Monday, October 11, 2010

Victoria Marathon

It had been over three years since my last road marathon, and my old pb (4:56:20) was looking pretty soft, so I thought Victoria would be a good place to make a new pb! After all my hard training for White River, though, I slacked quite a bit in August and September, so I wasn't sure how well I would do in the marathon.

Arrived in Victoria on Saturday morning, after having met up with some friends on the ferry. I was met by my mom's cousin, with whom I was staying for the weekend. She was awesome, driving me everywhere I needed to go (including a tour of the course), and getting me to the race, cheering, and taking photos. I felt like I was being waited on hand and foot all weekend, which was nice. :)

Race morning I saw a few friends at the start line and wished them luck. I looked for my friend Mary since we were predicting similar times, but didn't see her until we were on the course. I ran with Mary's group for a bit in the first half (on and off, since they were doing walk breaks and I wasn't, so there was some leap-frogging).

I was exactly on pace throughout the first half, crossing the half mat at 2:17:41. And I felt great. The course is really nice, sometimes along the water and sometimes through pretty neighbourhoods. There was lots of crowd support the entire way, which was really helpful. It's very flat, just the odd small hill here or there. The weather was good, except for the wind when we were facing certain directions. And was really fun to see all the elites and leaders and some of my friends coming back in the out-back sections.

At 26km I thought, "only 10 miles left... and I have done 10 mile MP runs on tired legs, so I can do this no problem." I felt great through 30k, crossing the 30k mat at 3:15:11. But it wasn't too long after that that I started slowing down. All of my joints were aching (first time since 2007 that I've run that distance on hard pavement!) and I started losing time and taking walk breaks--until then I had only walked through aid stations. Kept plugging on, running as much as I could and accepting that I wouldn't make 4:35 but would still have a nice pb. :)

The last stretch along Dallas was the toughest because we were tired, had to go up a gentle but long hill, and had the wind blowing right into us. And the last 5k was a bit of a slog, but I was able to pick it up just a bit towards the end.

Chip time 4:42:10, which was not my goal but still a 14 minute pb. So I am happy with that!

Great race; I definitely recommend it.

Feeling pretty good today! Just tired, with a few sore spots, but overall not bad. :)

Next up: Fall Classic 10k in six weeks.

ps: they had SPRINKLE DONUTS at the finish. And not regular donuts... you know those little sugar/cake donuts? These were like that, but bigger and with sprinkles! this should be required at EVERY race.


  1. Alright! Congrats on the, get back out on the trails :)

  2. Sounds like a lot of work and a lot of fun. Cobgratulations!

    I've tried to figure it out from your blog, but I can't. What the heck is tapering????

  3. Derrick: absolutely! spring ultra training starts in three weeks! ;)
    Bobbie: when training for a big race, you increase your mileage until a couple of weeks before the race, and then "taper" it down, so that you're running less just before the race... the idea is to go into the race well-rested. But I have a tendency just to take lots of extra days off of running, and indulge my laziness! lol (at least I'm always well rested. ;)

  4. Congrats Holly on your new PB! That's terrific. Sprinkle donuts sound fantastic....

  5. So why is tapering associated with craziness?

  6. it's a strange mix of factors:
    - increased energy because of decreased mileage
    - increased anticipation/nervousness because of the approaching race
    - increased time to kill because of decreased training time
    - decreased outlet for stress/nervousness when you need that outlet most!

    So a lot of runners end up going a little "taper mad" because of all these things. Shopping and cleaning tend to be common outlets for this nervous energy that builds up, lol. There is also usually a lot of self-doubt (did I train enough? did I do everything right?) and imagined injuries. It's rather comical... when it's not you. lol

  7. Congrats (on the sprinkle donuts at the end)!

    (and the PB)


  8. Holly, it sounds awful and hilarious at the same time. Thanks for the great explanation!

  9. Congrats on the PB, Holly Dawn. Good job! <3