Getting chased down by minivans

I let myself fall out of routine this week.  Rebecca is going to work an hour early all this week, the plus side being that she gets off an hour sooner as well.  That makes for a slight change in how everything works in your day, so I made it a point to get a little more sleep and take a super long run this morning.  There’s just something about it that makes your internal sense of well being come back around.

The last block of every run, I burst into a dead of a sprint that my body has energy left for.  It’s at this point that your body has expelled the stored fuel that you get from eating meals from the past 24 hours.  Just as much as you are digging deep to breathe and keep your legs moving, your body is doing the same with your fat reserves.  Pleasent thought, I know, but it’s something that tends to run through my head everytime I hit this point.  That, “my god, don’t fail me now.”

Today, there was a brown minivan that suddenly appeared in my peripherial vision.  It pulled ahead, slowed up, pulled ahead again, and waved.  I noticed her somewhere in the middle there.  I knew that this person wanted directions.  The nice thing would be to stop and help, so I did.

“Do you know…  can you tell me…  the intersection of Pender and…  um, Davie?”

Her english had a hispanic accent to it.  I was fighting to maintain my breath and not spit as I spoke.  Getting beyond that thought, I knew this woman had no clue where she was going or looking for.

I’ve lived her long enough to understand that the streets she was looking for don’t intersec at all.  From the downtown core to Stanley Park, the area sits on a bit of a penninsula.  The streets she was looking for run parallel to each other, on opposite sides of said penninsula.  When I asked if she meant Pendrell, she said that must be it.  Struggling to breathe through my words, I directed her to where she needed to go.

As she started driving backwards down the street, I continued in the same direction that she stopped me in.  At that point, I realized that she is going to be looking for Davie and Pendrell.  Those streets run parallel to each other as well, but only a block apart from each other.  That’s when I heard horns honking at the brown minivan for going backwards on a two way street.  She was lost, and quite possibly insane.


I’m liking the Nike+iPod concept, even though there might be a better name for it, a lot. The more I hear about it, the more I find myself thinking how cool it would be to own such a device. Sure, it’s uber geeky overkill, but that makes me want it even more.

With a sensor in your shoe and a receiver on your iPod nano, your run takes on a whole new dimension. See the minutes tick by. Watch the miles unfold. Hear real-time feedback. All to your favorite music — including the one song that always gets you through the home stretch. []

The patent[hrmpf] for the product is pretty interesting. Essentially, the little thing you clip on your shoe not only updates information about how far or fast you are running, but your nano will play songs that match tempo to your running pace. I like this concept as sometimes when I’m heading into a burst of speed, something a little more kick ass is nice to have pumping through your ears, even when Bjork mysteriously pops up on the playlist you made for when you go running.

I do love my mini, and it does brilliantly when I go running around Vancouver. However, this would make me think about getting a nano, easy to scratch screen or not.

Am I On Your Refrigerator?

Ever go running along the Seawall in Stanley Park? There’s the area where all the tour buses seem to stop by the totem poles. It’s a nice, touristy spot to take some pictures. In fact, I recently discovered that those totem poles have a slightly strange history. Actually, follow that link and you’ll find a lot of interesting, if not dark, history about Stanley Park.

In the opposite direction of the totems, you can go to the Seawall and take some really great pictures of downtown Vancouver. I would say that 90% of the time, there is at least one person taking pictures there. Other days, there can be a huge group of bodies crowding the pathway. The other day a I ran through a mob of young Asian students posing and snapping away, forcing me off the path in order to get around them.

It makes me wonder how many pictures I get into. How much have I been disseminated around the world? What photo album am I tucked into and on what continent? Whose digital photo library am I in while I am mid-stride? How many times has someone said, “this would have been a great picture if it weren’t for that guy running into the shot.”

Sweet. I’m a “that guy”.

Sun Run 2006

Sun Run NumberWhat an incredible experience. The weather was great, the mass of runners were crazy, and I had a lot of fun. I walked with Rebecca to work this morning so we could pick up today’s edition of the Vancouver Sun to check out my time.

58 minutes and 26 seconds. I’m pretty happy with that. This was my first time ever running in an event like this. It seems to be pretty on par with the pace that I’m used to doing during my regular running routes. Of course, I took today off from my normal routine.

The one major complaint I have about the whole event was the waiting. The word was that access to the areas where you would be starting were going to be closed at 8:30AM, so Rebecca and I got in place around 8:20AM. I knew about the wave starts, but our group didn’t cross the start line until 9:44AM, or at least that was what my iPod told me.

I hate waiting in general, but it was the standing on the pavement that got to me. I could feel my knees getting sore and the lower portion of my back get a little stiff. It felt good to just start moving when we did start, but I didn’t feel really loose until I was around 3km in.

The route took us into the west end, through a slice of Stanley Park, up to the Barrard Street Bridge, into Kits and False Creek, and the home stretch taking us over the Cambie Street Bridge for a finish at BC Place. I parsed through the KatKam archives last night for the off chance that I could spot myself crossing the bridge. I found four pics that could be me. The one at 10:20AM seems most likely, but it’s hard to know. The clock on the KatKam could be off, and I was one of 50,000+ people.

