Day-to-day life, Family, Kids, Pemberton

The Mar-Lors: Joining forces.

What better sight to come home to than this?  bike park

Our kids have transformed the driveway into a mini bike park and in doing so, seem to have further cemented the merging of families with the neighbors.

Rare is the day when we find ourselves being “just” the five of us.  More often than not, Rowan is here on his bike or the kids are playing some complicated games of insert-name-here.  Anja and Sophie can usually be found squirreled away somewhere, raising a family of snails or raiding each other’s’ closets.  In fact, Anja decided to move there last week.  All 5 kids helped her pack.


Editor’s note: she didn’t go through with it. 

Do they fight?  Sure.  But don’t all families?


I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Every day, I’m thankful that my kids have the comfort of knowing they have another family steps away, across the street.  We rely on each other for help, laughs, advice and friendship.

family dinner

Living in a small, amazing community really does have its perks.

Biking, Pemberton, Racing, weekend

Nimby Fifty: It was all about the socks.

Not only did I achieve my goals (in particular, #1) but I had a blast doing so.  I’m convinced that the Nimby Fifty is one of those events that every mountain biker in the corridor ought to try at least once.  And if you aren’t in it to win it, then you can be like me and wear stupid socks.

Rare is the event where I don’t at least once think “Ugh, this sucks.  I am so done”.  Oddly, I didn’t experience that during this race, even when I was cramping, when I was staring at yet another uphill or I was quaking in my spotty socks at the top of the Red Bull Downhill section.  Incidentally, I placed 3rd to last in that race-within-a-race;  I was trying to DFL but couldn’t quite make it happen.

The atmosphere at the start was relaxed yet buzzing.  The race itself unfurled at a totally manageable pace and for the most part, I was surrounded by really nice riders.  The cheering sections were fun (thanks for the sips of beer, Seb) and there were lots of unexpected conversations.  Particularly the lovely German gentleman who asked me – at the bottom of Happy Trail (the beginning of a 45-60m climb) – if we were “almost done wiss ze climbing”.  Schiesse, no.

Lots of miscellaneous thoughts run through your brain when you are on your bike in the forest for about 4 hours.  A mere sampling:

“Wow.  That guy is really hammering.  Too bad the race started 6 minutes ago.”

“Eeep! Hold on tight!  Why am I closing my eyes, DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES, YOU DUMMY!”

“I’m hungry.”

“Hmm. Some of these boy mountain bikers don’t like getting passed by a girl any more than boy triathletes.”

“How the f#$% do people ride down this?”

“I’m so glad I wore these socks.”

“Why am I all alone?  Where is everyone?”

“Oh hey!  Hi!”

Those burgers at the finish, the friendly faces everywhere and the family BBQ to top off the day really made it a perfect, Pemberton spring day.  Thanks to the organizers, sponsors and the riders for making it so.

I promised some before and after pics.  Behold, the spotted socks:

Nimby 1

Photo credit: Jon Anthony

Before!  The jersey on the left may offend some, but I whole-heartedly agree.C_UsersMainAppDataLocalTempDSC_0031 Alex, Baby Finn (not nursing, despite popular belief) and me – all done. C_UsersMainAppDataLocalTempDSC_0086

At the finish with Bren and Rich.  Bren broke a derailleur and finished on a borrowed bike; Rich and duked it out for a while out there – oh yeah, he got me at the end.  Note my styly hair. C_UsersMainAppDataLocalTempDSC_0077The only time Brett Tippie, aka The Mouth of the South, will ever interview me.  I think he’s grimacing because I told him my favourite part was the uphill.C_UsersMainAppDataLocalTempDSC_0062

Next up, the Whistler Half Marathon, family-style: 21K for me, 10K for Jay and Little Rippers for the kids.  Come out and cheer!

Biking, Family, Kids, Pemberton, QOTD, Racing, weekend

QOTD and weekend foreboding

Tomorrow, I’ll be throwing a leg over my mountain bike and doing my first “real” mountain bike race in probably 8 years.  The Nimby 50 is tomorrow morning and seeing as it’s about 50ft from the backdoor, I’ll be giving it a go.  My goals are simple:

1. Don’t die.

2. Don’t break any bones (except, maybe, for the one that’s still broken. That’ll give me reason to go ahead with the surgery I don’t want).

3. Finish before they start pulling down the Finish Chute and still be capable to eat the burgers/drink the beer!

4. Reinforce my race mantra that there’s no shame and walking and that chatting to volunteers is the best part of the day.

