Scotiabank Half-Marathon Race Report

Well I have now completed two half-marathons, and I think I’m going to take a training break. I’m going to keep running 4-5 times a week, but I don’t think I’ll do another half until at least November. Or maybe one in October, there’s one in Kelowna then….

Anyways, half-marathon went well. I DID PR, 2:12:26 according to the chip time, which is 3:14 faster than the last one (2:15:40) so it’s not a WHOLE LOT faster, and I didn’t break 2:10, which is what I secretly wanted, but I’m still pretty happy about it. I also finished 118 out of 175 women in the 20-24 age group. So, not great, not bad either!

Onto the race, it wasn’t as big as the one at the beginning of May, but still a few thousand people. It started out well enough, the first 3 k (approx. 2 miles) was a small loop that took us back passed the start. Then we did a weird out and back thing and then it was straight on to the end. With this half we started at the UBC campus and ended up at Stanley Park. It was gorgeous; right along the ocean. I wanted to stop and take pictures but I didn’t want to screw up my time, so you’ll have to trust me that it was BEAUTIFUL. Here’s a picture that I took at the end that basically sums up what the WHOLE race was like. A beautiful beach path along the ocean and the bottom picture is the view that I enjoyed the whole run:



The running went well, but I wouldn’t say it was GREAT. I had a watch with a stopwatch this time so I was more aware of the time. I was trying to run each kilometre in six minutes.  I DID walk through the water stations but I still pushed myself pretty hard. The first 10 k felt great, I remember practically sprinting passed the 10 k mark and then it started going downhill from there.

My stomach started hurting and I was feeling sick around km 13 (approx. 8.1 miles) and then I realized I was hungry! So I walked for about a minute and ate half of my cocoa-coconut larabar and felt way better after that. The 14th-15th km was a big hill and I powered up it but then after km 15 I started feeling REALLY crappy. It was a sunny day and I think the hot sun was making me feel kind of nauseous so I moved onto the sidewalk and ran in the shade and THEN my stomach started feeling really crappy. I felt like I had to poo. (If you don’t want TMI do not continue reading)

OK, I’ve read on other blogs about bloggers pooping their pants and stuff and I’ve never really had too much of a problem with it, but this time it was BAD. I really had to go and I couldn’t figure out why. I ate a banana and half a cashew-cookie larabar before the race and then that other half of the larabar, none of these things have ever made me feel liking pooping before, so I don’t get it. Does anybody have any recommendations for things that I should eat that will prevent this problem in the future? Because it was really uncomfortable and kind of messed me up, I walked A LOT from the 15-18 km.

When I hit km 18 I was like “OK, only 3.1 km to go, let’s do this”. So I ran hard and didn’t stop after that. I picked up the pace again at the 20th km and by this time my knees were killing me but I was SO close there was no way I was stopping, so I powered on. Right before the 21st km I started full-out sprinting and sprinted the last 200 metres or so.

It felt GREAT to finish, but my legs were aching. I was actually stumbling like a drunk after crossing the finish line. Losing my balance and almost falling over. I went and sat under a tree for about 10 minutes and then went to the bathroom. I felt much better after sitting down for awhile! My friend Jen met me about 30 minutes after that, she was trying to get to the finish line to meet me but the buses are CONFUSING in Vancouver and she got off at a stop really far away from the finish and had to walk for about 45 minutes! So she met me and we caught the shuttle back to our hostel and had to rush to get out of there by 11 and then we headed to the ferry!

I am now on Vancouver Island for a few days and it’s great, so pretty! Jen is at work today and I’m doing some work from home and then we are going to do something fun tonight, maybe go down to the ocean or something. It’s beautiful here!! Hope everyone had a great weekend, too!

PS: I claim that I’m not going to do any more halfs for awhile but I’m already looking into ones in October/November! Ahhh, I’ve been put under a curse or something! Haha.

24 Responses

  1. erin says:

    so glad you did a great time for the half! i have a half marathon i’m oging to sign up for in october (there usually aren’t any during the summers here because it gets too hot!) but it’s also a money issue too!

  2. Morgan says:

    CONGRATS ON THE PR!!!!!!!!! Sorry to hear about the… um… issues. I thankfully didn’t run into that problem during my half but I also stuck to only using Gu’s during the run. Maybe it’s time to experiment??? As for already looking into half’s for October, I say LOL! You have the running bug indeed! I did the same thing, only I skipped another half and picked a full! Congrats again! Enjoy V-Island and relax!!!!

