The bitey breeze

Today it was sunny. But it was also windy. And the wind felt cold.

Now I must truly admit that summer is over. The summer wind doesn’t feel bitter, it feels playful, except when it’s whipping up forest fires that burn down half the province. But still, it’s at the very least pleasant to feel against your skin. The summer wind, not the forest fires.

What I’m saying is I’m glad I wore my hoodie today.

A side effect of taking lots of nature-type photos is I’m paying a lot more attention to seasonal changes, so I’m noticing things like the leaves on trees changing color, or flowers starting to fade and die a lot more than I did before. Some things, like so many chestnuts on a sidewalk it feels like the sound stage of a slapstick comedy, are harder to miss even without my new heightened awareness.

I swear the next post will not be about the weather.

Hello again summer

It got into the 20s today and actually felt a bit warm. It was nice.

Judging by the 10 day forecast this may be the last hurrah for summer this year. I’m not complaining, mind you, just looking back wistfully on the long, warm days of yore. You know, earlier this month. And today.

But I’ll admit, a lot of the trees are very pretty right now, even as we prepare for The Rains.

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.

Weird rain

Weird in that today is the first time in a long while that we have had fairly steady rain during the day.

School kids were probably fuming. This is the first weekend since classes started.

Other signs of impending fall:

  • The swimming pool at Hume Park is closed for the season, and has been drained. The slide is still in place, so if someone really wanted to, they could climb up it and slide down into a nearly four foot deep concrete hole. Probably not recommended.
  • Likewise, the bubble over the tennis courts at the Burnaby Tennis Club (which I can see on my runs at Burnaby Lake) has been put back in place. It looks like a big oval marshmallow. Mmm. marshmallows. People would have been able to play tennis today because it’s up, so good timing there.
  • The sunset tonight was at 7:37 p.m. The post-dinner walks are going to be spooky pretty soon.
  • It never got past 20ºC today. In fact I don’t think it got past 16. Brr, relatively speaking.

I’m not complaining about the change in weather, mind you, as we need the rain and despite a slow start in July, the summer has been pretty dry overall. Still, I always lament this season’s passing. The world just feels so alive and vibrant in the summer.

I will now count the days until next summer. Actually, thanks to a Google search, I now know it’s 265 days. I’m undecided on whether this precise level of knowledge is a good or bad thing.

Request for Summer 2018 in Haiku form

I know this is almost like asking for winter to start in October, so I want to make it very clear I AM NOT ASKING FOR WINTER TO START IN OCTOBER.

That said, my Haiku:

Summer you burned me
And half the province as well
It’s fine to stop now

By coincidence the forecast is calling for showers tomorrow.

Rain today

It rained today, the first rain we’ve had this month during daylight hours (we had one other brief shower overnight). It took 25 days to arrive, which is impressive, but in a somewhat depressing way, less impressive than it once was because dry summers are no longer uncommon.

The rain is good because it helps reduce the likelihood of the tinder-dry forests instantly going up in flames, it helps to douse the smoke drifting down from all the current forest fires already raging due to the tinder-dry aforementioned, and it may slightly revive the very very brown grass seen everywhere.

As I am the lucky recipient of a return of the cold I had a few weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t have run, anyway, but even that turned out to be okay–I enjoyed the indulgence of a true day off, where I shrugged off not completing my activity rings, enjoyed some comfort food, and bought a couple of Frisbees. Er, flying discs.

The weather appear much the same tomorrow, but if I’m up to it, I may try a short, soggy run. And like it!

The first day of summer 2018

Today is the first day of summer and it also marked the abrupt end of the current heatwave, with temperatures in the high teens and cloudy skies, with even a few drops of precipitation in the morning. Yesterday it was around 30ºC and the older SkyTrain cars were like communal sweat boxes thanks to the lack of air conditioning.

So I’m not complaining, exactly. Yesterday was hot. Today I wore a jacket to work. I’d like some more sun, just not Africa Hot sun. The forecast through the end of the month is a crazy quilt of mainly sunny, light rain, cloudy, partly sunny and who knows what else. Meanwhile, the FIRE DANGER signs are in no, er, danger, of going up any time soon.

Again, not complaining. And as I type this the sun is trying to poke out from the clouds, so perhaps it’s time to step outside.

UPDATE: Later in the afternoon it became sunny, with a high of 22ºC or so. Not-a-complaint rescinded!

The rain in June

Perhaps it’s because May was so warm and summer-like, but a week into June and I find myself indifferent to the change to cloudy and (today) rainy weather.

I think instead how this will help stave off the fire ban that will inevitably come once we get officially into summer, and that means toasty campfires while on vacation. I guess what I’m saying is I’m willing to pay for crummy weather now with the promise of gloriously sunny weather later. Or maybe it’s just because I burn easily. Sunburn easily, I mean. In terms of actual combustion I suspect I would burn the same as most people.

Anyway, the rain is making me shrug and on balance I think this is a good and healthy thing.

If the weather is still like this a month from now, my view may be a bit different.

Snow use complaining

Yes, terrible pun. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it before. Sorry.

As the weather prognosticators foretold (yesterday) it has indeed started snowing tonight and is sticking, with 10-15 cm expected in time for the morning commute.

But I am not complaining, as weather happens and until I can magically control it, I will accept it. Plus I don’t have a walk to shovel.

My only concern is whether this will impact my running, as snow has only had minimal impact this winter on my runs, and has even at times been a bit delightful. The forecast suggests it won’t stick around, so one last blast of winter is fine by me.

I expect flowers to be budding next week, though.

Did the groundhog see his shadow today?

Let’s find out…

I think this means 10 more weeks of rain in Vancouver.

Not that I mind. It makes the flowers grow. Grow into gigantic, Triffid-style monsters. But delightful monsters, all pretty and hungry.

Also, now I want to see the movie Groundhog Day again.

The Rains

After running in the snow yesterday the temperature rose above freezing and the snow today has turned to rain.

And it rained and rained and rained.

If it had stayed cold we’d be up to our eyeballs in snow right now, so in a way it’s good that it rained instead, even if the entrance to the building I live in is now a growing lake thanks to mostly imaginary drainage.

Only six more months until summer!

Damn snow, November 2017 edition

There was a thin layer of crunchy snow on the ground this morning. It disappeared quickly and it was actually sunny for much of the day after, but the mountains are still bedecked with the white stuff, even if it’s now gone from down here.

But the point is it’s November 3rd and we’ve already had snow.

I forbid any more snow this fall or winter. It can go to the same place as pumpkin spice. That place is not here.

Damn snow.