Summer in Whistler

I first came to Whistler for one winter season, following tales of powder and epic mountain terrain. Friends I made through the season persuaded me to stay for the summer, promising endless BBQ’s by the lake and a whole range of sporting activities – it was hard to say no. Four years later and I have to agree, that all though the winter season is amazing I now favor the summer months. I would like to say they are more laid back however with so much on offer its hard to tick all the boxes before the fall starts making it’s rainy way back in.

This summer I have been training towards the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race, which this is on September 25th in Cumberland. After completing the Squamish race last year, my partner and I decided to travel further afield for the next installment. The first race went well, however we were slightly more enthusiastic on the riding than on the map reading and made a few errors that tactically probably weren’t the best. I think we managed to turn a 30km race into more of a 50km trek in the Squamish outback – note to self, learn how to read a map.

Through this experience I decided that as well as doing a bit of riding and running I should also work on my core strength. I signed up for 8 weeks of ‘Super Sessions’ with personal trainer, Cat Smiley. She holds an impressive resume of accolades, but what I wanted to know was could she get me the flat abs I’ve always dreamed of? In a group of four, three times a week we alternate strength training on our upper body, legs, core and back. I’m not a big gym goer and the weight equipment has always been a bit of a mystery to me, so these classes were invaluable at showing my what I needed to do. Cat jokes that soon we won’t need her, just the gym – I’m not so sure. She sets up stations which we alternate, adjusting the weights and repetitions per each persons skill set and never lets you drop the ball. It has certainly kick started my training and I am panicking that I am coming to the end of these well planned sessions, I’ll be signing back up next year.

At the same time I need to work on my cardio and skills for the bike section. I got a Garmin training watch for my birthday which I must say is brilliant, it tracks where you went, how fast you did it and how your heart felt about it the whole time. I just can’t wait to get home so I can plug it in and check out all the graphs – geeky I know! You can even view other peoples training sessions which is great for getting ideas of what to do next. So with running going  well I turned my attention to the biking. I fell off three times yesterday whilst riding through ‘Pinocchio’s Furniture’ at Lost lake – bent my brakes and my self-esteem! I have six weeks left, so if I ride at least twice a week I should get up to a passable standard, single track biking is not the most forgiving sport in the world. Did I also mention that it has a kayak stage? I am trying not to panic about the fact that I’ve done this about twice in my life and usually with a few beers. I am heading out today to brush up on my paddling techniques – again six weeks to cram in as much as my brain and arms can take.

I will keep you posted – any tips and/or encouragement would be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to win the race, just survive it!


Cat Smiley


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