December 29, 2011

Eternal optimist when estimating distance

Yesterday afternoon Tim, Luka and I headed out for a 16km run in the pouring rain. With the balmy weather of late, we certainly had nothing to complain about.

In fact, it was the warmest December 28 in two decades: the 9.6 degrees Celsius was a daily maximum record for the day in Squamish, surpassing the previous one of 8.2 degrees set in 1991, according to local amateur meteorologist (and runner) Jason Ross.

We ran past the Ravens Plateau subdivision and followed a trail along Crumpit Woods toward a forest service road that took us via an undulating route toward Quest University.

Other than agreeing on a direction, we hadn't discussed a plan; wearing Mr Garmin it seemed, somewhat to my surprise, that our 16km session would allow us to complete a staple lap we hadn't run for at least six months (because of cougars in the area). This route usually takes us around 90 minutes, and we'd always thought it to be closer to 18km.   

It would be Tim's longest run since completing his first ultra, the Whistler 50, nearly eight weeks ago so he wasn't keen on a step beyond 16km. I might have been off with my estimates of distance occasionally, typically being more optimistic than warranted. Exhibit A from June 2010, according to Tim: loooong run

Yesterday Tim wasn't in the mood for anything longer than planned, but I managed to earn his trust on this one. His recovery from the 50-miler has included plenty of indoor rides on the wind trainer at home, a dozen 90-minute Bikram yoga sessions and daily walks. It would also be Luka's longest run in a while, though he didn't seem fazed at all. Nor did he protest.

Once we reached Mamquam Road, we turned left to ease down the big hill (about 1.5km of free speed), and then followed the trail sandwiched between the river and the Squamish Valley golf and country club. Still hanging a left here, we had about 5km to go.

After spotting a few bald eagles high up in the trees here, we passed the swimming pool at the Brennan Park aquatic centre, and then followed a nice flat section of the Sea to Sky trail for about two kilometres before turning left, and headed up to Hospital Hill along a steep-ish incline for about 700 metres. From here, we had a little under a kilometre left to our front door, a good thing as it was getting dark.  

All three of us were absolutely soaked, and so glad we got out for a solid 90-minute run.The route was a hair under 16km, so all's well that ends well.

I had run in the Hoka One One Mafate, a shoe I like more and more each time it's on my feet, especially for easy and recovery sessions of between one and two hours.

Luka & Punky want IMJ outfits too
Tim and I both wore our beautiful jackets from IMJ Coaching, owned by our friends Teresa and Scott in Boulder. We didn't take a  post-run photo:-).

(Luka's 13-year-old cousin Punky who's staying with us for two weeks received a post-run walk. He's a perky senior Jack Russell but a 16km run is a bit too much for him these days.)

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