Monday, May 19, 2008

Long Weekend Report

Every weekend is a long weekend, when you are Leslie, but this past weekend was the first loooooong weekend for the rest of the world and the unofficial kick-off to summer. Historically, on this weekend two things happen: the good people of Alberta go camping and it snows. Then, they all pack of their tents, kids, trailers, picnics and go home because it is so miserable.

This year, however, the forecast was for clear, sunny and hot! It was to good to be true! People were excited, the town of Banff was buzzing and we were mentally preparing for the onslaught of people. My plan for the weekend was to go for a long trail run on Friday in the heat of the day, take my time, take some food, take some photos and enjoy a great day running in the sun. Then, it was off to Mountain Bike Camp in Calgary where I hoped to reconnect with the love of the bike, learn some new skills and meet some other cool girls.

Run Report - Lake Minnewanka Shoreline - 4 hrs(30+k??)

What a great day for a trail run!

Clear sky, warm temperatures, sweet singletrack and good company = good times!!

On Friday, I met up with Darren for a run on the Lake Minnewanka shoreline trail. Darren is an ultra runner from Calgary, a firefighter and all round nice guy that I had never actually met before. He had never run in this area before and was pretty stoked once the trail and the scenery revealed itself.

Darren smokes the trail....

Lake Minnewanka is an out-an-back, so we were shooting for two hours out and two hours back, for a total of 4 hours at a very leisurely pace. Both Darren and I are running the Blackfoot Ultra next weekend. He is doing the 100k and I will be going for the 50k pleasure cruise. When did my perspective get so warped that I consider 50k a pleasure cruise?? Actually, I know it will be a pleasure cruise because the plan is to go out and take er' easy, enjoy the day and take some great photos!

When I was out on my bicycle on Monday, the lake was completely ice bound. But only 3 days later, half of the lake was clear and the other half was still covered, but it was looking like it would be sinking shortly....

We passed a few dry creek beds on the way out and on the way back, surprise-surprise, they had water running through them! The 25c weather had definitely stimulated the start of the run-off. Yay for melting! I had to soak my jersey and hat in the creek a few times, that is how gorgeous and hot is was.

Wanna' Swim??

Soon...we can canoe!


Thanks for a great day Darren! It was great to get out and enjoy the beautiful day.

That evening, we drove in to Calgary to get organised for the Rocky Mountain Dirt Girls Camp. We stayed with our friend Holly, but were too damn busy to enjoy her great company :(

However, I did get some great photos of her fat cat!

Where's Our Mom??

I had heard lots of great things about the Dirt Girls Camp. My husband the bike rep, helps out with this camp every year and has always told me that I would love it. This year, I finally took him up on the offer and yeeee-haw, it was good times-good times! These camps run all through North America and are coached by girls for girls. Yay! The coaches were fantastic - great teachers, great riders and just good people.

In the AM we would do skill clinics and learn everything from braking and descending, to front wheel lifts, high speed cornering, straight line riding, including riding teeter-totters! The teeter totters weren't nearly as scary as I thought and were quite fun. The first one I tried, I thought focus....pedal like crazy, look way ahead and GO! Well, this method worked quite well but I had so much speed I sort of just did the "teeter" part....launched myself off of it up and over and never quite got the "totter" part. I landed it though!

This is Coach Julie, A ripping Revelstoke Ski Patroller and a camper with a baaaad sunburn. Leg protectors don't protect you from the sun!! It was really hot and melty. In the afternoon, we hit the trails to put all of the great tips to use on the trail! I got to ride with my friend Cassandra Boon, once the Canadian Downhill Champ and ex Pro Rider. Note to self: never compare yourself to the "best" of anything...

Tanya of Edmonton checks out a line

It was such fun, everything went smooth and all of the girls had a great time. I learned lots of new things, gained some confidence and am feeling motivated and inspired to get back on the saddle! I haven't mountain biked much at all the past 3 years. After Adventure Racing and then knee surgery, I just sort of stopped.....for no particular reason. Camp was a good reminder of how much I love my bike and I love to ride!!


Backofpack said...

What an awesome weekend! Though, I am not interested in the bike part of Bike Camp. Maybe a Run Camp...

Leslie said...

Wow! Your really are a Marathon Maniac! Orcas Island was like running camp....complete with bunkbeds, smelly sneakers and snoring bunkmates....

The Western States training weekend also sounds like running camp....maybe next year?!