BMO Vancouver Marathon Recap

Welp, I am officially a marathoner!!!

Seriously, unbelievable.

Let’s start off with the day before:

I went for breaky with my brother and his girlfriend.

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I hit up the expo to get my race gear and took a pic of the route.

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Shortly afterwards I went to a Whitecaps FC game… way to rest up before the big day right?

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I also carb loaded at the game.. this counts right?

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Delicious.

***********

Day Of:

Let’s start off by saying it was cold, wet, and absolutely miserable.

The race started at 830am so I woke up at 5 to have lots of time and be stress free.

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I had a really good sleep actually which was surprising.

While I was sipping my coffee and munching on peanut butter toast with banana I was shaking… shaking, I was so nervous. 

I taped up my knee too! KT Tape, I love you so much.

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But once I hit the race start line and met up with some friends who were also running, I was oddly cool, calm, and collected. It was weird. I wasn’t nervous at all. I was enjoying the music and the crowd’s energy.

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I didn’t really have a “race plan” like so many runners, I just knew I wanted to go slow. And I did just that!

Now for that RUN:

To be perfectly honest, I had SUCH a good run yesterday. It’s a little bit crazy because I was a) concerned about my knee and b) having stomach issues.

NONE of which happened! Quite incredible and oh so lucky.

The first 6 miles I was feeling GOOD, really good. Being calm helped a lot and I wasn’t focused on how far I had to go, but rather just enjoying the moment, the people, the FUN of the race and the experience. I realized that in order to finish this bad boy, I needed to let go of the distance and just run. Run for my love of running, my family, supporters, friends, and really just enjoy every single moment.

I started snacking on a cliff bar that I had within the first 40min, I was listening to music and was loving it! Really. I caught myself looking around and smiling quite a few times. I also stopped to use the washroom within the first 2 miles. I was going slow (10:30/mile) because the first hill was early on as well.

I walked the hill. It’s not necessarily that I couldn’t run it, but I knew that if I wanted to have energy left for the last 6 miles of the race, I needed to save as much energy as possible! No thank you to all that lactic acid building up! There have been times where I was a big ol’ keener in the beginning of the race and it ended up being the downfall of my race. That was NOT going to happen to me during a marathon. 26.2 miles in no joke.

I didn’t bring any water with me but I stopped at every single water station.. walked through them, had a few sips of water and carried on.

We made our way around UBC and I was getting close to the halfway mark. Still, feeling good but the obvious was starting to happen. My legs were starting to feel it and oddly enough it was the downhills that were getting to me.. oy vey. It’s hard to describe but it’s an constant ache in your legs. Beside the aches and pains, I was still feeling good.

I was anticipating to hit the “runners wall” but I didn’t! Nor did I ever have extremely negative thoughts telling me I couldn’t finish this race. I knew around 13 miles that “I’ve got this.”

I remember getting to the halfway mark and thought to myself, “Already?! Holy smokes that happened fast.” I was sitting pretty with  2:07  at the 13 mile mark.

You know I’ve said before that your perception of distance changes when you run a half marathon? Well, that same thing happens with a marathon. 13 miles didn’t seem THAT FAR.

I could constantly see the 4:30 pace bunny and at first I wouldn’t let him out of my sight, or a lot of the time he was right behind or super close to me. After a few more pit stops at water stations and another walk up a hill he was out of my sight (in front of me). I didn’t let it bother me, it was my race and I could’ve finished with a 7hr run and still be happy.

Anyways, close to 30km I saw a friend who’s knee completely gave up on her so I had a walk and a quick chat with her before continuing on. It’s funny but in any other race before I wouldn’t be caught dead walking because I had this fear of being disappointed in my time. I let go of that fear, welcomed little walking breaks if I needed them, and just enjoyed the moment – something that I didn’t think I could get over.

It’s all a mind game and I honestly can say that my mind was in the right place the entire day.

Cliff bar was eaten at this point and I was soaked. Not from sweat (well, that too) but also from the rain. Which I didn’t mind because 26.2 miles in the scotching sun would have been horrific.

I crossed the Burrard St. Bridge and was heading towards Stanley Park for the final 6 miles. I have ran these 6 miles countless times, but let me tell ya… they were tough! I opened up my Honey Stinger chews now and was munching on those. My legs were soooo achy it was crazy, but mentally I was feeling pretty good. I just kept telling myself that I am so close and that I could do this.

I thought about stopping a few times for a little walking break but I didn’t. Boy did I WANT TO, I really wanted to but the thought of starting again deterred me. Running isn’t the hard part in a marathon, it’s stopping and then having to start again.

I also picked a man who was running in front of me to be my pacer. He was a strong runner and I was just following his pace. Pretty much I was just staring at his muscular calves for a solid 4 miles.

