Sunday, 29 December 2013

Garibaldi Lake Winter Wonderland

Good evening friends! 


Hope you are all doing well! Well tis the season for snow and we absolutely found winter in Whistler, BC this winter break! Now we spent almost every weekend this summer running mountains up in the Whistler area, but today we got our second dose of a winterized Whistler! We had a blast skiing and snowboarding with friends and then the next day we did what we do best: trail running! As we drove out to the trailhead we had our Muscle Milk premade protein shakes.. It's hard to say what flavour is better.. Chocolate or Vanilla?? And those are just the two that we get the most! 

We decided to take on Garibaldi Lake as we had done the trail in the summer a few times to access different landmarks such as Black Tusk, Garibaldi Lake, Helm's Pass, and Panorama Ridge, but this time we were putting on layers instead of taking them off as we huffed and puffed up the 9km of vertical switchbacks. 

It all started off with slipping and sliding in the car up a snowy slushy road after which we decided it would be best to park on the side of it and just run up the rest of the way in order to avoid getting stuck! No more of that! There were some tracks on the road from days earlier so we knew that there had been snowshoers up there to pack down the trail a bit. Unfortunately, the tire tracks weren't the only tracks in the snow.. we got out of the car to come face to face with these!!


AhhhhhHhhhhh!!!! Cougars? Nahhh, bears we think. The tracks continued up the road roaming around for about 1km when we reached the trail head to find a sign saying "Bear in Area". Talk about scary! We must have been around several and ran all the same routes in the summer, but it's different when you can't see the evidence they are there! Very weird to see those too as it was so late in the season. Bears should be hibernating! Anyways, we prevailed and took step after step to make it up the slushy slippery trail taking some energy gels that Nutrition House Robson Street supplied us. 

After we climbed for several hundred metres, we leveled out and took the branch to take us to Garibaldi Lake. As we continued running, the trail became more and more snowy as the snow started falling with flourish from the sky. It was absolutely magical! Snowy footprints, powder white trees and frozen lakes made it a true winter wonderland. Upon arriving at Garibaldi Lake, the snow was falling even heavier and cold gusts challenged us to keep warm. No time for diddle-daddling or we'd freeze! So we ate our NoGii protein bars happily as we ran and came across something we'd yet to see.. an igloo! Someone must have done some authentic winter camping up at the lake! 

It was stunning being at the frozen Garibaldi Lake even if we were caught in the snow storm to view it! A great run fueled by Nutrition House Robson Street and featuring mother nature. There is nothing that makes our feet happier than a great run out in the mountains!! (Well.. they sure like a roll with a lacrosse ball and sitting up on the couch post run too! I'll be honest! lol!) 

Happy Feet and Feats to you all! Hope you have had some wonderful feasts over the holiday season! I know Joel and I sure have been spoiled with delicious family dinners! Yum!!





Happy Holidays!


Shanny and Joel

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Nutrition House Robson Street

Good morning and merry Boxing Day! Hahah Kidding! Happy holidays!! Hope you had a very merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and festive other holidays! We're writing to formally announce some very exciting news!

This Christmas, Santa was beyond kind to us! He came early and gave us a gift we couldn't be more appreciative of! A new sponsorship! Nutrition House Robson Street has been kind enough to take Joel Payeur and I on as their two sponsored athletes! As you know, we are both endurance runners taking on new mountain peaks and distances as often as we can. These runs sometimes last up to 7 hours and and a true feat of feet! Since we met we have ran local trails such as Lynn Loop, Capilano Pacific Trail, Baden Powell, Grouse Grind, and trails up in the Seymour Conservation Forest. On top of this, we have done Golden Ears (a hike supposed to take 16hours, which we ran in 6), Whistler, Blackcomb, Joffre Lakes, Brandywine Meadows, The Lions, Wedgemount Lake, Panorama Ridge, Helm's Pass, Diaz Vistas, Mount Seymour, and Brothers Creek. Talk about some busy feet! We've clocked thousands of metres elevation over 50,000m. Yes, Meters, not Feet!! Wowsa! Obviously, we need to fuel ourselves well for these accomplishments and trials of the mind, body and spirit! Nutrition House Robson Street has been fueling us for many months before hand but now they have kindly decided to officially be our sponsors.



