Wednesday, May 8, 2013
On Sunday May 5th, I ran my 9th marathon and my 3rd Mississauga Marathon. The first time I ran this race was in 2010, my first marathon. At that time in my life, I was going through a lot of life changes/issues which included a separation/move to a new home. Training for this marathon included a lot of emotional and challenging runs but it also provided for some much needed stress relief. When I ran this race, I was the lowest weight I ever had been. Even though I had an IT band injury, I had a great experience, finishing in 4:02. Crossing the finish line was a symbolic triumph over a lot of things going on at the time.
Last year, I ran Mississauga again. I had run Boston approximately 3 weeks before in the extreme heat, so didn't really get to race it, or take advantage of my training. So I decided to run Mississauga. I ran what was up until Sunday, my fastest marathon yet, at 3:53. Mississauga to the rescue again!
This year/training cycle has again been a year that again included a lot of life changes/issues. Training runs were often emotional and challenging, but also provided some much needed stress relief. I am again the same weight I was in May 2010. Sound familiar? Yes, an almost exact replica of 2010. So back to Mississauga I go. Heck I even wore the same outfit I wore in 2010. Trying to recreate the feeling of triumph I experienced then.
Going into this marathon I had come off of two PB's, ATB in March and Uxbridge Half in April. I didn't know what to expect for this race, not being sure if I had left my best race on the course in Uxbridge. My goal for my last 4 marathons (I think), had been 3:50, but I had failed to make it each time. So initially, my goal for this race was a 3:48-3:50. However on Saturday, at the race expo, I picked a 3:40 and 3:45 pace band instead....I was going to go for it.
Sunday morning started with a Dailymile meet up in front of the Running Room. This group also includes some fellow bloggers (Nicole, Sam and Laurie) who all ran incredible races that day as well. A nice start to the day. Here's a photo of the Dailymile gang!
Then it was time to proceed to the start corral. I decided this time that I was going up to the front. I typically start pretty far back but this time, I thought heck no, I'm going up with the fasties. So that's what I did. The start was amazing. No cut offs, no people running into me, just a clear path to the finish line. Awesome.
I decided to settle into a 5:15/km pace and had to slow down to make sure I stayed there. I did stay there for quite some time until I picked it up a bit to 5:13/km. That pace was held, comfortably, until the 32K mark. When approaching the big hill, with the blow up "wall" on top, I slowed down to 5:14/km. During the last 10K the pace slowed and settled at around 5:15/km which I held till the end of the race. Sportstats shows me at 5:17/km but that's using the exact marathon distance. My watch has me going farther and therefore, the pace is 5:15/km.
One thing I thought about during the race, is how bad that last 10K is. No matter how well you prepare, I think that last 10K is gonna suck...it's just the degree of sucakge that may differ. I wasn't to bad until about 35K when it started getting a little tougher. By 37K it was even more tough. By 38K I was ready to walk. There was a young man in front of me at that point, he had a shirt on that said "how bad do you want it" on the back. I stared at that for a little while, and kept running (until I passed him). I kept yelling at myself (profanities mostly) and saying "only 20 more minutes", "only 15 more minutes", "only 12 more minutes", "only 10 more minutes", "only 7.5 more minutes". Heck I was even saying it within the last km. That's how mental this marathoning is....with less than a km to go your brain can still tell your body to stop...it's a fight for me. When I approached the finish line and saw the 3:42 on the clock I was so excited. I tried to kick it but there wasn't much left, but I held pace. I crossed the line with arms in the air and I even screamed! You can hear my scream on the video even though my image is off.
My official stats are as follows:
Gun Time: 3:42:47
Chip Time: 3:42:25 (see how close I was to the front)
Overall Placement: 212/850
AG Placement: 10/132
Gender Placement: 39/353
This was an 11 minute PB (PR) for me! I'm beyond thrilled. I think I ran the race of my life. It took a long time to wrap my head around it. In fact I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. With all the scenarios I ran in my head for what I could do that day, this was not one of them. This is a huge BQ for me as well, about BQ -13 which should guarantee me an entry into the 2014 race. Hotels rooms are booked, so going back to Boston.
