Today I did not feel like running, but I headed out, thinking I’d walk to the end of the river trail and at least run back to the entrance (2 km). If I felt more up to it, I’d do a full 5K.
What happened next was a bit weird and pretty much my own fault.
As I walked through Lower Hume Park, I thought, “Hmm, I may have to go to the washroom.” There is a washroom conveniently in Lower Hume Park. I even had a mask with me, something I normally don’t carry when running. But I opted to bypass the washroom because it was more just a feeling (not more than a feeling). This was a bad move.
By the time I got to the river trail a few minutes later, I definitely had to go, curse my easily agitated organs. So I decided to duck up the first of two service roads that leads off the main trail and up to the train tracks. After climbing a short hill, the road bends, then there’s a short straight stretch before it bends again and then exits out to the railroad tracks and environs. I have rarely seen CN vehicles use this side road and can’t recall the last time I saw a person walking it. I had ducked up here before without incident.
As I positioned myself, I looked both ways to insure no one was strolling along to see me do my business. Now, this is an actual road, albeit a narrow gravel one in not-great shape, so if someone did come along, they would pretty much see me.
Which is what happened. Two guys on one bikes (one lower, apparently on a recumbent bike) suddenly rounded the corner, coming from the track area. I quickly pulled up my shorts, even though I was not finished and my bladder was about 10 seconds from exploding. I hopped and jogged back to the main trail, found a large tree just off the trail, and finished there. Why I hadn’t done this to begin with is a very good question. I waited behind the tree, to see if the bikers would go left (exiting the trail) or right. I did not want to have any sort of interaction with them, for obvious reasons.
They went left. Hooray. I waited another minute, then came back onto the trail and looked in their direction–they were near the exit, but their bikes were facing me. Apparently they were coming back. Curses. I decided to just walk to the end of the trail as planned, looking behind me periodically to see if they were following or, worse, following and closing the gap.
I did not see them.
And then I did. They were still far behind, but were clearly on the move. I thought I heard someone let out a loud hoot. One of them? Maybe. I kept walking, but did not see them again after that.
But I wasn’t chancing anything, so I decided to keep going on to Burnaby Lake. I didn’t want to do a full loop, considering I wasn’t really feeling like running at all, so I opted to take the side trails and hit the 2.5 km mark, then turn around and return to my starting destination by the dam to complete the 5K. After I hit the 2.5K mark I paused the run, walked a little farther up to make sure I would definitely hit 5K on my return, then resumed.
My pace was sluggish. My mind was frazzled, and my tank o’ gas felt empty. I actually started decently at 5:33/km, but fell off quickly after that and never regained my pace. But in a way I was just happy that I managed it at all.
And I will remember to always squirrel myself completely away from view if I ever need to go while I’m out in nature. Curse my tiny bladder.
(I also had to go again when I got to the lake. Fortunately, it has a Jiffy John™ right there by the parking lot.)
On a more positive note, I have now matched the number of runs I did in all of 2020 (five), in the space of about two and a half weeks. So that’s nice!
Run 655 Average pace: 6:12/km Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW) Start: 4:31 p.m. Distance: 5.02 km Time: 31:09 Weather: Cloudy, a smidgen of late sun Temp: 22ºC Humidity: 42% Wind: light BPM: 155 Weight: 178.7 Total distance to date: 4885 km Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12 Shoes: Brooks Caldera 5 (10 km)