Monthly Archives: June 2014

Some Quick Notes on the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon

While I have started a detailed race report, I’m finding it challenging to complete it when I am doing things like crossing suspension bridges and riding chairlifts to snowy mountain peaks.  So for now, a few memories I want to record about the Vancouver Half Marathon:

  • The realization very early in the race that despite the sun and clear skies it never felt overly hot. Even better, there was just no humidity, making my lungs feel like they were getting extra oxygen with each breath.
  • Finishing a downhill section, assuming it was the main downhill I saw on the elevation map, only to find out that the big downhill was still to come.
  • Finishing that downhill portion to see I had run a 4:49 minute km.
  • Looking out at the ocean and mountains; I think I may have said “Wow” out loud.
  • Thinking I was approaching the 8k marker to find out I was actually at 10k. How did that happen???  How do I make it happen more often???
  • Realizing at 10 k that I felt like I had done nothing more than a warm up run. At that point I was able to say to myself that this was simply an 11k race.
  • Running up the Burrard Street Bridge and realizing it wasn’t as steep as I thought it would be.
  • Realizing at the top of the bridge that I only had to coast and enjoy the last couple of kms since, short of dropping to the ground, I was going to finish my first sub 2 hour half marathon with room to spare!!!

Redemption Run

After that marathon 4 weeks ago I needed a happy run.  So my goal for today’s Vancouver Half Marathon was to simply go out and have a good time.  That goal was completed but with an added bonus.  I can now say I have run a sub 2 hour half marathon!  That’s right, I had fun AND beat my previous best time by almost 6 minutes!!!  In short, it was one of those days where everything came together; I felt fantastic, the weather was perfect with absolutely no humidity, and the course was fast with some amazing downhills.  Lots of details about the race still to come but for now here are the stats:

Chip time: 1:57:28

Overall: 1305/3979

Women: 517/1882

Age category: 45/174

Couldn’t be happier 🙂

A successful race day!

A successful race day!


A New Running Experience

Tonight was another first for me in my running life as I started as a 5k clinic instructor at the Running Room.  I love seeing people start (or restart) their running life.  I can honestly say I get just as excited when listening to the accomplishments of new runners as I do about my own accomplishments.  When I run with people who are just starting out it brings back all my memories of learning to run 5k.  Running provides such a high at all levels, but there is something special about working your way up to that 5 km goal.  I work with a few people who in the last few months have taken up running.  It is so much fun to hear them when they talk – often with a tone of complete shock – of their newest distance or pace.  Let’s face it, most of us don’t do this to set any records.  We do it to prove to ourselves we can do something we thought impossible.  And when that happens it is magical.

On a purely selfish level, I know this will be a great experience for me.  Two nights a week I will get to run with a group of people rather than on my own.  I love solitary running, but I also really enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and run in a group.  Now that the hot weather is here, the evening runs are perfect for this cold weather runner.  I also get the chance to run in a lovely part of the city and once I’m done with the group I can head out for a longer run along the Ottawa River.  And to top it all off, I get an employee discount for the length of the clinic.  Does it get more perfect than that?

Tomorrow I will run with the group again and then my next run will be in Vancouver.  I managed to do a 17k a few days ago and while the first 10 km seemed to fly by, that last km seemed loooong.  So it is a little hard to predict what I will feel like for my “fun run” along the seawall.  I am definitely not at my peak, but I am certainly not at my worst either which hopefully means a nice comfortable run in the 2:05 to 2:15 range.  More importantly I hope it means I will be able to finish the race with a smile on my face and that lovely high of a good run!

Vancouver Half Plan

My plan for the Vancouver Half that is just over a week away is pretty simple… HAVE FUN!  No time goal, no pressure, no running until I want to throw up.  There will be sightseeing, high-fiving, maybe even some picture taking.  When I feel like picking up the pace I will, and when I feel like walking, I’ll do that too.  I’m not going to worry about negative splits or conserving energy.  I will just run for the fun of running because yes, even though it isn’t always the case, running can be fun and sometimes I need to remind myself of that.  A few days after the marathon I realized it wasn’t my disappointing finish time that bothered me most, it was the fact that I missed the “high” of a race, that rush of excitement that makes you feel like a kid again.  To a certain extent I am still in recovery mode from that day, so I know there is no chance of a super fast half.  But that isn’t the point of this race.

The run should be beautiful and the course is a net downhill but with a “bump” in the road so to speak.

See that bump near the end?  Doesn’t look like much on an elevation map.  However, this is what it looks like in real life:

I think I will probably feel this one on the way up, particularly so late in the race.  But the view will be amazing and the bridge is commemorated on the race medal:

finisher medal: front

I’ve not been training for this race.   I have had a few fun runs though and have managed to do a 10k and 14k as my “long” runs.  I’m hoping to get one more of those in before race day.  June, along with December, has always been a low mileage month for me.  As a teacher there are just too many things to do at this time of year.  Any run I get in is a bonus.  And now that the marathon is complete, I am enjoying treating myself to some junk food and am just not prepared to give it up for this race.  So essentially, I am not doing anything “right” for this race… except getting excited enough to have a smile on my face whenever I think about it.  🙂




Finally Brave Enough…



…to run in a running bra without a shirt 🙂



ok.  I might be sucking in a little

ok. I might be sucking in a little


I have just never felt quite right about running without a tech shirt on for a few reasons:

1. I am 45 years old and I have had two kids.

2. I have not even been in a bikini since my age was a single digit.

3. Because of number 2, there is probably not a sunscreen strong enough to keep this white tummy from burning to a crisp.

4.  I often run in the same area in which I teach.  There are some things my students (and their parents) just don’t need to see.

But last week in a slightly secluded stretch the tech shirt came off.  After a couple of minutes of feeling self conscious, it started to feel liberating.  And within about 15 minutes I loved it.

The heat and humidity in Ottawa can be nothing short of stifling.  On today’s late afternoon 10k run (30 degrees with the humidex), the tech shirt came off again.  This time I didn’t care that I was running along a busy route.  I was working my butt off, who cared what I looked like???  Personally, I don’t think I would do it with a high sun on a cloudless day.  The sun beating directly on me just makes me hotter.  But with a late day sun, clouds and/or a great breeze, I am a convert.

After the run – with the shirt on I should add – I headed into the pharmacy to grab my much needed chocolate milk.  I always have an inner laugh when I head into this store.  You have to enter in the “beauty” section.  I walk in in my sweat soaked running gear, ball cap jammed down over my eyes and soaking wet hair sticking out at all angles.  I must look like too much of a project because no one ever approaches me to see if they can help me find a product.  Today though I was greeted by a large sign that said “You are invited to feel beautiful…can we pencil you in?”  I grinned and thought, “Too late, already feeling beautiful.”  A sweaty, heart pumping, 10k run (in a bra without a shirt no less) beats a bunch of beauty products any day 🙂

Oh – and on my shopping list…a fun, bright running bra!