Run 600: 600th run, 600 people

Run 600
Average pace: 5:54/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 12:37 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 29:43
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 11-12ºC
Humidity: 70%
Wind: light
BPM: 167
Weight: 165.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 4580 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

Today’s run was a milestone, being the 600th run I’ve officially tracked, so hooray for me on sticking with this. This works out to an average of 66.6 runs per year, which is positively devilish. If I break it down further, it’s 5.5 runs per month, which is both less Satanic and also a lot less impressive-sounding. This is because some years I’ve run a lot less due to injuries and/or laziness. If I stick to my usual three-times a week my monthly average would be 12, more than double.

So I’m pretty lazy and prone to injury.

All that said, I was of course concerned how today’s run would go with two weeks off, but the results were pleasant in that they were nearly identical to the last run. My total time was 29:43, only three seconds slower than the run on October 6th. It’s actually a bit eerie how similar they are. In other good news, my BPM was down to 167, back below the 170 threshold. While some abdominal cramps threatened around the midway point, they never fully materialized.

In terms of stamina, then, the run actually went decently. I never felt like I was plodding (or blazing along, of course), and keeping pace with my previous effort is a victory of sorts. Conditions were fine, too, hovering around 12ºC and with a light breeze. I wore a t-shirt so this was the first run in awhile where I didn’t feel overdressed.

But it was crowded as all heck. I keep meaning to start earlier because at mid-morning the trail is relatively deserted, but just a few hours later it’s booming with foot traffic. I compounded matters by running clockwise again. I did this because the proliferation of fallen leaves made the north side of the lake, with its many exposed tree roots, a greater hazard for running. Running clockwise puts me in the same direction as most walkers, meaning they can’t see me coming.

And they couldn’t hear me, either. There were so many people–usually walking in twos, threes, or larger groups–that I settled into a refrain of “On your left!” or occasionally “On your right!” when that seemed easier. And in nearly every instance, the people did not show any sign of hearing me. They would seem startled as I nipped by them. This happened over and over. It was baffling. I even started saying it louder, to no avail. I never screamed it, because I didn’t want to seem rude or suggest people are blithering idiots that need to be screamed at.

There was a kid about 3 or 4 on the second boardwalk, slowly and somewhat randomly walking down the middle, oblivious to everything around him (as an aside, this is probably not the best spot to let a small kid get ahead, because if he goes exploring over the edge, he’s in the swamp). I figured “On your left!” would make no sense to him and tried to think of a phrase that would work as I got nearer. At the last moment I settled on gently but firmly calling, “Look out, kid!” then slowed down further, put out a hand and made sure we would not collide, as his parents fruitlessly called to him from behind.

There were also several cyclists, but my vow to not complain prevents me from saying more. For the best, anyway.

Post-run went well once again and in some ways this is now becoming my favorite part of the outing, because I don’t worry about pace, I just run for as long as I want, then walk for a bit, then run again. It’s unstructured, less demanding and makes the running part feel more fun, somehow.

Here’s to the next 600 runs.

Run 599: A horse, a lot of people, bicycles, poop, fallen branches and a slug (me)

Run 599
Average pace: 5:53/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 1:01 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 29:40
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 13-5ºC
Humidity: 54%
Wind: nil to light
BPM: 174
Weight: 164.2 pounds
Total distance to date: 4575 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

I decided to try something different today and deliberately start slower, to see if I would have more energy for the latter part of the run. This did not work, as my whole run was slow instead. But it did work in one way–the third km, where I normally slow down, was actually my fastest–but it was still slow, just edging the pace of my last run by one second at 5:42/km.

My first km was 5:55/km, which is sort of appalling. and my BPM was still way up, to 174 this time, so I’m essentially achieving the opposite of what any rational person would expect, working harder and achieving less.

The only real plus side is I didn’t experience any actual issues during the run.

The trail was crowded, too. I started by gingerly jogging past a horse on the Avalon Trail. Horses are generally fine, but when you pass by one you realize just how big they are and I’d prefer they remain calm as I go by, given this size. Also on the Avalon Trail was the most horse poop I’ve ever seen. I actually had to navigate it like an obstacle course. It was weird.

And perhaps because it was sunny and I started a bit late, the trail was jammed with people. No real issues encountered, but I had to stay alert to avoid collisions and ensnaring myself in dog leashes (but thanks for leashing your dogs, dog people!)

