I am spending the week before my half marathon in and around Vancouver, BC. It’s not my first choice to be on vacation so close to a race, but it is what it is and I’m trying to behave myself. Though I can’t say I’ve said no the occasional glass of wine or dessert, I have been walking up a storm and getting up early to jog. What a treat it has been to jog without snow pants on. It’s been about +8 C and drizzly with the occasional beam of sunlight. Though I feel like I’ve been cheating on running in Winterpeg, my experience running in White Rock, BC has been far from a breeze.
That’s just it – the breeze here is insane. The ocean generates such strong winds, especially in the rainy winter. When I was running into the wind, I felt like I was going in slow motion and I could barely even inhale. When I was running away from the wind, I felt like a rocket, so that wasn’t so bad. The wind here (at least when I’ve experienced it) is stronger than any wind I’d ever felt in Winnipeg, though thankfully not as frigid. It creates an added element of challenge which, for me, is more than welcome.
Perhaps even more challenging is the steep terrain. I guess I shouldn’t have been so shocked that when I left the prairies and entered a city surrounded by mountains that there’d be hills. Well are there ever. White Rock in particular is full of dangerously steep hills. Many of them have roads built on them and I am entertained to watch cars struggle up them. So naturally I decided to run up and down these big hills. In order to get from the residential area to the ocean, you have to go down a steep hill. This was probably more challenging than going back up it. I was not prepared for how much strain my shins would feel from safely trying to trot down a steep, steep hill. I am still sore from that. And when I’d turn around and run back up, I only lasted seconds before I was slowly walking my way up. The hills beat me round one, but I’m planning to tackle them once more this week before I take it easy before my half marathon.
It’s great experience different parts of Canada. Unlike the States, we only have a few climates to choose from, and it’s refreshing to go for a run in weather mild enough to not freeze my nostrils shut. But at the end of the day, I’m looking forward to getting back to ol’ Winterpeg where the roads are flat, the sky is sunny, and the weather is already starting to warm up.