pavarotti with Nessun Dorma. This leads on to  another tune I have been listening to on my runs recently: Paolo Nutini-Iron Sky, from the awesome album Caustic Love. Like Pavarotti, Paolo has Italian genes; Paolo’s father is Italian. Paolo is Scottish and was born in Paisley, a stones throw across the River Clyde from my birthplace, Dumbarton. So, I like Paolo!

Seeing I am talking about Italians, last night I watched an inspiring running movie, rented from iTunes, called Spirit of the Marathon 2. It follows a few very different runners preparing for and running the Rome Marathon. It’s definitely worth a watch if you are a runner.

Back to my run, I listened to a few more tunes and finished off listening to Lauren Fleshman on the Running on Om podcast. I am a fan of Lauren and enjoyed this.

Here’s a pic taken from under the Trans Canada Highway; I passed here twice on my run today. As well as the graffiti you can see at ground level, there was more way up just under the carriageway. I stood and looked at it  and could not figure out how someone got up there to paint it! Somebody was brave and ingenious! It’s high!


Finally, to show it’s still winter here’s a pic I took snowshoeing on Mt Seymour in North Vancouver yesterday.


Making My Goals Real

Like most people, I too often allow distractions to take over hours of my day. I know my wandering mind will be a huge obstacle to overcome if I am to successfully get through my 100-mile training journey. I am on a mission to find focus. With this in mind, one of my goals this week was to write down my running goals! This task has been on my to-do list for a while.

I recently bought from Amazon the great training journal written by Lauren Fleshman and Ro McGettigan-Dumas. It is a lovely item for any runner to own. I would highly recommend it. Here’s mine.




One of the first sections in the journal is about “Defining your goals”. I studied Ro and Lauren’s advice and eagerly read examples of their goals, reasons for their goals and steps they planned to take to reach their goals-wonderful. Motivated by their advice, I got started on my journal today by writing down my goal (Finish the Sinister 7 100 miles), reasons and steps. Then I made my first entry in the training log. It’s such a lovely journal that you want to write in it. My first entry was for yesterday (8th February-Family Day in BC, Canada) and described my easy 10K with Peter around Burnaby Lake. I was recovering after skiing the previous day at Whistler. For me, skiing is great strength training. I never fail to feel the lactic acid burn in my legs after a few minutes going down the piste!



Skiing with Eva, Peter and Mig on Sunday at Whistler. Strength training for runners!


Finally for today, a pic from one of my training days last week; fast hiking the BCMC trail in North Vancouver. It’s a 5.8k round trip with 790m of elevation up then down. I love it!



Winter training in Beautiful BC