Ottawa Race Weekend 2011

The Ottawa CrewAnd so you have it, the final marathon of the Spring. That brings me up to 5 for the year and 24 total. This one was neither the easiest nor hardest but it was interesting. Interesting in that it was a tell tale sign that I need to reassess my running goals. By the time I crossed the line, again as a Pace Bunny for the Running Room, I felt relief, for two reasons…Before I continue, I must say it’s always an overall fun weekend spent with good friends. This time, it was a smaller crowd but the usual suspects were present. Sharing a house in Ottawa’s ‘Glebe’ area were Duff, Anne & Rob, Peter Rabbit Anita, Cam and myself. Many others we knew were in the city for the weekend as well but staying elsewhere.

Anita ran the 10k despite the fact she wanted to run a spring marathon but traveling and injuries kept her from getting in the required training. Also, running on the Saturday allows for her and Cam to watch the marathon on Sunday. The highlight of the weekend was little Cam, who stole the show by proclaiming, then delivering a sub 20 minute 5k. He finished 112th out of more than 7000. He ran it in 19:45 and turned a lot of heads being so small. That time earned him 1st place in the 8-10 age group and would have been good enough for 5th in the 11-14 category. What a runner he is turning out to be!

Back to the relief factors: First of all, I was relieved that this particular race was over. After training hard for the first quarter, and fairing well in the Chilly Half Marathon, Around the Bay 30k and then going hard in Boston, I kept it rolling with 2 more marathons. Goodlife as the 3:40 bunny and then Ottawa as the 4:00 Bunny. So the 2nd reason I was relieved was for the end of the spring season.

I finished this race feeling almost¬† as tired as I ever have at the end of a marathon. For simple reasons though. Not just because it was marathon number 5 for 2011, but my preparation was taken a bit too lightly. The weekend in Ottawa is always a busy one. Traveling to get there, finding lodgings, settling in. Then Saturday, you’re up early for the Running Room friendship run, visiting the expo, walking around to spectate the 5k and 10k races and then, of course, socializing and staying up later than normal on marathon eve.

So after all that fun, we were up on early Sunday am, eating and prepping as per usual and off in time to get to the proper corrals to meet our pace bunny followers. I had a good size crowd running with me and the atmosphere with the 4 hour runners was exciting. Everything went well until about 37km where even at 5:40 average pace per km, I was running out of steam. I had to focus and work at maintaining the pace and bringing my runners in. It was another rainy run but that was ok as it offset the humidity. I was just plain fatigued and didn’t rest enough to be able to run it without a struggle. I did make it in on time and in a decent result of 3:49:42 very close to the elite pace bunny goal of 3:49:59.

So, like I said, I finished the race and felt thoroughly spent.  My groin ached and I was dizzy. I knew then and there it was time to take it easy and rest up if I want to tackle STWM in the Fall with full force. Even that night, after some time to recover and some food, I was still feeling quite depleted. Humbled. Starving to run fast again, knowing that it would take some time.

We are 3 weeks from Ottawa and I’m feeling good again. I took the week following off, aside from 2 very short runs and then a full week of easy runs that ended with a good fast one. This week is easy again but I did test the waters with some faster running and will end it with a 10k race in Niagara where we opted for the shorter races s opposed the the 50k this year. I will miss it but I know it’s a necessary step to avoid tiring myself out and allowing to be ready to train fast to race fast.

Will we head back to Ottawa for the Race Weekend for a 6th year in a row next year? I guess we’ll see who else is but I know if we do, it may not be a fast race weekend but it will be fun!

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Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner

Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

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