Sunday, 16 September 2012

Geneva: As seen through my running shoes

 Nothing beats a sunny day for a running tour of

I started off from my hotel this morning and darted off to the beautiful lake front walkway. On one side of you there are astounding views of the lake, fountain, and city and on the other side there are series of benches and sculptures.. There was lots of other runners out enjoying the beautiful
morning, too!
From here I ran to the Jardin Bontanique.. Amazing! There was these huge gardens, playgrounds, fountains, a carousel, restaurants, a conservatory, animals like flamingos, ducks, swans, goats, deer, and peacocks! Again, tons of lovely artwork and a never ending display of flowers and plants from around the world. I luckily avoided stepping on a cactus in the conservatory! 

It's important to take time to stop and smell the roses.. and that I did as I passed through the rose garden in the botanical gardens.

And then on words and upwards as I headed back along the waterfront on my way to the Old Town!
Yes! I love fresh air from the lake! 

I know I stated earlier that it is important to take time to smell the roses.. but I have to admit.. It's a ton of fun to run through them! This is from the English Rose Garden.

I may not be the most dignified or sophisticated visitor the English Rose Gardens have ever had..

Ahhhh, a beautiful morning! Time to head back to the hotel to refuel and receive nice compliments from some Swiss guys that I am, "parfait!" Hey, I'll take it!

Hope you all had a great day! This was the last full day of my adventures here in Europe and it has been absolutely, positively fantastic! My flight to Frankfurt leaves at 11:00am tomorrow so I'll be able to squeeze in a workout and some yummy breakfast before I leave! I'm so excited! I treated myself to the spa tonight. The steam room here has little lights in the ceiling that look like stars and change colours every once and a while.. SO COOL! Anyways, after Frankfurt it's another long haul back home to Vancouver! Weird to be leaving Frankfurt at 2:30pm on Sept 17th and then arriving at 4:05pm on Sept 17th in Vancouver. I'm going to pretend they invented a way to travel like aliens and take the less than two hour flight time as opposed to the old human way to fly at over 10hours. ;)

Love you 


Saturday, 15 September 2012

I Speak for the Trees!

And have decided to become the Lorax and only live in the mountains! Ahhhh!!! That was the most amazing experience ever!!! I have never seen such breathtaking views in my entire life! I still can't get over the sheer beauty of the Alps!

The trip was beyond words, as you can see! We had a group of 12 of us with the best guide, Laurie, and they were just the most amazing people! I can't say enough about the incredible depth of fun, care, and friendship that we had! It's so wonderful how you can take people from all different parts of the world, toss them together and have them hike through sun, wind, cloud, rain, and even snow, and have the absolute time of their lives!

 I have a million and one pictures to show you all, but I have to go through them all and take out the ones where I have tree in my teeth before I show you. And I can't wait to tell you all about the trip! I'll make some more posts on my flight home, as I'm sure I'll have some time.. that's if I finish going through the pictures! ;)

As for right now, I just spent the day in Geneva (wow! can you say pretty?) and am off to hit the sack so that I can do it all over again tomorrow before I head home on Monday.

Hugs and Kisses,

Chamois / Fluffy Bunny
(aka: Shanny)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Bonjour Chamonix!

Ohhh my goodness! I missed you fresh air!

After arriving in Chamonix, the first thing I did was head out for a run! Being back in the trails and smelling the fresh sweet smell of trees, soil, flowers.. ahhhh what a dream! I can't wait to start our hike today!

It seems like its going to be a really fun group with a beautiful area! There are 13 of us going hiking and I stayed in a room with two other women last night that were so much fun! Rebecca and Cynthia! We were doing the typical girl thing of... "what are you bringing???" last night at about 11pm lol! Gotta  love it! I don't think we will be so glamorous on the trails though.. although I am going to be wearing my red little shorties today! It's supposed to be hot hot hot! Super excited!

Anyways, just had to squeeze in a quick see you later as I'll be off in the mountains.. which look incredible!.. for the next week and a bit! Hope you all are super well and I love you to bits!


Here are some awesome pictures from France!

View of the mountains from the plane to Geneva

Ahhhhh! This where I belong!

Fearsome mountains!


Pretty wild flowers

Next steps!

Wooo! Just squeezed on the train! Check out went smoothly this morning at the hotel, I some how don’t seem to have gotten charged for my stinky laundry! (MADNESS! I didn’t attempt to ask, I just scurried outta there like someone who had just taken two free samples at the grocery store! RUN!)

