Last month I shared some tips about running in New West. If you’ve been considering a flat, fun and local run, I enthusiastically recommend the Paavo Nurmi Run on Saturday, June 22nd at 9am. The run takes place along the South trails of Burnaby Lake Park (a new route this year).
The Paavo Nurmi Run is a fun run for folks of all ages and speeds. There are three different distances available: 3km, 5km or 10km. The runs are low cost compared to a lot of other runs: $25-35 per participant – and kids run for free! Your registration for the run also gets you free access to the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival down the street at the Scandinavian Centre. There are even medals and prizes for top finishers.
Who is Paavo Nurmi you ask? He was a Finnish nine-time Olympic Gold winner and is considered one of the greatest runners of all time. Some refer to him as “The King of Runners” or the “Flying Finn.”
To register for the event you can head over to their website.
Just over 10 years ago I joined a running group at a local gym. I had never proactively sought out running as a hobby or interest before. I loathed it in high school. Fitness tests and the 2400m run came three times a year and it was a nightmare for me. But I started small, 1 minute of running followed by 2 minutes of walking. The progression was slow but consistent and culminated in a 5km race a few months later.
Running isn’t for everyone. And that’s 100% okay. For those that are interested in running in New West and want a few ‘pro-tips’, this post is for you. One seasoned runner, Carly-Ann tells people, “Being a runner from NW is not [like] being a runner from someplace else. No matter where you run, you’re going to be hill training on your way there or back.”
Since then I’e learned a lot about running in New West and wanted to share my accumulated knowledge of running in the Royal City.
Tip #1 – Hills, get used to them Running in New West: You gotta love hills. You don’t need to run them all, but get comfortable physically and psychologically that there will be hills in your future. Even running across town from Glenbrooke North to the West End, there are some inclines to tackle. But as Naomi Perks told me – “There’s no shame in walking up those steep hills!” They can be a good challenge and if you ever get into hill training or hill repeats you are never short of new locations to try out.
Tip #2 – Safety above all else Safety – it’s important for everyone to be seen and to see others. It is a brutal truth that not all drivers stop at stop signs or at pedestrian crossings. You are given one body, make sure you are cautious with it. For some people that might mean lighting your exterior up with reflective clothing or even a basic light system. Use lit crossings and don’t assume a drive sees you. When it gets dark in the winter, hit the track! New Westminster Secondary School has a well-lit track. You may even want to do some stair workouts. Personal safety is just as important – be aware of your surroundings, run in pairs or a group when possible, tell someone where you’re running and if you wear earphones keep one out.
Tip #3 – Record it Electronic recording can be a great way to motivate and track your runs. Whether it’s Strava, Apple Watch, Nike Fitness, FitBit, or pen and paper journaling, keeping track of your runs will help ensure you don’t over train (or under train). Using your phone or electronic device can help track your pace, distance, time, elevation and sometimes heart rate. It can be an information overload but also fun to dig into.
Tip #4 – Variety is the spice Avoid fatigue by incorporating different activities. Weight training is important for everyone regardless of age, weight, gender or ability. I’m a fan of New West’s Canada Games Pool because they have an awesome sled / prowler equipment that adds variety to every workout. Follow that up with some stretching or yoga is a great balance, or a dip in the pool. Variety is important especially to avoid injury and boredom.
Tip #5 – Fun New West Routes There are limitless routes to discover in New West, pick one and discover a new neighbourhood
Queens Park neighbourhood – easy to add on distance
East to west run along 7th avenue – quiet route through a variety of neighbourhoods
New West Secondary School track – well lit and soft surface
Hume Park (my new personal favourite – hills, shade, washrooms!)
Queens Park is about 2.5 kilometres around and offers some challenging hills regardless of the direction you run
Glenbrook Ravine is quiet, car-free and gorgeous in any season
Tip #6 – Join a local group Over the years I’ve attended many runs hosted by the Running Room. There isn’t one in New West but the Running Room at Market Crossing in Burnaby is relatively close and some of their runs do cross into New West. The Queen’s Park Running Club has operated since the 1990s and meets at the Queen’s Park bandshell three days a week for groups runs of different lengths.
There is a lot to get excited about with running in New West. Take it slow and enjoy the journey. And if you’re a runner in New West be sure to share your tips below.
When starting a new physical activity always listen to your body and consult your physician for advice.
When I first started writing this post it was that awkward time between Christmas and New Years Eve when your mind starts to wander. Perhaps it was the extra chocolate, carbs or down time that got me thinking about the coming year. Either way, I’m writing today about New Year’s Resolutions my New West friends. (I know, insert groan here).
Ringing in the new year or starting it off with a drastic change is pretty common. At my local grocery store they are already stocking their aisle ends with low carb shakes, protein bars and granola. And I’m already reading posts from friends about 2019 being the year they lose weight or get fit for good.
