PEI Half Marathon Recap ’18

Two weeks later and I’ve barely run the distance of a half marathon!  I haven’t run very much since my 7th half marathon on Oct 14th and I’m totally okay with that. Sometimes you have to listen to your body and rest….and rest some more.

PEI Half Marathon Recap

This race weekend all started with a conversation with my husband, Saï. He asked me back in July if I wanted to run the PEI half marathon and I, of course said yes! (Thanks love).

Going into this race weekend, I really had no clue what my pace would be or how fast I could run for twenty-one point one kilometres. I sure felt physically great going into it; no injuries (knock on wood), limited back pain (thank you Chiropractor), fresh legs (lack of runs the last week of training) and we were child free (thank you grandparents!).  Yup, my husband and I took a race weekend away without the kids.

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We spent Saturday driving over to PEI, about a 4.5 hour trip for us. Of course at the race kit pick up, we both ran into people we knew. You can’t drive 4.5 hours to a race and not – not run into someone you know. My friend Tracy was running her first full and she nailed it! After getting our kits, chatting with friends we tried to find some throw away clothing as it was going to be 2C (35F) at the start of the race. F….F…Freezing!

We grabbed dinner at the Gahan House in Charlottetown (so good) and made it back to the hotel which was right at the start/end of the race. With our flat runners ready, we hit the hay early but I didn’t sleep well. This seems to be my new normal the day before a race. Oh well, life goes on – maybe those sleepless nights with our babies prepared us for shit like this. Running races (long races) on no sleep. Thanks kids 😉

I woke before my alarm went off at 7:30 am – late eh!!!! The race started at 9 am and we literally could walk out the hotel doors to the start line in 30 seconds. With no need to rush out the door, we ate breakfast, got dressed and waited in our warm hotel room rather then freeze outside like some of the runners we could see from our window.

Around 8:40 we met up with a friend of ours, still waiting inside the hotel with many others. Eventually we all were drawn outside in the bitterly cold winds and stood at the start line listening to “Oh Canada”. So great to hear that at the start of our run. My husband went way ahead as his goal was much faster then mind.

I started off with the 2:20 pace bunny who was running a 10/1’s so I eventually lost her as I was running continuous.  I was freezing cold but I kept my throw away sweater on until about 3 km in, gloves, long sleeved shirt, thick headband, shorts and my Tiux compression socks on. The first 7 km flew by and I felt great!!! I knew the hills at the end might be a challenge but I wasn’t focusing on that right now.

I caught up to the 2:15 pace bunny who was doing 10/1’s as well but I just kept running my continuous pace as it felt good. It’s how I trained so it’s how I wanted to run the race. At the 10 km mark I was at 1:04:xx and thought sweet…I could go for a 2:08 finish. The 2:15 pace bunny would be ahead of me and then behind me (10/1’s) off and on. Ideally, I was hoping for a 2:15 finish and felt that it was close to happening.

I remember running up Sherwood Road that lasted forever and I desperately needed a drink. I took out my Nuun and took a swig and felt like I drank and ice burg. It was SO COLD on my teeth I almost spit it out.

My pace had slowed down and I was struggling a bit. Part of me wish I didn’t wear my fuel belt but part of me was thankful I had my Nuun when I wanted it. I knew the hills were going to be rough but I thought they wouldn’t get to me this time. They did. My friend, Sarah caught up to me but I just didn’t have anything left in the tank to keep up with her.

I did managed to pick up the pace for the last 2 km, where the course became flat again and into the finish line. That finish line! It’s so far away yet so close. I ended up finishing in 2:16:21 with an average 6:28/km! I cut off 9 minutes from my half marathon in May, so I was happy! I was still a good 10-11 minutes off my PB but that was never the focus on this race.

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My husband finished in 1:46:05 – his goal was 1:45. As I walked through the finish line/food area with my space blanket wrapped around me, I felt relieved that it was over and I finished another half marathon (injury free). I felt great!

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We celebrated with some good food (fish and chips for me and a veggie burger for him) and beers. We walked around Charlottetown for a bit, cheered in some amazing full marathoners finishing their races. We followed all that up by taking an afternoon nap.

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We then snuck in a visit a visit with my Aunt and Uncle that evening and crashed hard that night. We stayed Sunday night in Charlottetown and headed back home to our girls on Monday (smart decision staying an extra day). Thanks PEI Marathon for a great race – we’ll be back again!

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As I mentioned above, I haven’t done much running since this half but have been out twice and it felt great. Yoga is my friend and I’m back at indoor soccer as of last night – sure feeling it today (still hate sprinting and recovering, ha ha). We’ve been busy with both girls playing basketball, swim lessons, and biking (yes, are girls are loving biking still).  Happy Fall!

How’s your fall running going?

What’s your favourite race moment from this fall?

Anyone else taking a semi-break from running post race?

 I don’t blog daily anymore but you can follow me over on Instagram.

 

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Pace Bunny VHM 10k Recap

Over the past four years (minus 2016), I’ve paced the Valley Harvest Marathon 10k – 1:10 finish time. Pacing a race is an experience that is hard to explain to others.

I was really hoping to pace VHM this year but there was no pacing group organizing pace bunnies. Less then two weeks prior to race day, former pace bunnies received an email saying that True North Pacing (new group) was looking for bunnies, so I quickly replied YES PLEASE!  I wasn’t really sure I wanted to run the 10 k on my own since I was really supposed to be doing a 18 km long run as part of my half training. So when the opportunity came up to pace, I jumped at it.

I was lucky enough to be the 1:10 pace bunny for the 10 k. Knowing that this coming weekend I have my half marathon I’ve been training for, pacing a 10 k would be enough for my body. It was also Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada), so I planned to cook a turkey and roasted butternut squash for my vegan husband.

