A Day Full of Firsts: Sun Run 2013

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this is the only picture my face isn't in severe pain... must be at the start gate

this is the only picture my face isn’t in severe pain… must be at the start gate

First Official run of the year complete! And completed in style if I don’t say so myself.  Not necessarily in the style I’d like to start the run season though…

The day had its highlights and low lights which made for a Sun Run I won’t soon forget.   The day started out great, after getting hooked up with Sun Run VIP passes through work I was treated to a pre-run breakfast at the Hyatt hotel with the media and elite athletes.  I was able to bribe my boyfriend to be my running buddy by offering to take him to the Hyatt’s free breakfast before the race and a full buffet after the run was over back at the Hyatt courtesy of the great Sun Run organizers. After sampling the great spread we headed to the VIP start line.  After taking a wrong turn and sprinting to get into the correct start corral we found ourselves in the starting gates amongst the elite athletes and right behind the Kenyans.

As the gun fires the Kenyans take off … and I mean they take off at what looks to me like a full sprint!  I couldn’t even keep their pace for 1km let alone 10km.  I settle into a good pace being pulled into a bit of a quicker pace than usual due to the caliper of the athletes around me.

I’m feeling good coming into 1.5km and then I start choking, the cool wind is getting caught in my throat and I can’t seem to get a breath no matter how hard I try.  Having played soccer all my life I’m used to being physically challenged but I’ve never had my throat seize up like this before, I now have sympathy for all the asthma sufferers out there.  I can hear myself wheezing and so can everyone around me (I apologize to all the runners around me!), Elliott @welliott_marsh is concerned that I’ve sucked in a bug or am literally just going to drop dead beside him as we run along into English Bay.  I just can’t stop though; my stubborn personality gets in the way and I won’t let myself stop and not finish the race. I guess the coldmedication I had been using to mask my cold for the past several days finally wore off and I was left in a full blown bronchial spasm.  Oh Joy!

The last 5km was a pure grind, without any air to get any kick to push the pace it just ground my gears that people were passing me and I couldn’t hunt them down in the last 3 km like I usually would.

I have never been so happy to see the balloons signaling the finish line.. that 10km proved to be much more challenging than even any of the half marathons I’ve done in the past.  It just shows how the smallest differences in how you feel physically combined with environmental factors can make a huge difference to your race outcome, or at least your outlook on how the race went.  My race buddy deserves a huge shout out as he kept me going and although he could have taken off and gotten a much better time he stayed at my pace and graciously took my grumpy wheezing abusive. And to think there was a point in our relationship where we literally couldn’t run down the block together without it being a massive competition and ending in someone huffing about having “lost the race” even if we weren’t intentionally racing.  So completing the run together was a great success!

After a quick trip to the Med Tent (that was a first ever!) in order to try to get a puffer (unsuccessfully) we decided to head back to the Hyatt for the post run brunch, but not before witnessing a runner go into full-blown shock beside me.  #RocDoc took good care of the shock victim not to worry.

Back at the Hyatt we indulged in the best brunch I have ever had! From an ice cream bar and make your own oatmeal bar to make your own eggs benny and all the foods in between a highlight for me had to be the granola crusted French toast with warm maple syrup and bananas foster.  It’s a recipe I’ll be trying as soon as possible! Stay posted for the results!

Spotted: Simon Whitfield at the Ice Cream and smoothie bar post race

All in all a solid time for the first of the year: Sun Run 10km = 42:54 

turned out to be good enough for 27th place in my age division (19-24 year old females) but with plenty of room for improvement.  Still trying to beat the incredible times that Jess and Stef posted back in 05’ … I’m coming for your records girls, Timmy’s doughnut and coffee in hand and all!

Off the Cranbrook in the AM to do some local health screenings and participate in the Akisqnuk community 10km run/walk!  Can’t wait!

Final thought: It was amazing to see the sea of Blue and Yellow runners in support of the Boston Marathon #BostonStrong #runninglove #truth

 “Light is always stronger than Darkness”

#SunRun2013 #SunRun

this is an accurate description of how I felt during that race.  Wishing I was at the finish line or was able to get a breath in!

this is an accurate description of how I felt during that race. Wishing I was at the finish line or was able to get a breath in!

The Elusive Active Commute

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4:57- I realize my hand is sticky form an unknown substance on the bar I’ve been grasping to hold myself up for the last 45 minutes. Yuck.

4:57 and 30 seconds- In an attempt to not get mauled by the hoards of people getting off the bus I step to my right; the man to my right proceeds to cough his phlegmly cough in my face

4:58: Get mauled anyways by a new influx of transit riders.

5:00: As I stand sandwiched into a commuter mosh pit known in Vancouver as any bus between 3-6pm…  I wonder…. why didn’t I just run home today?

