BMO Vancouver Marathon – here I come, ready or not!

Alan RobertsonAlan Robertson only decided on the day of the race that he would run the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2013.  Due to recurrent injuries, he had only done a minimum of long runs and felt unprepared for the race – but decided on the day to give it a try.  Although he didn’t manage a personal best, he still finished with a very respectable 3h 52m.

‘I had some issues with my right calf muscle and blisters on my left foot throughout training, which caused me to miss a lot of the long runs.  I had only done two long runs of 32km each, which was very little.  I also suffered a sudden onset of sciatica pain on my right side just before the race – so wasn’t sure whether I would be able to compete this year’, Alan explains.  ‘However, on the day of the race, I decided to do the marathon.  I felt that I was underprepared, and didn’t really feel ready – but I knew I could complete it’.

Unlike his 2012 training schedule, Alan’s 2013 marathon training was a little more ‘casual’.  He continued to run after the 2012 marathon, so he already had a good base, which helped.   On Tuesday nights he would often do hills or sprints, on Wednesday, he usually ran 10km, occasionally he would squeeze in a run on Friday and on the weekend, wherever possible, he would do a long run.

‘Race day was hot’, Alan adds, ‘a little too hot for me’.  ‘The hardest part was around 16km.  I felt tired, so I took some gels, and was OK after that.  I stopped at all the water stations, soaked myself in water and kept taking gels.’.  At around 21km, Alan could feel that he had a recurring large blister on the ball of his left foot and then soon after, another large blister on the middle of his foot started to swell up – but he kept going.

bmo‘It felt good to see the finish and, spurred on by the cheering crowd, I sprinted to the finish line, passing about 4 or 5 people on my way.  My time?  3h 52 min.  I didn’t make my goal of 3h 45m, and wasn’t super happy with the time – but I know I can do better with smarter, longer training and without injuries’, he adds.

What’s up next?  Alan is planning to rest for a while to let the injuries heal and will then mix in some cross training – cycling and other summer sports – with running.  His next goal?  Alan is looking for a running coach to help him push his time to 3h 30m in his next marathon.


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