Long Weekend Recap


long weekendIn addition to the obvious perk of having a day off work, one of my favourite things about a long weekend is that I have an extra day for a run! I don’t have to get up too early, or encourage myself at the end of a long day, or squeeze it in during my lunch break. I can just go for a run!

No races this weekend, nothing extra-special planned. So I thought I’d just do a recap of what got done!

Friday – Stanley Park

I made sure my Mon-Fri alarm was off, and got up when I woke up (around 7:45am). Then I took my sweet time – had my oatmeal, enjoyed a cup of coffee, scanned Twitter while the cat lazed on my lap. And then it was time to get moving!

Excited to try out my new Nikes, I slipped them on and headed out the door. On Wednesday, a few of us did a lunch run, and I led us through trails at the edge of Stanley Park. That whetted by appetite for more, so I had already selected my route.

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Brand spankin’ new!

I ran English Bay to Second Beach, and then entered the park. I hadn’t done this route in months. It was dry and the trails were mostly empty. For company, I listened to a Miles Not Included podcast – not the one I was featured in, but an interview with Brandon from I Run Alaska. Inspiring story – he’s gone from “couch to ultra-marathoner” in just a few years. I really enjoyed hearing his story, and encourage you to listen – and also to visit his blog!

Rawlings Trail to Prospect Point.


From sea level to about 90 metres (300 feet) in under 2 km. Not the hardest climb ever, but a good workout. Prospect Point overlooks the Lion’s Gate Bridge toward West Vancouver.

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I took the steeper/quicker route down via Bridle Path, and retraced my steps along English Bay.


Once I got home, I enjoyed a yummy green smoothie.


After buying a giant tub of protein powder last week, I realized the faux vanilla taste was just too strong and I needed a different solution. I bought some single-serving packs of Vega to try out, and I like them better already.

I had planned to go to Pilates, but the class was (understandably) cancelled due to the holiday. I took a nap instead.

Saturday – Strength

After postponing a few sessions due to scheduling challenges/health issues, I finally got to reconnect with Lisa, my awesome trainer at the YMCA. Still reeling from the aftermath of my traumatic Bodycomp scan (high fat percentage, hardly any muscle), I had emailed Lisa asking her to focus on some muscle-building exercises. And boy, did she give me some work to do.

We did a routine that involved:

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Snatches (also using kettlebells)
  • Back squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Clean and jerks (cleans & jerks? – uncertain)
  • Weighted lunges
  • …plus some ab exercises

I’ve been instructed to do this workout 4 times per week.



OK well, we shall see how that goes. But I’m motivated and committed to self-improvement.

Lisa also complimented me on my new shoes.

Sunday – Yoga & Stanley Park 2.0

My sleep was restless on Saturday night because everything hurt. Especially the muscles in my back. NOTE: it was not your usual ‘lower back pain’ – it was the ‘I have never used those muscles before and now I want to die’ kind of pain. The ‘I will never go to the gym again’ kind of pain. I got up and took an Advil, and then slept for another hour.

Then we went to yoga. I’m so glad I did because while I didn’t think I’d make it through, with all the focus on balancing and breathing, I briefly forgot about the pain. Stretching out some of those sore spots certainly helped.

After brunch, and a beautiful walk home along English Bay, I took a nap.

Yes, another nap.

But the sun was beckoning, so I set my alarm and then got up for another run! I enjoyed the Friday visit to Stanley Park so much that I decided on a repeat.

The biggest challenge was getting there. Once the sun is out, so are the Vancouverites. And tourists. Everyone and their dog – literally. So the ‘home to park’ route involved a lot of weaving  and dodging, and I nearly got hit by a bicycle.


Even the trails were busy. On Friday, I encountered almost no one. Today there were lots of cyclists, even on the steep climb up the Bridle Path. At Propect Point, there was a traffic jam getting into the parking lot, so I didn’t linger.

I also decided to finally listen to my own interview on Miles Not Included. And while I generally don’t like hearing my own voice, it actually wasn’t too bad. If you missed it, you can find it here or on iTunes (Episode 9).

The downhill trail was not as crowded.

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And that is why I enjoy long weekends!

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Gratuitous tulip photo


What did you do this weekend? Any exercise or races?

Any advice for a runner getting started with weights and strength training?

One comment

  1. Emily Gercke

    Hahahaha “I took a nap instead.” Story of my life. Or I wish it were anyway! Good on you for getting the strength workout done. I know the feeling you’re talking about. 4x/week though, that is crazy!!

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