Better late than never! I had plans for writing this post last week, but being away on vacation had me tied up relaxing and enjoying special moments with family… So now here I am finally writing my race review over a week later, not to worry I jotted down some notes to help me remember. The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, my 4th half marathon but the first for my boyfriend, which of course made it a special run.
Last year I completed my first BMO event, the 8km. This year I was a bit more ambitious and took on the half marathon (21.1km), making it my third half marathon to-date. Finishing the race wasn’t my only objective, one of my personal goals for 2015 was to complete a half marathon in under two hours. I am happy to report that four months into the year I can cross this off my list. I finished the race in a respectable 1:58:44, a new personal best.
The race started on a Sunday morning at 7am. I was up bright and early at 5:15 am. I left all my clothes and gear out the night before, so I didn’t have to think too much first thing in the morning. I made coffee and was out the door by 6:20am. In retrospect this wasn’t enough time. After parking, catching the train, and walking 15 minutes from the suggested station, I made it to the start line with nine minutes to spare. The line-ups for the bathroom were completely unrealistic. A man on a megaphone was instructing people to go to their corrals, and that there were facilities along the route. I quickly came to terms with the fact I would start the race needing to pee. I made my way to my starting corral with just enough time to start my Nike running app, adjust my headphones and music. I chose to use the Nike app on my phone, and play music on another IPod so I wouldn’t completely drain my phone battery. However I overlooked the fact that by using a different iPod I wouldn’t know my pace, but by the time I figured this out it was too late.
Race Break Down:
I never thought I would be one of those people that says, “I’m going for a run, see you in a couple of hours.” For many years I ran for cardio to lose weight, but I never enjoyed the actual process until now. It wasn’t until last year that I can officially claim to be a runner. Running has become an escape; a way to see my surroundings from an organic perspective.
Last year, a girlfriend encouraged me to run a half marathon as I was running 5 times a week, averaging 30km a week. She assured me that all I would have to do, was add one long run a week to what I was already doing. After careful consideration, I decided that I needed a challenge, something to measure my progress against. As fate would have it, the Rock’N’Roll marathon was hosting its inaugural Vancouver event for 2014, and I thought, “how perfect, the first Vancouver Rock’n’Roll would be my first half marathon.” And just like that I stopped listening to the, self-doubting part of my brain.
I had never run the distance of a half-marathon before, it was double the distance that I had run in the past, so understandably I was nervous, and unsure of what to expect. I used the book, “Running: The Complete Guide to Building Your Running Program”, by John Stanton, as my training guide. As I completed each week’s long run my confidence gradually increased.
When the day finally came, I was ready, I knew without a doubt that I would cross the finish line, my goal was two hours and thirty minutes. I started the run off slow, at the beginning I spent a lot of time distracted by my hydration belt. After the first 10km I unloaded the bottles, making it easier to enjoy the last 11km. As I neared the end of the run I felt strong enough to sprint across the finish line. I waved to my cheering family as I ran past to cross the finish line, a different person than when I started two hours fourteen minutes and fourteen seconds before.