Posts Tagged ‘ambleside mile’

Ambleside Mile

I’ll be honest. I hadn’t planned to run the Ambleside Mile this year. Having just returned from a couple of weeks in the UK – you can read about my running & sightseeing adventures in London, Yorkshire and Edinburgh (coming soon) – I really hadn’t done anything that could be considered ‘speed work’. But since West Van Run is the organizer, and because a bunch of my running buddies were going to be there, I decided to register.

Like the race itself, this will be a pretty short post!

Debra picked me up and we headed over to West Vancouver. Full disclosure: all of the photos in the post are thanks to Debra!

The sun was shining, it was getting hot. Debra and I did a wee warm-up run around the block, and then caught up with lots of our West Van Run Crew buddies.

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We gathered at the Start Line and, after a quick countdown, we were off.

Ambleside Mile

The route differed from last year, which started with a long downhill. Instead, we were running a loop, the same as we did in 2014. It’s a relatively flat course – starting with a very gentle decline (which is repeated at the end), and a short slope at about one kilometre in.

I started out too fast. I knew the almost right away. I was struggling, and felt myself slowing down to a more manageable pace. I held this pace for most of the race, but as I approached the Finish Line, I just didn’t have the strength to kick it up a notch. Corinna blew past me at the end (achieving second in her age group!), and I crossed the timing mat a few seconds later.

Ambleside Mile

No PB today. It’s all a difference of seconds in a race like this, and my speed just wasn’t there today. But it was a respectable time, and I know what I need to do to get faster. Train for it!

After the race, I joined the West Van Run Crew for a 5km run along the Seawall to Dundarave and back. Then, I accompanied Corinna and Adam for a run back downtown over Lion’s Gate Bridge.

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A beautiful day, and another race in the bag!

Ambleside Mile

Final Results

Chip Time: 6:39
Average Pace: 6:35 min/mile (HA! That’s 4:05 min/km)
Place Overall: 49/109
Age Category Place: 5/8

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Vancouver Spirit Run

Before I get into the story, I have a race to tell you about! As a member of the #WestVanRun Team, I’ve been invited to participate in something completely different – a cross-country race! Held on September 13, the Vancouver Spirit Run is:

A cross-country race created by World-level athletes who wanted to honour the legacy of their late Norwesters Track & Field coach: Frank Reynolds. He was an amazing cross-country and middle-distance running coach who helped Olympian Jessica Smith as a teenager as well as World-class steeplechase runner Chris Winter.

The race aims to bring together young and amateur runners with world-level athletes to enjoy the often-forgotten sport of cross-country. The funds raised through the events will all go to a bursary to support young local athletes.

I’ll be running the 8km Men’s in the Masters division. The race is held at Jericho Beach Park, and loops through the scenic mixed-surface trails, including gravel and bark mulch. I highly recommend coming out and giving it a try! There are events for kids, too – bring the whole family!

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And now…the story of my busy week that was!

Training Recap

Last weekend, I ended up running twice in one day – a 15km tempo run, and a Mizuno shoe try-on. The latter involved 3 different models, and 3km in each. A good experience, and a long day!

Monday – 7km at lunch with my awesome coworkers!

Tuesday – busy work day, but got myself to Pilates for the first time in over a month.

Wednesday – another 7km at lunch – and encouraged a couple of the girls to run around Second Beach pool…their longest run ever!

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Here I’m wiping sweat with my Handana. Don’t forget – you can still enter to win one (yes, a brand new one, NOT the one used in the photo above!)

Thursday – still aching from Pilates, Jill and I cranked out some solid weights at the gym. Gonna feel this one.

Friday – second Pilates class of the week! One of the girls fell asleep – but that didn’t last long!

Thankfully, I had a massage scheduled for Saturday – and boy did I need it!

Forerunners Mile

One more thing – Thursday night! I went to the final Forerunners speed clinic of the season knowing we were running on the track. What I didn’t expect is that an actual one mile race was in the cards!