I’ve made it a habit to run home from work whenever possible.  The first time was because one afternoon I didn’t have bus money, was feeling exceptionally energetic after sitting at a desk all day, and thought  “hey I could run home..it was be a good challenge”. It turns out it’s not as much of a challenge as I had thought (as long as it’s not pouring rain or sleeting… but more on that another time)!

My office is under the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge in North Van and my house is in Kits.  If I leave my office and get a little help from the SeaBus it turns out I get home within 5 minutes of the time it would take me to bus.

Now I ask you what does this tell you about Vancouver?

Two things.  the first being that Vancouver traffic is atrocious, which is something anyone living here already knows, and the second is that Public Transit in Vancouver is not as Rapid as the city might like to believe it is. Another thing anyone who’s ever tried bussing around Vancouver also already knows.

Running home from work is now one of my favorite things and here are the top  5  6 reasons why I feel my Active Commute is better than bussing any day :

1.  Multi-taskng: workout and commute all in one Bam!

2. It takes basically the same amount of time to run home (with the help of the SeaBus) to either bus or drive home.  (And I won’t get road rage from sitting at the same red light for 10 minutes, or catch a mystery disease from the transit line)

3.  I get to watch the sunset as I roll over the Burrard Street Bridge

4.  The feeling of accomplishment to look back across the city as I come up the hill in Kits and see the Iron Workers Bridge soooooo far away is a truly awesome feeling

5.  Throwing a shout out to Connor Meakin here… the whole Vancouver runners high-fiving each other downtown, on the bridges and in Kits is always the best way to finish off not only a run but also a long day or week at the office.

6. It’s FREEE!! As transit and gas prices continue to rise it will always cost me nada to run.  Well that’s not entirely true, it costs the price of the SeaBus if I take the short route, but it costs absolutely nothing if I hike it over to the Lions Gate Bridge

So here’s to ditching the stinky public busses, throwing on some runners and some tunes and literally hoofing it to home sweet home

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12/12: The Plan….. Day 1 + Recipe 1

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The What:  Call me crazy but I’m committing to running in 12 races/ runs in 12 months.  It will be variety of runs (short, long, fun, gruelling) supporting a variety of causes.  This Blog is where I’ll be tracking my progress and will have links to all of the donation pages for anyone wishing to donate to any of the amazing causes these races support.  I’ll document the good days the bad days and knowing Vancouver the downright rainy days, as well as sharing my other passion for baking and any other little tidbits along the way!

The Why: It’s exactly a year this month that I graduated from University and Varsity Soccer and hung up my boots (for now).   Now I’m feeling it’s time to refocus on a new goal.  This past year I ran in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Run for the Cure and was blown away by the support of my friends and family in helping me exceed my donation goal for this cause that is so close to my heart.  What was even more exciting was convincing my mom to run with me, she ended up being one of the top fundraisers in Canada and we had a blast (I even met Trevor Linden)!

The List: Here are all the run’s and any suggestions for other great events is appreciated!  If they’re highlighted it means that I’m registered and committed (EEEK)!

1. The Sun Run– 10 KM

April, 21st : Vancouver

2. The Salmon Run-10 KM

April: Haida Gwaii

3. 5/10 KM Port Hardy

4. 5/10 KM Cranbrook

5. 5/10 KM Agassiz

6. Rush Vancouver- 6 Hour Race and Urban Scavenger Hunt Benefiting the BC Lung Association

June 15th: Vancouver

To donate visit: https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1031980&supId=381692207

7. Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon- 13.1 Miles

June 23rd: Vancouver

8. Disneyland Tinkerbell Half Marathon- 13.1 Miles

January 20th: LA

9. CIBC Run for the Cure Benefiting Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation- 5 km

October 6th: Vancouver

 

So here we go! Day 1 of 365 days to do the 12/12…….

IMG_153670 days left

Training has begun! 70 days until the 2013 Scotiabank Van 1/2 marathon, which means it’s time to get those legs running outside again

warm up run in the sun to kick off the #WSSF #Whistler

Last night I got up to a little experimental baking and here are the results!

Quinoa Apple Bites:

Combine in a large bowl:

1 Cup Quinoa cooked in Light Coconut Milk

1 Cup Quick Oats

Combine in a medium bowl:

1/3 Cup Whisked Egg Whites

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

Splash of Vanilla

Sprinkle of Cinnamon and Nutmeg

2 Cups of Chopped Apples (I used Lady Alice apples as they hold their texture when baked)

Mix the wet ingredients with the Quinoa and Oats.

Spoon into a greased muffin tin and Bake at 350 Degrees until golden and crisp!

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“Just because t…

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“Just because today is a terrible day doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life. You just gotta get there”