As many of you know, I started running just about a year and a half ago. Back in January 2011 I signed up for a Vancouver Sun Run clinic and it was there that I got hooked and also meet Marymac. I had a few races after that, I built on my success and I quickly realized that I needed to challenge myself further. I had my sights on the BMO Vancouver half, but after the announced course change I decided to give the full a try. That way I would try to get a half in beforehand, either the First Half in February or the April Fools half in April on the Sunshine Coast. To help me achieve this goal I joined forces with Team in Training, I got training assistance, a schedule and use of a coach; in return I had to guarantee a minimum amount to fundraise for. I ran my 1st half in February here in Vancouver at the ‘First Half’ Half Marathon and I felt I had a good run for a debut.
So fast forward to last week, up to then my training went great. I felt confident in my training and that I could complete my first marathon. Yes I had a few speed bumps along the way, but I feel they only made me stronger and helped me push myself beyond my comfort zone. Leading up to the race I was feeling fine, taper madness was in effect for me, my sleep pattern was slightly messed up. I meet up with Andy on Thursday night for a pint and then meet other maniacs on Friday at the expo and at Jennifer’s place in the evening for our M&G. I remember on Friday Cheryl (aka: chunkymonkeymelonhead, r4l) asking me if I felt nervous and I honestly replied I was not nervous for the race, I was confident in my training, I was only nervous in anticipation in not knowing what to expect during the race as I had nothing to gauge on. Saturday I went to my TnT Inspiration dinner and meet up with my coach who was quick to comment on how clam I looked the day before my big race. It was true I felt comfortable, I was looking forward to this race and what it had in store for me. I was put up for the night at the Sheraton Wall Centre and I had a restless sleep, I seemed to wake up every hour on the hour, but I did wake up feeling well rested and that was the key.
So 5:00am had come along and my roommate was finalizing his stuff for his race at 7am, while I was waking up. I took a quick shower to freshen up and then off I went to Tim Horton’s for my breakfast; the usual, a bowl of oatmeal. I got my gear in order, checked out of my room, checked my baggage at the front desk and then I met my team for our 6:15am meeting. A team photo was taken and off to the start we went.
Team photo – My coach (Albert) for the Vancouver Spring Team behind me on the far right. Coach Nathan (the Vancouver Summer team) in the front row and coach Rhonda in the back (Fraser Valley Spring team).
Sorry this one got cut out, but copy & paste the URL and check it out on FB
We watched the Half start and I saw a few TnTer’s from my team head out and gave a high-five to Turd as he started off in his race (Sorry Half-Mary but I did not see you ). After that we head off to the start line. I parted ways with my coach and got a last minute pep talk from him, stick to the plan that worked in training and I’ll do great. I found my corral and check my bag, did my pre race pre and then walked around to find my friend Rhonda (my TnT mentor) who was going to run with her sister Karen (R & K) and I. We quickly meet up, got acquainted and prepped for the race. Minutes from the start I could here my name being yield out, and to my surprise Cheryl was draped out in RM gear. I gave her a pre-race hung and said I would look for her on course. We heard the race start and the elites were off. It took another 15min before R K & I crossed the line. I set my watch and off we went. The pace was nice and easy and we quickly got into a groove. I resisted the urge to push out fast, I knew I needed my strength for later on and I would be happy with that decision later on, you see. We weaved along on Cambie and the next thing I knew we hit the 1 mile mark & a water stand. My goal was to drink water at each water station and take a gel the 3, 6,9 etc mile mark (aprox. every 30min). The second Cheryl sighting was at Cambie & 49th. We hit the 5K mark at about 29min, I was feeling good and not tired. We were right on pace, maybe a little fast, but on pace. Then came my first test at 9K and Camosun Street, in my mind I knew I owned this hill and I would do the same. We took our walk break just before and then started to the trek up.
Heading up Camosun Street hill with Rhonda at my side, Karen was behind us.
I pushed way from R & K with the plan to re-unite at the top. Just before the water station the 3rd Cheryl sighting was made and that just lifted my spirits. I had my second gel and quickly washed it down with water. To my surprise, R & K kept up with me, we ourselves a high-five to each other and off we went again. At the 10K mark we were at 61min, we were slightly ahead of pace, but still felt strong.
