Run 634: A sort-of 10K run

Run 634
Average pace: 5:30/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 12:05 pm
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 27:39
Weather: Drizzle, cloudy
Temp: 14ºC
Humidity: 90%
Wind: light to nil
BPM: 161
Weight: 165 pounds
Total distance to date: 4750 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (110 km)

My Saturday run streak has ended at one. I slept in yesterday and ended up not running, so it was another Sunday run today.

The forecast was not promising–rain was expected and not just rain, but thunderstorms. Scary! And while it was a bit drizzly/misty to start, the precipitation stopped early on and it actually brightened up. The sun even poked out a few times post-run. We have officially entered the time of year where predicting the weather becomes tricksy.

After some contemplation, I opted to not go counter-clockwise and experience the freshly resurfaced side trails. I’m not sure why, maybe I thought the Cottonwood trail would be all slick with wet leaves from the earlier showers.

I had no issues during the run and with the temperature hovering around 14-15ºC and little wind, conditions were actually pretty nice. It was quite humid, but the lack of sun and cooler temperatures kept sweating to a minimum, though I would have been fine wearing a regular t-shirt rather than my long-sleeved one. My heart rate was up a little, as befits lake runs, but my average pace was a solid 5:30/km.

One of the things I had thought about before the run was pushing beyond 5K. In the end I didn’t do this for a couple of reasons. Somewhere between the second and third km I heard footsteps behind me. This is pretty rare, so I glanced behind and sure enough, another runner nimbly sped past me. At first I was content to let him go, then I decided to challenge myself and maintain pace with him for as long as I could. This turned out to be not long. I gave up, but consoled myself with the fact that he was probably 30 years younger than me–likely early 20s. Will he still be running when he’s 54? Will he be as fast as me? Perhaps. The extra burst of speed to maintain-ish pace tuckered me out a bit, and then I did a push toward the end to end the run at 5K. I just didn’t feel like going farther.

But then a funny thing happened. I began my walk out of the lake and after a few minutes I started to run. And I did not stop until I reached the dam. So I did a 10K of sort,s just with a few minutes break at the halfway point. Because I wasn’t running for speed or anything, my pace kept dropping from a low of 5:39/km to a high of 6:18. If I average it all out with my actual 5K run, my overall 10K pace would have been around 5:44/km, which is actually pretty decent considering my 5K runs were slower than that at the start of the year.

Next weekend I’ll try a formal 10K and see how it goes. In terms of stamina, I had no issue extending the run and while my knees felt a bit stiff as I kept going, they certainly didn’t present enough of a problem to stop me, though it’s possible they could have slowed me down a tad.

With the forecast gloomy there weren’t that many people on the trail but being Sunday there were still some out and aboot, with a few other joggers, and mostly people walking dogs.

I did end up running on the resurfaced side trails and they are still very nice. The Cottonwood trail was not covered in leaves, as I had feared, though that will change over the next month. I did have to do some puddle-dodging, particularly along the fields where the usual flooding was occurring. As much as I’d like them to resurface the long, tree-root covered Cottonwood trail next, this much shorter section clearly needs it more, as it floods when a kid spills his can of Coke.

An unexpected delight was the work on the Cariboo Dam wrapped up a month early (it was expected to be done by October 15). This means I can now come in through the regular entrance, which is more convenient and I like convenience.

Overall, a good run, especially with the unofficial 10K test. Here’s to going all the way (heh heh) next time.

The Matrix 20 years later -or- lol CRTs

I watched The Matrix again recently, having not seen it in its entirety since it originally came out in 1999. Some of the effects are a bit dated-looking now, but the bullet time and all that still looks spiffy.

The funniest part was Morpheus explaining that it was around 2199 in the movie, though Neo believes (as others in the matrix do) that it is 1999. You may be puzzled to discover that in 2199 we have touchscreen displays, but they all run on giant CRT monitors.

While I still enjoyed the movie, it almost felt a little too lean, because Neo’s journey from “I am totally not The One” to “I am totally The One and can fly like motherf’n Superman” seems a bit abrupt. Also Trinity falls in love with him for no apparent reason, as per The Oracle’s prophecy.

I am not really sure what to expect from the just-announced fourth Matrix movie, starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss, especially since the latter’s character died in the third one. But I’m expecting the CRTs to at least be updated to flat panels.

