Tag Archives: race

Great Climate Race

Great Climate Race
I’m all set for the Great Climate Race. I’ll be running 10km around Stanley Park this morning. The event is the perfect merger of two of my passions – running and environmental activism.

The money raised by the race will go to fund new solar installations around BC. You can donate here

I’m not in the best of shape, but I’m hoping to go under 43 minutes.

–Update–
Official Results: 41:36
Strava: 41:45

EnerNOC Vancouver Great Climate Race Team

Vancouver's fastest and most climate conscious employer. Good job Team Enernoc! Really impressed with all the PBs today, and the well organized race. #greatclimaterace #run #runvan

Team Enernoc – representing the fastest and most environmentally conscious employer in Vancouver. I was really impressed with all the PB’s today.

More pictures:
Continue reading Great Climate Race

5 Peaks – Alice Lake – My First Trail Run

2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-83
I ran the 5 Peaks – Alice Lake 11 km Enduro Race last Saturday. It was my first trail run and one of the hardest races I’ve ever done. The hills chewed me up and spat me out. But it was also one of the most scenic and gratifying races to finish.

5 Peaks
2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-7I have nothing but good things to say about the race organizers. The 5 Peaks race was easily the best organized and most fun running event I’ve been to. Kudos to the organizers. The pre-race emails were informative and funny; the race package included snazzy arm warmers (much better than yet another shirt); the course was well marked; and the post race festivities involved sunbathing, a dip in Alice Lake, and copious amounts of fresh fruit.

The Race
5 Peaks - Alice Lake
I started the race in the first wave, which may have been foolish but a few friends convinced me that’s where I belonged. I kept up with a lot of the runners, but it was my first real trail run, never mind my first trail race, and I was unprepared for the toll the hills would take. I was fine for the first 6 km, covering the rolling hills and steady uphill climb at a good pace. The 2 km descent down Credit Line was fun, but I felt like I was going stupidly fast, on the verge of wiping out, and I was still being passed by quite a few runners. I got good advice from a guy on my tail who told me to mimic the technique of one of the ladies who had just passed me – long strides with careful foot placement. I tried. I guess this is why people practice running trails before races.

After the long descent was a brutal uphill climb that felt like it would never end. I was glad I wasn’t the only one struggling to even walk up the hill. It took all my energy just to keep my legs moving. I was dehydrated and spent. Occasionally the trail would flatten out for a few meters, but it was difficult to get running again. Once the trail peaked, it immediately plunged back down. Near the bottom of the descent I rolled my ankle. Luckily the last 500 meters was on mostly level ground and I was able to keep running without much pain. My heart rate peaked at 194 bpm as I sprinted for the finish line.

I was worried about passing on the narrow, single track sections of the race, but it was surprisingly easy. When I heard someone running behind me I would slow down a bit and leave some space for them to pass. Most runners would yell “on your left” as they approached and “thank you” once they were by.

Photos
5 Peaks posted 434 photos on Flickr. Sadly, I’m not in any of them (need to work on my smile while running) but Scott and Simon are.
2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-200 2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-247 2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-107 2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-377 2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-136 2014 MB 5 Peaks BC Alice Lake-389

The Result
Time: 1:04:18
Overall: 33/223
Men 30-39: 14/41
Strava Activity
Full Results

Final Thoughts
I found trail running to be more fun than road racing, but a lot harder on my body. I’ll need to practice more and strengthen my ankles before I run another race. I guess it’s time to suck it up and ride the bus to the north shore mountains on the weekends. It’s just hard to justify hours on the bus when Vancouver’s nicest flat trail, the seawall, is seconds from my front door.

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon – 1:27:39

BMO Half MarathonLast year I ran my first full marathon. This year I didn’t want to commit as much time to training and instead focused on running a fast half marathon. I’ve run two halves before (Victoria and Scotiabank Vancouver), the fastest in 1 hour and 33 minutes. I knew I could go faster.

