Tag Archives: vancouver

The answer really is 42.2

This Sunday I ran a marathon – and it took a looooong time

And while I was out there I got a lot of thinking done.

It’s funny how running 42.2km turns into an inner struggle to keep moving forward. I’d been warned it might but since my previous big triumphs (the 1/2 marathons) didn’t have this type of struggle I wasn’t convinced
Perhaps if I hadn’t been running alone it wouldn’t have
The first 8k was great, sailing along on pace and every thing was good. I had to keep adjusting as I was slipping into my half pace and that was too fast
I could not locate any pace bunnies and that was a bit of a pisser as I knew I needed the disapline to keep on track
As we started towards camousun hill I started to hyperventilate. I’m sure it was nerves. I killed this same hill a few weeks before but I wasn’t as confident yesterday
Part way up my pace group from the clinic caught up to me (they had started slow). We ran together for a while but despite starting slow they were running faster than I wanted to so I sent them off a head.
I twisted my ankle in a pot hole around 12k but kept on trucking
Sailing down NE Marine at 20.5k I suddenly couldn’t breathe. It was like I had plastic over my mouth. My hr was in the right zone and my legs were good but I couldn’t catch my breath.
Took a quick break and got back to work
21.1 time was 2:32. Pretty good as I was shooting for a 5 hour finish
But then things went to hell
My legs started asking why I was still running and my stomach started to ask me to stop drinking and eating. It was warm and no sea breeze despite being along the beach.
I started arguing with myself and tried to focus on some of the advice our coach had given us.
One thing I really took away from this clinic is that a marathon is mental as well as physical. When I used to look at the marathon clinic people as they headed out I was always in awe of them, some of them just look like athletes. Trim, toned and tough. Something to aspire too. Something you think you can never be.
Our coach projected this as well but he used some good tips to get his newbs at ease.
He fessed up that he puked during his first 1/2 marathon and had cried on more than one race.
If a 1/2 iron man finisher and sub 4 hour marathoner goes through the “what am I doing?” weepies every time and comes out strong it makes them human, it taught us we could be one of them.
I never learned that in 1/2 training!
In 1/2 training it was all about being disaplined and consistent. Keep on your ten/1’s.
But Bill told us to walk when we need to, sit on he curb if you need to and get up and keep going when you are ready.
So I walked
And talked with myself
And thought about what running this marathon really meant to me.
If you asked me a week ago I would have given you a different answer than today.
I’d walk then jog and walk again all the while trying to throw off the last 10 years of pain
Of heartbreak, self loathing. Soul crushing loneliness
5 years ago a big ball of fur helped
3 years ago starting to loose weight helped
Oct 2011, when I ran my first 1/2 it helped
Earlier this week when I got to my race goal weight and noticed a handsome man watching me it helped
But walk/running up from the kits point to the burrard street bridge did it
Coming up from the beach and running over the bridge I could see where the crest was. I walked to the 30k flag and started to jog again, confident I could make the whole 42.2k
And I knew that when I crossed the finish line that the old me would finally be dead.
Rounding by the lighthouse my legs started to falter but at this point a Dnf was not an option.
I looked at the inspiration signs and one struck home “the voice inside your head that says you can’t do this is a liar.”

I did it and the race nailed that dammed coffin shut forever on the ugly fat girl.



So here we are 13 days into 2013 and so far so good
Like everyone I start setting my goals and planning. I’d say I plan more than other people but it seems that most runners are over planners like me 🙂 so everyone is doing it.

Right so clearly goal number 1 is that marathon, may 5 bmo Vancouver marathon. I’m excited and afraid and I think this is the best way to approach ones first marathon.
I haven’t really planned past June but here is some of what I have in mind.

March 16 I want to do the st paddies run again. Had a good time last year and I would love to improve my time a bit. The race is on a saturday so it doesn’t interfere with my marathon clinic.
Also in march is “my first trail run”. I enjoy running the gentle groomed trails of mundy park and hiking the north shore so why not combine it? It’s on a Sunday but I’d still like to try this new flavour of running.
I’ve already signed up for the scotia 1/2 in June and the longest day is always run.

I wanted to do the warrior dash again but it doesn’t seem like they have a BC date this year, maybe I will try the spartan race.
I would love to do 1/2 corked again. How can you say no to a stunning 18k amongst the vineyards? But those two events are in may so I’m not sure if I will be up for them.

One of the bigger goals I have is to run 2013k this year. That is a big jump for me but all that marathon training has to be good for something.

