Monday, 30 November 2015

Blast off to Space

Well it is done, marathon #5 is in the books, Space Coast Marathon.  I found the race really nice and it was nice running in flat Florida, the heat was something else.

I arrived in Florida last Sunday, I spend some time visiting my Mom and running in the Florida heat.  It was about 15C warmer than I was use too and I am not a big heat fan anyway, flash backs to IMMT and all that.  I managed a few runs for my taper week and the running was pretty good.  On Friday we drove to Cocoa to stay with Kate.  We did our 5k shake out run of Friday at 1pm so we were running in the heat, it was then I knew the heat would be my biggest problem on Sunday. On Saturday we went to the race expo and picked up my race bib.  At first they could not find it which was a concern but it all got sorted out and we took some photos and walked around a bit.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing, binge watching Call the Midwife and the Food Network. We did go for a short walk to grocery store, Kate could not relax well.  After dinner we got organized and had an early night, blast off was 6:30 so we had to be up at 4am.

Sunday morning went fast, eat, get dressed, get to the Cocoa library to met Kate's friends and then bag drop.  It was already warm at 6:30am, yikes but it was fun waiting for the space shuttle to blast off to signal our start.  This is a small race, only 3600 for the marathon and the same number for the half marathon and we hit the start line 3 mins after the official start. The marathon started north and there were some small uphills to wake the legs up but as the sun rose it was mostly overcast and not too bad.  Kate was doing great as we hit the half way point and turned back to the village.  This race is 2 out and backs, the north loop and the south loop so it was nice seeing the other racers as we ran.  We slowed our pace a bit on the second part of this loop but Kate finished right where I wanted her too, a 2:20 half marathon.

We then moved onto the south loop and by then the sun was out and it was HOT. I had trained in Ottawa's colder temps and I found the heat hard.  Around mile 18 I had to walk for the first time and it was hard to get going again.  I told Kate to go ahead, I would catch up and I was only minutes behind her at the south loop turnaround but I never did catch her.  By mile 20 the heat got to me and I started to walk more, I kept telling myself to keep  moving forward and I alternated running and walking for a bit.  Eventually the 5:15 Galloway pace group caught me and I thought I would run with them, there were doing 1 min run/1 min walk.  I did this for a mile or so and then the pacer had to stop, he was suffering from the heat as well.  He passed the sign to someone else who was obviously fresher and he took off running at a fast pace and slowly the group fell apart and I was on my own again.  I walked mile 24 and 25 and then I I started to run, I could do anything for 1.2 miles and I wanted to salvage some pride and finish under 5:30.

I was so happy to make that final turn into the park and finished in 5:24. Other than Disney and Ironman, this is my worst marathon time but on this given day, it was the best I could do.  Kate finished in 5:13 and kept going even though she was suffering from leg cramps for the last 6 miles.  I am so happy and proud for her, she joined the marathon club and she tells me I kept her going in the middle portion when she was really struggling.  I did not accomplish my goal of getting her to the finish line but I was glad I helped and glad we did this together.

I found out they have a Milky Way Challenge for those that do the race three years in a row so I am planning on coming back next year, this time to run the half but the marathon might be on the cards for 2017, I have unfinished business on this course and next time I will be better prepared for the heat.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Running Friends

Hello again
I am just back from a week in Winterpeg...sorry Winnipeg for work and am quickly re-packing my bags fro my trip to Florida and my last race on 2015.  It was a tough week to get any running in but I managed 2 short runs on the treadmill at the hotel and I had 3 days on my feet on a stone floor that was way tougher than any marathon. Today I went out for my last long run, 16k at race pace and it went well. 

My race in Florida is not about me, it is a race for others and I am delighted to share the story of how it happened with you. In Dec 2013 Neale and I were training for the Goofy and were taking a cruise out of Cocoa Beach Florida. I posted in a FaceBook group looking or running routes and Kate answered.  By the end she agreed to run with me on Sunday for half of my 21k run.  What a brave thing to do, agreeing to meet and run with a stranger  early on a Sunday morning.  I was a little worried she would not show up but she did and I had a great time running with her, the distance seemed short as we ran together.  Kate had run the Space Coast half marathon that  year but was not ready to move up to the marathon distance yet but by the end of the run she had declared that one day she would and I had decided I would come back and pace her for it.  After running together for 10k, a little over an hour our lives became intertwined and one day we would meet up again to run together. Fast forward and now is that time, next weekend we meet again to run 42.2k/26.2 miles, my 5th marathon and Kate's first.  

