Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scotia Half Re-CAP (Does that rhyme?)

This is how much of the Scotiabank Half Marathon  looked...

See that guy in the white shirt... that's Alan Yu: Runner and Pacer Extraordinaire. Alan wasn't registered in the race but agreed to pace me and help me strive for the 1:35! (Ahem, another rhyme) He was awesome. Seriously. Despite having a Garmin telling me my pace and what I needed to do to achieve the 1:35, I would not have run as hard had he not been there. He said all the right things in all the right spots, reminded me of short, quick steps uphill and light, loose legs on the downhill. He stayed just a little ahead of  me so I would push myself and was so encouraging. Thank you, Alan!! I will pace you for a km or two sometime... not that it would help but it's the thought that counts, right?

OK, from the top. The race started like any other. It was raining. I had a pre-race breaky of almond butter, banana and toast AND my mom made coffee in the morning!! What a treat. (Carolyn and I cannot make coffee to save our lives.. why is it so hard?!)  Week-end fuel was also a treat:
We had these guys:
And  my Mom helped  made us her famous homemade bread!

 Once we got to UBC (after a mini run-in with Vancouver police...) We lined up for the bathrooms annnd waited. By the time it was our turn, the race was about to start. Typical. However, I did manage to squeeze my way closer to the starting line and only started 10 seconds behind the gun.  I knew that I would need to average a 4:30/km to make my goal time. My friend Tom caught up to me about 3km in. I am so happy he did because running with Tom made the race so much fun and it really seemed to speed by. He reminded me to always keep a straight line and not follow the road, to let my legs do the work on the downhills and just breathe. We were running at a decent pace (4:30/km) but still managed to talk for the first half of the race. 

Question: What do people do with their hands when they see people taking pictures of them? The Asian in me always wants to make the peace sign but I have started waving my hands in the air? Is this cool? Or should I just look straight ahead and try and look super hardcore?

So, the race was pretty hard. I realized early on that my goal of 1:35 was not going to be easy. I knew that I couldn't really set a new goal time since I had it in my head that this is what I wanted so I tried to push through. I'm so lucky I had two friends running with me. As usual, Burrard bridge seem like the biggest hill in the world. I was so happy to see Ken along the way and my mom and Aunt driving by and honking.

The winner: Kip Kangogo

I felt pretty good coming off of Burrard Bridge with about 2 km to go. I knew that a 1:35 was going to be close so I started running at about a 4:10/km.  This was fine until the last 600 meters, I thought I would pass out I was so tired. I imagined being dragged off the ground, collapsing at the finish line, ambulances everywhere. But then- it was over! And I felt fine!

Time: 1:35: 34
Average Pace: 4:32/km
Age Group: 10/ 386
Overall Female: 46/ 2124
Overall: 232/ 3812

Lessons Learned: My mom snores. I didn't sleep well the nights prior to the marathon or even the night of. 5:25am wake up calls never get easy. Sleep is important! But so is having your mom cheer for you! I also probably should have focused more on my running during the race instead of talking, but running is a team sport!   Overall, I'm satisfied with my run.  I wanted to be under 1:35 but I'll take what I can get. It was hard even though I was told how fast the course would be and that it was all downhill! I also realized that I qualified for the New York marathon! Most people don't realize that the qualifying time for the New York marathon is a lot harder then Boston. The qt is 3:23 but you can qualify with your half time which for women is 1:37!
Next goal:   Qualify for New York with the marathon time. Wonder how long that will take?

It was so awesome having people cheer for me during the race. They were in all the "right" spots. Thank you Mom, Aunt Janet, Andrea, Alan, and Ken!!  It's like I am a real Vancouvernite now!

Now that the half is over, I don't really know what to do? I'm still marathon training but no definite races in mind. Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


So, I kind of keep forgetting I am running Scotiabank Half Marathon  this weekend. I know it's a big deal, but it just kind of seems like another Sunday Long Run. I haven't  been thinking about the race when I'm running and hadn't decided on a goal time until tonight.  However, I have been "tapering" this week- during marathon training I  had 'taper tantrums'  and felt restless and nervous the whole 2 weeks prior. This time I am enjoying a little break and an excuse not to work-out too hard. ;)
Long Run Sunday consisted of 14.5km to the Lost Lagoon... pretty sure I spotted the creature...

Alyson and I ran together and finished the loop in about 1:17 with a 5:17/km pace. The run felt nice and comfortable the whole time despite being hungover and egged the night before.. ps: who still eggs people?!  And then of course we went for brunch! :)
I did a little bit of stretching and weights on Monday- nothing on Tuesday and then tonight went for a 10.5km tempo run. It was really hard! I thought it would feel good because I hadn't been running in a couple of days but the humidity must have taken a lot out of me. I was sweatin' and puffin' a lot.  How do people who live in really hot places run?! The run took 49:49 minutes (cool! ha)  with an average pace of  4:43/km.
The rest of the week includes 1 run tomorrow night- I think it's only going to be a 5-6ker with a special guest star... my mom!! She is flying in from Nova Scotia to hang out and watch my race on Sunday! Woohoo. She is also bringing lobsters. Double wooohoo!

