August 13, 2016 - Vancouver, Canada Time: 2:09:05
So going to recap just the race here as it was redemption for me. The full Vancouver post will be next!
Race morning dawned early (as always) and Wynsor and I got ready to head down to the start line. I have a pretty specific routine on race mornings so I did my usual, ate my food and then we headed down. We weren't checking bags because our hotel was so close to the start but I was carrying my phone along in case I felt like taking any photos.
Now- this race was my redemption from the year prior where I was injured. 2015- the weather was magnificent. A little chilly, overcast, maybe a slight drizzle from time to time but I couldn't run for more than a mile at a time thanks to my hip. I vowed I would return- thinking certainly I could get a PR out of the course. Well. The weather turned against for 2016. Instead of the chilly overcast day- I got a warm, humid, sunny morning. Womp Womp. I still fought like hell but coming up the final miles of the course I knew I wasn't going to hit it. So let's recap what happened.
Race start- we were in the shade, the sun was still coming up, and it was probably in the 60s. A little warm for my taste but I was hoping for the best. I felt good- had taken some quality runs leading up to the race and I thought well I should be able to at least PR. Wynsor and I were starting with the 2:00 group. I was hoping to hang on for as long as possible to that time frame. She and I said goodbye at the beginning having secured a meetup spot since we run different paces. The first few miles were congested as everyone is starting out and trying to find their footing. We had a couple of tiny hills (very tiny) before heading over one of the bridges. Just like the year prior there was a spin class rocking out at the top- fun to watch and jam out to as we ran by. I was feeling good as we rounded the curves along the water trying to maintain a decent pace but not go out too fast.
Everything was going well until about the bridge to Kitsilano. I powered over it the first time and then picked up my speed coming down and up the road but after the turnaround the sun was in my eyes and it was a slow steady uphill back over the bridge. It killed my pace. I tried to pick up my speed but my legs just would not turn over to get my up and over. UGH- I was so frustrated.
FINALLY made it over the bridge. Then it was a steady downhill to put us on the seawall. Redemption I remember thinking! I picked up as much speed as I could handle to try and make up some time. This was around mile 8 as we cruised onto the seawall. It was a little more crowded than I liked so I ended up weaving more than necessary but I managed to hit my paces as we moved around the wall. The views are amazing down there so I tried to take it in as I was hurtling forward. I was keeping an eye on my pace- thinking maybe's there a chance- maybe I could break through this PR stronghold.
We crossed under the bridge and bam- sun in the face, heat and humidity all at once. We still had two miles to go. I was almost out of water. I'd taken my last gel at Mile 9. It was not looking good. I pushed and pushed. Not even taking a moment to enjoy the mermaids along the sidelines. We finally shifted up into the park for the last mile. I was in a dark place at this point- just trying to get to the finish. At least it was shady for a few moments but unfortunately as the course had changed this year I wasn't exactly sure of the finish line. It seemed to go on forever. And in the sun. As we rounded the final edges of the course. At this point I new my A and B goals were not part of the equation and I just wanted to finish the damn thing.
Finally Finally! I got to the finish. My watch says I ran long- I'm sure due to the weaving at the beginning and along the seawall. I finished in 2:09 and some change. Not ideal. The course in great weather would have been a knockout for me- I might have even gotten close to my A goal of sub 2 hours.
Luckily I beat my time from the year prior by 35 mins so we will call that a win. And Wynsor did well too! A new shiny PR for her. I'll continue with a recap of the rest of our weekend soon.
Seawheeze- I still want to break 2 hours with you... not in 2017 but maybe in a couple of years I'll be back.