Monday, August 31, 2009

You know you've been running a while when...

- your wardrobe is mostly made up of race shirts. Some long sleeve, some short sleeve, some cotton, some technical fabric.
-you notice other people's race shirts and recognize the races you see (or find a new one you want to run!!)
-you've been on more vacations based on races than vacations based on anything else
-you gauge how far something is based on how long it would take you to run it
-you start noticing things that other runners could do to improve their form
-you've tried more than 10 different gels
-you are no longer afraid of hills or intervals
-you know what negative splits are and actually try to do them
-you get a chariot stroller so when all else fails, you can still run even if you have to take the kids
-you own more pairs of running shoes than dress shoes
-your sock drawer is full of anti blister, moisture wicking exercise socks
-you own a belt specifically designed to carry a water bottle so your hands stay free
-you have a dedicated list (or several) on your mp3/ipod just for running

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Challenge

One of the neatest parts about running is how there is always some new challenge you can find for yourself. Maybe it's a faster time, maybe it's a longer distance. One way or another though, there is always something to work towards. My running started up again after having my second child and I have had lots of challenges put into running. Part of it is about losing some weight, and getting back to where I was before having kids, and then trying to lose the "happy fat" that I put on since meeting and marrying my husband. The next part for me, is trying to beat an hour in a ten kilometre race. I tried once and was unsuccessful, although I did get a personal best, so really, that was a huge accomplishment. I will try again in September, however, I am not holding my breath since that race has a really nasty hill (with a beautiful view at the end to make it worthwhile though!!). But, I just might try another one in October, before the half, and maybe third time is the one that will work, we'll see... And then there is the half, maybe I will get a personal best in that race too. I hope so. It would make me really happy, but it's been awhile since I've done a half, so mostly I just want to enjoy it.

So, if you find you are not sure why you are running, figure something out. Do you want to improve your form, your time, run further, run longer? There are so many different ways to challenge yourself, so pick one and breath new life back into your running...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Why do I run...

I run because it's the fastest way to get in some good cardiovascular exercise. Also because I like races. Also because you see some pretty neat scenery sometimes. I run because you can even run in other cities, and all you really need is a pair of shoes. I run because it gives me alone time. I run because it's a nice way to bond with other people. I run to sort out all the thoughts in my brain. I run so I have an excuse to buy cool exercise clothes. I run so I can use technology like GPS. I run so I can listen to music on my ipod. I run so I can listen to techno and dance stuff that just only seems best when running. I run so I can justify the Chariot (well, since we use several times a week, even for groceries, don't really need to justify it, but when I have to take the kids, it's sure nice to have!!). I run to set an example for my sons. I run so someday I'll hopefully spend less time in a nursing home. I run so I can lose a few pounds. I run to help my train for my triathlon. I run to make it easier to climb mountains. I run so if I was ever being chased, I might win. I run just because...

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Every now and then, it's nice to go for a run just for the sake of running. In other words, leave all the tech gadgets at home. That's right, no watch, no Garmin, no heart rate monitor, no ipod. Before the panic sets in, let me assure you, that it can actually change your whole perspective of running. Suddenly, instead of concentrating on the beat of the song or the pace you are running, you actually concentrate on your breathing and running form. Instead of getting all excited because your favourite song came on, you get all excited because you notice a huge tree that you've run past hundreds of times but only today saw that the leaves are starting to change colour. I'll be honest, seldom do I run without any sort of technology, as I love music while I run, but when I do leave the devices at home, I actually enjoy running for the sake of running. On race day now, seldom do I take my ipod with me (well, for shorter distances anyhow!!). Then I can enjoy the race for what it is!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

6 ways to combat laziness...

So sometimes you just don't feel like going out there and running or doing whatever exercise you had planned. How can you keep yourself motivated so you still go?

1. Plan to run with someone. If you have a plan to meet someone and run, you are more likely to show up and actually do the running. Nobody wants to let down a friend so generally if you have a running date planned, you will probably stick to it.

2. Get dressed. Put on your running clothes, your running socks, your running shoes and your ipod. Once you are dressed up to run, chances are a lot better that you will actually get out there and run, I mean, since you put in all that effort to get dressed and all. This works for me, but more often what I will do is put on running socks. Once I have my running socks on, I almost always end up running later in the day. Not sure what it is, but already wearing the right socks gets me every time!!