A parks worker had one of their putt-putt cars on the Cottonwood trail, but I couldn’t quite see what he was doing, as he was behind it. Then I saw a large branch topple horizontally onto the trail. Oh. It may have been broken and become a hazard. He was slicing it up with a chainsaw stick (I’m sure it has an official name, but this is at least accurate regarding its appearance).

Not too far after him I encountered a crusty old man on a bike who was riding more like a 20-something meth addict. I wonder if the parks worker with the chainsaw stick had a word with it. Or cut his tires to ribbons.

The other frustrating part of the run was the GPS in the iPhone. Again, it seemed to be giving inaccurate results. I started well ahead of the 0K marker (which, if you’re running clockwise, is actually the 10.3 km marker, too) and despite taking no shortcuts, still had to run past the 5K marker to actually hit 5K. I had covered nearly 5.4 km at that point, so this is hardly a small discrepancy. It’s bad enough to have a slow run, it’s worse when it gets dragged out unnecessarily. :P

Maybe I really will try with just the watch one of these runs to get a proper comparison. It was so off today I actually had a thought to start looking at a dedicated sport watch again.

Overall, a continuation of a disappointing trend. Hopefully things will improve soon™.

Run 598: A little warmer, a little slower (again)

Run 598
Average pace: 5:43/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 12:11 pm
Distance: 5:02 km
Time: 28:42
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 18ºC
Humidity: 45%
Wind: nil to light
BPM: 172
Weight: 163.4 pounds
Total distance to date: 4570 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

Taking on faith the accuracy of the weather forecast (I know, I know) I headed out today in shorts and t-shirt. It was already 17ºC, which was the forecast high for the day, so I suspected being cold would not be an issue. It ended up climbing a degree for the run.

It was cloudy and a 0% chance of rain was promised in the early afternoon, so I donned my non-water resistant AirPods and headed out.

When I got to the lake it started to sprinkle. Fortunately it never amounted to more than that, so I stayed fairly dry, despite the intermittent raindrops.

I had to whizz when I got there and another person went into the Jiffy John™ just as I arrived. This set the tone for the run, the day, everything. She was in there for a weirdly long time, while her friend/neighbor/relative shuffled around awkwardly nearby. I finally went and started off counter-clockwise. Because I began on the south side of the dam, I actually hit the 5K mark before getting to the marker, which was a nice change.

The trail was busier than I expected, given the cloudy skies and sprinkles. People were variably dressed in anything from shorts and t-shirts to winter jackets. I found the humidity made it feel quite warm, especially with the utter lack of wind.

There was a cyclist near the end and when we made eye contact, he nodded in a friendly way at me, so obviously my face was not doing what I would have expected it to be doing.

And it seemed like everyone was walking in a way to form a wall across the trail. A couple of times I nearly had to go right off the trail to get around, even after making my presence known. I’m not sure why today was like this.

I started out well, so well that I made myself slow down, then I basically collapsed in the second km, eventually recovering to where the fifth km was actually the fastest. I was five seconds slower than the last run, which is just enough to sting a smidge, but worse, my BPM was way up, to 172. So I worked harder to get worse results.

On the plus side, I was concerned about the knees going in, but they were fine, and I didn’t experience any other issues, either. Post-run, I did a lot of the run/walk thing and that all went well. In fact, it seemed like I had more energy after the run.

Overall, then, a mixed bag. Maybe (haha) I’ll try running during the week again. We are now looking at the sun setting before 7 p.m., though, which means that I would be finishing my runs only about 20-25 minutes before.

Run 597: A little cooler, a little slower, but not partly sunny

Run 597
Average pace: 5:38/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 12:56 pm
Distance: 5:02 km
Time: 28:23
Weather: Cloudy (not Partly Sunny)
Temp: 13ºC
Humidity: 80%
Wind: nil to light
BPM: 164
Weight: 163.4 pounds
Total distance to date: 4565 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

The forecast for today was Partly Sunny. In fact, as I left for my run the weather app insisted it was, in fact, Partly Sunny right now. Which it was, if you consider Completely Cloudy to be the same thing as Partly Sunny.

There was no prediction for rain and that proved accurate, luckily. I headed out, expecting to be a bit slower than the last run due to a combination of factors–not as much walking during the week, eight days since the last run, a slower walk to the lake, and a general feeling of sluggishness.

