Run 814: Rain, dogs and people

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run.

Oh, and it is also a statutory holiday, a day I vow to never run on (but always do, then regret it later).

The forecast today was Heavy Rain, so I was prepared to get good and soaked. Which I did. It rained the entire time, and it rained steady almost the entire time. Thanks to very little wind, it actually didn’t feel that cold, though.

Now, you’d think that even though today was a stat holiday (technically Saturday was National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, but most people actually get today off), there wouldn’t be many people at the lake due to the heavy rain.

You would be wrong.

There was a surprising number of runners out (I saw six just as I arrived at the dam), and a lot of people just out for a walk, because you when get a bonus day off, why not spend it walking around a lake in a hard rain? Also, about half the people with dogs had them off-leash, possibly because of the rain (?) One dog ran toward me and I did not like the idea of even a friendly but muddy, wet dog jumping on me. I advised the owner to leash her dog, and to her credit, she did!

As for the run itself, I originally planned a short loop to reduce the amount of time I’d spend out in the rain, but as I ran, I suddenly decided I didn’t want to turn around and run back the way I came, so I did a full loop (5K run, 5K walk) and got Very Wet. The knees were fine, the left hip was relatively well-behaved, and my BPM was a bit higher at 154, but not unexpected, given the conditions and temperature. The pace of 5:41/km is pretty good, considering my shirt felt like it was holding about five litres of water by the end.

In all, a good run to start the week, but I won’t object to it being a little drier next time.

Still Creek, post-run.

Stats:

Run 814
Average pace: 5:41/km
Training status: Productive
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 9:47 a.m.
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 28:38
Weather: Rain
Temp: 12ºC
Humidity: 88%
Wind: light
BPM: 154
Weight: 166.6
Total distance to date: 5947.6 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (82.6/163/245.6 km)

Run 813: Uh oh, fast!

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run. A serene-looking early fall day.

A weird thing happened today.

I was fast!

I did not plan on being fast. Since the whole knee thing started, I have been afraid of being fast.

I started the run late, just after 1 p.m., but it was still on the cool side, only 13C to start. Humidity was still relatively high, and there was a decent breeze blowing, so conditions were actually quite decent. Due to the late start, I opted to do a short loop clockwise at the lake, which saves me having to walk the extra 5 km to get back to the beginning.

I had to use the Jiffy John™ before starting, and heard voices outside it while I was inside. I waited for the inevitable and sure enough, someone tried yoinking the locked door open. When I came out they made some vague joke, but I just continued on, I had a run to do! I also later discovered the two colours used to denote the door being closed/open (red/green) can be hard to distinguish by certain colour-blind people, so I’ll cut them some slack. Maybe instead of colours, they could use symbols. I’ll leave it to your imagination what those symbols should be.

Anyway, the run! I had no plan, I was just going to run steady and see how it went. I was pleasantly surprised when the first km came in at a speedy 5:38/km. I was equally surprised when the second km was the same. I varied slightly above that for the next two, then finished with a very surprising pace of 5:22/km, which also resulted in an award in the Garmin app for fastest 1K (second one in as many days, woo).

I achieved the overall pace of 5:36/km while also having a lower BPM of 152. Really, it all seemed a bit weird.

The knees seemed fine again. There was a twinge once, but nothing more. The left hip was present, but not overbearing or anything.

One dog on the trail was off-leash and ahead of its (bad) owners, but it was not particularly excitable and didn’t present a problem. The trail was not overly busy, especially considering it was Friday.

Now I wait and see how the legs hold up over the weekend, with two days to rest and recover. I ran four days this week, three of them in a row. We’ll see how wise this was soon!

For now, I bask in the mild glory of exceeding my own expectations.

Beaver dam on the Brunette River

Stats:

Run 813
Average pace: 5:36/km
Training status: Productive
Location: Burnaby Lake (short loop, CW)
Start: 1:06 p.m.
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 28:11
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 13-15ºC
Humidity: 67-65%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 152
Weight: 167.7
Total distance to date: 5942.6 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (77.6/150/227.6 km)

Run 811: A quiet run along the river

Brunette River, pre-run

I opted to run on the river trail to condense the amount of walking and time needed. I think it was the right call.

Conditions were similar to Monday temperature and humidity-wise, but instead of rain, it was partly sunny, which was nice. There was a breeze, but no big gusts or anything.