3. Go out for ten minutes. If you really still don't want to be out running, then go home, but at least you gave it a shot (and if you ran 10 minutes in one direction, it will take 10 minutes to get back, so at the very least you got in 20 minutes). More likely however, once you get past that first 10 minutes, you'll keep on running whatever plan you had for the day.

4. Make a new playlist for your ipod or mp3 player. Knowing you have a whole new set of songs to run to can be motivating because it's usually music that keeps a good beat and gets you moving. Plus, you want to actually hear the songs you chose, so you might even run longer just to get them all in!!

5. Run first thing in the morning. Then, it's over and done with and you don't spend your whole day trying to figure out ways of getting out of your run. Life gets busy and sometimes running gets put to the side in pursuit of other things that pop up throughout the day. But, if you ran first thing, then nothing can get in the way!!

6. Cross train. When all else fails, do something else. Go for a walk, or a swim or a bike ride. Just be active. Or, if you have a treadmill, hop on that and get the run in while watching your favourite reality show. I use the treadmill most often for intervals and watch food tv while listening to my ipod. Strange maybe, but it works for me!!

No matter how you do it, if you got out and did it, then when you get home, you always feel better!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What should I wear...

Running is great because really, all you need is a pair of shoes and you can be out the door. And, for a quick run of 30 or 60 minutes, it doesn't really matter what you wear. Of course the longer you run for, the more consideration you might want to give to what you are wearing. Here's a few things to think about when choosing the outfits you run in.

1. How long will you be running for. Again, the longer you run, the more important it is to choose your clothes carefully. Technical fabrics that wick away moisture are definitely the way to go for long runs. With cotton, when you start sweating, the lovely sweat stains just remain. This can lead to all sorts of nastiness in the form of chaffing and such, which you will feel for days after the run, so better to just start out with the moisture wicking fabrics. Most races now give out technical shirts so it's definitely a sign of runner preferences.

2. Make sure the clothes are comfortable. If you are constantly pulling up your shorts, or your shirt is rubbing, you may end up with some nasty chaffing. This is not fun in any way. Plus, if you are constantly fretting over your clothes, then probably you aren't putting any thought into your form or technique, because your clothes are becoming front and centre.

3. Wear clothes that fit. If you wear huge clothes in hopes of covering up your "problem areas", you will likely only create more problems for yourself. If clothes are loose, they will rub and this is not good. Personally, I wear tight fitting spandex type shorts. I might not have the perfect body for them, but they are comfortable and they stay in place.

4. Try things out ahead of time. I bought a running skirt, and although I quite like it, if I am running longer than about 40 minutes, the shorts underneath start to creep up and lead to chaffing. As a result, I know this is likely not going to be what I wear for the half marathon in October. It's important to try the outfit you plan to wear for your race on some of your longer training runs. You don't want to find out on race day that the new shirt you bought has a seam in a place that starts rubbing after three kilometres when you still have seven more to go.

5. Consider the temperature. If it's warm out, make sure you wear a hat (preferably a wicking one). If it's cold, you might need gloves or even something to cover your face. It all depends on the temperature and your comfort level. Layering is a good way to go, and always remember that you will warm up, so be sure not to overdress.

6. And all you ladies, make sure you get a bra with good support if you know you require it. Check out for a huge selection of bras. I most recently bought the shock absorber, and am so happy with it!! It's done me well on so many runs already.

There's lots to think about, this is just a few things. There are so many neat and stylish running pieces out there these days that finding them is half the fun!! At the end of the day, just make sure you are comfortable in whatever you are wearing and can concentrate on the scenery and the run, rather than your wardrobe!! And if you are washing your wicking fabrics, make sure you don't use any static sheets or fabric softener as this takes away from the wicking feature of the technical clothes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

5 considerations when choosing a race...

So, you've been running for a little while now and need a goal. You know you want to race, but you just aren't sure what you are looking for. Here's some things to consider when you are picking a race...

1. Go for the bling. Pick a race that offers a medal or other unique memento of the event. There's all sorts of things out there from t-shirts to Tiffany necklaces to chocolate. And the medals themselves are a reason to pick a race, such as a Mickey Medal, Flying Pig Medal, Pick a race that offers something fun as an incentive.

