Recap – The Great Climate Race

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.33.32 PMAnother weekend, another 10k! I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself… Probably because once it’s over, I realize racing is actually pretty fun :-) 10k is a tough distance for me because it feels short enough to go hard, but while I’m in the middle it feels oh-so-very-long.

This weekend was the Great Climate Race in Stanley Park. When I looked up the course online way back in the early Fall, it seemed flat and maybe fast. It would be a bit annoying to go around all the turns on the seawall, but the flat-ness! I wrote it down in my book (I love that thing) and kinda forgot about it until this past week.

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Jan checked the website for the start time (10 am) and location (near the pool in Stanley park), and we planned to go about 40 minutes early so I could check in and grab my bib. When we got there, we saw the tent that said package pick-up, and I gave the volunteer my name. He checked the list, and I saw him frown as he kept scanning the page. When he couldn’t find my name, I checked for the confirmation email on my phone. Ooops.. not there.

Apparently even though I made a mental note to sign up for the race, I never actually did it. So, we quickly filled out a waiver, paid the fee and signed me up for the race at the veryyyyy last minute.

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Jan had his camera (all of these photos are his! Except the one of him… which was taken by yours truly) and planned to take photos, and I settled myself in front of the 45 minute pace bunny at the start line. After finally taking off as many layers as possible (I was pretty cold, but a lot of that was probably nerves) it was time to go.

Once again, I started too far back and found myself jockeying a lot (and going out hard) to stay near the front. After the first 200-400 m I settled into a position and we headed around Lost Lagoon. The trail was beautiful and the weather was great for running (ok, ok, I wasn’t cold anymore) and I felt good as we turned out of the park and headed onto the seawall.

I found myself sitting just behind a male runner and decided to let him break the wind from me out on the exposed sections of the seawall. Every now and then I’d pull up beside or just in front of him, and then drop back. We carried on like that most of the way around the seawall, occasionally also dodging pedestrian traffic and fighting each other to run the tangents around bigger curves. I told myself to relax as much as possible, but by 4.5k I was starting to get uncomfortable. Through 5k in 22:30.

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I started to slow down around 8k and the guy I was running with dropped me. Around 8.5k the 45 minute pace bunny caught up, and she ran beside me until 9.5k. She was really sweet and told me to push just a bit harder to go sub-45. A few of Jan’s VFAC friends were also at the end of the course here and it was nice to have some cheering for me, but I just couldn’t get my heart rate under control.
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Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.33.17 PMI finished 10th girl and 56th overall in 45:26, fighting a lot not to throw up. It was a bit of a frustrating race for me because I feel like I had more gas in the tank. My legs were fresh, breathing felt good and my head was clear, but as soon as my heart rate jumps in a final push, I’m instantly nauseous.

I sat down and Jan wrapped me back up in jackets, and once my heart rate settled I felt so much better. We hung out to say hi to other local runners, watched a bit more of the finish line, and then headed home so I could shower. The rest of the day was brunch (we went to a new-to-us place called Verve cafe, and I thought it was meh, but that might have been my lack of hunger/post-race blah), work, a really good Flemish dinner, and The Imitation Game, which was a great movie about Alan Turing and the events that led to his team code-breaking the German Enigma machine during WWII.

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So, another wonderful Sunday in the books – not my fastest day but not my slowest. And ohmygosh I need to stop this thing with getting sick at the end of a 10k. Time for some harder workouts, I think. There are a few more local races before the end of the calendar year, but that just might be it for me. I’m ready to focus on some base and have some big goals in mind for 2016. Stay tuned!