Friday, September 24, 2010

The Night Before, The Night Before!

So here we are! 2 more sleeps and it will be race day! Oh what a ride this has been and I am still so full of emotion and nerve. I have done the training, I have made it through and extremely hot summer, I have finally told my dad that I am running the marathon and I still can't believe that on Sunday I am going to run 42.2km, or 26 miles 385 yards as my dad would prefer I say!

Do I have goals, expectations... yes! So here they are A Goal: under 5:30:00, B Goal: under 6:00:00 and C Goal: to be up right and standing. I think the goals are realistic. There are not going to set any records except my own and not matter what because this is my first marathon, no matter what it will be a pb! But really, what does it matter, the fact is completing a marathon regardless of the time is on hell of an accomplishment, no matter how fast or slow. I am going to do it! I know it's going to hurt like hell at times and I know that I probably will struggle walking for a few days after, but who cares? A running friend pointed out to me that on Monday when I wake up in the morning I will be a MARATHONER!! WOW!!!! ME? A MARATHONER!!! Does that make me a runner? I should think so but we shall have to wait and see!

In addition to making a concerted effort to hydrate and eat well. I have spent the week giving myself positive messages, saying things like: "I know I can do it", "I will do it", "I am capable", I may have even said "I am a runner" and "I will be a marathoner"! I am excited and nervous; happy and sad.

Today a friend and I watched "The Spirit of The Marathon". It presents the lives of different runners trainer for the marathon from elite runners to Boston hopefuls to gazelles to turtles. They are all training for the Chicago Marathon. This movie made me nervous, excited, terrified and proud all at the same time. Written across the front on the DVD: "When you cross the finish line it will change your life forever!" So bring it on! Scotiabank Marathon here I come!

Run Wild for The Detriot Zoo!

We are one week from race day!! We were scheduled to run 15k but I am doing the 10k Detriot Zoo race instead. The Run Wild For The Detriot Zoo race has become a family tradition with myself, my brother and my dad!

The Detriot Zoo race is a good one. It was slightly disappointing last year to realize that it doesn't actually run through the zoo. However, it does run through some really nice residential neighbourhoods. There is a good turn out of over 1000 people and a great group of volunteers. It is nice because many of the residents come out of their homes and sit on their lawns to cheer the runners on. This race includes a 5k and a 10k. The race is chip timed, but you only get a cotton t-shirt and there is no medal. you do get free admission to the zoo which is always fun to look around afterwards. So for only $25.00 it is a great run!

I felt ready and strong today and I wanted to feel that way at the end as well. With the marathon only a week away I wanted to be as confident as possible. I also really wanted to have a pb. Last year I ran this race 1:03, so it was tough to think I could beat that. Last year the water stops were about 10 mins apart, so my plan was to run to each water stop and take my walk break with the water. This year, however, they did not have as many water stops and the water stops were at least 20 mins apart, I still kept to the same plan and only walked long enough to have some water. My final time was 1:01:02. Next year I would love to be under an hour... we shall see! My brother, Jordan and my dad had a good run too Jordan finished in just over 43 mins and my dad in just over 49 mins. The training is paying off and after a long, hot summer it is nice to see the results!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicago Half Marathon 2010

September 12th, 2010, 2 friends and I ran the Chicago Half Marathon. What an awesome race it was. The Chicago Half was very well organized, lots of entertainment, the perfect amount of water stops, ideal weather and a whole lot of fun.

Because the Scotiabank Full Marathon is only 2 weeks away, I decided I wasn't going to push too hard. I decided that I was going to run with my bestie and enjoy the experience. And enjoy I did. I felt great the whole way. I made sure that everytime I saw a photo op I took it. I made sure I drank at every water stop. I made sure I stuck to my 10 and 1's. And I ended up with a 10 min personal best!! Yahoo!!!! My time was 2:24:37!

My friend, who has not done much training since April, ran with me the whole way until the 12th mile. At this point she was feeling tired and her feet were hurting, she asked me to go and when I looked at my watch and figured out that I could make my goal time which was 2:25. I would have actually been happy with anything below 2:30.

