I still can’t believe it! I ran a sub-2 half marathon! Wow! I knew I was capable but I also didn’t think it would be as difficult a race as it was for me. But I will explain more race details below.
Brian and I flew out to Vancouver on Thursday and stayed at an AirBnB. When we arrived we checked in and immediately decided to head downtown to go for a final easy run along the Waterfront path. It was such a nice evening for a run and thankfully there wasn’t much smoke remaining from the forest fires.
Afterwards, we went for dinner at Steamworks Brewery along the Waterfront. We loved the burger selection that they had. It was a very busy night there so the service was kind of slow, but we made the best out of it.
Afterwards, we headed back to our AirBnB to sleep and relax. The room wasn’t air conditioned so we didn’t sleep well that first night – thankfully we asked for a fan and our host was able to give us one so we could sleep better the following night.
Friday morning we woke up early, Brian headed to the Vancouver November Project group run and I waited in line for the Exclusive Lululemon SeaWheeze store. I made a lot of friends while waiting in line and it made the waiting for over 2 hours go by really quickly. We played games, talked about the race, and got to know each other since we were all from different places.
While we were in the store I ran into fellow Sparkly Soul Ambassador, Briana!
I was excited that I was able to get the popular Run All Day backpack that everyone wanted at the store.
After the store, we headed over to get our race gear and hung around the expo for the remainder of the morning. I took some time to enjoy the views and square.
This was the Olympic Cauldron where they lit the flame torch once it arrive in Vancouver.
They had this Orca statue in the area as well that was really cool to look at.
I found the Nuun Hydration table and got my bottle filled up while chatting with some of the employees.
When Brian and I were looking for an Evo car to use I found the Nuun Hydration car in the parking garage. I posted it on my Instagram story and they said it was good luck. I smiled when I read that.
We went to lunch and then headed back to the AirBnB for a nap because we were exhausted then got ready to go out to dinner and carbo-load! We loved the restaurant we ate at called Frankie’s. It had amazing service and the food was authentic Italian which we absolutely loved due to carbo-loading for the race.
After dinner, Brian dropped me off at the AirBnB because I wanted to relax and go to bed early because I had a big race! Trying to sub-2 was starting to make me a little overwhelmed so I wanted to make sure I got a great nights rest. Brian went our to the Crate Escape with the Vancouver November Project group and had a great night.
Honestly, Saturday morning we woke up way to early. 4:30am! But the reason was because I was nervous we wouldn’t find an Evo car near our AirBnB house, which we did, there were PLENTY of them! I was just anxious for the race. Thankfully, I have a husband who knew I was going to be anxious and was just letting all my annoying quirks go because he knew it was a big day for me. We drove to the Waterfront near the start and left our Evo car there. We dropped our gear bags off and started to stretch for the race.
I was really nervous standing at the start. I saw one of the guys that was in the SeaWheeze Store line with me and he affirmed me, saying that I was going to do it and I was ready. I said I prayer asking God to give me the strength I needed during this race and that everything was in His control and then the race began! I crossed the start line and started my watch.
I felt so good the first couple of miles. Right after mile 1 there was a spin class happening over one of the bridges and it was so exciting to receive high fives from them and cheers! It pushed me!
I honestly felt good for the entire beginning of the race up until mile 7 where we started going over a bridge that took us to the Lululemon Headquarters to turn around and head back over the same bridge. Thankfully once I got off the bridge the road was downhill entering onto the trail along the beach front path. I started to get a bit nervous because I knew I started out to fast running a bunch of miles at 8:50 pace instead of the solid 9:00s like my coach wanted me too. I felt that maybe I may have hurt my chances a bit but I wasn’t going to give up without a fight. I keep telling myself I had worked to hard all summer to give up so easily.
The miles that were along the beach path in Stanley Park were amazing. There was a breeze that made the weather a lot cooler and easier to keep pushing. At this point, I honestly wasn’t into giving high fives or smiling. I was determined and distracted by the beauty of Stanley Park. It was nice around mile 10 the local fire fighters were out spraying people with water which if I was in a better state of mine I would have laughed at. Once I got out of Stanley Park I went up a small hill during mile 12 that honestly killed me a bit but I just pushed myself down the hill and realized where I was. I was at the end of the Waterfront Path that I ran on Thursday evening! I knew that I was a little over a half mile away from the finish line. I looked at my watch and thought to myself – I have this! I need to push!
I pushed my legs as hard as I could go along the path knowing that I was going to break 2! I reached the point where once you rounded the corner you would see the finish line and a man yelled, “The finish line is around the corner!” I rounded the curve and saw it! I was so happy, elated actually. I was going to sub-2!!! My watch went off with mile 13 at an 8:36 mile! Wow, my fastest mile of the enter race was mile 13! The last .1 was at a 7:06 pace!
I crossed the finish line, bent down to catch my breath – a medic came over to check on me and I said, “I just need to sit down.” She walked me over to a bench where I could sit down and catch my breath. She gave me a water and I told her I was ok, took my inhaler, and told her I caught my breath so I’m ok.
I walked through the line of post race goodies.
The medal was awesome!
This is what Lululemon had to say about the medal in their Instagram story.
I got water, a wet towel to wipe the sweat off, and a brunch box with the most amazing banana bread and a yogurt parfait.
I was so excited to see Brian at the end of the race! He was elated to hear that I broke 2 hours! I couldn’t stop texting some of my friends and my coach, Kristy, was elated too!
After the race, we hung around for a bit taking pictures along the water front then headed back to the AirBnB to shower and get ready to check out.
We headed over to the Nuun Hydration Gathering at Steamworks Brewery to meet sometime fellow Nuun Ambassadors. After, some celebrations there we headed over to the November Project meet up so Brian could catch up with some of the buddies he met during our time there.
Afterwards, we walked around the water front with our luggage in tote and then headed to the airport to take a red eye flight back to Philadelphia.
We came home on cloud nine after both of us had gotten PRs on this course. We were sad that we didn’t get to spend that much time in Vancouver to explore at all. But Lululemon definitely knows how to throw a party. We are looking forward to hopefully go back again in 2018 if we can get into the race.