It will be nice to get to the airport and have a coffee or three. I have packed pretty much all my hiking gear into my backpack to try to bring on as a carry on so that I wont have to worry if my luggage gets lost. Hopefully, I will still be able to take it on. Catrin (thank you my travel guru) didn’t seem to think there would be any issues, so fingers crossed! I guess I have been here for about a week and a half now which means my trip is halfway over. Crazy! It’s been so amazing! I am so fortunate to get to have such an experience! Being able to do this is so cool and just so completely unexpected. I still am in shock that it has happened! I absolutely love all my team Canada gear and you will not be able to get me out of it, I am sure! :P Everyone wanted to trade jackets and clothes at the closing ceremonies.. I was pretty much a baby holding onto hair like a vice clamp.. Not letting go! We have some sweet stuff! Both jackets rock! One is more windproof/water resistant from the Running Room and the other is more like a warm up jacket, both have the sweet thumb holes to help keep your hands toasty! Always a good thing for a Canadian with the circulation of a tree.. aka non existent!

"I swear that's never happened before!" Mid-run sheep ambush in Ponte di Legno!

I am really looking forward to meeting the people I will be touring with the next week and a half! I’m sure we will get along great. It will be interesting to see where they come from and hear about their lives. It’s been so cool being able to meet so many great people!

Anyways, I am off now to scavenge a granola bar.. Yes, I found some! Oh my goodness, and great news. I found the new Kellogs Crave cereal here too, even though no one eats cereal here! Just what I always wanted for breakie.. chocolate filled chunks of sugar and more chocolate! Hahahah okay busted.. not really. I could go for some oatmeal.. now NO ONE eats that here. We’ve had granola though for yogurt so that’s all good. Plus a mean Granny Smith this morning I stashed from yesterdays complimentary breakfast. ;)

Hope you have great nights and Ill talk to you soon!


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Ciao, Milano! Salut, Chamonix!

Bonjour ma famile et mes amis !

Hanging out at the castle.. literally!

Je suis tres excite! I have spent the last 3 amazing days here in Milan! It's quite the city! Just so crazy to have these super old and intricate cathedrals and monuments then 5 star restaurants then old rustic castles and then the fancy prada stores, plus the subway systems that will forever faintly resemble the smell of urine? Why do they all smell like that? Hahaha. Nahhh, it's been super great here! I actually enjoyed myself even more than I thought I was going to. When you know where to go, you can really find some amazing gems! Of course, I have taken a ton of pictures! I think my count for this trip is up above 400 now.. and I haven't even started the next part yet! I found the hotel gym after multiple searches and for the first time today saw someone else in it! Whaaaat! I'm not the only one! Crazy! It will be really nice to get my gym back though.. I miss having proper equipment! Although you do get to feel a bit like you are in an 80's workout video in some of these! ;) I knew I shoulda brought my sweatbands! Hahahha. Oh! I saw an exhibit that featured davinci's original work! So cool! Gosh, that man was a serious thinker! I don't know how on earth he could ponder up these things!

 The food will be something that I miss the most. The pastas and breads.. it's every athletes dream.. mmm carbs! I had an amazing pasta tonight with squid ink pasta, shrimp, roasted cherry tomatoes, and shredded zucchini. It came with this amazing flat bread that I absolutely destroyed. Fresh out of the oven and still hot on the way to my tummy! Yummers!

Beautiful cathedral!

Everyone has been so friendly and so helpful here even though I am completely hopeless at Italian. It's fabulous! I feel very bad for the poor people who had to do my laundry though.. It's not my fault.. that stuff was so stinky and sweaty it wouldn't have made it though the airport security! I had to do something! Lol! Oh well.. speaking of airport security.. you might be asking why would that matter? WELL! Let me tell you!

The next portion of my trip starts before the crack of dawn tomorrow as I'll be checking out of my hotel around 5:00am in the morning to make my way to the train, which will take me to the airport, which will take me to Brussels, which will then take me to Geneva, which a shuttle will then take me to Chamonix! For the next 10 days, I will be out playing in the mountains again! Hurray! I am doing a guided 10 day tour called Trekking Monte Blanc! We are going to be hiking the Alps through France, Switzerland and Italy! I am sooo excited! Here is the link to the itinerary if you want some more info!!

Here's the route we are taking! There is about 135kms of hiking we are going to be doing through 7 days of hiking with one rest day half way through. :)

I might be able to squeak in a quick shout from Chamonix, but I'm not sure what the internet situation is there.. so if there is some I'll send out a quick shout! If you don't here from me for 10 days.. don't worry! I'm alive, I'm just pretending to be a bear! 

Love you beyond words,
Shanny Bear

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Our Canadian Mountain Running Team Ladies!

The lovely ladies after racing in the World Mountain Running Championships! Love, love, love!

