I’m back again with another sporadic update/race recap! I had an amazing weekend full of friends and running and even a little bit of work, but it felt like the perfect balance. Friday night was a visit to the expo to pick up race bibs and impromptu dinner with friends (We ate at a new-to-me Vancouver restaurant, Bellagio. I had a big salad with salmon on top = yumm).
Saturday started off with (Belgian, duh) waffles at Nero, which is just the best low key way to start a weekend day. Then it was errands, work, more running around and cleaning up in anticipation of Sunday.
Bright and early Sunday morning I joined a bunch of new Vancouver friends and we headed to the start line of the Rock n Roll Vancouver half marathon. This was my first time running an RnR race, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it sure was big. There were 15 corrals (that I could see)!
Jan is still a few weeks post-marathon, so he agreed to pace me instead of racing hard. I was looking for something under 1:45, so we lined up at the front of the second corral and got cozy – it sure was packed in there! Corral 1 went off, and 30 seconds later it was our turn.
I was trying really hard to let Jan pace and not stare at my Garmin (plus it took my watch a while to find satellites). So, when we came up to the 1km mark I didn’t know how fast we’d gone – I saw Jan look at his watch, surprised, and I asked if it was too slow. “No – fast” was the reply. Ok, I can work with that :)
We carried on, passing the 1:40 pace group, towards the east side of Vancouver and the Dunsmuir viaduct. By the time we hit 10k, along the seawall, I was feeling awesome and we were on pace for well below 1:40
I started to worry when, at 16k, Jan looked at me and asked if I was ready to suffer. I was kinda thinking “uh, what have I been doing for the last 3k?” but I nodded and we picked it up a little heading onto Pipeline road and Stanley Park. Around the back section of the park kilometers 17-19 were rolling hills, and I started to blow up at 18. My legs felt awesome but I had this pain deep in the left side of my chest that was worse with every deep breath. I knew it was muscular, but I was scared to push any harder (I was also not wearing my HRM! Can’t find it!).
We held on and Jan basically dragged me across the finish line, but it was still a pretty big PB for me! 8 minutes – totally makes me curious to see what I can do on a flat course!
After the race Jan had a bunch of friends over at his place for brunch. We made buckwheat pancakes, bacon, eggs, chips+guac, these amazing pumpkin cookies, fruit salad, sausages and baked pears.
And after brunch, we cleaned up, chilled out for about 30 seconds, and got ready for the Florence and the Machine concert! It was so great, even though we were both pretty tired. I slept like a baby, but what a great weekend!