VIRA Hatley Castle 8k- Race Recap!

Yes I can’t believe we are already on race #4 of the VIRA series…time is flying by! I did not have high expectations for myself for this race, as last year it really took a lot out of me and I found it quite …rough.

See pic below from last year:

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Last year it sucked!

This year, I was prepared though! I had done a lot more hill running, so I had a better idea of what to prepare for, and I’d already done it once before. Still, I didn’t really have a time goal other than ‘better than last year’. I was running alone, as my husband and friend weren’t running this year with me, but luckily my husband was there to take some photos- yesss!

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This year: still a struggle

At the start, I was kind of mentally kicking myself- I was absolutely¬†frozen, I also seem to have some recurring stomach unpleasantness that I’m sure is related to the anxiety of racing as it seems to crop up often when I have a race, and I was just feeling…blah. I also think the beers the night before may not have been the best idea, but I guess you learn that the hard way.

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I like this shot b/c it looks like I am actually running.

The start was quite jammed, and I didn’t get up as close as I should have. We flew past the start (it is a downhill start) and I was immediately stuck behind slower runners, almost clipping their heels, yikes! I did a lot of dodging and weaving for the first km and had to rush to make it up. I was slower than I wanted to get to the first hill, having placed myself incorrectly at the start (again!).

Once having broken out of the pack, I played a bit of leapfrog with a younger racer who I recognized from my MEC 10k race earlier this year (she beat me, and she beat me in this race too. arghhh) and an older gentleman who I passed and stayed past!

The hills didn’t feel tooooo bad, but what I seriously lacked was a good recovery past the hill push. I just didn’t have that ‘oomph’ past the hills…It’s like I got to the hills and was like, phew that’s over! Oh, wait…

There’s the whole rest of the race! Surprisingly the portion in the woods was nice- springy, I was getting good foot feedback from the soft ground. It was still uphill but not terrible. It was very dark though, almost hard to see. There was a coach lurking in the woods cheering us on- yay for this dude! It was awesome.

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Dying at the finish part 1

The long downhills were soooo welcomed! I even managed to run them without too much fear–I guess doing those crazy GutBuster runs and MEC runs have made me much braver. I was getting tired though, and once the downhills ended and the flats began, I was so done.

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Photo by Brian Domney and a great shot of me getting blasted past at the finish..haha.

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Dying at the finish part 2

I kind of struggled to the finish, looking like I was going to puke.¬†Lovely. I got beat by a 12-year old I think? Kid had a crazy rally to the finish, better than mine that’s for darn sure!

The spread at the end of the day was SO good! Hotdogs, an apple fritter, and all the candies you could hopefully want! Yogurts too! Yum!!

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Photo by Brian Domney: Where I am literally a head shorter than the others. Looks pretty funny!

And how did I do? Well I sure can’t complain- a good for me 37:13 (net) and 37:19 (gun). YES! This was surprisingly well enough to net me 5th place in my AG. That is the best I have ever gotten, and I was shocked. Lucky me eh? Compare that with my first attempt last year at 39:00 and I am a happy camper.

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Ribbons!

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Cedar 12k race recap: VIRA race #3!

This weekend didn’t start off badly actually, it was only as we finished our race that I heard the terrible news of my friends family.

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Photo courtesy of the Ceevacs. I swear I am running…

I have coverered that though, so this post will be about the race this weekend. Race #3 on the VIRA race schedule, of #7 total. This one took place in Cedar, a few hours away from Victoria. It was a 12k on ‘rolling hills’ and I had never run this one before, as last year we were in Hawaii that weekend (I would kill to do that again, actually…).

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More photos- courtesy of Bastion Running Club photographers. And that guy, totally eyeing the camera…

It is a smaller race, under 400 runners I believe. The organizers are super, clean up and bib pickup was SO fast. The race itself was…a challenge. The start was good, busy though and it led up a small hill. It was a fast field, and I was hoping to maintain at 4:45/km but secretly wanted to go a bit faster, so started off fast (4:33/km) and was trying to keep it under 4:45/km if I could.

Turns out I can, except on the way back where the big hill we trotted down suddenly became Mt. Everest on the way up…

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The turnaround, rear-view.

My breathing kind of sucked. I felt like I was struggling a bit (well at that pace, I am struggling in general) and then the hills…oh, the hills…just¬†killed my pace. I went from a fairly reasonable and fluctuating 4:38-4:40 to a dead 5:15/km. Yeeeeesh.

And I didn’t really improve at the top, either! I just kind of ‘blahhhhed’ my way through the last 3kms.

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A really unflattering finishing. Oh well! Photo courtesy of Bastion Running Club’s Neil Gaudet.

We finished by running through the field of the elementary school, and yeah running on grass felt like I was running through Jell-o. Punishing. I was not sprinting, I can tell you that and I did get passed by a bunch of people then too. I felt like I was going to puke at the end and had to walk it off for a bit, hahaa.

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Photo courtesy of Bastion Running Club’s Neil Gaudet.

Food was good, sadly there was a glitch and no Milk 2 Go protein drinks (that I love!!) but they said next year they will have some.

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Triumphant striding to the finish!

And my time? A very respectable 56:06 (net) and 56:14 (gun). I really do have to get smarter about being near the front, I know, I know…

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The shortest, yet again…

And that placed me in 7th in my AG, and my husband placed 5th in his. Wow, so speedy!!!!

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7th! Hard earned AG.

 

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25th Annual TC 10K

25th Annual TC 10K

Yeah! This year they even gave out commemorative medals for finishers!

Going into the race, I was NOT feeling it. I’d hurt my knee this year, and was struggling to get back to running on the regular, not even running full 10ks or racing speed. I was doing a lot more short runs and maybe a 6-8k once a week? My knee was still wonky and I was pretty concerned it was going to blow doing this race, but I’d already committed.

And in my infinite wisdom (which apparently is NOT infinite) I’d also signed up for a horse show the day before. Because that’s not tiring at all, is it? HAH!

And I trained pretty hard for the TC 10k by being too sick to run the week before and being barely able to drag myself off the couch for the week…And every time I tried to run, I’d cough my lungs out.

So, success right??

And surprisingly it went quite well! I got an ok time of 53:46- a titch slower than last year, my ideal goal is 50 mins. The run itself was kind of a hell unto itself…

– I got stuck in the walkers group for the start, because apparently they decided to make it extra-difficult to fight your way through 11,000 people to get to your correct starting gate…
– I stood on the pavement for 20 minutes jammed shoulder-to-shoulder with people in the freezing weather.
– It started raining as we climbed the hill at Dallas Rd and blasting wind. So, not only did it feel like I was running backwards, but I was getting rain in my face the whole time. FUN.
– I didn’t even take my sweater off the whole run. Brr.
– I wanted to give up SO HARD. I was running to protect my left knee, and it started threatening me around the last 3km. I was like, don’t give out, don’t give out, don’t give out…

And I made it! YEAH! So, even just finishing felt pretty good.

Ian and I went home, warmed up and showered, and then went out for brunch. I had a nap later. It was a great end to the weekend.