Tuesday, May 26, 2009

a weekend at the races


I think we can call our weekend at the races a success. There were 4 PRs set, one entry into the Boston Marathon earned, and no trips to see the medics.

The first race was my "back from stress fracture" 10K. For those of you who missed it, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my fibula back in November. I had to take some time off running and then slooowwwwly build back up starting at about 5K a week (which is usually the shortest I run...so trying to divide that into three days a week was interesting). It was at 6:30 on Saturday evening so it was a bit of an odd time. As you can see by the picture, apparently I was not impressed. What you may also notice in that picture is the pasty whiteness of my arms...showing that I have not had much opportunity to run in the heat and the sun this spring due to some pretty cold weather. This came into play a little bit in my race (and in most people's race this weekend I think).

Regardless, I was pretty ready to go when I crammed myself into the "yellow" corral. My plan was to get as close to the front as I could because I knew that my "if I have a great day" pace group was right at the end of the corral in front of me (the orange corral). Unfortunately, squeezing 8,345 people into the start is tricky and doesn't leave much room, so I wasn't able to get up quite as close as I had hoped. But, I was there to run my own race anyway.

When the gun went off, it took a few minutes to cross the line, but then I was off. And off I was- I had to weave through too many people (including a walker...i was not impressed) just to try to get some room and get into a groove. I missed the 1K marker, but had a good idea of where it was by the garmin beeps around me. At the two K mark I checked my watch, looked at my pace and thought "well, if I'm already going this pace, I may as well try my best to keep it up just to see what happens". And for the most part I did- until we hit the sun. Oh the sun is my nemesis. As hard as I tried to keep my legs moving at the same turnover as they were in the shade, they just didn't want to do it. My face was salty, my legs didn't want to move...but I used Jordan's advice and just kept repeating "embrace the pain". Sure I slowed down, but I didn't completely break down.

We didn't head back into the shade until about the 8.5K mark and at that point I looked at my watch and knew I needed to just put my head down and give-er. I embraced the pain, sped up, and passed as many people as I could all the way to the finish.

Finish time: 53:43. My last kilometer was almost as fast as my first- and I think that might be one of the highlights of my race. When I checked my watch at 2K, my watch said 10:05 and I covered my last kilometer in 5:07. So I'm definitely happy with that. Now I just need to work on that dark place in the middle when my legs don't want to move...

Once I crossed the line, my butt cramped and I got a little woozy. So I decided to sit down on the curb near the first aid people (just in case) to stretch my butt out and just to catch my breath. I think next time I'll move a little farther from the first aid folks because I sat down and just barely missed sitting right into a pile of someone's puke. Yuck.

Then it was back home for some food and to get prepped for Sunday's festivities: the marathon and half marathon. Apparently our neighbours did not get the memo that we would all be going to bed early because they were up partying (both inside and out) until about 2am...but I think we managed to sleep enough. Meh, what can you do?

The marathon started at 7 so we were up and out the door pretty early. I was in full "crew" mode so I didn't pack light and tried to think of everything we could possibly need for the day. I think I managed to think of most things...

There was some warming up, some pictures (sign provided by the Lobbsters- thanks guys!), and me being pretty impressed at how close to the line Jordan got to be.

They were off at 7, but I wasn't all by myself for too long. Liz joined me not long after 7 and we watched the Kids marathon (cute), headed to the 23K mark to watch the elites and Jordan go by, then found a place in the stands to wait for the big finishes.

The elite finish was pretty cool. We were getting updates from the announcer, so we got to hear the play by play as David Cheruioyot came from third to first between the 35 and 42K points. It was pretty amazing to see how quickly he flew after running 42 kilometers.

About 52 minutes later, Jordan came flying by (not quite as quick of a clip as the elites, but still pretty quickly in my mind) and although I was too nervous and distracted to get a picture, I did yell as loudly as I could. I knew he was really close to his goal and was hoping that he could get to the line before that clock changed too much.

Final result: 3:04:46. He qualified for Boston, beat his "B"A goal of 3:05, but didn't quite get the sub-3hr "longshot" goal. And most importantly, he did....NOT do the 50 push ups. He did however, claim that he could have done them, but didn't feel like he could do them right there on the cement. (So Keith, do with that what you wish :) He figures that without the sun and the wind (the wind picked up at some points and was really quite strong), he would have been pretty darn close to that sub-3. Regardless- a great time and a great run that deserved a rest:
Then it was off to do some more cheering. We headed back to the finish line to cheer in his parents, who walked the half in 3:34! This is especially impressive due to how much the crappy Calgary spring weather impeded their training. Hooray!

So the sun was hot, the wind was strong, but so were everyone's legs and lungs. We all had kilometers of "why am I doing this?" but most of that went away once we crossed the finish line.

With that, I declare Ottawa race weekend a resounding success! (and i don't feel like doing too much editing to this post, so i apologize for the length and randomness)

12 comments:

Heather said...

You look about as unimpressed as I've ever seen you in that picture!


And yay for everyone!

lu said...

i love the length and randomness of that post, it is so genuine! it sounds like you guys all had awesome races (and wicked times!).

S said...

I was so confused by your times. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how you ran a segment in 5:07, but wound up with a final total of 53 minutes for 6 miles... Silly American finally figured it all out.

Congrats on getting back into the 10k swing of things.

k said...

S- the funny thing is, I normally run in miles (when i first started running, i found it easier to think of the distance in miles because i really had no concept of what a mile was so it didn't sound as hard), but being a Canadian race, the markers were all in kilometers...so I had to learn how to think in kilometers for this one.
I think I'd go out of my mind if I looked at my watch and saw a 5:07 mile...

Leslie's Keith said...

WooHoo! 2 PRs...and impressive times both of you. (Jordan, you'd better go to Boston. I only 'watched' it while Leslie ran it, but it was one of the most impressive sporting events I've ever attended. (You can always do the push ups there!)

please send 'snail mail' address to my e-mail and donation will be sent. Good job!

keith@bikes.com

Kirst said...

Well like I've said before I'm impressed with everyone. Inspirational in fact! I like Lu like the length of your post.

Jordan said...

I could have done the push-ups, I just didn't want to. It was out of modesty that I refrained from making a spectacle out of my feats of strength. Modesty. Not exhaustion, but modesty. You're welcome!

k said...

Oh modesty...THAT's what that was...so then it was just laziness that you were displaying when I had to help you get your sock on right?

Leslie's Keith said...

OK you two...stop it...

I'll chose to believe he could have done them...and donate accordingly.

KB

S said...

The whole km vs. mile thing is so weird. We call the races 5k and 10k, but I totally think of them in terms of the miles. I have no idea how fast I should run a km, but I'd be out of my mind if I saw an 8 minute mile! (I'd be in an ambulance if I tried to run a 5 minute mile.)

k said...

S- I doubt I would fare much better after a 5 minute mile attempt. According to my Nike+ (which is renowned for telling big fat lies) my fastest mile is a 6:52. I am 95% sure this is a lie, but I like to keep it in the history as motivation. Although I really should clear it so that when I actually DO put in a really fast (for me) mile, Paula Radcliffe's voice will congratulate me.

Runner Leana said...

Awesome job on the PRs! Congrats to Jordan for running so speedily and qualifying for Boston. Gawd, a 3 hour marathon...unbelievable!