Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tartan Twosome!! (40 B4 40 - #1)

What a fabulous weekend!   As some of you know, a couple of friends and I headed off to the East Coast for a little running, sightseeing and lots of PIRATES!  The weekend has been in the works for so long and I'm sad that it went by in a blink.  Not only did I have a wonderful time, but I have officially crossed the first new experience off my "40 Before 40" list.....

Visit Nova Scotia!!!

Truth be told, there were actually a lot of firsts for me this weekend, but I've decided to combine them all together into one awesome new experience.

After an uneventful flight, Fil, Vicki and I arrived in Halifax (new experience #1) on Thursday evening.  It was late so we just picked up our rental car (new experience #2), headed to our hotel, ordered pizza and got settled.   We really only had two full days in Nova Scotia, so we knew we'd have to head out early on Friday morning to make the most of our day.  Unfortunately Tropical Storm Gabrielle was headed straight for us (new experience #3), but even though we were anticipating a soggy day, we weren't going to let her slow us down. 

On Lower Water Street - YUM!
Isn't he cute?
On Friday we managed to squeeze in a trip to Pier 21 in downtown Halifax, did a little shopping, visited the Citadel and had our pictures taken with one of the cool looking guards and had an amazing lunch at "The Bicycle Thief" (best dessert ever) before we had to head out to the little town of Eastern Passage to pick up our race kits for our Sunset 5K that evening.   The rain wasn't too bad while we were downtown, but it was getting progressively worse as the day went on.    After picking up the race kits (complete with  two different tech shirts!), we went back to the hotel to get ready for our run.

It was raining pretty hard when we got back to Eastern Passage about a half hour before the race. (Thankfully I had packed rain ponchos!)  The race organizers did a fabulous job of getting us pumped up for the run - there were pirates everywhere and you can't help but be in high spirits when you hear traditional East Coast Music!  There were around 1250 runners participating and all of them were running the Sunset 5k (Sun?  What sun?).   The start and finish line were in a small area called "Fisherman's Cove" that had the cutest little shops and we could imagine that the views would have been quite beautiful on a clear day.  The 5k route was an "out and back" that took us up a gradual incline along the coast before turning us around to head back towards the finish at Fisherman's Cove.   Amazingly, the rain stopped shortly after we started and it was actually perfect running weather - cool and crisp.
Sunset 5K Medal and Tartan Twosome bib

Overall, I felt pretty good on this run.  I lost "Superstar Fil" sometime around the first water break, but I didn't want to push it too hard because I knew I had to get up early and run 10k the next day.   I was happy with my finish time of 36:24...and REALLY happy with my first medal!!  The strawberry daquiri ice cream and chocolate milk were added bonuses as well.  YUM! Bring on race #2!

We had to get up early on Saturday morning to head back to Eastern Passage for Day Two.   There were around 1350 participants in the four "Sunrise" events today, with the biggest crowd running the 10K.  Even though the rain had definitely improved, it was really foggy so the visibility in the area was pretty limited.   The waves were crashing nearby on the shore and even though we couldn't really see them, the sound was awesome. 

Fil, Vicki and I after the 10K
Met up with Karen in NS too!
I didn't have the same spring in my step that I had on yesterday's run.   I had worn my old running shoes yesterday (hoping to keep my "good" shoes dry for today's longer run) and my right foot and calf were pretty unhappy about it.    There was a pretty significant hill at around the 3km mark that seemed to go on forever, but I did manage to find my stride for a while after about 4K.   My right foot had pretty much given up by the 8K mark and the last 2K were a real struggle.   Overall I was pleased with my time (1:19:21), even though it was slower than I had managed on other 10Ks in the past.  Factoring in the weather, my foot, the travel and the early wake up call, I think I did pretty well.   Of course there was the added bonus of the 10K finisher's medal - along with the HUGE "Tartan Twosome" medal - that helped take the sting out of my right foot all together.    We had all accomplished what we went to Nova Scotia to do - now on to the sightseeing!

On Saturday we were hoping to see Peggy's Cove, the Swiss Air Disaster Memorial, the adorable towns of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg as well as "The Bluenose".    With Vicki navigating and me driving (new experience #5), we managed to see everything we had planned on.    The weather cleared after Peggy's Cove and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.   

In the town of Peggy's Cove
A little foggy at the lighthouse
Part of the SwissAir Disaster Memorial

The Three Churches of Mahone Bay
Gorgeous Church in Lunenburg

We had to sneak onto a film set (new experience # 6)
 to get the Bluenose up close
The Bluenose


We awoke to gorgeous blue skies on Sunday morning, but sadly we had to return home.  We decided to drive back to Eastern Passage to enjoy the scenery a little since we couldn't see much on either of the two race days.    It really is a lovely little town and I was glad that we decided to return to see it in all its' glory!   Overall, this was a great little "Girls Getaway" and a fabulous experience for my first destination race (New experience #7).  Nova Scotia is a beautiful part of the country and I hope to return in the near future and spend more time enjoying the sights!  Thanks to my running/travel buddies for making this first "New Experience" on my "40 B4 40" list an awesome one!!!
Friends old and new......

Picture with Pirates - New Experience #8

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