Update

The week is off to a decidedly rainy start here in Vancouver, and I thought I’d use the chance to post a little update on some of the fun things I’ve been up to in and around the city. My sister visited last week, which meant a great chance for both of us to get out and explore. IMG_4447                             IMG_4443

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday night, we met up after I’d finished work and made a mad dash to the Grouse Grind – we wanted to be up and over the top by sunset so we could enjoy the view. It was not easy, but we did it in 48:18 – and it was so worth it! You can see the sun setting in the photos above. We were amazingly high up. Those tiny boats in the harbour are actually huge shipping vessels!

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Saturday we hiked up to the third peak of the Chief. This involved a little bit of scrambling and a few sections of real hands+feet climbing, but again, totally worth it. We left early in the morning (in the car at 7, at the base of the trail before 8.30), so it was blissfully quiet and peaceful on the mountain. At the top, we had a view of Howe sound all to ourselves!

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When we got back down into the city, it was only about 1 pm, and my ever-active sister suggested we hit the beach. After I snoozed for an hour or so in the sun, we mustered up the energy to try SUP. It was great! Once I got the hang of balancing with my core and relaxing my knees, it was pretty easy.

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On Sunday we checked out the Capilano suspension bridge. This was pretty overpriced and tourist-y, but it seemed like a rite of passage that had to be checked off. I also got in a nice and easy long run that morning, and in the evening we went back to Heirloom for some amazing veggie food.

This week I’m hoping to hit up the Grind again, and maybe squeeze in another short hike if the weather allows. Over this past weekend, we had big storms here! There are a few trees down and lots of people with extended power outages, so I’ll definitely wait till it’s safe to venture into the trails.

Vancouver for Visitors

Even thought I just moved to Vancouver, it seems that I already get lots of questions from friends and family who are stopping in about what to see and do here. I’m definitely not an expert, but I’ll keep this post as updated as possible. It started out as an Evernote document on my phone, where I was keeping a list of things people said I had to see/eat/do/go in Vancouver.
If I’ve tried something and mentioned it in any great detail on the blog, it’ll also be linked below!
NEIGHBOURHOODS
Kitsilano (“kits”) – very laid back. People who live here do yoga, eat a lot of organic food and ride their bikes everywhere. Some great restaurants on W 4th, the main street running through.
Yaletown – wealthier young people live here. Really nice condos, a few restaurants/bars/cafes, shops, pretty to walk around
Downtown – kind of the middle. Mostly a shopping area along Robson and W Georgia.
West End – Near Stanley Park. Pretty residential and of course the park is awesome
Chinatown – the east border of downtown – some parts are kind of dirty/run down, but really awesome culture and lots to see.
Chinatown/Main – as you go south from Chinatown on Main st you kind of get to this trendy, gentrified area with really good restaurants and some craft beer (worth checking out)
Downtown East Side (DTES) – the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. You will see needles on the ground, people shooting up, and a lot of homelessness. If that kind of stuff makes you easily uncomfortable you should avoid this area. If you’re riding a bike, don’t leave it outside.
UBC – all the way west of Kits (with the residential Point Grey neighbourhood in the middle). Really scenic biking and hiking trails, and obviously the university.
Gastown – mostly bars and pubs between Yaletown and Chinatown along the north edge of the downtown peninsula. Definitely worth walking around at night for the twinkling lights and good drinks.
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HIKES
Prospect point
Capilano suspension bridge – $$$ but worth it once
Grouse grind – go early to avoid the crowds
Chief (I hear it’s worth going to second peak at least, 3rd peak is tough – some people say to just skip the first peak and challenge the second two right from the start)
Garibaldi national park – hike Rubble Creek –> Garibaldi Lake –> Panorama ridge –> Black Tusk (out and back hike, camp at Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadows)
Mt. Fromme
Mt. Seymour
Norvan Falls
Goat Mountain
Hollyburn Mountain
Upper Shannon Falls
Sea to Summit Trail
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RESTAURANTS/CAFES
Toshis – sushi on Main st.,  – be prepared to line up, and they close at 9
Meat and bread – lunch near gastown
Ask for luigi – really good Italian
Farmer’s apprentice
Hubbub – good lunch spot, a few locations in yaletown/downtown
Hon’s dim sum – on Robson
Ed’s commissary (east end) – good pastries
Propaganda coffee – on E Pender
Homer St Cafe – Homer and Smithe
Small Victory – Helmcken and Homer
Fable – farm to table, menu changes regularly, on W 4th
Vij’s – unreal Indian, be prepared to wait and it’s a bit expensive
Yaletown Flying Pig (there’s one in Gastown too) – good food and beer
Container – cafe across from SPH
Tractor – lunch on W 4th at Cypress
Heirloom – really amazing vegan/vegetarian W12th and Granville, also good for brunch
Yew seafood
Krokodile Pear (juice bar)  – 518 Davie
Chambar
Nuba
Miku
Oakwood Bistro
Alibi Room
Nook
East is East
Rodyney’s Oyster house
Jam jar
La Mezcaleria
Licorice – bar on davie
Sweet Cherubim – a little hard to find because it shares a door with a health food store
Jethro’s – 18th and Fraser or 15th and Dunbar
Red Wagon – Nanaimo and Hastings
Thyme to Indulge – 13 and main
Hyde (chicken and waffles)
Portland Craft – Main and 23rd (craft beer and good breakfast menu)
49th parallel for good coffee
WEEKEND
Garibaldi – you can spend a few days in the park – see “hikes”, above
Tofino – amazing surfing community on the west side of Vancouver island
Day trip to Bowen island for swimming and picnic – go to the beach on the west end, it’s safe to hitchhike while on the island
Any of the islands are worth exploring, even just taking the ferry over is pretty great (food on board, might see whales/dolphins)
Whistler/Hope/Pemberton – tons of outdoor activities, even in the summer (great mountain biking!)
CLUBS+BARS
Port side in Gastown
Clough in Gastown
Pourhouse in Gastown
The Diamond – good for cocktails, kind of expensive (I saw Bono here!)
RANDOM
Hang out on the seawall
Granville island – amazing public farmer’s market (huge), best early am Saturday
Movie in the park – every Wednesday night there is a free outdoor movie on a massive blowup screen in Stanley park
Comedy mix – bar near SPH
Art gallery
Science World
OUTSIDE
3rd beach – quietest of the beaches
Kits beach – trendiest of the beaches
1st beach – good pickup volleyball/basketball
Wreck beach – world famous nudist beach out by UBC
UBC – awesome trails, good cycling
Deep cove – on the north shore, good hiking, water sports especially paddling
Kits pool – 140m long fully outdoor salt water pool right on the ocean

