Monday, May 6, 2013

Vancouver Half Marathon

The Home Straight
The Vancouver Half Marathon is done and dusted in an official time of 2:06:11.

My initial goal of 2 hours was beyond me.  I don't think I could of ran any harder.  So to get under 2 hours is going to take a lot of hard work.

My next official race is the Scotiabank half-marathon on June 23rd.  48 days to shave off 6 minutes!

While I didn't break 2 hours, I did a number of personal bests along the way:

Fastest Mile: 8:03
Fastest 1K: 5:04
Fastest 5K: 27:08
Fastest 10K: 56:01

Fastest Half Marathon: 2:06:11

It's seems a little odd to be doing personal bests for shorter distances within a half-marathon, but I'll take it.

Lessons Learned
  • Don't use Pace Bunnies
    Pace bunnies are designated runners that will run a race in a given time.  You stick with them, you'll hit the time.  They are suppose to run for 10 minutes, then walk for 1.

    Pace Bunny Number One was useless.  She decided to do the race non-stop.  Someone actually asked her if she was going to walk for a minute. She said no and bolted away.  Heck, it even said on her official race shirt that she would run 10, walk 1.  Ugh.

    I think going in a 10 minute run, 1 minute walk cycle I could have gotten a lot closer to 2 hours.

    Pace Bunny Number Two was better.  He at least did what his shirt said he was going to do.  I followed him for a while.  Unfortunately, he did some damage to one of his quads during the race and his pace fell back.  This stuff happens.

    What did annoy me though was that I asked him if we were on course for a sub 2-hour run about 3K out, and he said yes.  There was no way we were going to cover that last  3K in the time remaining.  Would have been better if he had just told me the truth.

    Next time I am going to tape my GPS unit on my arm, watch my speed carefully and run my own race.
  • Wear a Camelbak
    It was a hot day in Vancouver.  I never really trained in hot weather so I wasn't really used to it and got a little dehydrated during the race.

    My initial plan was to walk through the drink stops, suck in as much liquid as I could, and head on off.

    The drink stops where chaos.  Lots of ducking and weaving to get to the table.  This was nobody's fault, it's just the way these things are.

    Inevitably, I didn't get as much liquid as I wanted.

    One bunch of runners decided to stop moving and form a three-person wide barrier at the end of one of the drinks table.  I crashed into one of them.  I said "What the f*** dude? Keep moving at least".

    Next time I will wear my Camelbak and fill it with my super go-go juice.  I will still walk through the drink stops, but give the tables a wide birth.
  • Tweak the training
    I'm going to do a lot more hill work to build up muscles in my legs.  Previously, I would find a long hill with a gentle slope and just grind my way up.  Now I plan to go as hard as I can up a hill for 5 minutes or so, then a gentle meander back to start before blasting my way up again.

    I also plan to do a lot more work on the local running track with fast-run/slow-run workouts.

    Wouldn't hurt to lose some more weight as well.  I've lost about 8.5 kg this year.  Another 8 or so kg would be good.
I was happy with the 2:06:11. That's the fastest I've ever run.  The sub 2-hour is out there, dangling like a carrot, and I am determined to get it.

Note: I could have shaved another 30 seconds off if I hadn't stop to kiss my beautiful wife Megin and Baby N along the way.  Even if it had meant that I would have came in at 2:00:01. it would have totally been worth it.