RNR Vancouver 2015 Race Recap

RNR Vancouver 2015 Race Recap

Bib pick up:

The bib pick up is pretty easy and very well-organized at all Rock n Roll events, you walk in where you will see all the assigned corrals based on where the participant said they would finish the race in (Example 2:06 finish time) would place you in coral 8 so your bib would be anywhere in the range of 8000-8999. As Vancouver is a small race, I really don’t think that there were 1000 runners per coral here in Vancouver. There were 16 corals for the RNR Vancouver race and the 16th coral was for walkers with an expected finish time of 4 hours (course time limit for Vancouver). I do recall reading that the walkers started at an earlier time to give them more time available to them before the streets had to be closed.

Once you have your bib, you then walk over to pick up your race shirt and swag bag/gear check bag for the event. I love that the bags are super big, it is amazing how much stuff one can put in a gear check bag. I had a 2nd pair of runners, full change of clothing, a chawel http://www.chawel.com/ in mine so I could easier change into my dry clothing after the race.

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Race Day:

The alarm’s started to go off at 4:40am the year before my alarm was set for 5:05am, I set my alarm earlier as the roads were being shut down at 7am in the area where I was parking this year, and as it was when we arrived at 6:45am the roads had already been shut down to where I needed to go, so I tried to re-route and drive back around and then double back but I ran into another road block that was set up. I saw another car just drive around the road blocks, so I did the same thing and just drove around on the one street (heck it wasn’t even 7am and it was closed, so yes I drove around the closed road barriers).

Stacey and I had a short walk (just over a KM) to get to the start line, we visited the bathrooms before the lineup got long, and then we made it over towards gear check where we sorted out our stuff that we need for the race. I grabbed my music, my gloves and my arm warmers. No line ups at the buses/gear check so we dropped off our stuff and made our way back to the bathrooms for one last bathroom break before heading into the corals.

While waiting in the coral we turned on our watches to get them ready as the race was starting shortly, it seemed to take forever to get the satellite signal, mine came in a timely fashion where Stacey who has the same Garmin, her watch did acquire the signal till we were approaching the start line.

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I had a finish goal of 2:05, yes you are reading correctly I wanted to finish the race in 2 hours and 5 minutes, my training runs have gone very well and I have hit and crushed each of my training runs each week, with each training run I was feeling stronger and more confident in my running. I knew that around 11 KM I struggled last year with a slight incline of a hill. I hadn’t done any training runs with hills in them until a few weeks before the race I started with a few interval training runs with 30 second hill repeats. So when I came to KM 16 for whatever reason every part of me wanted to stop running, I actually did stop as I became very overwhelmed with the hill in front of me and the sudden lack of energy, every single muscle in my legs were screaming at me to stop running, to give up but with the encouragement from Stacey I pulled it together to continue. I struggled from this point on till the end of the race. Disappointment came crushing in when I looked at my watch and saw the time as I crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed with sadness and my heart was breaking on the inside and I was so upset with myself for not reaching my goal. It wasn’t that I didn’t reach my goal, it was that I was so far off from my goal, I ran 9 minutes slower than I planned. I have never felt these feelings before, I was crushed on the inside. Normally if I miss my goal it is within a few minutes but missing it by 9 minutes was truly breaking my heart at that moment. Looking back today, normally I wouldn’t be upset in myself, feeling defeated but I felt yesterday when I crossed that finish line that I have not only disappointed me, but I have disappointed my family as well as my running coach. Those thoughts are very short-lived as I turned off a tracking app on my phone for Charity Miles http://www.charitymiles.org/ a text has been sent from my husband with my splits and my time, and a little note saying that he loves me and that I ran an amazing race. The support of my husband is amazing, I am such a lucky girl to have such a wonderful and supportive husband.

So, within seconds I am feeling really good about the run. I am happy and I am trying to figure out what went wrong, I am sharing my thoughts with my friend Stacey what I am thinking went wrong. My tired and sore legs at the beginning of the race, the lack of energy where gels and other forms of electrolytes were not working. Not adding hills into my long runs, or even short easy runs for a few months. By the looks of it so many things went wrong, but who really knows what was the key reason on race day for me not being able to run the 5:55/km pace for the race? I still have a lot of work ahead of me, with my training runs, adding some strength training back into my weekly schedule, and managing better nutrition to give me the energy on race day as well as on training days. I always look at all aspects of my runs/races I take the bad and end with the good.

The course is unbelievable, putting aside all the hills starting around 16km till around 19km. running along the seawall looking across False Creek at Granville Island is so peaceful. Running in Stanley Park with all the tall trees during fall is pretty amazing with all the different colours, then coming out running back towards the city of Vancouver on your left is a view that just warms your heart to see the landscape of all the buildings, in all different shapes and sizes.

I highly recommend this race as a must do once or every year, it is a shame that I will miss it next year as it doesn’t fall into my training for my 50km Ultra to celebrate my 50th birthday year!!

Lastly, I would like to take this time to give a really “big” shout out to Stacey for running this race with me. Thank you so much for pulling me through the tough times when I was crashing, you kept my spirits going right to the finish line. Thanks for being such an amazing friend. I am grateful for our friendship and our love for running. Looking forward to the next big adventure in running together, of course I will be following you in your footsteps but knowing that you will be at the finish line waiting and cheering me on will help me push harder to that finish line!!

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