Contact Me:

Follow me at
Email TinaFab at:

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Sinister 7 countdown....

Oh CRAP. only a few three sleeps until Sinister 7.


I am running around trying to find shit. That I know I had. That has to fit into my water pack. I do not have to have the headlamp, since I am running the first two legs. Headlamp is only for runners who run after 8pm. Whew.

My hydration pack. Got it check. Wind/water resistant jacket. Check. A. Roonie. Toque. Check. Gawd really? Its a million degrees out there. Then again. It's the mountains. But in case of emerg and all....Timing chip and bib will come later. But where the HELL is my whistle and space blanket. hmmmmmmmm

I still have to pack the rest of my stuff. I need extra hydration, snacks for the long haul, TP, baby wipes, body glide, hand sanitiser, all camping gear. Oh and running gear. Injinjis and CEP sleeves. SPIbelt. Check check. Got it. Crap. I have got to finish packing!!!!!

So ...what is Sinister 7 you ask? Why it is an Ultra Marathon...just a wee 148km (92mi) race. A race you have 27 hours to complete. It is 7 legs which range from 12km to 35km (7.5 to 22mi).
This is not an easy race - it starts and finishes at all kinds of crazy points. Its mountain trails and hard...but FUN with your pals. It is a challenge. And we are ready.

There is some awesome Elevation Change -- a gain of 5,320m (17,454') and a loss of 5,350m (17,569'). Here is a short description from the website!
All distances and elevations have been verified by GPS, foot, mountain bike and quad. Difficulty is based on how hard the leg is in comparison to the other legs of the race (ie: Leg 3 is 7/7 meaning it is the hardest) in our opinions. Every leg of the race is hard.
So what am I running? Well....the first two legs. Normally I am slightly nervous. This time a LOTTA nervous. eek. I do not want to let my team down. One of my major races to test my readiness was cancelled due to the crazy flooding. So I am going to complete on grit and determination. I have the mileage in. Just not enough time on the trails. Gotta love these descriptions from the Sin7 site!
Leg 1 - Frank Slide - Sinners must finish this leg in under 2.5 hours 
Distance:   16.5km (10.25mi)Elevation Gain: 502m (1,647')Elevation Loss: 329m (1,079')Trail Type: Paved road, gravel road, double track, single track
The first leg of the Sinister 7 crosses the massive debris field of the Frank Slide. Spread over several kilometers, the slide consists of rocks and boulders as large as houses. Experts say the mountain will fall again one day; maybe tomorrow, next week, or next year... After the Slide, the route passes through the town of Hillcrest and onto cross country trails to the base of Hastings Ridge. 
Leg 2 -Hastings Ridge Sinners must finish this leg in under 3 hours Distance: 16km (9.94mi)Elevation Gain: 937m (3,074')Elevation Loss: 1,110m (3,642')Trail Type: Single track, double track, dirt road
Beginning at the base of Hastings Ridge, runners begin a grueling climb to a rewarding view. Once atop the ridge, you get a view of the entire valley, including Crowsnest Mountain and the Seven Sisters; certainly worth the punishing climb to the top! There is no time for rest as runners drop down the other side and head towards Blairmore to the finish of leg two.
Wanna know about the rest of the legs? Read about the punishment here! I'll let cha know if we see bears, cougars, wildlife (you may hear my screams from prepared).

Last year I ran Leg 6. Started after midnight. Finished after 2 am.
It was crazy running down the mountain! Scary, Cool, liberating....and MUDDY!

Have you run an ultra? 
Or relay? 
Tell me your favs!! 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Tweekend Runs!

Thank God for early morning runs with my gals!!!

Due to the flooding sitch here in Calgary (and of course beyond) running has been hard to do. Most pathways have been shut. For almost 2 weeks. A few days ago they reopened.

THANK GOD. I was having to run on my city streets (which is soley hills in my area!)

This past weekend had two great run dates. Tweetups if you will. Sunday met up with Cori. Monday met up with Michelle.

Running With Cori: NoseHill
Cori and I decided to meet at 7 at Nose Hill Park on Sunday. Wait. It was actually 730 at a different entrance than I was at! hahahahahaha.

