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!!!

 

 

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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.

Year of Running 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to look back on the year and see all the things you’ve done (or missed out on). Running for me has always been something fun to do, a stress reliever, time to myself, an opportunity to be a better mom/wife and also to take care of my physical and mental health. This year sure gave me a challenge with my running.

For the last few year’s I’ve been doing the “Year of Running” wrap up hosted by Courtney at “Eat Pray Run DC”.  Therefore, I’m doing it again!

Best (and worst) of 2017

Best Race Experience: Pacing the 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon  with White Rabbit Pacing was my best race experience. I ran with two Garmin’s this time pacing just to make sure I was on pace.  It’s such a fun local run and  so rewarding when you bring runners to the finish line on time!

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Best run: Running Cape Split with my husband in September. We don’t get to run together often but when we do it’s awesome. I love that he loves to run (and cycle etc.) but when you can go for 1-2 hour run with your husband it just makes it that much better. Best run hands down of the year.

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Best new piece of running gear: My new Garmin Forerunner 230! This was a mother’s day present from my girls and husband. Love it! Well, and my Tiux compression socks – man they were a life saver for me!!

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Best running advice you’ve received this year: There were many nights when I wanted to run but was just exhausted from the busy day at work and with our girls. On those nights my husband would always say “you’ll feel better if you just go”, “put on your gear and just start”. Without those nudges, I would have just missed the run.

Best Advice I Can Give: Listen to your body. When it’s saying enough is enough – listen.

Most inspirational runner:  I’d have to say Shalane Flanagan.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: It’s not a race photo, though I do love the photo above from pacing the Valley Harvest Marathon. However, my favourite photo is this one bloew – running with my husband and daughters on January 1st. We now have a tradition of running our first km on January 1st together….even in the rain or snow!

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Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Pacing the 10k – 1:10 finish at Valley Harvest. I love this pace and finishing time. Hands down, I’d pace this race again. I’d also repeat running the Berwick 5 miler Road Race – that was a fun distance and I really enjoyed the course.

Worst Running Moment: Hands down, finding out two days before my half marathon that I was having some heart problems. It was strongly suggested that I didn’t run my half that I worked so hard for in September. I was devastated. Luckily two weeks later, I passed my stress test and told to get back to running. But, oh the disappointment was HIGH!

Favourite Medal: These are my daughter’s medals after they both ran 800m and 1200m respectively. They both had a blast and finished with a smile on their faces. I love that they both love to run and enjoy it as much as I do.

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If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?  Physically hard (car accident/heart problems), rewarding (pacing the 10k) and challenging.

Eat Pray Run DC
That’s how I’d sum up my running in 2017. With a car accident in late March I struggled to get back to running but managed a half in June. Only to train hard over the summer months to be told I had to stop running and then to finish off with pacing a local race made up for some of the devastation of missing my goal half marathon.
What was your best race or run of 2017?
Race you’d repeat in a heartbeat? 
Worst running moment?
My 2016 year in running can be found here.