On Saturday, Jesse and I tagged along on a friend’s birthday hike up the Sea-to-Summit trail in Squamish. After never having been to Squamish before, this made for two weekends in a row! It’s really a beautiful area and I love the scenic drive up.
The trail was about 6km of mostly up and took about two and a half hours not including a relaxing break we took at a viewpoint. Jesse kept asking, “How many Grouse Grinds is it?” I still have no idea how to answer that question, but here is a comparison below.
Distance: 2.9 km (one way)
Elevation Gain: 853 m
Time Needed: 1 – 2 hours
Sea-to-Summit (via Wrinkle Rock):
Distance: 7 km (one way)
Elevation Gain: 835 m
Time Needed: 2 – 4 hours
The Sea-to-Summit (via Wrinkle Rock) trail is about the same elevation but over twice the distance so despite there being some steep, technical sections, overall it is a more gradual ascent. The most noticeable difference though, was that there were way less people on the trail, especially after the junction that splits off to the Chief.
I always cool off quickly after exercise so I had brought a warm-ish jacket for the top but turns out it was roasting up there! The sun was beating down on the patio and I had to put sunscreen on because I could feel my face getting red.
Most of us picked up some grub from the cafeteria, which was suprisingly good! I recommend the yam salad, I didn’t have it but it looked delicious (and sold out)! We also partook in some birthday cake which had been transported up by gondola for the birthday boy.
Everyone took the Sea-to-Sky Gondola back down. It fits up to 8 people and costs $10 per person for the down only trip. It was a beautiful ride and you can even take your dog on it (for a small fee).
Although I haven’t gone on any exciting vacations this summer, it has been a great one! There are a few things that I have done lately that stick out in particular …
Starting on June 21st, I did my first “bootcamp” series of classes which ran for six consecutive weeks on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 7am.
I decided to sign up because I always hear about how strengthening your core and upper body can help improve running ability. Plus, having abs wouldn’t hurt either!
I’m not going to lie, it was tough … and waking up at 6:30am on Saturdays and Sundays wasn’t easy either! Between work and bootcamp, I basically didn’t get to sleep in for a month and a half.
But as with most types of intense exercise, I felt great after and could start my day knowing that I had accomplished more before 8am than some people do all day. It was a lot of fun and I got to learn from a couple of very knowledgeable and entertaining trainers from Practical Power Fitness.
I’ve now completed the entire six weeks and I feel and look much stronger. I also learned a bunch of new exercises (like strength exercises using a towel) and have improved my push ups (in form and ability to do them).
This month I’ve been shaking up my cross-training now that my yoga studio offers kettle bell and cardio kickboxing classes. These two classes are about 35-40 minutes long and don’t require any gear – just athletic wear. You don’t even need to bring runners since both classes are done barefoot or in socks. This is really convenient when hitting up a class to or from work.
The kettle bell classes require an introductory workshop prior to being able to drop in to the regular classes. The workshop teaches the proper technique to pick up a kettle bell and a few basic exercises. Since I haven’t lifted weights since high school gym class, I found it very beneficial. I also noticed an improvement in my posture after the first class.
I do not particularly enjoy lifting weights at the gym, but I know that it is beneficial for runners. As someone who does not know much about weight training, I like the direction, supervision, and energy that the class environment provides. It also forces me to push harder than I otherwise would on my own.
The cardio kickboxing classes involves constantly moving: bouncing, punching, kicking, and kneeing. In addition, it often includes combinations of squats, lunges, v-sits, sit-ups, planks and other intense exercises. It is an amazing work out packed into a short time and I always leave sweaty. This class compliments my marathon training by working on side-to-side movements and core strengthening.