It’s been a while since my last update, because, well, nothing has happened since then. When you’re injured there’s not a whole lot of adventurous, interesting running going on.
However, I have been feeling quite a lot better, and have been slowly getting more and more miles in. Two weeks ago I got 60 km in, and last week I got 80 km down, so that’s not too bad. I was hoping for 100 km this week, but then I became gravely ill, so another week of training is ruined. Alas…
On Sunday I got a fun run done, however. I went up to Cypress Mountain and ran up Cypress Bowl Road. I realized, hiking this month, that my quads were not yet strong enough to carry me reliably over the hills for 100 miles. So I am keen on getting more hill miles in. Cypress seemed like a good place to do that; it’s the “go-to” hill climb for the road cyclists.
I left the dog at home, grabbed some hand-held bottles, and drove to West Van. I found the “default” parking spot, at around the 2 km signpost, and started off. I chose to wear my New Balance t-shirt because it wasn’t that sunny, and a ball cap. I was in my short-shorts, and was running with 12 oz of Gu brew.
The hill is, I calculated, a 6% incline, or ascends 60 metres for every kilometre, that is roughly 200 ft in 0.6 miles, or 313 feet/mile. Leadville’s “Hope’s Pass” appears, from the Garmin plots I’ve seen, to climb 1000 m in 5 km, or about a 16.5% incline. So …. Cypress is a walk in the park compared to that. Of course, people don’t run Hope’s pass, they hike it. I ran Cypress. I started off around a 5:30 pace, but as it steepened and I started coughing and choking on phlegm I slowed. So I roughly averaged about 6 min/km, I’d say.
Right away it kinda started to rain. That sucked. It would suck more and more the higher I got. I remembered those oft-ignored words of advice “The weather can change quickly in the mountains!” and later I would finally pay the price (at least, a small fee) for ignoring them.
The run kinda dragged on, because of the rain. I passed a few bikers, which was cool (must be demoralizing to be on a bike, passed by a runner..?) and made it to the top in about 1:10 hrs. It was raining more heavily now, and there was snow on the side of the road. I climbed about 690 metres, according to Garmin (2300 ft) and it was time to go home.
The run down was… awful. I ran out of fuel (and therefore water) and I was freezing cold. Not that I needed the fuel, or water, but it was tasty and a nice distraction from the suffering. I couldn’t run fast enough to get warm (or I’d eat it, and kill myself). At one point my shoelace came untied, and I could barely work my fingers well enough to tie them back up. I was passed by dozens of bikers doing like 40 mph down the hill. I was doing about 5:11 min/km and trying not to wipe out. And it dragged on, and on…
I finally was nearing the end and realized I could break a 2 hour half-marathon, so I started running super fast. (I was going to have to run sub 4:00 min/km to do it) and then after a minute or so I smartened up and slowed down. Jesus, will I ever learn? Don’t race during training, idiot!
Made it back to the car, thankfully, got changed into a dry top, drank everything, and then drove home…. I had intended on doing two laps (a full marathon) but in the end, the rain and cold (and sickness) prevented it.
That afternoon, I became terribly ill, and spent basically that entire day and the next laying in bed suffering. Oops. I guess I probably should have stayed home and not gone running in the freezing rain. Oh well, we learn something new every day!