Sunday, May 04, 2008

Vancouver marathon race report: The good, bad and ugly

Me being silly before the race:

I went into this race with a few different goals. My whisper goal: 4:20. My realistic goal: 4:30. My plan C goal: Just finish it faster than my first marathon (4:54).

It was a busy week, and I did my best to stay well fueled and hydrated. Well-rested...maybe not so much. I got maybe 6 hours of sleep the night before the race, which is not too bad.

Did the usual race morning routine: coffee, Clif bar and a banana. Headed down to the lobby to take the 6:15 shuttle to the start line. My Running Mania buddy wanted to head over early, which I was not thrilled about, but that was fine. Happily, we were able to stay inside BC Place until the start of the race, so we didn't have to wait outside in the cold (not too cold...about 6degC).

I decided yesterday that I would go out fast and try to make up some time for slowing down after 30k. I have never done this before. Usually, I start off quite conservatively.

My splits:
5k - 31:23
10k - 30:29
16k (I missed the 15k marker) - 37:05
Half - 2:10:xx
25k - 33:24 (from the 20k mark)
30k - 36:36
35k - 38:20
42.2k - 57:49

Final time: 4:49:42

See how the wheels came off? First half in 2:10, second half in 2:39? Eek! I started having issues at 18k. My legs started to get stiff. I felt the first calf cramp at 25k and began considering a DNF. The cramps continued for the rest of the race, and my legs became increasingly stiff and heavy. It was frustrating. I watched the 4:30 pace bunny go by me. Never did see the 4:45 bunny, though. I really kind of gave up on my time, as my legs just wouldn`t move for me anymore. Surprisingly, my IT band was not an issue during the race...I guess the ART worked

Given that I had issues, I am thrilled with a 4:49 and a PB. But I know that I can do better. Just need to figure out the fueling and cramping thing. Oh, and the course was not easy...lots of up and down, but no major steep hills. However, I don`t think that I would have done much better on a flat course today.

The biggest victory here is that I completed the Vancouver marathon, which, 2 years ago, I swore that I would never do (I thought that it was too hilly and difficult).

Time to recover now and figure out what my next goal will be.


Marlene said...

Congratulations on completing the Vancouver Marathon, and a PB to boot. Sorry to hear you had a rough time, but you should be very proud!

Cliff said...


A big congrats.

We learn a bit from every race. The cramp do sound like u might need more electrolytes in the body.

Despite that, you still have a PB =D

Rest well (beer + wings!!)

Anonymous said...

Congrats! What a feeling! I am psyched about my event in a week. I love the picture of your race gear. I did that same shot for my marathon last year. I will have to do it again.

Stacey (aka Anamae)

laura said...

Congratulations on finished your big race and with a PB to boot! I admire you!!! Now, when's the next one? hehehe

Christy said...

Huge congrats to you for a PB and finishing!