Last Tuesday our clinic had a talk by an accomplished marathon runner. He talked about race prep and tips for race day. What stood out for me was he said no to look at your watch at the finish line, he said to make sure that you take advantage of the photo-op and put your arms up and smile! So I remembered going through the finish line and I got a great photo out of it! Definitely great advice!
Chicago is an awesome city and I completely enjoyed myself. I know 3 of my running friends are running the Chicago Full Marathon on October 10th.. I am excited for them as I know they will enjoy it as much as I did.

Other highlights of the trip included the spectacular hotel The Palmer House, The Navy Pier, the real deep dish pizza, the shopping, and we even got $25.00 Rush tickets to Billy Elliot the musical. Billy Elliot was an incredible show, possible the best I have ever seen and the seats were awesome!

I hope to one day go back to Chicago and visit again. There is so much to do. Could I be back for the Full? Any thing's possible!

All By Myself!

Since I started running I have made friends with a lot of really great people. And I like running with them so much that I work extra hard to keep up with them. On the short runs this usually isn't a problem but once we get into the long runs I can only keep up for so long. I usually can maintain for about 15-18km then I fall back. By the end of the run I have walked more than I would have liked and feel like crap.

As it turns out I had to go to a wedding on labour day weekend and needed to run on the Friday. I even took the day off work, lol! So at just after 6am I headed out for the longest run ever- 35km!! I started out nice and slow and was able to maintain. I met my very dear running friend for a water stop at her house at about 10k and again at about 18k. I felt incredible and I was actually enjoying running.

I stuck to my 10 and 1's. At about 25km it started to pour. I was soaked. I ended up waiting under the Wonderland Bridge for about 15 mins. and then headed out again. I only ended up running a tad over 33km that day because my route was adjust a little shy. However, I felt awesome afterwards and even wore very high heals out that night! Usually after a long run I am out for the day.

Running at my own pace is something I need to appreciate. I am now convinced it will actually make my times faster and definitely adds to the "fun" factor. While I love my running ladies on the longs runs I need to run at my own pace. Running alone is character building and it has given me more confidence for the marathon!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Midsummer's Night's Run

So I am little behind updating my blog, but with all this running I just have not had time.

On August 21st, 2010 we ran the 30k Midsummer Night's Run in Toronto Ontario. The race started at 5:30pm so it was quite strange to run such a long distance that late at night. The race was a good one, it was not very big race with about 500 participants in the 30k. However, the "bling" was awesome! We got really nice New Balance hoodies, and the medal was huge and well done! We even got to purchase a New Balance long sleeve t-shirt for only $5.00.

Four of us had shirts made with little fairy's on the back, to go along with the theme. One of the girls actually ran the 15k race with fairy wings! There were some great constumes.

So how did the race go? Well, it wasn't pretty. I had an allergic reaction to something I must have ate at the hotel. I tend to be allergic to something that is common in Italian food but despite having allergy testing, I still can't seem to determine what it is. This is the second time I have had this reaction in the last 2 months. When I get this it makes it very hard to breath, like I cannot get enough oxygen into my lungs.

All in all, I struggled throughout the race and with also just getting over a cold it was a crap shoot! I also got discouaged when the 12k participants came speeding by you, it just took you off guard. The race also got dark and I don't think there was enough volunteers to direct you. At one point I was convinced I had gone off course. At the end of the race my friend ran me in and I was crying because when I rounded the corner I saw the finish line was down, I thought I was last and everyone was packing up. It turned out that the machine that keeps it blown up had shut down. My friend noticed right away that something wasn't right as my lips and nail beds were blue. It took me at least 12 hours before I could breath properly again and I wheezed all night. I probably shouldn't have ran but at least I got it done and got that great medal!! Not sure I would do this race again next year, but defiantly an experience and great prep for the marathon, eek!!

In addition, we had a great time in Toronto and it was a good little break from the ordinary!