Run 617: Trail work, ho!

Run 617
Average pace: 5:52/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 10:57 am
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:31
Weather: Intermittent sun
Temp: 18ºC
Humidity: 73%
Wind: light
BPM: 161
Weight: 167.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 4665 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (20 km)

This was my first run at the lake with the new shoes and they were fine. My pace was slower–which I expected in switching back to the lake–and I chalk that up to being a bit tired by week’s end, the somewhat more technical aspect of the lake trail and the much higher humidity. I sweated early, often and copiously.

The dam area is filled with a lot more equipment as they start work on repairing and replacing the gates, but fortunately the top of the dam will stay open during the three month project. The equipment is neatly tucked out of the way for now, so it also didn’t interfere with the start of the run, which began at the official 0K marker, since I had to use the Jiffy John® first.

As I passed the picnic area I spied large piles of gravel, in two distinct varieties. At first I thought it had to do with the dam project–which makes no sense, really, so I blame that on runner’s brain–then put it out of my mind as I focused on where my feet were going.

The explanation for the piles o’ gravel became clear as I hot the Spruce Loop. The trail had obviously been gone over with equipment and some fresh dirt/gravel had been smooshed about in spots, perhaps in an attempt to smooth out holes, but the actual effect was to make the trail a lot trickier to run on, because it was now lumpy and covered in soft patches your feet could slide around in. A good test for the new shoes.

This continued on through the Conifer Loop and even onto the main trail. There’s a huge pipe just short of the 3K marker that is almost completely exposed. When I’m running I have to time my jump over it–yes, it’s that big. But today it was completely covered in the fine gravel that serves as the top layer when trails are resurfaced. It’s the darker stuff in the above photo.

All of this means they are in the beginning stages of finally resurfacing the side trail, which have long needed some love, and it looks like they are getting close to the Cottonwood Trail, which is currently the worst part of the main loop, festooned with numerous exposed tree roots. Even if they just do the side trails, it will be a great improvement, so yay for that.

The run itself started with me matching the overall pace of 5:52/km during the first km. While a full 10 seconds slower than the previous river trail run, it still handily beat my last lake run a few weeks back, when I came in at 6:11/km. I clearly flagged in the second km. My BPM was was hitting around 169 at that point, but it dropped after and came out to 161 overall, a little higher, but still well within the comfortable range.

There were no issues in terms of cramps or other discomfort, other than just feeling the humidity sucking the life force from me. I did pick up the pace toward the end and finished before the 5K marker, always a nice psychological victory. The walk out of the lake I found myself running more than walking (my average pace was 8:27/km, which is impossible for a walking pace unless I find a way to grow my legs to be twice as tall as they are now), even getting as low as 6:24/km at one point, nearly matching a slower run pace).

Overall, a decent effort. It’ll be interesting to see how the next lake run goes, especially if humidity is lower and the side trails are freshly resurfaced.

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