This past Sunday, I completed my first half-marathon at the TRY EVENTS Vancouver Historic Half event, two laps of the Stanley Park Seawall. After a very wet week leading up to the event, Sunday morning was sunny and clear, but unusually cold (-6°C, 21°F). I had been training regularly for this event, running 3-4 times per week with a combination of distance (my longest being roughly 17 km), sprints, and hills. The morning of, I was fueled up: IsaLean shake in the morning, e+ Energy Shot ready to give me a pre-race boost. I also brought with me an MEC hydration backpack charged with Energenix, so I would have water with me while I ran.
But as with anything you attempt for the first time, I had a number of expectations of this race that were blown away by the actual experience. Here are the five that most stood out:
My Five Biggest Race-Day Surprises
- I like running two loops of a race course. When I’m on my second lap of the course, I know exactly what to expect in the last leg of the race.
- When the weather is below zero, if you don’t regularly bleed your hydration pack, your water will freeze in the tube of your water bladder. Crazy!!!
- Given my training building up to the event, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it felt to run the first 17 km but how hard it felt to run the last 4.1 km.
- As you round the last corner and pass the sign that reads “FINISH” with arrows pointing right, you end up running over a bridge and up a crazy hill at the end of the Vancouver Historic Half!
- Having always built a walk break (even 30 seconds at a time) into my longer runs, it felt so satisfying to have ran the whole half marathon without stopping!!!
No question I needed a sonic boost throughout the race. As an added bonus, here are the songs that kept my energy up throughout the race.