Sunday, 30 September 2012

Nature Walk



I was feeling beat up after my first 100k week - ever - of running. I was getting winded walking up a flight of stairs. The previous night, I went to a wedding of an old co-worker. After three hours in heels and the longest 1.5k walk home up Robson EVER, I was convinced that I was a cripple for life. Most important - I was down to my last gel.

However, the weather forecast was good and the snowline was still high up, so Brooke (my kneeknacker training / life partner) and I decided to run Elfin Lakes.

moonrise
I woke up in the dark. I walked to the bus stop with a full moon overhead in a cloudless sky. The bus went over Lion's Gate just as the sun was rising.



blinking lights
On the drive to Squamish, Brooke's oil light started blinking. We attempted to buy oil at the gas station, but weren't sure about the right kind. Since there was no smoke actually coming from the hood, and since the car seemed to still be running, we chanced it and turned up the long gravel road to the trailhead.

are we there yet?
The gravel road started out okay. Then it climbed - and kept climbing. The potholes got larger. The gravel became rocks. Brooke's patience got less and less. At one point, the road looked like it was about to break out of trees, and into the parking lot. Instead it went around a bend, to a neighbourhood with a small cluster of houses. "Seriously?!" Luckily, googlemaps showed us to be almost at the parking lot - otherwise, the run might have started quite a bit earlier.

"I'm so lactic"
After doing a lot of elevation the last couple weeks, the wide, gently granded trail up to Elfin looked deceptively runnable. We started out at an easy jog on the uphill. After about ten minutes, neither of us was talking. We looked at the uphills, looked at each other, and opted for a brisk powerhike.



needy runners
The one thing missing from the run was Katie, who decided to forgo trail adventures in order to attend stroke camp, in Calgary. I attempted to sing a newfie song in her honour - it turns out, I'm not the best singer. Instead, we planned future trail runs to do once she got back - get ready for Coliseum Mountain, Katie! :)

holy sh*t - they did WHAT?
Two of our teammates were racing in the Berlin marathon today, so we did what any VFAC-er would do - obsessively check online for results, then text friends equally obsessively once they were posted. Hearing about Alicia's (www.runningoverdose.com) 3:01 and Tara's 3:13 marathons was a great inspiration. On the drive back home, we checked out the VFAC facebook page to discover that Drew won the Surrey marathon, and is now a national (well, for Surrey) hero!

motor skills
We stopped to have some calories after 1:15. I quickly downed a gel, and started running again. Brooke was running besides me on a rocky downhill section. I looked over more closely: Brooke was eating a fruit bar with one hand, and with the other hand taking off a layer and putting her hydration pack back on. WHILE KEEPING PACE. Apparently this is nothing compared to an intense two-shirt + jacket + pack delayer she did during the Fatass 50k a couple years ago, while never breaking stride. Apparently I still have a lot to learn about trail running.



travelling light
In June, during a particularly snowy and tiring kneeknacker training run, my perfectly-sized MEC backpack of four years finally came apart. In a state of panic, I bought a replacement. A really, really large replacement. A replacement with a 3L water bladder, about 10 pockets, and roughly 100 straps that I never really know how to do up. A replacement that, if I forget to apply body guide, leaves large angry lime-sized welts on my shoulder blades. When I bring this new pack out for hikes, a couple things happen - I get made fun of by friends with normal packs, and I then get talked into carrying all of other people's gear that doesn't fit into their packs. I resolved to go to MEC to get a smaller pack this weekend....and napping won out (it sort of always seems to win out). But I am determined to stop the cycle of ridicule and awkwardly applying polysporin to my raw shoulder blades, and next time I'm out on trails I will have a small pack that doesn't give me a sore neck or tight shoulder (...if I theoretically had either of these things).



I don't eat gluten...sandwiches aren't gluten...
Brooke had to go to work after our run, so I got dropped off in Lonsdale to have lunch with Allison. By this time, it was past 1pm and we were both starving. I could have eaten salad. I could have eaten oatmeal. Instead I had a veggie sandwich on fresh whole wheat bread and sat out in the early fall sunshine.

Stats
distance - 22k
elevation - 800-ish?m
pictures take - a lot
pictures in which Brooke fully committed to doing a thumbs up - 0
times Brooke re-checked the directions to the trailhead parking lot on our way up the long sketchy gravel road - 10
percentage of the (formerly whole) grilled pineapple I ate tonight - 50%

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