The First Half Half-Marathon

first half marathon

I came into this half marathon with little to no expectations. With a pretty hefty race schedule on the horizon, I couldn’t really afford a taper. I signed up based on a deal with myself that it was a train-through tempo kinda deal.

When I hit the 10k sign at 39 something, I was a little surprised… and pretty determined to keep on.

The course heads out to the Stanley Park seawall, the site of so many Vancouver races. Not being from Vancouver, you might think the seawall would be the most enchanting place to run in the whole of this great city.

It’s cool the first 800 times. And then it’s a bit like a sitcom: everyone so alone and isolated but sharing in the experience enough to laugh at the same jokes. You can see people – forever. But they look like a line of ants in various neon hues.

There is one part in particular that hurts my soul: that stretch by third beach. I have no idea why. It’s beautiful. It’s a beach for goodness sake. But it killllllllllls me.

I made a deal with myself that I’d run strong through it… but deals are made to be broken as they say. Still, I didn’t slow much… so I guess that’s a win.

I’d seen John and the girls now on course a few times, which kept me clicking on. I was also glad that John worked my calves and quads out the night before and the morning of. They were tired – but they could have been very sore on top of it.

By the time we hit the gravel trail at Lost Lagoon, my legs started protesting. Every step seemed jarring and awkward. My feet seemed unable to anticipate the ground.

The last few miles were just a matter of keeping my legs moving. I focused on a quick arm swing and light feet. Those last few short steep hills were as brutal as I remembered. I slowed dramatically but pushed on at the crests.

Coming around to the finish line, I was bathed by the warmth of familiar voices screaming for me. Best run club ever. Best friends ever.

To make my new 1:25:12 personal best even better, five other girls crushed the course and Dan broke 90 for his first time.

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