Monday, April 18, 2011

April Fools Half Marathon and Sun Run Race Reports

I started the 2011 season off with two solid runs. Although road races aren't my favorite thing to do, I certainly recognize the importance of getting outside my comfort zone to improve my run.

Fools Half Marathon

This was my second year racing the Fools Half Marathon on the Sunshine Coast. Similar to last year, the weekend started off with a long ride on Saturday morning in Vancouver before hopping on the ferry to spend the night in Gibson's before the race. I travelled over with a big crew from the NSTC and had a wonderful prerace dinner and relaxing evening as we cheered on the Whitecaps and Canucks. Race morning was very relaxing, especially with a 9am start. I did a short warm up jog and lined myself up in the middle of the pack just before the gun went off. I started off much more conservatively than last year and spent the first few miles chatting with Scott and Dave as we settled into a steady pace. Scott and I were running really well together until the 15km mark when Scott picked up the pace. Unfortunately I couldn't stay with him but was able to hold my pace for the last 6km into the finish. I had a solid finishing time of 1:32:57 which was 5 minutes faster than last year and just off my PB. All the NSTC group had a great race and we were rewarded by a wonderful post race lunch at the Lyne's before heading back to North Van.

Sun Run

Yesterday I ran the Sun Run for the 2nd time since moving to Vancouver. The Sun Run is a really great race with 50,000 runners of all ages and abilities. The start line is unbelievable when you can look back and see just how many people have shown up to participate!

Nick and I made our way to the start nice and early and lined up in the yellow (2nd) corral. As I haven't raced a 10k in years, I didn't have a qualifying time to start in the seeded area. I wasn't sure what to expect as I rode a hard 115km ride on Saturday and I didn't know what my legs would feel like when I tried to push the pace. It was pretty crowded when the gun went off and I spent lots of time weaving in and out between people. I settled into a 6:35/mile pace and tried to maintain that while dodging people throughout the course. In fact, I must have done quite a bit of weaving as my Garmin showed I ran 6.4miles, instead of 6.2! I was able to maintain the pace I started with and finished in 41:36 which was good enough to be in the top 100 female finishers out of 21,632!

Now if only I could learn to run that fast off the bike.....

Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Season

It took me a while to recover from a long season last year. For the first time since collegiate swimming, I was back into a regular training/competition routine. I had a wonderful season and could not have asked for a better outcome. That being said - training full time and working full time took it's toll on my body and I needed a good off season break to recover.

I took most of November/December off and slowly started getting back into shape in January. Without Ironman Canada looming at the end of the summer, I was able to start back slowly and do some "other" activities this winter that didn't involve swimming, biking or running.

I have had a little trouble committing to a race schedule for this summer. Part of me wants to try and qualify for IMC - and why not, I had such a great race last year? The other side of me realizes that realistically I won't have the time I did last summer to dedicate to improve my performance. I have been going back and forth for quite some times and have come up with some sort of a race plan for this summer.

April 3 - April Fools Half Marathon
April 17 - Sun Run with the Whitecaps!
May 6-8 - North Shore Tri Club Training Weekend, Penticton
May 8 - Blossom 10 miler (maybe)
June 5 - Oliver Half Iron
July 3 - Vancouver Half Iron (maybe)
July 10 - Desert Half Iron
August 14 - Lake Stevens 70.3 (maybe)
October16 - Nike Women's Marathon (hopefully!)

There are a few "maybes" and a few "unknowns" but I for the most part, I think this will be a fun summer of "shorter" races!