And I was right! But it was only two seconds slower, which is almost but not quite a rounding error (it was about 12 seconds spread over the length of 5 km, which I totally could have topped had I known I was that close.

The interesting part is the breakdown of this and the previous run. Last time I started a little slower but stayed steady through the first two km, flagged in the third and fourth, then picked up for the final. Today I started out even faster but saw a huge drop in the second km, then stayed around that pace, picking up only a bit by the final km. So it was kind of front-loaded.

No real issues to be reported, though I think the strong start left me a bit winded for the remainder. The knees were the knees. I almost felt a cramp here and there, but they never quite materialized.

It stayed 13ºC throughout and I wore a long-sleeved shirt. I would have been fine with a regular t-shirt, as there was little wind. BPM was down to 164, which was nice, and with high humidity, I felt semi-hydrated even without having any water.

There were a few other runners out, including one with a perfectly chiseled body. He was running silly fast and without a shirt, of course. If ya got it….

The number of walkers out was greater than expected, given the sky looked like it might open up for most of the time I was out. And there was one cyclist who startled me from behind post-run mainly because he was riding so fast and blaring music, which seemed odd. His jacket was as loud as the music, too.

Overall, then, a solid effort. I will once again endeavor to run during the week, but who knows how that will go. I have found the motivation to run after work elusive. This week is also the first where the sun begins setting before 7 p.m., so the days of post-work runs are numbered as it is.

Run 596: Fire danger low, slug danger high

Run 596
Average pace: 5:36/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 3:45 pm
Distance: 5:02 km
Time: 28:11
Weather: Overcast, some sun
Temp: 15ºC
Humidity: 80%
Wind: nil to light
BPM: 168
Weight: 163.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 4560 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

Last night we had a rare thunderstorm advisory for Metro Vancouver warning people to stay indoors due to the possibility of flash floods. It rained copiously.

It was still raining this morning and I planned on running in the rain for the first time in quite awhile. But I waited to see if the rain would ease up.

I waited and waited.

Close to 3 p.m. the sky had brightened and I figured that was as good as it was going to get, so I put on my long-sleeved shirt, donned my wired Ear Pods (not wanting to risk the non-water resistant Air Pods that cost about seven times as much) and headed out into a light sprinkle.

Weirdly, by the time I got to the river, it stopped raining and it stayed stopped for both the run and the walk back. At times the sun even came out.

Considering I nearly skipped running altogether, it actually went very well. It was about 15ºC, which is, as far as I’m concerned, the Goldilocks temperature for running. I did sweat a little, but only because it was quite humid after the rain. I went clockwise around the lake, thinking the trails on the south side would be in better shape after the rain, but there were only a few puddles in total that I had to deke around. The trail was generally in quite good shape and sparsely populated, though more were coming out after I was winding down from the run.

Speaking of coming out, the slugs were everywhere. For every puddle I dodged I probably dodged ten slugs. It’s to the point where if it rains, I expect to see slugs everywhere I go now.

The run went surprisingly well. I felt good, had no issues, and trucked along, snipping five seconds off the last run and coming in at 5:36/km. My BPM was up a fair bit, to 168, but still (just) below the max I’m comfortable with. I jogged the majority of the walk out of the lake, with one km even coming in comfortably under the 6:00/km mark. I’m probably ready to run farther now, maybe even back to doing a full 10K, but my knees scare me. Stupid knees. Still, they held up well today. Maybe they like the damp.

Here’s where I once again vow to run during the week, but it’s strangely hard to motivate myself. Maybe now that I’ve done a “rain” run it will be easier.

Run 595: The mysterious bladder

Run 595
Average pace: 5:41/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 12:34 pm
Distance: 5:04 km
Time: 28:38
Weather: Cloud, some sun
Temp: 17-19ºC
Humidity: 71%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 160
Weight: 161.4 pounds
Total distance to date: 4555 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

I missed Thursday’s planned run due to a mysterious soreness in my abdomen that became more noticeable when walking or especially when walking quickly. I figured it would make for an unpleasant run. It diminished yesterday and today I felt it was worth risking.

My best guess (I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV) is it’s my bladder acting up, possibly a minor infection caused by being a man of my age. My plan was to let it go a few days and see if it got worse, then make a trip to the clinic if it did. Since it didn’t get worse I went for a run instead.

