Summerfast? Not so fast!
I made two rookie mistakes this weekend.
I went to the gym twice this week and I feel like I pushed myself a bit too hard. Not so hard that I was incapacitated, but hard enough to still be feeling the effects of bar squats on the day of the race.
Also, I did hill training on Thursday night. I know I need to do more speed and hill work, but was it the right thing to do two days before a race?
2. I did something different on race day.
I ran out of oatmeal on Wednesday. I had fully planned to get to the supermarket and buy more, but it just didn’t happen. All of a sudden, it was race day and I didn’t have my usual pre-race food.
I went ahead and made a smoothie, which admittedly is something I do almost every day. The big difference is that I don’t race every day! Almost immediately, I needed to spend some time in the bathroom. And I wished I had had oatmeal.
I headed down to Stanley Park for Summerfast 10K!
Almost immediately, I could feel a vibe that was different from most of the races I’ve done lately. This one was serious. The folks warming up were very focused. There was a distinct buzz in the air.
Ran into Jean, and then chatted with some Forerunners folks. Bev and Deb were there, Bev aiming for her place in the Lower Mainland Road Race Series. Debra (@debrakato) was on hand with her trusty camera, and snapped a nice photo of Darrel, Theresa and me.
I also showed off my Tiux Compression Socks – for their first race wearing! (You can still enter to win a pair of these bad boys here!)
Gathering at the Start Line, I met another Twitter buddy, Steve (@abundantsink), for the first time in real life.
Got a few more snaps:
Then, someone behind me said, “It must almost be time” just as – without any warning or fanfare – the gun went off.
I won’t go into a lot of detail, except to mention that the first kilometre was a bit of zigzagging in Coal Harbour to get us to the right distance. The rest of the run is a simple counter-clockwise loop of the Stanley Park Seawall ending where we started, at Second Beach.
Most of the race was in full sun, though much of it was blessedly at our backs. It was hot – but not as hot as the Scotiabank Half a few weeks ago!
I’ve mentioned in previous posts, but at certain points on the Seawall you can see a couple of kilometres ahead. Near the halfway mark, I saw Bev (in her distinctive orange shirt) in the distance. I aimed to catch up with her, but never did.
Somehow I managed a negative split, with my second half a respectable 5 seconds faster than my first half. I sprinted for the finish but I’m pretty sure the guy beside me crossed the line just a hair before I did. My cap matches the pylons. I planned that.
Lots of familiar faces at the end. We were all sweaty and happy. I grabbed some water and then some Muscle MLK (vanilla is my favourite)!
Summerfast is hosted by Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club (VFAC) – they are super fast. The ruled the podium at the Ambleside Mile. One of the best things about this race is that the VFAC members bring home baking! I enjoyed an amazing chocolate brownie and some coconut cake. I tried to take a clear photo, but the crowds were too thick.
Hanging about, I also got a “Hey, are you Bradley?” from Ethan (@AvgRunner), one of my Twitter followers. I really love it when this happens!
And then, the true highlight of the day, a legit celebrity sighting. Anyone recognize him?
Yep, that’s Stephen Amell, aka The Arrow (or Oliver Queen). Having chickened out of speaking to famous people in the past, I simply approached him and asked for a photo. He graciously agreed. I asked him how the race went. He told me he had wrapped filming late the night before, but had agreed to do this 10k! A super hero!
When I finally checked my results, I was sorely disappointed. Generally, I’m a mid-pack runner, and recently I’ve been ranking somewhere in the top third. But despite a decent time, I actually came in second last in my age group!
But I’ll admit there may be a reason for this. Summerfast also happens to be the BC 10K Championship race, managed by BC Athletics. So all the speedsters are out to prove themselves. And the fact that at least one of my friends, who usually places in their age group, came a bit lower in the rankings…well, that was reassuring.
I was tired and hot and hungry, so I didn’t stay around for the awards ceremony. Apparently I should have, because they had lots of door prizes to be won! I’ll keep this in mind for next time!
Chip time: 48:22
Average pace: 4:51 min/km
Age ranking: 14/15
Happy to link up again with Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading – Weekend Update style!
This is a small, straightforward race. No frills. It’s a flat, scenic course – built for speed (except, perhaps, in my case). Summerfast is not a destination race per se, but being a local event I was glad to be there. I would run it again. If you’re in town, it’s inexpensive and it’s beautiful. And there are baked goods!
I walked down to the Denman Street Running Room after work on Friday to pick up my bib. They had a table set up in the store, and that was it. Very straightforward. Race day pickup was also available.
This race is not about the swag or the bling. It’s about the run. Enough said.
Seawall around Stanley Park. Flat. Hot. Shared with cyclists, pedestrians, and other runners. This did not cause me any issues.
One water station at 5km. A second at 8km by Third Beach. I didn’t bother to slow down for either.
A few sponsors were present, including CLIF Bars and Muscle MLK. The best thing, however, was all of the baked goods by the VFAC hosts – yummy!
Things seemed to run very smoothly. It’s a simple, no nonsense race. Very professional. An announcement warning us that the gun would go off momentarily would have been a bonus, but since I wasn’t competing by gun time – and therefore not at the front of the pack – it didn’t really matter. Chip time works for me!