Sunday, November 22, 2009

Puke Skywalker: Aldergrove Jedi

A short time ago, in a not so far away municipality, a 7.7 K cross country race was held. It took place in the Aldergrove Lake System and the North Shore feud continued between the Lazy Trail Runner and myself.
He and a handful of other speedsters had beaten me into the ground back on Remembrance day and today was my chance at redemption. I wasn't certain the chances were great until he called me this morning and told me about his poor decision making the night before. Rolling home at 2:30 a.m. after mixing reds, whites, and te-kill-ya is never a good idea, especially as a pre-race meal. And just when I was feeling more and more certain I would take back my title, I became positive. I was positive because the young and fast, Mr. Coo was hanging out of my car puking all over the shoulder at the Gilmore on ramp. As I laughed my ass off and gave a few arm pumps we continued on toward Aldergrove to race. I've got to hand it to Puke Skywalker, he registered and really showed up. He carried his vampire-pale skin around the course four times and was only 2 minutes behind me. An incredible effort with no more puke.

The course was cool. About 75 runners looped a soaking wet and rolling course four times. It began going across the grass, which was under about 3cm of water, across a muddy side hill, up a steep climb, and around the old lake bed. The second half cruised downhill passed the lake and into the forest for another climb. The decent from that climb contoured back across to the start line where the next lap began.

All in all I ran a fairly steady pace, which was the idea, as we were running this as a tempo type run. The first lap may have been slightly quick, but the remaining three were excellent splits. I'm not sure how I stacked up against the other speedsters out there, but my finish was 31:20, two minutes in front of the Lazy Trail Runner.

(Aldergrove Lake Park)
The invite is open for the next run at Jericho. It's the Gunner Shaw Memorial on December 5th, coach Green's birthday. Please join us. Maybe you'll even catch a glimpse of the Aldergrove Jedi, Puke Skywalker.

(Me and the Lazy Trail Runner after the Aldergrove Ramble)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Quest for Another Gear

As some of you may know, I have been working at getting a bit faster. Unfortunately, it takes more than just great Salomon gear to make that happen. I wish I could say it was all in the Speed Cross 2 and the 3/4 length Exo compression tights, but it's not. I'm working toward bettering my Orcas 50K time in February so along the way I thought I'd run some 8k to 10k cross country. The last one, on Remembrance Day, was hell. This coming Sunday I hope for things to go better at the Aldergrove Ramble, in Aldergrove Lake Park. Following that, I'll try out the Gunner Shaw 10k at Jericho. I heard you run through sand at that one. Sounds like fun, the beach in winter I mean.

The way I see it, these races are just long tempo runs of about 30 to 45 minutes. I can only hope they make me a bit faster. If nothing else they provide me with a couple more opportunties to take down fellow Flight Crew member, Duncan Coo.

Wish me luck finding that next gear this Sunday, or perhaps consider joining us. The entry is only $10 and the start time is at a totally reasonable 11:00am.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'll Remember Today For Sure

I never knew 8 k could be so difficult. Following a trumpeting of the Last Post and a few blasts of the Nine O'clock Gun we were off. A pack of about a hundred runners set off across the grass at Brockton Oval, in Stanley Park. I made light of the situation with a few jokes and quickly learned there was no time for that kind of banter. Hey, the best runs I've ever had were full of smiles and jokes, so why not this one? This one was serious. I think I was among some real road running talent. Heads down and go. So I joined in and the lungs began to burn. I had that blood in the mouth taste by the time we hit Lumberman's Arch and I knew this was going to be trouble. I kept my sights on the runners in front of me, got missile lock, and couldn't do anything about it. I held my position to only be passed by one runner and was finally pummeled by the Lazy Trail Runner. I ran 30:20 and finished 11th. Not bad for my first XC. We'll see what happens in a couple weeks.
(This is me finishing in a world of hurt)
Photo: Courtesy of Linda Tran Media Services
Although I was in lung searing survival mode for almost six of the 8k, I am looking forward to the Aldergrove Ramble on November 22nd. I want redemption over Coo and the workout is amazing.

As well, I've come to realize Stanley Park as an incredible place to run and walk and explore.