Ever since I first ran the Victoria Marathon in 2012, I looked forward to doing it again in 2013. This year’s race date was October 13, 2013. After my pacing errors and battling the heat in Vancouver back in May, right before leaving for Run for Their Lives, I definitely wanted to make a drastic improvement in my performance. Not only that, but I was also running this year’s race for Recreation Integration Victoria.
Above: Alice Dean snapped this photo of me closer towards the end of the race. I was still feeling awesome with both feet off the ground. 🙂 Clothing: Public Myth and headband by Bondi Band.
I also felt that finishing running the length of Vancouver Island only a few short months before the Victoria Marathon would put me in a very good position to run my best.
Knowing that Cytomax would be on course again was also incredibly helpful because that meant that I would not have to carry any electrolyte drinks with me over the entire 42.2K. I knew where all the water stations were and what to expect at each.
In the 5 weeks leading up to the race, I only did one really long run, which was 34km. My pace was nowhere near race pace and I picked one of the hilliest routes in Victoria to do the long run in the middle of one of the hottest days of the summer. Honestly, it was a really tough training day and I don’t recommend any first time marathoners who may be reading this to do their long run in these conditions. I was a bit concerned about how my performance on race day would be if that long run was anything to go by.
About 4 weeks before the marathon, I ran 30km. The 30km run went much better than my previous long run. Then, I began to work on speed and strength. I did extremely well with tempo runs and have noticed that my last year’s 10k race pace/time became this year’s training pace/time.
I was also working at the Cytomax booth at the expo and had an awesome time reconnecting with many runners I know and meeting new ones, as well as discussing their race goals with them.
A lot of people became huge fans of the Cytomax Energy Drops , especially the caffeinated ones. The drops were a huge seller and I can definitely see why.
While I was at the expo, there was one thing that really concerned me. I felt like I was getting a cold right before my race. Running 42.2k while sick is a recipe for disaster. I was really looking forward to the race and I did not want to think about the possibility of not making it to the start line.
Not starting the race was not an option for me. First, I was running for charity on the Equalizers team for RIV and I did not want to let my team down.
Second, I was interviewed on CHEK News about my preparation for the race and how excited I was to be running my third marathon after being told several years ago that I should stay away from athletics as far as possible.
I got up early the morning of the race and was feeling pretty good. I wore my Public Myth B Belt Crop Leggings and Cross V Halter Bra for the race. The weather was absolutely perfect.
I decided that I will take it easy for the first little bit and if I feel good at the 34km mark, then I will just keep going. I was still feeling a bit nervous at the start line, but I was pretty anxious to get going. The 10 minutes leading up to the start felt like forever.
Above: Just before the finish. Clothing by Public Myth and photo by Tony Austin.
Then, the gun went off and I settled into a comfortable pace. I decided right from the start that I will run my own race and will not look back. I also made a promise to myself that I won’t be worried about who is passing me in the first half of the race. I knew that if I finished under 3:30 I would be in the top 2% of all the finishers.
I was extremely shocked when I reached the 10k mark in 45:49 and it felt comfortable. Who would have thought that a while back that used to be my 10k race time. I had another ~32k left but I gained more confidence in how this race was going to turn out.
Then, I get to the halfway point in 1:38:16. To put it in perspective, it’s over 25 minutes faster than my first ever half marathon and only 30 seconds slower than my best half marathon time. It was also a little bit faster than my halfway point in Vancouver. However, that did not concern me one bit. I knew I had enough electrolytes and carbohydrates to last me the whole race and I was still feeling great.
I reached the 30km point in 2:22:06 which is roughly 7 minutes faster than Vancouver. Anywhere between 30km and 38km is where there is a chance of hitting the wall, but that didn’t enter my mind during the race.
Reaching the 36km mark and still feeling good, I knew that it was my race. I was for sure on track for a sub-3:30 finish. Now, the only question was: “Will I also break 3:20?” The thought of breaking 3:20 was an amazing thought which energized me for the last 6km.
At km 39, I heard some people cheering for me, which got me very excited to the point where I was like, “yeah, marathon party!”. With only 3km to go and with “the wall” not even entering my thought process, I knew I would be beating my last year’s time.
It was really awesome to see the Recreation Integration Victoria cheering station. Knowing that I was running for a great cause really made me want to run harder.
With 200m to go, I still had enough energy to sprint towards the finish line. Crossing the line, I thought: “Wow, I just got a new PR” and then I thought “Is that it? I wanna do it again!”
Above: my second place award to add to my collection of race memorabilia. 🙂
I crossed the line in 3:25:45, which is a 2+ minute improvement from my previous personal best. My average pace was 4:53 per km. I placed 2nd in my age group and 217th/1726. Although I did not break 3:20, I still feel like I had a good race. This is also the 3rd time that I’ve qualified for Boston.
Above: This year’s finisher’s medal. 🙂
However, the best part about this race is that I recovered within 30 minutes. I was able to walk properly, as well as up and down the stairs without any soreness in my legs. The following day, my legs were also not sore at all. In fact, I could have had a leg day right after. When I did my first marathon ever, my legs were sore for about a week.
The fact that I improved my pace and wasn’t sore can be attributed to my new training techniques, which I developed for myself.
Above: Awards ceremony photo (by csnaps Photography)
I look forward to doing another marathon again!
P.S. BIG congrats to Lamech Mokono who broke the course record and won the race in 2:13:42 (yup, he beat me by over an hour). Also, congratulations to the female winner, Catrin Jones on running her personal best of 2:43:03.