July 5, 2022
Frozen Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park, Vancouver

Marathon Training Update: Winter Blues

They say 2016 was awful… I beg to differ. Read on for my marathon training update.


2017 started with a bang, which my left ankle took the brunt of. I was on a roll running 40 km weeks at the start of January. Of course, on the one day I wasn’t running, I slipped on ice while walking. I don’t even have a fantastic story, it was plain clumsiness. The following week, I took it easy and managed to run a 15k race very slowly on a sore foot. I went to see a physio a few days after, which is probably what I should’ve done sooner. I saw Rachel Worsley at City Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic and she gave me some exercises to help strengthen my ankle. It seems to be working (slowly) but a sprain is not a quick heal… from what I read it can take about 2 months. I’m just lucky it’s not worse. We were both worried about the impending First Half Half Marathon and what kind of damage it was going to deal to my ankle. Needless to say, I was still determined to run it… but slowly…

A photo posted by Jeannine (@jeannineavelino) on

So. Much. Snow.

In addition to the injury, the weather in Vancouver has been awful. This is probably the worst winter I’ve ever experienced since moving here 22 years ago. It’s so cold and rainy or snowy or icy… just plain uncomfortable to run in. Not to mention the seawall closures and worrying about slippery terrain. It was tough to get a proper training run in.

Half Marathon Cancelled

There was a snowfall warning days before the First Half Half Marathon and true to its word, it showed up in full force. By the first day of package pickup (Friday), there was already talk about the event being cancelled. The race directors were very up front and gave us plenty of updates on their Facebook page. They were so determined to keep the race on that they even had Plans B & C routes made up. The event going on as planned also depended on their permits not getting revoked by the Vancouver Parks Board. It was all about safety so everybody seemed to be understanding about the situation. Early Saturday morning, race organizers decided to check the route for themselves and sure enough, it was unsafe and they decided to cancel the event. Soon after, the Parks Board revoked their permit for the same reason… so it would’ve been cancelled anyway.

What they did after was great… they still held package pickup at the Roundhouse on race day (Sunday) which allowed runners to pick up their t-shirts, medals and Vega bars. For those who couldn’t make it that morning, they could go to Forerunners on West 4th to pick up their items until the end of February. That’s awesome. As for all the food meant for runners at the finish line, Pacific Roadrunners donated them to the food bank. While entry fees are non-refundable, they are working hard trying to figure out how to compensate people and even organizing a virtual race so there’s still a little bit of competition. I look forward to see what they come up with. This is the first cancellation in 28 years and I think they’re handling it quite well. As for my ankle, I was VERY RELIEVED that I didn’t have to put it through so much stress. It was a sign that I should be focusing on recovery. Instead of running a half, I ran about 6km and had brunch with running shutterbug Debra Kato. It was a great way to spend a Sunday.

Things are looking up

Lots of good things happened including getting my welcome package from BibRave and Runnerbox. I’m officially a BibRave Pro, proudly wearing the orange shirt. If you haven’t heard of BibRave before, it is a race review website and community. If you’re wondering about a race, you can see what others think about it on BibRave or post your own reviews of races you’ve done for others to benefit from. They also host #bibchat on Twitter every Tuesday at 6PM PST. If you love talking about running and a chance to win prizes, you should join us!

A photo posted by Jeannine (@jeannineavelino) on


I also received my first product to review, the Aftershokz Sportz Titanium headphones with mic. You can read my full review here. If you want to give these headphones a try, there is a special offer from BibRave and Aftershokz that gives you a bonus stainless steel bottle. I have been using mine at work & I love it.

I am also looking forward to my next races… a hot chocolate weekend! The first is the Try Events Hot Chocolate Run 5k at Stanley Park & I will be running with my 2 friends. It will be their first 5k race ever so I’m super pumped to be running it with them. Later that day, Cuski and I will be heading to Seattle to start my Hot Chocolate 15k weekend! I’ve heard so many good things about this race series… from the chocolate & marshmallows at aid stations to the goodie bags (runners get hoodies, not the usual t-shirt). There’s still time to sign up for this race and if you do, use code HCSEABR to get a bonus visor to add to your goodie bag awesomeness.

As a BibRave Pro, I got a free entry to the Hot Chocolate 15k Seattle race and a pair of Aftershokz Sportz Titanium headphones to review.

So that’s what’s coming up so far. I hope your training is going well. See you on the seawall!

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