This weekend my friend Tory came to visit, we went to high-school together in Toronto and then were roommates at University of Guelph. She is living in Calgary for the summer to complete a placement at a law firm there. Since Calgary is much closer to Vancouver than Toronto, she was able to visit for the weekend! This was her first time in BC so I got to play Vancouver tour guide for the weekend. This is a recap of what we did, ate, and saw.
Tory’s flight arrived at 6:30pm, I finished up with my Sport Chek Run Group just in time to meet her at Waterfront Station. A few months ago, a Catfe (cat cafe) opened in Vancouver which I have been VERY eager to visit. If you know Tory, you know she LOVES animals, especially cats and dogs, so I reserved us a spot for Friday night. Before we arrived at Catfe, I had this vision of a small room filled with cats and kittens, by filled I mean like a ball room with cats instead of balls. Obviously, this was unrealistic for many reasons, but I was still a bit disappointed when there were only 15 cats. Also, there were 10 other people, requiring us to “share” the cats, many of which were fast asleep! I would recommend going earlier in the day when the cats would potentially be more awake and haven’t spent the whole day entertaining humans. Nonetheless, it was still enjoyable and really, how many of us can say we have visited a cat cafe before? After almost an hour at Catfe, and many photos later, we decided to move on and grabbed some chicken burritos at Tacofino. They were good, but probably not the ideal pre-race food. We stayed up pretty late (well for me) catching up about everything and eventually went to bed at around 11:30pm.
My 6:20am wake-up call interrupted my regular pre-race nightmare of my alarm not going off and me missing the race. I got dressed, had my regular breakfast of coffee, oatmeal and WATER, and ran slowly to Ceperley Field in Stanley Park, the start line of the Summerfast 10k. I got my bib, dropped off my bag and continued to warm-up before the race. I was probably a little too excited to receive this bib number -for those who don’t know, 416 is Toronto’s original area code and the reason why Drake refers to Toronto as the 6.
My goal going into this race was to finish in an even 45:00 (or less), my coach’s advice was to be patient for the first few km, run the first third with my head, the second third with my mental strength and last third with my heart. This was great advice, but it didn’t play out that way on Saturday. We started running and I was aiming to start at a 4:40-4:45 pace, this was no problem, but I was just not feeling that good, my stomach was not happy. The second km was 4:49, not a pace I was ever intending to drop to. The third km was 4:41, not bad. After the first 3km, I was going to increase the speed to 4:35-4:40. The fourth km was 4:45, too slow. The fifth 4:36, the sixth 4:45 (too slow). All throughout this run my thoughts were a mix of: I feel terrible, should I run into the woods in place of a washroom?/ This does not reflect my training / Where is my energy? The seventh km was 4:49, again a pace too slow for my target. The eighth km was 4:45, ninth was 4:42. With 1km to go I decided to at least finish STRONG, since I hadn’t stopped for the washroom yet, at least there would be one at the finish line. I ran that tenth km in 4:00 minutes and found myself passing everyone in sight. Yes, I am very competetive. With 500M to go there were 5 guys in front of me and I felt a wave of ecstacy shouting, “500m to go guys!” I was hoping they would pick up their speed and join me in a strong finish, but only 1 person reacted. I finished in 46:40, no PB but no PW either. It’s easy to sit around being mad at yourself when your race doesn’t go how you wanted it to, so instead I decided to focus on the positive: I still did it and had a great finish. There are many more races in my future. Next up: Squamish Days 8km!
Tory met me at Forage on Robson for brunch where we enjoyed a brunch of blueberry pancakes for her and french toast for me. Then it was time to head over to Denman and rent bikes to ride around the Seawall.
It was definitely a good idea to get out there early as all Vancouverites know how busy and mentally taxing it can be to tour the Seawall on a weekend. We saw a seal, stopped for a few photos, and made it to Sunset beach before heading back to return the bikes. We decided to walk Robson to grab some lunch and do a bit of shopping. After an early morning and lots of activity we headed back to Gastown to relax for a bit before dinner and indulge in some TLC classics including My Big Fat American Gipsy Wedding, there is seriously a show for everything.
No trip to Vancouver is complete without eating sushi, so that is what we had for dinner at my go to spot: Tsuki. It was great as always. We went back to my place and hung out for a while waiting for another highschool friend, Rachel to come over, who also happened to be in town. We watched the sunset from my rooftop patio, which we had to ourselves luckily enough.
Saturday was a late night as well and for some reason, when I stay up late, I still wake up early in spite of being very tired. Tory was more fortunate than I and able to sleep in, so I planned the running workouts and routes for this week’s Sport Chek Training Club and filled out my own training schedule spreadsheet.
We spent Sunday morning at Granville Island, looking around, taking photos and eating breakfast at Siegal’s Bagels. We then walked to Kitsilano to look around there and have lunch. We chose Peaceful Restaurant to indulge in some Chinese food. We continued walking around, got ice cream from Rain or Shine and walked over the Burrard bridge, though Yaletown and back to Gastown.
After a weekend of running, cycling and lots of walking, I feel like I need another day off to do nothing, but no such luck. Time to get back to the grind and run off this weekend’s indulgences. Tonight will be a long run split between the Sport Chek Training club and The Adidas Runner’s Vancouver launch at East Van Run Crew’s Monday nighter.