Yesterday morning I had a 24km long run on the training schedule. And since it would be my first long run from the new house I was kind of excited in a runnerd kind of way to plan out my route.
Even though I grew up just a few blocks from where we are now, this area has changed immensely since I lived with my parents. I also wasn’t really into running when I lived there so I never had the chance to explore much on foot. This run would be my own little Tour de White Rock.
I left the house and headed off toward White Rock. Our new neighbourhood is kind of in a little pocket of development surrounded by agricultural land. The first part of my run took me along 8th Avenue which is a pretty busy road that runs between the two highways that lead down to the US border crossings. Not the most inspiring start to a long run but with nice wide shoulders and barricaded sidewalks it wasn’t so bad.
I ran up through my parents’ neighbourhood and of course, stopped in for a quick hello. I gave myself an extra minute or two to catch my breath because from there I knew I’d be heading uphill for quite awhile. Thankfully the hills weren’t too bad and it ended up being a good little workout in the middle of my long run. I weaved my way up, block by block until I was uptown White Rock.
It was amazingly dry when I left the house and still hadn’t started to rain by this point. I was about 8km into my run and was really enjoying myself. I conquered the hills and was feeling good. Most importantly, I wasn’t having any aches or pains in my right thigh where that muscle has been bugging me. Phew!
Somewhere over by South Surrey Athletic Park I came across the track that Twitter friends had told me about. Solana’s beast marathon training plan is somewhat track heavy so I suppose I’ll be spending some time there this year.
|This will be the scene of my Yasso 800′s. Gulp.|
Not too long after the track I noticed a few runners ahead of me. And then I noticed they all stopped for a walk break. A-ha! These must be runners from the White Rock Running Room! Sure enough, I ran up beside one of them and chatted a bit. This was the half clinic working towards the Vancouver First Half in February.
From there I cut across town and down towards the beach. I’d been looking forward to this part of my run since I started. But first, I had to cut down one of the steepest hills in town. Oxford Street. I honestly could barely even walk down this hill it was so steep!
|Seriously Oxford, why you so steep?|
I made it down without tripping or falling and found my way over to the promenade. We are very lucky to have such a nice promenade at our beach and I’m sure I’ll log many miles along here in the years to come. When I came to the pier, I ran down to the end and back.
|You can’t visit White Rock without visiting the pier…|
It was actually quite stormy at the beach and the white caps and clouds made for some pretty views as I ran along the beach. I, of course, had to stop so I could include a pic of where the city gets it’s name…
|I can only imagine how many times this rock has been painted
to cover up graffiti…
At this point I was actually pretty close to home. Only about 5 more km to go. I was still feeling good and my pace had actually gotten faster as the run went on. That doesn’t usually happen for me so I took a moment to smile when I noticed and carried on.
From the beach it was back along the uninspiring 8th Avenue and then down towards the border crossing….
|This is what I mean by ‘uninspiring’…|
Just before I took this pic a car honked at me and it turned out to be some friends from my marathon clinic, no doubt heading down to the States for some shopping! Lucky them, I still had a few km to go and being so close to home I was feeling ready to be finished.
I wove my around our new neighbourhood and as I passed our back lane I noticed I was going to be about 500m short. I would have to go around the block one more time to make it up and as I passed the front of the house the boys came around to wave and show me their hockey sticks.
|I can’t wait until our grass gets laid!|
I have to say, it was such a treat to see them out there with those hockey sticks. One of the big reasons we wanted to move was so that the boys had more outside space to play. We purposely designed our backyard with a big driveway so they had space for bikes, skateboarding and hockey. It was neat to see them loving it back there after imagining it for so many months.
In the end, I finished at almost exactly 24km. My pace was slow and steady but within the range Solana gave me for long runs. I finished feeling great and without any significant aches or pains. It was a fantastic run and left me with a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
Don’t you love it when you have one of those brilliant runs? I sure do.