Peaks and valleys of the Malahat
Today was going to be far different than the last, covering more wilderness trails as we depart from Goldstream Provincial Park and venture north to Shawnigan Lake. With rolling hills to climb, bridges to cross and logging roads that surely would lead to breathtaking views, as we venture along a path paralleling the Malahat Highway. It will be a testament of our training when the going gets tough. Playing music to keep my spirits high and relax into what lies ahead, we rustle around our picnic table, transformed to camp kitchen with a stove, pots and pans, bins holding our goods; it was time to make a feast. Morning bowls of oats, chia, almonds and bananas, along with a cuppa yerba mate and a matcha green tea to get the spring in my step.
We hit the trail, starting with 3 km along a road that was denied access, lets chalk that one up to our warm up ;) Back on the route we followed in reverse from yesterday, and we're off! The climbs made themselves present right off the start, but the legs felt strong. All of the peaks and valleys brought tension into my knees, but I kept running. What I've learned by observing nature is that pain decreases when you keep moving - the body is full of natural healing properties when activated - now I call that wisdom. This has served as a good reminder in life and helped me keep momentum in times of challenge, remembering this too shall pass. After 15 km we took a rest at the bottom of the hill near a stream where Mark started a trend - dunking to cool down. This lessened the suns rays which were in full force today and the gorse flowers were bursting with vibrant yellow colours as far as the eye could see. I entered the Malahat Forest and stopped to talk with loggers about felling trees as I waited to make sure my dad made it up the last few hills. Pushing his bike up and over the hill we shared a smile. I know my strength comes from him. Sometimes you meet people who you never know will change your lives, so I like to stop and talk with strangers. Engage with the whimsical and wise, the safe and serene, someone to share a laugh and offer a smile. I feel very fortunate to have these people by my side to run through the world. Sharing views that will play behind closed eyes and surely impact us for years to come.
Back on track, nearing our final destination, I felt a surge of energy and decided to push the final 5 km. To my surprise the legs kept churning and we covered this distance in 23 mins. Its amazing to feel as though I have been programmed to run and I wonder what tribe I may have lived with in past lives - possibly one at high altitudes in the Andes or maybe the deserts of Mexico or the Sahara. To experience life by how far our feet can lead us and how long our lungs can carry us is a question I am stretching my boundaries to uncover. Mark and I took our routine lake dip, and returned to find mom, enjoy some salty nachos and salsa, and wonder where on earth my dad had wound up.
This evening was spent as a camp, making a curry feast with yet more inspiring music and a well deserved stretching session, as we rolled our thighs and IT bands on propane canisters. I took a nice warm shower to realize that my sports bra resulted in some chaffing and the water running over it brought it to life! After covering 33 km to run, 800 meters elevation gained and 750 meters of elevation lost, I'm glad this is the only pain I feel. Still thankful to say we're all in this together. With my hammock strung between two cedar trees, I read poetry by Mary Oliver and contemplate the lens on nature I have gleaned over the last 48 hours. For now its time to drift into another well deserved slumber. Day two is done and a quarter of the distance covered.