Rock ‘n Roll Vancouver Half Marathon Recap: How to Shave 28 Minutes Off Your Finish Time

Do you want to drastically improve your half marathon finish time?

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun to get faster? Done all the tempo training, eaten all the recovery-promoting foods, and nothing seems to work?

WELL. Have I got a secret for you!

This is top notch stuff here people. I have a TRIED AND TRUE method for cutting a whole TWENTY EIGHT MINUTES off your half marathon finish time.

Are you ready for this?

The secret is to get injured. And run three half marathons with that injury, each finish time getting further and further away from your goal of running a sub-1:50 race.

AND THEN. Do everything in your power to work your way through that injury. Don’t give up when certain things don’t work. Don’t let other people tell you “maybe you’re just not meant for long distance running”. And when things begin to improve, let go of your ego and listen to your body.

Come race day, you will have drastically improved your finish time from your previous three injury-ridden races. Admittedly, it will still be far from your ultimate goal of a speedy race (and you may have to come to terms with the fact that speedy race may never happen).

BUT you will feel totally amazing for having finished your first race free of pain in over a year, AND you will feel like a badass telling yourself you improved your time by 28 minutes.

Probably not the secret time-improving method you were looking for 😉 but that’s what happened to me at the Rock ‘n Roll Vancouver half marathon yesterday!

If you’ve been reading for awhile or have spent any time talking to me about running in person you know allll about my IT band issues so I’m not going to go into them. With things looking positive after weekly Graston and ART sessions combined with some different hip-strengthening exercises I was feeling good, but still neutral about running a pain-free race.

Things snuck up on me during Seawheeze and they could happen again, so I didn’t have my hopes up. I just wanted to stick to my plan of running alone, focusing on my form, and enjoying the race.

And a great race it was! A few of us from work signed up for the race since Westin is a global sponsor for Rock ‘n Roll. We had quite a few guests staying with us over the weekend who were racing, and we had the RunWESTIN Concierge Chris Heuisler stay with us as well.

If you’re unfamiliar with Chris, he was chosen by Westin out of a handful of applicants to travel around to all the North American Rock ‘n Roll races to communicate with VIP racers prior to the event, provide course previews, and basically just be a point of contact for anyone looking for race information. This is an amazingly cool job and something I would have loved to apply for.

The hotel was really supportive of our race, giving three of us from one department the morning off and providing some delicious blueberry chia smoothies to have when we met up to head to the starting line together.

Photo cred to Elisabeth for this shot!

Photo cred to Elisabeth for this shot!

We all started at the same corral and of course took tons of starting line pictures, but then once the race started I had my headphones in and kept to myself. I think one of my mistakes during Seawheeze was allowing myself to get drawn by the others I was running with. I needed to focus on my own pace!

Blue skies!

Blue skies!

While chilly, the weather turned out great considering the torrential downpour we were expecting and the crazy winds we had the night before. The course took us through East Vancouver on a route similar to the Eastside 10k I ran last month. Coming up the Georgia Viaduct was a little rough, but it felt easier than during the Eastside since I was mid-race and wasn’t beginning to gun it for the end.

As with pretty much every race in Vancouver we ran along the Seawall, but it was only a few kilometers before we turned back onto the main road. We ran past the bakery that taunts me with delicious smells on my morning runs, and when we ran past the end of my street I had a brief thought about running up it and straight home back to bed 😉

My tracking app was all over the place and telling me I was running 5 minute miles, but every time I passed a kilometer marker I did some quick math and found I was pretty much on target with 11:30 minutes per mile throughout almost the entire race.

When I reached 18km and had no signs of pain, I was feeling confident. I picked up my pace for my running intervals the next two kilometers, then sprinted the final 1.1 to come out with a 2:30 finish.

By far the coolest medal I've received

By far the coolest medal I’ve received

I was SO happy to finally finish on a good note! I know this whole IT band nonsense is something that may never fully go away and is something I’ll always have to be mindful of, but it felt so amazing to have my persistence finally pay off.

After finding my number one fan (or number two, depending on who you’re asking 😉 ) who is always waiting at the finish line, we went to say hi to my aunt & uncle who walked the 10k then met up with my friends again for a delicious post-race brunch.

My aunt who I am SO proud of and I!

My aunt who I am SO proud of and I!



With all the big races done, I’m happy to say I completed all the races I set out to run this year: a 10k, three half marathons, and a triathlon. I added in an extra 10k and an 8k, so it only seems fitting that I run three more races before the year ends to make it 10 😉 There’s a few 5ks coming up in the next couple months so I think I’ll work at running a couple speedy short ones.

Who else raced this weekend? Anyone come out for the Rock ‘n Roll fun? Tell me all about it! 


13 thoughts on “Rock ‘n Roll Vancouver Half Marathon Recap: How to Shave 28 Minutes Off Your Finish Time

  1. Nice job! You’re such a trooper! That medal is pretty bad-ass too! You’ll get your sub 1:50 soon enough, just get yoself healthy!
    Yes, I raced this weekend – and got a big PR!!!

  2. Love love love the medal! I’m so happy the weather improved and I’m totally stoked you ran injury free! I have been there and it is such a great feeling to finally race pain free! I had some northern friends running that race too.

  3. Congrats on the huge time improvement! Glad to hear the race was nearly pain-free, sounds like you’ve been attending to your injuries properly!

    I’ve never run a half because of recurring shin splints but I hope to do one this coming Spring called the Chilly Half Marathon. Would LOVE to be able to do Seawheeze in my not-so-distant future as well!

    Great post to read,

    • Thank you! It’s been a long and (costly) process but I’m feeling optimistic about the future!

      Shin splints are so frustrating!! I used to get them all the time until I found a pair of runners that worked for me. The Chilly Half Marathon sounds…chilly! 😉 If you ever make it up here for Seawheeze let me know!

  4. Pingback: Fall Fitness Fridays Week 3 | Happy Life Healthy Life

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