The 2015 Vancouver MarathonTo say that the marathon went well is an understatement. I am now head over heels over the moon in love with the marathon. What once seemed torturous, and scary, now is amazing and exciting, exhilarating and a challenge to be conquered not shied away from, and I can honestly say I can not wait to run another.
Okay, let's get the exciting business out of the way.
HUGE, huge! New marathon PR of 3:53:47.
A new best of 31 minutes. Along the way I also snagged a new half marathon PR of 1:47:36.
My race plan was simple. I had a really great training cycle, I felt strong so my plan was just to run as fast as I could for as long as I could. Which I knew could end up badly and I could crash and burn, but I really, really just wanted to see what I could do.
You could not have asked for better weather, clear blue sky, no clouds, and warm enough for shorts and a tank. It was a but of a walk to get to the start line from the train, but oh so worth it for the lovely point to point course.
I was in the red corral, which was the third one back, and as we were lining up I noticed that the 4:00 bunny was in the corral ahead of me. So I knew that if I wanted this I was on my own.
The gun went off, my corral started about 8 minutes back, so got off to a quick start. I easily fell into a 5:00/km pace. There was a lot of downhill, and running at sea level is glorious. The first 9km clicked by so fast. 5:03, 5:04, 5:12, 5:03, 4:58, 4:56, 4:42, 4:59, 5:14.
At 9km you hit the Camosun hill that is 1km long. Coming from the land of no hills, it was pretty steep. I was grateful for a water stop halfway to the top. I just put my head down and counted down the blocks to the top, 5:51/km.
Shortly after 10km I passed the 4 hour pace bunny from the corral ahead, so even without looking at my watch as long as I stayed ahead of the pace group I would be more than golden.
At this point I tried to just keep pushing the pace, and I would reevaluate at the half way mark how I felt. 5:16, 5:08, 5:22, 5:09, 5:10, 5:04, 5:17, 5:20, 5:15, and then I realized I could get a pretty sweet half PR if I picked up the pace so km 20 was 4:40, and 21km was 4:24. As I said before I hit half in 1:47 for an 8 minute PR.
I was still feeling pretty good, and I now had a 13 minute cushion to get sub 4. It was knowing this fact that derailed my race a little bit. I knew there was no way I would run slower than a 2:13 half, I was feeling good. So I was less mentally strong and gave myself permission to take it easier than I think I could have pushed myself. 5:16, 5:32, 6:43, 5:42, 5:48, 5:40, 5:40, 6:18, 5:43.
At 30km you cross the Burrard bridge. I was all smiles coming across that thing I was feeling great, and the long downhill towards the seawall was so great. 5:19, 5:50.
At 32km you head onto the seawall for the last 10km I quickly stopped to text my friends who were also running, and my husband that I had 10km left, and had just passed 2:52. I had over an hour to run 10km. I have not run 10km in over an hour in years so I knew I was good. I was giddy with excitement, but kinda also gave myself permission to take it easier as well. 6:29, 5:37, 5:43, 6:23, 6:41, 5:57, 6:02, 5:41, 5:54.
With 1km left I could not stop smiling, I picked up my pace and pushed it in with everything I had left. 4:02, last 0.4km @ 5:01/km.
For a finish of 3:53:47!
I did it! I finished sub 4 with plenty of room to spare.
This race has given me so much confidence. I know I could have easily run sub 3:50, or even 3:40, if I wanted to that day, I know that my legs had it in them if I wanted them to be up to the challenge. And in the future I can't wait to see what I could do. Regardless of not pushing myself as hard as I could have, I am so so happy with how this race went, and was so glad to feel that race magic feeling.
Funny story, my husband was waiting at the finish line, and knowing I was so close he was choked to see the clock click past 4 hours before he could see me, little did he know I started 8 minuted after the clock, so I knew I got sub 4 and he didn't. He thought I was smiling to try and make myself feel better, not because I had just blew all my expectations for myself out of the water.
Clearly I had an amazing race, and if I could I would run this race every single year, hands down.
I finished blister free and brimming with joy. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish next. I am now only 1 minute away from taking a full hour off of my half marathon time, and I think I would like to see a full hour come off of my marathon time too. I know I can run a 3:24 in the future, and look forward to the training that will get me there!
Also I am so proud of my friends Sarah and Graeme who both completed their very first marathons in Vancouver! So, so proud!