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So I kind of had an epic weekend of running this past weekend. Wait a sec, don’t you actually hate it when people say ‘epic’? I mean, that’s quite a big word to live up to, don’t you think?

In this case however, I’m so sorry but I have to one of those people and declare that my weekend of running was in fact epic. Since getting home from LA I’ve been swimming through my usual post-marathon slump and just generally lacking that oomph to get up and get moving. Sure, I’ve been running but few of them have been terribly memorable or honest-to-goodness awesome. I’ve just felt kind of slow, sluggish and slumpy.

That’s why throwing myself into a weekend full of back-to-back tough trails and long-ish road distance and then coming out on the other side with a smile on my face feels pretty darn epic to me right now. Especially considering the whole weekend started off with a very late night out for a running friend’s stagette!

Friday night’s shoes vs Saturday’s shoes…

On Saturday, Solana offered to take me out on the trails and I just had to say yes. She is a very close friend but we rarely run together because our abilities and paces are so different. I was pretty excited to go on a one-on-one trail run but secretly kind of scared that I would a) get hurt b) embarrass myself or c) just plain suck in comparison!

Thanks for the selfie Solana!

Being that I got home at around 1:30 am, I wasn’t happy but not terribly surprised that I slept through my alarm and was about half an hour late picking up Solana. It was only a short drive to the mountain and we hit the trail. Pretty much right away I felt tired. Great. I was worried that the whole run was going to suck but I bit my tongue and carried on.

Luckily we had lots to chat about and before I knew it we were well into the bush. She had warned me that much of the first part of the run would be climbing (which I hate) but despite that I was enjoying the workout. For some reason, even the steepest of trails seemed pretty cool when they looked like this…

Since we don’t often get the chance to run just us together, between all our gabbing I used the opportunity to get some tips on trail running and things I could do better or more of to get stronger and less likely to finish dead last in my trail races!

Sometimes she hides behind trees…

Unfortunately our weather was pretty crappy. It was dry at home but was raining when we started and pouring even more now that we were well into our run. I’ve been on some pretty cold, wet and miserable runs before but for some reason that wasn’t phasing me at all. Aside from the conversation the coaching, the huffing and puffing, I realized more than anything I was simply just enjoying being out in the bush and spending time together. 
Seriously, how you can not enjoy your surroundings when
they look like this?
Although I was pretty slow and tired on the uphills, I think I managed to do pretty good on the downhills. It helps being with someone who knows what they’re doing because I tried to just tuck in behind and step in the same places to avoid bad footing and tripping. It gets pretty fun when you let go and fly down the hills as quickly as you can.
See? Look how fast I am! Ha ha.
But if you throw Solana and I in the bush together, it’s not all running you know. Oh yes, there is running and lots of it but we also take advantage of opportunities as they come up for cool pictures of course! Like of my shoes…

