Life was back with a vengeance today. I hit the Sunday morning run at HRC for the first time in several months. It's always this way; run with the club on Sundays from December to May and then spend nearly every Sunday between May and December at the races. Not necessarily doing the races, it could be hanging out in a fluorescent vest but there none-the-less. I might get a couple of Sunday runs with the club in during the summer, but these are more likely to be races themselves.
Sundays are a different kettle of fish to the weekday evening runs I've been making fairly regularly. In the winter everyone, bar none, turns up as there is nowhere else to be. This morning was no exception.
There may have been upwards to 50 people down today, but I ended up in a fairly rarified group; Rami Bardessy, Greg Wiercorzek, Shawn Deleu, Shawn Beaton and Nick McBride. Not everyone was a marathoner however; the latter two race over shorter distances, albeit shorter distances quickly. Nevertheless, I was comfortably the slowest guy there (pick your distance). Oh well, what you going to do? It's only training with faster people that gets you faster.
The first 7kms were around Point Pleasant Park as Nick took us on a magical mystery tour of all the tracks and trails in the park he knew from cross-country. It was entertaining and even fun, but it seemed wicked fast. We left the park and did another 30 minutes through the south end and down to the Rotary. It seemed pedestrian, but after playing with Nick on his turf we were now playing with Rami and Greg on theirs. The pace was around 4 minute/k. No wonder it was so quiet. Nick peeled off just before the Rotary, Rami and Greg climbed St Margarets Bay Road, because the run hadn't been hard enough to that point, whilst the Shawns and myself nursed our way home feeling collectively sorry for ourselves.
At least it was warm. Seven degrees centigrade and sun in December; I'll take that. I was warmed than it was in Quebec City, and way less snow (as in we don't have any yet). The damage was a shade over 21 kms in 1:30. Not a bad morning's work. My longest run since MDI, and one of the fastest too.
Seeing as I'm pretty much wiped this afternoon, I might as well upload some of those pictures from QC....
Smarty at the Petrocan in Riviere du Loup. There's something about Riviere du Loup; something is always falling from the sky when I drive through there!
The 20 just after the PetroCan, heading south. It was way snowier than this between Edmunston and Riviere du Loup, the proverbial white-knuckle ride.
"Go to Simons" is always a good piece of advice when going to Quebec City or Montreal. Perhaps the road was trying to tell us something. However, I'm not sure a double semi-trailer with Simons on the side in metre-high letters qualifies as subliminal advertising!
And where was the first place we went in Quebec City? Technically it was the Chateau Frontenac where we checked in, but we left pretty quickly. I thought we were going fo a coffee to keep me fortified during the PGB meeting before the opening reception, but no. We went to Simons.
There is a big Simons on the way into QC in Ste Foy, it's the size of a small city block (I swear) but this store is the mother-ship. No trip to QC is complete without worshiping at the holy-of-holies, the original Simons in Vieux Quebec.
As you can see, the city was very snowy, lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Despite being there on TriCan's dime, it did feel like we were able to get a little mini-City break
Here's a funny story from the meetings themselves. Well, apart from TriCan Prez Stephen Holmes organismal/orgasmic slip-of-the-tongue that is. I was meeting most people for the first time, both my provincial counterparts and the TriCan top-brass. Naturally, my policy in the national meetings was one of head down, eyes open, mouth shut, but I was able to express myself more eloquently in the provincial meetings. Without even knowing too much about me, TriNB's John Russell and Scott MacKenzie immediately pegged me as a cyclist. How? Only cyclists wear cycling socks as "dress" socks.
It's true, I do. It's my way of subtly expressing who I am. It's better to dress within societal norms, but you do tend to feel like a shop-window mannequin; there are only so many ways to wear black or (God help you) grey, and very few ways with panache or elan. Loud ties are passe, as are cartoon socks, but if I can squeeze a pair of non-loud cycling socks in under my suit (or whatever) then I feel my individuality has been preserved, even within the small-c conservative confines of the business or business casual fashion paradigm.
My offering for the TriCan meeting? A pair of provincially-appropriate La Cordee branded black DeFeets