No matter how well you train for a marathon, you can never know what to expect on race day. It has to be the perfect storm, training, weather, health, injuries, stomach etc. I had that perfect storm on Sunday.
It was a rough ending for me though, I felt pretty sick to my stomach after the race and couldn't stick around. Headed home and then had to lay down for a while. I didn't even eat/shower until like 3:30 that afternoon. During the race itself, one set of Cliff Blocks almost didn't stay down (won't use that flavour again), but for the most part I was ok.
I tried to learn from Nicole and smile for the photogs on course, or at the very least, not look like I felt (horrible). It seemed to work because I got some pretty good race photos. Here are some of them below. I actually purchased the complete high res download package as well as an 8x10 with my arms in the air. Pretty expensive but definitely worth it.
This race/finish line seemed to symbolize so much for me this time and not just with respect to running but my whole life. It wasn't just a finish line, it was a new start line as well! It was a good day.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
(poster by Martin Richard)
....is what I'm feeling since the bombings in Boston yesterday. I'm thankful that everyone I know who is there is safe. My thoughts and prayers are with those that were not. The troubling part of this for me is that the victims were the spectators. The people that come out to support us runners. Like Martin Richard , 8 years old in grade 3 who lost his life yesterday while standing on the sidewalk to cheer on his dad. The same age as Amelia was last year when she stood on that sidewalk to support me. She was there with my friends and people I love to show support. Never for one minute, did I think she wouldn't be safe....until now.
It is difficult for me, and I'm sure for the thousands upon thousands of people that were in Boston yesterday, and from around the world, to comprehend the tragedy that occurred yesterday. The tragedies that continue to occur day after day around this world.
My heart is broken.... I am sad....
Monday, April 15, 2013
Even though my taper is starting, I do have a half marathon this weekend. I have 14 miles on the training plan, so a 13.1 mile race fits in just fine. Not sure what the game plan is as far as pace though. I'm pretty sure I'll just wing it and see how I feel. After that it's 10 miles the following week and then race day on the 5th.
Thinking of everyone today running the Boston Marathon. Can't believe it's been one year since I was there! I'm hoping to be able to watch it live on the computer (if it's not blocked), and track some of the runners that I know who are there! Looks like some great racing weather this year.
Friday, April 12, 2013
This is Bradford, Ontario this morning (and most of Southern Ontario)....nice. Typical weather for April no?
It's supposed to go up to 7 celicus later so hopefully all this mess will melt by the time I get home.
Last really long run on training plan scheduled for tomorrow, and hoping that it's easy and uneventful.
To all my friends and fellow runners heading off to Boston this weekend, and racing on Monday, I wish you all the best. Will be thinking of you all from Toronto and tracking online! Hope that the weather gods are good to you and you get perfect conditions. A year ago today I was preparing for my departure to Boston....... A great memory I will never forget.
Happy running Boston Marathoners!
Monday, April 8, 2013
Linking up with MissZippy to talk about my best run (#bestru last week. I don't usually talk about my training runs, mostly just my races, but sometimes they are worth talking about. My long run on Saturday was split into two, 3 miles on the treadmill before Amelia's swimming lesson, then 10 miles outside while she was at gymnastics class.
I ran in Newmarket to Aurora on a very hilly route. The 10 miles was great. A beautiful sunny day and while there was a headwind going out, coming back was perfect. My average pace on the 10 miles was 5:57/km which is fast for me on a long run, but it felt good, especially because of the hills.
Didn't have the best week last week, for a whole bunch of reasons, so this run was a bit therapeutic for me. Did it cure all, absolutely not, but it did help in the short run.
25 days till the next marathon...I'm hoping I'll be ready, but if this run was any indication, I'm on my way.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
This is a spectator from Around the Bay! How great is this and how much does this mean to us runners. A lot! I'm always amazed at how many people will come out and support complete strangers in a race. I'm not sure they know it, but hope they do, how much this stuff means to a lot of us. Sometimes it's what you need to pull you through till the end of the race!
Heck even this one can help brighten your day!
When you are having a particularly rough day or a rough week, or a rough whatever. When things are just not as they should be in your life, its the small things that can help to change that don't you think?