A long walk to a sore heel

Today the weather was warm and sunny (after an initial forecast of mostly cloudy) and I couldn’t just sit inside while it was summer all over the place outside.

So, I went for a walk around Burnaby Lake, wearing my running stuff in case I started feeling extra zesty (more on this in a bit).

I felt pretty good heading out and indeed, my walking pace was a bit better than in recent months. That continued as I hit the 5K mark midway around the lake, still brimming with energy and feeling fine. I even started running off and on along the Southshore Trail.

The resurfacing of the Cottonwood Trail is coming along nicely and the notion that it will take until September to complete seems silly, as they are probably more than half done already (and were diligently working away when I walked through this afternoon). It will be spiffy for running when complete as this trail section has about a hundred billion exposed tree roots waiting for me and my feet.

There were more people out than perhaps expected, but it is summer and it was very nice out, with a breeze providing just enough cooling to keep it from feeling hot (it’s not really hot, but weather the last few weeks has been a little cooler than seasonal, so even 24C feels a bit toasty when you’re out in the sun).

I finished the loop just before 3 p.m. and as I exited the lake trail and crossed over to the river trail and the return home, I was still peppy. The peppiness finally began to fade around the 16 km mark, when my right hip began to feel a bit tweaked. It wasn’t bad and didn’t really slow me down. In fact, after a few minutes it worked itself and I continued to steam along. But then my left heel started to hurt. Weird.

It continued to hurt the remaining two km or so on the remainder of the walk and as I type this at 10:23 p.m., it is still sore. The right heel is fine.

I have no explanation for this, just guesses and crackpot theories:

  • The few minutes the right hip hurt, I overcompensated in favoring my left side, making my apparently brittle left heel very sore
  • The orthotic in my left shoe is sufficiently worn in the heel that it reached a breaking point where it started hurting instead of helping
  • aliens
  • previously unknown injury suddenly surfacing (aliens?)
  • karma, somehow (also the name of my next album)

It may be fine or better(ish) by morning, but it’s a sore note for what was otherwise a fine afternoon out. I was even delighted by unexpected wildlife, watching a crane hunt food and a turtle laying out on a log enjoying the sun.

Here’s a few photos before the hobbling started.

Just starting out, I thought this field of what is really just weeds looked interesting, but it didn’t turn out quite as I had expected. This field had previously been kept cut and served as a small park area. I’m not sure why it was decided to let it grow wild.

The classic shot of the lake from the bridge at Deer Lake Brook. I managed to tilt the view slightly, but was too lazy to fix it. Just pretend the earth was rotating too fast for me to compensate.

From the point just before the Cottonwood Trail, looking west.

The heron snatching a snack:

Close-up of heron from the shot above.

Photo of the Day, June 27, 2020

Burnaby Lake special edition. Nic and I went to the lake so he could take pictures of birbs and when I gave him the option to go halfway around the lake or all the way, he went…all the way. We saw plenty of birds, but I stuck to subjects that didn’t move or require a telephoto lens.

Despite the ominous-looking clouds in the shots, the weather was pleasantly mild and it stayed dry.

Shot #1, my usual from the bridge at Deer Lake Brook:

Shot #2, with bonus lily pads:

A non-invasive berry:

Shot #4 from the rowing pavilion, which I had never been to before:

Nature walk: Stress reliever, stress inducer

I booked today off and went for a walk in the afternoon because it was pleasant out and I like pleasant things.

In The Truth Equation Neil Pasricha suggests doing one of three activities every day, for 20 minutes:

  • write in a journal
  • read fiction
  • walk among trees

Each activity is supposed to put you in a positive frame of mind, with the tree one working apparently because trees secretly spray you with feel-good chemicals or something. You know, like the spores in that episode of the original Star Trek, but les evil.

I ended up doing a full loop of Burnaby Lake and am a little pooped as a result, because I am soft and flabby. But it was nice.

And unnerving.

It was nice because the weather was warm but not hot, the breeze gentle and inviting. I stopped and took pictures (see below). It was everything Pasricha had promised in his book.

But of course, we are in the middle of a pandemic right now, so there are still signs all over asking everyone to stay 2 meters apart, don’t sneeze into each other’s faces and so on.

For stretches, especially the first few km, it was fine. There were few people out–it was a workday and most people, despite all the closures, are still working. But it is also a long weekend and others like me were obviously getting an early start. All good.

So, the walk was relaxing. Except when other people came by, because of the ones who passed me, there was exactly one small group of three that made an actual effort to make as much space as possible between them and me. Everyone else just walked straight by, as if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic.

Realistically, the chances of catching the virus while walking past someone outdoors is exceedingly small. I had no real need to be concerned. But it still created a tension that began to wear on me as I progressed around the lake. I even diverted temporarily onto the Freeway trail at one point just because I knew there would be few if any people walking it (there were a few cyclists, it turned out). But the Freeway trail is not very scenic and, being next to the freeway, is noisy. It’s the kind of trail you walk on if you have to, not because you want to. I returned to the Burnaby Lake loop at the second opportunity to do so and finished my walk.

Overall, it was fine. I get it, people are tired of walking on virtual eggshells, and of being cooped up all the time and being asked to stay home. Parks are one of the few public places that are open and available. But if what I saw today is an indication of how seriously people are treating physical distancing right now–well, let me say that I won’t be surprised if we see an uptick in cases in a few weeks.

On a more pleasant note, photos!

Burnaby Lake from the bridge over Deer Lake Brook
Buttercups and plenty of ’em
Wildflowers along Cariboo Place.
Another shot of the lake, with lily pads starting to cover the surface.

And finally, one last shot of the lake with the Metrotown towers in the distance and some god rays in the top left. At least I didn’t get my thumb in this one (something I’ve done several times recently for reasons unknown).

A stroll around (half of) Burnaby Lake

Yesterday Nic and I took a break from the pandemic to stroll around and take pictures at Burnaby Lake, roughly up to the halfway point before taking the SkyTrain back. Ironically, social distancing was far easier on the SkyTrain (virtually empty) compared to the trails at the lake, as it was sunny, mild and packed with people. And ducks. And pigeons. And poopmonsters.

Here are a few pics I took along the way with my iPhone 8. Nic’s DSLR with a telephoto lens that could double as a murder weapon took better close-ups, but hey, you work with the tools you have. These pics are still better than what my vintage 2008 digital camera could do.

Still Creek being true to its name .

Looking west over the lake, not a lilypad in sight.

Fungus in the forest.

And the obligatory duck picture taken at Piper spit:

Photo of the Day, November 24, 2019

Since starting 10Ks again I haven’t had many chances to get shots from Deer Lake Brook bridge lately, but thanks to being out of shape and only managing a 5K today, I did! Summer is definitely over.