I’ll admit, I’m probably exaggerating a little, okay, a lot. We most likely weren’t going to die but our Saturday trail run did turn into quite the little adventure. I suppose I forgot it’s still only April, I didn’t think of Cypress Mountain as a big place where you could get lost and we certainly weren’t prepared for the day.
Breakfast was 1/2 an apple, 1/2 a banana and some peanut butter. Later as we began the hike I ate my Energybits which definitely fuelled me up for the trek ahead. Even though it’s a serving of 30 tabs, I found it easy to quickly swallow them down with a little water. I tried to chew a few and the taste isn’t too bad but it’s just easier to swallow them.
They kept me going well into the morning and I’m looking forward to using them again. Energybits are 100% organically grown spirulina algae tabs. They have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab! You can use Energybits to increase energy, increase endurance, curb your hunger, reduce fatigue and balance blood sugar, they’re an excellent high protein snack and can even be used as meal replacement.
Spirulina has been a favourite of athletes for decades and it’s a super food that delivers instant enduring energy to the brain and body. It’s totally natural and provides a great stream of energy without the downside of chemicals, caffeine or sugar. I would highly recommend checking them out at Energybits.com. If you use the code ‘Blog’ you will receive 10% off your order.
Dressed for a typical run around Vancouver or a hike in Lynn Canyon we headed out at 8:45am on a planned 10 km trail run through the Lower Hollyburn Loop on Cypress Mountain in North Vancouver, BC. We only brought a small water bottle, my cell phone and no food. It’s a good thing we had my cell phone because we had to consult the directions numerous times. Until of course my battery died because I’d be running Map My Run, taking photos and searching the directions online – enough to kill my batteries in 2 hours. Ooops.
After following the wrong trail twice at the beginning of the hike and having to back track a few times, we’d already completed 2km before we even began our hike. Finally we managed to get onto the right trail and enjoyed a nice 20 minute run through a quiet forest and over bridges. It wasn’t raining at this point and we were in good spirits, happy to be on the right track.
We came to the end of the level portion of the trail and began a long uphill climb. We alternated running and hiking on the steep incline heading up and up, stopping only to consult the directions a few times. Eventually we hit snow, which was no big deal because we’ve hiked many snowy routes throughout the winter.
The trail was in very poor condition, covered in debris and fallen trees. There was lots of climbing over and under logs as we made our way up the mountain. If we wanted some Tough Mudder training, we got it! Soon enough the forest floor disappeared and the snow grew deeper and deeper. We carried on as we were still following the orange Baden Powell trail markers. We lost them numerous times and had to zig-zag around until we were able to find one again but each time we eventually spotted on, so we pressed on.
Finally after 3 or 4 mishaps and back-tracks we reached Blue Gentian Lake. You couldn’t actually see the lake except for a tiny hole in the middle, the rest was covered in snow. Luckily for us we could just see the top of a sign poking out of the snow ensuring us were were still on the trail. After Blue Gentian Lake is where things started to get a little hairy.
We came across the first river to cross with no bridge in sight. We walked across a fallen log to the other side and carried on. Even though we kept losing markers we would eventually find them an be re-assured we were heading in the right direction.
After some more ups and downs we came to a second river with no way to cross that we could see. We had to shimmy down a snow bank and actually get into the water up to our knees to cross, climbing up some trees on the other side. I should mention at this point the rain had began to fall and a thick fog was rolling in. I was starting to get a little nervous at this point, my phone was dead and we weren’t entirely sure if we were anywhere near a trail. We hadn’t seen anyone all day and the old footprints slowly disappeared the farther we got.
We continued on. Shortly after this is when panic set in. We were both cold and wet and we’d lost sight of any trail markers. We trekked around the area searching for any sight of bright orange with no luck. We were constantly falling through the snow up to mid-thigh. This gets really annoying, and really cold.
Eventually we made the decision to turn around which was daunting because I knew we had to first find the last trail marker we’d seen, then cross back over the two rivers and it was a long ways back to flat ground.
I had visions of our names in the papers, two hikers being rescued off Cypress Mountain and a huge fee for the rescue coming our way. I’ve always wondered how people can get so terribly mixed up while hiking, well I know it’s incredibly easy to make a few bad decisions and end up in this kind of situation.
Finally we made it out of the snow, back down the mountain and back to our car, about 4 1/2 hours later. I think the whole day ended up being around 20 km or so. It’s hard to say. We went straight home and straight to the hot tub for a good 20 minutes to warm up. Then it was out to enjoy a delicious, comforting meal at Burgoo in Kitsilano.
As far as my week of workouts it was a great one! Here’s what my schedule looked like:
- Monday – Upper Body Strength Training
- Tuesday – Lower Body Strength Training + 30 minute Walk
- Wednesday – 15 minute Hill Run + 30 minute Spin + 30 minute walk x 2
- Thursday – Upper Body Strength Training (See below) + 30 minute Hill Power Walk
- Friday – 3 Miles & Then Some Workout
- Saturday – Hiking/Trail Run
- Sunday – Rest Day
10 x 1-Arm DB Row
30 Second Plank
20 x TRX Mountain Climber
10 x Hand-Release Push Up
This is the kind of workout that happens when I don’t have a plan. Even though I got some good work in it wasn’t very focused or thorough workout. I lost focus and ended up doing a 30 minute hill walk.
I didn’t do too much food prep today. I just made some energy bites and chopped a ton of raw veggies. At least I’ll have healthy snacks for the week. This variety of energy bites had dates, oats, hemp seeds, peanut butter and hemp protein and turned out quite tasty as usual. I didn’t measure anything, just mixed it until I was able to roll the dough into balls.
I haven’t planned my upcoming week yet but I’m looking forward to some good workouts and another trail run on Saturday. Don’t worry, we plan to run at a much lower elevation far, far away from any ravines, rivers or 15 ft snow embankments.
I’ll end todays post with a puppy picture because I don’t think I’ve been sharing enough photos of these little guys! This little black and white gentlemen is Domino and the adorable brindle terrier is his brother, Benny, both enjoying some afternoon sun in their favourite spot.
Did you food prep today? What did you make?
Anything exciting on the menu this week?
Well I better get to bed, somehow the weekend has once again come to an end and it’s back to work. It’ll be our last two weeks in our apartment then we’re moving so it will be a week of packing, cleaning and organizing. Let’s hope I can get as motivated for that as I am for my workouts. Night!