What a beautiful day to race. There were sunny clear skies along with early morning mild temperatures (at least for the half marathon) and little wind. The night pre-race was spent getting race packages and relaxing in the hotel until my roomie (Melissa) and her bf (Shayne) showed up. We went out for a late dinner and relaxed until the lights were turned off shortly after 11. This is a bit later than I tend to prefer; however, due to the later dinner it was understandable. I then proceeded to lie there tossing and turning with my mind running wild. It wasn’t necessarily race thoughts going through my mind it was pretty much just everything and anything.
I think I briefly fell asleep and then around 1am, some noise out in the hall began. There was a wedding and reception held in the hotel and I have a feeling the reception had just ended. I finally fell asleep again only briefly before being woke up again. Then another brief sleep before being awake around 2:30 from slamming doors and yelling and banging. At this point I had enough. We figured out it was the room next door so we called down to the desk. By this time I had less than 30 minutes sleep. Thankfully it was quiet after that so I finally fell asleep only to wake up shortly after 5am to eat breakfast after about 2-3 hours sleep the entire night.
Pre-Race (Mel and Me)
I headed out on a warm up and felt decent though my legs weren’t feeling the perky feeling I was looking for. A quick bathroom break at the hotel, rush to drop our clothes at the elite tent at the finish line and off to the start I went with enough time for one stride. Not ideal for me as I like to get in a few. Soon we were on the line and ready to go.
The race went out at a quick pace, but I made sure to go out comfortable and not get caught up in the “race.” Melissa was right beside me which was no surprise as we had the same goal of getting at least sub 1:20:00 at the slowest. We hit the first 2km in 3:43 and 3:44 which was slightly faster than pace (3:47-3:48) but not insane. The hill up Johnson (I think) meant a slightly slower pace at 3:51. I could bore you all with the paces for 21km but I won’t.
Let’s just say after 2km I stopped looking at my watch. The first few km were comfortable; however, they weren’t as comfortable as they should have felt at that pace. I decided to forgo watching the clock and just run by feel. I stayed with Mel until about 5km at which point she slowly pulled away gaining about 30m on me at the most. I would reel back some of that distance and fall off.
I am good at this face
Around 9km I believe
I can’t remember which point I caught her again along with a Vancouver Falcon’s runner named Ramsey, but I reeled them in, pulled ahead slightly and then dropped off again. This time I didn’t lose quite so much ground, but at least 10-15m. At about 14-15km I heard “Go Cedar Girl” from a few women who were still heading out to the turn around. This made me smile and honestly gave me a slight boost. I have no idea who these women are, but I have heard this twice in races now and I thank them for their support. You see I live in Cedar, which is basically on the outskirts of Nanaimo and I do most if not all of my training in this area.
I hate that my leg rotates like this
Then around 16 (I think) we hit another hill and though I had been right behind at this point, I had a “mental” moment and fell off pace. I caught up again around 18 (again I think) and took the lead but this was again short lived with another mental moment. I held 5-10m behind for the final 3km. When we hit the final 400m I had a HUGE cheering squad at the final corner and they were loud. Basically telling me I had to go. At the time I didn’t clue into who it was, but then I found out it was the Running Room/Bastion Running crew who some of them knew my goal and were watching the time. Thanks for the screams Cheryl. I didn’t know it was you at the time, but I definitely heard your voice.
Hitting the Bastion Crew
Mel picked up the pace and I did my best to stay with her.
Heading to the finish
Trailing in the last 100m
In the final 100m we rounded a slight corner to see the clock, which was ticking 1:19:4x and I just gave it everything in a pretty decent final sprint to finish in 1:19:57 just passing Mel and also another runner Garth in the final meters before the line.
Time to move!
It turns out my final km and a bit were my fastest of the entire race. Oops. I guess that means I probably had a little too much left. In the end I was 7th female (out of 2938 females) and 4th in my 30-34 age group (top 3 were all in my age group) with speedy Natasha “Wodak” Fraser winning in a blistering time of 1:14:06 SMASHING her old course record from last year of 1:15:27.
When I finished, I felt relief. I have wanted this sub 1:20:00 goal since running 1:21:55 in Eugene back in April 2010. The injury in 2011 hampered my time line in breaking it last year and with a few less than ideal attempts this year I FINALLY DID IT!! Not going to lie, now I want 1:18:xx ;) It is hard to believe that back in 2007 I was running half marathons in about 1:45:00. At the time I dreamed of even coming near the 1:30:00 mark. Then that goal turned into 1:25:00 and then eventually 1:20:00. It definitely hasn’t been easy as I have put in A LOT of miles and a lot of time on my feet but it is who I am. I can’t wait to continue to push myself to a sub 36’ 10km and a sub 1:19:00 half. If I can stress any one factor it would be consistency. Stay consistent with your training and you will see many benefits from that alone.
Post race fun! Natasha, Myself and Mel
On a side note, I headed off on a cool down with Tasha and Mel. We headed back out on course to find Tasha’s friend Kim. When we were at the 1km marker, 2 participants called for medical help as they were holding up a girl whose legs were clearly giving out. Tasha said since I was a nurse I should help; however, I am not a nurse per say but a care aide with basic first aid training. The 3 of us took the girl from the other racers so they could finish their race and it was clear to us that this girl, who we found out was Cindy via her bib, was not getting her legs back. We sat her down and she proceeded to breath rather rapidly and eventually passed out cold. A volunteer came over and called for paramedics.
The poor girl would not respond to any stimulus including verbal and pain. She came in and out of consciousness and had no idea where she was, what city she was in etc. After a few minutes out cold for the 2nd time, she woke up again and still was slightly confused. Thankfully the paramedics arrived and as we sat her up to get her into the truck she stated “oh I am racing” to which I think I muttered “well you were racing” and proceeded to stop her Garmin as we helped her to the truck as she still wasn't able to hold her own weight. After explaining what happened, we left her in the hands of the professionals. Wherever you are Cindy, I hope you are okay!
Edit: I have since been in contact with Cindy thanks to the lovely race committee. Cindy is doing well, though obviously slightly disappointed that she came within 1km of the race only to not be able to finish.
Results found here.
Results found here.