Cowichan Autumn Classic Half-Marathon, Vancouver Island

Lphoto 3I felt really good coming out of the 42k trail race in Patagonia last month. Since I got 100% off dairy, a year and a half ago, my health has improved so much. Instead of training just to be able to make it to the end of a race, I’ve finally been motivated to actually work at getting faster! (Better late than never). So I wanted to do a shorter race, to have the motivation to work on speed… and that’s why Dave and I signed up for the Cowichan Autumn Classic Half-Marathon, near Duncan, on Vancouver Island.

I only had three weeks between arriving back from Patagonia and training for this race – not a lot of time – but I knew my endurance was already great, so I really trained just by doing a few shorter and faster runs, and two track sessions. Well, as you will see, my results were disappointing – I thought until the last few days I would be around 1:50, possibly even less – and ended up being a tad over 2 hours. Oh well… I guess that means there will be another half-marathon ahead at some point, trying to meet that goal.

Lphoto 1Our friend Malcolm was at the race too – good to see him. Dave had barely run in the previous months, but pushed hard anyway and ran a respectable 1:44 (but he sure paid for the effort, limping around for a few days after!). Malcolm finished a minute later, looking pretty fine. I don’t know what was up with me… My legs felt great – the course is rolling, lots of small ups and downs but nothing big, on a mixture of trail and pavement – but I just felt out of breathe and light-headed. Like many female runners, my iron levels sit on the low side, and I kind of think that’s what was up…. I’m supplementing now, and hope that’s it.

In any case, the route was beautiful. It was dumping rain in the morning with a forecast for it to clear Lphoto 4– making it hard to know how to dress. But clear it did, and the wineries and autumn colours looked absolutely beautiful! Malcolm, Dave and I all enjoyed a bit of wine-tasting at Zenatta Winery, right near the start/finish line, after the race. Thanks to Malcolm for taking these pictures along the route!

Dave and I stayed at our friends’ Katy and Sean’s place on Shawnigan Lake – they are developing some vacation rental properties there, right on the edge of the town but on the south-facing shore of the lake, with spectacular views. We enjoyed some post-race champagne on the balcony there, and then a great Indian dinner with them after.

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Malcolm and Dave sipping wine at the finish, waiting for me to come in.

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Malcolm, Dave and me – post-race and pre-wine-tasting. (Our medals read: “Run Now, Wine Later”)

And even later... champagne on the veranda at Shawnigan Lake. A fun weekend!

And even later… champagne on the veranda at Shawnigan Lake. A fun weekend!

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