Race Recap – Pacific Road Runners First Half

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Hello! I’m still here :) I took a bit of an extended hiatus from posting through the winter and busy holiday season, but last weekend the racing season kicked off with the PRR First Half, so I’m back!

My photos from this race are a bit limited because it was cold and rainy, but I’m really happy with it for a few reasons:

1)A PB! (By 2:03) – my previous half marathon PB was 1:41:41, set at the Vancouver Rock n Roll Half in late 2015. Here, I ran 1:39:38.

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I wasn’t sure how to feel going into this race. I’ve definitely been running fairly consistently, around 50 km/week, but I definitely haven’t been doing any speed work, track workouts, or tempo-ing on a consistent basis. A few weekend call shifts also meant that my “long” runs have been sporadic and limited to only 10 or 11 miles (and don’t get me started on how many runs have been on the treadmill!) So, I felt like my fitness was suboptimal and tried to keep an open mind as I headed to the start line.

I was surprised when I came around the last corner, only ~250 m from the finish, and saw the clock below 1:40!

2)Even splits!

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Since I don’t think I’m in the best shape, I decided not to stress about my pace. I wasn’t planning to run with anyone (Jan sat this one out) and didn’t have music with me because of the rain. At the start, I hit my Garmin and then tucked it under the sleeve of my shirt. I could feel it buzz the miles (most were marked, anyway) but I couldn’t see the pace. I’m really pleased that I could run so consistently by feel. The slow mile at the end includes a decent uphill where I was feeling nauseous!

3)High cadence

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This is just something I’ve been trying to be more conscious of while running… more steps per minute = more km covered per minute! My usual “I’m not thinking” cadence hovers around 168, so 173 is a nice little bump for me. I’ve been going back and forth with a niggling left hip flexor, but it seems to have been fine.

The race itself actually went by pretty fast. The course was mostly very flat, along Pacific and the seawall from Yaletown to Stanley park, then around Lost Lagoon, around the park itself, and back to the finish line at the Yaletown Roundhouse. I started to feel a bit uncomfortable around mile 7, but I just told myself “it’s only a 6 mile run from here. You run 6 miles all the time”. Pretty soon that 6 became 5, and so on, until I just had to get through the last mile.

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It was a great start to the day, and I felt really good on Monday! First time in a long time that I have been able to run >2okm and not have any residual soreness the next day!