by Cristina

Half Marathon Race Day: “Toenails Are For Sissies”

May 2, 2011

Well I should start off by saying that although I didn’t lose a toenail today at my BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, I did gain what looks like an extra toe but actually it’s just a massive blister on my pinky toe. Other then that my race was pretty darn smooth and enjoyable save for the last mile where I gunned it despite badly, badly wanting to stop and walk it. The weather was gorgeous today and the scenery was magnificent. I definitely want to do this again next year. I’ll do the Half Marathon again but not so sure about the full one for next year. I looked at the BMO Vancouver Marathon Course today and those runners are badass. That distance is just sick. But I wont say never because this time last year I thought a 10km race was ambitious for me and here I am with Half Marathon Medal hanging around my neck. 

My time was under 3 hours and I’m pretty happy with that considering my goal was just to finish it and I didn’t really have a specific time goal. I ran the entire Prospect Point hill without stopping and did some 10/1 intervals but also had to stop at one point to line up for a pit stop which put me a bit behind. When I reached for my GU Chomps at the last half of the race for that extra push of energy I discovered they were missing from my pouch from when I last opened it up to switch my playlist so I had to make due without it for those last painful 3 miles. I always say the first 3 miles of my runs are the hardest but in this case I must say it was most definitely that last mile. That last mile I was pushing myself to keep a running pace despite having leg cramps, fatigue and the feeling of lactic acid burn creeping into my outer thighs and the only thing that kept me going was the desire to cross the finish line running, and also the spectators that were cheering so enthusiastically letting me know I was almost home and that the finish was just ahead. I was slightly dubious of anyones estimations of ‘Your almost there‘ though because at the beginning of the race at around Princess Avenue (mile 2) there was a sign held up that said “You’re almost there (well..sort of)” bahaha, thanks!!! And there were a few more like that throughout the race. 

When I rounded the corner at Spanish Banks around mile 10, my phone rang. It was my dad asking me 

Are you finished yet? where are you??”. Leave it to good ol’ dad. When I did my 10 mile long run a few weeks ago my dad reminded me that the race was still 30% more then what I just did. Ha!! I was sure proud to show him my new medal today. I think he was pretty proud of me too.  I crossed the finish line and saw my husband and kids cheering for me as well as my mother  in law, father in law and sister in law and dad. It was so awesome to see family after such a long run and I was so glad they came out to cheer me on and catch some pictures for me (although I look like death in every one of them).  It was pretty special for me to have my daughters watch me run today after having to put up with all of my training runs. 

Someone posted this great video on Youtube a few minutes ago. So glad they posted this. 

Lined up at the Corral at 6:30am counting all the lulu in the crowd and freezing my hands and ass off. I wore a cheap and pilly cotton long sleeve from the gap and threw it off and into a garbage bin after the first mile. 

It started to warm up right before the start.

Two lulu outfits in this picture. I felt bad taking sneaky pictures on my iphone but this one I had to catch because she was wearing the Mind Over Matter Pullover. I wonder what she did with it when it warmed up. I was keeping a lookout throughout my run for abandoned Lululemon Pullovers on the side of the road. 

I tried to stick close to this gentleman in the scrubs in case I should need his help later but the bugger was too fast and he lost me pretty quickly. 

20 Kilometre mark for the marathoners intercepted the half marathon around 6-7 miles. This sign confused me momentarily. Did I lose my GU around here? Did I take a wrong turn? no. I wont lie, at this point I wondered how easy it would be to just deek thru the park instead of going all the way around.  Who would notice? um…all the other runners would notice dummy. 

Hubs remembered to bring my Flip-Flops which I was in dire need of and my Rubber Ducky Scuba Hoodie. I got my large Starbucks drink while I waited outside and took a breather from walking to the car. It was such cruel and unusual punishment to have to walk to the car. I was so grateful to have an entire ice cold Brita pitcher to myself in the fridge waiting for me when I got home. 

I had to crop my face out of this photo because I looked horrible and had salt dust all over my face which I noticed after taking the picture. Grossness! Also, my lips are the most chapped they have ever been. Next time, remember chapstick. I wore my Surge Blue Cool Racerback Tank which was good because the red ribbon looks great with it. But like my husband said (after I tried to explain to him last night why it mattered what I was wearing) it was so hard to find me in the crowd because so many women were wearing blue tops and all the BMO Vancouver Marathon Volunteers were wearing blue. And he’s shade blind so he really can’t tell the difference between greens purples and blues when there all jumbled together. 

Coquitlam Lulu Educators

These are the Coquitlam Lulu Educators cheering on one of their own that was running the Full Marathon today. Carolyn has been kind enough to offer me great tips and encouragement throughout my training on my stop ins at lulu since I haven’t been able to join their running group. I hope she had a great run today!

Mariah on the far right completed her Half Marathon today and went over to support the Marathoners. 

Lululemon educators cheering at Burarrd and Cornwall

Chip and his sons at Cornwall Avenue by the Burrard Bridge. 

Inspirational signs for the Marathoners courtesy of Lulu at Burrard and Cornwall. 

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