Sometimes the hardest thing after a race is to be happy and satisfied. I ran the BMO Vancouver Marathon yesterday, it was my 10th marathon and my sixth marathon that I finished in 3:15 or faster. I’ve run 3:13 (Gold Coast in July 2006), 3:08 (Canberra in April 2007), 3:15 (Gold Coast in July 2007), 3:12 (Vancouver in May 2008), 3:07 (Victoria in October 2008) and 3:10 (Vancouver in May 2009).
While that is a record I am really happy with, it’s also something I’d really like to improve upon. I simply want to run a marathon faster than I already have and I am convinced that I can. How much faster, I am not sure. My ultimate goal is to finish a marathon in less than three hours. That’s a stretch but unless I try, I’d always wonder if I could have.
My goal yesterday was to make every step the best it could possibly be. During the race I felt that I achieved that. My coach Pat Carroll had sent me a good luck message the day before the race, reminding to “Run smart/Run tough”. During the first 30km I repeated the Run smart often to myself, by allowing myself to settle into the first 5km and by holding back slightly on every uphill before using the free speed on the downhill.
Many people start their marathon too fast- and I'd made a point of starting this one slow and easy. I had missed the 1km-marker along the course but heard the 3:15-pacer ask his runners if anyone had got that split. A woman responded 4:37 - whoops that was 12 seconds slower than my target pace - but it was also a really nice and relaxed start to the race. I sped up slightly – and ended up at 5km in a time of 22:31, about 26 seconds slower than planned but I was OK with that.
I felt relaxed and very comfortable. And that sums up the rest of my race for the largest part - relaxed and comfortably uncomfortable. My time was 3:10:19, good for a top 10 spot, my first in a marathon and fitting for my 10th marathon run 10 years after my first.
While I have to be happy with such a solid result, I also want more, better, and faster. But first I am going to relax for a couple of weeks - our puppy Luka will guarantee that my recovery will be very active.