September Sunsets

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What can I say, these past few September days in Van have been a runner’s paradise.  As a “fair-weather” athlete the days and weeks following Labour Day signals the end of the regularly dry summer outdoor activity season and evenings of long light.  These are instead replaced by darkness both before and after work hours and looking out at a wet window during time spent in the office.  None too appealing or motivating for those of us who prefer to spend time dry and out of the rain.  As I’ve previously mentioned, after spending years playing soccer in all types of weather (rain, showers, sleet, and snow) I now prefer to only go and exercise in the rain when I really feel up to it, otherwise I creatively hide out in my boxing gym, playing ball hockey or in the weight room gym.

This past week has been different from the usual Vancouver September though. It’s as though summer is taking a stand and this year saying “No I will not be banished by shorter day and longer nights, I will stay and keep you warm now go enjoy my warmth!” So I have just had to listen!  Monday I ran into more friends on my short little run then I had seen out running all summer.  The best part was that they were friends who don’t even run (usually at least). There were people jogging along the beach with jean shorts and a tank top, people with dogs and even some guys who were using jogging as a pick up tactic to try to meet us girls who like to run.

Note to these men: If you can’t even keep up our jogging pace, we are not interested and don’t particularly want to slow down to talk to you.  Headphones in + alone = universal symbol for not interested in talking because we are choosing to be alone.

Last night my old roomie and avid runner herself was staying with me and after I somewhat lured her into a sunset bridge run she dragged me up the hill to do some hill sprints.  Hill sprints are definitely my nemesis, while for her (an ex rower and power athlete) they are her bread and butter.  I’ve got say, as much as I hate doing them I feel very accomplished after.

Tomorrow another run with another Di! The double Di’s are starting to run together once a week and I can’t wait!

I’ve taken to hunting down the sunsets and recently realized that I should be taking pictures so here are a few of my faves from the recent days.

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AfterShock – Vancouver Scotiabank 1/2 2013

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Another one is officially done, dusted and in the books.  Van Scotiabank 1/2 2013 was a personally challenging day for me and I am happy to say I crossed the finish line on my own two feet, beating my personal best but unfortunately not reaching my target time for the race.

Looking around the starting carrell I realized these runners meant business…. two piece suits, no music, and an air of confidence that was undeniable.  The race gun went and we were off and flying, these guys were literally FLYING down the road and the remarkable part was they made it look so easy!  I struggled through some calf cramping and was able to hold a solid place at the 10K mark 41 mins… wait what? 41 minutes! I definitely was surprised not only at my faster then expected pace but also about how I was feeling, I felt great!  Well great may be an exaggeration but I felt like I could hold pace which meant I would definitely finish the race under my  goal time of 1:30… 8 minutes faster than I ran in 2012.  All was going well and I was coming into stride until the 13 K marker. The guy in front of me took a stumble and as I side stepped around him I pulled my right quad.  It immediately was painful, painful enough I seriously considered pulling out of the race,  but knowing I had killed myself through the first 13 K and I was over half way done on pace to meet my goal time I just couldn’t do it.  I had to keep going, in my mind I had no choice but to persevere even if I had to walk the finish   I was able to hold pace to see my parents at the 15 K marker an hour into the race but with just over 6 K to go I couldn’t hold pace.  Every step I took was excruciating and causing me to tense up my back and shoulders to try and take weight off that leg.  With no kick at the end I crossed the finish line and to my shock still was able to finish in 1:33.48.   As much as it just kills me that I was so close to my goal and didn’t succeed I’m still so happy to have been able to finish the race and beat my time from last year and still came 5th in my age category.

Thank you to my family, boyfriend and friends for all of the support I got both going into an during this race.  Knowing I had so many people behind me is what made it possible for me to mentally put the pain aside and push through.  That support and knowing I had an awesome waffles breakfast awaiting me after I crossed the finish line!Race Results 2013

Ps- the pictures below are slightly graphic… be forewarned! Post race feet… so pretty and feminine, poor Elliott!

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“Courage Without Fear”

Running with the Elites…ready, set, panic!

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elite entry

Apparently it’s time to get serious, and get seriously training!  I got a little surprise last week when I received notification that I had been accepted into the Scotiabank Vancouver half marathon Elite Category.

Needless to say I am now so nervous!  Having never registereed for a half marathon more than a week ahead of the event before this year I’m hoping having more time to create a training strategy will help me not embarrass myself amongst the group of runners I’ve been placed in. I applied for the elite category after talking with a coworker who handles the elite category in the local marathon.  Once I found out that I technically could qualify for the Elite category in this years Scotiabank 1/2 based on my results in the race last year and my times I figured I may as well apply… the big perk was free entry.  After going out on a limb and applying, I wasn’t expecting to actually get accepted .  When I found out I actually got accepted my initial (and current) thought is ..”Oh My God What Have I Done?!”  I’m getting over my initial shock and logging some longer runs 17-20K  at least 1-2 times per week mixed in with cross training in the gym and getting my fast twitch fibers ready by doing power and speed work to help my kick   on hills.  I used to just do the half marathon for personal satisfaction, it was never a “race” for me… until last year’s race package pick up. The worker handed me the bib and said “good luck in the race.” Suddenly my competitive side kicked in and the  fun little personal challenge Run Turned Into A Race.  I knew I was only racing myself and trying to beat my best time and that’s the mantra I am carrying with me this year… Yes it’s a race but it’s only a race against myself.  Beating my personal best is winning to me.

LIST OF RUNS UPDATE:

  1. The Sun Run: 10K Complete- 42:54
  2. Haida Gwaii Unity Run: 10K Complete
  3. Cranbrook Community Run: 10K Complete
  4. Rush Vancouver Scavenger hunt: June 15th Benefiting the BC Lung Association.  To donate click here :https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1031980&supId=381692207
  5. Scotiabank Vancouver 1/2 Marathon: 13.1 Miles June 23rd
  6. CIBC Run for the Cure: 5K Oct. 6th
  7. Night Race Vancouver: 10K Nov. 2nd
  8. Disneyland Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon: 13.1 Miles Jan 20th in LA

Still need to fill a few run spots!  Going on the hunt for some fun runs the quirkier the better! The list is always evolving as I didn’t get to participate in a few of the runs that I had planned on doing because it was more important for my work team and I to work throughout the course manning registration, timing, water stations and giving runners encouragement!