Monday, April 21, 2014

In the stillness of remembering what you had

Monday. Secret pool, Lynn Canyon

You know those long runs with a friend, when the conversation just flows like your feet down the single track. That’s how it was, telling Jackie how in my Adult Learning course, there was a section on cognition and, I don’t recall the exact statistic but it was a staggering number just how many people were born with a psychotic gene. “All you need is a trigger to activate the gene and it turns off your empathy! That’s how some people loose their sh*t.”

Work being exceptionally busy, I didn’t get to play all week until Friday morning – why I worried my trigger could be on the verge of being activated … being cut off from my capricious mountain habit drives me mad. 

Friday. Jackie, to Norvan Falls

You say you want your freedom, who am I to keep you down

Yet there was much in stow to compensate for my glum disposition. Firstly, I had plans of a jaunt up the Chief and a picnic by the Spit, except this plan didn’t pan out … the icy downpour wasn’t too appealing that Thursday night anyway. 

Ah but the next day, Friday morning, Jackie and I were rewarded with sunrays, spraying falls, a view, and essentially a perfect 4 hour run with lots giggles along the way. Freedom, yeah feeling it.

Friday. Making my way up to Lynn Peak

Friday. Jackie in the sun, giggles by the falls.

It's only right that you should play the way you feel it

Saturday was the second of the SQ50 orientation runs, starting and finishing a 30K loop from Escape Route, an outdoor retail store on the strip mall near Starbucks. The owner opened early to receive the 70+ runners for sign-in, really a ploy to taunt us – sidebar: as a note for ladies, they have hard-to-find running-specific apparel in attractive models with pricing comparable to MEC. I made out like a bandit with my post-run shopping!

Saturday. In front of Escape Route, post run.
I'm totally busted checking my phone - Photo by Dianna Christopoulos

Geoff  and Dianna looked after us with an aid station at the 18k mark, and Gary had marked the way with white chalk arrows on the ground. Many agreed the chalk is as efficient as any course marking, nonetheless we could buy the TrailMapps App for 10 bucks or there were paper maps on hand, in case. Gary asked us to provide feedback on a modification to the course, which I’ll attest will be a delight to all on race day.

Saturday. The awesome aid station

At the start I asked Jackie to keep me in check, so I wouldn’t dart off and kill myself trying to hold with the frontrunners, knowing there was a lot of weekend left. Adam and Mark led the front alone, as Matt was hanging back using this as a recovery day.

Saturday. Jackie pulling away, bridging the chase pod, my legs are toast

And so, it wasn’t long until Jackie and I bridged-up to the next chase group, maybe 6-7 people in that pod with speedster Sarah in tow. Jackie was keeping good pace with them and I just petered off the back with uncooperative legs. Jackie waited for me at one of the bends with an inquisitive look. I mustered “don’t wait for me, I wouldn’t wait for you." No sense ruining her run with my lousy pace.

Saturday. Alexa embraces the trail

When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know you’ll know

Sunday my plans fell through, again. I felt groggy from an exercise hang-over and it was raining, again. Sometimes you need to build-in space for spontaneity or just accept that life has other plans for you. Sunday was therefore time for introspection (i.e.: errands).

Monday. Top of Seymour Grind, lots of trail work has been done
on the Baden Powell, I imagine fast times for Knee Knacker, though less gnarly

It seems almost a crime to venture on a big North Shore run by myself, as I’m sure a few people would have tagged along if asked … but Monday morning found me disorganized, so I headed from EOL (End of the Line/Lynn Headwater) toward Deep Cove to see how the run and my body would respond.

Monday. Good that I remembered to wear my 'dog tags' since I was exploring
side trails along the way. Mandatory refuel at Honey's for extra joy in my step

Monday. First time up Quarry rock, had always just zoomed past it in eagerness
to avoid this high-traffic area. It's fun to "run tour" and sightsee in your own backyard

I made it back to EOL just under 4 hours, revitalized and sound of mind - if I have any psychopathic genes, may they lay dormant for at least another week ... Thunder only happens when it's raining.

A few more pics on Instagram.

Next up: an adventure run up high and athlete interviews for Golden Ear.

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