Coach Carey had brought along bibs for everyone, and 39 runners assembled (in two heats) for four laps of the track at UBC.

I was in the second heat, after cheering on the runners in the first heat. The first two laps were…manageable. I tried to keep a consistent pace, to save something up form the second half. On lap three, I pushed myself a bit harder and put a bit more distance between myself and the next runner.

At each lap, Coach Carey was calling out our time. My goal was to achieve a sub-7 minute mile. I knew I was on track (so to speak) to achieve this. I finally crossed the finish line with a respectable time of 6:48. This made me happy!

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Our final event was a relay – teams put together with faster and slower runners, based on our one-mile times. Out of 10 teams, I think we placed 6th. But it didn’t really matter – we had a great run.

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And we all got medals – RUN HAPPY medals! What could be better?

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The Ambleside Mile is still my one-mile record – but all things considered, I’m pretty darn pleased with the results of the Forerunners Mile!

The Forerunners Crew! Thanks, Bev and Kefi, for the awesome photo!

Have you ever done a cross-country race? If you’re in Vancouver – will you join the Spirit Run?
What do you think of track workouts?

Ambleside MileThe week leading up to the Ambleside Mile was a busy one. Thankfully, since I didn’t have to get a lot of distance in, I figured it wouldn’t have a huge impact on my actual race.

Monday: Quick lunchtime run with Lana. We did fartleks!


Tuesday:  Our choir performed at a local seniors’ home. We rehearse each week, and have this outreach concert as a sort of ‘dress rehearsal’.

Wednesday: I got myself out of bed early today, which happened to be #NationalRunningDay. Knowing it was my only chance to squeeze in a run, I took to the Seawall and managed a 5km.

      

After conducting a series of interviews at work, I went to the airport and flew to Edmonton. With the time change, it was well after 9pm by the time I got checked in at the hotel and sat down to dinner.

Thursday: The interviews continued – we conducted 5 more, each lasting over an hour. Got back to the hotel after 6pm. Rather than flinging myself on the bed and taking a nap, which is what I really wanted to do, I put on my running gear (which I had wisely laid out the night before) and headed out for a run.

The hotel is on a major road, with a highway nearby. But I knew from experience (about 2 years ago) that there was a nice residential area not too far away. Despite a hint of storm clouds, I needed to run off the marathon interview session.

What I love about the prairies is the vastness of the sky. I know it’s the same sky we have in BC, but there’s something in not having mountains nearby to ‘block’ the view.

      

Friday: I spent the morning at the office and flew back to Vancouver. Home again, I only had time to prep dinner before heading out to our final rehearsal before the concert.

Race Day

When the alarm went off on Saturday morning, I was struggling with a bit of jetlag and lack of “down time”. I didn’t even take a day-before photo of my race gear! Nor did I have my bib, which was to be picked up at the start line.

My Twiitter buddy turned RLF (real life friend) – Debra (@debrakato) – offered to pick me up and drive me to the race. Gun time was 9:30am, so we arrived in West Vancouver shortly before 9am. 

The best thing about the Ambleside Mile was all of the social media peeps who were in attendance! In addition to Debra, I caught up with Elinor (@goodbyeclutter) – who cycled to the race!

Karin (@looseleafrunner)


Ben (@benlooii) – he came and introduced himself – love meeting folks for the first time!


Jin – aka Mr Canada (@MrCanada_Jin)


A host of celebrities! Of course, Kirill was there, too – but as race organizer he was out and about running errands, so I didn’t have a chance to catch up with him.

Also, my running buddy and Ambleside Mile Giveaway winter, Emily, was there!

It was Emily’s first official one-miler, and I was excited to have been able to offer her the free entry! 

The weather was starting to heat up – and a few minutes before gun time we did a round of ‘warmup’ exercises. And with little fanfare, the race was on!

