Thanksgiving isn't just about turkeys and pumpkin pie. For a lot of Lower Mainland athletes Thanksgiving weekend offers a plethora of racing opportunities: marathons in Victoria and Portland, Turkey Trots in Vancouver, and even the Ironman World Championships for those talented triathletes that qualify.
For me, Thanksgiving racing was fulfilled by the North Shore Half Marathon, a small event that spans some of my favourite running areas: from Parkgate at the base of Mount Seymour, the run follows the Dollarton highway across North Van, towards Park Royal in West Vancouver.
Here's the quick and dirty of the race:
I chose to go low tech for this run, using my Garmin Forerunner 60 (non-GPS) rather than my 310xt. My reasoning: for some of the cross-country and trail runs I plan on doing later this fall, pace-by-GPS will be less than useless, so I need to get back in the habit of running off HR and RPE feedback.
But mostly it was an opportunity to go for a run until I blew up (and hopefully that would happen after the finish line!)
Things I learned from this race:
1. Warmups can be fun as well as effective. Managed to get in a good 2-part warmup run with Rachel Kiers, and it didn't feel like extra work because we were just having fun
2. Don't go out too hard. Or, when you do, don't get depressed as runners pass you. If you look at the Garmin Connect file, that first split is Mile 1. 5:23 is pretty fast, even with the downhill. I'm not surprised that I couldn't maintain that pace
3. Being light doesn't mean you automatically fly up hills. I think it's something I need to work on
4. Plan post-race clothing and transportation better. I didn't think that I'd be hanging around the race finish like I did; luckily Elizabeth was able to bring me some warm clothes on her way to work at Park Royal
Next up: costumes and corners at the North Shore Hallow's Eve trail run