Monday, 3 September 2012

The 28th World Mountain Running Championships

 I woke up in the morning before my alarm.. as normal, but unlike normal there was a beautiful stream of light coming through our curtains.. What is this bright orb in the sky?? Sun, you say!? YES! Holy smokes! It was, indeed! Mother Nature decided to give us a break on the most important of all days.. September 2nd: The World Mountain Running Championships! We shared a team breakfast and then headed up to our respective rooms to get ready for our races as they were all starting at separate times. After getting decked out in our awesome Canada singlets, shortie shorts (as Stacey describes them), two layers of Team Canada Jackets and running shoes we took the Gondola down to the town of Ponte di Legno to prepare for the start of our race. Warming up was no problem as the sun was shining down on us and the sky was a gorgeous blue! It was very interesting seeing every countries different routines for warm ups and there was, of course, almost a few collisions as we all tried to prep our muscles for the challenge we were about to put them to!

I was fortunate enough to get to start near the front of the pack on the left hand side. We started down the main “street” of the town (pedestrians only), which was lined by fences. Thanks to some very helpful Italians, who claimed that “Canadians aren’t afraid of the cold” (which I rightly corrected) I was right at the front after they discreetly kept sliding the fence wider to make room for me and prevent me from tripping on the legs of it. Thank you! The race started with a gun and we were off: A ferocious pack of female mountain runners! There was some “rubbing” and elbows flying, apparently one of our team members was actually shoved! MMA? Mountain Martial Arts? Who knows! The pace was very fast and we tore through the town and headed up to the first uphill trail section. Some power hiking was in order to save some juice for the rest of the run, but after the nasty quick incline we hit a bit more of my territory.. forested trail! I was able to pass a few women through this area as we ran over roots, mud, rocks, and little ups and downs! After this we hit more of a grassy trail through farms and came across the hills of sore legs! I think that’s what they are called.. well maybe not.. but they sure felt like it! Being cheered on by people from all countries, we fought gravity as we muscled our way up a double black diamond ski run. Ow! The Grouse Grind was great training for this section! After this we got a little break in the trails again but after a minute we were back to finish off the race on a grind up to the top of the mountain through a grassy road. I can’t speak enough for all the amazing support of the locals and fans! It was amazing to have so many people encouraging you! And entertaining to try to thank them in their respective languages! ;) The scenery was absolutely stunning and a lifesaver when you thought you couldn’t go on.. all you had to do was look around and be swept away in the beauty! I was able to make two last passes in this last section and finish strong after a brief downhill section to the finish line! It was the BEST feeling to cross that finish line! Stacey and Catrin were waiting for me with open arms and just being the most awesome teammates, as usual!

 They finished 50th and 51st respectively around 55minutes while I finished 65th at 58:49 minutes and Mirabelle finished about 5 minutes after me. It was a great finish for us Canadian women! Our men also had a strong performance and I have to give major kudos to them all! It was a true gift to be able to share this experience with them. They are the most amazing group of athletes and a real inspiration!

After the race we scarfed down a lunch then headed up another Gondola to the top of the mountain! It was gorgeous up there! There was a small glacier fed lake, a tribute to the war fought up there, caves, snow, stunning views, and a Ukranian taking a ice bath in the lake! Now THAT’S an ice bath! None for me please.. I did put my big toe in though, that counts right?

After all this we had the closing ceremonies and had a ton of fun dancing up a storm and being part of massive congo lines! As of right now I am writing this on the bus to Milan. Catrin and I had to catch the 3:30am bus to the airport so needless to say there has been no sleep. I'm all set up now in my new hotel! Bravo! I’m off to stay in Milan for the next few days and can’t wait to explore, after a coffee or three!

Thanks so much to you all for all of your support! I am so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life. It wouldn’t be the same without you!

Love you to bits,

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Tomorrow... The BIG Day... Race Day!

Oh my gosh! I can't believe it! Tomorrow is the big race! It came so fast! I have to write a short little blurb before I hit the sack cuz we'll be up early for our race.. The Senior Women are starting at 10:30am, which means we'll be out there pretty early warming up as it might take us a while.. the forecast is for rain and 6-8 degree weather! Brrr. My little shorts and singlet are going to seem EXTRA small, and not just the literal size! Lol! My awesome coach Ryne gave me some great inspirational advice that I think applies to me the most.. "the faster you run, the faster you get to put warm clothes on!" Now THAT is real motivation! It is going to be a crazy cool experience with 42 countries being represented. We had the opening ceremonies tonight and it was really cool to be paraded around town with our big flag! Pictures to come tomorrow! Anyways, just wanted to say thank you so much for all of your love and support! It is beyond greatly appreciated! 

The link to the website is:

The link to our Canadian Mountain Running Team is:

Wish me luck and I'll fill you in as soon as I can!

Love you so much!