Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vancouver USA Half Marathon (6/15/14)

I absolutely loved my second-marathon experience last year in Vancouver. When 2013 runners were offered really cheap entry for 2014, Brad and I both signed up - this time for the half.

Father's Day 2014 - ready to go:
Because the full starts early at 7 a.m. and the half doesn't start until 9 a.m., we didn't have to be up at the crack of dawn for this one. We drove the half-hour to downtown Vancouver, found a good parking spot in an empty lot and made our way to Esther Short Park.
Mom, Dad and Eryn were there to cheer us on and snapped a ton of photos - YAY!!!
My family really knows how to do this right. I was plenty warm after the first mile and decided to ditch my arm sleeves as soon as I saw my fam. I spotted them around mile 1.5, swerved their way and started to pull down my sleeves. Eryn anticipated my needs and ran toward me with her arms out. That made me so happy!!
I kept running, and they kept stalking me :)
Then they found Michael (yellow shirt), a THS English teacher - Go Michael, Go!!
And Brad!
Heading to the big hill:
I will tell you, this hill was way, WAY less hard when it was at mile 6 instead of mile 20. I thought I would walk up, like I did last year, but I just geared down and ran right up.
After the hill is a big descent and a few flat miles next to the river. The fam was hanging out just after mile 11, right before we turned north and headed uphill to the finish.
Michael passed me about a half-mile before. I kept his yellow shirt in sight but couldn't catch up.
It looks like I'm running for a Jamba! Unfortunately, it was just a water stop :)
While I was cruising up the last hill before the downhill finish, Mom, Dad and Eryn were racing to get there to snap more pics. They made it just in time to see me cross the finish line in 2:08!
 Big, beautiful, heavy metals!
Michael finished just ahead of me:
We caught up with Brad in the finishers' area:
We hung out for quite a while, sipping recovery beverages and snacking on Sun Chips and other goodies. It was for runners only, but we sat by the fence so we could chat with my family while we cooled down.
This was an excellent race! I'm still not running much and went to the starting line holding it all very loosely. I kept the pace comfortable and had a great time. I walked through most every water station and took a few gels along the way.

The temperature was perfect, and the sun stayed hidden behind the clouds - my favorite! It started to drizzle a bit, but that just made me smile :)

I felt strong the whole time and finished 13.12 miles in 2:08:53, a 9:49 average.
My PR, which I've hit three times, is 2:06. So with almost no training, I was just 2 minutes off my best time. Um, that's fine with me!

My splits:
  • Mile 1: 9:55
  • Mile 2: 9:51
  • Mile 3: 9:36
  • Mile 4: 9:42
  • Mile 5: 9:31
  • Mile 6: 9:46
  • Mile 7: 10:02
  • Mile 8: 9:26
  • Mile 9: 9:45
  • Mile 10: 10:12
  • Mile 11: 10:01
  • Mile 12: 10:21
  • Mile 13: 9:49
  • Last .12: 7:55
We had a great time - and even signed up at the expo for 2015! Eryn will join me for the half and Brad, who was riding the high, got excited and signed up for the full!! It will be his second :)

Good job, VUM! We will be back :)


  1. Hi Liz, Natalie Shank (my coworker at UP) showed me your blog today because she saw we were captured in a photo together (see 18th picture down, I'm in the green shirt). I wanted to tell you how much you inspired me to keep going during the race. You were so positive and encouraging to everyone you ran by. I was so grateful to run behind such an uplifting runner. THANK YOU for bringing the great attitude. Nice job on your race! - Kelly

    1. Hi Kelly!
      Nice job on YOUR race! Wasn't that a fun day?
      Thank you so much for your kind words! I always try to remember why we're there, why we do it - because it's supposed to be FUN! I'm so glad I was able to help you keep going :)