They are providing us with everything our body needs to run for miles, literally! Protein, pre-workouts, recovery, vitamins, energy gels, minerals, electrolytes, greens, protein bars, probiotics and more!! With Nutrition House Robson Street backing us we can be unstoppable and take on even greater challenges. We can't wait to use their products down on our biggest quest yet to come, The Coastal Challenge. As mentioned before, this run will be over 125km through the jungles, beaches, rivers and trails of Costa Rica. We are raising money for cancer research in honour of Joel's mom and are taking donations which are 100% non profit as we are paying for our whole trip. Please check out our campaign page on Fundrazr.com called Running 4 a Cause for more details and to donate! :) Running 4 a Cause

So look forward to many more blogs and regales of our running adventures that are being fueled Nutrition House Canada! These stores are truly for everyone and we'd love to raise some more awareness of them! Athletes, Parents, Children, Seniors, Teens, there's more than you could imagine. 


 Thanks so much!!!

Hugs and love to you all!

Shanny and Joel (follow us on Instagram for more pics and updates at @allarms and @runshannyrun . We also own and operate @coupleofrunners helping to promote healthy active lifestyles around the world.)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Joffre Lakes Winter Trail Running in the Snow



Hey Folks! Sorry for the long delay in posts! It's been a whirl wind these last few months! Joel and I have been training hard and battling all challenges that runners must face eventually.. injuries and sickness! I spend most of October coughing up a lung.. almost literally. It kept me up nights and consequently Joel too! Sorry!! After 3 weeks of coughing it was coming close to race day and it was happening no matter what so Joel and I threw on costumes that only super people wear.. Superhero costumes. He rocked the best costume of the day in a full body Flash costume including face mask and I wore a super girl costume with little socks that had capes too! Now you may be thinking this was for a 5km run or something silly.. But no. this was for our first official trail marathon. Now we have ran this distance and further before, with our longest being 50km, but this was a 42km trail marathon with just under 2000m elevation gain.. IN FULL COSTUME! BOOM! Hahahha! What a riot! It was amazing. Extrememly challenging, but so rewarding and so funny to look up when all you wanted to do was quit but see the Flash running ahead of you. Talk about a motivation! Plus seeing all the confused faces as we ran down the trails of random hikers and bikers was great! Hahahha It was the Hallows Eve Trail Race created by Peter Watson. Absolutely fabulous. Part of the Mountain Madness Series and I would reccomened it to anyone! We finished the race strong despite my struggles with the hills and coughing fits and eneding up placing mid pack with a time of 5hrs and 9 minutes and of course.. holding hands! What a thrill!

Unfortunately, 2 days after the race I started getting chest pains and was suprised to learn that I had pneumonia. Whoopsies! A tough week off of exercise and antibiotics cured me up but the lung pain stuck around for a few weeks. I have to say the hardest part was the mental and emotional challenge of not being able to do anything that hurt the most. Joel has his back flare up too after playing floorhockey post marathon and cranking out a rough leg workout day. This caused him to be out from running for several weeks as he got chiro treatment and rehabbed.

I'm pleased to annouce that we are both back up and at her! Loving our morning gym work outs and weekend runs with new friends such as Chloe and Jeff, who are featured in this movie with us. This clip was created by Jeff Pelletier on his GoPro during our first run back: Joffre Lakes!

Check it out! It really shows what our running is all about! Fun, adventure, challenge and beautiful sights!

I have an exciting post coming up next so stay tuned for more news on The Coastal Challenge! :)





Love and Hugs and Happy Feet!

Shanny



Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Running 4 a Cause

Hey Everyone!

Joel Payeur and I will be doing the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica this February. It features about 140km of jungles, trails, mountains and beaches! Talk about a great run! It's a 5-day race that we are beyond excited for.

It will not only test our physical strength, but also emotional and mental strength as well. Although it will be hard, it's nothing compared to the challenge that Joel's mom went through several years ago when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. By going the natural way and choosing to take a positive perspective on life, she has happily been in remission for a year.

