Walk 48: Not so great (but not so bad)

What’s a little weird is after a slothful eight days off, I was certain I would put in a worse performance on today’s walk/run–yet I was actually a fair bit faster, if a little pokey on the running bits.

Still, the weather was pleasant (even if the Fire Danger signs have been upgraded to Extreme Fire Danger signs) and the dust kicked up from passing cyclists was not that bad. I ran the back half with only a brief musical interlude around the midway mark and had no issues to speak of. BPM was higher as expected, but still within range.

All in all, not great, but not bad, either.

Stats:

Walk  48
Average pace: 8:21/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.41 km
Time: 61:53
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 23ºC
Humidity: 56%
Wind: light
BPM: 133
Weight: 179.4 pounds
Total distance to date: 369.51 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 47: Tired without bugs

I have felt a bit tired all day today and didn’t expect to actually do any running on today’s walk/run, but in the end I cut the distance down a bit and did some running after all, especially since it was a bit cooler.

I felt a bit woozy on the way in, but coming back I managed to pick up the pace and finished with a decent overall pace of 8:45/km. Not exactly a blur on the ground, but certainly better than just toodling along. BPM was down significantly, as expected.

Stats:

Walk  47
Average pace: 8:45/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.11 km
Time: 62:17
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 24ºC
Humidity: 56%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 119
Weight: 179.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 362.10 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Bugged out

I was going for a walk/run today at my usual time and despite it being a reported 28ºC, it actually didn’t feel that warm, so I was looking forward to a pleasant outing to start my week’s exercise.

Then it happened, so swiftly and unexpectedly I’m still not sure what happened.

I was walking on the trail between the two staircases separating Hume Park and Lower Hume Park. It’s fairly short, so it only takes maybe five or six seconds to traverse. Midway through I felt a prick on my right leg and my first thought was an accursed mosquito had chosen to dine on me. I swatted at whatever it was and that’s when I noticed two things:

  1. Whatever had done this and was flying off into the brush was BIG. I couldn’t tell what it was except it looked to be about two inches long.
  2. The pain suddenly hit in a way that was also BIG. Whatever the critter was, it packed a wallop.

I briefly entertained the idea of ignoring the bite/sting and press on, but the jolts of pain convinced me otherwise. I didn’t want to aggravate the spread of venom through vigorous activity, so came home with a little under 2 km clocked. Once home I wiped the wound with a cold cloth then put some Polysporin on it.

It doesn’t seem to be hurting now, but I’m also not moving my leg as I type this.

This is what it looked like after I applied the cream:

I can now add bugs to my list of The best worst running conditions.

Walk 46: Without incident

Today was that most delightful of outings: incident-free.

To wit:

  • No dog nonsense
  • No cyclist nonsense
  • Generally no nonsense
  • No cramps
  • No injuries
  • Bug bites on legs finally not blazing to life as soon as I start moving
  • No bad weather (it was a bit warm, but everything is relative after you’ve experienced 42°C degrees)
  • Pleasant breeze
  • Ran more than expected

For the run part, I took a brief break midway through coming back, but still managed to break the six-minute mark on the first km, so yay on that. As I wasn’t feeling especially motivated heading out, I’m pleased that I ran as much as I did, finishing the week on a high note.

Stats:

Walk  46
Average pace: 8:08/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.43 km
Time: 60:25
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 27ºC
Humidity: 42%
Wind: light
BPM: 132
Weight: 180 pounds
Total distance to date: 354.99 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 45: Wobbly with a side of well-behaved dog owner

It was much cooler today–about seasonal, which so far this summer has not been the norm–and it started out cloudy on the walk, making for a refreshing change of pace. Speaking of pace, mine was brisk heading out, but when it came time to turn back and start running, I balked because I felt weirdly wobbly, the way you might if you haven’t eaten for quite a while and feel that gross “I need food” feeling. It was especially weird as I had eaten.

Eventually it seemed to ease up, so I did run a decent amount and clipped a few more seconds off my previous pace, with my BPM edging even lower still, probably due to the relative lack of heat.

The dog owner, I should point out, was only post facto well-behaved, because he started with his giant fluffy white dog off-leash. The dog seemed friendly enough, but was a bit too aggressively friendly toward not one but two joggers running by. As I approached as Jogger #3, I slowed from a jog to a walk, and it was then the dog owner actually put the leash on, to my surprise and delight. I resumed running, knowing the gigantic furball would not be able to pounce on me in a “I’m just playin’!” manner. So that was nice.

