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Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon

27 June, 2010

Having arrived at the start line with what I thought was plenty of time, I proceeded to choose the worst possible portapotty line. It used to be that the farther from the starting corral, the less time you have to wait in line. Unfortunately, everybody else is now doing the same thing, though this was impossible to discern due to the higgledy-piggledy nature of lines.

So, I came very close to repeating Victoria’s half last year where I was actually on the throne when I heard the gun go off. Fortunately, with just four minutes to go I pleaded my case with the handful of runners in front of me (explaining why I wanted to be near the front of the race), and they were extremely understanding and let me go ahead. It’s wonderful when random strangers in a crowd can be so good-natured.

Business done (another PB), I had to pretty well sprint to the start line and got there with enough time to retie one shoelace. Nearly perfect. At least they couldn’t both come undone!

I hadn’t had any time to scope out the competition, but within a few hundred metres I’d recognized a few familiar friendly/rival faces, and I could tell without even looking at my watch that there were several of us biting off more than we could chew. Did my rather hasty pre-race schedule add to the tension? Perhaps, but after going through the first km in 3:36, I made the decision to settle down and ignore the rabbits.

I think my splits below tell the story as well or better than I can. It may or may not have been raining, I can’t be sure. Lots of people came out to watch, their support was great, and my last 1.1km was just about as fast as my first, so it wasn’t as bad as might have been predicted at 7:03:36AM this morning. I stopped once for gatorade, about half way through. As you can see, I did slow down in places, and after I had caught the early rabbits, there was a long stretch in front of me with only two or three runners on my tail. There was a slight headwind and they didn’t seem prepared to share the work of cutting through it. When I slowed down, they slowed down — I was apparently their reference point.

Looking that far ahead, with really no-one in sight, I began to imagine myself as one of the ancient polynesian wayfarers whose lives Wade Davis has so compellingly elucidated. Maybe it’s just because I was staying on a boat recently, but it seems to me that the hunter visualizing/channeling/seeing through the eyes of his prey has a great deal in common with the ancient wayfarer, pulling islands out of the sea with his mind and finely-tuned, inner dial.

That kind of technique, I imagine, must take years to master as I didn’t pull too many island-runners out of the sea of the road! But I did decide to lose my tail before getting on Burrard Bridge. Why should I do ‘all’ the work? Annoyingly, another person who I hadn’t seen until then overtook and outran me about one kilometre from the end. But, my last click wasn’t too shoddy and I hit my publicly-stated goal of 80 minutes, if not my secret goal of 6:00/mile pace all the way. I still think I can do the latter with perhaps a bit more endurance-oriented training.

Did my racing season officially end already? If not this is it. My left hip complained at times, and the hotspot on my left calf was starting to tighten a little on the bridge. It could be something to do with wearing flats (Mizuno Musha) over a longer distance than I’m used to, but I’m thinking that this is  the end of the catabolic stage of the first season of the year. The speedwork may have helped to cover some of my bases, injury-wise, but on balance I could probably use a few sessions in the gym working on basic non-specific strength. After a week or two of easiness, that is!

3:36, 3:54, (3:45, 3:44), (3:43, 3:43), (3:48, 3:48), (3:35, 3:36), (3:43, 3:43), (3:53, 3:53), 3:48, 3:47, (3:54, 3:55), (3:49, 3:49), 3:52(1.1km).
Splits in parentheses are averages over 2km.

New 21.1k PB: 1:19:27.

Yesterday: 6k.

This week:  51km.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ray permalink
    27 June, 2010 8:25 pm

    That’s an awesome time and a lot of hard working paying off right there. Excellent!

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  1. A Collection of Race Reports from the Past Few Weeks : Trainharder.com

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