Howling Trails

Running your own race and reporting about it.

Whenever I read running blogs or listen to running podcasts, ever runner says the same thing: RUN YOUR OWN RACE. I usually try really hard to keep this mind knowing that I’m a strong finisher and the value/statistics of negative splits. On the trails it’s not so difficult because you are rarely racing more than 200 people, however, when you decide to follow your eager husband right to the start of the first coral of your first marathon race only to be passed by the first 1000 people in the first 10km it’s really hard to keep your goal race pace in mind and run smart.

I’ve been told that your first 10 miles of a marathon should almost be your slowest kilometres of the race, so keeping that in mind I was aiming for 5:10 pace or my HR around 80%. As soon as the gun went off I was being passed left right and centre. I tried to hug the right side of the road as much as possible staying in the shade but even still I managed to get a few elbows into my side. (it was record temp of 24 degrees so I tried to hide from the sun as much as possible) I felt like I was running and not going anywhere yet people were flying by me and every time I looked down at my Garmin at each KM it would say something like 5:02, 4:40, 4:55 I couldn’t believe it! I tried to slow down more repeating in my head “run your own race, just run your own race” but couldn’t get slower than a 5:05 and finally by the time we got up the Camosun hill (which was like 5:30) I was back on track with an average of 5:08 and my HR not going over 82%.

I should mention this was my first road race and till that point in time I had never ran longer than 35k. I had no clue what my body was going to do when it came down to it. I had some faith in my competitive strength, but really I had heard so many horrible stories about “hitting the way” I had sort of psyched myself out. Regardless of the unknown, along I went, around UBC to the beaches where the clock read 01:45:56 at the 1/2 mark. I was feeling great.(minus a minor incident of my ipod shuffle no longer working, which would have made the last 10km of the sea wall much more enjoyable and faster, but no excuses) Down 4th Ave, along Kits beach and up and over Burrard Bridge and on to the final 10k of Sea Wall.

By the time I got to 3rd beach (34km) people we dropping flies, to bad the kilometres weren’t doing the same. My pa(ce)tience was paying off. Despite feeling strong it seemed like eternity running from Lions Gate Bridge to the Lighthouse point. 34….35…36…37…37(and half)…37(and three quarters)…and so on.

The final 2k were a blur, the last thing I remember was Michael (our running group instructor [who just finished in 2:55]) running along side the crowd screaming my name forcing to me give it my all and then boom! there was I was, in the arms of Jess, Laura and Ben. It was over. I was too tired to think about how proud I was of finishing my first marathon, or to even acknowledge my husband or to ask Laura how her race went. I was just very happy it was over and I was alive!

So shat was my time you ask? Are you ready for this… 3:35:01 Not a word of lie: exactly 01 second over the Boston Qualifying time. I would be lying if I said that this time wasn’t in the back of mind, but it wasn’t a main goal. Boston Marathon is always going to be there and not only do I want to be able to run it with Jesse, but I’d feel a whole lot better about it if I qualified with several minute to spare anyways.

Now, two days since the race, I’m in absolute awe of how I feel. I was able to complete team training session at work this morning, I even ran home (very slowly mind you) at lunch time and mentally I’m still swimming in a runner’s high. Overall I feel privileged to have ran such a smooth race both mentally and physically.


Jess on the other hand had a bit tougher day then I did. Despite crashing after halfway (which was he ran in 1:30!!! holy smokes!) he still finished his first marathon in 3:20!!  What a super star! I’m so proud of him! and I can’t wait for him to knock down bundles of minutes his next marathon.


Crossing the finish line and so happy to be done!


Power couple. <3 <3 <3


jesse and Laura congratulating me. (please note Jess’s not actually be able to stand up on his own:) )