The river trail was surprisingly quiet, especially given that the weather was not bad (the first few days of fall have been mostly bad). I set out with no particular goal in mind, other than maybe having a lower BPM than the last few runs. I achieved this with a BPM of 156 and overall pace of 5:43/km. A big aid in getting that pace was the first km, where I was not trying to run fast, yet ended up with a blistering (for me) pace of 5:28/km. At the high end, I got up to 5:56/km by the 3rd km, before picking the pace back up to finish.

The left hip was probably the quietest it’s been in a while, no doubt due to the smooth terrain of the river trail, while the right knee twinged briefly mid-run, and then was fine after.

Overall, a good run and I’m glad I didn’t have to face back-to-back runs in the rain. I can run in the rain, but I don’t like it.

Brunette River, post run (looking east)
Run 811
Average pace: 5:43/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Brunette River Trail
Start: 12:28 p.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 28:47
Weather: Partly sunny
Temp: 15ºC
Humidity: 81-82%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 156
Weight: 166.7
Total distance to date: 5935 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (70/138/208 km)

Run 810: First run of Fall 2023 with Rain++

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run. A soggy start to Fall!

I ended up only doing one run last week because my Friday run got replaced by spontaneous birding. That was a good call for the last day of summer, because so far fall weather has sucked corn dogs.

With high winds a possibility, I set out this morning, only to find it unusually calm. It wasn’t even raining. After about 20 minutes of walking, the rain did arrive and it rained from that point forward, so the run was rather soggy. The wind didn’t start to pick up until I was almost back from the run, so that was nice.

I wore my long-sleeved t-shirt and at first it felt a bit warm, but overall it wasn’t bad. It got thoroughly drenched, however.

Despite the rain, conditions on the trail were actually decent, and it was busier than expected, with people determined to go for a walk regardless of the weather. Several had those absurd giant beach umbrellas. I’m not sure the massive size really makes much difference.

I started with a good pace and thought of just cruising along, but ended up pushing a bit–I think the clamminess of the rain made it feel like I was putting in a little more effort, and ended with a decent 5:46/km pace and a slightly higher BPM of 158. Maybe next time I’ll try to stick to 150 and see what results I get.

The left knee twinged once late in the run, but that was it, and the left hip flared bright right around the 2K mark before going mostly quiet again. The hip is probably the most annoying part of the runs right now.

Overall, a pretty good start to the week, considering I had five days off. Here’s hoping Wednesday is a little drier (forecast suggests it may be!)

Still Creek, pretty and pretty wet.
Run 810
Average pace: 5:46/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 10:29 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 28:59
Weather: Showers
Temp: 15ºC
Humidity: 88%
Wind: light
BPM: 158
Weight: 166.6
Total distance to date: 5930 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (65/134/199 km)

Run 809: A zippy birthday run

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run

I deliberately skipped Monday’s run in order to run today–my birthday! I didn’t feel right about taking the day off and just lazing around eating goldfish crackers.

I was a bit concerned heading out, as my sleep score was a dismal 38/100 (Poor) and the Garmin summary advised “Non-restorative. You slept long enough, but not well enough to bring your stress levels down overnight. You might feel higher stress or fatigue today.” Fatigue before I even start running? Yikes.

As it turned out, though, I had one of my best runs of the summer, with only three days of summer left! How did such witchery happen? Part of it was likely due to conditions: It was only 13C when heading out, with higher humidity and plenty of clouds. Although the humidity could have been lower (there was sweating involved), the overall conditions were conducive to a good run.

My main goal was to maintain a consistent pace. I wasn’t concerned about speed pr BPM, as long as both were reasonable. My overall BPM was the same as Friday, at 157, but weirdly, despite running the “harder” counter-clockwise route, I was much faster, coming in at a brisk 5:41/km, my best pace of the summer. Yowza1Amusingly, the spell checker suggested using “Yoda” here instead!

In fact, my final km clocked in at 5:28/km! Yoda2See previous footnote!

The left knee, especially the tendon on the right side, did feel a bit stiff on the walk along the river trail, but both knees don’t feel bad as I type this now.

Overall, I am pleased with how the run turned out. Not too bad for a freshly-minted 59-year-old. :P

Moody-looking Still Creek, post-run

Stats:

Run 809
Average pace: 5:41/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 10:28 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 28:37
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 13-14ºC
Humidity: 78%
Wind: light
BPM: 157
Weight: 165.8
Total distance to date: 5925 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (60/121/181 km)

Run 808: Feeling the day off

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run

I took Wednesday off from running, because I had a lot of other stuff to do, and I wanted to give my legs more recovery time between runs. This meant I would have three days off between runs.

