Professional Photographer Mai Duong, the most enthusiastic photographer you will ever meet.

Vancouver Half Marathon – I’m only Half crazy

Well, I did it!  I ran my first half marathon (the Vancouver Girlfriends Half Marathon to benefit breast cancer research) last week, the longest distance I’ve ever run.  I felt proud of myself, but most of all, I felt relieved.  Two weeks prior to the race, I had run 11.25 miles, my longest distance ever at the time, and injured my knee in the process.  So, the night before the race, I doubted whether I’d be able to participate or finish the race.  I slept 4 hours that night, nerves and all.

Vancouver Girls Half Marathon Medals/Necklaces

Our medals/necklaces that we received upon finishing the race!

So How Did It Go?

The half-marathon went great!  I survived the entire 13.2 miles, running the entire time.  I took some ibuprofen before the race, so the knee pain wasn’t too uncomfortable for the first half the race.  It’s a great flat course, with some nice views of the Columbia River and some not so nice views of the Fred Meyer.  Also, the crowd was awesome.  There spectators with signs and cowbells and whistles all along the course.  Annie met me a quarter mile from the finish and ran me in.  When I turned the corner to see the finish arch, I sprinted that final block to finish with a time of 2:04:31, reaching my target goal for a 9:30 minute pace!

How I kept my Energy

Well, as most of you know, I have lots of energy on my own, but while running?  Not so much.  I believe that the Gu energy gel I took at the beginning of the race, as well as the energy Shot Blok I took every two miles during the race were a huge help.  The Gu is a bit yucky and difficult to eat, so I’m glad I used the Shot Bloks while running.  Plus they’re like yummy gummy bears, just loaded with energy.

There were some points where my legs got tired and wanted to go slower, but it seemed to mostly correlate to when I was bored.  Xav has a theory when hiking that it takes 10% physical and 90% mental strength to get up the mountain.  I think that’s a bit extreme, but there is some truth to that.   How else could I have kept up 13.2 miles of running?  Besides being disciplined of course 🙂

Hot Chocolate Fried Chicken and Gravy
Hot chocolate: the best-post race energy drink ever!  Fried chicken and gravy: how I reward running.

Thoughts on the Race

I’m pretty satisfied with my performance, considering my four week fast-track training schedule.  Saturday night my hope was to get to participate, but my secret desire was to finish with a 9:30 minute pace, so I’m really happy I didn’t finish at a 9:31 minute pace!  A knee injury and an illness (two days dead on the couch) made me lose 25 miles of training runs, which was almost 30% of my training distance (I did the math).  Unfortunately, due to that hiccup, and Ben’s arbitrary challenge for me to run a half marathon in under 2 hours, I will have to sign up for another race. I guess this means more training runs followed by brunch… oh pity.

Special Shout Outs/Thanks:

Maddy, Chung, Preston, Aimee, and Dashiell: Thanks for coming out to celebrate my “longest” training runs with Brunch!
W. Jon and Poage: Thanks for keeping me company during a training run, because it really helped me to have company.
Milo!  My 11/11/11 nephew came along for my big 11 mile run!  Thanks for staying “calm” for those last couple of miles and being ever adorable at brunch afterwards.
Coach Ben, thanks for setting up my training schedule, even if you don’t know what you’re talking about, and all your other encouragement as well 🙂
Annie, thanks for your watch (and my watch), running with me, giving me that extra burst of energy at the finish, all your encouragement, and doing everything an awesome big sister does.
Karen!  Thanks for training with me, but most of all, thanks for signing up for the race in the first place!

My detailed trip report on the race to come.  🙂

Annie, Karen, and me. Girlfriends, we just ran 13.2 miles!


One response

  1. EMM

    Yay, Chippy! Congrats! Way to work the discipline! 🙂

    October 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm

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