First 10k Run Report

This past weekend, I ran my first 10k. In school I never enjoyed running and would certainly never identify myself as a runner, so I found myself a bit surprised initially when I even considered doing this a few months back.

My workplace was offering to pay the fees for the Vancouver Sun Run and a few of my co-workers were participating, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ It would be a great way to force myself to train for our upcoming JMT hike this summer and you never know, it could be fun.

Training

My “training” for the sun was very loose at best – I tried to run 5k three times each week prior to leaving on the Sunshine Coast Trail. I was planning on trying to get in a 10k test run after returning from the SCT, but I wound about up taking the whole week off and not really doing any physical activity in the week leading up to the run.

The Run

My goal for the run was to run the entire course and complete it in 60 minutes. My goal of 60 minutes was a bit optimistic considering the majority of my training runs took around 30 minutes and were less than 5k, but I figured if I pushed myself it might be attainable.

It was a nice sunny day for the run so I wore a running skirt instead of tights and a short sleeve t-shirt. While waiting for the run to start I was in the shade and a bit chilly, but once the run started I was so glad I had chosen a skirt instead of tights – I would have been way too hot.

The course itself was relatively flat – going through downtown, crossing a bridge at the 5k point and then crossing another bridge back towards downtown for the last 1k. I think the max elevation was 40m? So basically the toughest hills were going to the tops of bridges.

Really though the majority of the run went pretty smoothly and I felt good throughout it. The first 2k were a bit annoying due to the shear number of people – there was a bit of dodging and trying to find a good path through the slower folks – after that it was still busy, but not so much so that finding a path was difficult.

I tried to sprint the final 1k and my final time was 1:03:27.0 which I was supremely happy with. Kyle was waiting for me after the finish line with a snickers and more water and then we walked home (he didn’t run as he had injured his knee the previous week doing the SCT).

Things to Change

There’s a few things I’d do differently if I did this again:

  • Wear sunscreen or a hat/visor – the majority of the course was directly in the sun and I got a bit pink/flushed on my cheeks and nose
  • Carry my phone in an armband or zippered pocket – I had never run with my phone in the pockets of this particular running skirt and it wasn’t particularly secure – it ended up falling out around 4k and I carried it the rest of the way
  • Get a hand strap or waist belt for my water bottle (or don’t carry it at all) – having one of those water bottles with a hand strap or a waist belt would have been nice so I didn’t need to actively hold on to it – I could have also gotten away without carrying water at all, there are plenty of water stations along the course, but it is nice being able to drink whenever I want and not just at the water stations

Final Thoughts on Running

I still definitely don’t identify myself as a runner, but I have found that I do enjoy it somewhat. It’s especially nice being able to run by the beach/water in our neighbourhood and just take in our beautiful city.

I also really recognize and appreciate its usefulness in training for a thru-hike. Running is a much more efficient way to train to hike long distances than actually hiking them which is great if you have limited time available to train.

Hubba Hubba NX – Upgrade Achieved!

We bought our original Hubba Hubba like two months before it was recalled in Canada.  We used it on a few trips and eventually realized there was a recall.  Although we weren’t worried about the tent catching fire (we tend not to cook in our tent…), the NX ended up being released shortly after we learned of the recall. We realized that this was our opportunity to upgrade.

We dug around quite a bit to make sure the NX is worth it.  After all, if we returned our Hubba Hubba we couldn’t get it back. So we couldn’t risk returning our amazing tent if the NX had any flaws.  Thankfully the reviews of the NX had been very promising.  Looking at the design changes we realized that overall the tent was improved.  Some of our complaints about the design have been addressed (proximity of mesh to zipper, rainfly ventilation, improved grommet design) and we didn’t see any changes that made the tent less livable in any way.  The NX also has the added bonus of being lighter, a little easier to set up (while maintaining the same pole configuration), and it’s also a little easier to see in the dark.

Since MEC is awesome, we called and they told us we could bring the tent in and we’d get a credit for the return so we could get the NX at minimal cost.  I checked the availability of the NX over the phone and it had plenty of inventory in store and online.

The NX sold out more or less immediately at MEC.  There was a bunch when I called, then we came in a day or two later to exchange our old tent and by that time MEC was backordered.

So we just held onto our Hubba Hubba until about a month ago, waiting for more inventory.  And now we’ve got one.  We’ve already set it up in our (tiny) living room and it definitely looks promising.  We’ll give it a go on the Sunshine Coast Trail and let you know how it goes.

Finding my Bike: Wants & Needs

When I first started commuting on my bike, I rode a cheap hardtail mountain bike from a big box store. I switched out the knobby tires for smooth road tires and added fenders and a bike rack. It wasn’t the lightest or prettiest thing, but it got the job done.

After riding for a few years and finishing school, it seemed like it might be time to upgrade to a bike that was actually designed for the style of riding I do. So this past summer I purchased a new bike and in the process I got to get ride several different bikes.

Requirements

I use my bike mostly for commuting to/from work (~8km/30 min each way) and occasionally for grocery shopping and casual rides on the weekend. So I was looking for a bike with the following:

  • Upright-ish posture
  • IGH – more gears would be better but I could get by with only 3
  • Fenders
  • Rack
  • < 35 lbs so I can easily get it on the bus if needed
  • Step-through/mixte style frame
  • $500 – 1000

And the following weren’t necessary but would be definite pluses:

  • Disc and/or drum brakes
  • Double kickstand
  • Dynamo lighting
  • Pretty looking

Options

So after doing some research online I was considering the following bikes (roughly in order from least to most expensive):

[t] = test rode | [b] = bought

A few of these I wasn’t able to find locally to test ride and others I just didn’t get to test ride them before I bought my bike.

Stay tuned for my next post with my impressions of the Linus Dutchi.