Race Recap: Blackwell Dairy 15K/3K Fun Run

This year I decided that it would be the year that I jumped up to the full 15km distance for the Blackwell Dairy Run! It was one that didn’t come lightly at first, but considering that it was the required distance to complete the Kamloops Run Series, I didn’t have much of an option!

The weather was pretty stormy leading up to the day of the race, but on the morning of the run the clouds parted and the sun was beaming! It made for a hot, sweaty run but I’d take that over getting soaked any day!

Kyle and I got the girls up and moving early Sunday morning and we were at the Start line with enough time for a bathroom break and some stretching. Kyle decided that he’d run the 3km Fun Run with Isla (at her request), so he kissed me good luck at the starting line and I was off!

It’s pretty well known that this race is one of the toughest in the area, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect exactly aside from hills and heat. Right off the start I developed an annoying stitch under my ribs, but thankfully it went away after I got my lungs warmed up.

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Somewhere around the 10-11km mark, when my legs still kind of worked. Photo credit: Phil Hiom

At first the heat wasn’t so bad but once I started running directly into the sun was when it started to really get to me! I was a sweaty, drippy mess, but so was everyone else, so it was okay, haha.

The views on the run were absolutely stunning and it was awesome running through the “country,” so it was a very welcome distraction from my legs screaming at me to stop making them move. The hills were definitely gruelling and pushed me to the limit! Add the heat to that and I can see why everyone comments on how tough this run is! Thankfully, the wind was in my face after the turnaround point which felt wonderful!

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The last couple of hills before the finish line were unbelievable but I knew the end was SO CLOSE. The moment I saw Kyle, Isla, and Norah waiting for me I put what little I had left in the tank and finished as strong as I could. I was GASSED but finished with a time of 1:45:39, which was what about what I thought my time would be. Definitely some room for improvement, but all things considered I’m content with it.

Isla led the way for her and Kyle’s 3km run and finished with a time of 25:03! I’m super proud of her for getting out and being active. Norah ran with Kyle’s mom and she clocked in at 39:27; again, super proud mom, right here!

After I had caught my breath/made sure I wasn’t going to die, it was of course time for ice cream and pancakes! It’s probably the best post-race food ever and I highly recommend it.

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In it purely for the ice cream. Photo credit: My MIL

Now that I know the course and what to expect, I’m looking forward to training for it better next year and improving my time! Completing this race proved to me that accomplishing a half-marathon is totally doable for me. You can only go up from here, right?

Of course, a huge shout-out to all the race organizers, volunteers, and runners for making it an amazing event as always!!

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What I’m Reading: The Island of Sea Women

From the book jacket:

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.

My review:

The Island of Sea Women is such a captivating and powerful story not only two friends, but women and their relationships as well. especially since it is based around true historical events. The detail that Lisa See goes into is, as always, remarkable and she really captures the horrific events is such a beautiful way.

What I especially liked about this book is the relationship between Young-sook and Mi-ja; to me, their relationship is similar to those that many women have: we’re inseparable but as we get older, our faith in one another is tested in a make-or-break fashion.

In my opinion, Young-sook and Mi-ja’s friendship was flawed. While it seems strong on the outside, Young-sook’s haenyeo upbringing blinded her to Mi-ja’s “Western” struggles as Mi-ja didn’t have the courage to speak up for herself. Still, their story grabbed me and I couldn’t help but want them to resolve their differences.

The Island of Sea Women opened my eyes to a part of Asian history that I had absolutely no knowledge of, and as I mentioned before, Lisa See tells its tale so wonderfully. I heart hurts for those who were impacted by the 4.3 Incident and I’m really interested in learning more about this island’s history overall.

Despite all of the tragedy within the storyline, it still absorbed me completely. I’d definitely recommend it as it introduces such a different lifestyle for women.

My rating: ★★★★½/5

Race Recap: Boogie the Bridge 2019

New location, new route, same great atmosphere!

Thanks to roadwork and construction, this year’s Boogie the Bridge took participants on a new adventure but with the same energy and excitement as past runs. I was looking forward to seeing the changes that had been made and what the new location would bring to the table.

It definitely didn’t disappoint – even the parking situation wasn’t as bad as we had expected it to be. Kyle, the girls, and myself all found a place to park in the morning with plenty of time to line up for the porta-loos and see Kyle off for his half-marathon start!

After we saw Kyle off, both Isla and Norah lined up with his mom and step-dad to run in the Mini Boogie! This was Norah’s first Mini Boogie ever, and she was super excited to be running it with Grandpa. The kids are always so much fun to watch, and I’m glad mine got to experience it with their grandparents! They both did awesome and were super excited to show off their race bling after the race!

Then it was time for the 10K runners to line up for their wave. I really wanted to use the loo one more time before I had to line up, but the line up was so long that I didn’t want to risk missing the start. As it turned out, we had to wait around for quite a while and I probably would’ve had enough time to go, but oh well.

Eventually we got going and I felt pretty good during for the first half of the run. I ended up stopping at the 3.5K pit stop/water station to use the bathroom, which slowed me down a little, but better that than having that nagging feeling in my head.

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Split stats!

By the 8km mark I was really starting to feel it and had to take a short walking break while going over the overpass. It had such a funny angle to it that it was a challenge, so I figured it was a good spot to quickly catch my breath before tackling the last 2kms.

Crossing the finish line was the best feeling ever – especially having Isla and Norah there cheering for me! Pee break included, I managed to finish with an official time of 58:01. I felt I could’ve done a bit better, but I’m content with my time overall!

Isla and Norah were quick to lead us to the Kids’ Zone, where they played in the bouncy houses, and I eventually made my way back to the finish line to find electrolytes and wait for Kyle to finish. He came through right on schedule and finished with a solid 2:10:51, which he was pretty happy about considering he didn’t have the opportunity to train as much as he’d like to!

Overall, it was a great day and the Boogie team did an excellent job adapting the course to the changes that had to be made. I really liked that there were more water and bathroom stations available on the course, although there could have been more at the Start/Finish line. I also heard a rumour from some of the racers that the half-marathon distance was 300m too long, but since I didn’t run that distance and Kyle doesn’t have a tracking device, I can’t confirm that.

Anyway – a big shout out to the hardworking Boogie the Bridge crew for organizing another great run this year! We’re looking forward to next year’s run already!