Friday, January 23, 2009

I Like to Dream

Let me start by saying, I like to dream. I like to dream big. I've got a whole dream list, full of ideas, trails, races and places that I want to go and run. Sometimes, it's even a little bit overwhelming! I've been looking at my calendar for months, trying to shape together some fun running adventures to keep me motivated and inspired. It's a great feeling to start to piece together a plan for the year. It's a feeling of excitement and anticipation, that comes with having some plans, dreams and ideas on the horizon, as the new year unfolds.

This is me on top of Sulphur Mountain yesterday. It was -20c, there was nobody on the trail and I had a great run. It hasn't snowed in a couple of weeks, so the packed snow on the trail was perfect. I was thrilled when I cleaned the ascent! Meaning, I ran non-stop, every step of the way, from my backdoor to the top of a mountain. Of course, I've done this climb many times but yesterday I figured out something new. Usually, when I'm running I listen to the sound of my breathing and I moderate my running pace accordingly. This works well of course, but it makes me slow. I seldom push myself past that perceived effort. Yesterday, I took the tunes and I cranked them just for the top quarter, so I couldn't hear my breathing. It worked great! I flew up the mountain, way faster than I normally would just because I couldn't hear my messy breathing. Today, I have a major lung hangover!

Me and Steppenwolf, we rocked it up to the summit. Once again, I found myself thinking about some dream ideas and the plans for the year.

Magic Carpet Ride
I like to dream yes, yes, right between my sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here

Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride
You don't know what we can see
Why don't you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away

Last night I held Aladdin's lamp
And so I wished that I could stay
Before the thing could answer me
Well, someone came and took the lamp away
I looked around, a lousy candle's all I found

Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride
Well, you don't know what we can see
Why don't you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away

The Easy Way Up

So what are some of those dreams?? Really, there are soooo many ideas. Some of them will happen this year, but some of them will remain dreams for a little while longer.

A lot of my ideas involve epic runs which I want to do in my own backyard. Further adventure runs in Jasper National Park, Robson Provincial Park and Banff National Park. I won't bore you with the details, but it's a big area and there are 100's of kilometres of trails to explore. I've dreamed of piecing together a long multi day run on all of my favorite trails in Banff National Park. A big, epic, scenic point to point over a few days. I'm going to make that run happen this year.

-I'd love to do further adventure runs in Yosemite, the 105 Mile Maa Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota, the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (of course!) and Point Reyes National Seashore.

-I want to run a 100 Miler.

-I would love to volunteer at Hardrock and get a taste of this event.

-I want to pace someone at a 100 Miler.

A lot of the dreaming is mostly due to the fact that it is mid-winter. I laughed very hard when I found this blog entry that I could relate to very much! It's exciting to put some races on the calendar, when you are stuck in mid-winter. So here is what I am excited about:

1. I'm embracing winter. It's long and cold, but I still love it! The 2nd week of February, we are off on a one week ski touring holiday to Sorceror Lodge. It's a heli-in backcountry lodge and it's a special place. And the people we are going with like to eat!

2. Hopefully, at the end of March I'll be off to Australia for an ultra running event, in Bogong National Park. I will be playing Support Crew for this crazy, ambitious and talented super-woman.

Norma Bastidas is a hell of a go-getter, and this weekend while you and I were fantasizing about warmer weather and fish tacos, she was running 135miles in the Brazilian tropics. Norma is running 7 tough ultras, on 7 continents, in 7 months. More importantly, she is fundraising for the blind and visually impaired along the way. Her story is quite an amazing one, you should have a look at her website and blog. I wish her all the luck in the world!

3. Diablo 50 Miler on April 19th. Love this race, it's tough and scenic. We'll go to Yosemite to visit Meghan for a few days as well! As well, I'm thrilled that Keith has decided to run the 42km course that they offer at Diablo. Can't wait. We may drag along a few friends as well!

4. Western States training camp in May! Just for fun. Running for 3 days and hanging with other runner folks. Sweet. Meghan and Danni will hopefully join me.

5. Blackfoot Ultra on May 30th. Holly and Keith have committed to their first ultra! I'll be running as well, haven't decided what distance.

6. I've put aside the last week of July, for my multi-day adventure run. I'm christening it the Banff Trail Trash Epic.

Just a few things to dream about, don't you think?


Leslie's Keith said...

Do you work??!!

Paul Charteris said...

Sounds like a great year coming up. You and Keith should come and visit if you get a few spare days on your way too or from Australia. See you at Diablo training camp and again at WSER memorial day weekend!

Cheers, Paul

Iris said...

Love your blog - especially the beautiful pictures! So glad you mentioned the Maah Daah Hey Trail. I used to live in ND and would hike part of it. I've always thought it would make a great 100 mile event. There used to be a shorter race until the mountain lions scared everyone away!

goSonja said...

Oh Man! Take me! What wonderful adventures you have roaming around in your head. The multi day running in June sounds like a total blast! What fun!

Matt Hart said...

your blog is awesome.

put some time in there for you and keith to come visit seattle for some running in the cascades! maybe around rainier? mt hood? there is endless possibilities.

Danni said...

Woohoo!!! Sounds like a great year. And I'm pretty sure about training camp.

Anonymous said...

Leslie! HAPPY 40th! I'm 40 in a few weeks!!!! YAH.