We are doing this run in honour of Joel's mom, Lorraine Begin, and all those others affected by the terrrible sickness of cancer. We are trying to raise an much money as we can to go towards cancer research.

Please see our donation page:
Running 4 a Cause

ANY donation is greatly appreciated! No matter how big or how small! 100% of proceeds raised are going to the cause and it costs nothing for you to donate! Please help us put an end to cancer.

Thanks so much!!!

Shanny

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Brandywine Meadows

Back home and less than 48hours later I was back where I belong.. On the trails in Whistler! Joel and I found ourselves on quite the running adventure on what was supposed it be a nice easy day! Hahah, both of us were thrilled at the idea to make it harder! Our goal was to run Brandywine Meadows so on the first attempt to get there we drove past the turn off which led us to Brandywine Falls. Seeing as we were already there and wanted to check it out we hit the ground running!! Boy, what a great thing we did! It was beautiful there. Super easy manicured trail and nice water/mountain scenery... Just the way to start the day! 

Next we faced a gruelling run and power hike up this dirt road which provided no shade at all! Knowing the trail was only supposed to be 3km we pursued but soon found ourselves faced with a sign saying end of the trail! What?! Lol! Clearly we were on the wrong trail! Bummer, but heck extra training?! Yes please! Lol

After retracing our steps we got back to the truck and sure enough... The trail head was right there.. We went the exact opposite direction! Hahahaha! Doh! 

A quick refuel of sandwich and electrolytes sent us up the proper trail and into the forest! What a steep climb! It could have been the two runs before, but that sure was a challenging struggle up the hill to the Brandywine Meadows! Boy, was it ever worth it!! It was beautiful!! Mountain streams running through the meadows between mountains.. Now that's what I'm talking about!! And nothing heals the legs after a sore uphill than a glacier fed icebath!! 

A day with not only 1, nor 2, but 3 runs?! Talk about a dream come true! Then top that off with $10 pasta night at Quattro?! Life is good!!!

Love and hugs!
Shanny

Monday, 9 September 2013

2013 World Mountain Running Championships

I woke up before my alarm as almost every racer does with a race this big, but luckily I slept pretty well! I only woke up once or twice durin the night so that was good! Right from the get go I knew it was going to be a good day. The sun was shining, my shoes were shining and my face was shining! I had a breakie of the hotel's yogurt and cereal with dried fruit and of course some mochas for a lil caffeine kick.. I love coffee! Our team was looking ready to go but all coming in at different times with varied levels of sleep. You could feel the anticipation in the room, that excited vibe that today was the day! We soon headed up to our rooms and got ready to warm up down on the dirt road before heading up the gondola to the race course. It was great to warm up with Mel and Sarah. This trip has sure made me try to understand a bit more French! BAHAHA most of our team is French-Canadian so there's lots of fun and enthusiasm!! It was exciting to be chauffeured onto the gondola by the workers as we were the elite athletes being brought up! And let me tell you were there ever a lot more elite athletes on too of the mountain for us to join! It was so amazing to be surrounded by such lean, muscular running machines!! Spandex, polyester and sweat were the articles of clothing to be worn! We were soon brought into the call area which was fenced off from the others.. It felt a bit like a cage keeping the tigers in at the zoo. All the women paced, sprinted, high kicked, lunged and stretched back and forth in the pen. Leg slaps and words of encouragement showered the ears and the feeling of anticipation continued to build! Some of us took it with a smile and broke out into a dance party... Okay maybe it was only the Canadian girls who did that! Lol.

Soon we were summoned up to the inflated arch to line up country by country . The next thing we knew a gun shot off and the race was on!! I was feeling strong but could feel where my comfortable pace was and tried to find that balance. We stormed up the hill to wild cheers and fast footwork! Just as your legs started to scream we hit the peak and tore down the dirt road with all those loose rocks I mentioned earlier. Luckily I knew the right hand side had a bit of a path with less so I tried to get over to that side right away! 

