With the moon shining bright once again, and the brisk air causing a slight shiver prior to the start of the workout, I set out for 2 x 3 miles around Stanley Park. Some of the big boys were out tonight - Paul Krochak has his marathon in Sacramento in 10 days so he was looking for one last solid workout and Simon Driver was out to pace him; Ynuk returned from his Australian holiday to join the fray. With Gunner Shaw coming up this weekend, I wanted to be controlled, but the night did not allow for that. The weather was perfect and the darkness concealed the hills. I ran well for the first 3 miles (16:15) and, in consultation with John, I went out with the boys on the second one to see how long I could stay with them (Paul went about a minute faster than me for the first three miles).
As the second loop began I became acutely aware of the moment. The moon lighting the road as it did the other night, four of us running hard together with the lights of Vancouver reflecting off the ocean as we circumnavigated Stanley Park. And me, I felt smooth. And we ran fast. And I smiled. Broadly. It was an amazing 1.5 miles that I ran before I decided enough was enough. I could have struggled through the second half of the loop, but my better sense prevailed and I shut it down in anticipation of letting it back out on Saturday. Hopefully. Regardless, it was a great evening workout and I left feeling fulfilled.
Paul looks sharp for Sacramento. Simon is fit and Ynuk, coming off jetlag and vacation is running well. This bodes well for the winter.
On a more disappointing note, Bob Reid (Gunner Shaw Race Director) had this to say about his race this year....
The 2007 Gunner Shaw course is a race for sissies. There is not only a lack of puddles and mud, but I had to re-route the finish using Trillium Trail rather than the rock stairs. The result is that you are only running a little over 9K this year. Next year Gunner will be a certified BCA sanctioned event. I have measured the 2008 course with a wheel and added 800 metres to the old course so it is precisely 10K now.
I will make my ferry reservation for next November now. But I am concerned that the old Gunner courses were 9.2k? That means my times were not nearly what I thought. We had always pegged it at about 9.6k, but 9.2k is quite short. I guess the wading through a 200m, 2.5 ft deep puddle made up for the shortness of the course.
See you at Gunner!