 Of her shoes on bridges…

And of course, pictures of us taking pictures…
I think that’s one of the neat things about trail running. Virtually any picture you take is made so much cooler because of being set against the trees and the scenery.
I just love this one…
Anyhow, we ended up running about 18 km, with 900 m of elevation gain. For me, that was a pretty serious trail run and although it was tough, it was by far one of my favourites to date. 
A run doesn’t count unless you take a
post-run dirty feet and shoe pic, right?
Afterwards we headed out for brunch and I think this fried onion, egg, potatoes and perogies number was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten…
It’s named the Bo Hunky! How could I
NOT order it?
So Saturday was a pretty awesome day of running for me. Good distance, challenging terrain and hours spent chatting with a friend I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. I was happy but pooped and just a little worried about how tired I’d be the next day after my back-to-back 24 km road run. I was excited to start doing more double long run weekends in preparation for the Run for Water ultra marathon but nervous because I was coming off of so much rest time post-LA.
My sister actually suggested that I come out to Langley and join her for Sunday’s run. She too, is much faster-paced than I am but she’s always good for slowing down if we want to run together and I was excited to spend the time together. We decided to go super early to not use up too much of the day and I was proud to only have been 5 mins late getting to her house at 5:35 am. 
It was dark, dry and a pretty comfortable temperature as we got started. Unfortunately we headed straight north uphill but at least it didn’t take us long to get warmed up! Like Saturday’s run, it was so nice to have good company for this one. Because of her speed, it’s always a treat to get to run with my sister and Sunday was no different.
We were eventually rewarded for our early start with this pretty sunrise so I had to stop and take a pic of course. I was actually feeling pretty great considering the beating my legs took the day before on the North Shore and we were already past the half way mark. 
I’ve actually been offered the opportunity to test out a brand new GPS training watch from Polar and this was only the second run I’d used it on. Because I wasn’t totally sure how to set everything up properly, I didn’t have any intervals set so my sister and I were just taking walk breaks when we felt like we needed them. It had been working out pretty good but I could tell as we got further into our run that those breaks were getting closer together. No big deal however, since this run was mostly just about the distance and spending time together anyway.
And about taking pics on train tracks of course!
Unfortunately there is a pretty big climb just past the halfway mark on the route we were running and I have to be honest, it kind of killed me. Of course, this was no surprise since I always complain about hills but I wanted to work hard so I cranked up the music and trudged my way to the top. 
And the best part about that is that the final 7 km or so are almost completely downhill. My reward for getting up that steep hill before it!
Anyhow, as we cruised back into my sister’s neighbourhood, the sun was fully shining and it was so nice and warm. It wasn’t a fast run or a milestone distance but it was 24.65 km with my sister and I felt really great pretty much the whole time. As we hit her driveway I realized just how great this weekend’s runs had been.
Two great runs, a toughie on trails and then a good road distance the very next day, both with great company and I was feeling pretty good. After a few weeks of virtually no motivation, these runs felt epic for sure.
From now on my training is focused on the BMO Vancouver Marathon and Run for Water ultra marathon. BMO will be my final long training run before the ultra and my main goal this year is to complete both races feeling stronger and far better than last year. Thankfully I am not dealing with any major injuries going into R4W and I am really hoping I can better my times at both events. I still have tons of work to do on all fronts (training, fundraising and healthy eating) but I’m feeling so much more ready for the challenge this year.
How was your weekend of running? Any epic runs for you?

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Comments

  1. Jessica @ RunYourMuttOff    

    I LOVE the silhouette photos! Sounds like an awesome and beautiful weekend of running.

  2. Lisa Whelton    

    Nice! And never mind your shoes … check out those legs!!

    I hate company and love company on a run. Especially a long run. And I am pretty sure I am way too petrified of trail running to ever attempt it, so I will just enjoy your photos in the meantime 😉

    1. Nikki Scott    

      If you love company for long runs we should plan one together sometime!

  3. Leigh    

    You live in such a gorgeous place! I love all of the trail shots that you and Solana post :)

  4. Crystal Rhyno    

    Nice legs :) Nothing epic for me lately. Great trail shots!

  5. Runner Leana    

    What, no pictures of you wearing those beautiful sparkly shoes?? Those are gorgeous!

    That definitely sounds like one epic weekend of running! Such pretty photos too! I had a pretty great run this past weekend…it was such a confidence booster for BMO!! Here’s hoping I have some time tonight to write about it!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Ha, thanks! I love those sparkly ones but rarely get to wear them anymore!

  6. Krista @ Read. Bake. Run. Repeat.    

    No super epic run this weekend… but it was a run nonetheless, I suppose I should just be satisfied with that right now. Great pictures and I REALLY miss running with you!

  7. Abby    

    Love the show comparison and the gorgeous trails.

  8. Kristen    

    I really want to try trail running this year. Being out in nature is my favourite place to be. Great photos!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Oh you totally should try! Are there any 5 Peaks races in your area?

  9. Petti    

    Looks very steep that reminded me of Grouse Grind. Hope one day I can manage to try again.

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