2015 I WILL RUN Mid-Year Report

2015 May-July Run Clinic 

I Will Run - logo squareThe 2015 May-July Run Clinic was excellent !  We had a total of 16 participants with 8 in the Immediate group and 8 in the Absolute Beginner group.  Unlike previous programs, this one was conducted entirely on the track such that everyone’s activities was monitored carefully with ease.  This approach and its outcome was definitely a success.  It really allowed runners of different levels and abilities to be able to learn and run simultaneously on the same ground with only one instructor.

The immediate group comprised a good group of dedicated runners, most of whom had run at least a 10K race and few others half marathons as well as full marathons. Three runners ran and completed the tough Scotia bank half marathon on a very hot day. One participant  who was running her first ever half marathon and had only completed one 10K race recently at the Vancouver Sun Run finished at an impressive time of 2:00:07. Breaking that 2 hour mark should not be a problem for that runner who would run again on a day with better conditions!

PointGreyTrackIn 2014 the program drew a big group of stroller parents enrolled in the Absolute Beginner group. This year, however, we had a good group of men, most of whom are well over 200 pounders and some are dealing with health issues that might limit one’s physical abilities.  Big Kudos and Super Congrats to all of these participants for completing the 2 months program.  Their strong determination, high commitment, sweats and efforts have all turned into many fruitful outcomes such as an improved overall health condition, a deeper appreciation of running and exercise, and an increased awareness of a proper posture for both running and normal daily activities.  It was a great joy that everyone in this Absolute Beginner group completed the clinic without any complaint of injury during the process. A very careful and incremental approach was designed for this group of runners.

The focus in the beginning sessions was to activate and develop the running muscles (e.g. glutes, quads and hamstrings) that were often less or not utilized in non-runners.  Exercises and drills such as squats, lunges, and lateral movements were introduced and performed. Fast walking was encouraged in lieu of running.  Once everyone had a good grasp of these drills, they were introduced to instructions and drills with the aim to adopting a proper running bio-mechanics.  In the end, virtually everyone was able to complete at least four sets of 400m run, 100m sprint and five drills (e.g. squats, lunges, extended lunges, lateral squats and single leg hops).  I’m extremely proud of all of their accomplishments in such short time frame!

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With regards to the program’s mission in making a positive impact in the community, a total of $600 was raised and donated to Mission Possible in supporting their good works of empowering the less fortunates living in Vancouver downtown Eastside.

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On the personal note, I had focused the majority of time in the beginning of this year training for the Boston Marathon.  Special thanks to my Coach Dylan Wykes in training me well to stay on top of my game.  Race day was tough with strong head wind and cold pouring rain but I was strong and persevered to the end finishing in the top 5% that day!  Please read my post here.

Another highlight to mention here is that I ran another great race at the Vancouver Scotia Half Marathon two months after Boston.  I came in 29th out of a good 4000 runners on a pretty tough hot day! I Thus far, I have completed about five races and five more to finish off the year!  And yes, a marathon is set in place for this Fall! Stay tuned!

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Lastly, a Big Thank You to our proud sponsor Skechers Canada Performance Division for all their supports in my training and the run clinic!

Vancouver Scotiabank Half Marathon 2015 Race Recap

Race Morning
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The moment the alarm went off I dragged myself out of the bed for a quick easy shake-out run. My mind was willing but the body was still in limbo mode.  It was 415am and the first thing I said to myself as I headed outside was “Uh-Oh”.  It was very very warm and muggy even at this early hour.  The weather forecast was right as it predicted the first heatwave would hit Vancouver on the weekend.  I just didn’t expect it to be so warm.  I normally find myself racing optimally at a temperature between 2-8oC.  My mood was definitely dampen slightly by what might lie ahead later.  I was also feeling extremely lethargic few days leading into the race.  The same feeling remained on race morning.  I waited for the first bus to UBC (race site) at 6am and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it approaching with a bus full of people (mostly runners).  I am extremely grateful to be able aboard as the driver decided to skip the next few stops without picking up anyone.

Pre-Race
Even at 630 am (an hour prior to gun time), the race site was already quite crowded.  There were already huge lineups entering the parkade. I quickly bag checked, changed into my race gear and slowly jogged my way to the UBC track for a good warm up.  I did a good 10-15min easy jog and felt terrible as there were no strength in my legs.  I was running at least 90s-2mins slower than my race pace and I was already feeling tired.  The heat really put an extra toll on the body.  I followed my coach’s advice to go through the regular drills we do at practice.  Man, I was so exhausted that I barely went through them and had to skip some. While I was at the track, I was happy to see Felipe Edora, a runner that I met last year and had since then saw each other at almost every major race.  We are virtually identical in our race times but the only difference was that he used to beat me each time!  He is sure one tough consistent runner! It was great knowing that he would be running with me that day! With about 20mins to gun time, I slowly ran back to the start and found myself a nice spot just behind the elites.
Race