Well, that was an excessive gap between posts. As usual, it’s been non-stop action around these parts.
Wednesday – Canada Day!
We started the morning off with busy preparations for Dana’s birthday BBQ to be held in the evening. I squeezed four racks of baby back ribs in two slow cookers (recipe similar to this) while Dana merrily chopped trays of veggies and fruit.
In lieu of going to crossfit, instead I headed out for a 3.6 mile run around noon. I meant to run 3 miles, but then went too far along one path when my Nike app told me I’d hit 3 miles to turn around, so had to keep going. For a girl who normally runs 400 m sprints during wods, 3.6 miles is a long run! I was pretty ridiculously sweaty after, so when I finally cooled down, I quickly showered then we headed out to Cochrane to visit my in-laws, Barry and Donna.
We sat out in the hot sun visiting for an hour and a bit, then chatted a bit with my bro- and sister-in-law Nathan and Jenna (and Bailey, although she isn’t really much of a talker yet) before driving back to Calgary to get ready for our BBQ.
Apparently I should have had a lunch, drank more water, and wore a sun hat on B&D’s patio, because I had a blinding headache when I got home. The sun really kills me with my fair skin. Luckily Haley showed up right when I was crashing hard. She insisted I go upstairs for a nap while she finished dinner prep. I chugged some water, ate a Quest bar, and napped for an hour with the fan blowing on me.
By the time Haley and Dana were serving the ribs, I woke up from my nap feeling a million times better. We laughed the night away with our friends out on our little patio and the ribs were a smash hit. Good ‘ole Jamie Oliver never leads me astray, especially in the matters of BBQed pork. The weather was pretty ideal and we had a great time with everyone!
I went to Chinook Mall in the AM to grab an iced latte from Phil & Sebastian, then did a bit of birthday shopping for Dana. There was a sweet sale on at Icebreaker so I bought Dana a new sweater. I tried on a few bathing suits at Aerie, felt bad about myself, then left. It’s laughable now, but in the moment I was pretty hard on myself.
We headed to Sunalta for the noon o’clock class. It was reasonably warm in the gym. 125# for my 75% back squat and 100# for my 75% front squat. My legs felt a bit tight, probably from my run.
I used 55# on the bar and got 30 reps. The wall balls were miserable, as usual. I think I got 38 or something close? I should have held on to that barbell a little tighter…
After, we headed to MEC to grab a few things for hiking and I snagged a really cute bikini! Who would have thought of MEC to buy bathing suits? It made the morning shopping at Aerie seem especially silly because clearly my body is the same in the morning and afternoon. I also bought some hiking pants, on the off chance it might rain on us.
We went home and got cleaned up, then I headed to Chinook again in search of a hat. Knowing that Friday would be hot in Kananaskis, I wanted to be prepared. I found one eventually at Chapal – a cute bonnet-style for $30. I also wolfed down some Thai Express for dinner guilt-free. I LOVE me some white rice.
We watched another episode of Orange is the New Black, then headed to bed.
Dana and I were up relatively early so we could finish packing up our bags and food for our backpack trip in Kananaskis! Haley was renting some gear from the U of C, so she drove to our house after, and then we were on the road by 10 AM (10:08 according to Dana).
We were parked in the Upper Kananaskis Lake’s parking lot about two hours later, then strapped on our backpacks, and waved farewell to the civilized world.
We hiked 8 km in to the Forks Campground (took us about 2 hours). While 8 km may not seem like a long hike, it is lengthy when it is 30 degrees out, high noon, and you’re carrying 40 lbs on your back. It seems humourous that 40 lbs is heavy, as I have regularly been squatting heavy for 12 weeks, but WHEW that heat made my bag feel extra uncomfortable. I had a bit of a meltdown around kilometer 3 when a huge spider web entrapped me, but other than that I think I was relatively well behaved. Dana fed me Nuun (electrolyte) tablets and Stingers to keep me less grumpy. Haley handled the heat better than me, but no surprise there.
I was very relieved to get to our campground! Forks is set-up so that there is a common eating area, with fire pits, tables, and bear lockers, then individual campsites spread out along the river (no food allowed in the sites!). There are bears in the area, so we definitely tried to be bear safe. They spotted a griz near the camp a few days prior, which had me watching my back. The bugs were a bit atrocious – baby mosquitos (seemly immune to Deep Woods Off bug spray), wasps, and horse flies. With the heat, we didn’t want to wear long sleeves/pants, but the bugs were pretty miserable even in the heat of the day.
We had talked about setting up our camp, then heading out on another hike nearby, but we decided that we all needed a break. Dana set up his hammock on the bear hang (where you hang your food so bears can’t reach it), while Haley and I used her mattress to lay in the sun and pretend to nap. Eventually all three of us played crib to pass the time, then made supper.
I had a freeze-dried Asian meal that was pretty tasty, and Dana had spag. Haley entertained us making her gourmet Thai peanut noodles. #firstbackpacktrip After supper we enjoyed some smores and chatted with other backpackers around the fire, then had an early night.
As we were only staying two nights, I hadn’t packed many clothes (AKA pillows) so I had a pretty miserable sleep on the hard ‘ole ground. There was also an annoying bird taunting me. All in all, not the best sleep of my life.
I did however manage to sleep until almost 8:30! Dana and I got up and started breakfast, and then woke up Haley when it was clear she would sleep all day. Turns out she had an awful sleep too and was only pretending to sleep in.
