Setbacks and Picking Up Again – New Goals for the 2013 Vancouver Sun Run

Closing in on the Annual 10 K Vancouver Sun Run and it’s been a crazy journey! The past 5 months included ambitious training goals (starting with a 5 K fun run on Dec. 1, 2012) interspersed with 3 injuries that saw me:

1) Get admitted to the Whistler Emergency Hospital because of severe abdominal and chest pain (I received 3 x-rays for my ribs, a weeks supply of codeine and thankfully nothing broken..the snow was very soft and it was a freak muscle spasm)

2) Book multiple appointments with a physiotherapist because of a reoccuring ankle sprain (Thank goodness for work benefits! I also made a new friend as my physio happens to enjoy bouldering. I told her I only hope I see her at the gym 🙂

3) Use my umbrella as a cane (At least it was a very pretty Cirque du Soleil umbrella)

After all this, I can’t believe race day is already here. I felt so optimistic back in December when I ran the Santa Shuffle at Stanley Park thinking that my training was getting such an early start – almost 5 full months! But life happens, so sometimes you have to readjust your goals.


In February I wrote about my recovery from my first ankle injury of 2013 and an 8 week training program. That was all well and good until the other 2 injuries happened. As a result, I didn’t get to run 5x / week like my schedule outlined (I spent 2.5 full weeks devoid of running) but I was able to be active in some sense for 5 days/week for a few of those 8 weeks.

With less than 2 weeks ago,

My new training goals were:

1) Run some hills
2) Run at least the first part of the course with the wretched uphill to Burrard
3) Coerce some friends to run with me
4) Run a full 10 K before the race


1) I ran uphill at lunch with some friends at work
2) Ran from Lost Lagoon and over the Burrard Street Bridge twice (although I stopped immediately after the first time!)
3) Ran with Juliana, Cornelia (both have done a 1/2 marathon!) and Charlie (first time running in years 🙂
4) Did a full 10 K run in the rain! Difficult but the misty weather was so refreshing!




New 2013 Sun Run Goal

My Personal Best is 1:04 for a 10 K and I set out a goal of under 1 hour (and then specified it even more by aiming for 54 min). I learned about SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) a long time ago and knew that with the limited training I did, 54 min was out of the question. I wasn’t even sure if I would beat my personal best but just doing a 10 K before the race was already a win in my book.

Then something cool happened!

I wrote about training tools before and now I fully endorse the nike running app! I started out my 10 K/final run before race day feeling apprehensive but still determined to just do it. After some time, the app tells me I’ve hit the “1 kilometer mark and 5:35 has elapsed”.

Wait what?! That’s exactly the pace I was hoping for! Empowered by this information, I pushed on.

2 kilometers, 11:20, average page, 5:40

Hearing this positive feedback was incredibly encouraging and motivated me to keep my stride. Even as I approached the uphill battle towards the Burrard Street bridge and then over the bridge and back again, I kept at it and eagerly anticipated the next piece feedback from the app.


Had a fast start, slowed down significantly over the bridge and at the end I felt like I was running through mud. I wear a simple necklace and as it hit me right between the clavicle with every stride, it hurt; every slow motion and sluggish movement seemed amplified. But nearing the end, another voice from the app tells me that I’m almost there and to keep going!



Isn’t that a great piece of positive reinforcement?!! There’s actually another voice recording that accompanies this: “This is Shalane Flanagan, great job on recording your first 10 K ever, you’re getting close to my record”

I just looked her up and she competes in the Olympics and has a PB of 30:22:22….Getting close to her record?? Oh reallly..Mmm hmmm. Haha 😉

Despite the injuries and setbacks, I was able to achieve a new personal best for myself. It’s not under an hour but it’s a step in the right direction!

I plan to keep up the training, stay injury free, continue running with friends and try for the elusive 54 minutes at another 10 K race in a few months.



Team t-shirts for my annual Leading Edge Technology Centre team finally arrived and they look very pretty with a hot pink outline 🙂




Looking forward to Sunday, April 21st with the Largest Sun Run Team our floor has had – 19 registered!

Weather calls for sun and my friend Sarah has suggested we all go out for bacon and/or donuts afterwards 😉

Read more about how I got interested in running.

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