Peaks and valleys of the Malahat

Today I awoke to music, keeping my spirits high and bringing some dance into the day. I use music as a way to set the stage for what lies ahead. While rustling around our picnic table, transformed to camp kitchen, with our stove, pots and pans all set out, sifting through bins holding our goods, it was time to make a feast. Morning power 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. 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.

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. SO many peaks and valleys, tension was felt in my knees, but I kept running. A little secret of this sport is that pain decreases when you keep moving - the body holds wisdom. This has served as a good reminder in other aspects of my life, when I keep momentum in times of challenge and remember this too shall pass, I am often greeted with an unexpected forms of kindness in the next experience. At the 15 km mark we took a rest at the bottom of the hill near a stream where Mark dunked his head to cool down, the sun was in full force today and the gorse flowers were bursting with the most vibrant yellow colors I had ever seen! We entered the Malahat forest and talked with loggers about felling trees as I waited to make sure my dad made it up the last few hills. Pushing his bike we shared a smile and know this strength I have to push my body and watch it grow comes from him. We meet people and never know who w

ill change our lives, so we carry on, looking for the whimsical and wise,​ the safe and serene, someone to share a laugh and offer a smile. I feel very fortunate to have this friend my my side to run with and move through the world seeing similar trail views will surely have an impact for years to come.

Back on track, nearing our final destination, I felt a surge of energy completed the remaining 5 km in 23 mins! This body is programmed to run and I wonder what tribe I may have lived with in past lives - running at high altitudes in the Andes or maybe the deserts of the Sahara. To experience life by how far our two feet could lead us and how long our lungs can carry us is a question I am pushing the boundaries to uncover. Mark arrived and we made our way to the parking lot to find mom, the nachos and

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 so thankful to say we're all in this together. With my hammock strung between two cedar trees, I read poetry and drift into another well deserved slumber. Another day done and 1/4 of the distance covered.

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Photo credit Coburn Brown

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