Stats:

Walk  45
Average pace: 8:25/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.37 km
Time: 62:02
Weather: Cloudy and partly sunny
Temp: 23ºC
Humidity: 43%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 122
Weight: 178.1 pounds
Total distance to date: 347.56 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 44: Some like it hot (but not particularly me)

In a way, 29 degrees is not that hot when you’ve experienced 42 degrees. But for running it is warmer than I like, so I did not run as much today, but sweated nicely nonetheless.

There was another (big) unleashed dog and as I walked by on the way in, it did in fact start to follow along me, but I kept walking and let one of the owners call it back (it eventually responded as I gritted my teeth). When I was running on the way back I passed them again, but by then the dog was tired and listless, so it ignored me in favor of panting a lot. That was fine by me.

As for the walk/run, it went decently. I was tempted to run more, but my gut was feeling a bit off for some reason. I swear I did not eat handfuls of candies before heading out. Still, I bested my previous pace by six seconds, so not too shabby–and my BPM was actually lower. Nice! I’ll work up to that actual 5K run eventually!

Stats:

Walk  44
Average pace: 8:29/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.34 km
Time: 62:20
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 28ºC
Humidity: 43%
Wind: light
BPM: 128
Weight: 176.9 pounds
Total distance to date: 340.19 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 43: I hate dog owners

I once again encountered the worst weather for running: dogs.

But let me back up a bit. It was hotter than yesterday–around 27C and it was enough to notice. I had put off the walk/run for most of the day and did not run the entire way back. The parts I did my pace was clearly lagging from yesterday. I was tired. But overall I didn’t feel bad. The right ankle muscles felt a bit tight for reasons, but they limbered up after a short while.

So in all, it was a decent outing, right up to near the very end of the trail. At this point, I was walking and listening to music. I spotted two women at the side of the trail, near where you can cut over to the river bank. One was holding up a bike. I shifted left to give them room and continued on. It was then that a stubby-legged hellion appeared out of nowhere and ran at me, running around my feet, yapping and snapping its jaws at me. It was basically a tripping hazard as it kept running around me. I could not extricate myself and quickly got a bit steamed.

I yelled (remember, I still had the music blasting) at the woman, “Leash your dog!” then repeated it for good measure. As her dog kept circling me, I yelled out something like, “Goddamn it!” and that’s when she told me to relax. Yes, I should relax with her off-leash mutt circling me like a land shark. She picked up the dog and I further explained in my yelling voice that there are big signs explaining that dogs have to be leashed. she came back with how this was somehow my fault. I didn’t have a good response for that, because it was completely bonkers.

Before leaving the trail, I turned back and she had gone to the river (hopefully to toss her dog in) but her friend was still standing there holding the bike, so I pulled out my phone while staring at her and pretended to make a call, then turned back again and left. I don’t know if it made her uneasy, but it was the only thing I could think of to give myself some small sense of satisfaction. I then finally removed my AirPods.

In retrospect, what I should have done was:

  1. Remove the AirPods
  2. Explain to her that all dogs are to be on-leash, as per the sign at the trail entrance
  3. Continue on without further word
  4. Bonus: If she had said anything, I should have started recording a video to post on TikTok, possibly set to Pink Floyd’s “Dogs” because it has “dogs” in the title.

Stats:

Walk  43
Average pace: 8:35/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.31 km
Time: 62:46
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 27ºC
Humidity: 47%
Wind: light
BPM: 132
Weight: 179.0 pounds
Total distance to date: 332.85 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 43: Mostly mild

It was weird being out in temperatures that were actually normal for this time of year. As a bonus (for running) it was also cloudy. I set out midday and found my left leg, especially around the knee, was feeling cranky. Did I sleep on it funny? Has it been hijacked by aliens? I don’t know.

But I do know that when I reached Cariboo Road, I turned around and managed to run all the way to the entrance of the river trail and beyond, coming in at a decent 5:58/km pace for the first km. Woo! Also, the kinks got worked out while running, which acted as a nice incentive to keep going. I worked to keep the pace moderate and finished without any cramps or other mysterious pains or ailments.

In all, it was nice to get out in hospitable weather. We’ll see how it plays out over the summer.

Also, here’s a bonus ex-tree that blocked part of the trail. Usually these happen after a storm has blown through, but I’m willing to blame the heat dome for this because that thing was nasty.

Tree meeting gravity.

