Downtime Between Races

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Hello everyone out there in the wide world of the inter-tubes. Just a quick little blog post to let you know what ActiveSteve does when he’s not out there trying to tear up a race course. Of course, the obvious answer is that when I’m not racing, I must be training. Well, while that is generally the case, I do try to have other things going on in my day-to-day life, and in particular I do try to involve my better half when possible. With that in mind, I’ll invite you to read a few paragraphs about a recent afternoon of hiking that Jody and I embarked on near the Lafleche Aerial Park. I didn’t actually map it all out this time, but I did manage to snap some shots that you may wish to check out. Once you’ve done that, click on back and read the rest of the story.

As many of you are no doubt aware, the weather in Ottawa throughout this summer has been a little less than stellar. Whenever the weather looks like it might be turning, we seem to have been faced with more rain and grey skies. Mind you, I can’t let that get me down, as you can’t pick the weather on training days any more than you can on race days. However, when it comes to heading out into the great outdoors with the rest of my little family, I’d certainly prefer to have some nice sunny skies. However, things have gotten so dodgy, that Jody and I have decided to try and go ahead with some plans even if the weather man is not convinced the skies will be clear. After all, a 40% chance of rain still means there is a 60% chance of no rain, right?

This was the first factor that went into our choice to head into the hills in Quebec. The second? Well, basically, Jody and I have made some recent decisions regarding future travel. The decision? Well, let’s just say we’ll be packing our bags to head to Africa over the Christmas holidays. And not just anywhere in Africa. We’ve decided to attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest peak at >5,800m) as well as a couple other peaks while there (notably Mount Meru – 5th highest African peak). While there, we’ll also be heading into the Serengeti to do some safari, and hopefully catch the amazing Wildebeest migration. This is one of those trips that I’ve been dreaming of for a long time, and truly hoped that Jody would also be game for. Well, it turns out she is, and we’ve decided to make this year our time. Kilimanjaro is one of those places that the longer you wait, the less likely it will be that you can fully experience. Although snow-capped, this has been rapidly changing with the general warming. Also, park fees are steep, and show no sign of getting any less so. Lastly, it makes sense to take on this challenge while we’re both relatively young and healthy. At a true success rate of only 40%, we want to be in the best position to achieve success.

So, that short little explanation probably explains why we’ve decided to try and get out hiking together more often in the coming months. Although you don’t need to be crazy fit, it certainly helps to know what you’re up against and be prepared for it. The biggest reason people fail is related to altitude, not fitness. Our hike in Lafleche was just a nice 1.5 hour hike up and down some hills around the aerial park with the dog. We were lucky enough to catch a break with the weather. Although the ground was quite wet from past rain, at least there was no new rain to add to the enjoyment 🙂 Jonah certainly had a good time sniffing around the woods and getting his feet into the mud and water wherever possible. We finished off our hike watching a beaver hard at work and swimming around. Luckily, Jonah didn’t notice him, which would have probably resulted in a bit of frantic pulling on the leash. All in all, a good afternoon in the woods, and we’re looking forward to getting out for more of these. Now, on to the next challenge. Race time was in 1 week again 🙂

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