The Scotia-bank Half is by far one of the most anticipated half marathons I have wanted to participate in the past two years. There are few reasons. First, I did my first ever half marathon at this event in 2011. Second, I really enjoyed that first time experience and the course and the entire event is just amazing. Third, I missed both 2012 and 2013 events while I was doing medical mission work aboard in Asia. So, with all these reasons, I really looked forward to partaking this year’s event.
After completing the Vancouver BMO Full Marathon in May, I was extremely thrilled with my results but my body took too much beating and punishment from all the pounding. I wound up a semi wonky left foot that would act up in different areas each day. I was out of training for almost three weeks. As a result of that, I was left with only three weeks of good training, realistically. I was back in a nice rhythm until my little guy caught some serious nasty virus from day care that later wiped out the entire family for more than a month or so. So, my training again was completely halted. It was such a nasty bug that left me with fever, chills, pus coming out from eyes, coughs, and other cold symptoms. Everyday, I thought about pulling the plug. I thought I would get well but I never really did. Even to this day as I am writing this post, my sore throat hasn’t completely subsided. Yeah…it’s been almost 2 months.
I’d feel really pissed if I were to miss this event third year in a row. There is also a possibility that I won’t be able to run it next year because God knows what would happen to my body after running the Boston Marathon. So with all these in mind, I persevered.
As usual I got up at 4ish about 3 hours prior to race time for my morning routine (reading, breakfast, bathroom, stretching, and bathroom again…). The weather was perfect. It was about 12-15 oC with clear skies and less than 5km/h of wind. My body, on the other hand, wasn’t feeling so great. I decided to dig out a jacket to keep myself warm before the race. Throughout the past winter, I had trained so well to endure the cold and began enjoy running anywhere from zero to about 5oC in sleeveless with a pair of arm warmers and shorts. Man…I was totally under the weather.
On my way to UBC, I saw another female participant (Jen Moroz) on the 530am bus. She turned out to be a Point Grey Club runner and also an elite athlete. And later I found out, she happened to finish about a minute or so ahead of me that day.
To my surprise, the start line was relocated from the main road at Thunderbird Stadium on Wesbrook from 2011 to the inner street. The course certainly felt a little different compared to the first time I ran it two years ago. I must say the changes were better. There were fewer twists and turns running on the campus. This certainly made the first few Ks a lot more “straight forward” and quicker.
After a good 20min walk from the bus loop, I got to the start line at about 6:15am, I realized I was there quite early as event organizers just began to set up around the starting areas. Volunteers were getting ready for the water/gatorade station and bag-check areas. Once I got my bag checked, I went out for my warm up routine.
At this point, I was still feeling cold and chills. Every second, in my mind, I wanted to go home. The 20min warm up routine was tough to complete. I was checking my watch hoping the run would finish sooner. I wasn’t sure how I could run another 21.1K in the next 30mins or so. I guess I’d complete it no matter what. At the least, I’d get the finisher medal and hit the finish line with no regrets.
Coach D and I knew that I wouldn’t be running a PB today. First, my body was recovering from the full marathon. Second, I was ill. The best advice Coach D told me was not to look at my watch and just run with a group going at a decent pace.
I tossed my jacket to the sideline at about 10mins prior to the gun went off. My head was spinning a little bit and I didn’t realize how much I have sweated beneath that thick wind-breaker. I was pasty. Immediately in front of me was the elite pack, I quickly spotted some familiar faces. Ah…it was great to see Lanni Marchant in the crowd. Another person I saw was Courtney Powell. She would be a great pacer for me as I had run few times “with” her in previous races. Frankly, I do not know her personally. And so I did, I stuck with her from the start and all the way to the finish. Throughout the race, I just fixated on a few runners and never really focused on my Garmin. My pace was all over the place. It was terrible.
At the end, Courtney beat me by less than 30s or so. I ran a chip time at 1:24:59. I was happy with my result considering the circumstance. Also, Coach D won the race at a lightning time of 1:03:51. It was great to see him coming back strong and healthy!
Thanks for reading my post! My next race will be the Canada Rock 5K at White Rock in about 10 days time.