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James Koole ran: You train for weeks a...
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- 26 miles
- 04:08 time
- 09:27 pace
- 3242 calories
You train for weeks and weeks and then it all comes down to one day. You set goals, you imagine that you'll have a good run, or a great run. And in the end you cross the finish line, get a medal and you're a marathoner.
A few things stood out on this run.
1. Running buddy Kirsty and I ran well together. We rocked the hills, kept the pace sane early on, and had fun.
2. As usual, the last 6km kicked my ass. It always does. But it kicks almost everyone's ass.
3. Running in Vancouver is awesome.
We ran a good first half. I owned a couple of huge hills and with a 1:56:15 for 21.1km, it was a sane pace that put us in a good position to come in under 4 hours which was the goal of my running buddy.
I defeated the Burrard St. bridge this year. Granted it was earlier in the race, but I ran up one side, and down the other. The cheering around the corner towards English Bay was amazing.
The seawall...beautiful, but mentally tough. It was once I got onto the seawall that I started hitting the wall. My first extra walk break came after 37km. And then it all started slipping away. My running buddy was running away to her sub-four and I knew I was going to be a bit slower than that.
Mentally that's difficult because all of a sudden there's no time goal to keep you going. I walked too much through 39 and 40km. From Denman and Georgia it was pretty good again. Walked once along Georgia and ran it in up West Pender, saw Ginny along with Miguel and Maria and made the two left turns onto West Hastings and under the Run Finish sign. Done.
Running buddy Kirsty was there and I asked her if she did it - she said yes and I was happy. Then it all hit me and I spent 30 seconds sobbing in the finish chute.
It's been a tough year since the accident and I always imagined that Vancouver would be the end of a recovery journey. The fact that I ran it, and still have to go back and finish the physio for more months is tough. This race was the thing that really kept me going for the last few months through painful physio and some pretty dark days.
Four days in Vancouver with Ginny and my YYJ, YVR and YYZ run friends has been awesome. Everything I hoped for and more. I'll be thinking about how great the run was and about how things don't always go the way you think they will for a while. I'll get through physio, get better and maybe we'll come back and run the crap out of the half.
As much as I love the challenge and the reward of the full, I'm done with 42.2km. Maybe it won't be forever, but I'm a five-time marathoner and I've accomplished all that I want to for now.
Running is a big part of my life and I'll continue to run half marathons and work on my PB there. It's been a great couple of years of taking on the challenge of the marathon (and beyond!).