2. How about the munchies. Some races are known for their post race feasts. There is the typical fare of yogurt and bananas and cookies, but then other races go all out on food. You can find Spolumbo's sausages or ice cream or chocolate or even turkey dinners or beers and wines. It's up to you to ask around and figure out which ones have the food or drinks you are after.

3. Go the distance. You might choose a race based on distance. Start out with a 5km, then move onto 10km, then a half marathon, then a full marathon and then even an ultra. Or maybe you want more than one sport and are looking for something like a triathlon. How much training do you want to commit to and how far do you want to go. And maybe you are using the race to qualify for Boston, in which case you are doing a marathon and might want to look at the race course itself. What types of challenges are along the race? Any big hills to think about? Do you get to run past cool stuff?

4. Location, location, location. For short races, I generally stick close to home, yet if I'm doing a half or full marathon, I start looking for places I want to go (combined with the bling of course). You can race pretty much anywhere in the world these days so figure out if you are after sun destination, or somewhere more historic, or maybe you want to be in the mountains, or perhaps a big city. Nothing is more fun than planning a race and getting a vacation out of it!!

5. Cause. A lot of races out there support different charities and organizations. Is there a particular cause that is close to your heart? Some races simply donate to charities while others encourage you to raise pledges. It's up to you which race you choose. As well, you can join groups like Team In Training, Joints In Motion, Team Diabetes or many others where you train as a group while raising money for a particular charity, and then on race day you get to wear a special jersey and run the race in honour of someone facing one of these illnesses. It gives special meaning to the race and makes it so much more meaningful when you cross the finish line.

So, there's lots to think about when you pick a race. And maybe you will combine several of these when you make a decision. Races are usually on a weekend and most marathons offer fitness fairs, pasta dinners, speakers and celebrations to go along with their race. Races are my main motivation and I always like having something coming up on the horizon, like right now I have a sprint triathlon, a 10km and a half coming up this fall... what are you training for?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Change things up...

A lot of times as people are busy training for their races, they get a bit bored with the training. It seems as though running starts to become everything and doing the same thing all the time can be a bit boring. So, if you are running 5 or 6 days a week, why not change things up a bit and make one or two of those days something else. Do a boot camp (these are seriously tough stuff, but soooooo good for you!!), add some strength training, go for a bike ride or a swim (non-impact is a really nice break for those joints that work so hard for you with running), do a spin class or another aerobics type class. Try a yoga session. Go for a hike. It doesn't matter what the activity is, the change will use your muscles differently and likely actually help your training in the long run. And, the added bonus is, you won't get to a point where running becomes a chore because that is your exercise. Rather, exercise is something you look forward to because it's varied and always something different.

Tomorrow I am going hiking, and I can hardly wait. I know I will get an incredibly good workout and yet my legs will have a break from the pounding that running puts them through. I love cross training. I've added swimming to my workouts as well, and it is such a welcome change. I still work hard, but it's a different kind of work and my body likes that change.

So, if ever your running becomes a bit boring and tedious, it's probably time to substitute one of your runs for another sport. Your body will thank you for it!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Running in the evening...

Tonight I was running hills, just three, but still hills. And there were fireworks. I like to think the fireworks were there to celebrate the fact that I was running. I'm sure they were on for something much more important, but either way, it was my special little fireworks show.

Sometimes fitting in a run can be tricky, and sometimes it doesn't fit in until the end of the day, yet that has its advantages too. Depending on where you live, waiting until the evening provides cooler running conditions. Running in the evening let's you watch the sun set. Running in the evening keeps you away from the television. Running in the evening is a great way to finish the day, after all, you can't say you didn't go then!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't forget the sunscreen...

On short training runs, you can get away with going outside for a bit and if you forgot the sunscreen, well, nobody minds. But, as you start training for half marathons, marathons and longer, sometimes you are out for longer than an hour and you start getting into the likelihood of getting burned. So, don't forget to wear sunscreen. And, make sure you choose a kind that will let you sweat and not fade away. Try one of the many sport varieties that are available. Because nothing is worse than getting back from a great run, only to find out you have a sun burn.

And one more thing, if you are putting the sunscreen on your arms or neck, don't forget that as you run, your clothes may shift a bit, so you might want to keep that in mind so you don't end up with a small stripe burn when your clothes shift. Take it from someone who has been burned like this, it is not very much fun!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Check your shoes...

