Marathon Monday: BMO Vancouver Marathon RACE RECAP

Happy Monday!  The weekend was an absolute whirlwind for me.  Ever since the big surprise on Friday, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a big dream.  I don’t know what I did to deserve all the good that has happened to me but all I can say is that I am so grateful.  The last few days have blessed me with some pretty memorable experiences that I will probably talk about for a while!  I ran the BMO Vancouver Marathon yesterday so I thought I would start by putting together a recap for this week’s Marathon Monday.

MarathonMonday

Th weather was calling for rain all weekend but judging from Friday and Saturday, things still looked promising – like it would be a day of light showers which would be refresing to run in.  I crossed my fingers which absolutely did not work.  I woke up race day morning with a sore throat and the sound of pouring rain outside my hotel window.  Not ideal.  I woke up at 5am and the race didn’t start until 8:30 so there was quite a bit of time for the rain to stop so I just stayed positive and hoped for the best.  I ate a slice of gluten-free bread with peanut butter, took my time getting ready and headed to the start around 7am.  It was early but I had to do a bit of filming for Vega before the start which was fine because early > late.  Being late to races is the worst ever.

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[What I wore: Vega tech tee, Lululemon run skirt (from last year – can’t remember the name), Pro Compression calf sleeves, Mizuno Drylite cap, Mizuno Inspires]

The rain didn’t stop and it was pretty dang cold so I was eager to get started to warm up my body.  I knew that some of the Vega team and Emz would be around the 5-6 mile mark so I was really looking forward to seeing them.  They did not disappoint.  I’ve never heard people cheer so loud for me in my entire life.  They had the best signs, cow bells, horns, you name it.

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It was so great to see all of them, get a big hug from Emz, and then continue trotting along.  I took a Vega gel just after the 6 mile mark and was really happy with the way I was pacing myself.  The course is quite hilly so I ran based on effort which ended up being a lot faster than I anticipated…at least for the first part of the race.  I was holding an 8:30 min/mile pace for the first half and felt awesome.  My legs felt good, my energy didn’t plummet once, my body was finally getting warm, and I was just excited to be running.

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I didn’t have a time goal for myself for this race.  Finishing was the plan.  I got to the halfway mark well before two hours and took another gel.  When I got to around 15-16 miles though I started having all these crazy thoughts of setting a new PR.  It was so possible.  If I just kept my pace up for the rest of the race I would kill my previous PR that I set in Phoenix.  Easier said than done.

It was around the 20 mile mark that I started to fall apart.  I saw another group of  Vega friends at this point which was awesome for me mentally.  I was in quite a bit of pain but seeing their faces made me smile.  Plus I knew Emily wasn’t much farther along the course and she was running with me for the last few miles.  Having something to look forward to always helps.  I intended on taking a gel at this point but my stomach was not having it.  I felt sick and the thought of choking something down made me cringe.  I pushed through, saw my friend Ale who was cheering with her friends from Luluemon (thank you for coming out!) and finally got my Emily.

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I told her to talk to me because I needed to get my mind off running.  I was struggling holding a 10:00 min mile.  The last stretch is right by the sea wall so it was freezing, windy, and nothing sheilding the rain.  My entire body was red and my arms were going numb.  Not awesome.  Emily stayed a couple feet in front of me for the most part so I had someone to “chase” and it worked as best as it could.  I am so thankful she was there with me.  I probably would have walked if it wasn’t for her.  I barely had anything left in me.  I stopped and took breaks at the last couple water stations and drank whatever electrolyte drink they were handing out hoping it would give me something.  ANYTHING.  Nope.

Once we got off the sea wall I was thanking the freaking heavens because I knew it would feel at least a couple degrees warmer.  Before the home stretch I saw Emma from Vega who had run the half marathon and then came back to cheer.  Love that.  There was a slight incline before the finish.  Pretty rude if you ask me.  BUT WE DID IT!  I grabbed Emz’s hand and we crossed the finish line together…again.  My official time was 4:00:50.  I’d be lying if I said those 50 seconds didn’t bother me.  Another sub-4 would have been nice but I guess it wasn’t in the cards this time.