5. Ride faster than the mosquitos on the uphills.

I asked the boys if they’d come and cheer for me.  Will replied:

“Yeah, maybe.  We’ll have to see what the weather does”.


I hope to have a full & fun report up soon, as well as some good before/after pics.  The big decision I’m wrestling with right now is whether or not to bring a camera.  Sigh, first world problems.

On a similar note, the boys are really into their bikes right now and have set a goal for the summer of riding all the “Blue” trails in Pemberton.  We’re off to a good start!

CITS, Family, Kids, Pemberton, Racing, Running, weekend

Let’s run.

Spring has truly sprung here… 32C last weekend?!  A little early for scorchers, but I’ll take it.  June-uary will be here soon enough to remind me not to put away the puffy coats so soon.

With everything greening up around here, it means I’ve been able to explore the trails more than the roads… which also means Season 2 of CITS has kicked off.  Well, sort of.  There’s been an early season modification.  Since the usual “C” in the ITS refer to my running girls who both happen to be avec bébé right now, I needed new partners to kick off the season.

Dry, warm and haven't left the driveway.
Dry, warm and haven’t left the driveway.

Insert Children here.

Will and I had planned to run the Mosquito Lake trail run for a while (we’d even been “training”) but when Rory heard that he wasn’t included, plans had to change – pronto.  It wouldn’t do to be left out.  When you run with a 4 and 7 year old, you re-evaluate your race goals: from trying to run yourself into the ground to win to making sure no one goes head-first into a tree.  It’s the little things…


So despite pouring rain, cold temps and having never run before, he powered through (most) of the 6K route, with a little help from Dad, some encouragement from Will  and incessant annoying photography from me.  Will ran the 10K route in a little over 1:20!  Proud moment.  He’s been asking when our next one will be.


Is it too soon to ask him to pace me at the Squamish 50?

Biking, Day-to-day life, Family, Kids, Pemberton, QOTD, Running, Skiing

Wherein I ramble.


It’s been a while since I’ve posted, mainly because I’ve been mopey.  Nobody wants to hang around mopey, much less read about mopey.  So I’m trying to move past mopey into more hopeful.  Mopeful, maybe?

My body is nowhere near 100% fixed, as much as I like to pretend it is.  Watching the winter pass me by has been very frustrating – particularly not being able to ski.  I miss skiing and feel like I am missing out on a lot with the kidlets.

I’ve tried a few days of skate skiing without poles which was ok, but otherwise my workouts have been limited to the gym, pool running (ugh) and the wind trainer… endless hours on the wind trainer.  Actually, I’m pretty proud of myself for the workouts I’ve developed: they are based solely on TV characters.  When character A comes on, I spin 100 rpm.  When his enemy comes on, I spin 80 rpm, etc. etc.  It actually makes time fly.  As much as time can fly on a wind trainer at 5:30am.  Maybe I’ll trademark these workouts and become an infomercial superstar!  (Wait… do infomercials still exist?)

I celebrated 1 month post-op with a 1km run on the treadmill in the garage  – which I then had taken away from me by a well-meaning physio who told me to back off again.  I may or may not had shed tears of frustration.  Not having the ability to run daily has had a huge effect on my ability to manage my anxiety,  so for both my physical and mental health I’m hoping to get back at it sooner rather than later.

Baby steps, I suppose.  In the meantime, while I build my body back up, I’ll continue to lurk on race websites, read blogs, try to pick up a hobby,  follow people’s twitter updates and will the snow to melt and my body to heal so I can once again get out and play.

Know thyself

A few weeks ago, I was headed to the city to run some errands and let the boys know I’d be picking them up some tees and hoodies as they’d outgrown/destroyed the ones they had. Rory piped up that he “wanted a pink t-shirt with a skateboarder on it, but if they don’t have that, I’ll just get whatever”.

not a dude
Not a dude.

Will looked at me and said “I don’t want to be a dude”.  I was a little confused by this comment and replied “but you’re a boy, therefore you are a dude.”  He elaborated: “No, no.  I don’t want to be a dude, like who skateboards and wears pink shirts and stuff.  I like Lego and books and calmer stuff.  I just want a plain blue t-shirt”.

It’s interesting to me that at 6 years old, he’s pretty self-aware.  And so very, very different from his brother.


