BMO Half play-by-play

So many miles
Those days are gone
You’re still alive!
And after so,
So many miles!
– Sarah Slean, “So Many Miles”

The first line of that chorus (above) rang in my ears through most of the run. I looked up the lyrics when I got back, and it just seems so fitting.

16 weeks of training culminated in 21.1 kilometres through Strathcona, downtown, Stanley Park, the West End, and Yaletown. Here’s how the morning unfolded (UPDATE: Link to the route map, in case you wanted to follow along):

  • 03:59: My alarm clock wakes me. I crawl out early enough that I didn’t need the backup alarm on my iPhone.
  • 05:55: Walk out the door to catch the first bus heading downtown.
  • 06:30: Arrive early enough to see off the marathon walkers.
  • 06:40: 20 minutes of warm-ups, and I was already starting to sweat.
  • 06:55: Officially join the horde at the start line.
  • 07:03 (timer starts at 0:00): I cross the start line.
  • 7:00 (7 minutes in): I turn on to the viaduct, and the sweat has already started.
  • 15:00: The crowd is still thick along Prior Street.
  • 21:00: Three runners pause to catch a bird that had something caught in its feet. The passing runners cheer as the bird is allowed to fly freely.
  • 25:00, 35:00, 80:00, 110:00: DJs along the route blare out electronica from turntables. There’s nothing better than rave music on a Sunday morning. It did give me a boost, though.
  • 40:00: Spectators were cheering a couple of girls wearing bunny ears. I had seen them a few minutes earlier, but at this point I noticed their stuck-on bunny tails.
  • 53:00: I started to feel little twinges on my knee. Shouldn’t be enough to slow me down:
  • 71:00: Halfway through! Could be on pace for 2 hours, 20 minutes.
  • 85:00: Started the punishing push up to Prospect Point.
  • 90:00: Still pushing up to Prospect Point.
  • 94:00: Passed Prospect Point, but it still looked like we were heading uphill.
  • 98:00: Did my usual one-minute walk after 10 minutes of running, which was kind of hard during a downhill.
  • 102:00: Passed 15-kilometre mark. I could still make 2h20.
  • 120:00: The president of my company (a runner himself) was handing out water in front of English Bay Beach. He had told me that he would be volunteering there, so it was no surprise to me.
  • 130:00: The final mile, a crawl up Granville under the bridge.
  • 135:00: Still in the middle of Yaletown, but I’ve been pushing since I left Stanley Park.
  • 138:30: Made the final turn, with the finish line in sight.
  • 09:23 (139:49 by my watch, but it should be close to the chip attached to my shoe): Crossed the finish line, just under the 2h20 I had been on pace to finish.
  • 09:45: After de-stretching, I headed inside BC Place for the usual post-race eating fun, but I passed it completely and ended up in the corral on the other side. I went back out and in, but gave up and just passed through the gate for the food.
  • 10:20: Left with my baggie full of bagels and fruit and walked back to the bus stop.

Quick analysis: The course had distance markers every 5 km, and my watch calculated the splits from those spots. After averaging about 6:50 after 15 km (or 33-34 minutes for 5 km), I picked up the pace and finished the last 6.1 km in under 38 minutes, which allowed me to make the 2h20 pace from the halfway point.

Training summary: After 16 weeks, and including today’s run, I logged a total of 274.6 km.

What’s next: I don’t know, at least in terms of training for anything. But after the requisite week off, I’ll be back pounding the pavement, trying to go three days a week, with a slightly longer one on Saturday. It would be like the training schedule I just finished.

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3 Comments on “BMO Half play-by-play”

  1. […] May 2009 in 365 to 26.2 | Tags: bmo half marathon, run, training What a difference a year makes! Last year, I logged a time of 2:19:47. This year, I had as my goal to beat that time. Little did I realize […]

  2. […] she’s described it all, puts my appreciation of her on another level. I never thought that one of my posts from 2008, in which I quoted lyrics from “So Many Miles,” and thus converged the worlds […]

  3. […] three straight years running the half marathon, this was the year I changed races at the BMO Vancouver. […]


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