Last year’s Ambleside Mile was a loop – this year was a bit different. This is what it looked like: 

There was a significant downhill near the beginning, which no doubt helped my pace somewhat. Emily and I started out together, and I think her breathing was one of the only sounds I could hear. Yes, there were some spectators with lots of enthusiasm – but the intensity of this short, quick race makes it hard to concentrate on much beyond your immediate surroundings.

My Garmin beeped at 1km, and Emily said, “At least we’re more than halfway there!” It felt like it would never end! As we rounded the final corner, the last 2 blocks to the finish line, Emily kicked it up a notch and left me in her dust. She finished about 5 seconds ahead of me, and came third in her age group!

I saw the time on the clock and knew this would be a PB. I crossed the finish line at 6:26 – a full 20 seconds faster than last year!

Celebration!

Congrats to all the speed demons who finished the mile! I’m proud of you all!!

Final results:
Chip time: 6:22 (Gun time: 6:26)
Average pace: 3:57 min/km
Place overall: 61/160
Age category place: 5/10

 

Have you ever run a one mile race? What’s your favourite race distance?

Once again, please to link up with Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading for her Weekend Update! Join in, or drop by and see what other bloggers have been up to!

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RACE REPORT

Overall
For my second Ambleside Mile, I was quite satisfied with the whole experience. No issues whatsoever. I was very pleased to be able to offer an entry giveaway to the race. Enjoyed the whole experience…short as it was!

Packet pickup/expo
Although pickup was available on Friday, I took advantage of morning-of pickup. Quick and simple. They used ankle bands as timing chips, which briefly made me feel like Martha Stewart, but the feeling passed.

T-shirt/Swag
T-shirt is a simple cotton affair from Gildan. I’ll likely use it for gym workouts rather than running. I love that – for a race of this distance – we get a medal!

Course
Downhill at the beginning, then flat. Quick and straightforward. With the wide corners, I wonder about the course measurement…but obviously it isn’t a track run (nor an Olympic run!), so I’m hardly fussed.

Aid Stations
It’s one mile. No aid stations. There was water, juice and bananas at the finish line. Also, some David’s Tea (iced, of course!).

Race Management
Same management as my beloved West Van Run. Professional. On top of things. No issues that I can think of. Good social media presence and response!

If you’re interested, these videos show the race from two perspectives – from the pace car, tracking the lead runners, and at the finish line:

Goodbye May, Hello June!

I got this idea from my fellow Vancouverite & Bib Rave Pro, Brie (find her, follow her, and love everything about her at Brie ‘Like the Cheese’!). I enjoyed her April/May post so much, I asked if I could copy her for this month. The idea of the monthly update is to reflect back on the month that has just ended, but at the same time look forward to the month that’s on its way.

Also, in order to ensure giving credit where credit is due – this idea originally came from Jessica Lawlor – so make sure you visit her site, too! I’ll match her style of highlighting 3 things from May, and 3 for June.

Without further ado, let’s wrap up the last month, and excitedly anticipate the next!

In May, I…

1. Achieved my half marathon PB! I actually ran two half marathons in May – started out with the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, and three weeks later travelled to Ontario and ran the Ottawa Half Marathon. Both runs were great experiences, but it was Vancouver that took the cake. A perfect storm of weather, course, and luck – I was able to complete the race in under 1:45 – which was a true hurdle overcome!

2. Ran my third ever blog contest! This time, it was a giveaway for the Ambleside Mile – coming up very soon in June! I was thrilled with the response I got from interested runners, and excited that my running buddy, Emily G., won the giveaway…and will be joining me at the race! Looking forward to seeing some of my other Twitter & social media friends there, too!

3. Participated in Link-Ups! If you’re a blogger and you’ve never participated in a link-up, you should totally start. It’s a great way to meet new folks with common interests, and get some new ideas and motivation!

