Race Recap: Ottawa Race Weekend Half-Marathon
The detailed recap of Sunday’s Ottawa Race Weekend Half-Marathon (and the hours leading up to it):
Let’s just say it wasn’t ideal and one of my organ systems was not happy. I was up frequently Saturday night, and Sunday morning, there was a moment when I almost called my ride to say I couldn’t do it.
But then I felt better. And Molly and Jenn arrived to pick me up.
Molly dropped Jenn and I off close to City Hall and we watched the start of the Kids Marathon – so cute! We then went to check Jenn’s bag. I took off to do a little warm-up run, and we met back up in front of the Lord Elgin Hotel and headed over the start.
My word! It was packed. People were crammed into the start corrals like sardines. I have no idea why they couldn’t have pushed the fence out a couple of feet on either side.
We hopped the fence to get into our assigned corral. It got to the point where racers were standing on the other side of the fence waiting for the start so they could hop over and get into the corral.
NOT NICE STORY #1: A non-racing woman accompanying a racer had somehow appointed herself corral gatekeeper. She was telling people they couldn’t hop the fence. That they should have arrived earlier. And the best part was – PEOPLE WERE LISTENING TO HER! I would have simply hopped around her and told her if she had a problem she should go find a race official.
Soon the gun went and we were off – well, actually we stood in place for about twenty seconds and then started moving forward.
We crossed the start almost three minutes later.
Jenn and I spent at least the first 2 km trying to get around other runners. Actually, we spent most of the first 7 km trying to get around other runners.
We had planned to run 5:15 km/hr for the first 16 km and a bit faster for the last 5 km. The first few kms were slow. But by the time we reached the 5 km mark, we were well on pace.
The best part of this race for me was going through my neighborhood. I saw so many familiar faces. Thanks so much for coming out and cheering for us!
At 8 km we saw Jenn’s husband and two boys, and at 8.5 km (right in front of my mother-in-law’s house) we saw my parents, mother-in-law, Derek, and these guys:
My dad took this pic of us:
It started to rain hard soon after we passed through Westboro. And by km 15 I told Jenn she should go ahead; she didn’t want to and tried to encourage me. At km 16, she went ahead. And then it wasn’t pretty. There were little walk breaks and a whole lot of negative self-talk.
Not Nice Story #2: I stopped for a quick walk break around the 18k mark. I was as far to the side as I could be while remaining on the course. About 5 seconds after I started walking a woman came running up from behind and physically pushed me HARD. Now, maybe she meant to just put her hand on my shoulder to let me know she was there and didn’t have her velocity:strength ratio right… or maybe she was the same woman who wouldn’t slow down on her bike one time when our running group was trying to get out of the way (they both had long brown curly hair). Either way, it surprised me – and I thought about finding her after to give her a piece of my mind. Lil C overheard me recounting this to Derek and he asked several times for me to show him which lady pushed me. I think he’s gonna be my little protector.
During the run I didn’t feeling like eating as much as I usually do, I think because of my illness?? And I didn’t follow my plan to walk through all the water stations (30 seconds every 3 kms). I’m usually on the clock with my drinking too – after the first 20 minutes I take a sip every 10 minutes – didn’t happen. I drank, but haphazardly and probably not enough.
Overall Self-Assessment: I give myself a C+ on this performance. I didn’t stick to my plan. But it’s not a fail because I did manage to make my “C” goal (“A” was under 1:50; “B” was under 1:52; “C” was under 1:55). I am already looking forward to an opportunity to see if it will all come together in another race and of course, I’m still smiling!
Overall Race Impressions: Honestly, I did not enjoy the crowds of runners. Of course I LOVED seeing all the crowds of spectators! And the general race organization was very good. But the start of the run really turned me off. I think I expended way too much energy trying to get around walls of people. Jenn said she never got into a rhythm. I totally agree. Usually by 3 km in, you start to find your pace and settle into a rhythm. That was totally not the case yesterday. I was constantly thinking and never got into my zone.
June 19th, Alterna Do it for Dad 10k for which I am fundraising and raising awareness for men’s cancers (prostate and colorectal) – click here if you’d like to donate in support of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. The funds from this event are earmarked for cutting edge robotic surgery technology.
August – 10k – not sure which one yet – taking suggestions.
Late summer or early fall half-marathon – any thoughts on a smaller one within 90 minutes of Ottawa?
Congratulations to my training partner Jenn who did her first half-marathon in 1:50:59! and congratulations to all who ran this past weekend in Ottawa, over 39,000 of you!