Vancouver is my Happy Place
I just got back from visiting my best friend Lauren (aka L, former roommate of eight years, also my soul mate) who recently moved to Vancouver. I’ve always referred to Vancouver as my ‘future home’, and this trip pretty much solidified it for me. Now I’m just working on getting my boyfriend on board and then we’re set.
I started tapering for Boston just before leaving. While I’ve been looking forward to running less, it was tough to do in Vancouver. L lives exactly 300m away from Kits Beach where there is a great running path along the water. That combined with the warmer weather and Cherry Blossom trees, I was seriously in running heaven. My girlfriend Gill (also former roommate) and I got up bright and early on our first morning for a run. I have a self-imposed rule that I run everywhere I go, on every trip I go on. Ibiza has been the only place I’ve visited in recent memory where I didn’t (more like couldn’t) run, because it’s Ibiza and Ibiza warrants a separate (non-running) blog post on it’s own. Anyways, I think there’s no better way to see a city and pretend you’re a local than running around it. I usually just ask a stranger to point me in the direction of the water because more often than not, where there’s water, there’s a running path.
Well wouldn’t you know, half way through our run along the water it got so warm that I needed to take off my jacket! My arms have never felt so liberated! Day one in Vancouver was a beautiful 10km.
I saved my weekly long run to do in Vancouver on day two. It was 24km and I coerced my university neighbour Rob to run with me along the Seawall in Stanley Park. Rob is training for his first full marathon in the fall (New York City!). As we began our run toward Stanley Park I asked him how far he had run this year and he said about 14km. 24km would be a bit of a leap but Rob is one of those naturally super athletic guys (the ones we all hate). We had a great 2+ hour catch up while running along the gorgeous Seawall. Rob is a champion and you would have never of guessed this was his longest run yet. LOOK OUT NYC! Sometimes I think you just need a friend texting you at 7:30am on a Saturday morning telling you to get your running shoes on so she doesn’t miss her brunch plans – to push you a little outside your comfort zone. Rob -next time we’re running the entire Seawall!
I woke up each morning (listening to the birds chirping/calling my name to come outside) in Vancouver excited to run. I haven’t felt like that in wintery Toronto in a long time. While I’ve been so focused on Boston, my training has become almost more of a “must do” than “want to do”. I am really grateful having had these last few days to remind me how much I actually love running (when it’s not -30 and I’m wearing 10 pairs of pants).
I ran 56kms in Vancouver over four days – which could have easily been 100+kms if I wasn’t tapering. I could run forever in my future home.
I also climbed a mountain on my trip! L, Gill, Joanna (not my former roommate but also one of my bffs) and I headed to Squamish on our last day to hike “the Chief”. I literally felt like I was climbing nature’s stair master. The Chief has three peaks and after a couple chain ropes, steel ladders, a fake first peak and a lot of climbing, we made it to the top of the real first peak.
Suffice to say, that was enough for us. I’ll save the other two peaks for my next trip. To say the view was incredible is an understatement. It was so surreal. Eventually we had to get back down which was a lot harder on my legs than going up. It took us about four hours round-trip. It’s been two days and my quads are still feeling it.
So with under two weeks until Boston, I am starting to feel pretty antsy. This week I am running half as much as my peak weeks so I’m trying not to spend my new-found free time getting anxious about the race. I have “never-ending 1km repeats” (direct quote from my coach) on Saturday so am hoping I feel good during those. At this point less is more and I just want to feel confident going into the race. Legs don’t fail me now!
Sorry no recipes to share this week. Although we tried cookie butter and cookie butter cookies from Trader Joes that Jo had brought us from Seattle. And by “tried” I mean we ate two boxes and more than half the jar.