Oh well. I drove to the other side and came to the correct location and started our run. We had a couple hours to tackle the rolling hills and some steep hills, It is one of our largest parks and is all about the natural environment.

After soaking ourselves with bug spray off we went. And then came back to lock my car. WHAT is wrong with me today??? I am a bit off. HA! Good thing Cori is so laid back.
The trails in this park are awesome. And so great we can see the city. From such a great vantage point we had to snap a few. We were all about slow today. Good thing. Becuase it was one of THOSE runs. As in having the runs. ARGH! Again, did I mention Cori being patient? And making good poop jokes!

What was great about this run was that it was just so nice to be out running. And so nice to see so many people out walking their dogs, running, biking. And everyone was so HAPPY to be out. Our City has seen a lot of sadness in the past couple weeks, so I think everyone was pretty chuffed to be out there.
We had a great (and very slow) run in some VERY hot weather. Got our sweat on, got in a lotta hills and got a lotta frustration OUT! And as you can see from the above pics, we had a LOTTA fun! I was worried I wasn't fast enough, wasn't getting in the right amount of miles...and was so grateful to Cori for pointing out that sometimes, it is just good to get out, and to stop worrying about the pace, distance. It was a perfect way to start the day. 

And an Iced Coffee was a perfect end to a great run! 

Running With Michelle: Along the River, Except where the paths were Closed

On Monday both Michelle and I needed a nice long run to celebrate Canada Day. Happy 146th Canada!

We rang it in with a 2 hour run...and got in 16km. Actually with some of the walk we did, we really logged 18km.  We started at 7 to beat the heat. But the heat really was there. But then so was a nice breeze coming off the water.

While Cori and I saw deer and heard a pack of coyotes howling, the only animals we saw on the run were a lot (A LOT) of Canada Geese.

They hogged the pathway and were not keen to move at all. We were hissed at us every chance they got. And man, they poop a lot!

We kept up a pretty solid pace and didn't have too much trouble with the pathways. We had to jag around a it due to some pathway disconcerting! But with all the water we have had in these areas, it was understandable. And we were not about to go breaking through a barricade.
At one point on our return, we stumbled upon a closure area and peeked around to see a bit of damage. Well, really, a LOT of damage. Half the pathway was crumbling into the river. And, as we ran miles down some of my favourite pathways, we could see how much the river cut into the paths on the other side of the river path we were on. Pretty sure that area is still shut...let's hope all our areas open soon. Slowly we are getting back to normal!
Finally saw WHY the path was shut...its falling into the river! 
All in it was a true LSD run. But so awesome to get those miles in. It was great to run, bitch, chat, laugh and jsut get into a great rhythm. And now I taper as my big ol trail race is next week!!! eek!!!

Thanks to my ladies for getting out there with me. And enjoying the sun and fun run!! And really good coffees after the hot hot runs. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Before and After: Floods in my 'Hood!

Before the floods, During the Floods and After the floods....

A few shots showing how some of the roads and paths are faring after the flooding!
I am so glad to see one of my favourite running areas about 10 mins from my house. 
The pathway was been washed and cleaned, and is looking back to normal. 

Memorial Drive took a LOT of water...
It is crazy to see these pics and know a 4 lane roadway is under that water!! 

The clean-up looked like a hellova mess, but it is getting there. Right now it is mostly dried silt leftover. And not too much damage. Thank Goodness!!! 

At the end of my run on Monday, I saw the best sign. I summed up the gratitude many of us feel about our city, emergency workers and volunteers....

Seen at the end of my run! Sums it up PERFECTLY!

Happy Birthday Canada

you don't look a day over 146!xoxo

...taken at 11 pm July 1st in my hood peering over the trees at the fireworks! iPhone not so stellar for the pics, but me some nightime fireworks.

Monday, 1 July 2013

YYC Floods...weekend washout!

(sorry for the delay in posting. I have had trouble publishing this...and well writing much of late)
Last Wednesday I blogged about being excited about my FIRST trail half. Well, not really a half...since is was 25km. Rundle's Revenge was gonna hurt, be tough, but a huge step for me. And an awesome training run for Sinister 7 Ultra (a relay in which I am doing the first 2 legs!) this weekend...

Thursday I went to to work, and by 8pm everything changed.