These girls are amazing! I consider myself pretty fast at running downhill but I found myself getting passed and had to have a talk with myself, to continue doing what felt right for me and to run my race! After all that's all we can do at the end of the day! It's the best talent in the world! I felt good and was running hard flying down the road, making the sharp corner and heading into the forest! 

Aye yaye! That's where you beg as plead for your eyes to adjust faster so you don't trip or roll an ankle on hidden rocks roots divets and drops Hidden in the shadows! I passed some people here and got passed too! It was a free for all with the thought In your head that not only was the uphill comin but we had to do this twice. I felt pretty solid with my placing up until the ski hill came. I knew this was going l be brutal for me. Uphill like that is HARD! Wow! I struggled up the hill losing places but pushing and pushing running and power hiking and was relieved to see the summit and water station! Grabbing a cup of water I thought I was going gulp down the most refreshing water but it hit my throat and I thought I was going to throw up! It was carbonated mineral water!!!! Why oh why would they do this?! Yuuuuck!! The bubbles and taste was the last thing your body wants when it's red lining! Fortunately I didn't puke and continued on my way up the single track. It was harder than we thought but I persevered and continued the trudge uphill smiling with every tiny flat or downhill slope as I tried to catch a deep breath. 

The last hill up to the top of the course was hard but I could hear everyone and the announcer calling out names and countries and tried my best to keep those feet turning to run that corner and start round two! It was then I found out that Mel was right behind me and I was happy to hear that! Sarah took off ahead and strongly from the start and Meggan made a great pass by me on the ski hill! It was so encouraging to know we were all running strong! 

Lap two was much of the same thing but even harder as I had already been pushing so hard for what felt like so long. My legs felt weak on a few corners as quick slopes where I had to slow myself down but nothing to do but to do it and I ran ran ran!! One girl got injured on course and required the medics to come attend on their 4x4, it was brutal to see a race end like that for someone but I had to carry on my way as it was my race too and I knew she'd be looked after. Fortunately she was limping with another runner so I didn't feel obligated to stop. I continued on and pushed up the hill alternating places with a great girl from Australia. Mel came by us with her strong legs from biking and I was happy to cheer her on as I gasped for air! Hahah. It was so brutal but so epic to be racing up this challenging hill. 

I couldn't find the energy to thank people or even smile as I Climbed the uphill but knew I had to keep my strength. I made a final pass of the girl ahead of me and settled that place then saw the last hill to the finish in sight! I was exhausted, lungs burning, legs on fire and so hot but I knew I had to finish that line strong! I made it up the slope fighting every step then saw our team manager Adrian Lambert ahead and was able to ask him which way to turn, left or right, once I got to the top! Hahah the worst thing would  have been to run the wrong way!! Luckily he caught my drift and pointed to my left and I ran into the finish line as they announced my name and country! It felt so good to finish but wow was I tanked!!

My legs shook, I tried desperately to gasp at air, and fought the urge to puke and pass out! All while taking in more awful mineral water and being congratulated by teammates. I left it all out there and couldn't be happier! I placed 57th out of 82, minus the 3 that DNF. Better than last year and with a great time!!! I'm so happy! All our Canadian women placed under 60th position which is awesome!  I'm so proud of everyone!! We had such an amazing team and I couldn't be more grateful for this experience as opportunity to represent my country.


Of course, after I regulated my body temperature, breathing and regained some strength back it was all back to smiles, laughs and.. ninja jumps. Obviously.


We watched the senior men race, who all kicked major butt!! So proud of all of them!! Then Calum, Sarah and I then went on to do a two hour run as we took an adventure in the Polish mountain side before we had to head back home to get ready for our closing ceremonies. Which were much to our surprise outside.. followed by a dinner trough style feeding frenzy which we happily bypassed for a great restaurant that was serving up fresh pizzas, pastas, salads, ice cream and beers all with live music! We had a blast and ran home to catch the last bus like Cinderella!

Some of us continued the party on in the hotel bar playing pool and hanging out after. What an amazing day!!! This has been another incredible experience and I couldnt be more grateful for all the amazing love and support from my family and friends. It wouldnt be the same without you all and i appreciate every minute of it!! Big thanks especially to my family, my amazing Joel, and my best girlies (you know who you are!!) I didn't run with duck wings Lauren, but I think I went fast enough! Hahah!!

