Friday I snuck out of work early, as we had to catch the ferry to the mainland and I also needed to get a good road ride in. The solution was to ride to the ferry, so I packed my stuff and made sure Jason would load it in the car, along with my mountain bike since I was riding my road bike to the ferry. I rode the twisty rolling back roads, through Chemainus, Saltair, Ladysmith, Cedar, and got to Nanaimo in record time. Yay, but that meant I had some time to kill as I wanted to ride for four hours. I found a route through town, more rolling with one big climb I'd never done before. It was near Norm & Wendy's house, and although I'd driven it thousands of times, for some reason I'd never ridden it. Well, it was long and challenging, and near the end of my four hours. I did some cool-down and clocked 4:15 of riding, then waited for Jason, Catherine and Denise to pick me up. The four of us chatted for the duration of the ferry ride and drive up the Sea to Sky Highway to our rented condo, got some snacks, and settled in for the weekend.
Catherine and Denise were up early for an 8 am start for their camp. Jason and I headed to the aquatic centre to get a swim workout in, then back to the condo and changed for a ride on the trails. There are no better mountain bike trails anywhere in the world than Whistler. I just wanted an easy ride since the previous day's was more taxing, so we headed to Lost Lake and rode the singletrack there for a couple of hours. It was a nice day, warm, sunny, and everyone out and about was in a great mood.
After two hours, I headed back to the condo and Jason kept riding. I got some peaceful time to myself, and hung out at the condo pool for a bit then back inside for a rest. When Jason came back, we headed into the village for some window shopping, then to dinner when C&D had finished camp for the day. Another evening of laughter and chatting!
I had been dreading Sunday as I had a two-hour run on the schedule, and I hadn't run that long in nine years (last week I ran 90 minutes for a training program high this year). I was pretty sure I would struggle and I really hoped I'd make it. I headed back to Lost Lake to run the gravel paths, met up with Jason at about the half-hour mark, and I was feeling good. I asked him to run a particular trail with me, as it was kind of out of the way, and I had a feeling it would be a bear hot-spot. Every time we're in Whistler we run into black bears when we're out running or riding, and I prefer company when in the presence of large predators. He ran a bit ahead, and it wasn't too long before he came trotting back announcing there was a bear on the trail just ahead. I saw the bear around the corner, and much to our surprise it wasn't a black bear, but a grizzly! It was small, probably a yearling. I shouted the obligatory "whoa bear!" to let it know we were there, and it took a quick glance at us and kept walking. It didn't care about us at all. It meandered down the trail for a bit while we kept a healthy distance, and then veered off over a hill. We joined back with the main trail network and I stuck to more traveled trails for the rest of my run.
When I hit 90 minutes on my watch, I expected to feel tired, fall apart, or have something happen to let me know I wasn't fit enough to run that long. But nothing - in fact the last half hour I kept the same pace up and still felt great. I was surprised at how good I felt, and how I could have kept going even when I arrived at the two-hour mark. Hooray! Kirsty must be doing something right with my training program!
After my run, Jason and I went for lunch, then more pool time and a nap. C&D came back full of great stories from riding some pretty cool stuff in the bike park, and we went to our favourite pub for dinner. A third fantastic evening in a row of laughter, conversation, and this one included some beer and wine for all!
We had to be back at work, so woke up early Monday morning (like, 5:30 early... yuck), packed up and drove back to the ferry to head for home. It was a mere 24 hours ago we were sitting on the patio at the Longhorn, and already I'm planning our next trip back. Those sweet trails are there waiting for our return!