Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First Half Marathon in Vancouver, BC, Sunday Feb 15

What an amazing and exceptional day after all the rain and snow storms. We desperately needed this weather for change. It gives a different perspective where we live. We are truly blessed and lucky living in the best place on earth.
What an exciting crowd out on the streets and at the beach cheering us the runners who decided to enjoy the glorious day moving a bit faster. Fantastic volunteers from package pickup to setting up the course before the race, and those on the course for their pleasant smile, cheers, aid station, marshalling and most of all their generosity for spending long hours on the course to ensure the race is successful and runners have a great time. We are thankful and owe it to them: Thank you!!!!!
As always first half has proven to be one of the best and fastest courses in Canadian racing. I love the competition and enjoy meeting up with runners we don’t often have the chance to run throughout the year. Is like First half alum nigh. I was very happy to meet up with a few of my old running buddies, long list to name but glad to know they are all doing very well and healthy.
When I walked into the Round House Community Centre around 7:50 AM I knew I was going to have a good race. I could see some runners that I hoped to race with. As I was walking toward the bag check I bumped into Suzanne Evans and Matt Session.
After Greetings I couldn’t hold my curiosity back and asked Suzanne what pace she was going to run. As always she is humble and modest but my guts feeling said is going to be fast. Then I found out that David Papineau was racing, he had recently run 1:18, and then I ran into Noah Wallace who recently had run 1:16 for half. This time both guys came down with cold and stomach flu but sure they wanted to do sub 1:20 and they did it, how sweet is that. Great work guys!
As we were ready for the gun to go off, I was looking around if there were other familiar face, that’s when my eyes caught Doug Alward; he is in the 50-54 age categories. He kicked my butt last year in the Sun run in the last kilometer, and I knew if I stayed close to him I was going to have a good finish.
At this point I knew and certain I was surrounded with a very good group of runners who run faster than my pace and could help me for a PB time.
8:30 the gun went off and as usual, there are 2 groups of Speedy Starters: the true faster runners who disappear shortly after start and others who drift away within a mile or so.
Mile one I was behind Doug but I had him in my sight and my goal was to stay with him as long as I could or my body would allow me to. End of mile one recorded time of 5’ 55”, I was happy with time and knowing that still appeared to be comfortable pace without taxing my legs. Mile 2 just passed the BC place on pacific, The Boulevard was full of spectator on both sides, I just love running with people cheering on, and I always surge when I hear the voices. As we were running up the Boulevard I caught up to Doug. Mile 2 recorded time 11’48”, again happy with the time. Mile 3 flat but I was slower 17’ 52”, interesting how much spectators have an effect on our running.
Mile 4 recorded 23’ 44”. Mile 5 recorded 29’35”. Mile 6 recorded 35’ 30”.
10 K marks recorded 36’ 30”. And ½ recorded 39’. At this point I knew that 120 were easily at my reach. The pace got bit faster after the ½ and I was still able to stay with Doug to Mile 9. This is truly when they separate boys from men, Doug started to pick up the pace but I couldn’t keep up it was damn hard. My tank was empty and I felt weak. I felt chains were tied to my legs and all my force and energy were working against lactic resistance. At that point I had to remind myself about the strategy, stay focus, and lighten my legs. I started to drift from the pack I was chasing but I was still passing some runners. The goal was still finish strong without jeopardizing what I had gained to that point. Mile 10, I ran 6’ 15” about 20 sec slower, Mile 11 ran 6’ 05”, Mile 12 recorded 6’ 15” and Mile 13 at 6’ 5” and finish was a light sprint coming down the Pacific to Round House. After the run I thanked Doug for his help carrying me through and to my surprised he was thanking for being his pace bunny. Isn’t that Awesome!!!
I learned a few things during the course that will help me later on:
Lesson learned from the race: 3 years ago I suffered and slowed down after mile 9 it affected my finish then and today. I do know where my weak point is and I will be working on that. I am improving on race strategy, the mental aspect of my running specially pain tolerance and more room to grow.
I am happy I achieved 3 of my goals in the race, #1 running 10 miles under 1 hour. 59’ 30” #2 finishing top 40, I finished 39th place overall in the race and #3 happy about finishing under 1:20, recorded time 1:18:24.4, I couldn’t be happier. I am grateful I can run which gives me the opportunity to enjoy all kind of food. I run like horse and eat like whale.

No comments: