The Good Life- Vic Marathon Recap
It’s hard to believe a week has already gone by since the race! It was such a weird feeling in Victoria, that all the hard work over the past few months was culminating. I can’t say enough good things about the organization of this race, everything just went so smoothly. Jason, Alan, Evelyn and I arrived in Vic on Saturday, just in time for the longest bus tour of the course imaginable. This experience was actually pretty traumatizing. It took TWO HOURS to drive the course, and it seemed so twisty and turny and HILLY that I felt carsick. How were we going to run that far?
The next morning, we got to the start in plenty of time to check our bags, grab a coffee, wait in a couple b-room lines, and see the first few finishers of the half. Jason, Ev, and I positioned ourselves in the crowd at the start line somewhere halfwayish between the 3 HOURS and the 4 HOURS signs, and spotted fellow clinic members Krista and Travis. Before leaving the hotel I had written ‘easy, light, smooth, fast’, a mantra from Born to Run, on my forearm, and ‘BELIEVE! ACHIEVE!’ on my sneaks, and tried to keep these things in mind as we waited for the gun to go off.
I think the first half of the race was one of the only times I have experienced a true ‘runners high’! It felt so great! I kept thinking, ‘Ooooh, this is what being tapered feels like!’ We had planned one minute walk breaks at each of the water stations, but when we approached the first one, we just sailed through. We hit the 10km mark at 51 minutes. Somewhere around 13 or 14 km, I spotted an older woman holding a sign that said, “YOU ARE DOING IT.” I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, WE ARE!’ I was so proud of us! We didn’t talk at all except to keep our pace in check and pull ourselves back when we approached 4:45/km pace (?!). We kept our average pace steady at 5:07/km all the way to the half, where we all PB’d! As we approached the turnaround point, it was so motivating to see some familiar faces, everyone looked so strong!
I ended up being thankful we did the bus tour, mostly so I could remind myself that the hills weren’t soooo bad. It truly felt like we were always going up or going down. It amazed me that there was no point were I felt like my pace was slipping a little, or that it was starting to get a little harder- no transition period, just all of sudden, it got SO HARD. Around 32km, I noticed Ev and Jason were a wee bit ahead (“how did that happen?” i thought). I suddenly i felt like my legs weighed a hundred pounds each, and it took all my strength just to keep shuffling a long. Wait a sec… wasn’t this just feeling really good? What the heck is happening? I kept thinking, ‘is this the wall? am i hitting the wall?’ I felt like i might be sick, and so light headed, and kept trying to do the math in my head of how slow i could let myself get and still keep a 5:14/km pace and hit 3:40, but I wasn’t thinking straight at all. I still had one gel left, and tried to take it around 37km, but decided I couldn’t choke it down and tossed it- stupidest move ever! I remember thinking, this is actually the worst i’ve ever felt in my life. Including when I was in the hospital with parvovirus b19 and had to get a spinal tap. It’s amazing that you can come 37km, and then 5km feels insurmountable! I pulled into the second last water station just as Evey and Jason were pulling out, but they were out of reach. I tried to keep Ev and Alyson, who had come back to pace us- after a 1:31 half!- in my sights as they headed up the last hill, and they looked SO strong! Just keep going, I thought. Relentless forward motion. I may have been waddling at this point. There was nothing easy, light, smooth, or fast about I was doing! Going up the last hill, I think my pace was approaching 6min/km. Yikes.
The bus tour guide commented that the last km would feel like the longest of our lives, and he was not kidding. I felt like I was trapped in a maze. Every corner I turned the finish got louder, and I kept expecting to see it, but then there was just another corner! WTF? I felt like the signs telling me how many meters I had left (800 METERS TO GO! 500 METERS TO GO!) were taunting me, I kept thinking about how long it would take to run those distances around the track, and I felt like crying. Actually, I might have been crying.
And then it was over! In 3:45.04. Alan and Dave were the first people I saw at the finish line, and I was SO thrilled when Alan told me he went 3:08! Congrats, friend! I really thought if I didn’t achieve my goal of 3:40 I would be so sad, but I’m actually not choked at all. I couldn’t be more proud of the PB, and couldn’t be more proud of the race we ran, until it turned bad! I’m proud of myself for hanging in even though I felt like passing out, and I know I’ll keep improving. Evelyn and Jason- it was so great to race with you guys, and congrats on the amazing races and PBs!
1. You can never have enough body glide. Really. I couldn’t put on pants on Monday.
2. Electrolytes are really important. I felt SO SO crappy during the last 10km, dizzy and light headed, and I think nutrition has a lot to do with it- gels+water are not enough, and I need to start experimenting with gatorade (or maybe something that tastes better? does anyone else HATE gatorade? any recommendations?)
3. Destination races are awesome. The road trip aspect of the race was so fun! I was nervous about not getting a good sleep in the hotel, and eating at a restaurant the night before, but everything worked out so well.
4. It takes a village to raise a marathoner- how some people train for the whole thing on their own boggles my mind. I know I couldn’t have made it to the start line, let alone the finish, without the support of several people. So… a huge THANK YOU to Dave for all your hard work, encouragement, creative routes and believing that we’re fast. Oh and also for designing the BBP logo! Thanks to all the babes for all the chats over tea, wine, and pavement. Thanks to Ev and Jason for being the most wonderful race buddies I could ask for, and Alyson for coming back to pace us (sorry I wasn’t there?). Thanks to my former running roomie for motivating me to get out of bed on sunday mornings. And also to the family blasting the ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme on their front lawn during the race.
Love this quote: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, I am so happy with how far I’ve come with my running this past year. Last year at this time, I ran the Turkey Trot in 54 min and felt like I was dying! I can honestly say running has become a passion, and I will most certainly try again for 3:40. When we were going to bed at the hotel saturday night, I commented to Ev that I couldn’t believe the race was here, that “it was all over.” Ev reminded me it’s not over, we are MARATHONERS, and have many more to go! Thanks for the “positive affrimation,” friend!
It was so so fun to see everyone finish. A huge congrats to all the broadway runners for amazing races!
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