Running takes a lot out of you. Sometimes when people start running for the first time or after a long period of inactivity, they go into their closet, find a pair of runners and go. And, they might be okay, but quite often, it is time for a new pair of shoes. Think about it... your running shoes are what's between your body and the hard surfaces you run on. They absorb the force of your feet hitting the ground multiple times in a minute. They help take the pressure off your knees and ankles. Did you suddenly start hurting? Have you got shin splints? Knee aches? There is a good possibility that something as simple as new shoes could help you out.

And, don't buy just any shoes. Go to an actual running store and have one of the staff that's trained, fit your feet and make sure you get into the shoes you need. There are many types of shoes. Some provide stability, others provide cushioning, some are designed to be super lightweight and only good for racing. It's important to have shoes that match your feet and how you run. If you pronate, then having a neutral shoe is not going to help you.

Once you know what kind of shoes you need, then go for comfort. Shoes come in all sorts of colours and shapes, but you can't buy shoes based on that. You need to buy the ones that match what you need and feel comfortable on your feet. They might not be the snazziest pair, but if they get you safely through your training and race without incident, then they are the best pair.

And shoes don't last forever either, so even if you bought a brand new pair 3 years ago, and haven't used them much, maybe it's time for a new pair. That way, you know they are offering you the support you need. If you keep a running log, you'll know how far you've gone, and then you can replace them once you've logged 500 km or more.

Shoes are expensive, but they are nothing compared to being sidelined because of an injury, so if something started hurting that never used to, or you really can't remember when you got your shoes, or if they were shoes that have done you well in six other sports, take the time to go buy new ones. You will be glad you did!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eating on the run...

Wondering what types of food to snack on while you run? Make sure you try some things out on practice runs so you know what will work for you and your stomach on race day. Some people have iron stomachs, others get sick at merely the thought of a sugar drink. So try things out ahead of time. Here's my top 12 favourite running snacks...

1. Luna Bars. I'm a girl, and these bars were designed for the female half of the species. And, they are fantastic. They come in all sorts of flavours and they are super tasty. They are great for running and hiking too.

2. Gu Energy Gels. Okay, I know gels aren't pretty and it can take a lot to get them down, but if you can find a flavour you like, then you've won half the battle. I like the tri-berry the best but vanilla bean is great too. And really, gels are easy to digest, so you get the extra energy you need faster with little chance of upset stomach.

3. Sharkies. These are sort of like candies, but for someone with a sweet tooth like me, they definitely aren't candies. But, if you can't do the gels, this is a nice option that's more food like but still packs the same punch as a gel. They have a bonus of being organic. And, they come in cute shark shapes.

4. . Jelly Belly Sport Beans. Seriously, they taste just like jelly beans. They look like jelly beans, but they also have electrolytes in them to replace those lost while exercising. And they have lots of great flavours.

5. Gummy Bears. I love these. I know it's just candy, but hey, when I'm running, sometimes I'm just sick of the regular choices and a bunch of gummy bears is just a really nice treat for me.

5. Rice Krispie Squares. I prefer homemade ones to the store bought version, but would do either on a run. Again, I sometimes want more than the traditional choices above, and since I am more of a recreational athlete, these work for me.

6. Baked potatoes. Sounds funny but it works. Bake up a potato, cut it into little cubes, season with a bit of salt and butter, and take them along. My only complaint is they are a tiny bit messy on the hands.

7. Nutrigrain bars. They are in a nice convenient package and a good size. They don't have all the same stuff as a Luna bar, but it's still a nice snack during a run.

8. Snickers Marathon Bar. I had this once during a race and it was amazing. It has all the stuff you want from an energy bar but tastes more like a chocolate bar. It was fantastic!!

9. Clif Shot Bloks. I love everything this company makes. The Bloks are a nice way to get a shot (like a gel), but again better for those people who can't do gels (my husband is one of them).

10. Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Nut bars. Basically a granola bar that has salty nuts in it. They taste great and are a nice treat on a run. I like how the sweet and salty compliment each other so well. My favourite is the peanut one.

There's lots more you can take on a run, along with a lot of other companies that make great stuff. What works for you? Leave a comment about your favourite running or hiking snacks. I'm always looking for new ideas!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Less than 8 weeks to the half marathon...