KatKam - April 23, 2006: 9:45AMKatKam - April 23, 2006: 10:16AM
KatKam - April 23, 2006: 10:20AMKatKam - April 23, 2006: 10:40AM

The oranges and bananas they had at BC Place afterwards was awesome. With spring here and summer approaching, I think we’ll be making a better effort to stock up on fruit.

I wanna do more races like this. There seem to be a lot coming up this summer in Vancouver. We’re going through and picking some out. I might even be really brave and try a half-marathon. We’ll see.

Running Vancouver With the Masses

Tomorrow will be my first running event of any kind.  The 10k Sun Run will go around Vancouver, and I’ll be in the group of 50,000+ making the trek.  The worst part of it is what we learned at the doctor’s office today; Rebecca has laryngitis.  She’s still going to get out there and walk it the best that she can, but I’ll be lonely without her.

I got a playlist put together on my iPod to keep me company in the meantime.  I’m excited and nervous.  It’ll be a lot of fun, but I’m unsure about what to expect.  We picked up our numbers and scoped out a place to meet up at BC Place today.

Wish us luck!

I’m Signed Up For the Sun Run

Rebecca got us all hooked up for the Sun Run coming up on April 23. We’ve been doing our best to get her on a good running schedule, but her years of doing sports in high school seem to be getting her back on track pretty quickly. I am about ready to fall asleep as I write this because we were up at six this morning for a near 4km route.

For myself, it shouldn’t be too horrible, but I’m still going to train. I run about four to six days a week, alternating between long and short routes. On average, I’d say I run about 8km every day that I head out. That takes me about 30-40 minutes to complete. 10km for the Sun Run should be a nice challange, and I’ve never been in anything like this before.

I’ve found that people don’t like running with me because I either have too fast of pace or enjoy hills a little too much. I blame my brother Mike for this. He ran me into the ground when I was about to start football my sophomore year of high school, but I learned how to handle hills that way. And for those canucks out there reading this, that would be grade 10.

I’m looking forward to the Sun Run. Shortly after that, on May 26, we are looking to do the Run For Light. That’s a 4.3km course, but at night. And with glow sticks!

Time for bed now though. I’m beat. Also doing a long route tomorrow morning to keep with the training. Would like to do the Seawall as that is just over a 10km route, but we saw that they are doing construction on the side just down from Coal Harbor, from now till May. Might have to come up with a better route to train with.

Might have to try some of that music Don Deeley was talking about and see if it’s any good for keeping the pace.

Oh Yeah, That Was Today

On Sunday, I got up a little bit before Rebecca did to take a nice run before our mad day of running errands.  With iPod loaded and clothing bound to keep me warm enough for the approximately five kilometer route, I was on my way towards the waterfront by Coal Harbour and into the park.  That’s when I remembered seeing some signs about a charity run going on, but I couldn’t remember if it was Saturday or Sunday.

It was Sunday.

No big deal, but here are all these people running along, completely taking over the path that they were being led on.  I did my best to avoid the congestion and stay out of their way, but coming back towards Lost Lagoon on the Tatlow trail, I had no choice but to join the group.

I wasn’t sure how far these people had ran already nor how far they were going.  I just felt like such a jerk because here I was, passing everyone on their left without missing a beat.  Out of the corner of my eye, I caught some people kind of giving that look of disbelief.  How could they be getting passed?  I was probably on kilometer 3.5 at that point.  Then someone was trying to keep pace.  I can only imagine how tired he or she must have suddenly felt when I went off to the left while the rest of the crowd ventured right.

Speaking of running, this site is a must have bookmark for anyone who is a runner in Vancouver.  Thanks to for the link.

Destroying Your Knees In the City

Stanley Park TrailsI love being able to use my near daily runs to help discover the city.  You really don’t want to stay too close to the interior of downtown if you plan to do some distance running.  The hills are one thing, and crossing intersections can be another.  It’s the plight you get from any large city. The easiest thing to do is to head towards the water or the park.  There’s still a bunch of people you have to weave through, but there is no way you would want to run down a street such as Robson(which I have seen before).

Be careful about running in the park though.  The Sea Wall is easy as long as the wind coming off the water isn’t too intense.  Rain has never been a problem. You just have to not be afraid of getting wet.  However, that route goes around all the neat trails you can take by actually going into the park.  If you’ve never been in the park, you can get into trouble.  Study the maps as well as you can before you think you can take an easy run to Beaver Lake.  If you can’t handle the hilly terrain, stick to the sea wall.

Watch out for wildlife. Dogs, raccoons, and squirrels are all over the place.  The last two want food from you.  Dogs for the most part are incredibly tame around the city.  Just today was the first time I was heckled and chased by a dog before the length on its leash ran out.  Just the other day, an otter bolted out of the brush when I was on the Bridle Trail, just off of Second Beach. That was bizzare and cool all at the sametime.  Rebecca says it was a beaver.  Google images tell me that I saw an otter.