  3. Wow! Congrats on the PR and for pushing yourself even when you were not feeling your best. Have fun relaxing because you totally deserve it! 😀

  4. Congrats! So my dream was very prophetic! Congrats on PR’ing! Way to go, Amber!

    I wish I had advice on the stomach issue thing… I used to have that problem, but that was when I was eating blueberries before long runs… But once I cut that out, I felt fine. The only thing I ever ate on long runs was those gu/gel pack things. They didn’t seem to mess w/ my stomach, but I had to avoid fruit flavored ones. Maybe give them a try? The running store i go to suggested I stick w/ vanilla or chocolate as those seem to be easiest on the tummy.

    Congrats & give yourself a pat on the back from me! 🙂

  5. Congrats on finishing and the PR! That sucks about the stomach issues though – booo!

  6. Meghan says:

    Congrats on not only doing the race, but finishing it with an awesome time 🙂 Good on you. Have fun on the island!

  7. Sassy says:

    good work! it’s tough to power through during a race when it just feels like you can’t give anymore (or when you really have poo issues). 😉 Way to stick with it!

  8. Carissa says:

    congrats on completing your second half-marathon!! sounds like you were having some difficulties but you powered through and didn’t give up so you should be proud of yourself! and I am no marathon expert, but your time sounds pretty damn awesome to me!

    enjoy Vancouver Island!! Oh, and btw, I will be there in Vancouver Sept. 26 for my friend’s wedding, but I might come a few days earlier for a mini-vay-cay. not sure yet…

  9. Congratulations Amber – sounds like you did an amazing job to me!

  10. H-woman says:

    Congrats! Kelowna is an OK race–I did it a few years ago.

    Tummy issues suck. I get up super early to ensure everything is through my system before I start the race and stick to gels and water. A friend can’t drink gatorade ‘cuz it does bad things to her tummy.

    What was your final fundraising total?

    H =)

  11. Nora says:

    I hear that running halfs are like a bug… you can’t stop signing up for them! I’m glad you had a good time and congrats on beating your time compared to last time. Small victories are sometimes the best =) Enjoy your time away !

  12. Mara says:

    Congrats on the half marathon, that’s so great! Sounds like you did a great job, and managed to work through all your stomach issues 🙂

  13. Sassy says:

    Amber, I’m needing hairstyle help over here, btw!

  14. shoshanah says:

    Congrats on finishing your second 1/2 marathon! I guess that means you’ve run 1 whole marathon then? 🙂

  15. Amy says:

    I have the same ‘poo’ issues! I always take an Immodium before long runs. Its the ONLY thing that helps me.

  16. Carol says:

    Congrats on “only” running a half in 2:12!! I’d be pinching myself if I managed to go that fast! My PB is 2:40, so I have some work to do. About the stomach thing…I ended up walking almost an entire half, with knees firmly pressed together, in order to avoid a mess and realized at the end that it wasn’t what I ate that morning, but rather what I ate the night before. Turned out to be a little too rich, and my body just didn’t like it. Now I am religious about pasta, tomato sauce, some kind of seafood or chicken and I stick to the gels/fluids on race day. Although this year in Vancouver I tried dark chocolate with espresso beans, and that stayed nicely! And gave me some good energy!
    Good luck in October…I’ve had another friend run Okanagan and he really liked it.

  17. Ashley says:

    OMG! another half? girl you have no idea how inspiring you are to me. its absolutely amazing what you have accomplished. AMAZING job 🙂 :): )

  18. LiLu says:

    Waiting til the fall is still a bit of a break, at least 🙂

    Don’t burn out, love!

  19. Amy says:

    Uh no, I have definitely felt like I was about to, ahem, “go” on a run, too! Anytime I eat a bar before a run, no matter how healthy it is, my body wants to get rid of it asap. I think because it’s pretty filling and a lot for the body to hold while running. I like raisin bread toast before a run/race. It’s light and I haven’t had any problems with…”going”…so far 😉

  20. Heather C says:

    Congrats on another HM AND a PR!!!!

    Check the fiber content on the Lara bars (bananas have a lot) – this can defnitely add to the “have to go” feeling! Most runners can handle bananas before races/runs, but I’m definitley not one of them – for that reason!

    Way to keep pushing yourself though – you did great and obviously listened to what your body needed. 🙂

  21. Anais says:

    GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of you, and in awe 🙂 I have yet to have the courage to register for a half….

    I don’t have much advice on the pooping unfortunately 🙁 COuld it be from stress?? Anyways, I think you did great 🙂

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