We will also be doing our 5k shake out run for another, Andrea Peet, a triathlete who was diagnosed with ALS.  A group Kate and I belong to are doing a virtual run to raise funds for ALS research. Next weekend I am running not for myself but with and for Kate and for Andrea and I am so happy to be doing so. 

I mentioned I was in Winnipeg last week and so was a new friend Marcie.  Marcie is a single Mom to 2 boys, she works full time and is doing her Masters in Accounting as well.   Marcie is like most women, trying to do it all and finding it hard to find time for herself.  I know a lot of Marcies, woman who do for others, everyday and forget the first rule about doing something for themselves.  I use to be like this and one of my first blog posts was about this. For some reason it was coming up a lot in my life and I went back in the archives to send it to a few people and along the way, by re-reading it I found a new/renewed purpose for my life. I need to help others keep bits of themselves through whatever speaks to them so they be there for others and themselves. I think I have convinced Marcie to train to run a half marathon in Disney with me and my friends in January 2017 but either way I will continue to be there to encourage her to make time for herself.  This is my blog post from 2012, it still rings true today.   Things I wish I knew 20 years ago

Marcie and I also made a new friend in Winnipeg, we were leaving the conference and decided to share a taxi with a gentleman who noticed my Ironman tag on my bag. He was a runner and triathlete and the trip to the airport was filled with his stories, his 20+ marathons that included 3 trips to Boston and saving his friends life when he had a heart attack on the Boston course (in 2004 I think he said). He and his wife are moving to Ottawa in Jan when he starts a new job and we have made plans to meet up and run the Parliament 5k route, I may have to have Neale come as well since I think he is more Neale's speed then mine. 

I have been blessed to meet many people through running, it is a common bond that ties us, a community of like-mindedness, we immediately understand the drive, the commitment and the passion, we are friends from that first greeting and I glad I belong.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Cross Roads

So, I have had a few great weeks of training, I did a great 10k race and a hilly half marathon in Gatineau Park last Saturday.  Let talk Rattle Me Bones 10K first.  So I have wanted to do this race for a few year, last year it was cancelled so when a friend offered me he bib, I jumped at the chance. On Saturday Neale did his first trail 10k and on Sunday I got to run my 10k.  It was overcast and warmer on Sunday so last minute I mad my decision on what to wear and headed off to the race.  I had originally hoped to try for a PB but I ran a fast 20k on Saturday after I got back from Neale's race.  I knew a PB would not happen so I decided to aim for 58 mins.  It was windy and we had drizzle for part of the race but all in all I was happy with my run and time 58:14.  I definitely would like to do this race again next year.

Last Saturday I did the MEC half marathon, I did the race last year and I decided to do it again. This race is hilly and I was not racing it, I was doing it as a training run. My friend Anita had to pull out but I ran with Kristina and Leanne and we managed to stay together, or at least near each other for the race and we finished hand in hand.  It was a great race, I handled the hills well and I was happy with the run.  Will I do the run again next year, probably.

Today I did my last long run before my marathon. I was not looking forward to doing the run on my own, 34k alone with my head can be problematic.  I planned my route and I figured it would take 4 hours and I headed out at 7am.  I was still fighting my desire not to do the run after 12k and as I stood at the corner of Bearbrook Rd and St Joseph Blvd, in my head the corner of I Don't Want to do This Rd and Suck it Up Buttercup Blvd I decided to stop thinking and to just run. The next 14k went really well and I truly enjoyed the run.The last 8k was harder and my pace dropped but I finished within my planned time and distance.  It was a great fall day to run, I am slightly worried about the Florida heat on raceday but I will deal with that when I need too.

Last night I heard Ray Zahab speak again at a fundraising event for his charity i2p.  Christopher McDougall was the other speaker and while I had not read his book, Born to Run I am looking forward to reading it soon.  It was a great night of inspiration and I know it helped me on today's run. Three weeks until Spacecoast Marathon and I am so ready!