Day 151 October 4, 2011 Chilliwack to Maple Ridge 64km

6 Oct

I can smell the ocean

I started off running through the nice Chilliwack countryside and soon I was on the Lougheed highway. It was a much quieter rode than the Trans-Canada but the shoulder was also much smaller. Both Russ and Zimmerman started the morning running with me and while the forecast called for rain there was a strange combination of fog and sun.

After running only about five or six km we came upon what turned out to be the steepest ascent of my trip. Here I am in the Fraser Valley, enjoying the flat roads and having mentally checked out of running steep hills, when out of nowhere, on a road I wasn’t initially planning to run on, a 2.5km 11% grade hill appears. 11%! I’m still not entirely clear on the meaning of the % grades, but I do know that the steepest I’ve seen so far this trip is between 7 and 8. So 11% was an unwelcome discovery.

With Zimmerman now back in the RV, Russ and I scaled up this beast, and although we only gained about 250m in elevation I swear it was much colder at the top. We continued along the narrow highway, the MCC at our rear blocking traffic until we were greeted by our 11% grade descent. So barely into my morning and my legs were already tiring.

By the end of the day my legs were weak and wobbly and I couldn’t make it to the 70km I had hoped for, having to tap out at 64km. Russ handed me some chocolate milk and as I was drinking it I thought it tasted a little off. The thing about chocolate milk is that it tastes so good that it’s kind of hard to tell if the milk portion has gone bad. So I drank a lot of it before I decided it had gone bad. I hope that isn’t a problem.

While stretching a truck pulled up and out jumped a man in jeans and a green t-shirt. He walked over to where Mike and I were stretching and introduced himself as Fred Fox, Terry Fox’s brother. SO AWESOME! He had been driving along the Lougheed Hwy and saw us stretching and stopped. So I guess I have the ministry of transportation to thank for that (I still haven’t forgiven them for the 11% hill though). We chatted for a while and then he had to take off but it was definitely a highlight for me.

I only have 46km left to run tomorrow until I get to Boundary Rd, the border between Burnaby and Vancouver and I’m starting to get really excited!

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