Canmore was flooded. Ravaged by floodwaters. Communities all around the City were underwater. High River - a town of 12,000 people 37 km (23 miles) south of Calgary was evacuated. THE WHOLE TOWN!  It was insanity.

Thursday at work our manager started careening throughout the store asking each of us where we lived. Depending on the answer, some of us were promptly sent home. To EVACUATE. Jesus.

Not me. I lived a couple communities away from the first two waves of evacuations and areas beginning to flood. I was certain my area would have no impact. Then I left work at 8 pm. I was pissing rain. No not just raining. PISSING. Torrential. Rain. ugh. (I normally walk home, but the policeman standing on the corner near the train platform told me my paths were all barricaded. The only way accross river was the train...really???????) As I rode the train across the river, my heart sank. Holy shit. This river was HIGH. not just fast and furious. As in foreboding and holy shit serious about flooding the the community between the river and me was going to flood. Unheard of....

It was so dark out...and power was being shut off in two neighbouring communities ... and WHAM. No power. Odd. But I took it as a sign to go to bed. And As i checked the twitter feeds, another community was being evad'd. And at 1130 I woke up to choppers flying overhead  and could hear them announcing the evacuation of West Hillhurst. Um. That is ME. WTF???? I live on an uphill section. WHAT? I cannot be evacuating now. So I get out of bed. Fo out of my condo. Where a neighbour has just come from speaking to a Policeman posted down the street. He said, we were were on standby for evac. And that we were a couple blocks up from the evac border. WHEW.

Back to bed I go.

I wake at 530. Barely Slept. So worried. I still had no power. It was soo grey outside. I got work clothes together and walked the 15 minutes it takes to get to the main bridge (10 St Bridge - one of the FEW not shut in the past 24 hours ... so surreal). I get to the bridge and the water is noticeably higher. LIKE a few feet higher and lapping up onto the road. FRACK! I do not think I am going to work. But I haven't got an email or call...and then I hear. Do NOT go down-town. OK. So i snap a few pics. Of my pathway areas and of the neighbourhood jsut 10-15 minutes from where I live.

  (you may not see all the damage in these pics....but if you have seen me post pics of my runs in my ' might see how HIGH this water is....) Howzabout this lovely before and after?

And speak to the officers manning the blockades stopping traffic from entering my part of the city.And I walk back thru Sunnyside and then Kensington to home. NO one is on these streets. All power is out. Sky is GREY. You really can hear the thunder of the river behind me. As it fades, I hear a chopper above. And then a disembodied voice saying:

"Stay away from the water. Stay off the pathway. Do NOT go near the water. Water levels are rapidly rising. GO NORTH. Evacuate this area immediately. GO NORTH. STAY AWAY from the water. You will drown if you get in the river"

HOLY SHIT. I sort of lose it. And well. Start running home. And crying. And as melodramatic and silly as it sounds I was really freaked out.
A pal sent me this which was a small part of DT Calgary
in the early morning

And well then I threw a bunch of clothes into a couple bags and drive a few hours northeast to my parents. At this point I know of a few dozen friends and a few family members evac'd. No point staying anywhere where i am so close. Plus I need to get this GD long run Go North indeed.

And well be without much on the internet front (since being at my parents is bloody prehistoric!) While at home alone in my parents house, and hangin at my sisters...i barely watch TV. Watching makes me so upset and watching the areas i live in, stay in  hang in all being massively flooded is awful. Watching people lose thier houses makes me cry. I feel sick. I feel well like I cannot cope. So instead I tune out for a few days and so some short runs. And one long one. And only do 16 instead of 25 on the trails. But it felt good. And it got me going. but something is sort of amiss. I have lost a bit of mojo. Its like depression is creeping in. God knows why. I am good. I have a home, no damage....But so many are so devastated. What can I even begin to do to help....

About 5 days later we are allowed to go back into Downtown area  - but only a quarter of the area has power. Still reeling. This whole bit has been surreal. But my city and the wonderful peeps in it are strong. We will clean up our neighbourhoods. Completely rebuild some of them. And stay strong. I am glad to be back home and when I am not working will be looking to help out in my areas and others for some volunteer work!

So...for a good recap (and to truly show you the devastation that occurred) here is a video of some of the wicked damage done to the city and surrounding areas.