We meandered thru Pacific Spirit Park and on into UBC. We hit the washroom at the entrance to wreck beach and continued on our way. Just before that we hit the 15K mark at 1:32 and still feeling good. Then we hit the part of the run we were looking forward to, the downhill to Spanish banks and Jericho Beach. We picked up time and were still feeling strong. We banked time, knowing it would come in hand later. We then hit the half mark and my watch was saying 2:11:xx, right on target, actually about 7min ahead of the 4:30 goal. No I must point out that the 4:30 Pace bunny was not too far behind us, so they were right off and the 4:15 bunny was immediately in front of us. WTF??? We started our way out of Jericho Beach and this was the 4th and final Cheryl sighting of the day. Thanks Cheryl, you really lifted my spirits and had me eagerly looking for you in the 1st half. R & K commented on her enthusiasm and felt energized also.
Heading into Kits Beach
We started to work our way to Kit beach, we hit the 16mile water station that was being worked by TnT Volunteers. They gave us an added push and the next thing I new we were at Kits beach. The crowds started to get bigger and that was now energizing us. We fuelled up at 27k and took another water break just before headed out on to our second test, the Burrard Street Bridge. Again I owned that too. R, K & I hit it hard & fast. We wanted to get it over and hit the downhill.
Rhonda & I heading up Burrard street Bridge
The downhill was great, we hit the 30K mark & I was still feeling strong. In my head I knew I only had 12K go and I knew I could do this. I heard deerdree call my name with Turd & Half-Mary along for the ride too. I said a quick hi and off I went again. We then transitioned to the seawall and into Stanley Park we came. At the 20mile mark we took in water and I then had to get some rocks out of my shoe that were now bugging me. R & K pushed on and I said I would catch up. I trudged along never loosing them from my sight. It took me almost 2miles to catch up, but it was short lived. I desperately needed a walk break and they were coming off one. Deep down I knew I was on my own, but I hoped that I would catch up. That never did, but I did push on. I took a much needed water break at about 37K since the last station was out. I went thru Brockton point and I could see Canada Place at this point. Less then 5K Bryan, you got this! I had a jump in my pace and it would catch up to me. I never hit the wall at 32K as some have talked about, I hit just before I hit the 24mile marker. I took water, which was not helping. I had one more gel, but I could not force myself to take it. I went to the washroom end that seemed to help calm me, I picked up and off I went. I knew that the 10 and 1 was more like 3 and 1’s, but I was determined to finish this race however I could.
The final stretch, we exited Stanley Park for the home stretch. I meet up with Coach Rhonda from the Fraser Valley team and she pushed me to Georgia Street and encouraged me onwards. I took a walk on Georgia and on into Pender, the final stretch. It was here that I meet the TnT Coach from Seattle and he motivated me to the end. He said I looked strong, but tell I was struggling and he was right! He got me running again and reminded me why I was doing this. I brought me up to Bute Street and said he could not help; it was up to me now he said. I pushed along and it did not take long figure out what he meant. Once I hit Bute, the chute was prepared and the crowds were big and cheering. That alone picked me up and I pushed on. Just before the turn on to Burrard Street, I saw Jwolf, Turd, Half-Mary and Deerdree (sorry if I missed any one). I missed my parents around that point also. I pushed on and then turned on to Hastings, the final stretch. I could see the finish, so I dug deep and pressed to the finish. It was at about 100m I saw my wife and kids. I crossed the finish and pumped my fist, I DID IT!!!
After checking in at the TnT Tent after finishing the race.
I meet up with Turd & Half-Mary on the way to check-in with TnT and then saw CinC , Size5 and Deerdree.
Moments after the race, found some maniacs and calling my DW
I want to give a special thanks to Mike for being there to see me finish my first marathon and for being my Sherpa at the end. I felt good after the race, but I knew that once my emotions were in check my body would hurt and that was a given! I was happy with the race and my time. I felt I ran a steady race and once Deerdree announce my official time, I knew I did. I would also like to give a special thanks to Jwolf & HCcD for all there guidance, wisdom and honest input during my training, you may not understand to what extent it helped me, but sincere heartfelt thank you is in order!
So here are the details:
Age Group (45-49): 241/318
Time: 4:30:07 PB!
Average Pace: 6:25/K
First Half: 2:11:00
Second Half: 2:19:07
And finally, here is a video my FIL posted on FB of me finishing.
Thanks for taking the time to endure my report, give me support and guidance. RM nation is the best!!!