My daughter and I are planning to ski Lake Louise this Friday 30th! I was just at the Nordic Center this afternoon - I try to get there once a week - I am so not an expert but I wonder if you are free for lunch on Fri? I'd say ski with us but I think the green & blue runs (I'm teaching Rachel - she's only 10) would be kinda slow for you!!!

Ang 403-455-4049 or

Hone said...

"The Pusher" is the best Steppenwolf song but Magic Carpet is also a good one.

It will be fun to meet you at the Diablo here in a couple of months. I have recruited a couple of other Alaskans to come down as well. So it will be an Alaskan/Canadian party in San Fran.

The cold weather makes us tough. The people of the North run in any conditions!!!

Journey to a Centum said...

Epic Epic Epic Epic Epic!

They say that you should live high and train low. I've got the low thing down....

CoyoteGirl said...

Awesome! Dreams are what it's all about.

Did I see that you turned 40? My 40th is on Wednesday...yikes!

Meghan said...


Your hubby's response is soooooo funny!

This is such an inspiring blog entry! Myohmy do you ever have a crazy running year ahead of you. And, I can't wait to be a part of it as well! ;)

Um, I like Matt's 'round one of those big ol' volcano ideas. Also, I have some big ideas for this crazy John Muir Trail down here, you in? ;)

Hugs, chica, and dream on, yo!

Leslie said...

Just to clarify:
DAMN STRAIGHT, I work! It's just low priority.....

Hiya Paul!
Wow! That's awesome. I'm going to see you not once, but twice?? Are you coming back for a couple of months this time round? NZ is on the life list (of course!) but is going to have to wait for awhile...

Iris-hi and thanks!
I've GOT to do the Maa Daaa Hey. I'm smitten. And it has such a great name!

Hi Sonya! So many adventures, so little time! (and I've got more time than most...) I don't know how you super mommy's do it, but YOU are a star. Hope all is well.

Hi Hart!
Oooooo, you are so right. I'd love to circumnavigate the Tetons like you did. Mount St. Helens is on the list! There are so many options, just in my own backyard. Fortunately, it is a "Life List" but I just have the need to do it all now, now, now! Incidently, I need to drop you an e-mail....

Hiya Danni! Yep, I'm stoked. And I'm even more stoked that you might join me on some adventures! I've got something to look forward to every month, until June. Damn, June is wide open! Better make some plans....

Hi Ang! Can't wait to see you Friday! You are Feb.22, right?

Hi Evan, hope you are relaxing and recovering a wee bit from your little epic in Hawaii! Did I mention, congrats? Yep, Diablo will give us a little something to look forward to, as we run through the long, dark, winter, yes?!? I can't wait and it is 3 months away! That's cool that you are bringing down a "crew" as well. It's always better with friends!

Hi Eric, EpicEpicEpic indeed!

Hi CG! How are you, missy? Happy Birthday to you! Embrace the 40 :)

Ms. Meghan! How I've missed your witty blog presence in the blogosphere! I imagine you are going crazy with ideas, be it that it's your first summer season in Yosemite! I just had a taste of all the trail goodness in your backyard and my mind is swirling...



Stuart said...

Now that's plenty to be excited about, I have only been to Jasper twice but I am sure you could spend a lifetime running the trails there!

kristen said...

Dream big or go home! I think those all sound like great goals dreams and times.

I have decided to adopt your attitude toward winter. Although the Ontario skies seem smaller and definitely aren't as sunny as the Alberta ones, I'm going to embrace the rest of the winter and just go with it. You have inspired me out of the winter blahs!

Donald said...

Hey - I'll see you at Diablo! I just signed up last week. Looks like a great year ahead for you.

BTW, you win the award for the funniest comment on my Bannister post. Any story that includes running, my athletic idols, and boobs ... you've got me at hello.

Leslie said...

Sometimes, I crack me up, too!

Leslie's Keith said...

I take back the cheapshot from comment #1...I love your dreaming, and what it's done for us...Life with you is just too much fun! Can't wait for so many of these adventures.



Leslie said...

Geeeeeez. And it's not even Valentines Day yet! Just for you: a new profile picture. Because it was so endearing when you told me that I had "squished frog face" in the old profile pic. You say that to all the girls, don't you?

Deanna Stoppler said...

I'm with Keith on that one! How do you travel all over the place and work and run and . . . I'm barely keeping my head above doing my new job!

Rick Gaston said...

Hello Sunshine Girl. Thanks for coming on over and leaving a note. I'm about to sit on an ice bath and looking at these pictures and reading about the -20c, the tub doesn't seem so cold anymore. Those are some big plans and I hope you make them all happen. Despite living here I've actually never run in Point Reyes. I've done the Grand Canyon, it was everything people told me it would be. Love the 100s. Like pacing but only if my runner is still running and my dream race is Hardrock. One of these days, one of these years.

Meghan told me you did the Diablo 50. Nice that you are coming back. What a freakin day that was last year. Signed up again, maybe this time I pay attention and not get lost. I saw the peak three times that day. Oh well, so it goes sometimes.

Here's to your dreams and great 09!

Anonymous said...

It was great to see you tonight!! Rachel thought you were very COOL and esp. because you liked Garfield.

See you soon,


Gary Robbins said...

Always love yer postings Leslie, and noticed your pic on the Orcas Island website from last year. Heading down there this weekend and really looking forward to it!
FINALLY, we will meet, Western Running Camp it is. See ya in May!