My Personal Best

First off I want to apologize to everyone who followed my blog.  It’s been a very long time since I last wrote something.  However in my defence, I haven’t had much to say, or rather, there’s only so much a person can say about training and running before it gets very repetitive.

I last wrote about the Chilly Chase in January, a 10KM.  Since then, I’ve been training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon – the Half Marathon for me.  I never did get around to running the Hot Chocolate 5KM race due to an ankle sprain.  That wasn’t such bad news.  I’ll just look forward to doing it next year.  What was bad was when my doctor said it would take 8 weeks to recover fully from this ankle sprain.  What made it even worse was that I did not listen to my body and actually ran on this sprained ankle for a two full weeks and it was only because the pain was so bad to the point that I could not sleep that I decided I should see the doctor.  This was in the middle of my 1/2 marathon training.  Not good, since I had 10 weeks of training to go.  I had just reached a point in my training where I was going faster and feeling stronger.  We were just beginning our hill training.  I was actually looking forward to hill training.  NO ONE looks forward to hill training.  I can tell you there was a lot of worry for my part about the big event.  There was even discussion about me not doing the 1/2 marathon.  Better to look after my health for future races than to run a race and destroy a running future.   Arghhh!  I went from having a goal of finishing in just over 2:30, to just finishing, to possibly not even doing it.  But after seeing a wonderful physiotherapist and having a very supportive running group, I managed to finish the training clinic and successfully ran my first 1/2 marathon with a finishing time of 2hrs 55 min.  I’ve never been so proud.  During my last two long slow distance runs, it was looking like I would finish at 3hrs.  So when my time came in at 2hrs 55 min, I was super happy.  My first 1/2 marathon.  My first personal best.

I couldn’t have had a better day.  The weather was perfect.  Sunny.  Breezy.  Beautiful route.  Great cheerleaders along the route.  I think the best part, besides the fantastic route, was right at the end.  The spectators lined up on both sides of the street, cheering everyone on as they headed for the final finish.  It was really motivating.  I can see why this is ranked as Canada’s top destination race.  We started in Queen Elizabeth park, went across the Cambie street bridge and into Chinatown.  From there we went through the downtown towards BC Place Stadium and into Yaletown.  Then we ran along Pacific Boulevard by the water and then into Stanley Park.  It was so tempting to stop and take pictures.  This is definitely a repeat race.  The 1/2 marathon.  I am not even contemplating a full marathon.  Running for more than 3hrs straight is probably too much for this body of mine.  I’ve done hikes that have lasted 6hrs + (Tongariro Alpine Crossing) but that’s different from running.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Some reminders for me for the next 1/2 marathon.  Body Glide is your friend.  So is spaghetti and meat sauce.  If you take ibuprofen, remember to take it with food.  In my case, that means more than one PowerGel Blast.  Drink all the water/Gatorade that is on your belt.  And don’t skimp on the PowerGel Blasts.  Oh, and the BMO 1/2 Marathon starts at 7am.  That means get there by 6:15 the latest so you can dump off your gear and use the porto-potties.  And it was a good idea to wear a sweater in the am, just make sure it’s an old one that you’re okay with leaving behind at the start.  Same with the free BMO gloves.  They were free.  Wear them to keep your fingers warm and then dump them rather than carry them when it warms up.  AND because you’ll be at the starting corrals by 6:15 latest, that means eating your banana and two yogurts by 5:15.  And remember! You were hungry by the start of the race.  That is not good.  So learn to eat a bagel and peanut butter in the morning, along with the banana and yogurt.  Or oatmeal.  Or skip the oatmeal.  Good job with the gear check bag.  Changing into sandals was a good idea.  Changing in to dry clothes was even better.  Remember to drink all your water/Gatorade.  And seek help when your start to feel shaky.  There is no shame in that.  Passing out is bad, especially when there is no one around to help.  Remember to book a full on massage after the race.  15 minutes just doesn’t cut it.  However if 15 minutes is all you’ve got, it’s better than nothing.  Also, it’s okay to take more than one sandwich.  Skip the fruit bar thing.  That was gross.

Speaking of food, what does one eat after a 1/2 marathon?  Well this finishing winner decided on a lovely Spanish Latte from Caffe D’Artigiano, my favourite, and then I went home for fish sticks and two soft bowled eggs.  A little lack lustre, however I was feeling kind of queasy after nearly passing out so I was just looking for the easiest thing to make at home and that’s all I had in the fridge/freezer.  Tomorrow will be a better meal, with Eggs Benedict perhaps and then sushi and maybe another Spanish Latte or a Flat White or both.  Yum.

I have one more run/walk later this week, an easy 5K walk with my friend Deb, the Shopper’s Drug Mart Run for Women and then I’ll be taking a break until the middle of June when I start up with another 1/2 Marathon training clinic.  I’ve got to prep for the Oasis Rock n’ Roll Vancouver 10K and 1/2 marathon.  I’ll be doing both runs this time.  Oh what a year this is going to be.  And hiking season should be starting soon too!



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