Love, smiles, laughs and sore muscles,

Shanny!


Krynica!


WOOOOOW!

Can you say an incredible experience?! That was amazing! Ever since meeting up with my teammates (the most wonderful people- our team Canada had so much great spirit, life, talent, personality and shining aura) I've been on cloud 9. It's so exciting seeing all the top athletes in the world coming into your hotel and all prepping for a race of a lifetime. The lean, mean athletes that can destroy a buffet faster than a hotdog eating competition! BooM! Hahah no I'm just kidding. Our hotel did an amazing job keeping everything stocked up and fruit on hand at all times. :)

After getting our new team gear for this year (which looks incredible- BIG thanks to Running Room for sponsoring and supplying us with our gear this year), we started looking sharp and ready to roll! We recieved singlets, t-shirts, shorts, and track suit this year! We are all so excited to have them actually say Canada and Mountain Running 2013 on them! Our team got together and scoped out the course for the race two days before.. it was great to see what it would be like.. Starts off with a grassy sprint about 400m long up a wide hill, then past the gondola where the downhill starts along a dirt road that was covered in about fist sized loose rocks here and there! Talk about scary for your ankles! There were some sharp hairpin turns that we instantly knew would be a challenge to run. After running down for quite a long way on this same road which eventually got some tree coverage as it went into the forest, we discovered less loose rocks, but a harder trail to see with all the shadows from the trees playing tricks on your eyes. The road went down for what seemed like a crazy long time. And then we realised we missed out turn up and had to head back after about a km or two of going too far! Hahah Thank goodness at least! Lol! After back tracking, we found our turn off.. UP A SKI HILL! Boom! Hahah but unlike last year, where we had to go straight up the hill, this time the course zig zagged up the hill which I actually wasn't too excited about.. it makes it harder and longer (less steep, but uneven muscles and a challenge to try to run or walk). It's in dead grass which also is hard as it becomes slippery on your shoes and let me tell you.. sliding back sucked! The great news was that after you finish that section, we enter a single track trail which is much more to my likings! I love the trails, it was a challenging trail continuing up the mountain though which although wasnt too technical, it was pretty steep in places, but gradual enough to make you feel like you shouldnt be walking even though thats all my muscles could let me do at a lot of times. After that, we pop out onto a rocky road and up a short hill that takes us back to the top of the gondola.. where we get to do it all over again! Hurray!! Hahahha!

Me and a few of the guys from our team including Calum, Mathieu, Kris and Sean headed out for a small shake out jog that afternoon before the opening ceremonies. It was nice to get the muscles a bit looser and we actually ended up seeing the start of a 10km race we think. It was amazing to see even more people of all shapes and sizes running. The most emotional thing for me was seeing a man with a disability running the same race with his walking sticks.. tears sprang to my eyes when I saw the determination and spirit in this mans face. It's amazing how the body can do so much if we let it. He really inspired me! There were a ton of little polish stands set up selling wooden carvings, polish furs, toys and random other polish things outside of the race exhibit which was filled of all the same things as the ones in Canada.. but not as many free PowerBar samples unfortunately. Lol We enjoyed exploring the stands and I saw the cutest little puppy!! So naturally I played with it for as long as I could stay there!

The opening ceremonies consisted of a parade through the main town of Krynica with our national flags.. which Canada provided their own thanks to one Calum Neff, who saved our butts, by bringing his own flag and duct tape to make one for us when the organizers did not have our flag! Fail on their part! But we didn't mind too much and took it in real Canadian grace and continued on our way to pose for pictures with other countries! After the ceremonies opened with some speeches from VIP's we broke into a dance party to one amazing opera singer then headed home for some pasta with salmon and last minute stretching and rolling. Some of us gathered up and made a pool on who would win the race tomorrow picking up to six contenders for the senior men.. unfortunately my plan of voting for the coolest names didn't pan out the way I planned and I ended up dead last according to the guys. Lol! Rats!

