Monday, July 8, 2013

VUM 2013 Race Report

You would have thought I would have had no problem writing this blog post.. but post marathon I just embraced the rest and extra time with my family.. oh ya, and catching up on work and Ladybug Run stuff. So here goes...and hold tight, it's a long one!

Be careful to what you will say never to. I could have sworn less than a year a go I said I would NEVER run a marathon. I just 'couldn't' do it. That distance was too big for me, and that this injury prone runner would never be able to finish.

Never underestimate yourselves...

I got to the race pretty early thanks to Stephanie Backman, who so generously agreed to pick me up so I didn't have to drive myself and then drive home since my family was coming up to cheer me on and would be able to drive me back..We were able to park 3 blocks from the start line and wandered around for a bit. I hit the port a potty, and then hung out by the fountain for a few pre race photos.

I described myself as nervously excited, and excitedly nervous. I did my pre-race dynamic stretches, ran into a few friends, and then walked over to line up at the start.

I was surprised when we opened the race in prayer. I have not seen any of the larger races do this and it just made me so happy. I was in the third wave (10min+) and within 5 minutes we were off.. my marathon was starting...

I didn't know what this race would hold.. My knee had been so weird during the taper I didn't know if I would be able to run this race pain free... but I knew, I was determined I would finish, no matter what.

I began the race with the 4:45 pace group, but after the first 3 miles and trying to hold to a 10:45ish pace, I decided that was not in the cards for me today. Not on 3 hours of sleep and full of my first marathon doubt. I slowed my pace to a 11 min mile as planned.

The first few miles take you through parts of Vancouver I had never seen before. It was very pretty - though lonely if you need a lot of cheering. You get to see the faster folks on their return which is fun (and inspiring). By mile 8 I decided I would dedicate miles to things/people which was a nice distracting game. I expected to see my family somewhere between 10-13 miles and had my friend Marianne meeting me at mile 15, so I just needed to get through the first half is what I kept telling myself.

Around mile 9 I started talking with a lady who had flown out from NY to cross Washington off her 50 states list - we ran together for about 2 miles but then she pulled ahead of me for a little bit, but then I took her at the overpass/hill coming back into Vancouver and I never saw her again.. I am thankful for the distraction she provided for a while when I was struggling a little for no reason, except for the mental part.

I was beyond happy to see my cheering/support crew at mile 15..
Don't know how I look so happy...

Marianne jumped into the race and was so happy and offered to be chatty or quiet, so I opted for chatty on her part and told her not to expect much from me. We ran through Fort Vancouver - sort of a reverse Girlfriends Half Marathon route.. I was starting to fade, now I know it was because I wasn't eating enough. And I was running a marathon. It's not easy. By Mile 18 I really wanted to see my family, but they were having a hard time navigating the streets of Vancouver.. Marianne was texting and let me know my wish was going to be granted soon. She was also the most awesome race photographer, always running ahead or behind to capture the memories.

Just past Mile 19 I saw the happiest sight.. My girls and my husband.. Rowan ran right over to me and ran a little bit with me. 
Probably one of my favorites.. ever. 

This is me going in for a hug from my hubby. Gotta love the facial expression.

Mile 20 is where Marianne tagged out and Melanie jumped in. I was struggling mentally. Miles 20-23 had some walking breaks, but I always tried to keep them to 30 seconds or under 1 minute. Honestly, these last 6 miles are sort of a blur now. I know I needed food, and didn't have anything on me. We started running with another girl who was coming off 2 weeks of rest from an IT Band injury.. She was a young mama runner and we told her to run with us.. At Mile 23 there was GU with the water and I said out loud, well I guess I will try this and hope for the best (GU and me don't get along) and she asks me if I want some of her Shot Blocks. I ask her if she is sure and I can say that those 3 blocks SAVED me. Mile 24 I picked up the pace again, and managed to run 24-26.2 strong.. we even kicked it up and managed a 9:30 pace for the last .26 to the finish line. I was able to share some Biofreeze with her to help her along, and it felt so nice supporting another mother runner to the finish. 