To make it easier on myself today, I ran clockwise (I am actually alternating now, but let’s pretend), which is the “easier” direction. It was slightly warmer than Monday, but humidity was also lower. Conditions were generally better. My weight was also down. All conditions good!

And yet! My pace was a bit slower (5:50 vs. 5:45) and my BPM was higher (157 vs 148). How does this happen? The body is a mysterious thing.

I actually felt fairly good while running, though. The lower humidity meant little sweating, but it was still high enough that dry mouth was not an issue. The knees behaved, and the left hip was again feeling muted. Given the higher BPM, though, I opted to not try pressing on beyond 5K. Maybe next week!

Incident-wise, there were none. For a Friday, it seemed slightly less busy than usual. Maybe I got through just before the crowds arrived. In any event, despite the higher BPM and slightly slower pace, I feel this was a pretty good run, and I had plenty of stamina left over afterwards.

Post-run, I saw a bunch of labels hanging on various plants and trees along the Piper Mill Trail. Mysterious, yet educational! (Some school outing, I imagine.)

Stats:

Run 808
Average pace: 5:50/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 10:12 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:22
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 19-20ºC
Humidity: 57-53%
Wind: light
BPM: 157
Weight: 165.8
Total distance to date: 5920 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (55/108/163 km)

Run 807: Snakes!

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run

I hesitated a bit over whether to run today, then decided to, so headed out a bit later than optimal, but it was still morning and thanks to morning clouds, only 17C, which is perfectly cromulent for running. The sun briefly appeared midway through the run, which was actually sort of bad, because the humidity was still 78% and it would have made the run kind of soupy. But it was mostly cloudy, with a nice breeze blowing.

I started out by the Jiffy John™, after using it to make sure I was BladderSafe™ for the run, which meant I conveniently ended my run right by the intersection of the Spruce and Conifer Loops. I’m not sure why this is convenient, actually. Maybe it just appeals to the OCD in me.

I had two false starts, which probably contributed to my low 148 BPM average. The first around the 100 m mark when I paused to answer a text message (I very rarely do this, but since I had literally been running for less than a minute, I chose to), and another about three-and-a-half minutes in. This was snake #1. I haven’t gotten any decent shots of snakes this year, so when this one didn’t immediately slither away, I paused my run to take a photo. It then slithered away before I could get closer. (Snake #2 appeared in the middle of the Piper Mill Trail when I short-turned and was heading back. It was completely unconcerned by my presence. I’m pretty sure I could have taken close-ups from multiple angles, and it would have just laid there, content on the warming gravel. For a brief moment I considered stopping, but I was 3.5 km in at that point and momentum would not be denied.)

These two pauses allowed my heart rate to come down briefly. Enough to affect the overall average? Maybe? But probably only a little. I think I would have been around 150 regardless, conditions were good, and it’s entirely possible I’m getting in better shape!

Speaking of good, the knees didn’t bother me at all. The left hip was even mostly quiet. It was probably the most pleasant run, leg-wise, in several months. The knees did feel a little stiff on the walk back, but feel fine now as I type this. I am cautiously optimistic.

Overall, this run went better than expected. I always feel a little nervous when that happens, but we’ll see what Wednesday brings.

Snake #1

Stats:

Run 807
Average pace: 5:46/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW, short loop)
Start: 10:53 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:03
Weather: Partly sunny
Temp: 17-18ºC
Humidity: 78%
Wind: light
BPM: 148
Weight: 167.3
Total distance to date: 5915 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (50/95/145 km)

Run 806: A knee up

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run

I was thinking about skipping today’s run after feeling some stiffness in my left knee following Wednesday’s effort, but in the end I could not resist the siren song, and headed out.

This run was a bit more conventional in terms of speed, starting out strong (this is fairly easy going clockwise, as the Avalon Trail is flat and straight) at 5:45, gradually getting slower (5:50/km by the third km) before finishing strong again (5:38/km). I had extra incentive to pick up the speed on the last km as some young guy jogged past me. The nerve. Sure, he was probably 25, but still. I tried to keep pace for a bit, then remembered “don’t destroy the knees”. Also. I was pretty close to the end, anyway.

Speaking of knees, they were fine for the run, but both felt a little stiff on the walk back. I will monitor over the weekend, and they will get at least two days off to rest and recover. The left hip, which I am thinking is acting up probably in relation to the knees, continues to make its presence known, but was again more muted, more an annoyance.