Instead of “New year, new me,” how about flipping that script and doing more of the good things you did in 2018? Start with listing five important moments in 2018. Next: what did you do to get through those moments? Was it a tough project? Public speaking? Challenging family situation? Next: What did you do right to succeed or learn from those moments? For 2019: resolve to do more of those things.
For those struggling or wanting to consider some more solid resolutions I’ve put together an alternative list of New Year’s Resolutions:
Introduce yourself to your neighbour (especially if you live in an apartment/condo)
Give up buying coffee/lunch/snack etc for 1 day a week and donate those funds to a non-profit you support.
Commit to volunteering for 2 hours a month to a local organization
Make a goal of walking/running/cycling a certain number of times in the year
Note: I made a goal of running 100 days in 2017. The distance was not important, just the commitment. And I completed it!
Write one nice thing about yourself every day in a book
Every Friday (or another day of the week) send a compliment to each of your employees
Write a letter (with real postage) to someone (note: some prices go up January 14, 2019!)
Commit to recycling and composting/separating organics more thoroughly
I wake up early most mornings. I’m up by 5am and out the door by 5:30am.
This summer I started walking the 2 kilometres to the Skytrain station each morning from Glenbrooke North. It reduced the stress of catching a bus and waiting in traffic. It also increased the amount of walking I did every day. Most days of the week I walk between 12 and 15 kilometres.
In the summer the sun is rising during my walk and there are some beautiful sights. In the winter, as things got darker, I changed my route to be better lit and stick to main roads. Lately it’s been quite a bit chillier and the sidewalks are a little slipperier than normal.
Regardless of the season, there are constants that I have observed. The patterns that each of us adhere to, the behaviours noticeable week after week:
I see the same couple running up First Street most mornings. Some homes still get newspapers delivered and the newspaper delivery guy is in and out of the car. Sometimes he throws the paper and it doesn’t quite land where he wants to, so out goes the efficiency of throwing the paper to the door instead of walking it.
There are also other walkers and wanderers. On several occasions, at the same intersection, several blocks from my home, I’ve seen a neighbour drive to work with her dog.
When there’s filming in New West and the call time is an early one, there are drivers coming and going into Queens Park.
There are patterns in our days that we don’t always notice. By changing up my routine and slowing that part of my commute down, I’ve become part of that pattern.
Walk, ride, run, stroll and drive safely out there New West. Assume that every corner has a pedestrian on it and slow down.
My final observation? People assume that at 5:30am that they can drive right through four-way stops. Please don’t do that. Really.
It’s being described as a ‘cornucopia of entertainment for everyone.’ And after checking out the event listing I can confirm there is something for everyone. There’s a hip-hop dance party, musical performances, singalongs and art installations, yoga and an Indigenous Circle – Storytelling and Tea.
And Christmas isn’t complete without a reading of the Dickens classic, ‘A Christmas Carol.’ On December 21st and 22nd New West Performing Arts Collective will perform this staged reading.
There truly is something for everyone. Be sure to check out the website for a full breakdown of events.
Many of the events held on the main level of the Anvil Centre are free however tickets for events held in the theatre range from $10-$20 with some lower prices for students. Ticketsnw has them available for purchase now!
Women on Wednesdays (WoW), a local group established to create space for women to gather and strengthen their participation in the democratic process, is hosting an exciting workshop in two weeks on Wednesday, December 5th.
See Something, Say Something: Confronting Harm for Women in Leadership is an event being held jointly by New West’s own WoW (Women on Wednesday) and FACEBC (Feminist Association for Collaborative Education).
After a moment where they didn’t know how best to speak up, WoW’s organizers Councillor Nadine Nakagawa and Trudi Goels realized there is a great opportunity to learn. They partnered with FACEBC and both are excited to host this important event in New Westminster.
In this workshop, participants will examine some of the tools that women in leadership roles can use to draw attention to someone’s harmful behavior, or draw the community’s attention to harm. What is a call in? What is a call out? What other ways can we confront harm? When is each method of confronting harm appropriate and what are the risks associated with each? This workshop will explore the ways we can have these difficult discussions in compassionate and community building ways.
This workshop is reserved for women-identified, transgender and non-binary folks.
There are tickets available through the FACBC website https://www.facebc.org/ on a sliding scale and free tickets are available by emailing Amanda@FaceBC.org. Your ticket includes a hearty vegan meal (sorry it is not allergen free).
The event details are:
Wednesday December 5th
7:00 to 9:00 PM
350 Columbia Avenue – New Westminster
The venue is accessible with a ramp at the front door, elevator to get between floors, and the bathrooms will be marked gender neutral for the evening.