Elfin Lakes

September was another solid month of training, with my volume at an all-time high. Much like in August, I got to spend most of this time on foot in the backcountry doing the adventure-style running that I enjoy the most. I’ve also gotten pretty good at running on little to no sleep!

I started the month off by running the Howe Sound Crest Trail. It’s a 30 km route from Cypress to Howe Sound that I try to get in at least once per season, passing through the Lions and offering views of Howe Sound and the surrounding mountains almost the entire time.

I also managed to finally explore Dilly Dally Peak Trail, a fairly challenging 24 km route that starts at Buntzen Lake and follows Eagle Ridge, something I’ve had on my list for a while. We saw a bear who was definitely more scared of us than we were of him.

The next weekend I joined a group of friends for half of their ‘Cove to Cove’ backcountry adventure on what turned out to be my longest run to date, starting at around 8pm on Friday night from Cleveland Dam. Just over 21 hours later, we arrived at Mount Seymour after some 4,500 metres of elevation gain over ~45 km (Grouse, Dam Mtn, Lil Goat, Crown Pass down Hanes Valley to Norvan Falls, up Coliseum to the peak and on to Mt Paton, down and along Seymour River, up to Vicar Lakes and along ridge to Seymour peaks). Crazier still, Matt, Alexa, and Ken then continued on to Deep Cove, all of which after having started in Porteau Cove and first running the HSCT. I was ‘saving’ it for the following weekend though…

The big event for the month was the following week when my friend Adam and I travelled down to run the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier. The 150 km trail does a full loop around the volcano with over 7,230 metres (23,700 feet) of cumulative elevation gain (plus equal loss of course) which is normally done as a 10 day hike or a 3 day supported run. We got it done in 39 hours including about 4 hours sleep (32 hours moving time) completely unsupported, meaning we had to carry all of our food, cooking and camping gear. I managed to run into another bear there who again barely gave us time to snap a photo before he ran off. Read a full report and stay tuned for a video from that.

During that 10 day period alone, I ran over 210 km with 12,285 metres (40,300 feet) of elevation gain which is a personal record that I suspect might stand for a while. I spent more time on my feet than I did at the office and probably more than I spent sleeping.

I finished the month off with a trip to Elfin Lakes and on to Opal Cone for the first time, the day after volunteering at 5 Peaks Buntzen Lake – I was originally going to race that but decided at the last minute that maybe I’d give my legs a bit of a break instead.

I also had my aerobic and lactate thresholds retested again this month at the Peak Centre for Human Performance in Vancouver who handles all of my programming. The results are looking good, with both indicators at an all time high.

Lactate Testing Results

My latest results from lactate threshold testing at Peak Centre Vancouver.

This was a little surprising, given my injury earlier this year and that I only recently began doing speed work again along with downhill repeats. It may be that a little time off was actually all I needed.

Final Stats for September:

  • Distance Run: 400 km (up from 341 km)
  • Time-on-Feet: 85 hrs (up from 56.5 hrs)
  • Ascent: 19,811 m (up from 12,621 m)

My volume will be hopefully be staying up there through October as I complete my build before starting to taper for Chimera 100 in November.

Check out more photos on Instagram, and connect with me to follow my training on Strava or Movescount!

Jeff Pelletier
Written by Jeff Pelletier
I’m a trail and ultra runner from Vancouver, a proud member of Teams Salomon and Suunto Canada, and a Sponsored Ambassador for CLIF Bar and inReach Canada.