Apple September 2019 event: My middling warm take

Here’s my middling warm take on the Apple keynote today, in handy list form:

  • Little in the way of surprises, though there were a few small ones (see below)–this is pretty standard now for Apple events, where all major details leak months in advance
  • iPhone Pro is a dumb name. Apple is good at coming up with dumb names. Is iPhone 11 Pro Max better than iPhone XS Max? Kind of a draw.
  • People will at least stop calling the LCD model the “ex-ar” now that it’s just iPhone 11
  • I’m going to be talking about price for 6 of the next 8 bullet points
  • The price went down for the iPhone 11 from $749 to $699–a good sign that Apple is counting on this phone to shore up flagging sales and is willing to cut the price (and margin) to entice more to buy it
  • Pricing on the “Pro” phones remains ludicrous, even excluding Canadian pricing ($1379 and $1519 if you were curious)
  • The “affordable” iPhone 11 starts at $699 U.S. or $979 (!) Canadian. I did an exchange rate comparison and $699 U.S. works out to about $920 Canadian. Hmm, I say. Hmm.
  • Unless you want the improved cameras and are sticking to iPhones, I can’t think of a compelling reason to buy any of the new phones, unless you have something old, in which case the iPhone 11 makes sense (or get the still-being sold Xr for even less)
  • Prices stayed the same for the U.S. but some products went up in other countries (like Canada). I guess we’re paying for the tariffs (lol)? Example:
    • Series 4 Apple Watch 44mm with GPS + Cellular: $649
    • Series 5 Apple Watch 44mm with GPS + Cellular: $699
  • I want a Series 5 Watch, but I don’t want it for $699. Or even $569 (GPS only). So I’ll stick with my Series 2 (Apple will give me $60 for trade-in if I change my mind).
  • Always On Display for the Series 5 Watch was an actual surprise. It’s nice, but I suspect it won’t push many people into buying who didn’t already have other reasons.
  • Arcade and Apple TV+ pricing are decent and about what I expected
  • Apple giving away a year of Apple TV+ with new Apple devices seems to be both a good idea (it creates a huge, instant audience) and also a sign that they may not have faith in the service to survive on its own
  • iPad: Nice, but kind of meh. Looks like Apple is trying to squeeze maximum value out of the original generation Pencil and smart keyboard cover that debuted with the 10.5″ Pro in 2017. Recycling is good for the environment, why not for peripherals, too?
  • Watching game demos is never not painful for me
  • If you removed all of the adjectives from the presenters, the keynote would have been 30 minutes shorter

Kind of boring overall, which makes the “By innovation only” tagline look even more silly.

Run 633: Here and back again

Run 633
Average pace: 5:27/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW then CCW)
Start: 2:56 pm
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 27:28
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 21ºC
Humidity: 63%
Wind: light
BPM: 154
Weight: 164 pounds
Total distance to date: 4745 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (100 km)

Today I was not feeling great–headache, queasy stomach and let’s just say me, the bathroom and the number 2 got to know each other really well. But it was a run day and I didn’t want to skip a run, so I perhaps foolishly headed out.

At first I planned to do a river run, but after walking to the far end of the river trail I had yet another strong urge to go to the bathroom, so I headed to the Jiffy John™ at the lake and after that, I figured I may as well run there, too.

In order to be as efficient as possible, I opted to run clockwise for 2.5 km, then turn around and run counter-clockwise back. I’ve done this a few times in the past, but this may have been the first time I specifically chose to do it.

Conditions were decent. It was cloudy and showers overnight meant it was quite humid. The air actually smelled earthy at times, which was not entirely unpleasant. I didn’t have to dodge any puddles, luckily, though slugs, beetles and one rather plump garter snake were out on the trail. In fact, I probably saw more slugs than people, a consequence (or perk) of running on a weekday.

I felt like I had a good start (pace turned out to be 5:13/km) and never had any problems at all, finishing with a zippy 5:27/km, my best pace for the lake this year, though it feels mildly like cheating because of looping back on the same part of the trail.

Overall, then, and especially considering how it might have gone given the way I felt today, this was a very good run. On to Thursday and the river and (checks forecast) and what is currently showing as a 100% chance of rain. Yikes.

Run 632: Cloudy with intermittent shirtless men

Run 632
Average pace: 5:37/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 10:52 am
Distance: 5.02 km
Time: 28:13
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 18ºC
Humidity: 73%
Wind: light
BPM: 161
Weight: 162.5 pounds
Total distance to date: 4740 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (95 km)

Today’s run was done as if in reverse. I started out actually behind the average pace of 5:37/km, coming in at 5:39/km, and ended well below with the fifth km being 5:26/km–faster than my average on Thursday. Weirder still, I didn’t particularly notice any of this, I just felt good throughout.

But being slower on the first km is also interesting because I did run the side trails, now with the closed signs removed and the protective boards on the foot bridges removed. You’d think I’d glide along the super-smooth, root-free section of trail, but apparently I was so dazzled by the resurfacing that I slowed down to admire it.