And while I felt it in a distant sort of way it only happened briefly and ended up not being a factor at all.

The knees, though, were a bit creaky, possibly from the four days off, though they also didn’t seem to slow me down.

The forecast warned of possible thunderstorms and while it showered in the morning, the afternoon consisted on non-threatening cloud and occasional sun. The breeze was up, but the conditions were overall quite pleasant for running.

Despite being only a degree or two cooler than Monday, there were no topless runners today. The threat of rain did mean the balance between runners and walkers was much closer, though.

I got off to a zipper-than-expected start, my first km coming in at 5:28. As expected, this emptied most of the tank for the next few km, though I picked up to 5:38/km by the last km and finished overall at 5:41/km, two seconds better than Monday’s pace and the third consecutive run where my pace has improved. BPM was back down to 160 and other than the aforementioned knees, no real issues, though I felt I worked a bit harder at points today.

If I stay on schedule the next run will be on Tuesday, when the sun sets at 7:33 p.m. That’s still well after I would be done, but it’s getting close to where the gap is only about 30 minutes. Once again summer has gone by way too fast.

Run 594: Tourist trap and topless runners

Run 594
Average pace: 5:43/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 12:08 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 28:51
Weather: Cloud, some sun
Temp: 19-20ºC
Humidity: 54%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 163
Weight: 161.7 pounds
Total distance to date: 4550 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

Today’s run was mostly a repeat of Saturday’s, but with a few minor differences–it was very slightly cooler, the clouds managed to obscure the sun for the entire run (it cleared up after on the walk out) and I improved my pace by another three seconds. My BPM was also up slightly to 163, but that’s to be expected as I worked a little harder.

A pleasant breeze was blowing for most of the run, providing a nice bit of refreshment along the way.

It was also kind of crowded, as it usually is on stat holidays, with many people out for a walk, as well as a larger than normal number of joggers. This wasn’t really an issue, as even the “oh, I didn’t see you!” people were able to get out of the way before an inevitable collision. Strangely, at least three male joggers were topless. I say this was strange because it’s rare to see any guy running topless, let alone a gaggle of them. The first one zipped by me before I began my run, as I was looking for a place to pee (I’ll get to that in a moment).

He had a perfectly bronzed and perfectly chiseled body, so obviously did more than run. He didn’t have any earbuds or phone with him. He was here to run, not enjoy himself. He looked very serious. And he wasn’t jogging, he was running. He zoomed by. I estimated that I would see him again somewhere on the Cottonwood Trail, once I got started.

I was delayed a few minutes because I had to pee (no surprise) and the Jiffy John® was occupied (also no surprise). But when the occupant vacated the loo, a bee buzzed me and I backed off to prevent getting stung and the like. Then I noticed more bees gathered around the Jiffy John, including some buzzing along the bottom of the door, which has a generous-sized gap (generous for a bee, anyway). I contemplated the possibility of sharing the potty with one or more bees and maybe getting stung before the run.

I decided to pee elsewhere.

There’s a big tree on the other side of the dam and in the summer the surrounding foliage provides ample cover, so I relieved myself there and headed off.

After that it was pretty much smooth sailing, with no discomfort, no issues. I started slower so there weren’t the dramatic swings in the splits like Saturday, bit overall my pace improved. This was even nicer as counter-clockwise is the “hard” way.

I also ran more aggressively post-run, putting in what I estimate as probably about three km of running after officially finishing the 5K. I’m probably ready to try a 10K. My knees are afraid.

Overall, though, another good effort. Yay me.

Run 593: Back to breathable air

Run 593
Average pace: 5:46/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 12:51 pm
Distance: 5:02 km
Time: 29:01
Weather: Sun and cloud
Temp: 18-22ºC
Humidity: 60%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 161
Weight: 162.9 pounds
Total distance to date: 4545 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

After battling and re-battling a cold, I was finally back out running for the first time in two weeks.

Surprisingly, my pace was also three seconds better. I find this doubly surprising, not just because I wasn’t expecting to be faster after a two week layoff, but I was deliberately not trying to push in the early part of the run, to minimize issues arising from rust/decrepit age and so on.

The knees made their presence known early on, but after a few km they were no longer an issue. I also experienced no cramps or other problems and my stamina held up nicely. Overall, a solid run and under welcome conditions–mild temperatures, a decent and refreshing breeze, and no tangible smoke haze (it’s still there, but it’s not enough to really notice–the mugginess and most especially the discernible smoke odor are currently absent).

