After running the Leavenworth Half Marathon last October, my best friend Denise and I knew we had to get another race in our schedule or we wouldn’t do one. She suggested the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon this year – we could get a girls weekend away and get another race done so we would be in shape for when summer starts.
Or so we thought.
See, the problem is … Our winter was crap. It was cold, it was super rainy, it was light out for only 8 hours a day. CRAP. Soooo … Neither of us trained. I mean AT ALL. I ran one 8 mile run and one 10 mile run over a month ago and then did the elliptical for 40 minutes the Thursday and Friday before the race AND WAS SORE AFTER THAT. Denise did even better. She ran all of two times since our Leavenworth run.
And here we are … 13.1 miles in front of us … what are we going to do? Have an awesome Italian meal and a couple of cocktails the night before of course! Then the stupid ego set in … we came up here for the race, we should go at least.
So we roll out of bed at 5:20am so we could get showers and coffee and make our way to the race start. We pull ourselves together and go to the Starbucks on the corner to make sure we get our caffeine fix – neither Denise or I can function without a cup of coffee in us. Annnnnd … they were closed. In fact, ALL the coffee shops were closed. I am sorry, BUT D$!#$N CANADIANS! (I can say that because March, Denise’s husband, is Canadian, lol) Seriously though – it was after 6am and nothing was open. WTH?
We make our way through the metro stations up to Queen Elizabeth park talking about what we were going to do. Should we stop on the street during the race if we see a Starbucks, get our coffee, then walk and drink it? Ohhh it was tempting. We didn’t care about the time we finished, so, if we got desperate, it was an option.
When we got to the race start, we had to find the right corral … couldn’t be too close to the starting line since we had NO idea how we were going to do. We settled in after two huge porta potty areas and right in front of the 2:30 pink pacer bunny. Uh yes, there was a man running with pink bunny ears and a sign that said 2:30 to help people keep that pace.
Since we didn’t care what our finishing time was, we decided that it would be really funny to take our picture at every mile marker. Little did we know then what a life saver that would end up being for us. It ended up breaking up the half into one mile increments … for the first 6-7 miles or so, we would run about a half mile, start to get a little tired and see where we were and say, “Eh, it is only another half mile until we can take a break” and we would keep running. From mile 7-8 through 10, that dropped to getting tired after a quarter of a mile, haha. There were two nasty hills that we ended up walking and then after mile 10 or so, we walked a quarter mile, ran a quarter mile for the next mile or so.
Then that stupid pink bunny caught up to us. I saw him coming up from behind and grabbed Denise’s arm and said, “WE ARE NOT GETTING BEAT BY A PINK BUNNY” So we ended up running more with fewer breaks.
Our official ending time was 2:26 – and that included stopping every mile to take a photo and walking probably about a mile and a half in there. NOT TOO BAD for a couple of girls who did basically nothing to prepare for it and then didn’t have any coffee! And the course was absolutely breathtaking. I would run this again in a heartbeat … but ideally after I trained more.
Needless to say, the rest of Sunday and all of today neither Denise or I could move without crying out in pain. I don’t think I have ever been this sore. But we did it. I can’t believe we did it.
Here are all the photos that I took – I put them to black and white because it is a little more forgiving. We looked like crap and then there was the issue of sweaty, shaking hands trying to take a photo. But we did it!