We parked up at the Civic Centre, the official start of the race, donned our earphones to discourage visiting in an effort to stay focused and headed down Robb Rd.
I had warned her that there was going to be far more walking than running – I prefer ‘interval’ training … with really, really long intervals. She agreed to stick with my pace and see how it went.
As we headed west on the paved pathway that cuts from Switzer to Emerson, I broke in to a jog. I had a point in my head that I was going to jog to, it was a tree, about halfway along the path … it didn’t take long before the excruciating, mind-bending pain in my calves and the stars in my vision erased all memory of exactly what tree I was going to make it to.
Before I tumbled headlong into the pavement I pulled up into a brisk walk, nodding to Angie as though everything was fine, no really, I’m fine, not dying, not at all, I totally meant to back off and start walking here – right here.
We walked at a fairly good pace across Mountain St. and past Lion’s Park before I gave in to the pain and stopped to stretch my calves.
I had hoped for a non-stop trip, but it wasn’t in the cards.
We continued along, down the gravel path to the town maintained trail system that runs along Happy Creek all the way from Wanyandi Ave. to Robb Rd. It was quite a ways along this trail when I started to wonder if Angie thought we were never going to break into another jog again. Like I said … really, really long intervals.
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We kept a pretty good walking pace for a while and I did, eventually break into another bout of jogging behind the boardwalk area. Mostly so that people could see me running, who are we kidding?
By the time we reached the Robb Rd. crossing my intervals were getting a lot shorter and my calves had stopped screaming at me. An interesting thing was happening, I was feeling better the further we went … very interesting.
After we crossed Robb Rd. and headed up the hill towards the Thompson Lake area we didn’t run, on purpose, and we pulled our earphones out. That area is bear territory, so it’s best to be on alert.
This was the first time we had a chance to discuss how we were doing and we both seemed to be surviving quite well. We avoided checking our timers, waiting until the end to see if our walk/run was comparable to any of the recorded times from last year. We had the oh so lofty goal of posting a time faster than the slowest time from last year.
A few more running intervals took us through the Thompson Lake subdivision and out Eaton Dr. back to the Civic Centre. It was here that a weird thing happened. As we came up the road toward our vehicles I looked at Angie and said, “Part of me wants to race you to the cars like a kid.”
She took me up on it and … I sprinted … yes, sprinted. Trust me, no one was more surprised than me. She kicked my butt, handily, which totally makes sense, since she has legs half as long as me, right?
But it was fun, and we posted a time of 1 hour 27 minutes. Well within the slowest time posted last year. Now, all we have to do is beat it, right Angie?