Fitness Swellness: BMO Vancouver Marathon Race Report

May 8, 2013

BMO Vancouver Marathon

“Oh, the half.”

“No, the full.”

This is a conversation I’ve had over and over the past few days. People who heard I was running the race the next day, they’d all assume it was the half. Nope, there are those of us who run full marathons, haha!

The race went well — I’d been nervous about the weather (a high of 24C and sunny — uncomfortably warm for a long run) and knew very little about the route. I chatted with the founder of the Running Room, John Stanton at the race expo and he assured me that the hills in the race were nothing compared to Hog’s Hollow in Toronto, and when he’d heard I’d run Around the Bay 30k (a notoriously tough, hilly course), he said this would breezy in comparison.

The sunny weather was warm, but thankfully much of the route was shady (thank you, tall BC trees!), and there was a light breeze. There was one very long hill, fairly steep, and quite (read endlessly) long at around the 9k mark. “I’m not a fan of this hill!” said a fellow runner behind me; I turned and smiled in agreement. It was grueling work plodding up it.

Despite all of this, in what I like to call the “special part” of a marathon (which for me tends to be around the 33k mark), that time when I feel like I’m moving through mud and my body doesn’t want to be lifting each foot anymore? Well, that special part (which I call that because calling it “when my body is falling apart” seems a bit negative) never happened, certainly not like in the Scotiabank Marathon I ran in the fall. I felt pretty good for most of the race, in fact. So good in fact, that I was able to actually take in the gorgeous Vancouver scenery around me.

Vancouver Marathon 19k mark

And while I didn’t plan to PB (that’s “personal best” btw) in the race, I did! By 12 seconds compared to my first marathon one year ago. When I printed my pace bands, I intended to print a reasonable time, but looking at the pace, I thought I was maybe aiming too modestly given my training. So I printed a pace band for the same time as my first marathon. And while for much of the race, I was anywhere from 2 to 4.minutes faster, that unraveled in the last 10k and I ended up being almost exactly on pace with the times on my band.

What’s next? I wasn’t planning on running another full marathon this fall. I hope to travel (long training runs when on the road are tough, I find), plus training in the hot summer is brutal. But then yet, there’s always that thought, “Well, could I run a faster full?” Right now, I’m thinking a half marathon for fall. Give myself a break; I’ve been in marathon training for practically 18 months straight, after all. But talk to me in a couple of weeks when I’ve recovered in full from the race and my story may be different.

Favourite aspect of this race? The yellow ribbons all of the runners wore to pay tribute to Boston. Just a small way to send love and thoughts to all those affected by the tragedy.

yellow ribbon for Boston

(And I love the bold medals and Ts — yes, I ran a FULL. A full is not a half. Truth).

Did you race this weekend? How was your race?

Filed under: Fitness Swellness

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