Well that was an experience for sure. After working till 10:15pm Thursday night I caught the 8:30am ferry to Vancouver the next morning. What seemed to start out as a normal day turned into quite an interesting day that unfortunately was full of bad luck. Maybe I should have just stayed in bed. Wondering what happened? Well let me explain.
A regular uneventful ferry ride where I left the cloudy drizzly Nanaimo to a chilly sunny morning in Vancouver. Generally the bus is waiting when the ferry docks, so I normally use my running advantage and pretty much speed walk to the bus stop. This all went fine, except there was no bus there. It ended up showing up late and took forever to load. Fine fair enough, I had a 15 minute window from when the bus was supposed to arrive downtown to when I was supposed to meet Sabrina and Mark Wilkie before we headed down to Seattle to race at Dempsy for the UW Invite 5000m that night.
This bus is usually packed as it is the express bus downtown with less stops. It was the double length bus (not sure the technical term) and is full as usual with even the aisle full of luggage and people standing. The lady sitting beside me was from Courtney and had never taken the bus downtown before. She asked me how long it would take and I told her approximately 30 minutes.
About half way to downtown we were heading down 15th in North Van (I think) which is the road from the highway down towards the water before Park Royal Mall. Half way down that hill the bus stops. This is weird I thought, this is the express bus and isn’t supposed to stop until the Mall. We sit there. Nothing is said. We sit there long. Everyone starts looking around trying to figure out what is going on. We continue to sit there. I start looking at the clock. I see a police car pull up beside the bus, talk to the driver through the window, put on its lights and pull in behind us. Traffic going up the hill is slow. I ask the lady beside me if she can see if there is traffic in front of us. Nope she says, just us. WTF?
Finally some lady near the front yells out, it will be 12 minutes to the next bus. Again another WTF? Word goes around that the airbrakes were malfunctioning so we had to wait for another bus to come. I sent Sabrina a message as I was supposed to meet her at 11:30 and it was now 11:05 and I was half way there. Eventually at 11:22 I was on the next bus on the way to downtown. I got downtown at 11:40 and basically booked it up Burrard towards St.Paul’s in order to meet them. Thankfully Mark was a bit late too so it was actually almost perfect timing.
At that point I should have just gone back to bed. Things only proceeded to get more interesting. We headed off towards the border and there was a bit of a line up. About 30 minutes maybe? I will keep these details to just the 3 of us, but we got through without much trouble. Maybe some sneaky moves in the line though ;) Not to mention Mark somehow pulled a very “psychic” moment where he actually predicted my middle name. I had handed Sabrina my passport and she stated she was going to check out my middle name, to which Mark goes, it is Erin….. and then said my middle name. I was like yeah and he was just blown away. It was kind of weird. We were trying to figure out whether he had read it somewhere because how does one pick out the exact middle name out of all the available names in the world. Mark…. You are weird! Hah.
After the boarder it was pretty uneventful all the way to Dempsy. We hit the grocery store before heading to the track and had some time to relax before we started to warm up. My warm up felt pretty good to be honest, legs felt ready to have a good one. Strides were good, drills, all of it was good; however, the race, not so much.
Sabrina and I were in the 2nd of 2 heats, which meant we were with some pretty fast girls. I think the times ranged from 15:20 to 17 minutes on the heat sheets. The race went out fast, which isn’t surprising. My lungs initially felt okay, but as the race went on I felt off. My head felt weird, almost like I was running in a blur. My legs quickly began to feel like crap not long after. Sabrina and I ran together for the first mile or so, but then everything fell to the crapper for me. I slowed and just had nothing going on. I entered survival mode. 16 laps seemed to take forever. I couldn’t wait to be finished.
I was outkicked down the final stretch to finish in 17:03. Completely not what I was expecting nor wanting, especially considering I think I split 5km in the Pioneer 8km faster than that. Disappointing for sure and not the ideal way I wanted my first indoor experience to go, but sometimes the body just doesn’t want to cooperate. I know I am fitter than that 17:03 so that is all that matters. It’s done and it’s over, onwards to the next race! Congrats to Sabrina on a great race where she squeaked out a PB in 16:38!
We did our cool down, then chatted with Cam Levins while I watched my friend Rebecca run in her DMR and then we took off. Grabbed some pizza at a local restaurant and then headed for the border. Of course we couldn’t have everything go that easily, note to everyone out there, don’t play word games with the border people. Finally back to Sabrina and Mark’s before 11:30 I think.
While this indoor experience didn’t go the ideal way, I am definitely interested in trying it again in the future. It won’t be this year, but maybe next year. Thanks to Mark for driving and his cheers and to Sabrina for the company in the race. Sorry I couldn’t have worked with you longer. It simply just was not my day.
Up next NACAC XC Championships in Trinidad and Tobago!! Woo hoo!