Surrey Intermational Music Marathon

Surrey Half Marathon – A Much Belated Recap

First and foremost, my sincerest apologies to the Surrey International World Music Marathon for this oh-so-late recap.  As a marathon blogger I fully admit that I fell down on the job…  Better late than never (right?!).

I ran the half marathon on 29 September 2013 and it was my second year doing this race.  As my last post explained, I was not as prepared as I had originally wanted to be.  I was going to go out and run to finish.  After that post went up my Twitter (now real life) friend, Brandi, told me that she wanted to run the half on a whim.  She was going for sub-2:30 and, as I didn’t have any sort of goal, I said I’d run it with her if she wanted me to.

On race day, Brandi and I met up near the start line.  She was with a couple of other friends, one of whom (Kendall) was running her first half ever, and, after I said goodbye to Colin and Spud, we all huddled in the crappy fall weather together.  Wind and rain is perfect for race day, don’t you agree?  Yeah.  That was a fun treat.  I decided warm and soaked was better than overheating with a jacket, but it was super chilly to begin with.

We started out together with the intention of keeping with the 2:30 pace bunny.  However, after only 1-2 kilometres Brandi and the others were pulling away.  I decided to stick with the pacer and let them go.  In the almost 5 years I’ve been running I have never once run a race with a pacer.  I thought I’d give it a go.  Surprisingly, I was able to keep up for the most part.  I’d lose her a bit on the ups, but catch up again on the downs.  I was surprised to hear, somewhere around 8km, that we were actually running a mid-6km/hr pace (pacers run 10min/walk 1min and accommodate for walk breaks).  I have huge self-doubts when it comes to running fast so it was a nice boost of confidence.  After that there was a long steady uphill.  I power-walked most of it, but the pacer (as well as Brandi et al.) was never out of sight.

Unfortunately, this is where my race – or rather, my shoes – started to crap out.  I knew my shoes were nearing the end of their running life since I’d taken them to Disneyland in the summer.  But, as it was my first pair of Altra Provisioness shoes, I didn’t know the indicator for dead.  In my old shoes it was always my knees.  At 12km I started to get severe hip flexor pain.  I haven’t had that in years!  That was obviously the indicator!  And so, I slowed down, walked when I needed to, and grimaced my way along for the next 9km.

At about 19ish-km I came upon Brandi and Kendall.  They were steady, but both hurting and ready for the race to be over (me too)!  I decided it would be far more fun to finish the race with Brandi, seeing as we intended to run together anyways.  Kendall went along ahead of us, looking strong so close to the finish.  Brandi and I decided it was for the best if we walked when necessary.  We had it figured out that we could walk a large chunk of the last couple of kilometres and still make sub-2:30.  On the last downhill we were surprised to see Solana out taking pictures (and waiting for marathoners Nikki and Krista)!  Brandi went over for a hug and I kept on going, fearing that if I stopped I wouldn’t start again.  At the last corner the 2:30 pace bunny was waiting.  It was such a nice touch that she was around to see some of us finish!

I “sprinted” to the finish, gathering Spud as I went, and we crossed the line together.  I finished in 2:27:08, taking 20 minutes off of last year’s time.

Even though I finished only a few seconds ahead of Brandi it took me a couple of minutes to find her.  But when I did I gave her a huge hug!  While I was happy with my time I was even happier (and super proud) that she got her sub-2:30!!

Totally stole this from Brandi’s blog…

  Oh, and did I mention that the medals for this race are obscenely huge?!

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An Ambassadorship

It’s that time of the running year when training for a fall event is in full swing. And, amazingly, I have a fall race to train for. I have been asked to be a blogger for the Surrey International World Music Marathon! I was a blogger for their inaugural race in 2012 and I’m excited to be invited back.

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Last year I ran the half on a bit of training and, while I had a good time, it was nowhere near to being a PR-worthy race performance. This year things are different. I’ve been running a lot more as well as cross training. I am hoping that I can PR or at least come close! I am also hoping the medal is similar to last year’s 3″ round behemoth!

The course this year has been redone to be less on closed roads and more in city parks. This should be great for the runners! I live close to Surrey, but rarely go over (have to cross a bridge!) so it will be nice to see a bit more of the city.

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If you live in Metro Vancouver I would love to see you there! The race runs on Sunday, 29 September 2013. There is a marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, half marathon relay, 5km, and Kids Fun Run. It is friendly to pretty much all abilities and ages of runners!

If you have other goal races – I know there are lots in October – this is a great opportunity to give back to the running community and volunteer. I’d love to see / hear you out on course! You can sign up here: www.surreymarathon.com/volunteer.

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218 Days / 1 Day

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And just like that my 2013 A-race is set! Extremely excited to #RunVan again. Goals coming soon, but I have a half to run on Sunday first.


