May 4, 2009

Vancouver Half Marathon 2009

I went into this race with no high expectations or goals - mostly I expected it to be like a hard training day vs an all out race day. I have been doing base work ever since I had my VO2 max tested and only got in a few days of any sort of tempo or speed work. Also to be honest I really did not want to dumb to much energy since I'm not really getting a recovery afterwards. Saying that I went in with the goal of something at or around 1:50 - if I was having a good day maybe lower but was not really worried about it. My coach Kainoa specifically told me to "to run hard but not stress about your time." So I had some heart rates to kind of stay near and that sort of thing but overall a rather loose race plan.
We spent Saturday driving up to Vancouver, BC, going to expo, and trying to get hydrated. We brought our single speeds to ride around town - I can officially say I don't like riding my bike with lots of city traffic esp trying to fallow Kyle.. The highlight of the day really was getting a super yummy strawberry crepe after watching the sounders Game on wifi at a Starbucks. It was a huge shock but the Sheraton did not have wifi - what kind of hotels doesn't have wifi these days..

The biggest question was the weather - we went to bed on Saturday to pouring rain and wind but the weather report said no rain on race morning so I decided to wear my tri shorts and tri top with arm warmers incase it was cool.

Luckily when we woke up it was dry and the sun was trying to come out - Kyle and I prepped everything, went to the bathroom a million times, took some salt and sportlegs and then ran down to the start getting in a nice warm up in. I wore my jacket and a pair of capris over and by the time we got to the bag check I was roasting.

I got to quickly meet another blogger Jill Cosantino and her Mom at bag check. Jill was running the full with the goal of qualifying for Boston and her Mom ran the half - how cool is that :)

Kyle and I headed to the start, I ate the first of 4 gels. I realized I had left my ipod shuffle either at the hotel or in my gear bag - after I had spent the night before choosing music :( oh well I have run a lot of races with out no big deal. The race started and Kyle pulled quickly away. I ducked and weaved through the crowed and just went with the flow really. As planned I did not really push it to hard just tried to settle into a good rhythm. It was a lot warmer than I expected so the arm warmers were off with in almost the 1st mile and by the 2nd water station I was dumping water on my head.

The first couple of miles just cruised by although I gave up on keeping my heart rate down - maybe it was that I felt hot but I was averaging 180ish vs the planned 170 bpm range. Oh well I did not stress about it or anything. I kept drinking and ate a gel on schedule at mile 4, 7, and 10. Around mile 6 I realized I probably should have brought some salt caps with me but oh well. I felt a little bit rough around the edges but nothing to bad.

I always forget that the course is not totally flat with just one hill - there are couple of rollers through out. I just kept going. On the big up hill though Stanely park - I let my self relax and recover and just ran it nice and easy so at least my heart rate stayed in the same 180 range vs going to the 190s. Of course my pace slowed but nothing to drastic. I passed a lot of people having to walk or just killing themselves on the hill which is always interesting.

When I race I only look at the distance overall, the last mile time and my hear rate so at the top of the hill I checked my overall time and it was on pace for 1:50ish if I maintained. So I enjoyed the downhill and picked up the pace a bit but not to much and just let my legs loosen up a bit.

The last 3 miles always feel like they take forever and this year there was no steal drums on the last little hill which was a bummer - I always loved that part. At least the last mile or two there are a lot of crowds cheering people on. Kainoa had told me to try and pick up the pace the last couple of miles so I focused on increasing my cadence and that sort of thing. I saw Kyle on the side in the finish shoot cheering me on and just cruised into the finish. I didn't really have a kick even though I felt fine - guess I just didn't feel like I needed to or something.

Overall place 1064
Gun time 1:50:56
Chip time 1:50:45
Data from my garmin

Afterwards Kyle met me in the finish area and we walked through, got my medal, grabbed a space blanket, some gatorade, some oranges, got our picture taken. We saw a couple of people from the team and got updates on the people running the full marathon. As we walked into the expo area we bumped into Deirdre H and heard about the pancakes she had for breakfast - made me crave pancakes the rest of the day.

We made our way back to the hotel with a slight detour at Starbucks for a recovery snack/drink. We had planned on going back out on the course to cheer people on but once we got back to the hotel we both crashed. It was hard enough to find energy to pack up and check out by noon and tackle the drive home.

Overall I'm content with my race - it was right on track and a good training run. Really it was a good kick off to my final build for Hawaii 70.3 in less than a month.


D said...

Nice to meet you! Sorry to tell you about my pancakes and make you crave them. If it makes you feel any better, I gained 5lbs that day and you looked great! :)

NW Firefly said...

Congratulations! Even with a loose plan you did great! As always, I am so proud of you.

Jill Costantino said...

Congrats on a great race and it was soooo fantastice meeting you and Kyle. Hope to see you again soon.

snowygrl said...

Thanks for the congrats - It was a fun race :)

Charisa said...

Nice race!! Good luck at Honu!!