I went clockwise, so delighted in spending much of the run on the freshly-resurfaced areas. The small dogleg just before you emerge alongside the sport fields is still closed off, though. I have no idea why this particular trail repair is taking so long, but I suspect it will look mostly the same when completed, but still be different, somehow (my hunch is shoring it up so it doesn’t flood, so it may be raised up a bit).

The one odd part of the run, such as it is, was during the third and fourth km. My pace dropped off significantly–more than I would have guessed if you had asked–and I can’t pin it to any one thing. Here are the splits:

5:39
5:42
6:01
6:00
5:30

The first two km are consistent and then my pace drops a whopping 19 seconds, holds there, and then improves by an even more impressive 30 seconds as I move through the home stretch. I’m not surprised the pace picked up in the final km, as I was pushing at that point, but by 30 seconds seems a bit nutty.

Other than sudden slow leg syndrome (SSLS), this was a perfectly decent run, especially after the two weeks off.

As a bonus, the bridge at Silver Creek is finished and the replacement has a rustic charm the older one didn’t really have.

Run 592: Return to Mars, or maybe Venus

Run 592
Average pace: 5:49/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 12:12 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 29:22
Weather: Smoke haze
Temp: 20-21ºC
Humidity: 60%
Wind: light
BPM: 162
Weight: 161 pounds
Total distance to date: 4540 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

The wind shifted again and the smoke haze was back, again giving the light a weird alien cast, sort of a sunset yellow, but at noon.

On the plus side the temperature was comfy at 20ºC. On the negative, the humidity made it feel a lot warmer and I sweated copiously. My BPM was also up a bit as a result, though 162 is not bad.

I all but ignored the knees for most of the run, only becoming peripherally aware of them at the end. More noticeable was a tinge in my right hip, something I haven’t felt for awhile. It persisted for a few km, but then faded away. There were no other issues to note, other than the aforementioned sweating.

The oddest part of the run, other than seeing no cyclists–I’m kidding, there were a pair of cyclists–was how my pace went in reverse, as I got faster on each km, as if I was literally warming up. Which I was. My starting km was 5:55/km, as was my second, but I was down to 5:44/km by the last km. Still not lightning fast, but given the conditions and virtual lack of breeze, still pretty decent, especially given how many runs it took me to finally get back under 6:00/km.

Overall, then, a perfectly cromulent run and a further extension of my regular run routine. I may yet try a full 10K run around the lake before summer is officially over.

Run 591: Slightly cheating

Run 591
Average pace: 5:37/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Start: 6:25 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 28:15
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 25-24ºC
Humidity: 51%
Wind: light
BPM: 158
Weight: 163.2 pounds
Total distance to date: 4535 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

A change in the wind today led to a lot of the smoke haze clearing, which meant that the sun no longer looked like it was being viewed from the surface of Mars. While I was still a bit sweaty on tonight’s run, it was significantly less than Tuesday, so that was nice. It was also a couple of degrees cooler, so it felt pleasant rather than warm and sticky. There are certain things that are nice when warm and sticky–the hot fudge on a sundae, for example. Your body while jogging is not one of these things.

The cheating came at the start of the run. Instead of starting at the entrance to the river trail, I started exactly one km after leaving the condo, which put me on the paved path alongside the dog park in Hume Park. This same path curves steeply downhill into Lower Hume Park, so a few moments after starting the run I was flying so fast my knees nearly popped out and achieved orbit. Granted, the whole super-fast part was only about five seconds total, but it did make my first km pace 5:24/km. To put that in perspective, here are the averages for the next three km:

5:43/km
5:54/km
5:44/km

Starting earlier netted me about 600m before getting to the river trail. I hit 5K after exiting the trail and just before getting to the crosswalk on East Columbia, so it worked out decently. And to be fair, my final km pace was 5:23/km, which was actually the fastest of all and I had no downhill cheaty bits to rely on.

Maybe the best news was my BPM dropping to 158, which I’m a lot more comfortable with than in the high 160s. Although I felt like I was pressing the whole way, I never felt tired or strained. It just felt like I was chugging along. Even the knees seemed pretty well-behaved.

Overall, then, a good run and a rare week where I got all three runs in. Yay for me!