Although I headed out later than I wanted, it was still morning and the weather was perfectly cromulent. The trail was busy-ish, maybe a bit more than usual for a Friday, but there were no incidents.

In all, a good run to end the week with.

Bridge over Still Creek, post-run

Stats:

Run 806
Average pace: 5:49/km
Training status: Productive
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 10:56 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:15
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 18-19ºC
Humidity: 67-64%
Wind: light
BPM: 155
Weight: 167.0
Total distance to date: 5910 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (45/82/127 km)

Run 805: Gentle river knees

Brunette River, pre-run

Due to a Mouse Incident™ I was up much earlier than normal and had previously thought about skipping the run today to do other things, but in the end I headed out and was running on the river trail before 10 a.m. Conditions were pleasant–the showers forecast did not materialize, save for a few drops pre- and post-run.

At first, my legs felt a bit cranky, just stiff and sore (mostly from stretching). Things settled down, but then about one km in, the left hip started up, as per usual these days. It subsided for a bit, then later made its presence VERY WELL-KNOWN before subsiding again. The left knee also started acting up for a bit, too, but it also settled and was better toward the end of the run. I shall monitor these things closely.

In terms of pace, it was fast. Compared to the last river run, I came in at 5:45/km, was comfortably under the six-minute mark the entire way and my BPM stayed at a very nice 148. So from that end, it went well.

Plus, no dogs off leash. Or mice.

Dam on the river, with heron attending. Photo quality is not great due to being digitally zoomed in on iPhone 12.

Stats:

Run 805
Average pace: 5:45/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Brunette River Trail
Start: 9:49 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 28:56
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 16ºC
Humidity: 72-70%
Wind: light
BPM: 148
Weight: 167.5
Total distance to date: 5905 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (40/69/109 km)

Run 804: Never run on a stat holiday (part of a continuing series)

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run

It’s Labour Day and running counts as labour, so I’m good.

I ended up having a not-great sleep last night, so slept in a bit to try to salvage what I could. This meant that I’d be running later than desired–and on a stat holiday, to boot.

On the plus side (except for people hoping to tan or have picnics in the sun before school resumes), it was cloudy and cooler today, never getting above 17C and with the sun only briefly threatening for a few minutes. This made for much nicer running conditions.

What didn’t make for nicer running conditions were the huge crowds clogging up the trail as people go on their once-a-year trek for fitness or something before winter sets in. Generally this is not a problem, as most will either see or hear me approach and make room. The worst, somewhat ironically, are those walking toward me, because many of them seem to think I will somehow make room for them.

Somewhere between the 2 and 3K mark (this becomes significant later) a large, sprawling group approached, spread out into about three groups. The largest blob of people approached, with a young and apparently very happy young woman on the edge. As I neared, she seemed to remain oblivious, somehow, to my presence, giggling and carrying on with the others. There was a tree right on the edge of the trail as I got nearer. This meant that even if I wanted to, I would not be able to duck off the trail if she failed to give me room to pass. She gave me enough room to pass if I weighed half as much and was twice as tall. I put up my left hand to act as a kind of cow catcher (I’m not casting judgment, it’s what they were called!) As it turned out, I made contact with her shoulder and gently pushed her slightly away as I ran past. I’m pretty sure she was still unaware of me.

By this time, I was annoyed with two things:

  1. My pace. The first km, where I admittedly have been taking it easy lately (somewhat paranoid) was a slow 5:59/km. The second km was worse–6:07/km. The dream of getting a pace under six minutes seemed unattainable.
  2. All the damn people getting in the way. In reality, most were fine, but that one young happy woman irked me enough to make up for all the others.

These two things made me just want to get the run over with as quickly as possible and get out. This meant that, opposite to what usually happens, I got faster as the run progressed. My fourth km was 5:45, my last was 5:34–the fastest since hurting my knees a thousand years ago.

This meant my overall pace was below six minutes, at 5:52/km. Woo!

Better, my knees and legs survived. The left hip was being its dumb self again, but a little more muted, and the knees seem no worse for the extra speediness. No doubt the conditions helped, too, because despite the time, my BPM was back to a nice, round 150.

Overall, I am pleased with the run, and annoyed with the people.