Back with a race re-cap of the half on Sunday... goal time- 1:35 ee! Might end up disappointed but we will see... the race is supposedly really fast and downhill the whole way!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Running Races, Making Money

Some people make money winning races, I make my money in the freebies section after the race. ;) This year's  Longest Day of the Year Run at UBC was no exception or maybe it was an exception because the amount of swag I took was UNREAL. More on that later, first- the race re-cap.
This race was kind of a last minute decision after my friend Alyson mentioned that the gym she works at was hosting it. It sounded like a fun 10km... actually, the semi-legendary beer garden at the end of the event is what really sounded like fun! CarolynAlyson and our other running buddy Alan all signed up. We ended up not being able to find the UBC stadium and running around campus for a little longer then intended. I hate being rushed before a race but that seems to be a common theme this race season and maybe it's actually better since I can't freak out before the start. The course was two loops around the UBC campus- I had no idea what the route was until we started running. (Note to self: check routes, visualizing a race is a good thing, I was checking my watch a lot) Since it was just two loops, once we had completed one lap, I knew exactly what I needed to do to finish the race. Despite playing 3 hours of ultimate Thursday night with no subs, my legs held up really well during the run. No running pain! My goal going into the race was sub 45:00, once I got into the run and felt really good I decided to push myself and aim for sub 43:00. My final time was 42:26:94.

 My results:
  5km split- 21:12.79
  Average pace- 4:15/km
  Overall Female - 8/ 293
  Age Group- 6/ 169

Overall, I am happy with this race. I pb'd and felt pretty good throughout despite my legs not being so fresh. The course was a little twisty but there were no major hill climbs. Big shout out to Dave for running out to UBC and cheering us on, taking pictures and being the best coach ever!
Check out my flashy new running flats...

They are the Saucony Kinvara and I love them! They are very light and cushiony..it's the closest I have gotten to barefoot running.
SO... the best part of the race was the after-party! The food layout was magical. Burgers, dogs, fresh fruit, cookies, chips, cliff bars, lara bars, ice cream. Honestly, it was a little over-whelming. As Carolyn put it, it was like Halloween for healthy people.
The girls and I probably embarrassed ourselves with the amount of swag we took but hey- everyone is getting lip balm for their birthdays from now on! :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Speed, Tempo and Recovery Runs

Here is a recap of three days of running. Tuesday, I met with my new running/UBC/life friend Ken for some speed work at the UBC track.
Here is a picture of Ken being super hardcore at the SFU trail race... he is FAST (Ken came 5th in his first trail race!)

 I was feeling super 'blah' all day Tuesday. After two coffees and a LUNA bar I finally started to get my energy back. We ran/walked to the track which was about 2 km for a warm-up and then did a 1 mile warm-up around the track. Afterwards, we did some strides and then began our work-out... we decided on 8 X 400 reps... at one point Ken suggested 16... I quickly squashed those dreams.
I kept a pretty steady pace throughout the laps. We did a 200m recovery between each lap which ended up being more of a walk and chat then a jog.
My stats for each 400m= 1:28/ 1:25 /1:24 /1:24 /1:24 /1:23 /1:23 /1:18.
Just noticed that I continued to get faster throughout the intervals which is always a good thing. I tried to really push the last one to finish under 1:20 and it worked.
Moving on to Wednesday night's tempo run with the clinic. It was a beautiful night but my legs were SORE- I googled where I was feeling the pain and I think it is my abductor. The main suggestion was rest- BUT I don't want to stop running especially right before the half...I think I will just take it easy this week and be rested for next Sunday.  Hopefully, this will not cause serious injury. It's funny because walking hurts the most... legs-are you trying to tell me that I should only be running? Despite being sore, I still managed a pretty good pace (thanks to running buddy Matt- without him I would definitely have slowed down). We finished 11km in 52:13 with an average pace of 4:47/km.
Since Carolyn and I were missing Run Club on Thursday evening we decided to go for a recovery run bright and early Thursday morning. Thank God for running roomies!! Life would suck without one, I suggest everyone go out and buy a running roomie immediately ;) Such good motivation. I love, love, love running friends! We did a nice steady/slow pace of aprox 5:30/km for about 6km. I say this with a lot of about's and aprox's because Carolyn left me in the dust and I walked up the last hill to try and save my legs (and I am also lazy). Stay tuned for the best. race. ever. recap tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My First Trail Race