 

Run 590: I feel sweaty, so very sweaty!

Run 590
Average pace: 5:47/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Start: 7:15 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 29:11
Weather: Hazy sun
Temp: 27-25ºC
Humidity: 51%
Wind: light
BPM: 166
Weight: 161.9 pounds
Total distance to date: 4530 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

The last few days the Lower Mainland has been blanketed with a thick haze from the many forest fires burning elsewhere. This exact same thing happened last year and just as it was back then, it makes for very humid, sticky runs. It was 27ºC, already on the warm side, though the sun itself was not hitting most of the trail. The parts where it was it painted the area with an otherworldly light, making it feel like I was jogging on an alien planet.

But one where you can still sweat, which I did. A lot.

My goal was the same as it’s been on recent runs–come in under 6:00/km and I did, ending with an average pace of 5:47/km. It’s better than recent runs at the lake, but slower than runs at the river, due to the mugginess leeching my will to move.

Other than the sticky conditions, the run went well. The knees were doing their thing, which is to say I could feel them, but they didn’t really slow me. At this point I’m almost used to how they feel. Almost.

The ickiest point was having a group of cyclists go flying by, kicking up a bunch of dust into the already particulate-rich air. And because there was little wind, I got to run through all of it. I mean, it wasn’t Shanghai-level air pollution, but it wasn’t great, either.

Also, there was a guy standing under the overpass next to a bike. He was wearing jeans and had a very dark tan, which I could see because he was shirtless. Not sexy, just shirtless. He was there the whole time. One pass he was talking into his phone, another drinking from a coffee mug, and yet another contemplating where his shirt had gone, perhaps. It was a bit odd. I didn’t make eye contact.

Other than that, the run went well, hothouse conditions notwithstanding. Onward to Thursday!

Run 589: So many bicycles!

Run 589
Average pace: 5:54/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 11:51 am
Distance: 5:02 km
Time: 29:42
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 20ºC
Humidity: 69%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 167
Weight: 160.8 pounds
Total distance to date: 4525 km
Devices: Apple Watch, iPhone 8

Due to a nasty lingering summer cold, today was my first run in two weeks and I feared the little stamina I’d built up would swirl down some metaphorical drain. I was hoping to come in under 6:00/km again, but as I only managed that by one second last time, I was not optimistic.

But the weather was also drastically different–a mere 20ºC and cloudy. And I did something I never normally do. I checked my pace at each km (except the fourth because I missed the alert for that one). Normally I don’t want to know until it’s over, but I had a goal today and checking my pace would be helpful.

When the first km came in at 5:38/km, I was reasonably confident I could break six minutes. When the third km dipped to an even 6:00/km my confidence wavered slightly, but I pressed on and finished with a pace of 5:54/km, accomplishing the rare feat of being faster after a lay-off. My BPM was up, though, underscoring the extra effort I was putting in.

So overall I am delighted with the results. I experienced no real issues and the knees, while a tad creaky, held up.

Now, the bicycles. :P

After coming off the second boardwalk and onto the lush resurfaced Pavilion Trail, I encountered what seemed like dozens of cyclists. It was a family numbering about six. One of the little boys had gotten too close to the edge of the trail and after resurfacing the edges are quite soft, so his bike folded over and went down in what may have been the world’s slowest bike accident. I had the music playing so I couldn’t hear the ensuing conversation, but the gesturing of the father suggested he was scolding his son for being a dummy. Of course, the accident never should have happened because NONE OF THEM SHOULD HAVE EVEN BEEN THERE. They also completely blocked the trail, forcing me to tackle the soft edge myself to get around them. They seemed oblivious to me.

I then encountered the same group again when I was walking out, but this time at a wider point and with all of them managing to stay upright. I hope they all got flats and then got fined by a parks worker, and were forced to walk their flat-tired bikes off the trail. Yes, even the kids. It’s the only way they’ll learn.

Still, even the cyclists couldn’t take away the pleasant feeling from the run. Showers were originally threatened, but never materialized, so I even got to stay dry. I’ll try to run during the week, but it looks like it may be warmer then.

Also, bonus image time! As I was heading out, I came across a tree that had collapsed just past the 1K mark. Poor, tired tree. It fell probably less than 10 meters from where another tree recently collapsed. Circle of life or secret tree suicide pact?

Tree collapses just past 1K mark. Should have trained more, obviously.