Run 608: Back on track(ish)

Run 608
Average pace: 6:23/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 1:58 pm
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 32:06
Weather: Sunny with high cloud
Temp: 23-24ºC
Humidity: 47%
Wind: light
BPM: 163
Weight: 166.9 pounds
Total distance to date: 4620 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8

Today’s run was all about consistency. I headed out to improve on, well, every aspect of last Sunday’s not-so-great run and achieved this. Hooray! Here’s how today’s run was better:

  • Faster pace (6:23/km vs. 6:33/km)
  • Lower BPM, 163 vs 166
  • Did not have to stop and walk at all
  • Left foot was not sore
  • Had enough energy at the end to actually do a little running on the way home
  • Only one cyclist on the trail–and he was walking his bike (!)

And here’s a few small ways the run was a tad worse:

  • It was slightly warmer, but drier, and my mouth was so parched I actually thought about how I might want to carry water or gel packs with me during runs this summer
  • A tree had collapsed where the Conifer Loop connects to the main trail, forcing me to clamber over branches to keep going
  • A parks worker in a putt-putt car nearly mowed me down from behind. Seriously, those things are quiet and they are not driven by kindly old seniors.

In terms of pace, I started out at a slower, steadier pace of 6:16 and fell way back on the second km to 6:42. This is why I don’t check my pace until after a run–seeing that number would have crushed my spirit and tossed it into the lake.

But after that I was the model of consistency and apart from a brief stitch in my lower left side along the Cottonwood Trail, I felt fine, if not quite peppy. Today it felt more like just being out of shape vs. recovering from The Worst Cold Ever, so that was actually a positive. For the last three km, my pace was 6:20, 6:22 and 6:22 again. I found my comfort zone and stuck to it.

Overall, then, a perfectly fine follow-up where I achieved everything I hoped for. After last week’s dismal effort, I was pretty sure I would see an improvement this week, so the results aren’t unsurprising. They are still very welcome.

50 posts and bonus Photo of the Day, September 30, 2018

This is the first time I’ve hit 50+ posts in a single month. Sure, a bunch of the posts were photos, which feels a bit like cheating, but I still had to go outside to take the photos and all that junk, so there!

Speaking of, here’s a photo. When I went for my run yesterday at Burnaby Lake, I found they had done a clear-cut of the trees near the dam. I assume they were dying, damaged or dead. Or maybe they just hate trees. Anyway, these three are now giant stumps. There are several other ex-trees not far from these ones as well.

The beware of trees run

Average pace: 4:34/km
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Distance: 5.02 km
Weather: Partly sunny
Temp: 7-9ºC
Wind: light
Calories burned: 357
Total distance to date: 2048.5 km

Today was my first official™ run of the year. With the wind light, the sky nor threatening rain and no handy excuses for not heading out, I donned shorts, t-shirt and cap and set off for Burnaby Lake. My plan was to walk to the lake, run 5 km (or make a brave attempt) then walk the remainder of the lake and back home.

The one warning sign I had heading out was a certain level of discomfort in my left foot, where the pad and the toes join up. This is also the part that hits the ground when walking. It was sore because without my footrest I sometimes stupidly slouch in the computer chair and press the foot into the wall in a way that is, shall we say, sub-optimal.

I arrived at the lake, set the shiny new iPod to 5 km and set off on a pace that was deliberately deliberate. I was going to be extra-careful about overdoing it.

Much to my surprise I kept up a consistent pace and reached the 5K mark in a little under 23 minutes, finishing with a pace of 4:34, impressive even for 5 km. While my chest felt like it was going to cramp for most of the run it never did and though each incline felt like tiny anchors were suddenly attached to my feet I kept up the pace. Overall I’m pleasantly surprised and pleased by the performance.

The right foot also felt fine. While the bump where the tendon was hurt can be felt it’s not at all painful and was fine before and after the run. My left foot (not to be confused with the movie) hurt like almighty heck on the 10 km or so walk back home, though. Holy cats it was bad. I may need to set up some kind of electro-shock thing to make sure I never ever slouch and press my foot against the wall again.

It feels mostly fine now.

The most notable thing about the run was probably the debris left over from yesterday’s storm (which featured rather intense hail at one point). On the top stairway leading down to Lower Hume Park a tree had collapsed, smashing through the railing but thoughtfully landing in such a way that it didn’t block the stairs. At about the 8 km mark of the Burnaby Lake trail another tree had snapped and managed to plunge itself top-end first into the trail itself (probably a good 20-30 cm into the earth), the rest sticking up at about a 45 degree angle. It was a rather bizarre sight. A number of other trees look like they are set to give way and some recently chainsawed pieces were evidence that more still had recently come down.

My next run is set for Tuesday after work and I’m planning on another 5K to see how that goes. Excelsior!

Ironic Vancouver

Seen at the corner of Pine St. and Burrard (image is courtesy of Google maps, as I didn’t have a camera handy as I went by it the other day):

I’m not sure why so many Vancouverites are fascinated by palm trees — though I confess I find them exotic and mysterious compared to the billion maple trees normally seen hereabouts — but this is my new favorite clump of palm trees in the city, nestled as they are around a sign proudly identifying the location as Pine Place.