So with less than 8 weeks until the Okanagan Half Marathon, I thought it was perhaps time for some little hints and tips to help out people who might be preparing for their first half marathon, marathon, 10km, 5km, or just for people wanting some inspiration or ideas to enjoy the rest of their training. Sometimes it helps to just get you out the door.

I am no expert. I am only a runner who tries to finish. I do have lots of experience behind me, but what works for me, might not work for you, so take these words for what they are worth and do what you need to, to get yourself to the finish line.

Over the next eight weeks I will try and offer something every day to inspire you to get to your race and finish it strong.

For today, just remember that training for a race is the journey that gets you to the end, and it's important to enjoy the journey. Make sure you are putting your runs near the top of your priorities. This is especially important for people with lots of other responsibilities (ie moms, people with lots of other commitments etc). If finishing is important to you, then putting in time ahead of the race must be important to you as well. These runs help make sure you finish strong and safely. And it's not a chore, at least it shouldn't be. Here's a new way to look at your training runs.

A training run is a chance to be out on your own, away from everything that is pulling you in a hundred different directions. Running is "me time". Running is a chance to catch up with a friend. If you are running alone, it's a chance to think. One of my favourite running quotes was from an ad, not sure what it was for, likely shoes or something similar. It was "the longer I run, the smaller my problems become". And really, as you run, suddenly all the issues in your life get jostled around and sorted and by the time you are finished, you nearly always feel okay about life. Running keeps you active. Running helps you lose weight. Running is a chance to feel your body in motion and enjoy the fact that you are helping your heart stay strong. Running is a chance to meet other like minded people. Running helps you be an active person. Running makes your body crave food that is good for it. Running let's you enjoy nature. Running on a misty rainy day is relaxing. Running in fresh fallen snow and peaceful and serene. Running on a hot day makes you truly enjoy a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade. Running gives you an excuse to buy fun clothes to run in.

Running offers so much and more than anything it keeps you active. I love that about running. I can throw on a pair of shoes, and be out the door in about five minutes (ten if I want to have my ipod too). And, I can be back in 30 minutes, having put in a decent workout. It's the most bang for your buck in terms of time. When life gets busy, that part is so important. So, make sure you find the time to put in your runs, because it's about so much more than the run itself!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Missing my goal...

So, on Sunday, I set out to run a 10km race with the hopes that the time would be under an hour. I didn't do it. I've been training well and getting in my intervals and hills and general runs, but when it came time to race day, I just didn't get the goal I was aiming for. At the halfway point, it was looking good, but by the time I got to the 8km mark, I just didn't have it in me. I'm not sure why not, but I just couldn't keep up the pace.

I was devastated, yet at the same time, I needed to remind myself that even though I didn't reach the goal I had hoped for, I did have a good race, and truth be told, it was a personal best. Before this my best 10km time was 1:04:09, and yesterday I ran it in 1:01:45. That was an improvement of more than two minutes. So, maybe my goal was a bit more than I can reach? It's funny that even though I ran faster than I ever have before for a 10km, it still seemed bittersweet because I had set my sites even higher.

Oh well, it's time to get over it and start working towards the next race. When you miss a goal you've been aiming for, it's important to remember there are still moments to be proud of. In my case, I still outperformed my previous best. I had a good run. I didn't take my ipod with me so that I would enjoy the race for what it was. I thanked the volunteers. I made sure my friend got to the end. And my favourite moment of the run? Passing my husband and son and listening to my little boy shout "go mommy, you are doing good mommy". That is worth more than my goal ever was!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Time for some coaching...

So, since I signed up for the triathlon, I've been busy trying to get organized so that I can actually have a clue. I went swimming the other night. First time in probably six years (for lane swimming). It went pretty good and I managed to knock off 42 laps. I only need to do 30 for the race, but figured doing a few extras couldn't hurt.

We got a roof rack for the car. Now I can get my bike to the race. We also got a box so we can take extra gear (will come in handy for road trips in general, since getting around with 2 kids and a huge dog doesn't leave much space for stuff).

My husband got my bike all cleaned up and last night he showed me how to get the wheel on and off.

Today, I am going to a triathlon camp. I am learning everything I need to know to complete my first triathlon. It should be interesting. I hope I am in good enough shape to keep up. There are a bunch of different sessions. The obvious three: swimming, biking and running with a coach. Then there's nutrition, how to do a transition and stuff like that.