Starting from the third km, I continued to pick up the pace, with the clouds shielding me from the sun, the temperature much lower than last weekend’s lake run, but humidity quite a bit higher–enough to ward off dry mouth, but not so much that I sweated like all get-out. Conditions were decent, in other words.

This is also the first time in awhile that I planned on a Saturday run and then actually ran on Saturday, so hooray for me!

The shirtless men thing was a bit odd. I had finished the run and was walking out from the lake when one of those tall, impossibly lean runners went past me, his shirt tucked into his shorts, the better to showcase the fact that his body had no fat at all on it. A short time later a similarly lean guy sans shirt passed. This summer I have not seen many guys without shirts (alas), so seeing two in a row was rather unusual. And they kept coming, sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs or threes. Not all were topless, but many were. I figured they were part of some group, but I none were wearing anything to identify the group. I call them The Mostly Shirtless Runners Club.

I ran a lot on the way out, but not as much as I could have because I also had to go potty and as I’ve established before, running and having to use the washroom is not a good combo.

Overall, this was a good run, with no issues of note to report. I was 10 seconds off the river run’s pace on Thursday, but nine seconds better than the last lake run, which feels about right. I may try for a 10K when I’m next running at Burnaby Lake, or at least try running more than 5K. We’ll see!

Run 631: Warmer and faster

Run 631
Average pace: 5:27/km
Location: Brunette River
Start: 6:39 pm
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 27:22
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 26ºC
Humidity: 54%
Wind: light
BPM: 152
Weight: 163.5 pounds
Total distance to date: 4735 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (90 km)

When I got home from work tonight I was tired enough that I flopped on the bed for 15 minutes and contemplated not running. I then decided to change and at least head down to the river trail, thinking I might do a one hour walk/run thing instead. But in the end I opted to do an actual 5K and emerged with one of my best times of the year.

It’s weird how that happens.

It was quite warm tonight, and fairly humid, but it was another one of those equilibrium things where each element mostly balanced out the other, especially with the sun not actually beating down on me for more than a couple of seconds, though the sky was clear. This kept sweating to a minimum and decreased the effort needed, as reflected in a snazzy BPM of 152.

My overall pace was 5:27/km and I did not start like a rocket,. I just hit near the overall pace early and kept at or near it for the entire run. My right ankle felt a little creaky for the first km, probably due to bad posture sitting at my desk at work, but after five minutes or so it sorted out and was fine. I had no other issues.

Overall then, an unexpectedly good run.

Setting the bar high by going low

I started the month with higher-then-expected weight loss, bringing me down to 162.5 pounds, my lowest weight of the year. This is good. Today I maintained that weight, also good.

But this now means I need to keep losing and hitting new lows for the year in order to progress for the month. In other words, starting the month off with some unplanned weight gain gives me wiggle room to still lose weight but not have to lose as much to show progress over the 30 or 31 days.

This is silly, of course. I’m mostly surprised to be down so much. It’s nice, though. I could conceivably break below 160 pounds in September and enter into the home stretch of my seemingly epic-length quest to get to 150 pounds (again).

Here’s to no donuts for the next 28 days.

Run 630: Slower and drier

Run 630
Average pace: 5:46/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 1:35 pm
Distance: 5.02 km
Time: 28:59
Weather: Sun, high cloud
Temp: 23ºC
Humidity: 57%
Wind: light
BPM: 161
Weight: 162.5 pounds
Total distance to date: 4730 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (85 km)

Today’s run was consistent and consistently slower, with only an 8-second gap between the fastest and slowest km, and an overall pace of 5:46/km, which one of my slowest recent runs. It was not overly hot today, but thee sun was out during the run and it was quite humid, leading to a bit of a dry mouth and a general sluggishness.

There were no other problems, but this was the first run since my ill-advised “let’s run in the afternoon when it’s 30c” where I was happy to have it over.

I wasn’t sure I was going to run today because I was up quite late last night and made up for it by getting up rather late this morning, well past the time I’d normally already be out running. I mulled it over and finally went out just before 1 p.m., which may have played a role in the conditions I encountered.

Ironically, the high cloud obscured the sun for almost the entirety of my post-run walk back home. There were also a fair number of people out, perhaps moreso than if I’d run earlier.

For the first time in awhile, I opted to go counter-clockwise, thinking the side trails might finally be finished. The entrance to the Spruce Loop made it look done, but the Trail Closed sign was still up, so I dutifully avoided it and stuck to the main trail. As I neared the entrance to the Conifer Loop trail, I watched several people emerge from it–and it had no Trail Closed sign. So now I think the workers just forgot to remove the other sign.

Next time I’ll be a rebel and take the side trails. I will (not) miss my old friend, the tree root I tripped over, which is presumably buried under the fresh gravel.

In the end, not a great run, but I’m glad I went out and kept tomorrow open for other stuff.