  • Weekend Update: Such an inspirational bunch of people sharing their achievements over the weekend (and previous week). Tara at Reading ‘n’ Running hosts this link-up – and today’s post is part of that! Drop by her page, visit other folks, and link up!!
Running 'N' Reading
  • Wednesday Giveaway Roundup: Every week, Erica at Erica Finds hosts a Wednesday Giveaway Roundup. I think this is fantastic – though for us poor schlubs in Canada it can be a bit frustrating, since a lot of the giveaways are limited to US entrants. Nevertheless, my blog contest gained a lot more exposure through this link-up, and Erica has something going on all the time – definitely worth a visit!
  • Thursday Triumph: This NEW link-up is hosted by Smitha (Running with SD Mom), Carlee (Carlee McDott) and Linzie (Sharp Endurance). It’s a great chance to share a success and learn about what other runners are up to!

In June, I will…

1. Run three races! At least, that’s how many I’ve signed up for so far…

  • Ambleside Mile: Next Saturday is the aforementioned one-mile race in West Vancouver. It’s a new route this year – looking forward to giving it a go again. Last year, my Dad was in town for the race, which was really special.
  • Longest Day 10k: Held at UBC, the Blueshore Financial Longest Day Race includes both 5km and 10km distances. I race the 5km back in 2010 and it look me nearly 29 minutes to finish. We’ll see if we can’t improve on that pace this year!
  • Scotiabank Half Marathon: Once again, I’m fundraising on behalf of the BC Cancer Foundation – and the total so far is nearly $2,000! I appreciate all the support and I’m so happy the money will be going to this great cause. I’m also excited to run my 5th half marathon of 2015, continuing with my #yearofthehalf theme.

2. Get back to the gym! I completed three training session with Lisa at the YMCA a couple of months ago. They had another deal in May for a discount on a 3-pack of sessions, so I signed up again. Because I’m out of town this week – headed to Edmonton for work – I’ll probably get started in the 2nd week of June.

3. Sing! I belong to a local community choir called Simple Gifts. Next Sunday is our final concert before the summer. We sing a variety of music – classical, jazz, musical, African folk – and have a lot of fun doing it. We also sing at two seniors’ homes as part of our ‘outreach’, which I think is one of the most fulfilling things about it. For the summer, I join SummerChor, which each year rehearses and performs a single major classical work. This year, we are working on Faure’s Durufle’s Requiem, which we will perform at the end of August.

Tell me about what you achieved in May in the comments! What do you have planned for June?

May posts you might have missed:

 

I’m very pleased to announce that Emily G. has won the free entry to the Ambleside Mile on June 6! Congratulations Emily!

Thanks to everyone who entered, and who helped promote my giveaway. Special shout-out to Erica at Erica Finds for hosting the weekly Wednesday Giveaway Linkup, and giving my contest a boost!

For those of you who didn’t take home the prize, you can still sign up! Visit Ambleside Mile and enter the promo code “@bjcjapan15” at checkout to get 15% off!

Looking forward to the next contest!!

Ambleside Mile

This contest is now closed – congratulations to the winner, Emily G.!

Ambleside Mile Giveaway

Have you ever run a mile? Yes, I mean, of course you’ve run a mile. Many miles, probably. On the road, on the track. A whole bunch back to back. But have you ever run a one-mile race? If not, here’s your chance – a GIVEAWAY!

The Ambleside Mile takes place in the West Vancouver neighbourhood of Ambleside, a charming community close to the ocean. The event is held on Saturday, June 6 in conjunction with West Vancouver Community Day. For more information on the race itself, visit the Ambleside Mile website.

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What’s it like to run a mile? Read about the 2014 Ambleside Mile in my race report.

Here’s a video of the whole race! (I cross the line at 4:28 – which is NOT how fast I run a mile!)

The great thing about this race – you are finished in less than 10 minutes (maybe even less than 5 minutes!), and you get all the good stuff that comes with a major road race:

  • Race t-shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Food & drink
  • Fun & frivolity

But why would I want to run just a mile?

It’s a great challenge! See how you stack up! Get in a little bit of speed training in preparation for your next race. And heck – you might get to run for free!

