This is a continuation of my Seawheeze race weekend post, where I talked about my lead up to the race, plus the Seawheeze expo.
I woke up at 5 am on Saturday (who are we kidding? I also woke up at 2, 3, and 4). I had planned to eat a banana, but the only thing I could handle was a blueberry toaster waffle (my long-time nervous-tummy cure). I watched a bit of Olympics for inspiration, then got dressed and ready for the race.
I wore my lulu free to be bra, water bound singlet (old but I love it), speed shorts, and speed socks. I also put on my trusty Saucony Zealot ISO’s (the only shoe I’ve worn post-fractures). On my right wrist I had my Garmin Vivofit2, and on my left, my Garmin Fenix 2 (not pictured).
Ok. So I don’t get nervous about many things, but multiple choice exams and goal RACES drive me bananas. We left the house around 6.30 and I jogged for a bit and met up with Jan for the walk to the start area. The atmosphere, in hindsight, was really great – there were tons of volunteers, balloons, music and people everywhere. I lined up at the front of the first corral (basically everyone under 1:45) and waited for the race to go off.
Soon enough – BOOM! There were fireworks and cheering and off we went. For the first few k I just went out and tried to run by feel, like everyone had suggested. One thing that struck me at the start line was how warm it was by 7 am – I’m almost never comfortable wearing just a singlet and I was totally fine, temperature-wise.
The course winds through downtown, onto the Dunsmuir viaduct, into east Van, then onto the False Creek seawall. From there it’s an out-and-back up and over the Burrard bridge and down Cornwall, back over the bridge to continue on the seawall around Stanley Park to the finish line. Strava data HERE.
I saw lots of people cheering for me, including Martina and Greg in Olympic Village, Julie on the seawall and Pacific, Dimitri at Cornwall and Burrard, Yasuyo on Cornwall (thanks for volunteering!), and Jan in a bunch of places (start line, Pacific, Burrard bridge, finish).
This was the first race that I have huge gaps in my memory. It took me the first 10k to finally settle down and feel ok, so I was really thinking about my breathing and checking in with myself. I honestly don’t remember a few parts of the course.
There were AWESOME cheering stations (ride cycle club was set up on the Viaduct, and Clearly lenses had a big station on the bridge), which definitely helped. The out and back was tough (looking at the GPS data, it’s probably because I was running under 4:20 per km/6:55 per mi). Around 11k, I saw Jan on the bridge and knew that I needed to get rid of the singlet and this was my one chance. So… yup after all the photo taking and sherpa-ing he already did, he ended up getting my VERY sweaty singlet tossed to him as well.
Finally, FINALLY when the course hit Pacific there was shade and I was starting to feel better. The Stanley Park seawall was lonely cheering-wise (and the race had spread out) but I have run it so many times that I was comfortable.
After the park we came out on the Coal Harbour seawall, right where Jan and I live. I rounded the final corner and saw the finish line and the clock, which said something like 1:34:40. I was very done, but I though HELL NO I did not run this hard to go over 1:35 and so I picked up the pace and crossed the line RIGHT at 1:35.
Luckily, I’d also started a tiny bit back, and so my official time was 1:34:58. I ran the whole thing by feel and didn’t look at my watch once. This is a big (almost 5 minute) PB and I’m so, so happy with it. Based on how good I felt after the race and over the next few days, I know I had more gas in the tank.
Other details: there were several aid stations, and I took a sip of water at 5 or so. I didn’t eat anything, but I was carrying a Gu (flavour: Espresso love, obvi). I did NOT barf at the finish line (another huge win).
After the race, I got a giant medal and a COLD TOWEL (this is genius people). As I continued down the finish chute, I was also handed a cold water bottle, which I immediately poured down the back of my neck, a lulu finisher’s hat, vega samples, saje recovery massage oils, Nuun, and KIND bars. I picked up a brunch package, which was a vegetarian breakfast sandwich, sour cherry tart, and extra cold grapes. I wasn’t hungry for any of that right away, so I saved it and sipped on a vanilla Vega smoothie and more water instead.
Here are the splits – pretty even GAP, except for miles 8, 12, and 13. Seawheeze is not a super competitive race (their focus is making running fun) – the female winner (the very fast Kate) ran 1:21, and I came in as 95th overall and 40th female.
I didn’t get a chance to check out the Sunset festival because a) I was tired and b) I had to go to the hospital for call. I hear it was awesome, though!
So – a great day and a shiny new PB in the books! Couldn’t ask for more :)
AND – thanks to the lovely Jessica, there’s a little bit of a Seawheeze link up happening! PR’s everywhereeeee
Angela (So much deliciousness on her blog)
Christina (training for an ultra!!)
Kaella (behind the new-to-me blog Kaella On the Run.. can’t wait to read more!)