I 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.
Our 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 – 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.