Posts Tagged ‘arrow’

**I want to dedicate this post to my Aunt Shirley, who passed away two weeks ago. We met for the last time during my visit to Ontario in April, when attending the wedding of my cousin – her granddaughter. She will be missed.**

 

The weekend has been busy. We had an extra SummerChor rehearsal on Saturday – 10am to 2pm. As mentioned in a previous post, we’re singing the Durufle Requiem – and our concert is just 3 weeks away! In addition, because the Durufle is kind of short, we’re also singing the Faure Requiem. A lot of folks in the choir have sung it before, but it’s my first time. The Faure also happens to be my Dad’s favourite, so I’m sorry he won’t be here for the concert.

We attended the Powell Street Japanese festival, and I got dressed up in my Japanese duds – a bit different from my usual running gear!

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Saturday night was the Celebration of Light – third night of fireworks, with Canada putting on an amazing show set to music – glorious!

On Sunday morning, I went for a quick run – about 8.5km – along English Bay and around Lost Lagoon.

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That was followed by the Vancouver Pride Parade – colour, glitter, music, festivities – lots to see and do! And Monday is BC Day – so we’re enjoying a beautiful long weekend!

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Keeping up with tradition, here is another installment of my Monthly Update. I will continue to give credit Brie (Like the Cheese) for giving me this idea – and bow to here commitment in participating diligently in the November Project. I had planned to join, but they were forced to relocate from downtown to Queen Elizabeth Park – which is just too far from home and work to be feasible on a Wednesday morning. Nevertheless, a few things have happened this past month…

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In July, I…

1. Did 3 rounds of speed work. I know, that’s really not a lot. But given how little speed work I’ve been doing, I decided it was time to commit to some regular workouts. So I joined Coach Carey’s Thursday night clinic (care of Forerunners). Over the course of three weeks, we did:

  • Hill repeats – 9x up Jericho Hill (a steep, short run)
  • Track workout – 9x 400m, gradually increasing our speed
  • Sprints – 5x 800m in Little Australia (near UBC)

I plan to continue with the speed training through August as well.

2. Met a celebrity. I got my geek on when we ran into Stephen Amell from the TV show Arrow. I had just finished the Summerfast 10K at Stanley Park, and I saw him walk by – he had run the race as well. I approached him and asked for a photo. This isn’t exactly an ‘achievement’ for the month, but I found it kind of exciting!

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3. Ran the Golden Gate Bridge…twice! After months of anticipation, we finally made the trip to San Francisco. I ran the SF First Half Marathon, and the route took us out across the Golden Gate Bridge and back again! It was a foggy day, so not a lot to see – but the thrill of the event made it totally worthwhile. I also went fully ‘branded’ as a BibRavePro for this race – I even heard someone read it out as I ran by: “Bi..bra..ve – oh, BibRave!!”

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I’m now considering running the Half it All Challenge by participating in the Second Half in 2016! Stay tuned!

In August, I will…

1. #PlankADay. We’ve all heard about the benefits of planking – what it does for our core, and how it strengthens runners. I get regular alerts from the @PlankPolice, reminding me to stay on track. I was a bit half-hearted about it last month, but I’m going to make a concerted effort this month!

2. Find a balance. I’m trying to fit a lot of things in each week. I want to run, I want to get to the gym – but I also have to work, I’ve got choir rehearsal, and I want to spend time with family and friends. Even in the summer, when the days are long, I’m not good at being an early riser. I find it tough exercising after work. So I’m not sure how this balance will be achieved…yet. I’m working on it.

3. Run a race in the Arctic! Yes, you read that right! I am heading to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories for a business trip in the second week of August. I’ve run there before – but just a TravelRun, on my own, in the cold.

On a whim, I Googled ‘yellowknife marathon‘ and came up with a result. The Overlander Marathon and Half Marathon…well, it just happens to fall on that very weekend! I turned to Twitter:

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And so, with that, I have decided to stay a couple of extra nights in town, and run a half marathon in Northern Canada!

Can you believe it’s already August? How’s your summer going?

July posts you may have missed:

Summerfast 10K

Summerfast? Not so fast!

I made two rookie mistakes this weekend.

1. Overtraining?

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.

Never mind!

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.

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Do we look confident?

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!)

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Gathering at the Start Line, I met another Twitter buddy, Steve (@abundantsink), for the first time in real life.

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Matching smiles!

Got a few more snaps:

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Then, someone behind me said, “It must almost be time” just as – without any warning or fanfare – the gun went off.

The Route

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.

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Snapped this on the run!

The Finish

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.

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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)!

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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.

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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?

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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!

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Photo courtesy of DC Entertainment/CW

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Bonus photo of Arrow finishing the race!

The Results

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!

Final Results
Chip time: 48:22
Average pace: 4:51 min/km
Overall: 164/378
Age ranking: 14/15

Happy to link up again with Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading – Weekend Update style!

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RACE REPORT

Overall
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!

Packet Pickup/Expo
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.

T-Shirt/Swag
This race is not about the swag or the bling. It’s about the run. Enough said.

Course
Seawall around Stanley Park. Flat. Hot. Shared with cyclists, pedestrians, and other runners. This did not cause me any issues.

Aid Stations
One water station at 5km. A second at 8km by Third Beach. I didn’t bother to slow down for either.

Post-Race
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!

Race Management
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!