It was a beautiful weekend in Vancouver! Friday night was spent carbo-loaded on sushi before my first big trail race on Saturday at Simon Fraser University! OK-- I am not that hardcore and my race did not look like this picture at all. But it was still pretty difficult! I signed up for the enduro option- which was 9.7km. The race started downhill for the first 2.5km and then worked it's way back to the top... I thought  that the downhill part of the course would be a piece of cake... boy, was I wrong. It is WAY harder to run down a mountain trail then I thought. It was narrow, muddy and slippy... it was hard to see where to go when people were directly in front of you, even kind of scary. This was definitely the weakest aspect of my race. People were running down the trail with no fear and lots of people passed me during this part. I was actually looking forward to running UP the mountain, I contemplated dropping down to the 6km route because I was scared I was going to roll my ankle and ruin my summer! However, after the first 3km I started to get the hang of it and it became A LOT of fun! I am definitely hooked. I pretended I was in Twilight and a vampire was chasing me ;) I looked at the previous times from last year and the fastest time overall was 42 minutes... so I knew it would be a slow course. My original goal time was under 1 hour but once I started and realized how difficult it was I changed my tone and decided to aim for 1:10. I ended up finishing in 1:05:57 and could probably have taken off 2-3 minutes if I knew how to run downhill. The final km of the race was STRAIGHT up hill. Like-- at a 10 degree angle... I don't know how people could have run that, everyone around me was walking. I ran for maybe 10 meters just to push myself and to pass one girl... hehe. I felt a little nauseous by the end of the race but that passed as soon as I saw the fresh fruit! All in all, the race was a blast- Sunday's long run-not so much. The route was 16km and I wasn't as sore as I thought (or as hungover as I thought I'd be..) and averaged the route at about a 5:16/km pace. Legs were feeling pretty tight for the rest of the day and took Monday off from running even though I really felt like it... today I plan to do some sprints at UBC... let's see how this goes.  This is a pic from the non-trail part of the race...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wrong Side of the Bed

So yesterday morning was just one of those days... everything that could go wrong did. I woke up early to finish a paper for school (typical) and was still so sleepy. Why is it that the mornings I have to get up I am tired and when I can sleep in I wake up really early? Ugh. Anywho...finished the papz, sent it to myself and decided it would be quicker to print it at FedEx then at school... went to the store and turns out I hadn't emailed it to myself! AND the guy charged me 43 cents when nothing printed... brutal... I had to use my debit card. Ran home and out to UBC and by this time I was late for class... I have already missed three of these classes so that doesn't look good but hopefully the prof saw me and knew I was there. I also left my wallet at the library. When stuff keeps going wrong I just take a deep breath and remind myself that I can get through anything and that there are way bigger things going on in the world. During lunch we had a meeting about getting our teacher certificates... it's a lot more work then I realized and prrricey... it's like they just want to suck all the money right out of us... and then not even give us jobs. Oh well, it'll be over soon and I can be a REAL teacher ;) After my last class, I busted over to the school where I did my practicum for the Sports Banquet.. it was so fun! Loved seeing all my students again and it was really heart-warming seeing how happy they all were when they won. I'm so sad to leave that school. The two track awards I presented... the student weren't even there! What the... after my beautiful speeches and everything. Finally, I got to RUN- Wed night run practice was HARD. I ran with a new guy and we move didn't want to think the other could keep up... even though we were both huffing and puffing. I thought I was slowing him down and he thought he was slowing me down... finally he caved and I was like thankkkkkkkkk you. We ended up running about 10km in 47 minutes at about a 4:40 pace. It felt really fast and difficult but I think the only way to improve is to run with faster people. Scary to think that to qualify for the New York Marathon I need to do that for 42 kms... umm impossible?! Below: My Sunday and Wed running ladies...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day of Fitness

I am tired!! Today was a pretty active day on my part. Started the morning with some oatmeal WITHOUT banana... not recommended, felt lost all day. Then did some school work at Blendz and hit the gym for some weight training. I only stayed about 25 minutes and did abs and arms. I need to get some new weight moves! I have pretty much been doing the same workouts since first year university... no wonder I don't see results. After the gym, I came home, ate a veggie stir fry in a wrap for lunch and biked to UBC. It's about a 25 minute bike ride there, mostly uphill and about 15-20 minutes back. It was wearing a white t-shirt and I was sweeeeatyyy. Sorry people who had to sit beside me in class ;)
The best part of my day was running with Alyson! We are marathon training buddies but haven't gotten to run together much since the big race. We planned on going for a long run- 18km but were talking a lot and at about 7km stopped and stretched and then turned around and came back... serious training starts SUNDAY... All in all we did a little over 12km. Not too bad considering the most I usually run on a Tuesday is 6km... Afterwards, we went to the Local for beer, wine and LOTS of food. We split yam fries, fish tacos and a tuna salad... so good but still full. I could fall asleep now but must finish watching Flight of the Conchords... love this show.
Here is a pic of Alyson after running the Vancouver marathon. We both qualified for Boston! Wooo