As the time was approaching for the 2011 BMO Vancouver Marathon I kept recalling a part of Dean Karnazes’ book Ultramarathon Man. He was talking about getting some extra miles in by running to races. Considering I had not done a significant amount of mileage in a little while, I wanted to try it out. I knew I could do the mileage and I did not really care about getting a stellar time. Although, I did want to finish in about the same time or faster than my 3:45 Seattle 2010 time. I remembered how I used to want everything to be in order and make sure I got plenty of solid rest the night before a marathon. After the camping I’m now accustomed to before the 50-milers, I chuckled as I put the timing chip on my shoe before going to bed.
The next morning I woke up, smiling and ready to go tackle a marathon (plus). As I was running down to the start line I saw a group of older people with the running bags for the marathon and knew they would be running today. We all ended up waiting on the crosswalk. One lady had a Diez Vista sweatshirt. Diez Vista is a popular 50 km trail run here in Vancouver which I hope to have the opportunity to run next year. I asked her if she ran it this year and she politely told me that the sweatshirt was “very old.” Having noticed my bib on me, the older man, who had to be in his mid-to-late 70’s asked me why I was running to the marathon. I told him that I was training for a big race and just wanted the extra miles. As he found out that I was training for Cascade Crest, he told me that he’d run 5 100-milers, including 2 sub-24 hour Western States finishes. Incredible! It gave me so much hope that this guy is still out running marathons. He wished me the best on a good race today and for the Crest. I continued on my journey to the start probably a little faster than I should have but I was too excited.
The day was about 10 deg F hotter than it had been since the summer, and it was incredibly sunny, also a recent addition. The race was going well until about mile 22 (~27 total for the day). I knew I had not been hydrating as well as I should have because I barely had enough saliva to get the bar I was eating down. My calves began to cramp but I powered through until I was forced to walk. I had been going well with my pace, but saw the 3:30 pace group pass me by. I decided to keep walking because my legs were not relaxing any. As the last hill, at the Burrard bridge came, I told myself that after the crest, I would run as fast as I could to the end. During my way across the bridge the 3:40 pace group passed me. I was determined to finish in less than 3:45 and began to run again. I looked down and was pushing a 7:20 min/mile pace as I rolled in to the last 2 km. When the finish line came in to view I could see that I would definitely finish in less than 3:45 but kept running as fast as I could. I ended up finishing with an official time of 3:42:30. Still not the best, but happy with the overall time of finishing about 49 km in a little over 4:10. The day after the race I went to get the knots worked out in my calves. It was one of the more painful experiences I’ve had in running but it definitely helped me quickly get back and running.
For now, I am all systems go for increasing the training for Cascade Crest with a quick stop at White River.