It’s funny, how after you do a major event, you think to yourself that you have crossed it off a list and it will never happen again. After completing my first marathon in 2016, I wasn’t super eager to do another one. I was super sick afterwards, sore and destroyed. I didn’t think that I would ever want to run another marathon. I am stubborn as all hell, and signed up for my second marathon, days after my first.
This year, I thought I was better prepared. I had a running coach, nutrition help, and honestly felt really good going into this. I wasn’t super sore, was following a solid training plan, and was gearing up to try and PB.
I didn’t know at the time, but my running coach asked a friend of mine to pace me during the marathon, so I could get a PR. My poor friend David Beaudry got super sick the night before the marathon, and this didn’t happen. I was in happy tears mode when I found out that he was going to pace me – that’s an epic gesture.
The morning of the marathon I was nervous, but felt better prepared to be honest. I had my water pack and gels and I was ready to go. This time in the starting corral waiting to go, I felt like I belonged. As soon as the corral started to go past the start line, I turned up my music and ran.
For the first part of the race, I was doing well. I was feeling strong, my mind and legs were with me and I was keeping a decent pace. My coach, Allison Tai even met up with me around the UBC area. It was hot that day, and she suggested that I put water on my shirt and running cap to keep cool. I tried to do that at the water stations and kept on going.
For the most part, although I am not a fast runner, I felt I was doing well until the wheels fell off. I can’t remember exactly what KM mark it was now, but my legs locked up and cramped like I had never felt before. I stopped, stretched, tried to go slow and I could not move. As tears poured down my face, I was hoping one of the marathon bicycle staff would come by and pull me off course – I had never been in that much pain.
I realized I was not going to PB or PR, and I was very angry with myself for being in this much pain. Looking back, I realize now it was a nutrition issue. I decided to keep slogging through and finish the race – I had come too far to quit. I ended up having to walk most of the rest of the race. When I crossed the finish, I felt angry and tired and sore and done. Friends of mine were there handing out the marathon finishers medals, and it made me feel a little better but I felt like I let everyone down.
Looking back, at the level of pain I was in, I should have taken a DNF and dealt with it. However, I am very stubborn by nature and although the marathon took me at least 5+ minutes longer then the first one, I wanted to finish. I ended up recovering faster, and not getting sick but as a runner it felt like a huge disappointment.
I will say this I am a two time marathoner, but the BMO Vancouver Marathon this year was one of the worst race finishes in my life. I am over the moon happy though, as my daughter and husband were there after I finished.
Knowing my nature, I will probably in a year or two go back and face the course that caused me such pain, but for now, I am happy with the finish.