I bought Anja a new coat as she’d outgrown her current one (belly coats, anyone?)  She came downstairs, saw it and said “OH MINE GOODNESS!  It’s Beee-ooootiful”!

I like an appreciative kid.

Never undressed.
Never undressed.

Completely unrelated to anything

I was at one of my recent 298374 doctors appointments waiting for the doc when I saw this:  diva

I must have been having a bad day because it infuriated me.  I’m no feminist, but COME ON.  Set your daughter up with some slightly higher standards than “Diva”.  I hate that moniker applied to little girls – never mind newborns.  How about “Astronaut in Training” or “Athlete in Training” or “Average, healthy kid in training”?  Anything is better than Diva.

*steps off soap box*

Don’t ask.

I gave up chocolate for Lent.  I’m not religious, nor have I ever given anything up for Lent.  I wonder what possessed me this year.  So far so good.  But The Chocolate Easter Bunny better watch his back March 31.  And his ears.  And tail.


It was the first warm and sunny day we’d had in a long time.  I spent a lot of it thinking about Mum.  She used to love early Spring days and would bundle up into her coats and blankets, drag an old chair to a sunny spot somewhere outside and read her book till the sun became shade.  I think that early spring days will always remind me of Mum and some of her ingrained habits.  I can’t believe that it’s already been 6 months without her.

I’m back at work!  Bring on the sitting, office snacks and the fluorescent lighting.  And hopefully more positive blog updates.

taking care
They take care of me by taking care of themselves. Sometimes.
Day-to-day life, Kids, Pemberton

Pointless rant.

I’ll admit it.  I judge people by what they put into their shopping cart at the grocery store.  In line to pay, I glance back and wonder why you’d buy the white wonder bread that is stocked right next to something a teeny bit more wholesome.  Pushing my cart past the produce, I wonder why someone buys 6 frozen pizzas but not a single fruit or vegetable.  It’s none of my business, but I can’t help question it.

I avoid going to our local grocery store here at lunch time for the simple reason that it both depresses and enrages me.


Because that’s where the high school kids go to buy “lunch”.  I stand back (or, let’s face, get bowled over half the time) and watch these kids, many of whom are overweight or clearly headed in that direction make their purchases.  Chocolate doughnut and giant can for Rockstar?  Check.  Family-size bag of doritos and a 2L bottle of Coke?  Yum.  Can of Monster AND a can of Coke?  Bring it on!

I can’t help but feel sorry for the teachers who get to witness the sugar crash/food coma that must follow this intake of junk.  I want to take these kids and shake them!  I wonder if they know better and are simply making the choice to ignore what they know.  Or worse (is it?) are they legitimately ignorant of the basics of normal nutrition?

I’m by NO means a saint when it comes to what I eat.  I have a sweet tooth that is rivaled only by my salt tooth. In fact, last night I dumped out all the leftover Halloween candy, ate what I wanted and dumped the rest in the trash.  But that only happens once in a blue moon and I understand that moderation is a good thing.  Plus, I know how to work it off.

How do we convey this moderation to our kids?  I’m proud that my kids request salad for dinner and think fruit salad is “fun”.  Do they love candy, chips and treats?  Absolutely.  Do I hope that someone regulates the intake of energy drinks in kids soon?  You bet I do.  In fact, take that crap off the market or sell it in a liquor store.  There is nothing you can argue that will convince me that kids need that kind of stuff, much less in the middle of a school day.

–end rant–

Biking, CITS, Pemberton, Racing, Running, Travel, Triathlon, Whistler

Ironman, eh?

So presumably, you’ve heard the news.  Ironman Canada is moving to Whistler in 2013.  This is pretty exciting news for a tri-nerd like myself.  No, I won’t be signing up.  But I’ll be involved in some way and will be following developments closely (and by closely I mean I’ll be following my favourite pros twitter feeds to see if they are coming and hoping the Ministry paves the road between Whistler and Pemberton).

Liz has written a very good account of what race day is going to be like and if you’re racing, I highly suggest you read it.  Preparation is key!

Most of the people signing up seem to know quite a lot about Whistler (based on the forum chit-chat I read). Some are knowledgeable, some are grossly and amusingly misinformed (for example, the dude who thought a swim in Green Lake in October would be awesome!)  However, no one seems to mention Pemberton all that much so consider this my open invitation to come to my little town and create your own training base!

Pemberton is small, fun, active and family-friendly.  It’s a great place to live and train – trust me, since I do both here…  If you come to town to train, look me up, maybe I’ll even invite you to a CITS run!

