After bailing several times on invitations to go trail running, I finally went despite having a 10k race the night before. I didn’t want to flake out again so I ran the Night Race at a slower pace, made sure to eat well before and after, and ran cold water over my legs in the shower (the closest I can get to an ice bath).
The next morning I got up bright and early, ate some breakfast, and headed off to North Van with a friend for my first trail run. I was pretty nervous as I was joining a group of very experienced trail runners (including a dog) for a 15 km run. Luckily, they were all tapering for a 50k trail race and were “taking it easy.”
As we headed up the trail I was told that pretty much the entire first half of the route was uphill and the last half downhill. All I had to do was make it to the top and then it would be smooth sailing. I was relieved that there were lots of photo breaks, pauses to chat and re-group, and a general slow and steady approach to the uphills.
Not far into the route, we stopped at a breathtaking view of the morning fog over Deep Cove. A nice man was there at the same time and took a photo of all of us. He was very insistant about getting the dog in the photo.
At about a quarter of the way into the run we hit a short downhill stretch. I am pretty slow on downhills having had knee problems in my teens (that somehow seem to have resolved themselves over time). I passed what was probably the most beautiful cluster of three spiderwebs perfectly catching the sunlight. I thought about stopping to take a photo but I didn’t want to hold everyone up. I still regret not stopping …
After missing the turnoff for the planned route, we ended up ascending what appeared to be primarily a mountain bike trail.
I was relieved once we made it to the top and could start the downhill stretch! By this time the rest of the town had woken up and we ran into lots of hikers on the way down. I managed to veer of the trail twice (too busy looking at my feet) but found my way back to the group.
After all the calories we burnt, it was time to get some back. We stopped at a local cafe for coffee and donuts (and no, they most certainly weren’t vegan!) before heading home. They were probably the best donuts I have ever had and were huge too.