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I honestly didn’t know I was running this race until about 6-7 weeks ago so I told myself not to set any sort of time goal expectations.  The competitive part f me wants to PR every single time I have a race which is not smart or reasonable and I know that.  I really have no complaints about this race except for the weather and that is something that was out of my control.  The course was awesome, the support was phenomenal, everyone stayed positive despite the terrential downpour, and I had THE BEST team behind me every single step of the way.  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go to Vancouver, have my best friend with me, do some fun work for Vega (coming soon!), run this race, eat delicious food (more on that this week!), and just soak up everything the city has to offer.

A huge thank you to Vega for making this happen, for having my back, for cheering in the rain for four hours, and for making me feel so comfortable and welcome.  Most of all, thank you for bringing Emily along for me.  I knew this weekend was going to rock before she showed up but having her here brought things to a whole new level of awesomeness.  I am so grateful that she took time out of her life in Phoenix to come here for me.  She left her work, her family, not to mention she’s freaking PREGNANT (if you didn’t know, now you do!) - to come here and cheer me on.  I might be the luckiest person ever.

It’s not always about a PR.  Sometimes you just have to stop and think about how lucky you are to be able to run and have friends who support you.  I crossed the finish with a huge smile on my face knowing how hard I worked but better than that – knowing Emily and I had a post-race massage scheduled!  Bliss.

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Hope you all had a rad weekend and thank you x a million for being so awesome and supportive on here, Instagram, and Twitter.  I may not have had the time to respond to everything this weekend but I sure as heck read all your messages and I am so thankful.  You guys rock.

Comments

  1. 2

    Kristen says

    So, so, so amazing!!!!!! So very happy for you!! You ready to run Boston?! April 20, 2015. Come on!!!!!

  2. 4

    says

    Congrats on your finish! I ran the half yesterday and it was tough. So wet and cold. When I knew I had no chance of a PR, I stopped to kiss my kids’ cheeks with 1k to go. It’s the only thing that got me to that finish line.

  3. 6

    says

    Congrats! I ran the half yesterday – the rain was no fun but I still had a good time (and saved money because we didn’t want to walk around and shop!) What a great weekend full of surprises for you!

  4. 7

    Jamie C says

    Congratulations girl! You rocked it, regardless of your time. I’m so glad Emz came and surprised you. What an awesome and great friend. :) You are so blessed!

  5. 9

    says

    Congrats on a great race in not good conditions and for being positive about the result! Your enthusiasm is catching, that’s for sure. Can’t wait to hear more about your fall plans.

  6. 10

    says

    Christina, I am so, so, SO unbelievably proud of you! What an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. The last couple of months have been such a whirlwind for you, as you said, but it’s clear that you’re a much stronger person now – physically and mentally. I admire your strength and stamina, and can’t wait to re-experience YVR with you this summer! :) xo

  7. 12

    Monica says

    Congrats Christina! What an awesome weekend!
    You are so inspiring :) I can’t wait to run the SeaWheeze this summer!

    PS- Any recommendations on where to get a massage in Vancouver? ;)

  8. 13

    says

    Christina, I am so so proud of you. You really didn’t have long to train or plan for this race, but you jumped in with both feet and finished. That is an enormous accomplishment and I LOVE your approach to life. You are such an inspiration – basically, it’s a girl crush. LOL.

    Good luck at your race this coming weekend (Crazy girl!)

  9. 16

    says

    Wow! That sounds like a job well done! Don’t let those seconds bug you, because you know what you persevered and kept running and more importantly you finished!

  10. 20

    Ashley M says

    Wow!! Oh my goodness! Thank you for the recap! I was thinking of you the other day when I woke up to RAIN too…proud of your run Christina, and your determination to finish strong with such a positive attitude! You are amazing! Looking forward to seeing you in Vancouver in August…hopefully the weather is a bit nicer for us!

  11. 21

    says

    You are freaking incredible! Your takeaway was right on… finishing with awesome support is all that matters. Such a blessing seeing Emily too! Proud of you!

  12. 22

    Loan says

    Congratulations Christina! You braved the Vancouver rain and Marathon all in one shot! Great to meet you under the tent at the start line. Hope to see you at Vega HQ again. Amazing job and such a positive inspiration :)

  13. 24

    Chelsea says

    Yup… ALWAYS inspiring and always proud of you!

    Thank for you and your contagious grind and motivation!

  14. 26

    says

    Congrats on completing the marathon. Go you for doing it in the rain and cold!! Totally awesome to me :) Not every race has to be a PR. Sometimes it’s just about the story that surrounds the race and the memories and lessons you keep from it. <3

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