There was a last minute change of running plans for Saturday. I ended up going to Squamish to run the 37 km orientation run route for my upcoming Squamish50 race (actual o-run is scheduled for July 18) with a couple friends. Having missed the recent 32 km orientation run, I had been hoping to get up there for a long run on the trails.
We’re in the middle of a heat wave and Saturday was no exception. Luckily most of the route was shaded by trees. The three of us all wore our hydration packs and stopped at Alice Lake campground to refill about 10 km into out run. From there on out we would have to rely on creeks for water if needed. I drank almost 4 litres of water during the run which is a lot for me!
The trails we were running are also used my mountain bikers. As runners, if we hear or see a bike coming we politely step aside to let them pass on the narrow trails. We came across a couple bikers and hopped onto the side of the trail but it turns out they had also stopped to let us pass. As we ran by them, the lady in our group said something about having jumped into the bush to which one of the mountain bikers repied, “I usually have that effect on women!”
This was my first time ascending the infamous Galactic Scheisse trail and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s a long steady but not incredibly steep incline. Not in my realm of runnable! After power hiking up, we visited the creek at the top. I dunked my shirt in the cold water and put it back on to cool off. It felt amazing!
We continued on through a bushy section when all of a sudden this huge brown furry animal comes out of no where sending a couple birds shooting up out of the brush. Obviously my first thought was “bear!!!” I’m not going to lie, it scared the crap out of me. But it was a big friendly dog, soon joined by another one and a couple hikers.
After galactic, the rest of the journey was mainly downhill back to Quest University. A lot of the downhill was quite technical plus the super dry conditions made it had to get footing in loose dirt. I took it really slow and steady … I’d hate to make my friends carry me out because I twisted an ankle!
I was pretty done at this point but I trucked along thinking about the creek I would jump in and the food I would eat after. With only a few kilometres left, we were all out of water.
It was a joyous occasion when we reached the creek. We stripped off our packs and proceeded to sit in the nice, cold water for what felt like a good 15 minutes. It was hard to convince ourselves to leave. There was a small bridge and a road beside us and we wondered if anyone would deliver a pizza to the creek.
When we finally got out and went to start running again, my legs had clocked out. I shuffled along like an old person who needed a walker for a few minutes before they loosened up again. It was about a mile to the car but we made it! The total time of our run was 7 hours and 30 minutes and the distance was 39 km according to my GPS watch. We enjoyed a celebratory Booster Juice before driving back to the Vancouver area.
Later that night I watched the 4th of July fireworks from White Rock (Canada side of the border). It was really cool seeing all the different fireworks locations from the border to Birch Bay area.
My bridesmaids threw an amazing bridal shower for me on Sunday afternoon. But before the party, I knew I had to get a run in for my run streak (more on that to follow). I only had to do 3 km minimum for the run streak but a part of me wanted to do 10 km so I would reach 75 km for the week. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after my long run on Saturday so I was okay doing either distance.
Thinking I’d end up only doing 3 km, I didn’t bring water with me but I was running on road and I knew there were places to stop for water if needed. I later found out this was supposedly the hottest day of our heatwave! Luckily, there was a bit of a breeze.
I ended up being stubborn and running the 10.6 km I needed to reach my weekly goal while sweating profusely. I had just enough time to shower and get pretty before the party!