One gel too many – Vancouver Marathon recap

Vancouver is a beautiful place for a run no matter the distance. 70% of the marathon route is along the ocean. For a guy who lives 13 hours from the ocean, this is a big deal.

We had amazing weather this weekend with no rain or wind which is definitely not a given in early May in Vancouver. The first 3/4 of the race went very well but I am trying to forget the last 1/4.

I had two full days before the race as a tourist desperately trying not to walk too far even though it was so nice down by the waterfront. I rented a bike for a few hours to see Stanley Park and joined the throngs of cruise ship tourists who were in town. I biked along the seawall to see what the route would look like. This portion was the end of the race route so I wasn’t sure I would be appreciating the view at that point in the race. And as it happened, at that point in the race I was not appreciating anything.

The first half of the route was much hillier than I thought it would be. However, I came through the first half thinking the hills hadn’t affected me too much. I was still on track to meet a sub 3:10 with minutes to spare. Even at the 30k mark, I was feeling good.

But then I had my second gel and within 1km I felt like throwing it up. I was reduced to frequent walks and much slower running, feeling dizzy and nauseous. It probably didn’t help that I also likely had too much sports drink on the route and not enough water. I will blame that on too many well stocked aid stations that just want to give you stuff that is hard to refuse.

The route was dead flat by this time but I had lost my momentum. So the last 10k was a nightmare. When the 3:15 pace bunny passed me at 38k I was suddenly utterly deflated. The last 4 km was the slowest by far and included a lot of walking and moaning (But I was not the only one moaning out there by this time).

But I got it done in 3:24 and am proud of finishing in the top 6% overall. The last 10k split was 16 minutes slower than any of the previous splits. You would think that after 12 marathons that it would get easier. Well, it doesn’t. It is still a long ways to run when a lot of things could go wrong.

I hobbled back to my hotel like everyone else and crashed for the afternoon. My stomach finally returned to normal just before dinner. Then I treated myself to all you can eat ribs. Mmm! Great way to end the weekend to help forget the pain. Now to hobble home and set my sights on something new.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Author: Kevin

Just a trail runner in Calgary and beyond

10 thoughts on “One gel too many – Vancouver Marathon recap”

  1. You should try experimenting with other things on your long runs every once in a while, If you don’t already. If anything just to allow your stomach practice eating on the run.

    Like

  2. Have you tried the salted caramel or salted watermelon Gu? They have a touch more electrolyte and I find them much more palatable. Just be sure to consume them with water, not Gatorade.
    Kudos for sticking it out.
    Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am no where near your speed but I can completely appreciate how awful that must have felt. It happened to me in my second (and potentially last) marathon last spring at Ottawa Race weekend. Only difference…the nausea and lightheadedness hit at 8km!!! That was one very, very long race (walk might be the more appropriate word).
    I ran the Vancouver half last June, so ran much of the same course – absolutely gorgeous! I would love to head out west again sometime.
    Congrats on your final time – it is pretty awesome given the difficulties you had at the end 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear from others who have similar issues. We are not the only ones out there hitting the wall and wondering why we ever signed up for this.

      Like

  4. You can train and prepare well, but it’s still true that you never know what will happen over 26.2 miles — or 42.2K! Congratulations on your race, and I hope the next one has a smoother finish for you. At least we can usually learn more from the races that don’t go well !

    Like

    1. You’re definitely right that we learn more when things don’t go to plan. Well I have learned a bunch this weekend with all that went on.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s