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win an entry to the Ambleside Mile. Giveaway ends at midnight on May 12, 2015. Open to Canadian & US residents – as long as you’re able to get yourself to West Vancouver, BC for the race on June 6, 2015! A random winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.

Ambleside Mile Giveaway

Mobile link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/06768b3a2/

I’m also participating in a Giveaway Roundup hosted (weekly!) by Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds. Click on either link to see what’s on offer. Note to my Canadian readers: many of these Giveaways are, unfortunately, US only. However, they are also sponsored by some great blogs, so don’t hesitate to visit!

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Little teaser here: Ambleside Mile video! (You’ll see me cross the finish line at 4:28)

Since the Vancouver Marathon, I’ve been nursing a couple of injuries that have severely limited my ability to run. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that the Ambleside Mile was important to me in more ways than one!

Bringing Back the Mile

I’d never thought about running a mile before.

This year, the Ambleside Mile was organized by the same folks who brought us the West Van Run earlier this year. I was so impressed with that race that I took note of this short-distance run. Then, in an effort to promote my blog, I was offered a free entry to the Ambleside Mile to give away in my first ever blog contest!

One of my nagging injuries was still bothering me in the week leading up to the race, and I only had a couple of short run-walks under my belt. On Saturday, at the prompting of my Dad (visiting from Ontario), I gave a one-mile run a try. And guess what? It was quick, hard work, and it didn’t hurt (at least, not in an injury-related way). So, the Ambleside Mile was still on!

Package pickup was both Friday (but only until 6pm, so no way to get there on a weekday) and Saturday before the race. With a 9:45am start, we arrived promptly at 9am. There was a short lineup at CoffeeBar, waiting to get bibs and T-shirts. And here is my only criticism of the race. The young man handing out bibs seemed to be having technical difficulties, and seemed a bit at a loss. Although I had ordered a small shirt, they couldn’t find any – BUT! the medium actually fits really well so no complaints.

Out on Marine Drive, the announcer kept us updated on the time leading up to the race, and there was motivating music playing. We were finally called to the start area, where we were led in some warmup exercises. I took a photo for a very sweet couple, who I later saw crossing the finish line hand-in-hand. That’s me there, number 17 – and the cute couple is to my left. 🙂

Start line stretch

Start line stretch

Is it weird that I was actually more nervous about this one-mile race than I’ve been about much longer, much more intimidating races? But as we gathered at the start, there was so much good-natured chatter, and a great diversity of participants, that I soon felt at ease. There were seasoned runners, kids and families – such a great community event!

Gathering to the start

Gathering to the start

Soon we were off! It’s amazing how long a mile can feel – but also how exciting such a short run can be! Anticipating the Ambleside Community Day parade, starting immediately after the race, lots of local people were gathered on both sides of Marine Drive. There was such a positive atmosphere, such enthusiasm, with everyone cheering us on. While it certainly didn’t show on my face, I was definitely smiling inside!

And they're off!

And they’re off!

The race travelled 4 blocks down Marine Drive (from 17th to 13th), a quick right, and another onto Bellevue. My favourite comment from a fellow racer to a cheering spectator: “It’s not as easy as it looks!” We hit 13th, ran back up to Marine, and then headed to the finish line just beyond 16th.

Sprinting (?) to the finish

Sprinting (?) to the finish

There seemed to be some uncertainty about the accuracy of the finish line clock, and I chose to run this race ‘naked’ (i.e. with no technology) – so I was really unsure about my finish clock until the results were finally posted on the Ambleside Mile website. In the end, I had a chip time of 6 minutes 46 seconds. Based on my research, this is a pretty respectable time, so I’m pleased with my results (and, having nothing to compare to, it’s a PB!)

I was also really excited to have my Dad in town to see me finish a race – having him and my guy to cheer me on really made a difference!

Thanks to the volunteers and organizers for putting on a great event, and to all the West Vancouverites who came out to cheer us on! I’ll be there again next year!

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