View of the lake looking northeast, post-run
Run 804
Average pace: 5:52/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 12:12 p.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:35
Weather: Mostly cloudy
Temp: 17ºC
Humidity: 75-70%
Wind: light
BPM: 150
Weight: 166.8
Total distance to date: 5900 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (35/65/100 km)

Run 803: Still somewhat sloggy

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run

I opted for a “full deal” (5K) run today, going counter-clockwise around the lake. The daily weather forecast curiously mentioned humidity, which it almost never does:

And it was indeed humid, though since I ran later in the morning, not overly so. It meant a little more sweating, but was actually kind of nice. Goldilocks humidity, if you will.

I pondered what sort of run to do as I walked toward the lake along the river trail, when three young women (probably early 20s) went zipping past me in the opposite direction, all merrily conversing because they have endless youthful energy. I hate them.

I decided to go CCW because after drinking at the fountain by the dam, I was in the ideal position to start, so I did. I was somewhat shocked when my first km came in at 6:03/km. I mean, I was trying to ease into things, but not quite that much. I pressed a little harder and managed to keep every km after under the six-minute mark, with the last again being my fastest at 5:47. My final pace of 5:55/km was only a second faster than my previous, but that was on the river trail, so this one was a harder run, but also going the easier route on the lake, so…basically, it was OK, but I’ve been a bit sluggish all week. Maybe my times will improve as my knees heal more and temperatures start to come down.

The trail was dry, so no puddle jumping, but was surprisingly busy for a weekday. For a time I was trailing behind a putt-putt car on an especially windy part of the trail. It would keep appearing and disappearing ahead of me. I wondered what would happen if I actually caught up with it. That ended up not happening, though. At some point, it either reached its destination or disappeared into the alternate dimension where all the putt-putt cars live.

Speaking of passing, though, that trio of young women passed me on the lake trail. Yes, they apparently ran to the end of the river trail, back to the lake, up the trail, caught up to me, then continued past, zipping by like a bunch of hummingbirds, except if they were hummingbirds, they would be chasing each other and trying to stab each other to death. They were still having a lovely, full conversation. I consoled myself by noting they were probably less than half my age. I wonder what sort of times I’d have put in if I had run in my 20s? Something to ponder should I ever wake up and suddenly find myself a 20-year-old again, all Twilight Zone style.

Anyway, the run was fine, but not great. I did all three without anything falling apart or off, so that’s a plus. We’ll see how next week goes!

Still Creek, post-run

Stats:

Run 803
Average pace: 5:55/km
Training status: Productive
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 11:04 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:45
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 21-22ºC
Humidity: 63-61%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 153
Weight: 167.1
Total distance to date: 5895 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (30/52/82 km)

Run 802: Fuel tank low

Brunette River, pre-run

I had a poor sleep last night due to an upset tummy and some unexpected bowel sensations in the middle of the night (something I ate?), so was not feeling especially perky this morning. I still decided to do a run, but kept it short, just walking to the river trail and running 5K there.

Even with this more compact routine, it was still obvious my tank was low, because although I cleared the six-minute mark, my overall pace was 5:56/km, which is pretty sluggish for the river trail, where I can easily be at least ten seconds faster. I didn’t feel overly sluggish while running, like I just wanted the whole thing to be over, but I could tell I just wasn’t moving the way I normally would, right from the start.

The left hip was present again, though diminished, and the right knee was OK, but just below, the calf was feeling a bit sore, again probably from the stretching. I may need to do milder stretching pre-run, rather than the apparent He-Man stretching I’m doing now.

Conditions were good. It was 17-18C, which was nice, and humidity was high, so no need for water on the go. We had showers earlier, so there were a few small puddles to navigate, but nothing of much concern.

Post-run, there was a Quasi Dog Incident. I had started my walk back when a large German shepherd mix suddenly ran ahead of me, barking. I froze, waiting to see what would happen next. Its owner came jogging by and called the dog over. I let them get well ahead before resuming my walk. I pulled off and held my place again as they turned at the end of the trail and came back. If karma is a thing, his dog will bite him. Or something. I’d settle for him getting a big fat fine for having his large, uncontrolled dog off-leash.

Anyway, I got the run in, so that’s good. Friday is looking warmer, so I will make an extra effort to get out early.

Brunette River, post-run

Stats:

Run 802
Average pace: 5:56/km
Training status: Maintaining
Location: Brunette River Trail
Start: 10:53 a.m.
Distance: 5.03 km
Time: 29:50
Weather: Partly cloudy
Temp: 17-18ºC
Humidity: 82-79%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 152
Weight: 167.1
Total distance to date: 5890 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (25/39/64 km)