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.
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.
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.