BMO Vancouver Half Marathon
1:47:46 Chip-time - 4 MINUTE PR!
I did it!! I did this thing!! And it was AMAZING!!
This race was pretty spontaneous. I didnt have this on my race list until about a month and a half ago when my moms work wanted her to go to Vancouver. They suggested she brings my dad but he had no interest and because my mom and my sister went to Vancouver together a couple years ago, this time it was my turn for an invite. I of course said yes and then realized it would be the same weekend as the BMO Marathon!!
For about 4 hours I was considering doing the full but after talking to my good friend Alex and thinking about how much I wanted Calgary to be my first, I opted out. Half it is! It was a little pricey since I was in the last month to register but it was absolutely worth it.
Mom and I flew into Vancouver on Saturday morning, trained to Canada place to get my race package (you could only get them here, not at the race) and I was already getting excited and not only because of the race but because Vancouver is a cool place! I've been to Vancouver twice before, once with band in High School (we saw nothing), and once for about 36 hours with Alex where we were super rushed but we did see Stanley Park, Downtown and a little bit of Grandville Island.
After we checked in, I got my race package and I got these pictures taken we walked around a LOT. We saw the seawall, went to Whole foods a couple blocks away, saw the finish line and I was slightly temped to just steal a finishers medal and by the end of all that my feet were getting sore. We went back to the hotel room and as soon as I sat down I could feel my Achilles acting up and I started to get really worried. I got some ice and we hung out in the hotel for the better part of the evening besides getting food (that story is in my blog). I stretched, kept icing and elevating my ankle and since we were both tired and had to get up early we were happily in bed around 8:30 and had set an alarm for 4:30 am. Luckily I was out like a light and slept really well, I woke up excited to run, breakfast was on time and I stuck as closely to my usual run-morning routine as I could.
We left our room at 5:30am and took the train a little ways before walking to the start line. Washrooms were the first stop and thank godness I went went I did because 5 minutes later the lines were crazy long. My mom had never been to a race before so this was cool for her, she couldnt believe how many people there were!
Around 6:40am I made my way to my starting corral. I was yellow so I was in the first group. I put I:50 as my estimated finish time when I registerred but I was really hoping for a sub-1:50. My plan was to stay just behind the pace bunny for the first 16 km or so, then work my way up and see what I could do. The gun went off at 7:00.
This is an amazing course. I really love it. The grade was great, started off with a long gradual downhill, over a bridge and then it was primarily flat until Stanley park where we had some slight elevation gains but noting difficult and NOTHING compared to what I was used to in Calgary.
My mom came and cheered me on of course. I saw her just past the start, at the Grandville Bridge and about 2 km away from the finish line. I could have cried every time I saw her. Hell I could have cried during the whole damn thing! I'm not a crier so this is actually big. I would have these moments where I couldnt belive where I was running, or what I was trying to accomplish. We would turn a corner and I would see the ocean or the mountains and would want to cry. I would realize how great I felt and would want to cry, because honestly I felt AMAZING. No aches, I had good breathing, my ankle felt fine and my mind was turned on. I loved every minute of it and appreciated every moment, every runner and every turn.
By km 16 I knew this was go time and I was really happy and proud of myself for already being ahead of my usual pace. By km 17 I was shoulder to shoulder with my 1:50 pace bunny and by km 18 I had pulled ahead. By km 19 I had no idea how far ahead I was but I was feeling great. It was around this time that I also met a guy who was running in socks!! Seriously! I even asked him if those were socks and he said `they sure are!`which is super rad. Good for him.
Somewhere around there I saw my mom and got even more pumped. Then the finish line. Then I sprinted to the finish. 1:47, holy SHIT! A guy next to me had completely collapsed and other racers were carrying him across the finish line. He was completely limp and didn`t have his eyes open and it was a little scary to see.
They made us keep moving and walk for about 500 m, giving us medals and offering us bananas, water, NU, juice boxes, chips, granola bars and sandwiches - I took just a water and a banana then met my mom at the Olympic Torch (good call on my part because there were SO many people ). Again I could have cried I was so happy and at that point I just wanted a hug from my mom. To this day I have never felt that accomplished and proud of myself. I did that. It was MY hard work that got me there. A 1:47 half marathon and a 4 minute PR. Holy balls.
I wasn't completely exhausted, my legs didn't hurt and I could definitely have kept going or maybe even pushed harder. This is absolutely a good thing and makes me more excited for the full marathon in 20 days.
Mom and I then went to the hotel, showered and got ready to do some touristy stuff around town.
I am so happy my mom was there for this, I wouldn't have even gone to Vancouver without her, but she was so amazing with my race. She wanted to make sure I wasnt stressed, I didnt have to worry about how to get to the race or any of the other details, I was able to just focus on running. She kept saying "whatever you need," "Can I do anything?" She was so extremely helpful with my usual routine for night before and the morning of a race. I loved having her there so much. I love my mom. I loved this race. It will go down as one of the best days of my life.
P.S. I also ate some INCREDIBLE food while in Van. The rice I had the night before the race was actually the best bowl of rice I've ever had (the universe was also playing some CRAZY tricks on me for this - shout out to Alex), and I ate this.....
This was the best damn burger I have EVER had, and I'm not just saying that because I was really hungry after I ran. We went to Meet in Gastown which is ENTIRELY vegan. This is the Southern BBQ Burger, which is "our house-smoked burger with whisky BBQ sauce, 2 crispy onion rings and aged cashew-cheddar cheez." I cannot explain how amazing it was and I ate the whole damn thing, which is a big win for me. Yes I estimated the calories in my head, yes I almost ordered a salad but I listened to my hunger and cravings and got this. Have I mentioned it was delicious??
I also ate a S'mores cookie while I was in Van (it was wayyyy too sweet), NACHOS at Tacofino (amazing) and a papaya salad (also amazing).
I dunno if I'm happier about the eating disorder wins, the food or the run. It was an incredible trip :)