Anyways, we trimmed our ridiculously large numbers down so that they could fit on our shirts.. and not be the full size of a page of paper.. so funny. I've never seen anything like that!!! I got to bed at a decently early hour and shared a moment with Mel on how this was the experience of a lifetime tomorrow.

Annnnd that's all you get for this post! Hahaha the next one will be on the race itself.. what you've all been waiting for! :)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Medieval Training/History Tour!

Today I went back in time. I probably looked like a Roman spartan.. or Greek warrior... no, let me correct that.. I DID look like a wicked cool spartan/warrior/runner in Asics!! Hahhaha okay, not as fashionable as the bronze battle armor, but heck that would be a lot heavier to run in and I gotta taper. right? Right!

So my teammate Kris Swanson came into Krakow and we met up for a training day. After running a couple km to meet up we ran off to this park which Kris had found on one of the maps. It was a pretty easy route there so that was good! After entering a bit of green from the city we soon ran up a little hill(harder to find in the city) and came upon this epic old track! It was a gravel track surrounding a soccer field in the middle, but the sweetest part was the brick and concrete tiled old stadium that was built around it! It was absolutely epic! You felt like you were running in the middle ages! Some of the concrete slabs were crumbling, bricks were falling off and I'm sure you could hear swords clashing in the background! We did some nice easy laps then Kris did his speed work while I did some stairs.

How awesome?!

Awesome!

Later on I met up with Aussie team member Nick Wightman and Kris again and we did a walking tour of the Jewish area in old Krakow. It was really informative and I learned a ton, but some parts were pretty heavy. I still can't believe the atrocity of just how many innocent Jewish people were killed.. So so tragic. We enjoyed the tour though and were able to clock in another 3km of walking in our running shoes! No silly sandels for runners! hahahha! After a nice dinner where we had all ordered our sides of grilled veggies and then tossed them on our entrees we headed back to our respective homes. Me back another 3km to start packing up for the next day. I really enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Chopin and they put up with my weird requests for glasses of ice and first aid supplies and massive appetite for breakfast! Hahahahha

We saw something really cool when we were walking that was really uplifting. Along one of the bridges there were a ton of padlocks. The guide explained to us that each of these padlocks was put on by a couple in love and then they toss the key into the river to represent their never ending love. They often had their names and dates engraved into them too! It was so cool to see so many and so many different ages! Some must have been from over 50 years ago where other ones were sparkling new! <3



A new day brings a new adventure and it started off great with a nice facetime chat with my awesome man, Joel. :) And continued on well after that! I was even early for my bus to the airport! 

I'm now at the Pegaz Hotel in Krynica after a fun bus ride with Meggan Franks and her husband, Housten and the whole Aussie team! It seems likes a beautiful hotel and the sun is shining! I'm all settled into my room and am just about to head out for a short jog. I've already run some familiar faces from the American team included Joe Grey. I'm very excited and it's starting to be so real now that we are all starting to arrive!! This is such an incredible experience! I've been having a blast with my teammates, meeting some new members and enjoying a nice dinner. This is a real step up from last year. Very organized and very nice!! Couldn't ask for anything more! 

Talk to you soon!!

Shannykins




Wednesday, 4 September 2013

No Where to Go, But Up!

Wow! Was today ever spectacular!! It started off right with a nice healthy breakfast of oats, raisins and hot milk and some egg whites with a slab of smoked cheese on toast. No fruit this time.. I think I've discovered the upset tummy issue wasnt food poisoning.. it was allergies to pinapple which was in the fruit salad.. I'm assuming its all doused in pineapple juice from the can cuz I picked out all the pieces.. I discovered this after some eye swelling after eating fruit and oats and yogurt the other morning. So I will stick with my apples and bananas I have in my food stash in my room! Hahahah!

Anyways, on with my story! So I ran into town to get a bike to both get my workout in and explore around some more. My buddy that I made friends with was working there again and he hooked me up with a sweet bike and pink helmet to match my pink shirt! Woohoo!! I rode along the whole waterfront and then went up to this old fort! It was so cool!! I couldn't believe the view from it.. ( i even paid the 9zl they charged (supposed to be 11zl, but they dont like giving change back really and maybe he was just nice to me well, yes he was just nice to me! Hhahah so he let me pay the kids rate.) This big grassy mound is in the middle of the fort that has an astounding view of all of Krakow! It was gorgeous!!!