I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed. I am amazed at how many things actually go into this whole triathlon experience. I am wondering so many different things. It seemed simple enough, you just swim a bit, then bike a bit, then run a bit, but getting from one sport to the other will be challenging. And what to wear. And what to eat. Hopefully today provides some guidance into some of those things!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A little update...

So last night, after posting about the triathlons, I decided to check out the Leduc Element Women's Triathlon that was on September 6th. I didn't see anywhere to sign up, so I figured it was sold out, but rather than simply use that as an excuse, I emailed the sponsoring shop just to see. And, wouldn't you know it, there is still space, I just never noticed the "Register Here" link on the race calendar. So, I signed up. Just like that, I am now set to do my first ever triathlon. I think it's time to go swimming, or biking, or something...

And as for my weight, well, it's still a work in progress. Today I weighed 186.4 pounds (84.55kg). So, not much has changed, but I am okay with that. I have been eating fairly decently, watching my portions, and exercising fairly regularly. I'll keep plugging away at it though!! And really, I have to remember, that in January, I topped the scales at 246 pounds (111kg) (I think that was the highest I weighed) right before my son was born, so really, I have made a lot of progress!!

Should I "tri"?

So this past weekend, my husband and I volunteered at the Ironman Calgary 70.3. It was fun. We got to help set up Transition 2, where the athletes go from their bikes into the run. It was neat. I was blown away by the logistics involved in triathlons. I mean truly, it is just amazing!! It was great. On race day, we went and cheered for the athletes on the bike section. It was fun. We had posters with us: "You are my hero" and "looking mighty fine". I loved the reactions we got, from the thumbs up to the smiles to the waves, etc. It was great.

Being a part of this event though, really sparked a desire in me to do a triathlon. Don't get me wrong, that desire has always been there, but my dread of the swimming portion has always been stronger than my desire to do it. Yet, for some reason, now I'm realizing I should just go ahead and give it a shot. What do I have to lose? Time to suck it up and try.

Someday I want to do an ironman. Not sure exactly when, but was sort of thinking when I was in my forties. Now though, I am wondering why I am waiting until then. Am I using that as my reason for not starting? What if something happened and I never made it to forty or was unable to do it for some reason at forty, Would I always regret that I never went ahead with it?

I think I might try and go swimming this week, just to see. And then I will set my "tri" plans in motion. First up is a beginner race, then I will put in my name for the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. It's on my list of things I really want to do, so what is holding me back?? Time to go ahead and start putting these dreams into motion...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Climb every mountain...

So, every now and then I like to change things up with my fitness and working out schedule. And this week, that involved a scramble. What is a scramble you ask? Why, a scramble is when you go to the top of a mountain, sometimes using your hands to help you in tricky spots, getting up or down. I facebooked a friend who I knew liked to hike and we got some dates together and drove out there. I brought my baby, and had him in a kid backpack, and my older child went to the dayhome for the day. We set out in the morning, Starbucks in hand and drove to Canmore. Our chosen mountain was Ha Ling, named after the first person to reach the top.

The thing about climbing mountains is, it's all up. Literally, in order to get to the top, you just keep going up until there is no more up to do. It's not like hiking along a trail through the forest with ups and downs, again, if you want to reach the top of a mountain, you have to keep going up. My friend was doing her first ever scramble and we took our time. I mean, I was, after all, carrying an extra person and all!! It was great fun. I'm sure I burned a couple thousand calories. My heart was a thumping the whole time, going up and even coming down (although coming down was a lot less effort for the lungs!!).

We did great. We made it to the top, had some snacks, took some pictures, and then headed back down. The thing with this particular hike, is it's only 3km to get to the top, but you go up somewhere between 700 and 800 meters in elevation. So, it's a very short distance to cover that amount of altitude gain. Just think about it. 800 meters is two times around a track, it's just short of a kilometre, UP.

I loved it. I loved every huffing and puffing moment of it. I loved the exercise I knew I was getting, and I loved the feeling of accomplishment when we got to the top. "So, what did you do today?", "oh not much, just climbed to the top of a MOUNTAIN!!"

I want to do more. Not sure which ones, they have to some that are easy enough to do with a kid on my back. I also want to do more hikes, and take the family. I am so fortunate that I live in a part of the world where hiking in the mountains is something I can do whenever I want. I may as well take advantage of it!!