It was about more than just a run.

The Knee Knacker is one of North America’s knarliest ultra-marathons! Covering 16,000 feet of elevation, this race crosses 3 mountains and approximately 50km of crazy terrain. To date, only 1300 people have ever crossed the finish line, but some have done it more than 15times. It has become a race for the die-hard ultra runners through snow, mud, bugs, sweat and tears!

Getting to the start line of the Knee Knacker two weeks ago was something a year ago I saw as impossible. I have only run one official road marathon to date and frankly, was in heaps of pain following it. Running longer, farther and thru the woods seemed altogether a feat too large for this cat. It was the inspiration of watching our dear friend Jurgen Watts cross the finish line that made me dig deep and say – what if I could do that too?

Finishing the Knee Knacker 7hr52min later was hands down one of my top 3 life experiences to date! Training for this event was a massive character builder – each Sunday long run became my longest run ever. I got dropped; I rolled over on my ankles,; I wiped out in the rain; I got lost…but I always finished.

I knew getting to the start line, uninjured would be an accomplishment for me, but I had no idea how it would feel to enter Deep Cove…amazing.

Approx 3/4 into the race. I think I am sort of smiling here…

I learned that you can have thunder thighs and small feet and still run an ultra, if you want it bad enough! I have accepted that I may not be fast, but I will never, ever give up! And I firmly believe that IMPOSSIBLE is NOTHING.

Meeting tons of amazing people along the way who have accomplished great things in life in many different shapes and forms gives me hope for what may be in store for me. I have a new found confidence feeling mentally tough as nails and physically able to do whatever my chubby heart desires. I’m living the dream and feelin‘ pretty darn grateful!

The man who gave me a kiss goodbye every morning and said – You Can Do It, babe!

Also, the co-captain of my race support…I had the best treatment on the course that day:)

A (WO)man’s dreams are an index to his/her greatness!

Thought of the Day: Always Throw A Starfish.

An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, as he looked along the shore, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

‘Young lady,’ he asked, ‘Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?’

‘The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.’

‘But young lady, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference.’

The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying:

‘It made a big difference to that one.’

Oh What a Beautiful Morning! Oh What a Beautiful Day!

I promised myself four years ago when I first landed in Vancouver from Toronto that I would never take these mountains for granted – and to this day, I still appreciate them.
I met up with Matt Brown this morning at 5:45am for a ride. Albeit a slightly early start on a Sunday morning – watching the sun rise over the ocean, riding thru West Vancouver makes it completely worth while. There is something pretty magical about flying down the hills and grunting to the top for such beautiful views. Unfortunately, I don’t think I am fully recovered from the Knacker just yet, so despite the pain to climb Cypress, it feels soo good to be back in the saddle.
View from Cypress Mountain Look Out

A noteworthy aside – Matt is currently training for IMC 2009 and is rather maniacal about his routine! I tried to hang on for a 2 hour ride, while he was out for a 3hr+ ride followed by a run off the bike. Though at times I think he is crazy, his dedication and passion for the sport is an inspiration.

I think 5:30am could be my new favorite hour. The roads are quiet, the sun is hot and the views are amazing. I burned 1400 calories before 8AM! Now THAT is a fabulous morning!

Makin’ It Mine with Jason Mraz

Hands down – one of my all time favorite activities is driving with the windows down, on a sunny day with the tunes so loud that I can’t hear myself sing or my phone ring!

My amazing bro introduced me to his hero and my morning inspiration, Jason Mraz. His new CD – We Sing We Dance We Steal Things is simply fabulous.

Wake up everyone
How can you sleep at a time like this
Unless the dreamer is the real you
Listen to your voice
The one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue
Leap and the net will appear

I don’t wanna wake before
The dream is over
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes i… I know it
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes i’ll make it all mine

I keep my life on a heavy rotation
Requesting that it’s lifting you up
Up up and away
And over to a table at the graditude cafe
And I am finally there
And all the angels they’ll be singing
Ah la la la ah la la la I la la la la love you
I don’t wanna break before
The tour is overI’m gonna make it mine
Yes i…i know itI’m gonna make it mine
Yes i’ll make it all mine
And timing’s everything
And this time there’s plenty
I am balancing
Careful and steady
And reveling in energy that everyone’s emitting
I don’t wanna wait no more
No I wanna celebrate the whole world
I’m gonna make it mine
Because I’m following your joy
I’m gonna make it mine
Because I… I am open
I’m gonna make it mine

But don’t believe me…go listen to it for yourself! Just promise me that you won’t hold back when you want to start singing and dancing along… :)

Dare To Be Remarkable.

My special friend Gina recently gave me an absolutely beautiful gift.

(Gina and I after the Knee Knacker, 2008)

It is a hand-made necklace from a North Vancouver jewellery designer named Andrea Waines. I have often looked at her works of wonder and even purchased a few gifts for others myself. To receive one from someone else, I think is truly the greatest gift.

My necklace reads: Dare To Be Remarkable. Kinda hard to sport that and not feel fabulous, eh!