Stats:

Walk  42
Average pace: 8:12/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.36 km
Time: 60:28
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 23ºC
Humidity: 59%
Wind: light
BPM: 132
Weight: 178.5 pounds
Total distance to date: 325.54 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 42: Kind of refreshing, comparatively

Today is allegedly the last day the “heat dome” is stuck over BC, as it’s now moving toward Alberta. That means instead of being insanely hot, it was only regular hot, with a high of 33. It was a bit below that when I went on my walk and as strange as it seems, it felt actually not that bad when compared to 42 degrees.

I did run a tiny bit through a few shady stretches, but not much, because it’s still not great weather for harder exertion. I kept up a decent walking pace, though, and had no issues, save for my left shoelace mysteriously coming untied twice. The second time the shoe seemed to be mocking me for trying to tie the lace so there was no way it could possibly come untied.

The next walk/run should feature temperatures below 30 degrees–brr!

Stats:

Walk  42
Average pace: 9:17/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.34 km
Time: 68:09
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 31ºC
Humidity: 42%
Wind: light
BPM: 125
Weight: 179.1 pounds
Total distance to date: 318.18 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 41: Furnace walk

It was 37ºC when I headed out for my walk/run late in the morning and I made a decision before heading out:

  • No running, as it would be cuckoo crazy in the middle of a record-breaking heatwave

This proved to be wise as it was hot. It dropped maybe a degree on the river trail, mostly in the shade, but the air was thick, the sweat gushed like a fountain and if it weren’t for the slathering of sunblock my exposed skin would be a raging fire right now.

The first km was a bit slower, over 10 min/km as I baked along the sidewalks and pavement. My pace picked up on the river trail, then slowed again as I returned to the land of blacktop.

My BPM was pretty much normal, so I did not over-exert myself. This was good. I even stopped at the top of the stairs coming from Lower Hume Park and took 30 seconds to rest in the shade of a handy tree. I looked longingly at the kids running through the spraying water at the water park. Then I sweated some more and got home.

It looks like it may be hotter still tomorrow and I won’t be able to head out until after work, which is also when the temperatures usually peak. We’ll see how it goes.

All said, I am glad I got out, as it means I’ll have completed my rings for the entire week, an important part of Losing the Flab™.

Stats:

Walk  41
Average pace: 9:40/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.31 km
Time: 70:46
Weather: Sunny and hot
Temp: 35-37ºC
Humidity: 34%
Wind: light
BPM: 127
Weight: 177.6 pounds
Total distance to date: 310.84 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 40: A few minor complications

The weather was pretty much the same today as the last walk/run, perhaps a tad warmer, but this was not one of the small complications I refer to.

Complication #1 was the inevitable need to use the loo, which happened a lot sooner than expected (I hydrated before heading out). There is no good place to make like a bear in the woods until you are nearly three km in, so that hampered my speed for a while. After that and on the way back, I had one of those strange, giggly pains in my left foot. What I mean by this is I would experience a sensation that was similar to pain but when pressure was applied to the heel of my left foot, it made me ease up and giggle a bit. Not that it tickled, but sort of? It’s hard to explain. Think of it as like hitting your funny bone. It’s funny but not funny.

Anyway, I was a bit slower overall as a result, but am still pleased at getting out, and my BPM was correspondingly lower too, so it was all good in the end (potty joke).

Also, I officially™ passed the 300 km mark on these walks, proving i am not entirely given over to a life of flab and laziness. Woo.

Stats:

Walk  40
Average pace: 8:43/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.4 km
Time: 64:34
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 27ºC
Humidity: 43%
Wind: light
BPM: 132
Weight: 178.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 303.53 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Walk 39: The first walk/run of Summer 2021

It’s the first day of summer 2021 and appropriately the weather is sunny and hot.

As such I didn’t run as much as I might have and my overall pace was slower, even as my BPM was a bit higher, but overall I am pleased by the effort. It’s all too easy to skip the weekend walk/runs altogether.

I am beginning to think more about just diving in and doing a 5K–I’m sure I could manage it, I’d just have to be slow ‘n steady with it. Maybe the next time the weather is overcast or a bit cooler. I suspect I’d find out just how well my perpetually gimp left foot would hold up.

Stats:

Walk 39
Average pace: 8:17/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.33 km
Time: 60:46
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 26ºC
Humidity: 46%
Wind: moderate to strong
BPM: 135
Weight: 177.6 pounds
Total distance to date: 296.13 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12