The results are in from yesterday’s Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. The winner was Daniel Kipkoech with a time of 2:20:04. I was just 595 people and 1:38:36 behind him! I finished in three hours, 58 minutes, and 40 seconds, and I couldn’t be happier! Mr. Kipkoech may be twice as fast as me, but I beat my previous marathon time by 23 minutes and my first marathon time by a whopping 69 minutes!
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outside our B&B, pre-race
at the start!
nearing the finish…
almost at the finish line
My 10K split time was 54:45; my halfway time was 1:57:38, and my 30K time was 2:47:29. My average kilometre time was 5:41 (which is 9:08 per mile).
I really didn’t think I could run that fast for 26.2 straight miles (42.2 kilometres)! I attribute my personal success to:
1. Experience: This being my third marathon, I knew what to expect in terms of both physical and mental exertion.
2. Consistent training: Except for a couple weeks off in June (beginning of my training with a lot of walking around European cities), a couple skipped runs around my wedding, and a week off for healing an injury, I faithfully followed my training schedule for five and a half months.
3. Yoga: I may have overdone it a bit on Friday, so my hip flexors were a little more sore than I would have liked them to have been for the race, but overall yoga is magical for strengthening and lengthening the leg muscles. I cannot overemphasize the importance, for me, of yoga for cross-training, healing, and mental training.
4. Mindfulness: I truly believe that all this meditating I’ve been doing lately helped me run yesterday. I felt present, grateful, and focused. The toughest points in the race for me were between 24K and 38K. There is something about the 20-mile point that makes me cry like a baby. There’s a sense of panic that arises in the thick of the race, before I can start imagining the finish line. I needed something memorized to repeat as a I ran. Song lyrics get boring, and I often can only remember the chorus anyway. So I chanted a mantra that I learned in yoga teacher training. I probably repeated it to myself 25 times, and it made a huge difference in my resolve to keep my pace. I’m not saying that the mantra itself had powers to keep me going, but I can see a comparison between sages and monks meditating for four hours straight and me running for four hours straight; mantra can keep you going!
5. Carbohydrates: I think I may have underestimated the power of carbo-loading the week of a race. It’s not that I didn’t eat a lot of carbs before marathons 1 and 2, but this week, I made it a (very enjoyable) priority: a few more croissants than might typically be socially acceptable, pizza with my girlfriends, two pieces of toast instead of one for breakfast, and a serious amount of beans, potatoes, whole wheat bread and tortillas, rice, and dessert the day before! (My next post will be about the food we enjoyed in Victoria.)
6. Hydration: I carried water with me, and I drank either water or sports drink at every aid station. I only had to pee once and I only got a tiny little stitch in my side for a bit. Water matters! Electrolytes matter!
7. A Beautiful Course: Wow, seriously gorgeous. If you want a destination race, put this one high on your list. Victoria is quaint and surrounded by natural beauty. Having this race in mid-October is risky for rain, but luckily it held off yesterday. Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is something to savour for sure; the leaves are vibrant, the air is crisp, and the ocean breeze is fresh as ever.
The Empress (photo by Sean)
Next up: A Weekend in Victoria — because I did more than run; I also ate and spent time with my husband and his mom and sister! Jenny ran her first half-marathon yesterday and kicked butt!
me & my sister-in-law on the ferry back to Vancouver