It was amazing to finish strong. To finish feeling pretty good, all things considered. I think I even said I would do another one, minutes after finishing. That is not something I said immediately after childbirth. I think it took a year before I didn't want to smack someone for asking when I was going to have another. It is funny to say, but it wasn't that bad. I am so happy I did it. So happy to have finished not needing to be carried across the finish. Finley and all the other CDH babies were a huge motivator. There were times when it was hard, and I just had to think about how Finley struggled and it made me push harder. I ran for her. I ran for all the babies that didn't and don't make it home. I ran because I could. I ran today for everyone that can't. I am humbled and forever appreciative of this body that not only carried 2 babies but also ran a marathon. I am thankful. I know God gave me the strength I needed. 

Another funny story- my IPOD died around mile 19. I was telling Melanie I really needed to hear Matt Redman's 10,000 reasons so she downloaded it for me and played it like 3 or 4 times. Now I can't hear this song on the radio without making me cry. I always loved that song, but now it will forever by burned into memory as the song that got me through my marathon.

I also can't say enough about how thankful and appreciative I am to my support crew; Marianne, Melanie and Stacy. The fact that they came out on Father's Day to support me, cheer me on, run with me, navigate around Vancouver - I am just so blessed with amazing friends.

On the race itself; beautiful course, excellent water station coverage, (seriously, like every mile at the end!),  there are parts where there are not a lot of people cheering a long the course, so if that is something that matters to you.. it didn't to me. I brought my posse. Post race food- nothing exciting. They did have Jamba which is always appealing to me - but otherwise it was pretty much bagels, carbs and maybe some fruit. They did have Muscle Milk chocolate milk stuff, but I am not a fan. I think this is a well organized event and would recommend it highly.

On the goals; I finished. One goal accomplished. Just a hair over 5 hours at 5:01 and some change. I am happy with that. Let's see what I can do at Vernonia in April... maybe 4:45? 

Meb Keflezighi, U.S. Oympic marathoner:
"Like the marathon, life can sometimes be difficult, challenging and present obstacles, however if you believe in your dreams and never ever give up, things will turn out for the best."

Splits (GPS Interval)
TypeDistance Split settingsDurationTotal DurationPaceAvg HRMax HRNotes
1Interval1 mi11:03.8311:03.8311:04171179
2Interval1 mi10:48.6421:52.4710:49174180
3Interval1 mi10:52.1632:44.6310:53177179
4Interval1 mi10:59.0243:43.6511:00177179
5Interval1 mi11:04.4954:48.1411:05177179
6Interval1 mi11:05.521:05:53.6611:06176179
7Interval1 mi11:07.131:17:00.7911:08176178
8Interval1 mi11:03.851:28:04.6411:04175178
9Interval1 mi11:11.491:39:16.1311:12175177
10Interval1 mi11:08.581:50:24.7111:09176178
11Interval1 mi11:13.852:01:38.5611:14176178
12Interval1 mi11:30.012:13:08.5711:31173176
13Interval1 mi11:22.142:24:30.7111:23172176
14Interval1 mi11:20.712:35:51.4211:21177182
15Interval1 mi11:19.572:47:10.9911:20178181
16Interval1 mi11:37.792:58:48.7811:38174178
17Interval1 mi11:25.343:10:14.1211:26171176
18Interval1 mi11:23.653:21:37.7711:24169173
19Interval1 mi11:57.143:33:34.9111:58170176
20Interval1 mi12:19.193:45:54.1012:20173179
21Interval1 mi11:40.353:57:34.4511:41167172
22Interval1 mi11:53.474:09:27.9211:54169173
23Interval1 mi13:04.324:22:32.2413:05164170
24Interval1 mi12:13.454:34:45.6912:14165170
25Interval1 mi11:44.664:46:30.3511:45170174
26Interval1 mi11:28.424:57:58.7711:29173176
27Interval0.23 mi2:21.335:00:20.1010:15177181