With our bellies full of g-free oats and chai tea, we finally got headed out on our hike about 11 AM. It wasn’t quite as hot, thankfully. Seemed like low-20’s, but hotter around noon for sure. We were all happy to not have our big heavy packs on again, as our collarbones and lower backs were bruised from the day before.
We hiked up to Turbine Canyon campground – about 8 kms away from Forks. The first kilometer was the worst because of the sharp elevation gain almost immediately as soon as we left camp. With the sun blazing down, we definitely felt the burn as we quickly gained elevation through the flower-covered mountainside. I will begrudgingly say it was beautiful.
The trail takes you up the mountain, then through a forest with a few river crossings (bridges thankfully), and up a little further, then you come across a beautiful small mountain lake in the middle of the valley. It was worth the climb. From there, the terrain was really interesting and fairly level. Lots of giant boulders and interesting trees to look at. The wildflowers were popping all over the place so we stopped to admire many different varieties.
Lunch was enjoyed at Turbine Canyon, although we didn’t actually wander down the path to see the turbine mentioned. After a quick pee break at the outhouse, we headed back to Forks. Dana stopped to filter me some water at one of the icy mountain streams which was very nice – although the bugs just about carried him away. We saw a bit of bear dung on the trail, but no bears thankfully. The only unique wildlife we did see was a grouse. There were a few jokes about chicken for supper…
The whole trip, 15-ish kms, took us about 5 hours. We were definitely hungry for our supper on Saturday night! I had a (freeze-dried) Jamaican chicken, beans, and rice concoction, and Dana had Asian food. Haley enjoyed some chicken noodle soup with g-free bannock. It was pretty tasty surprisingly! She baked it in the fire wrapped in foil, then we spread butter on it with some sugar’n’cinnamon. Mmm! We made friends with an older couple we shared a table with (they forgot their camp stove fuel so were needing some hot water). It was perhaps Dana’s most rustic birthday, but I think he really enjoyed himself.
It started to rain a bit after supper so we cleaned up our dinner, then ran to our tent. We stayed up late (by my standards, Haley and Dana would disagree) playing crib and rummy wrapped up in our sleeping bags. It was pretty cold out! Eventually we kicked Haley out and headed to bed.
I was grateful for Sunday’s arrival. We were up around 8 to pack up our camp, then had a humorous mix of things for breakfast. The three best friends departed camp around 10 AM. It was really chilly on Sunday morning! I wore shorts because of lack of options, and was covered in goosebumps. We warmed up once we started moving though. I was much happier with the cooler temps for hiking.
It was a very different hike out – I was so miserable hiking in that I didn’t notice any of my surroundings. I made sure to enjoy them on the way out, as it’s very pretty. Not much elevation gain or loss, thankfully, plus my pack seemed incredibly light so the hike went very smoothly. Somewhere along the way, I seemed to pull something in my glute/quad, so I was hobbling by the last kilometer, but it seems to have cleared up today so I’m very glad.
We were pretty tired on the drive home. Dana drove, thankfully, while Haley and I caught up on the world’s happenings (there is no cell service in the back country). When our texts started coming through from the weekend, we heard from Dana’s family that the family dinner in Chestermere was cancelled, and instead was being hosted at B&D’s. Dana and I nearly cried at the thought of driving all the way from K-country home, then back out to Cochrane, then home again. That’s a whole lot of driving when you’ve just hiked 32 km in a weekend.
We were super productive when we got home! We unpacked the hiking gear, did all the laundry, and had glorious showers (so many layers of sunscreen, bug spray, and sweat!). I relished wearing make-up and doing my hair.
Then we were in the car again driving out to Cochrane. We had a lovely supper with the fam (they made up for the drive) and enjoyed cuddling Bailey. Dana got his fave drumstick cake for dessert, lucky boy.
We headed home to Calgary with full bellies and Dana immediately headed up to bed when we got home. I foam-rolled a bit, then watched some TV before bed. Definitely savored the soft clean bed and pillows!
I vowed to take a rest day today, but Coach Eric programmed the Crossfit Total today. I woke up feeling completely bagged, but once I got moving and stood for 5 hours at work at my standing desk, things felt a little less awful. To Sunalta I went after work!
We did a quick but efficient warm-up, then as we started our back squats, Dana rolled up on his bicycle. Coach Eric helped us figure out how to build up to our 1 rep maxes, and gave us a weightlifting belt tutorial. Anna and I were skeptical but the belt actually really helps!
My numbers were:
- 180# backsquat – PR by 15#
- 85# shoulder press
- 215# deadlift – PR by 5#
I was really happy with my #gainz!
After, we headed home for dinner. Dana had a couple fried-egg sandwiches, while I waited a bit then cooked this delightful number:
Baked Maple Dijon Salmon
- Mix 2 tbsp each Dijon mustard and maple syrup with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Heat oven-safe skillet over medium heat, then add a bit of coconut oil and pan fry 2 salmon fillets for 3-4 minutes
- Flip the fillets, pour the Dijon-maple sauce over the salmon, then place the skillet in a 425* oven for 6-8 minutes
Great with rice and green beans.
Now we’re watching some Property Brothers while I finish up my huge blog post. If you’re still reading, kudos to you. I’ll check in soon with another update on life!
Side note: I can’t believe the first individuals’ workout at the 2015 CrossFit Games is Murph!