I signed up for the Scotiabank Half as part of a 3-race package (Modo 8k, Scotiabank Half, Eastside 10k). Little did I know the time that I’d be running the BMO Marathon in May, and injuring myself enough to have very little training leading up to the race. Here’s how things panned out:
Package pickup at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Quick and efficient. Nothing like the chaos and long lines of the BMO. Felt relaxed and positive. Nicely done, Scotiabank Half organizers and volunteers!
Significant amounts of self-doubt. In the last month, my longest run has been 7k. I’m out of shape. I probably shouldn’t have had those 2 glasses of wine. What the heck am I going to blog about?
My gear is laid out for the morning. I’m golden!
OK, maybe I’ll read just one chapter before I sleep…
Now I really have to sleep. But I should pee once more so I don’t wake myself up in the night.
I’m so tired. Why can’t I sleep? What if I don’t hear my alarm? Maybe I should set another one. If I just envision crossing the finish line, it’ll become a reality! I have a Lady Gaga song looping in my head.
Sunday, 2:06am (give or take)
Is that my alarm? No, it’s still dark out…
The alarm is going off in 15 minutes. I’ll just lie here a bit longer…
Sunday, 5:39am (two snoozes later)
Time to get up. Breakfast – oatmeal with blueberries; dressed and out the door by 6:20. Grab a nearby car2go. Arrive at UBC in time to check my bag, make a pit stop, and connect with a couple of coworkers who are running.
This is my second Scotiabank Half. It starts with a brief out-and-back, meaning that we get to see the elites pass by while we are still around 2k and they’re approaching 5k. Great inspiration, lots of clapping and cheering from the masses. My pace is good and, although I’m aware of that nagging injury (in my psoas muscle – an inconvenient thing), it’s not extreme.
I’m impressed, as always, but the range of ages among the runners surrounding me. The love of running spans the generations. There’s even a guy racing in his wheelchair. Many folks running to support charities. A positive group.
The downhill starts around 7k. Last year, I pounded down this hill too hard, and tweaked my right ankle. I try to remain controlled, to keep a quick but measured pace. The guy in the wheelchair whizzes by. My speed picks up, and my app tells me I hit 10k at 52 minutes. I’m hoping for a timing clock at the halfway mark, but there is none. Regardless, I’m know that this won’t be a PB race.
It’s familiar territory now – the route identical to the BMO Marathon, except the day is warm and sunny, and I haven’t already run over 20k! But, as these things go, my energy is flagging – my recent lack of training clearly evident.
At the short, steep Marine Drive hill, I shorten my stride and pump my arms to get some momentum. The wheelchair guy is here again, going up the hill backwards, and grinning at everyone he sees. Through the struggle, it makes me smile.
Somewhere in Kits, I get chills. Not the excitement kind. The kind that suggest that maybe I haven’t eaten enough, or maybe I’m getting dehydrated. After completing a marathon, I’ve underestimated my fuelling requirements. I skipped a few water stops during the first 10k, but I’m taking full advantage now. A guy in a Barney costume passes me. I’m so hot – how is he managing??
The Burrard Bridge has never seemed so long. Honestly, I don’t think it will ever end. I imagine the guy in the wheelchair working his way up this steady incline and I marvel. Someone has collapsed off to the right. He has several people around him, and someone has cushioned his head. I hope he’s alright.
Finally, the bridge peaks and it’s downhill from here. I don’t know if I have it in me. But when I see the photographer at the bottom, I whip off my sunglasses and throw my hands in the air in victory. That’s going to be a great picture (one that will be overpriced and I won’t purchase, but all the same…)
Nearing English Bay – the crowd is thickening. The end is nigh! Turning onto the final stretch, my ever-reliable and adorable partner is there with camera in hand, and I have that extra push to the finish.
Nearing the chute, I pick up speed and pass about half a dozen people because I really just want to finish. I’m tired and hot and hungry. Final results:
Chip time: 1:53:56
Average pace: 5:24 min/km
Place overall: 1021/3333
Age category place: 89/179
I ran this one for Mom, in her memory. With the contributions from my generous coworkers, friends and family, over $2,500 was raised on behalf of the BC Cancer Foundation to aid its fight against this stupid, destructive disease. I consider that to be the biggest win today.
And I’m not going to have any worries about that glass of wine tonight!