Herewith, some suggestions…

1. The swim.

Despite years of asking for one, Pemberton doesn’t have a community pool.  If you are coming to our part of the world between October – June, you’ll be swimming in the 25m pool at Meadow Park.  It’s a decent facility (with a hot tub and steam room) but stick to swimming during “swimmer’s hours”… that is 6am – 9am.  Otherwise, you’ll encounter hordes of screaming kids and are liable to get landed on by an overzealous rookie on the rope swing.  Plus, there are only 2 lanes open during non-lane swim times, so you’ll be battling for space with the head-up breastroker and the one length, board-short wearing sprinter.

If you come from June onwards, the open water swim possibilities open right up.  Alta Lake is where IMC will be held, so best to train there.  Like Liz said, watch those boats!  They are pretty pointing and they go backwards.  Lost lake is a great option with the added bonus of a nudie dock (if you’re into that sort of thing).  But let’s not forget Pemberton!  Mosquito lake is small but clear and beautiful.  It just takes a little work to get to… 1 Mile is an ok option, if you don’t mind getting your face caressed by weeds, which I kind of do.  Last but not least, Gates Lake in Birken is absolutely worth the drive north.  Clear, quiet and big.

Oh – and you’re kidding yourself if you think wetsuits won’t be required at this race!

2. The bike

Perhaps I’m in the minority but I think this course is tougher than Challenge Penticton.  It may not have Richter Pass, the 7 Bitches, and Yellow Lake, but the ride back to Whistler at the end of 180K is not to be underestimated, nor is the long out and back in the Pemberton Meadows.  It’s pretty much guaranteed that the wind is going to be picking up just in time for the AG’ers to make the turn and that’s when the real drafting, er, I mean work will begin.

If you are coming up here to train, don’t limit yourself to the course. There’s some fabulous riding to be had around here.  Riding from Pemberton to D’arcy is a gorgeous and tough training ride.  Bring your $5 and treat yourself to a cold Coke at the D’arcy General Store before you start the ride back up to Pemberton.  Challenge yourself -as we do every year – to ride from Lillooet Lake to Joffre Lakes sans timing device and see how close you can get to your estimated ride time up the 13KMs of switchbacks and climbing.  Ride the Classic “Tour de Train” – ride from Pemberton to Lilloet, take the train back to D’arcy then ride back to Pemberton.

Of course there are lots of hills and rides to be had in and around Whistler.  Join the Whistler Tri Club on Wednesday mornings… they’ll welcome you up Cardiac and Kadenwood.  Fun times at 6:30am, I swear.

The thing with riding around here that everyone – triathletes, roadies and drivers – needs to remember is that the roads are going to be pretty crowded next summer.  Everyone’s going to have to play nice.

I know tri-nerds are loathe to risk injury in the months leading up to their “A” race, but trust me when I say that the mountain biking around Pembi makes it worth the effort.  And that’s saying something when it comes from a chicken like me.

3. The run.

The course description makes it sound pretty flat, but there’s a few kick-your-ass deceivers in there.  By all means, train on the course.  Run the Whistler Half Marathon course.

But Pemberton has some great trails to train on and miles of roads (here’s where that out and back on the Meadows comes in handy… have someone drop you off at the turn around and you can run back to town.  It’s not super exciting but it’s scenic and dead flat – what better way to practice leg turnover!)  While it’s true that most of the running in Pemberton tends to out-and-back style, we local girls have managed to string together some pretty long loops over the years.  Look us up and we’ll let you in on our secrets…

A tried and true and tough long run?  Go from Pemberton to Whistler.  It’s not very exciting but it sure as hell gets the job done.

4.  Nutrition

We triathletes are known to eat and eat well (and often).  How much do I love finishing a long run or ride knowing that I get to end the day at Mile One Eating House?  A whole lot.  You won’t find a better burger and micro brew combo!  I’m sure they have some veggie options, I’m just not that interested in what they might be.

We happen to play host to 2 fantastic coffee shops, too… Blackbird Bakery and Mount Currie Coffee Co… Try both, you’ll wind up with your own favourite.

For such a small town, we can boast about having 2 grocery stores, a natural foods/supplement place, a couple of yoga studios, a gym, a physio clinic, the world’s best masseuse but if I told you who that was I’d have to kill you because he’s already busy enough, a totally weird General Store and last but not least, 3 gas stations.

See?  Doesn’t it make you want to come and play?