Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So, there is still some snow on the ground..

I was to complete the 17k tempo tonight, holding 3:35/km (or 5:46/mile for our neighbours to the south).  With the temperature reaching double digits around here recently, I was hoping that the paved road in Lynn Valley was going to have melted.  So it was with this hope that I made my way to the North Shore quickly after work, to take advantage of the ever increasing sunlight, and to get this longer workout done.

I parked my car outside the gate of the park and started the 3-ish kilometer run to the entrance of the park.  The signs posted around the gate clearly state that the gate will close at 5:00pm.  Seeing as how I started the run at 4:30 I didn't want to risk the chance of getting locked in.  However, with construction of a water filtration plant occurring on the edge of the park, there are many cars going in and out of the gate.  I still was unsure if I would be able to get out when I wanted to, so I used the 3k as a warm up for the tempo.

I arrived at the start of the road and I was not optimistic.  Snow sat everywhere, defying the sun to melt it.  I followed the worn snow path to the start of the road and was pleasantly shocked - the road was plowed!  This was amazing!  While there was snow everywhere else, the road was bare!  I started my watch began my run.  

That lasted 90 seconds.  About 400m in the plowing stopped.  It appeared that they plowed the road to some sort of storage hut, but not beyond.  There goes the workout.  I turned around and quickly decided I run back toward the car.  Seeing as how the distance to the car was close to 4k from where I was, I decided to do out and backs from the car.  The dirt road was in perfect condition, there weren't that many cars going by, and I was surrounded by forest.  It was also slightly downhill to the car and, correspondingly, uphill back to the start of the paved road.  This would make it difficult to hold 3:35 pace, but it would be beneficial in the Boston-sense of downhill running. 

So, an hour later, I was done my workout.  It wasn't what I had planned, and I had a rough patch on the first uphill portion, but seeing Tom and Duncan on the second downhill portion helped my spirit and I finished feeling good.  Again, I am not sure that I held pace, but my heart rate was up and it felt like tempo effort.  And it was a heck of a lot better than running in place on a treadmill.

It is supposed to rain for the rest of the week, but these few days of glorious sunshine has helped to rejuvenate my desire, reminding me what it is going to be like in a month from now.

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