The weather this morning wasn’t ideal – persistently raining with gusts of wind, but I powered through. I had no idea how fast I was going – probably the only person without a watch. I took the first 3 km pretty fast, thinking the downhill section would allow me to bank some free time. After that I settled into a steady pace. Luckily I had friends along the course to encourage me to run fast. Thanks Emily, Rhea, Michael, Cynthia, Greg, and Taryn.

Every few kilometres something ached – my right hip flexor was bothering me before the race, my left hamstring cramped up midway, my feet were sore for the second half, and I had a stitch in my side for the last 5 kilometres. But I was able to run through all the problems and finished strong. I had lots of energy left at the end and sprinted the last kilometre. I thought my pace must have been too slow. I was shocked when I saw the time was under 1:28.

Warmup GearIt was tricky figuring out what to wear this morning. I wanted to run the race in shorts and a singlet, but needed something to warm up in. I found an old long-sleeve shirt, a dry-cleaning bag, and cut the toes off mismatched socks to create leggings. I looked like a hobo, but it kept me warm until the race started.

Chip Time: 1:27:39 (Sportstats)
Overall Place: 89 / 9954
Category Place: 18 / 605 (Male 30-34)

Chai Keeps My Running Gear Warm

Modo 8k – Beautiful Day for a Run

Modo8k
I ran my first race of the year this morning. The Modo Spring Run-Off 8k, a beautiful loop around Stanley Park. It was a perfect day for running. A little brisk, but the sun was glorious.

I’m really happy with my time. My goal was to finish under 32 minutes but I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I finished in 31:12, good enough for 7th in my age category and 53rd overall. Much faster than the only other 8 KM race I’ve done, the inaugural Spring Run-Off in 2007. That year it took me 33:48 to run 8 km (2.5 minutes slower), but somehow I finished 2nd in my age category (oh to be under 25 again) and got a free pair of shoes. No prizes this time, just the satisfaction of running a PB.

Most of the race felt really good. I was relaxed, I had an amazing view from the seawall, and my legs felt good. But the last kilometre almost killed me. It was uphill, I had a cramp, my running form collapsed, and my energy levels were failing. It was the only part of the race where people passed me. It’s a good reminder that I need to do more hill training. I’d like to have that finish back, but I still held on to cross the line ahead of young phenom who was on my tail. It’s a small moral victory that I’m faster than a 14 year old girl, but I’ll take it. I puked at the finish line, but that’s pretty much standard procedure for me when I race hard.

Next up, the BMO Half Marathon on May 4th. I need to put in some more distance and work on my speed before then, but otherwise I think I’m on track.

On the Run Again

running kms
I’ve started running again. In 2013 I trained intensively between January and April, completed a full marathon in May, and ran infrequently afterwards until IT band issues sidelined me. After two months without any running, everything feels good and I’m looking forward to hitting the road again.

Runs on PlantsMy goal is to run the the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon on May 4 in under 1 hour and 30 minutes. I’m also going to run the Modo Spring 8k on March 23. It should be a good tuneup and I love that Modo is sponsoring it.

Last year I joined a Running Room clinic, but this time I’m doing most of my training on my own. I’m enjoying the flexibility in scheduling when I go running but it is harder getting motivated, especially with all the rain we’ve been having. I don’t want a repeat of the injury problems I had last year (I strained my calf 4 weeks in), so this time I’m being careful to slowly ramp up the intensity and frequency of my workouts. I’m also spending more time stretching and going to yoga once a week.

If you’re on Strava, you can follow my progress here.

5km in 17:56

2013-05-26 PMC Annual Science Fair Fun Run 012.jpg No meat athlete
I have no plans to run another marathon anytime soon. I can’t commit to running 3-5 days a week. But it does seem like a shame to stop running when I’m in the best shape of my life. I ran a 5km race last Sunday in 17:56, finishing 5th overall, a huge personal best for me.

Photos by janheuninck and the PMC Science Fair Run.