I passed him with 2 miles to go. I was tired. Really tired but so happy. There were moments when I had to pull myself together because I was getting so emotional looking down at my watch and seeing just how close I was to finishing.

The homestretch was incredible and its always such an amazing thing because your body HAS power left to go just a little bit faster when you see the crowds and the finish line.

I saw family and friends cheering for me and just started bawling and blowing kisses to them.

Kiss in action right there.

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I crossed the finish line with an official time of 4:35.

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My Garmin says 4:30:50.

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I am so incredibly proud of both of those times. I stopped my Garmin when I stopped to use the bathroom which is probably why there is a difference but I am totally cool with it. Like I said, I would be happy with absolutely ANY time.

And now it’s absolutely surreal that I am a marathoner!

John Stanton (founder of the running room) also gave me my medal which was wonderful too :)

Post race I was shaking and shivering but we headed to brunch right after.

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Feasted and hobbled to where we needed to go. I was ACHING. But so happy.

I also stopped at Starbucks and quickly realized my hair was one big dreadlock. CUTE.

IMG_9731 IMG_9732 I got home around 4:45, quickly showered and met up with friends who ran the half!

Andrea, Nik, and Andy all completed their first half. Such rockstars!

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And obviously we feasted :)

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It was so great to celebrate with everyone, talk about our races, and it was just a wonderful day in general.

*********

How am I feeling today? OH SWEET LAWD. SO sore and so incredibly stiff! I can barely walk. What’s also really interesting is that I can deal with being sore and stiff but my feet HURT. They pretty much have a heartbeat and are hot 24/7.

But that too will pass.

*******************

Now I know I said I wouldn’t run another marathon but I think I may have changed my mind. It was such a great experience, challenging but doable and well, just plain awesome.

We will see!!

Thank you for all of the love and support over the last few months, couldn’t have done it without you!

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About Britta

I'm a 24 year runner & believer of living a simple life, willing to share a little bit of my life with the world. Born in Germany, raised in the interior of British Columbia, and now living in Vancouver, BC. Welcome to my everyday!
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11 Responses to BMO Vancouver Marathon Recap

  1. Amalia says:

    The pint! What a place to celebrate your first Marathon (I’d recognize those boot glasses everywhere). Congratulations Britta!! I am so excited for you – and as much as I HATED the rain, I definitely preferred it over crazy heat!

    • Britta says:

      We were actually at the Local in kits but I guarantee the pint has the same glasses!! thank you Amalia and same to YOU! Amazing race for you!!

  2. Brittany says:

    AHH I’ve been waiting for this!!!! AMAZING RECAP. HOLY SHAAZZ you did so freaking amazing. I SO wish we lived closer because you make me want to run a full, but the thought of training alone is horrific. Your pace was AMAZING, seriously…my goal for a full would be this time. IDEAL! Your mind was SO right and I know that’s why you did so amazing. You deserved ALL THE FOOD.

    • Britta says:

      RUN A FULL! Lets do one together.. maybe next year? Lets pick one is seattle or maybe san fran?! <— ugh, but the hills! It was such a great experience Britt, I still love half marathons (obv) but this was incredible because it is just SO FAR and I never ever thought I would be able to do it. EVER.

      Mind you, I am so excited to just go for a regular run and not a planned mileage one! Thank you for all of your love and support!

  3. BRITTA, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am SO happy for you! I’d be lying if I didn’t say I checked out your progress on their athlete tracker. I was so excited!
    I also love how you approached the race- relaxed, just wanted to finish and enjoy it!
    I bet the worst is trying to sit down on the toilet now! Hopefully in a few days you won’t be sore anymore and the aches will be fading.
    Congratulations again! I am so proud of you!!

    • Britta says:

      Thank you Abby!!! I was actually thinking about you during my race.. mostly “how the eff does Abby run this far and bike AND swim?!” – you are seriously incredible!

      I loved the marathon, it was such a great time :) I honestly am afraid to pee. I have moments when I manage to sit and don’t move because getting up is so painful and hard! I am feeling better than yesterday though.. sore but I can manage to walk somewhat normally! Thank you for being here these last few months – you inspire me so much!

  4. Morgan says:

    So proud of you!! It was so great to see you at the 30km point and I’m so happy to see you finished at 4:30, you go girl!

  5. CONGRATS BEAUTIFUL! Seriously so proud of you and reading this almost made me miss running and the feeling of the accomplishment enough to start again. Who knows–my new rommate did sign up for a half so maybe I’ll get the bug again ;)
    We all told you you could do it and look at you. You KILLED it gorgeous! Feast away <3

    • Britta says:

      THANK YOU!!! It was such a great run, I loved the marathon. It was tough, not gonna lie but incredible! Definitely get back into running… its such a wonderful thing! Thanks for all the love!! xx

  6. Pingback: The Aftermath. | Red Bike in a Grey World

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