Run 624: Cooler and faster

Run 624
Average pace: 5:48/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 2:49 pm
Distance: 5.02 km
Time: 29:08
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 22ºC
Humidity: 57%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 157
Weight: 166 pounds
Total distance to date: 4700 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (55 km)

Today started out cloudy, which would make for a nice run. By the time I headed out it cleared up, but it was okay, because the temperature stayed around 22ºC, which is well below the threshold of “Why am I running in this crazy heat?” Humidity was higher, too, so unlike the previous run, I was not plagued by dry mouth. It was nice.

After the last run I had some soreness in my left knee, extending down into the shin, so I was concerned how this would impact the run. Surprisingly, it didn’t seem to have any effect, perhaps because the three days off gave it enough time to sort of recover. I didn’t experience any other issues during the run and at times I felt pretty good, even distracted enough to think about other things, as I do when I get in the proverbial zone.

My BPM was right around average for the runs of late and my pace was only a tick or two higher at 5:48/km, but also within range, showing that I was able to come back from the Xtreme Heat run without complication.

Officially I hit 4,700 km total today, though it’s higher, since I didn’t track runs from the start, but 4,700 is a pretty good number. It’s enough to get me to Honolulu with almost 300 km to spare, though my shoes might get a little wet.

The Sauconys have not been scooping up gravel the last few runs, leading me to believe this is more a me problem than a shoe problem. I’m not sure what has changed, but I’d like to continue not scooping rocks and debris into my shoes.

In all, a decent run. My next will be on Saturday and I may go clockwise yet again, as progress on the resurfacing of the side trails is moving strangely slowly, so they remain closed (this is doubly odd, because they never actually closed the main trails while resurfacing them, so I’m not sure what exactly they’re doing on the side trails. Maybe they’re adding more trees or something).

Run 605: Faster, colder

Run 605
Average pace: 5:47/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Start: 1:36 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 29:04
Weather: Overcast
Temp: 9ºC
Humidity: 63%
Wind: moderate
BPM: 158
Weight: 166.8 pounds
Total distance to date: 4605 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8

I was a little leery going into today’s run because the last time I ran at the river it was cool–7ºC–and my BPM was crazy high, as in so high I was actually a bit afraid to run outdoors again under similar conditions.

Although the temperature was similar today at 9ºC, I have been running at least weekly for some time now, both on the treadmill and outdoors, so I was thinking I’d probably be okay. I set out for a modest pace under cloudy skies and a small threat of rain. The wind of the last few days eased up, so temperature-wise it actually felt decent during the run.

There were many people on the trail, most of the dog walkers had their dogs unleashed (boo) but the dogs were well-behaved (yay). I generally stuck to my plan and the only issue of note was some discomfort right around the bump in the orthotic in my left shoe. This is somewhat odd, because that bump is specifically there to keep the left foot from getting sore when I’m walking and especially when I’m running. Is my foot changing? Is it going through foot puberty? I may have to make a trip to Kintec to get them to have a look. Plus I should probably get the orthotic re-upholstered or whatever the term is for getting the padding replaced, as it’s getting old, scruffy and the heels have holes in them from where gravel has gotten stuck (I’ve been wearing my gravel scoops–aka Brooks Cascadia 12s–since I got the orthotics).

In the end, and with a light coat of sweat, I finished with a much faster-than anticipated pace of 5:47/km, which is 23 (!) seconds faster than my last run at Burnaby Lake, and even 12 seconds better than the “my poor heart” run at the river on January 26. Come to think of it, why is the temperature only 2 degrees warmer nearly three months later? I’ll file a report with The Weather Bureau or other appropriate agency.

Overall, I am pleased with the result. I am getting faster, which shows I am getting in shape, but more importantly, my heart rate is back down to a healthy level, after a couple of alarmingly high runs. As a bonus, I don’t really feel the knees are a major factor at this point. I can still feel them when I run, but it’s easy to ignore them. If anything–and despite having done nothing specific to treat them–they seem to be feeling better than they did at this time last year when they first started getting sore. So yay for that.

Run 604: Now with less beating and more naked chests

Run 604
Average pace: 6:10/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CW)
Start: 12:46 pm
Distance: 5:02 km
Time: 31:01
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 15-17ºC
Humidity: 46%
Wind: moderate
BPM: 157
Weight: 167.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 4600 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8

A week between runs and I headed back to the lake, opting to run clockwise. It was a little breezier and warmer, with the temperature more like early summer by the end of the run at 17ºC.

My plan was the same as last week–to go slow and steady, to not push and to keep the heart rate down. I did start to push a little in the last km–sometimes it’s hard to stop yourself–but a stitch in the gut made it easy to pull back. I finished the run exactly ten seconds slower than last week, but more importantly, my BPM went from 163 to 157, matching my last treadmill run, so things are definitely improving. If I can maintain this, I’ll slowly start pushing again, but I am literally in no rush. My mantra this year is to run regularly and run carefully.

To that end I actually did a few stretches before the run. They didn’t seem to have much effect, but the important thing is I stretched and I may stretch again and all the stretching will pay off down the road (or trail).

Also, I saw four (!) guys running shirtless today, which may possibly be peak shirtless for the year–and it’s still March. This is very weird, yet delightful.

Dogs and other pedestrians were no issue and overall, conditions were quite nice. Nearly ideal, in fact. I am pleased with the final result.

I also hit a semi-official milestone tonight, reaching 4,600 km run in total. The actual number is higher because I started tracking after I had been running for a few months, but, like in horseshoes, it’s close enough to count. That I started running at 44 and have kept it up every rear for the last ten years is a nice achievement in itself. I’d clap myself on the back if it weren’t so awkward to do.