12 June 2012

I Came, I Saw, I Ran


Well, it's been a couple of weeks since the Ottawa Marathon and I'm sure that you are all on the edge of your seat wondering how I did. Well, I finished. I PR'd, but I did not break 5 hours. My chip time was 5:00:39. But you know what? I was thrilled.

Welcome to Our Nation's Capital!
The days leading up to race day were really stressful and scattered. Miguel found out that he had a job interview and the only day they could do it was when we were supposed to be in Ottawa. So we had to scramble and rearrange his flights so he would fly in Friday evening instead of Thursday morning with me. After 3 calls to Air Canada, we eventually got it sorted and off I went.

Unlike previous marathons, I tried to do this one right. This time, no shopping trips to Montreal the day before the race. No staying up til midnight drinking wine and stuffing my face the night before. This time it was a sensible dinner and a quiet evening before an early bedtime. As a result, there was no oversleeping when the alarm went off the next morning. Go figure.

This is the 5th time that I've done this race and third time that I've done the full marathon course. You'd think that I'd be a pro at it by now. But sure enough, when I got up that morning my thoughts quickly switched from "What should I eat?" to "What can I keep down?" I was a bundle of nerves! Luckily my bagel never made a reappearance and I and my nervous stomach settled down as we got to the start line.
Oy vey, it's hot! Can I get a glass a wahtah ovah heah?!
It was an awesome day, beautiful sun. It was a little warm and whenever I tried to pick up some speed I would start to feel ill from the heat, so I knew it would be smart to finish slower than my goal pace instead of in an ambulance.  I mean, it's not like I was in it for the money prize, so why waste a good marathon by passing out from the heat, right?

Taking it a little easy may have stopped me from breaking 5 hours, but I shaved 6.5 minutes off my last marathon time and I came away with some serious new resolve. I *can* do this in under 5 hours if I train right and lose some weight. And even when my training sucks because of all of the obstacles life throws at me along the way, I can still accomplish what I set out to do - run a good race and do my best.

So in the end, I was undefeated.
Will they make me take this off at airport security?
Ottawa Race Weekend is so much more than a race for me. It's a weekend filled with the love and support and kindness and hospitality of my Ottawa family.  My dear friends who follow me around the city for 42.2 km every year - rain or shine, who have waved signs and made t-shirts and have run along side of me when I thought I couldn't take another step.  They make sure I know the route before the race and they celebrate with me after it's done. These people go out of their way every year to make sure that I'm able to do my best.

And then there are the friends and family who cheer me on and encourage me even when they can't be there on race day - though I like to imagine that they're hitching a ride in my pocket.

I hope they know how much I love them.