Marathon #2… Royal Victoria Marathon

I had a feeling marathon 2 wasn’t going to go very well. I woke up Saturday with a sore throat, which is usually a precursor to a cold. Great. I left the house by 8 am to make the 3 hour drive to Port Angeles with plenty of time to take the 12:45 ferry over to Victoria. On the drive up I had to pee every hour. Is that normal during a cold? Maybe it was due to the overhydration? In any case, my kidneys seemed to be either working really fast or not at all. When I would take a sip of water I felt like that sip went straight to my bladder in a matter of minutes. Weird. In any case, I’ll hit Port Angeles with plenty of time to spare for me to park the car, relax, chow down on food, and of course, use the restroom 3 or 4 times. So, since when did it take 4 hours to get to Port Angeles??? Oh man. Still, I allowed for some cushion. I roll into Port Angeles at 12:15. However, little did I know that it was the Dungeness Crab Festival in Port Angeles. You have got to be kidding me. I knew it was the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but Dungeness Crab Festival??? I normally dig these kinds of things (Lodi’s Sandhill Crane Festival, Mendocino’s Whale Festival, North Plain’s Garlic Festival, etc), but I was on a mission. The downtown area is jam packed with cars. I make a few drive-bys through the parking lot across the way from the ferry terminal. All full. Oh. Man. With about 15 minutes until the last ferry I could possibly take to pick up my race number leaves dock and no parking spot in site, I panic and decide to take the car that I would not be needing in Victoria with me. $42 to bring me and the car over instead of the $11 for just me. Great. I was miserable and cranky, which is normal for me when I get sick, which is how I know I’m sick, during the entire ferry ride. So cranky that instead of my usual ethusiastic reaction on seeing a Pacific Grey Whale, I was thinking, “my god, haven’t these people seen a freakin’ whale before?”.

Ah, finally in Victoria and I can relax. I check into the hostel, get the keys to my room, go on up to my room, and find out it’s not really room.

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It’s more like a… well, I don’t know how to describe it. At least it had a sink. And a refridgerator. And both took up half of the “room”. At least the “room” was cheap, and considering I had to bring the car over, the size was acceptable. Ah… time to relax. But I was still miserable. And it also happened to be jam night at the hostel. Yeah, Beatles and Bob Marley tributes by French Canadian hippies all night long.

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Somehow I manage to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I wake up the next morning expecting full blown cold, but miraculously wake up feeling fine. Must have been all antioxidants I was taking in throughout the day before and all the peeing. Man, I am going to have a great race. Except it’s raining. Okay, don’t panic. It’s only drizzle. It’ll stop by the time the race starts. Great! It lets up at 7:30 am at the start of the half-marathon. Only 1 hour until the marathon start. Then the drizzle comes back. Great. My shoes are well ventilated which lets moisture evaporate while I’m running but also lets moisture in while it’s raining. By the time I get to the starting area, my socks are already damp. Normally, it wouldn’t be so bad, but considering I have 2 more marathons to go after this one, blisters could be a really bad thing. What else to do other than to run conservatively? I run so conservatively I finish without needing an ice bath, with no blisters needing immediate lancing, no chafing, and no soreness by dinnertime. I finish at 3:55:47, just a few seconds slower than the week before in Portland, and still sub-4:00, which is my primary goal for all 4 marathons. It only rained during the first half, so I could have pushed myself a bit more. I probably should have since this was my first marathon since my first where I finished below the median for my age-gender division (60th percentile).

No split times or average heart rate since I overestimated the capabilities of my watch.

Lessons learned: (1) fluids and antioxidants work for colds, just be sure to have restroom facilities available; (2) it takes 4 hours to get to Port Angeles.

Some random pictures…

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Marathon 3 next week is Columbus.

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