Just Running and Eating and Camping and Working

Hello! I don’t have a particularly structured training post for you, because I have been so darn B.U.S.Y. at work but also because I don’t know where I’m heading with my fitness goals. I know I mentioned before in an earlier post that I had some ideas, but for now that’s really all I’ve got. I loved (love!) triathlon and it definitely brought me so many opportunities. I just feel that as a resident I’m working so many more hours that it’s just not going to be feasible to keep training for LD triathlon.

Here’s what I have so far in terms of planning for the next year or so:

  • Lots more running – running has always been my favourite, so I figured, why fight it? As long as I can stay pain-free, I’m planning to slowly increase my mileage again. It would be amazing to PR in the RnR Half Marathon in October, so I’ll be working towards that. As a secondary goal, I’d like to get back to racing 5 and 8k’s… I know a sub-22 5k is possible for me if I put in the work!
  • Just staying active – since I’ve moved to Vancouver and didn’t bring my car with me, I bike or walk everywhere to get around. I think this is really helpful for fighting desk-itis, which is that restless feeling I get when I do a lot of sitting
  • This goes along with staying active but…. >10,000 steps per day. I almost always go way over this goal on days when I run, but on off days (usually Monday) it can be a bit of a challenge! Pretty eye opening for me because I always thought that running around the hospital all day meant I had an “active” job.
  • Incorporating other fun things: mostly hiking around here! There are so many day hikes that are accessible from Vancouver and I’m looking to incorporate more hiking into my regular routine. I’ll get a list going for the blog too, one of these days :)

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One of the first hikes I did was in Garibaldi National Park … and omg, it was beautiful. The lake in the photo above is fed by the glacier on the far shore. The air had that fresh, crisp almost taste to it, but the water was just warm enough to swim in. We hiked in, set up camp, hung out by the lake, and then hiked out the next morning. I had forgotten how much I love backcountry hiking and camping!IMG_4266Wild blueberries I snacked on along the trail

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I’ve also been loving all the delicious food in Vancouver. This salad is from Heirloom, which is an amazing vegetarian place. It’s a little pricey, but the food is delicious and the portions are huge – I ended up taking about half of this home for lunch the next day!

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Finally, I’ve been working a lot. Meal prep Sunday this week (mostly just cutting and washing veggies, above) was so key for me surviving this week. On the right, you can see my name and pager on the board from a 24 hour call shift on Tuesday – eek! I’m glad that’s over but I napped Wednesday after work and tonight for about 30 minutes each time. My body just does not do well on a big sleep deficit.

PS. I have one or two big projects in the works, so stay tuned! I’m excited to share them here. What are you guys up to? Don’t forget you can follow all my runs on Strava and the general craziness of the rest of my life on Instagram :)