Well when I was in the fort.. I saw something that must be a requirement for every castle built.. ever. Now I know you must be wondering.. what is this?! Turrets? A drawbridge?! Cannons?! Nie! It is a DISCO BALL! It's not a castle without a disco ball folks! They knew how to live in up back in the day! :D


Looking up at it I knew it was going to be great and it made me happy I didnt have to run straight up! But it sure reminded me of the Aussie's team slogan for mountain running last year.. "no where to go but up!' It was perfect!!




After riding around for 3 hours and hanging out in the fort taking pictures and exploring for another hour I decided it was probably time to head back because I'm supposed to be taking it easy. lol. So i returned the bike and chilled out in the main square to enjoy some people watching and light greek yogurt that I found in the little grocery shop! I might have been the only weirdo there in athletic gear, stretching and eating healthy high protein post workout snacks... okay yes, fine i admit.. i was the only weirdo doing that!

It was a gorgeous day and I really loved being out there! I found some whole wheat pasta for dins (a shocking surprise!) and had a nice relaxing evening in the hotel. I can't believe I head to Kryinca so soon!! It's starting to become real again!! Ahhhhh!! Exciting! I'm starting to feel a bit nervous now too! Can't wait!

Love and hugs,

Shanny





Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Wieliczka Salt Mine!

I made sure to wake up early and leave early to make sure I had time to catch my bus time! No diddle daddling! And yes, I made it with plenty of time to spare! I proudly stood out front and waited for the bus after being a major keener and being one of the first people there! Hahaha. Anyways, our group was smaller so our guide was saying with only 21 people. It was a nice size group and people seemed to be from everywhere.. yet everyone pretty much kept to themselves. So many people speak multiple languages in Europe! It's so cool. Everyone was on the English tour, but I could pick out at least 4 different languages spoken just within our group too. The salt mine was really cool! I had no idea how big it was! In the 2 hours we spent inside of the mine, we saw less that 1% of the mine!! Crazy, we covered 2km walking too!

The mine itself was really cool, we started it off by going down a ton of wooden stairs.. which of course I considered running up, (as it turns out theres actually a firefighters race that does that carrying all their gear!) The tunnels are dug right into the salt which is so cool! Our guide Sebastian was showing us that even though it looked grey, the floor, walls and statues were all actually made of salt and when you held a light up to it is when translucent!

That's one thing I didn't expect.. all the incredible carvings!! It was beautiful to have these elaborate decorations in the mines against all the rough old wooden machines on display. One of the coolest things I saw other than the salt that looked like cauliflower, was the chandeliers made of salt crystals! Sooo amazing!!!



At the end of the tour we were able to take the miners elevator up which packed 9 people into a tiny compartment, much like the sardines of the Grouse Mountain Gondola in the peak of the winter season! It was a suuuper fast elevator and whipped us up 125m in no time!!

After the tour, I headed back to the hotel and had a nice little workout in the old but decent gym at the hotel. After that I was a good girl and rolled and stretched and iced. And then got a suuuuper yummy dinner! I had planned on going into the Old Town again, but then it started raining on my 2.5km walk into town so I shortened it and just went to the mall. Theres a tooon of places to eat in there and one of the restaurants was serving major yum yums! I got the baked eggplant stuffed with walnuts, spinach and mozzerella then covered in tomato sauce.. omg.. it was incredible. I need to go there again! I couldn't believe how yummy it was! It's crazy how you can find some amazing deals here if you look in the right places! My dinner cost me 19zl which is about $6 canadian. say waaaa! heyoooo! Gotta love that!

There was also something cool down there which marks it a monumental day.. toilets! Bahah! This marks the second weirdest place I've taken a potty break and I can now say I've peed both on top of a mountain and 125m underground!


Anyways that's my big day! Hope you all had wonderful ones too!

Love, love, love,


Shanny