I am so glad I went and did the Pacific Spirit Run this year. I have always enjoyed this run because it is a 5k or 10k race through the trails of Pacific Spirit Park at UBC. This year it was spectacular and just a really nice change from pounding out 10 km along the side of the road.
I decided to do day-of registration because the online reg closed pretty early last week and I just didn't have time to go down to the store and register. So, I headed out around 7:00 to make sure I got there before the reg closed at 8:30. Registration went smoothly and I was a bit disappointed to see that they changed the shirts this year - instead of the technical shirt I thought they had last year, they went back to a plain old cotton long sleeve. I like these type too, but it's pretty thin!
Anyhow, after I registered I went back to the car to collect myself and get geared up. There was still a bit of spare time so I wandered around the race expo area and hit the port-o-potties before heading to the start line.
While we were waiting to start I chatted with some of the ladies around me, shared some fond UBC memories and had someone take a starting photo for me.
The run started off on the UBC campus near Thunderbird Stadium and from there we ran down East Mall and along 16th Avenue before turning into the park trails. The road part was kind of boring, but let me tell you, running in the trails was amazing. Pretty much right away we ran down a slight hill and through a part of the grove that had really tall trees. It was so pretty.
I probably looked like a bit of a geek stopping to take photos along the way, but hey, who cares. At this point I was feeling great. Winding through the trails was interesting and the terrain was basically flat or had a very slight downhill to it. There's something about the sound of your shoes crunching on the gravel that is really cool. I didn't really have a plan for this race, just go, run and walk as needed.
So for the first half of the race I felt pretty 'strong' (for a pregnant lady) and just worked my way along doing run/walk intervals like usual. The intervals used to allow me to just handle the pain and go a bit faster, now I think they're my lifeline and are what allow me to keep running period! I decided to change it up a little though and run 9:1 intervals instead of the usual 10:1. I thought maybe the shorter run time would help me spread out my energy a bit better and it seemed to make a difference.
Anyhow, I also stopped along the way for pictures too...
In the middle of the course was a pretty steep downhill so they had flaggers warning us before we headed down. I, of course, couldn't resist the photo op and ran up to snap a photo of me with the sign that describes me best! I think the young flaggers were a bit bewildered by the pregnant lady running at them, but when I jogged off smiling they said 'Whoa, that's amazing that she's running!" ha ha.
By around the 6 km mark I was getting pretty tired. The course was kind of an out-and-back of sorts in that we took the trails away from UBC and then turned out and took a different trail back to the university. Since the lay of the land is a slight hill, the second half of the course just felt tougher to me. When I say slight hill, I really mean a very slight incline, probably something I wouldn`t even ordinarily notice when running. However, ANY amount of incline really seems to get my legs burning these days so I wasn't able to quite keep up the same pace on the way back to campus. I ended up taking a few extended walking breaks and shortened my running intervals considerably.
When we popped back out onto 16th Avenue, we were close to the finish and I knew the rest of the race was pretty much flat. On the way back they had flagger stopping us at a crosswalk so that we could wait for traffic - probably the first time I'd ever seen that on a race course, but hey, I was thankful for the break. Then it was up a short portion of East Mall to the finish.
The race wasn't chip timed so I'm just relying on my Garmin which said:
Total distance: 10.23 km
Total time: 1:19:20
Average pace: 7:43/km
Sounds good to me! Even if it would have taken me 2 whole hours, I know I would have still really enjoyed this race. From the finish line I wandered over to the food and helped myself to some bananas, oranges and the best mini blueberry muffins I think I have ever had. I ate 4!
This race was in support of Dementia research so I listened to the presentations for a bit. They raised $90,000+ from this event! As I was walking out to the car one of the organizers approached me and asked if she could take my picture for their records and promos. She said she loved the baby belly. Ha ha. She took a shot and then I asked if she'd take one with my camera too...
Hmm, looking a it geeky with the banana tucked into my water belt, but hey, it was a great race anyways!