Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NS Half Marathon Race Report

This Thanksgiving weekend was the third annual North Shore Half Marathon and the first half marathon race for me in 6 years. The last half marathon I ran was the 2003 Hogeye Half Marathon in Fayetteville, Arkansas!

I didn't really have a goal in mind when the race started but I knew that a PB was possible. I have been doing some great training with Steph and Shannon and have pushed myself much harder than normal with weekly tempo runs, hills and speed work. Thanks girls!

The race started off downhill, so I tried to take it easy and get into a good tempo. Although I was a little chilly starting off, I quickly warmed up when I hit the hilly section of the course along Dollarton Highway. I wore my Garmin and was a little concerned when I was averaging under 7min/mile pace, but I felt good and went with it. Around mile 8 I started to feel as though I went out a little too quickly and tried to settled into a more reasonable pace (7:20/mile) that I could maintain for the final 5 miles. As we neared the finish line I was quite surprised to look down at my watch and see that I would be finishing under 1:40. In fact, I finished in 1:30:31 which was good enough for 3rd in my age group, 6th female overall and a 20 minute PB. Not a bad start for Ironman training, eh?!

I am not sure what is up next as Mark and I are off to Jamaica Nov 9th for our "better late, than never" honeymoon. Depending on how things go, I may do the Seattle Half Marathon at the end of November. For right now I will keep training with the girls and start getting into a more structured Ironman training plan when we get back from our honeymoon!

Steph and I at the start line

Around mile 5

A new PB... but looking a little tired!

Women's 25-29 top 3!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm a sucker...

Let's just say.... I'm a sucker.

This summer I have met, become great friends, and trained with a fabulous group of people. Training has honestly never been this much fun. As much as I try to avoid getting up at 5am every morning, the lure of a killer run or tough swim with my training buddies, far outweighs the sleep. Morning after morning, I get "talked" into doing something.

Sunday was no exception. I got talked into doing a 26km trail race!

The Rubble Creek 26km trail race is by far one of the most beautiful races I have ever done, as well as one of the toughest. Although it is in its 25th year, the race is still relatively small and boasts no race numbers, aid stations or chip timing. The race organizer stood on a rock, said "ready, set, go"and we were off. The race started with a pretty tough uphill, taking us up 2600 feet, leveled out for a few km's before descending 4000 feet to the finish.

Here is the course profile thanks to Adam's GPS!

The reason why I am a sucker is because I hadn't really trained for this race... and got talked into racing it. Sure, I had started running a little more towards the end of the summer, but the longest run I had done was at the tail end of the 2 halfirons I raced! I was a little worried about finishing the race, but Steph assured me she would run with me and that it would be just fine. We started the race at a conservative pace, while Adam, Graeme and Shannon took off with the main pack. Once we reached the top of the climb, we stopped to take a couple of photos of the breathtaking view... we just couldn't resist!

Me - taking in the view of Black Tusk

Once we reached the descent, I was sooo happy/relieved. My legs were pretty tired and the thought of running up another hill was not very appealing. Steph and I took turns leading the way down the winding slope (she looked quite graceful, while I tried to not kill myself with my clumsy feet). After a good hour of running downhill, we were both very excited to see the parking lot and the end of the run. We were met by Shannon (who came 2nd!!), Adam and Graeme and the race organizer with a stopwatch calling out times.

Needless to say, I didn't exactly race the run. My goal was to get out and get a solid 3 hour run in with some great friends in the beautiful West Coast trails.

Post race: Graeme, Shannon, me, Steph and Adam

Next up, the North Shore Half Marathon!