Vancouver Marathon Race Report
This was my first marathon, and it was quite a nice sunny day for it.
Breakfast consisted of 6 shots of espresso from a moka pot with whipping cream and a smoothie consisting of banana, yogurt, protein powder and blueberries. I also consumed a couple of glasses of water and a couple of salt pills.
I got to the start area about 30 minutes before start time, checked my bag and headed to my coral.
The first eight kilometre were fairly easy, with a general downhill slope and my muscles loosening up. After the eight km mark, there was the steepest, longest hill on the course heading up Camosun. I slowed right down on this, but maybe not enough, as my heart rate climbed a little too high. At the top of the hill I took in my first nutrition, a Coconut Cream Larabar. After the hill, heading around UBC, I was still feeling pretty good. Headed down Northwest Marine Drive,keeping a good pace but not running too fast, as I didn't want to burn out my quads. I also ate my second Larabar at this point. Running along Spanigh Banks to Locarno saw me pass the halfway point of the race, sending me into new racing territory. The stretch along W 4th, from NW Marine Drive to Alma, was my least favourite part of the course. The road was fully exposed to the sun, and there were lots of cars driving along the street, causing me to eat exhaust. After turning off 4th onto Alma, I think I was getting either getting a bit dehydrated, or an error in fueling was getting to me. I had a little bit of nausea setting in, so I backed off my pace for a little bit and sipped water from the next few aid stations, as well as pouring some water on my head.
Once the route headed off of Cornwall and onto Arbutus, I started feeling better and I was able to bring my heartrate up a little bit. Up and over the Burrard Street Bridge, which was about as enjoyable as the stretch along W 4th, so not very. After the bridge was my favourite part of the course. Down Pacific and then over to the Seawall. As I entered Stanley Park, I downed a double latte PowerBar Gel, which had a bit of caffeine in it to help me push to the end. Running the Seawall was great. I think it helps that this is my back yard, so the route was incredibly familiar to me. There was plenty of shade and a nice breeze. As each kilometre marker passed I was able to count down. I had pleny of energy and resolve for the last ten km, keeping a steady pace and not having to walk at all, apart from through the water stations. Out of the park and up Pender toward the finish, completing my first ever marathon.
Looking at my timing from the race results page, my pace dropped a bit as the race went on, but nothing too dramatic. Also, my place overall climbed throughout the race.
I would say that, overall, my training program for this event was succesful. Personal issues in the past few weeks caused me to miss a few training runs, but the base I had built up before that helped me push through on race day. Up until about a month before the race I had been eating a pretty strict ketogenic diet, but these same personal issues (a death in the family) lead to me dropping the keto for about a week, which lead to me not being able to readdapt before the race, so I was eating a lot of carbs. I'm still interested in trying to run long distances in a ketogenic state in the future.
Up next, in two weeks I start training for the Squamish Triathlon as part of a relay team. I'll be tackling the 10k running portion. After that, I think I might head back to the trails in the fall and maybe train for a 50k trail race in the spring.
I'm happy to say that I completed a marathon, and I didn't hate it.