Friday, 28 June 2013

Blue Skies and a Scotiabank 1/2 Marathon

Opening the drapes in the morning and being smiled upon by sunshine and blue skies: awesome!!! Opening the drapes in the morning and be smiled upon by sunny blue skies on race day: priceless! What a morning Sunday was! As soon as I saw the day, I knew it was time to play (even if it was 5:30am)!!

The 2013 Scotiabank 1/2 Marathon marked my second road race ever! Knowing a bit more what they are about, I was super keen to have another great experience like the BMO 1/2 Marathon and excited to run fast!!! "Beep, beep!" In the words of Road Runner, or "Meep, Meep!!" As I always thought he said! Joel and I got to UBC without a problem and danced into the bathroom in the stadiums that us lucky runners found avoiding the scent of port-o-potties and line ups! Score!! Now it was time to warm up! The legs felt pretty darn good and not sore after our 9km trail run the day before so that was one big weight off my shoulders and wearing my new pink Acsics outfit I knew I was set!! I mean it matched my hot pink Brooks Pure Flows and 2XU compression socks! Could I ask for more?! Oh wait, what about some great tunes to bust it out to: Tiesto! Boom!!! Starting warm up I heard some clicks beside us and looked over to see Rob Shaer's happy self and camera clicking away! Gooooood mornin!! And cue race time!
Being near the front end of the sub 1:50 corral meant we were able to kick it off strong and run, run, run!! I joined into the count down and leaped into the air as soon as it was go-time! If I had been wearing bare feet a holler of "Yabba Dabba Doooooo!" Would have been absolutely fitting as my feeties flew into action! 

Less crowded and able to navigate through crowds I had a blast dodging past runners and found a great pace to make time yet preserve fuel for the next 21km! The long road flats were quick to bop through and I excitedly picked out the few little kids and families watching to give high fives too! So cute!! I love seeing families out together and especially exposing their children to this active fun activity! Learning to support others and be healthy is so important! Riding on cloud 9 from my high fives I kicked it up a notch more knowing the downhill would be coming soon! 

Running felt great!! I was pushing myself hard, but was able to find that perfect pace that busts it out without burning you out! I even found myself using the runners around me as encouragement to push it harder to make that pass or draft in around a corner. Kudos to the naked man from Wreck Beach promoting the naked run!!! That was hilarious! He got a huge peace sign and laugh out of me!  Busting down the long hill, I gave my legs the reins and let them go wild! It was a blast flying down with the breeze cooling you off! The scenery of the ocean front was gorgeous!!! Blue oceans, lush forested mountains and the North Shor: wow!! I think I ran looking sideways for a big chunk of that! Talk about a beautiful city to live in! Vancouver, you rock!! 

Hitting 10km I was feeling some of my efforts and had to push it harder to keep up my pace. Gotta love the challenge but it also plays with your head and it becomes more of a mental challenge as well as a physical challenge! Gel in and smile plastered on I ran on! A few silly faces, thank yous to supporters and volunteers, police and jumps (no I didn't ninja jump this time like I did in the BMO, this was more an exhilarated leap of joy!) Seeing Rob upcoming I quickly grabbed a gaterade cup and then ran over taking a quick sip! Lost in my happiness and excitedness to get a picture: I pranced into the air: as did my cup of hydration as it flew into a graceful rainbow of neon yellow beside me! The amazing photographer, Rob Shaer, caught my leap of joy on film! Sorry if I spashed gaterade in anyone around me!! I was too scared to check and just thanked goodness I could run fast so I could evacuate the crime scene!! Hahahahah!!! Ooopsies! 

The last quarter was intense! I fought hard and really pushed myself. I knew I wanted a sub 1:30.00 time and wanted it bad!! Facing the Burrard Bridge looked daunting and sure burned but heck after running mountains and trail running.. It's just a paved bridge after all so I gunned it at a steady pace and gave everything I had to the last few km. A final sprint at the end pushed me even faster as a guy from the UK and I were entered into a neck and neck race to the finish line! Passing under those arches felt amazing (after the feeling of tingles and puking went away!) wooooohoooooo!!! What a race!!! I finished with a gun time of 1:27:24- placing me 2nd in my age category! Wow!!! Even better than my previous 3rd place finish at the BMO!!

The race was a wonderful experience and so well organized! Shuttles worked like a dream come true and I was so excited to see the beautiful faces of some fellow friends who were running it- Joel, Kathyrn, Aaron! BIG thank yous to everyone who made that happen!! Thank you organizers, staff, volunteers, photographers, sponsors, Vancouver Police, supporters who came to cheer us on and participants! Congratulations on a great event!! 

Love, smiles and stinky socks,

Shanny! Xo

Ps. Thank you and regrets to Kristin who was unable to race due to injury but transferred me her race injury! Can't wait to see you back running! 


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