Another post so soon! A few people have asked why this running blog changed into a regular blog. Simple answer: I am not running right now, but I have not lost that spirit or the love of writing. Here’s what happened. After being a big …
This weekend was pretty awesome. Due to back problems and not training as much as I should have for this 10K, and having had a couple bad episodes where I could barely move, I extremely doubted my capability to run a 10K this past weekend. But something somewhere, deep inside, said I could do it. I kept telling myself that. I believed so heavily that this race was one of the most important things that I and other runners could contribute to our local city: push solar-power, fund for renewable energy projects, and raise awareness of climate change, all while doing something fun and community-oriented: running!
Well, several family and friends joined us this weekend for an in-between American-Canadian Thanksgiving. It was the first time I bribed people with food to join a race (all in a good joking manner), but everyone had a good time. We got to the Second Beach area of Stanley Park early on Sunday morning, and it was cold and slightly drizzly. We layered clothing until the actual race started at 10 and went around to talk with others. The race was entirely solar- or bike-pedal-powered, and it was a zero-waste event, meaning no throwaway paper cups. We brought our own water bottles.
When the race began, I discarded my hoodie, tied it around my waist, and just felt really good with that pumped-up kind of pre-race feeling. I ended up running the entire way, with no back issues, though my run was slower than usual because I had not run anything close to a 10k or even 5K for a few weeks. I was the tortoise in a pack of hares for a while, where they would sprint, then walk, and each time I would catch up to them–until at one point I noticed they were no longer running past me. I think I do have a little long-distance blood in me. So my goal now would be to continue to strengthen my core, get my back healthier, and increase my pace again–and maybe train for a half-marathon. I honestly think I could do it. I had a good solid run on Sunday. This was, by the way, my first running 10K. I had done a couple Sun Runs in the past, but each time walked a good portion.
One thing that helped was just running along the seawall and being engrossed in the beauty of the day, right next to the water, with a lovely misty sky and occasional sunlight trying to break through. The mountains lined the day, and the trees of Stanley Park stood like ancient statues. I really and honestly did feel that this kind of activity tied us closely to nature, brought us together as a community, contributed to a cause that may directly stop fossil fuel industries, and was a fun and healthy thing to do.
Thanks so much to Ben West, from Tanker Free BC, for organizing this amazing inaugural race. I’ll definitely join them in the future, year after year. You can find out more at the Great Climate Race. This race reminds us that we are racing to mitigate climate change.
Just inland from Vancouver, BC, we have had a continued heatwave and growing drought. Here is a photo I took last week when running around campus. This is how lawns are starting to look. One of the big differences between here and places I’ve lived …
Getting excited here about some upcoming runs!
One is this coming weekend. We have an Easter weekend to visit family, so will be traveling to near where the setting of my climate change novel Back to the Garden took place, in the Selkirk Mountains, which dip from British Columbia into Idaho (where the story began). I love the area: it’s mountainous and wild. Every time we visit, the trip there is full of the greatest mountain views, horse ranches, eagles’ nests, and other scenes that are very much in “the spirit of the West”. The run I’m doing there is just my normal weekend run, and I’m wondering if I’ll find any flat trails. I usually have anywhere from 300-600 feet elevation per week in my runs, so I don’t mind some hilly areas, but am trying to increase my pace and distance as well.
The big run after that is the Vancouver Sun Run, which is 10K, which is just over 6.2 miles, for those people out there, like me, who didn’t learn the metric system. I’m used to it now that I live in Canada though! This run is on April 19. I’ve run-walked the Sun Run before, and haven’t completed my training to run 10K, but I’m going to attempt to run most of it. I’m not a very competitive person; the person I compete most with is myself, so I’m going to at least try to run to the big hill, run-walk up it, and see if I can finish out the run after the hill. Most runners have to take a small break here and there (stopping for crosswalks, stopping to go to the bathroom, stopping to do a number of little things), and I am pretty confident that with these small normal breaks I can do nearly the whole run as long as there are no injuries or other problems on that day. I feel confident about this because while the first 10 minutes are always my hardest, I really get into the groove after that and feel like I could keep running. I’m usually reigned in by time limits during the week.
The run after that happens in June; it’s a 5K-10K Father’s Day run-walk. My husband and I will be running, and I think his dad and aunt are also coming–but we’ll each go our own paces. I can’t remember if I signed up for the 5 or 10K, but again, not feeling competitive, I’ll just do my best that day.