The Olympic Dream

It’s back to the races folks!  I raced the “First Half” Half Marathon here in Vancouver on Sunday.  It’s considered the season opener up here and I’m always surprised at how many people want to race mid-February in Canada, but this race sells out each year.  Two years ago I raced this event for the first time and after the miserable training through the winter I vowed not to race it again.  Weeelllll, I guess with the added free time of maternity leave and the drive to get back into pre-baby shape I signed up again.  It went well.  My personal best half set in 2011 is 1:36:57; Sunday I raced 1:37:33.  8 months post baby.  I’m pumped and motivated to keep at it and through some careful mathematical extrapolation I have decided that I shall race the marathon in the 2016 Olympic Games.

I know what you’re thinking: a 1:37 is a decent time for an average athlete, but there’s no way I can make it to the marathon qualifying standard of 2:29.  It’s simple math really and you can’t argue with science.  Here are all the races I’ve done since having Henry:


Obvious improvement.

Now if I take those results and plot them on a graph and add a linear trendline; I get this.


According to my forecast, I should be hitting the Olympic standard by mid-summer.  Sounds like a good plan, easy peasy.  I’m not sure why more athletes don’t do it this way. I found it really simple:

-run 2-3 times per week usually followed by a pub burger and a beer

-eat everything put in front of me and focus on carbo loading before races and yet miraculously lose weight (thank you breastfeeding)

Carbo shopping while hungry.
Carbo shopping while hungry.

-continue to have no more than 4 hours of sleep in one stretch and breastfeed before runs and races

I guess the only external factor I haven’t considered is the looming triathlon season.  With a half already done for the season and only 72 days left until Ironman 70.3 St George I better get my butt on my bike.  I’ll keep you posted on my Olympic progress however.

Oh and in case you’re interested; here’s a brief race report from the half on Sunday.

After the usual pre-race hub bub of getting up before dawn, eating peanut butter with a side of toast and feeding the baby we headed to join our run group for a warm up. I spent most of the warm up worried that I wouldn’t have time to find a washroom before the start and very narrowly got it done at 8:21 for an 8:30 start.  I was running with SMO as usual, but unlike most other races we weren’t in matching outfits.  A sure-fire sign that it was every woman for herself out there that day.  My plan was to go out at 4:40/km, hold onto that for 14k and then see what happens.  Making for a rather boring race report; that’s what I did.  The first 10k passed really easily.  10-16 I maintained the pace and held back a bit so I wouldn’t blow up. 17-21 were ugly and hard just the way they should be.  I ran a 30sec negative split and pretty much nailed my race plan. I didn’t even have a great song in my head or see anything extraordinary. Lame huh?  It’s WAY more interesting to read about people shitting themselves or having to call cabs or something else dramatic.  I’ll try harder next time to have a better story for you even if I have to make something up.

– future Sarcastic Olympian



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