This was supposed to be a big week and looking back on it now, it was and it wasn’t. With Buckin’ Hell coming up next weekend, I really wanted to get a lot of climbing in this week. I started the week well by getting good climbs on Monday and Tuesday, but then due to some personal issues at home, I didn’t get out again until today. Wednesday through Friday I had the opportunities to go, but to be honest, my head and my heart just weren’t in it at all. I woke up this morning though and knew I needed to get out there and put in a good effort. So, I went out on the Baden Powell Trail and headed over to the Grouse Mountain area.
It was a warm day, but quite cool in the forest and very pleasant for running. I took the run across to Grouse quite easily, but once again, it was a PB. My fitness is obviously getting better all the time and I’m getting faster and faster without realizing it at the time.
I usually go up the BCMC Trail when I get to Grouse, but this time I chose to take the Grind instead and come back down the BCMC. The climb up the Grind was okay, comfortable I suppose. After running there along the Baden Powell, it’s never going to be a PB going up the Grind. I knew that ahead of time so I decided not to push myself. I kept my heart rate at a sensible level and didn’t try to race anybody if they passed me. Only one person did pass and I was happy to just let them go. At the top, I bought a chocolate milk to top up my calorie intake and refresh a bit, before making the descent via the BCMC. The descent was horrible. It’s very technical, so you can’t get any real speed up. Plus, it’s been so dry lately that the entire trail is dusty and therefore quite slippery. I had a few moments where it was difficult to stay on my feet, but thankfully, I did.
By the time I was two-thirds of the way down, my legs were vibrating. I was shaking and just wanted it to be over. It was a very difficult descent and as I reached the bottom, I did consider turning left and heading back home. However, I had made a plan for the run and I wanted to see it through. So, I turned right instead and ran the short distance back to the start of the Grouse Grind. Then it was time for round two.
The second ascent was much easier. I felt better and it seemed to go by much faster. Both ascents were actually about the same at 50 minutes. The second time just felt quicker. I also felt better when I arrived at the Grouse Mountain Chalet. I bought another chocolate milk and then took a couple of pictures from the lookout.
It was then time to head back down. This time I decided to take a route I hadn’t travelled before. I took Paper Trail, which is a ski run just behind the chalet. It takes you down to the bottom of the cut and is an absolutely beautiful trail. It felt like proper trail running and the view of the city below was spectacular.
Once at the bottom of The Cut, I picked up Skyline Trail which is a straight, fast shot back down to the Baden Powell Trail. This time, when I reached the Baden Powell, I did turn left. It’s not a long run home from there. My legs were getting tired, but I decided to give it a good go and push myself over the final kilometers. I found myself running parts of the trail on which I would usually power hike. It was a great feeling and super satisfactory to be doing that after all the climbing I had done.
About one kilometer from Mountain Highway, I rounded a corner in the trail and came face-to-face with quite a large black bear. He was just walking down the trail towards me and wasn’t phased at all by my presence. I stopped and pulled out my phone to take a few pictures, but the bear just kept walking towards me. Once he was about 15 metres away, I thought I better back up a bit. Then, he just sat down on his backside and scratched his ear. Finally, he made his way off the trail. I watched him for a few minutes before continuing on my way. Once I got to Mountain Highway, it was a straight shot down to the house.
A really good run and I think it made up for the days missed during the week. I had in the back of my mind 5000m of climbing for the week. I ended up with 4503m. Not bad. I was thinking about making up the rest tomorrow, but I seem to have injured my right big toe and may need to rest it instead. I’ll see how things are in the morning, but as of writing, it’s pretty painful. I’m not sure what I did, but it almost feels fractured, even though I’m sure it’s not.