We have settled into the house well. Most of the running around and buying the little things that take so much time has almost come to an end. We actually have our first overnight house guests next week - it is all so surreal.
This week in training has been good. I have been trying to build up the volume a bit this week. The first week of teaching has forced me to cut some runs short, but it has been fun exploring the (many) hills around our place. I think I have found a replacement for my oceanside run in Victoria - this one takes me along the TransCanada Trail and around a par 3 golf course before returning home.
I also had my first race as a resident of the mainland. It was the Coho Run 14k (but apparently was more like 13km which is not good for the psyche). A run starting in Kitsilano and going through Stanley Park before ending up at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, following the ocean the whole way. I was surprised to see some people I knew from Victoria here and it made me feel a little more at home. As I am preparing for the Royal Victoria Marathon, I needed a longer run today. The race is a point to point race, so I decided to ask a someone to take my bag on the bus to the start and I would run to the start - a 13k warm up for a 13k race. It would allow me a good 26k run, with 13k of it being tempo or faster.
I arrived at the start line with about 15 minutes to spare and changed into my race gear. The start of the race was lonely, missing all the joking and laughing that occurs at Victoria-area races. And the pace off the gun was dead slow. For a moment I wondered if I could win this thing!?! That dream was shattered about 2k as four of us separated from the field and the pace kept climbing. I was soon alone in fourth, where I would remain for the rest of the race. It was a good mental test. I felt good, but a little heavy on the long uphills over the two bridges (Burrard and Lion's Gate for those keeping score). My time was not very quick - 48:30ish - but it was alright. I held about 3:44/km pace, which is about the pace I ran the Around the Bay in last March. That pace ends up being about 2:37 for a marathon, which is way below my goal of 2:45. Now, I did not run that fast to the start of the race, but I also have not tapered for it either. More important than all these numbers is that the day was absolutely beautiful and I was back racing.
Next weekend is the 5 Peaks Trail Half-Marathon at Buntzen Lake. I am looking forward to it, although I have been warned that it is likely more than a 21k and I should be looking for a time around 2:20. That would actually be ideal for me since it will be a long run at effort, but my legs will be spared the concrete. But, again, more importantly is that I will be in trails again. I am excited.