Run 610: Faster, with bonus racoon

Run 610
Average pace: 5:58/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 10:29 am
Distance: 5:04 km
Time: 30:04
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 14ºC
Humidity: 77%
Wind: light
BPM: 177
Weight: 167.6 pounds
Total distance to date: 4630 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8

Back on my weekly schedule, I headed out today under very different conditions, with cloudy skies, a high of 14ºC and humidity high enough to eliminate dreaded dry mouth syndrome or DMS as the imaginary experts in my head call it. I also chose to run clockwise for a change of pace.

The results were unexpected.

On the expected front, I thought my pace would be better–the clockwise run tends to be a little easier to navigate, with more inclines heading down instead of up and generally just being a wee bit less technical. I was correct on this part, my pace was better.

What I didn’t expect was that it would be what is likely the best back to back improvement in pace ever–a full 30 second improvement. This is the average pace, so my actual time to complete the run today was 2:26 minutes faster. That is an astonishing difference. I went from a plodding 6:28/km last week to 5:58/km today, the first time I’ve managed to crack the six minute mark in awhile. I am delighted by this.

I am also delighted by having no issues, despite pushing myself harder, save for two: a minor twinge in my right ankle that sorted itself out quickly, and an elevated heart rate–an uncomfortably high 177. Not unexpected given the dramatically faster pace and my general lack of fitness. Curiously the Apple Watch was unable to record the full hear rate chart, claiming there were not heart rate measurements. Maybe this is the first sign that Apple thinks I need to move on from the now lowly Series 2 to something newer and shinier and also by total coincidence way more expensive.

One other less delightful aspects was getting gravel in my shoe less than 10 meters into the run. At least it was small enough to not be annoying (I have provisionally picked out new shoes and will be looking at them this week). Also, weirdly, there was a racoon on the trail right at the start, too. I encountered it twice, actually, the first time walking the trail to the Jiffy John® and the second time when I retraced my steps back to the 0K marker to begin my run. Each time it quickly trundled into the bush and waited for me to pass, which is fine by me. Raccoons are kind of cute but also kind of scary. I tend to think all of them have rabies for some reason. I probably watched some bad TV movie about it when I was younger.

Despite the cool and cloudy conditions–which were delightful for running–it was busier than expected, though no great traffic jams happened. A lot of fellow runners apparently also found the weather to their liking.

I am planning to run Tuesday after work, totally for real this time. The current forecast is pleasant, so I shouldn’t have rain mixed in to further dampen (ho ho) my enthusiasm for running more than once a week. Jeff is onboard for holding back dinner until my run is over. We shall see.

Overall, this run was unexpected in terms of performance, and while I don’t expect to match the pace again right away, it’s nice to know I can still do sub-6:00 minute runs.

Leave a Comment