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Race Day!

I hardly slept and this seems to be a night-before-race-day-theme along with dealing with a head cold. The head cold was easy to deal with but lack of sleep just isn’t fun. Pushing both of those things aside, I got up and out the door and off to Acadia University. There were multiple events: wheelchair, ultra, full, half, 10 k and 5 k. As each race started, the crowds grew a little bigger. It was a little on the chilly side, around 7 C (44 F).

As the bunnies lined up, I met a few people that wanted to run with me, exciting!!! The gun went off and we moved forward a little, only to be stopped before the start line. As I passed over the starting line, I turned on my Green Garmin (Forerunner 10) and then my 230. Yes, I use two Garmin’s! I like how easy it is to set up my Forerunner 10 to keep me on pace but I wanted to have my 230 on to track my current pace.

My plan was to run between 6:55 and 7 minute per km to keep us on track for a 1:10 finish time. We went out a little fast but I managed to slow it down and have the first km in 6:58. I chatted with runners, warned them of pot holes and upcoming water stations, along with hills either up or down. Most know the route though.

The wind picked up as we crossed over the Dyke Road/358 hwy and my bunny ears moved slowly backwards but never fell off. I’d see each bunny that was ahead of me with their pack of runners pass by. I also saw friends running their race which is always exciting and motivating. There is magic in the motivation of seeing other pace bunnies that just paints a permanent smile on your face. At least, that’s how I felt running as a True North Pace Bunny.

We hit the turn around point and it was mainly flat until a big long hill before a gas station. I had to keep my pace no matter what so I kept trekking along up that hill and passed a few people all while encouraging them and telling them I’d see them at the top.

Hennigar’s Hill was next…down then up. This can be a hard point in the race for many, it has been for me before. Down we went, me keeping the same pace and runners taking advantage of doing down a little faster. I caught up to some people and pushed up Hennigar’s Hill feeling pretty good.

As we neared the 2k mark, two women looked back and me and in shock let out a “oh no” and sped up – it made me laugh quite a bit as I knew they wanted to finish before me. I also had a man say that he was following me for a while, lost me and found me again. He then went far ahead of me and finished strong. I had one gentleman running with me for most of the run and he was great company. I hope to run with him again with a local running group.

We climbed the last incline and into the stadium and I thought I was 2 minutes under (but wasn’t) so I slowed my pace down a bit more while running around the soft track. As I encourage my group of runners to go for it and they all did. I crossed the finish line in 1:10:06.

Though I was over by six seconds, I was pretty proud and happy that I accomplished what I committed to doing.  I high-fived a few runners, grabbed some water, dropped off my medal into my bag and ate a banana. After that, I headed back out tackle Hennigar’s Hill again.

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A number of pace bunnies went back out to help other runner’s up Hennigar’s Hill – the last BIG hill. I think I ran up it 7-8 times before I felt too cold to run anymore and ran back with a group of women. They were running fast and were super motivating! It felt good to run with a small group of fierce women. I didn’t want to intrude on their run but also wanted to encourage them along the way as I ran back. As they circled the track, I ran directly to the finish line and finished 7 k for a total of 17 k for the day.

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I still don’t know how to explain how it feels to be a pace bunny, other then it’s hugely motivating, inspiring and awesome experience for me. I hope to pace a few more races next year with True North Pacing. And yes, then went home, cooked a turkey dinner, filled my belly with WAY to much food and desert and enjoyed the evening with my family. Full heart, happy body and my soul filled immensely on Thanksgiving weekend.

Have you ever ran with a pace bunny?

Anyone else race last weekend or this weekend coming?

Past pacing 1:10 – 10k: 

  • 2015: 1:09:59
  • 2017: 1:09:37
  • 2018: 1:10:06

Thanks True North Pacing and Valley Harvest for another great event! I don’t blog daily but you can follow me over on Instagram. I’ll be running the PEI Half Marathon this Sunday!!!

 

 

Half Marathon Update & Pacing VRM!

Though I haven’t been blogging about my half marathon training – I’m now 2 weeks out from my 7th half marathon in PEI!! Also, I literally had to go through my blog to figure out how many half marathon’s I’ve run to date.

Training

My training has been going really well. I’ve managed to log almost all my miles and surprisingly in September, most of those miles had me running at 5 or 6 am before my family was even up. September was the month of morning miles and I loved it! It’s starting to get a little colder and my early morning motivation is starting to dwindle.

October is off to a slow start with no running as of yet. I played three games of soccer over the weekend (we won the tournament and I scored a goal!!) so I took Monday off to rest. And rest I did. I was in bed last night at 8:49 pm – lights out! I’m coming down with a head cold which really sucks timing wise. I just feel lousy and have an 8 k run on tap for today. I’m really unsure if I’ll run at all today. Any tips on getting better quickly?

From runners to cleats!

Runner Soccer

Pacing!

On a more exciting note…….. I’m pacing the 1:10 – 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon again!!!!! I’m a wee bit excited as this is my favourite distance/time to pace! This will be my third time pacing this distance and race. I’ll be running with “True North Pacing”. They are the pacing group the came together recently to provide pacers for this race. Can’t wait!

Also – I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner this weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving). After I pace my 10 k and help out a bit more I’ll be heading home to cook up a turkey and a roasted butternut squash for the vegan husband.

Anyone running Valley Harvest this weekend?

Favourite Thanksgiving dish?

Best advice to get rid of a head/throat cold? (Vit C, honey, garlic, sleep – what else). 

Don’t forget, you can follow me over on Instagram – I post there almost daily.