Happy Labour Day! I was so happy to sleep in a bit this morning and enjoy a long weekend. I wanted to pop over here to write about the Van Race 15k! I ran it yesterday morning and I’m pretty happy with how it went overall. This Fall I’ve been focusing on getting back to running and it’s been really nice to only have one sport to worry about.
The race started pretty early – gun time was 7.30, so I had planned to wake up around 5 to eat something. Well, at 5 when my alarm went off I wasn’t having any of it, so I finally got my butt out of bed at 6.15. I hustled to eat some oatmeal, throw on a tank top, shorts, and a long sleeve top, and jump on my bike to get to the start line on time.
I arrived in time to lock up my bike, bounce around for a bit (yes, I need to actually warm up instead of doing this), check my bag and head to the start line. I snapped a few pics of runners hanging around waiting for the start, above.
I wasn’t really sure how to place myself at the start for this race. It was a bit of a smaller local affair, but people in this city are fast. I kinda placed myself halfway through the field and figured I’d see what happened. That probably wasn’t the smartest idea, because it took me almost 700m to fight through the traffic, but once I settled into my own space it was fine.
I ran most of the race alternately behind and in front of the runner who finished in front of me (Sandy!). We briefly chatted near the turnaround point, probably at km 6.5, but I knew that if I wanted to negative split the race there wasn’t going to be much talking from me :)
The first few miles were uneventful. I chased Sandy, which pulled me along, and tried to focus on clearing my mind. I’m so used to triathlons that I didn’t bring headphones to this race, so I didn’t have anything to listen to. Sometimes when that happens my brain really gets stuck – for example, yesterday I spent kms 2 and 3 thinking about how I still had to run 13 and 12 more.
The race was well organized and there were 4 opportunities to get water and sports drink (roughly km 3, 6, 8, and 12 if I remember right), but it was a cool morning and I didn’t feel thirsty, so I didn’t slow down to take any nutrition on the course.
I started to feel pretty fatigued around mile 7- just struggling to fill my lungs, and my stomach was a tiny bit off. It kind of felt like I either had eaten too much too close to the race start or not quite enough… weird and kind of hard to explain. I really didn’t fuel properly for this one though, so I can’t complain. I also didn’t have my typical pre-race coffee! I’m not sure about whether or not that made a difference.
I crossed the finish line in 1:09:43, well below my 1:15 goal, and also a 15k PR for me! (Have I ever even raced 15k before? I don’t think so.) I also (barely!) negative split the race and walked away injury-free, so that’s an A+ in my books! The result was good for 6th AG and 6th female overall. I’m curious about the AG breakdown, because this race lumped together everyone under 35. According to the garmin, I was through the 10k in 47:39, which makes me confident that I have a 45 min 10k within reach.
I didn’t stick around after the race, because my friend Alyson was in town for the weekend with her boyfriend, and I had plans for brunch with them and Jordan (who also went to med school with us). The post-race food looked great though! I did down a half cup of black coffee and a cookie :).
After rehydrating with an adult beverage at brunch and then actually chugging a bottle of water when I realized how thirsty I was, the four of us decided to spend the afternoon hiking. We piled into the car and headed up Mount Seymour to do the Dog Mountain lookout hike. It was a really beautiful day, and cleared up just as we were reaching the lookout.
I had brought some snacks along, and we figured out that you can feed the birds in this spot, right out of your hand! A 15k PR and holding wild birds is a pretty ok day in my books! Around 6 we headed back down, and I made a quick dinner of wraps. I tried to do some work but I was so pooped that I just went to bed around 10.