It is now done the #RunIntoMadness is complete I have finished the Marathon I set out to complete and discovered a few things along the way. First the promo bit, I am raising money for #CanPraxis a group that supports Canadian Vets suffering from PTSD. Please got to http://TheFitYou.ca/donate to support this cause I am still looking to raise funds until May 9, 2016.
So what did I learn along the way of accomplishing this goal? Well for starters running a Marathon is hard and when you complete it you are a pretty big mess of emotions especially if there were any issues along the way to completion of the final run.
I started this quest about a year ago when I was already signed up to do a half-marathon and there was a special price to registered for the #BMOMarathon it was only $75 to register for a race that normally cost $150 so I signed up thinking if all else failed I could drop to the half.
I completed my half-marathon at the Goodlife Victoria Race in 2015 and the prep for the half did not seem so bad I felt I would have no issues with the full marathon in May of 2016. Little did I know what I was fully getting into? It seems doing a Marathon is not just a doubling of the distance you are going to run but a tripling of your time commitment to run and well as trying to mentally prepare for the distance you have to go when 21.1k was your top distance.
I began my training 17 weeks ago following a plan I had obtained from RunKeeper the program I use for tracking all my runs and the first 10 weeks went pretty well but as life tends to happen to everyone and as it happened to me, it became harder and harder to keep on track for the training. I did manage to keep it up and only skipped a handful of my training runs. I did do all my long runs knowing that this was a major key in the training program.
I worked diligently to insure I did not injure myself along the way and had thought I had done well up until 2 weeks before the Marathon when out of nowhere my right knee started to hurt so bad I could barely climb up or down stairs. After some research I felt pretty confident I simply had a bad IT Band. Since I was heading into taper time anyway I eased back on the training and trusteed that all the other work would carry me though.
And it seemed to be all good on the last run I had to do I performed extremely well. But to think on it now I probably overdid it and may have set myself up for what happened on the Marathon route.
So What Goes Though My Head on Race Day?
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I am here; it’s race day, am I ready? Sure I am ready I have just spent 17 weeks preparing for this everything has improved from my general wellness to my speed at running.
OMFG I am not ready for this what the fuck am I doing I need to back out now!….No, too late people are counting on you to complete this they have already donated to your cause they are counting on you.
They will be fine they will understand.
No I cannot just quit.
Ok time to head out to the start line.. Make sure to get a picture or two done so you know what you looked like before starting.
Ok you’re really early make sure you pee and have a drink.
OK your still early pee again.
Almost time to start about 10min away do I need to pee again? Nahhh I am fine…
Here we go the race has started, people are moving now (I think I should have peed again)
Don’t start too fast you have a long way to go slow down and conserve your fuel.
It is so warm out already at 13deg cel, this is so much hotter than any training day I ever did, I need to keep properly hydrated throughout the race.
Wow there is allot of people here find a line and just run it some will pass you, you will pass some.
KM 9 coming up and I see a sign about King and Queen of the hill and it looks like a race within the race, I soon discover why. It seems we are about to climb a hill that goes from 18m to 82m over the length of 1km. I pass a number of people along this hill climb and just move at a steady pace but wow it put a dent into me.
I think I need to pee.
14k marker coming up wow what happened those went by pretty decently I am still feeling pretty good but it is getting hot must be about 16 or 17 now and this road is pretty warm and there is so little shade and no wind, wait there is a breeze OMFG that feels sooooo good.
OK now I have to pee I should have peed one last time before race started. I check the toilets along the way I had thought about stopping a couple times before but the lines where always 5 people deep.
KM17 ok I have to pee next toilet is a must stop, get there line seems on only 2 people in front of me 3 toilets should be good… Nope only one seems to be emptying out quickly the other 2 must have some folks in serious distress. Almost 5min wasted at the toilet stop, not that that would make a whole lot of difference in my record breaking time.
Back on the road and feeling better and back on pace again I keep checking in and I am looking like I might actually make 4:50 to 5 hrs
Now to deal with the heat by running as much shade as I can find, The trip though UBC was so beautiful check out the videos.
At about KM19 we start dropping back to the water as we begin the 10k slog towards the Burrard Bridge. The drop out of UBC area provided some amazing views and the downward run helped make up for that bastard of a hill at 10k.
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24k now gone more than halfway there and all of a sudden my right knee has a twinge I have a minor panic attack, nahh its ok and keep going then as I see the 25k sign coming up I get pain in my knee and I have been in the sun for the past 5k with almost no shade along this waterfront and it is starting to hurt. I slow down.
The pain eases up and I think ok just go slower and at the 26k mark the pain is so bad I am forced to walk up a hill, I am feeling a bit crushed at having to walk at all as my main goal was to run the whole thing. I walk for about 3min and then start running again and all seems ok as long as I don’t push it I am still doing well but am slower, at about km27 I see the 5hr pace bunny run by me and I listen to my timer go off in my ears and do the math it seems he is faster that his time says so I ignore him, I think I am still good.
Well as it turns out I was wrong at about the 28k mark the 5:15 pace bunny goes by with her big group and I keep them paced for about 5min then let them fade as the pain comes back and I realize I am not going to make this before 5:30 and I readjust my thought process to accept this and just look forward to finishing.
KM29 rears its head as I turn the corner to cross the Burrard St Bridge, I am walking as I come up to it but I am determined to run all the way across it no matter the pain plus I know Skye will have fresh bottles of hydration liquid on the other side and it will only be 12k to the finish time at this point is 3:33:13, and I think 12k I can do that in an hour and a half right?
Well the worst was yet to come the next 12k would be a brutal effort of walking and running and staving off the pain in my right knee to push through what is the worst pain in my life to date. I did manage to take in some of the sights along the way as this final 12k takes you along the seawall on the outer edge of Stanly Park in Vancouver.
The first 6k of this is all in the sun and at this point I think the temp had risen to about 20deg very hot when you are used to all training at a max of about 12deg
The last 6km had allot of shade so that was nice, the pain was still there and at this point I was only about to run about 1/3 to ½ km at a time I was basically walking as fast as I could muster for about 5 to 7min and then running until I couldn’t tolerate the pain anymore.
Somewhere at about the 40k mark I realized I was no longer listening to music anymore and I was stuck in my own head with no distractions and it was a very weird experience it seems I had run out of music I remember I had setup about 5.5 hrs of music and I had gone through my entire play list.
As I saw the last turn to the final 1km leading to the finish line. I walked first 300meter until I saw the 700m to finish and I started running and was determined to run in the last bit no matter the pain.
As I was crossing the finish line I could see that the clock was at 5:45:30 and all I could think about was I have completed a Marathon and the pain in my knee was killing me but I could not stop running until I had crossed that mat.
As the guy was placing a medal over my head I almost completely broke down into tears I began to start walking towards the back and I was suddenly famished and someone offered me a banana and god was it good I have never eaten a banana so fast, then some apple juice wow was it good I could not hear anything else I was so focused on those two things. Someone wanted to get a photo.
Then all of a sudden I heard my name it seems Skye had been hollering at me from the other side of the fence, I was pretty delirious and sort of wandering between the feeling of completion and utter and complete breakdown and just wanting to sit in a puddle and cry. Of course I knew there was to be beer and food in short order.
So what did learn from preparing for a Marathon and what secrets does this give you about Running, Life, the Universe and everything. The biggest one is that no matter how much you prepare you may still get hit with a big curveball that will try and sideline you but you need to push through to get to the other side and on that other side there will be good things waiting. The pain will eventually subside and you will be able to move again. After completing this I do feel like I can complete anything now.
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