Surrey Half Saturday: A Tale Of Two Weeks

You may have noticed that after all the hype of a Saturday feature post detailing my half marathon training there was a distinct lack of a post last week. That was due to an EPIC FAILURE on my part to do any running other than my long run on Saturday the 7th. So, sorry for the hiatus, but there you go.

This week has been marginally, but not much, better. As you can see I added a run to the week. Scheduling should be interesting since I’m currently training at work for a full-time position starting in September. There’s going to be a lot of evening running in my future!

Saturday 7th: 16km long run. I won’t be publishing paces simply because I’m heart-rate training and am still uber-slow. Let’s just leave it that I felt like I was plodding along the whole time. I left at about 9, but it wasn’t early enough as it got really hot by the time I was on my way home. It also didn’t help that the program I’m following called for the 3 middle km to be at tempo pace. I hit my paces just fine, but due to the heat and exertion I just couldn’t get my heart-rate down fast enough after that. I had to walk for a good km to make it somewhat normal. I think if it calls for that again I’ll just do that portion at the end.

Wednesday 11th: My sister-in-law and I decided that we wanted to run together in the morning. Unfortunately (for us) her husband had to be at work early so we had to set out at an ungodly hour of the morning. I was confused when my alarm woke me up at 4:45am, but I got up, dressed, and headed out for our 5:20am run. We ran a short 3km loop around her neighbourhood before she headed home. Since Colin wasn’t even getting up until 7am I took the chance to get in my run for the day. I ran firmly in zone 2 (a no-no, but I wanted to run with someone) with Marie. I can’t do that too often since that’s what got me in this mess to begin with! After I left her I picked up the pace to zone 3 and ran another 3km at tempo pace. Felt weird since I’ve been so focused on zone 1 running for the last few months. When I got to cooling down I did part of our original loop again. A gentleman out for a bike ride said, “Good for you,” as he rode by – I guess he thought I was just a beginner since I was going so slowly! Wasn’t too keen on whatever was rustling around in the bushes and got lost in her housing complex, but finally made it back to the car with about 7km done for the day.

Saturday 14th: 19km long run. Well, that’s what was on the schedule. It turned out to be very hot today so I changed up my plan. I originally was going to have Colin drop me off 19km from home and I’d run there. However, it made more sense to not be in the blazing sun so I ran from home and got in 15.59km. As I said on Facebook, I’m stupidly proud of this as I ran in my Vibram Five Fingers.

That’s it for this week – I won’t be posting next Saturday as I will be running the Ragnar Northwest Passage relay!


Some Magic Would Be Nice – Surrey Half Saturday

Today marks the first day of training for my upcoming half marathon, being run as part of the Surrey International World Music Marathon weekend.  I haven’t run a half since June 2010 as I focused on 3 fulls, one ultra, and, now, adapting to heart-rate training.  I guess the only thing I can really say about how I’m feeling is, “This should be interesting.”

I have only ever trained using one program’s methods – that of the Running Room.  If you’re Canadian you know that RR is a bit of a Canadian institution.  You might not be a fan, nor do you have to be, but when I was starting out in 2009 they were the closest running store offering a learn to run program.  I liked their promotion of walk/run training (all long runs are done as 10+1s) and have found some great friends because of them.  However, I dropped out of the half clinic last summer due to never being able to make the runs and, to be honest, not really clicking with the instructor.  You might remember that I also dropped the full clinic this past spring once I had the lactate test because I simply couldn’t keep up.  So where do I go this year?

Well, I’m not “going” anywhere.  This is a purely self-directed training cycle as it didn’t make any sense to drop out of a 3rd clinic!  I am really excited to be following the training program found in Train Like A Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, who also penned Run Like A Mother.  It’s titled HALF-MARATHON: Own It and I have high hopes for it!  It follows the standard training regimen of long runs, easy and recovery runs, hills, tempo runs, and speed work.  I think the reason I want to do it is that it’s just different enough from what I’ve been doing to seem new.  I get the principles already so I’m not intimidated, but they are much more specific than what I have been doing so it will be challenging.  What I also like is that they include what zones I should be running in and, since I’ve already got my numbers (you could do it by perceived effort if you haven’t tested), I should be able to achieve those runs with (hopefully) few problems.

Another thing that is different for me is that my long runs are moving to Saturdays!  I have been a firm Sunday LSD runner since I began running.  However, with work commitments and Colin also wanting to do long runs, Saturdays just seemed like a better fit.  I’ll be getting out really early or going out in the evening depending on my shifts, but at least it will keep it interesting!

As you can see from the post title this will be a regular blog feature.  Surrey Half Saturday will cover how my training is going, what I was up to during the week (training log style), and any other stuff going on with the event.  Please check back each week to follow along, give me encouragement or a kick in the butt, and let me know how your running is doing as well.  If you are running any of the Surrey races tell me so we can catch up on race day!