Race Recap: Valley Harvest 10k

Getting ready to run! Here I am in the crowd of 10kers.

Getting ready to run! Here I am in the 10k crowd!

Thanksgiving weekend in Nova Scotia was one for the record books. I don’t know what the weather was like in Toronto, but I’m going to do all kinds of bragging because this particular holiday weekend, here at home, was incredible. And the best part of the weekend, besides my Mommy making me a Thanksgiving/pre-race dinner, I went running.

Knowing I had the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon to run the following weekend I figured running another 10k would be excellent preparation (and motivation) to train a little harder and get my legs in better shape for the 21.1k in store. Luck was on my side this day, as I ran fast I felt strong and enjoyed the day immensely. Other than the fact I was sweating buckets! I wasn’t prepared for the weather, as odd as that sounds.

Dad, as my new personal running aid, happily took on his second job when I took him to Wolfville. He also came to Halifax with me for the Maritime Race Weekend where he counted pirates and took lots of pictures of me! (another fantastic weekend) Dad and I however have our differences, and one particular difference is around time. We hit the road way before the sun came up – even before the chickens were awake – my race started at 9 so we had time to drive to the home of Acadia University (and the starting point of my race) that morning. I dressed in layers with the thought that I would change once we arrived, if needed. Now, I forgive my dad because he’s new at this running thing, but there is no need to panic around timing with races. We were able to find a parking spot no problem and traffic wasn’t bad at all. This isn’t New York, Dad. I also had to pick up my race kit, so again, Dad you’re forgiven for the level of stress you were exerting on me. I collected my race kit, went to the ladies room, and even had time to watch the marathoners and half marathoners start their race. That’s how much time we had. All this stress and snapping at each other, I realized while we waited for my start time I didn’t have my music. I didn’t change my clothes, I didn’t have an extra hair elastic. It was then I felt really unprepared  Dad in his charming and apologetic way offered to go and get the things I needed, but my response was “it’s only a 10k, I’ll be fine”. I don’t know if that’s terrible of me or awesome I can say that. But that’s how I felt that morning. I was feeling pretty good.

Erin mentioned she’d like to run the Valley Harvest Marathon one year where it falls on Thanksgiving weekend it would be an excellent reason to come home. I agreed. It would be a lovely time to be home and an excellent reason to run. When I met my friend Katie and her husband Bryan in Halifax (who was going to run the marathon this weekend, but decided against it due to injury) I thought about running too, after Katie told me to. I didn’t think about it before, but my pre-half jitters made me do it, so a week before I signed up  for the 10k. Running anything more made no sense.

Making my move!

Making my move!

I couldn’t have asked for a better day, but the only thing I was a little disappointed by was the actual route. First, I have to say after all this I spent away from Nova Scotia I’ve grown to appreciate how beautiful our little towns really are. And Wolfville is no exception. It’s stunning, quaint and just plan pretty. I was hoping to get this during my run. The out and back we did was okay, but I wanted to see more of the town. I also liked the idea of starting and ending the race in the Acadia track (I felt like a superstar!) but this also made for an awkward start leaving the track and a more difficult end when approaching the university. It was hard to shift onto the sidewalk to allow oncoming traffic to pass. This is didn’t like, when I’m ready to make my move at the end I want room to do it without interfering with other around me. It was a tight squeeze in some spots and that sprint to the end was deceiving.

The Nova Scotia runs I’ve completed have proven their worth in my mind. Hey, I came second in my age group for the 10k! With a few minor things the important stuff was done right. The route was well marked, getting in and out driving wise was simple, more spectators would have been nice, but the volunteers were great. You can’t have it all. Next time I’ll consider the half or the full. Then I’ll see more of the town for sure.

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