Some options

Continuing with my hate on for Seawheeze let’s talk about some of the other 1/2 marathon options in the general Vancouver area.

First up the Historic Half. I’ve never done this race but have good things from those that have. It’s hilly and the weather can add any kind of challenge. I have done other races organized by Try Events and had a good time.
Date Sunday Feb 17. Location Fort Langley
Cost to register today $75
What you get; long sleeve shirt and medal. Usually they have pancakes or something for food

Fools run
April 7, Gibsons to Secelt. Never done this one either but it is on my agenda for this year. Looks like a lovely but challenging course with a couple of big hills
Date Sunday April 7. Location Gibsons
Cost to register today $35.
What you get Finishers medal. Shirt is extra
Food at finish, shuttle back to start and to ferry terminal
Downside. Ferry to Langdale! But you can do a walk on and catch the shuttle to the start

Bmo Vancouver 1/2 Marathon. Did this in 2012 and LOVED it.
Stunning “easy” course with huge crowds to cheer you on
Date Sunday May 5
Cost to register today $109
What you get Saucony shirt, medal, bag lunch. Huge expo with speakers et. Free transit day of race
Note the “early bird” price was $79

Whistler 1/2
From all accounts one of the most stunning routes out there. Sells out quickly
Date June 1. Location. Whistler
Cost to register today $78
What you get, North Face shirt, limited edition poster created by a Whistler Artist
Grub at finish

Scotia Vancouver 1/2 Marathon. Did this in 2012 and enjoyed it. Nice course, lots of downhill nd some rolling hills to keep you on your toes. Expo was ok but they had a great deal with Gatorade with free pre run drink, on course and post run drinks
Sunday June 23. Location UBC to Stanley Park
Cost to register today $60
What you get. Asics short sleeved top, medal. Decent post run eats, free shuttle back to start.

Seawheeze. Have not done this event, it sold out in 2012 and it seems to have been enjoyed by most. Nice course, similar to the other two Vancouver runs.
Date Sunday Aug 10. Location. Start and finish are downtown
Cost to register today. $128. Registration opens later this month
What you get; custom Lulu shorts, brunch, yoga. Party/concert post run

Clearly I’m biased but if you are thinking Seawheeze do look at the other much less expensive options out there


My first injury… sigh

I’ve gotten a few ows running, a bruised toe, a couple blisters and a turned ankle. They have been something I could work through pretty easily (except the ankle, that took some time).

Last friday I hosted a big Halloween Party. Since it was populated with people i know and like I let myself dance the way you do when you truly don’t care who is watching.

The off shoot? Stiff calves and something with my achilles/ankle on the left. It was so sore the first couple of days I was walking like the guy in Person of Interest.

Down where the tendon attaches to the ankle it is still sore to touch abut walking has gotten easier. The few attempts of jogging or sprinting (when walking the dog) have been painful enough to prevent me from going for my runs.

Having to walk the dog is certainly hindering the healing process but its not like I can hook Ruby up to a treadmill. A dog used to jogging 8K needs some walking let me tell you.

I’m finding being sidelined frustrating. Come Jan 1 I want to start the marathon training clinic and I need to work on my distance between now and then. Sitting on my duff for a week was not on the schedule.

What makes it worse is that the last two days have been sunny and beautiful the way only Vancouver can be in the fall and I’m on the late shift  – the morning was just perfect to go for a run in Mundy park but the ankle said no.

Trying to take it day by day but oh this sucks

rain rain rain

Ahh Vancouver

I love you, I really do.

I love the mild climate, the stunning mountains, the tang of salt in the air.

I even love the urban wildlife (keep running into coyotes and seeing bear scat while walking with Ruby – ever try and control 95 lbs of angry dog when all it wants to do is tell the coyote to piss off?)

But the rain, oh the rain…

We have had a lovely summer, one that is perfect for running. I think it only rained on two of my Learn to Run clinic days and for a course with 30 sessions (10 weeks, 3x a week) that is pretty amazing.

But last week fall came in the form of monsoon rains. At least its still nice and mild out so its kind of like running under a chilly shower…

I’m in the process of building up my millage after an easy summer of 12-15 K weeks so my runs are longer and I’ve been trying to get out at least one extra day (clinic is 3x a week). This week I’ve done 22K and 18 of it has been in the pouring rain.

If nothing else its a reminder that I am dedicated, that nothing will get between me and my goals… and damn I’m happy I bought those $12 socks…