They don’t call it the Grind just because


When Mario and I went to bed last night we were undecided on how we would celebrate Canada’s birthday. Do I go for a solo recovery run (which I was supposed to do)? Do we go for a ride? Or, do we head up to the Grind? When we woke up, this morning, the weather decided it for us. It was grey and drizzly, perfect Grouse Grind weather.

Happy Canada Day from the Grouse Grind!!!

I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Grind, but when I’m not climbing it, I like to think there’s more love for it than hate. The Grind and I, we have history. The first time I climbed it, five years ago, was mine and Mario’s first “non-date/date.” Before going, I was told it was nature’s stairmaster, but the second I got on it I knew this was no stairmaster – I was practically dying! By the third quarter, I was seriously considering flinging myself over into the gully thinking it would be a whole lot easier to get an air ambulance rescue than to finish! But once I got to the top, I suddenly knew what the draw was. I had the same endorphins going through me that I get when I cross the finish line of a race. I was hooked! And since then, we’ve climbed it a ton of times; Mario proposed to me up there; and I had my bachelorette party ziplining all over the top of the mountain. How could I not love this place?

This morning was my first Grind of the season and I was a little bit worried about how I’d do, as I had just come off a tempo 10k last night, had waffles for breakfast, and majorly miscalculated the carb-insulin ratio for the waffles causing my blood sugars to skyrocket. Yes, I like them to be a little bit higher before exercise, but 16.1, not so much! I gave myself a one unit BG correction, didn’t input a temporary basal, and hoped for the best.

I felt like I was struggling a bit through the first quarter. My breathing was laboured, my arm warmers were heating me up too much, and my hat was irritating the heck out of me in that I couldn’t see anything above me – like the first quarter sign that felt like it was taking  forever to reach. But I had Mario in my sights through the entire quarter, so I figured I couldn’t have been doing that bad; he’s usually gone in a flash!

I don’t know what happened between the first and second quarter, but I kicked butt on the second and I felt great doing it! It took me 12 minutes to complete that quarter. I was passing people, I was a keeping a good pace, I wasn’t stopping – that’s the key. So many people go great guns and then run out of steam and stop dead for a break, but it’s so hard to get yourself going again when you stop, and, not to mention, it gets in the way of everyone else! So, I try to keep a steady pace, and when I do increase my pace and expel even more energy than I already am (like when some people irritate the heck out of me, and force me to speed up to pass them and put a good distance between us) I just slow my pace down a bit for a breather, but keep going, and before I know it my speed is back up to a good clip again.

By the time I hit the third quarter, my game face was on. I wanted to get to the top within an hour, and I didn’t really have much patience for the leisurely walkers, in their skinny jeans and pretty little Pumas and carrying their big, huge bags, who were randomly stopping on the trail, halting everyone else behind them. A few grumbles may have exited my mouth, something to the effect of “Come on” and “Let’s goooo.” And when people wouldn’t get out of my way, I may have also started climbing up the man-made, muddy stairs putting my hands down in front of their feet, knowing they’d have to slow it up and let me pass. I was quite pleased that none of them went and stomped on my hands 😀

I passed a handmade sign on a piece of paper tacked to one of the trees in the 4th quarter that, despite my laboured breathing, made me giggle:
This is a worksite NOT a washroom
(please don’t poo here!)

When I saw the gushing of light coming through the top of the trees, and Mario in his bright orange shirt standing on a rock at the top, I knew that I was done. I looked at my watch: 57:15 – PERSONAL BEST!!! My previous best was in the 58 minute range. Turns out waffles are a good pre-Grind meal!

I was rocking the ghetto look!

Just after I reached the top, I heard a woman calling my name, and when I looked over, I saw my old dragonboating coach and his wife standing across from me. Small world! It was their first time – they loved it too!

Mario completed it in 50 minutes!
My hands got muddy, as did my legs and shorts!
It's not chocolate milk, but it is still a yummy post-Grind refreshment!


  • 11:30 a.m. BG before: 16.1
  • Distance: 2.9 km, 2,830 stairs
  • 1st quarter: 18 minutes
  • 2nd quarter: 12 minutes
  • 3rd quarter: 14 minutes
  • 4th quarter: 13 minutes
  • Total time: 57:15 = PB!!!
  • 12:30 p.m. BG after: 3.4 (should have inputted a temporary basal after all)

Later in the afternoon we went to the Yaletown Grand Prix, a small, professional bike race, which wasn’t the Giro (which we were at last year) but was still pretty cool nonetheless. As soon as we got there, there was a major crash right in front of us – a group of cyclists went head over handlebars, and two got wheeled away in an ambulance … but not before the one cyclist on the stretcher gave us a thumbs up. Phew. One of the Garmin-Slipstream cyclists, Svein Tuft, who’s from our neck of the woods, gave the other cyclists a major run for their money, my goodness. He lapped them once, and came so close to lapping them a second time before the race ended! Mario told me that he’s been training in Europe for two years, which goes to show how far ahead the European program is to the Canadian. And the best part of all, Tuft, he was riding a Felt! I loooooove the Felt!

Sorry Contador, I may have to finally bury my Garmin-Slipstream grudge. I love the Felt too much to hold a grudge!

3 thoughts on “They don’t call it the Grind just because”

  1. Pingback: A Family of Felts «

  2. Pingback: The ‘non’ date |

  3. Pingback: Grouse Grind: Eight years of love-hate |

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