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Victory!

May 8, 2007

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Well, for those of you who don’t already know, or for those of you who doubted us… We did it! Jordan and I are officially “marathon finishers”. At least that’s what my shirt and medal say, anyway!

No, seriously, though, on Sunday, May 6th 2007, my brother Jordan and I ran our first ever marathon. The Vancouver International Marathon, to be exact. It was a long time coming, with our official training starting on January 2nd, to finally get to this euphoric moment.

I have to say, running, and completing those 26.2 miles was one of the most satisfying accomplishments I’ve ever experienced. Maybe it was because I worked so hard to get there, and I never thought in a million years I would have run that distance; or maybe it’s because people thought I was crazy for even trying…. Something about crossing that finish line, almost made a tear come to my eye.

In fact there were a few moments that made me pretty emotional on Sunday. And most of them were while I was running! When I saw my Mom standing on the corner going over the Dunsmuir Viaduct and she screamed “Aaaaahhhhh!!!!” because she was so shocked she actually got to see us, I was SO excited! Jord and I both immediately picked up our pace about 20%. At Mile 18, I was the one who was shocked, because my dearest friend, Diana, whom I’ve known since I was four years old, was there on Cornwall Avenue yelling “Go Janis! Go Behan’s!” and she gave me a high five. It was a critical time in the run, too. She was just the boost I needed to keep going. Then there was a point where a big group of us were running past a man doing the marathon walk that started and hour earlier than our run. He had artificial legs and braces on his arms to help him walk. Everyone started clapping, and yelling “Keep going, man!” as we ran past him. I just thought it was so awesome, that someone with all of those things against him from the start would even attempt to go that distance! It made me feel even better about what I was doing. Some people were dedicating their run to their Mom, or a friend that they lost, but I ran it totally for myself. It may be selfish, but that first marathon was all about me, and whether I could do it or not. And I’m extremely pleased with myself that I could complete my goal.

And lastly, there wasn’t a better feeling than running down that last few hundred metres to BC Place with crowds of people cheering your name (it was written on our number bib), and seeing my parents and my sister-in-law Alex yelling the loudest over everyone for my brother and I. We crossed together hand-in-hand, feeling victorious. Until a few moments later, when the EXTREME pain set in…. and I’m not kidding. But no pain in the world could take away the feeling I have at this moment.

Big thanks to the best Marathon partner a girl could ask for! I couldn’t have done it without you, bro. 😉

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Two More Sleeps Until the Marathon

May 4, 2007

Well, this is it.

Four solid months of training (usually four runs a week, with long ones on weekends) are about to culminate into the biggest physical challenge of our lives. Janis and I will run the full Vancouver Marathon on Sunday, the first time we’ve attempted such an insanely long distance.

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The question that we get most often is, “how long is a marathon exactly?” For those who are wondering that very thing right this minute, here’s a quote from the race’s official website to answer it for us:

The Full Marathon course has been accurately measured by measurers qualified by AIMS, IAAF and Athletics Canada and has been certified by Athletics Canada as 42.195 km BC-2007-004-BDC and CAN-2007-002-BDC from IAAF. This means that we are very confident that, even considering the inherent errors and uncertainty in measuring a road race course, the course is at least 42.195 km.

If you’re more of an Imperial system type, that translates to 26.2 miles.

I’m a bit nervous, but I’m also pretty confident that we will finish without incident and perhaps even with a time that we are proud of. Either way, crossing the line on our own steam (ideally still running) and hopefully with huge smiles will feel terrific, and give us a sense of accomplishment.

If you’ve ever wondered about training for a marathon yourself, we highly recommend the Novice Training Program from Hal Higdon. It’s 19 weeks of training that slowly builds over time, balancing stress and recovery so that your body builds strength as the distances get longer. For Vancouverites wanting to do the local marathon, just remember that this 19 week program means that your first day of training is roughly the day after New Years, it will be freezing cold and probably raining, and your New Year’s resolution has to last well into May.


(Marathon legend and author Hal Higdon)

Hal is our official coach (in absentia) and any time we’ve had to reschedule or cancel a run I think of him, and how we’re letting HIM down. Hal has never heard of us before of course, but he’ll be getting a note of thanks if we cross that line alive. As will anyone who leaves us a comment of encouragement for us, either here on the blog, on Facebook, or in our email inboxes.

We would also like to wish the best of luck to Ryan Ashton and Christine Behan, who will be running their first half-marathons on Sunday. Do the math: 21.5 km, or 13.1 miles. Until just a few weeks ago, I had never dreamed that I would run a distance that long, and they too have been training very hard for the big day.

Wish us all luck!

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1 week left….!

April 29, 2007

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Jord and I had a great run this Saturday, the 28th. We did an 8 Miler From Granville Island, over the Burrard Street Bridge, into English Bay, which was packed full of people soaking up the beautiful sunshine. We were testing out the bridge because we will have to run over it and back in the Marathon next week. What we found out was…. it was a piece of cake! We then ran into Stanley Park for a loop around the lake and back to where we started. It was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day, and a great last weekend run before the big day.

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2 weeks to go…

April 26, 2007

This week we took ‘er a little easier, because Jordan has been suffering from a leg injury. We ran once during the week and we did our long run on Saturday, which was 13 miles, or about 21 km. We finished in 1 hour 56.5 min, and we were bookin’ it at the end! We were sprinting as we crossed our finish line, and it felt pretty damn good. It is a good sign of things to come, if we can still feel that good after a half-marathon distance to just give it everything you have for the last few hundred metres.

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Milestone

April 16, 2007

Yes, yesterday was a HUGE milestone for us in our Marathon training. Jordan and I ran 20 miles… which is 32 km… which equals 3 laps around Burnaby Lake… and we survived it. It took 3 hours and 1 minute. I did have to ice my knees, take a lot of Advil, and I dozed off a few times while watching the Canucks game (whoops!) because I was so exhausted, but I’m still kicking. I can still walk. I am sore today; I kind of feel like I’m 80 years old, but I was expecting it. Yesterday was a personal best, a distance that I’m only going to surpass once, 3 weeks from now on May 6. Thank goodness! And thank you to my big Bro, if it wasn’t for your crazy idea, and having you as my partner, I would never have gotten this far.

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Easter Run

April 9, 2007

I thought I would save and post our 14 mile route, or “Tour de Powell River” run that we did Easter weekend. Check it out here at mapmyrun.com. For those of you who are Powell Riverites, you’ll see that we covered most of town – Westview, Cranberry Lake, the Townsite, then the Beach Trail back to Westview, the Sea Walk and out to Thunderbay along Marine, back to Oceanview and a loop around the track at Gordon Park before heading back to Parksville Street! It’s one route I won’t be attempting again very soon…

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Finally Some Photos!

April 7, 2007

It took going home to Powell River for the weekend for us to have a photographer document some of our training. As we approached our parents house, I yelled at brother Wes to grab my camera and start firing.

The result was a “time lapse” of sorts, of our finish of today’s 14 mile training run. I’ve made the photos into a Flickr slideshow, an idea that was admittedly cooler in theory than in execution. View it here.