So we ran a marathon a week ago! I feel very good about the race, and it was definitely a huge improvement from my first (and disastrous) marathon in Victoria where I completely bonked! (You can read about the horror right here)
I have so much to say about this race, and I wasn’t too sure how to go about sharing it all, but here are my thoughts, followed by my splits.
The last week of marathon training felt more like a holiday then anything else! i didn’t go to the gym (for fear of injuring myself/laziness), I ran two 5KM runs in Ambleside, and spent most of my team catching up on my favourite tv shows!
That weekend, my friend Manu, one of my best friends growing up, came to visit from Victoria to watch me run, as she had also seen me during the Victoria marathon and made it a point to be at all my major races! It was awesome having her here, we went to the expo together, tasted all the delicious samples and spent some much needed time catching up.
On Saturday night, Rachael, Manu, my dad and I ate a pasta dinner, discussed race day plans, and made sure to all be in bed by 10PM. By this time, I was completely exhausted, and freaking out! I’m not sure why, but lately, I’ve developed some pre-race anxiety to a whole new level. On the eve of the Sun Run, I was so anxious my heart-rate was probably really elevated (and it’s only a 10K)! After all my clothes and gels were ready and packed, some of the anxiety died down, and i was able to get a good night’s sleep.
Sunday morning, we woke up around 5:15am, had a cup of coffee, two packets of oatmeal, and a banana. I’m pretty sure my dad ate a bunch more, but I was already quite full. We got dressed, and set out to meet Rachael at Park Royal so we could carpool to the race together. We got to Queen Elizabeth Park around 7:30 which felt quite late! Rachael and I hugged good luck and each found our corrals. We were really cutting it close, as I’m pretty sure the gun went off about 5 minutes after I got to the start!
I will post my splits below, but overall, I really enjoyed this race! I started the race intending to run a 6:00min/km pace, and found myself in a corral of people running the exact same pace. I didn’t feel smothered by slower people or walkers, and felt i had positioned myself in the perfect spot. Everyone was respectful, and I didn’t get that same claustrophobic feeling I’ve got in some other races where people underestimate their pace and slow everybody down.
I was able to keep my pace on target for the first 8KM, slowed down a little to 6:20min/km for that main hill, and got back on target until the halfway mark. I did slow down a little after passing the 21km mark, as the sun was really heating up. There were some moments, with long stretches without shade, in which I felt almost nauseous.
Other than the heat, I don’t feel like my race fell apart at all. I did slow down to walk a few times, and my pace did slow, but I didn’t hit “the wall”! I was really worried about the last 10KM in Stanley Park (as there would be no spectator pressure!), but I kept making mini deals with myself (i.e. “when you get to the bridge you can walk for a minute”) – i run the sea wall so often that I know what’s coming up behind every turn.
When i finally made it past the point in Stanley Park, i didn’t walk once. I knew the finish line was within sight, but i didn’t really have much energy left in my legs! It was about 25-degrees at the time and I just wanted to sit and have a cold bottle of water. It was a bit frustrating to get to that final turn though as you could spot the finish line from about 500m. It felt so far away, and it was even on a slight incline! Thankfully the crowd was awesome, so I ran as fast as I could – definitely not a sprint! I ran past Rachael’s family right before the finish line, as well as Manu who managed to get a few pictures, and crossed in 4h34m18s! That’s 35 minutes faster than my first marathon time. PR ALERT!
Overall, that’s 2404th out of 3978, 919th out of 2145 women, and 58th out of 140 girls in my 20-24F category! I’m pretty please with myself! I think I could have pushed a little bit harder to maintain my 6:00min/km pace a bit longer, but running in that heat was actually quite tough!
After the race, my dad, Manu and i walked around a little bit downtown – I was crossing all the crosswalks in the entire time allotted for the white hand AND the “don’t cross” countdown! I’ve never been so slow, but it was quite funny. We went for lunch in Delta on the way to the Ferries to drop Manu off. I was still on some sort of Runner’s High because i was in a good mood, despite being crusted in salt and old sunscreen.
We drove home, just in time to shower, and head off to the bar to watch the Canuck’s game! Socializing was a bit tough though as I was absolutely exhausted! I went to bed by 9:30 and woke up the next day to go to work. I had a little trouble walking on Monday but was back to 95% by Tuesday.
Before I forget, here are my splits!
As I write this, a week later, I feel completely recovered, and pumped to start training for the Victoria Marathon in October! A new training cycle starts on June 1st!