Monthly Archives: May 2012

Marathon 24 – May 27 “Ottawa Race Weekend”

I really did think I had a 4:00 marathon in me!  In the past, it seemed that I could always pull it off even if I didn’t do any speed or tempo runs. I started this run strong – smack in the middle of the 4:00 walk/run and 4:00 continuous pace bunnies.  A few km into the run, I was passed by the 4:00 continuous pace bunny, then a few more km later the 4:10 bunny passed me and at around 23km, the 4:15 pace bunny passed me.

Reality set in and I knew 4:00 was not going to happen and I now just hoped I wouldn’t get passed by the 4:30 pace bunny.  It didn’t and I crossed the finish line in 4:24.

I realized then and there that if I truly want to pull of another 4:00 marathon I would have to change things up – there would have to be more  focus when I do speed workouts and tempo runs and I would need to pay attention to nutrition and hydration. 

The week leading up to the marathon was particularly bad when it came to nutrition.  Mike and I broke up.  Breakups are always hard and I resorted to emotional eating …..chips, chips and more chips – not the best source of carbs and the wine I was drinking was not the type of hydration I needed  :)  

I know what I have to do and to help keep me accountable, I will start a separate blog on my progress to getting leaner, fitter and faster with the goal being a 4:00 marathon at the Marine Corps in October.




Marathon 23 – May 20

With Ottawa Race Weekend one week away, everyone is in taper mode….well everyone except me :)  As most of the group was only running about 12km, I decided to start my run earlier than usual so that I would be finished the run with the group.

I got up at 3:30 and was out running at 4:30 am.  You know it’s early in the day when the night creatures are still up and about. As I was running between Bronson and Bank, I saw an animal up ahead….it heard me, stopped to stare and then darted back in the bushes.  As I approached where it went I slowed to a walk as I was curious as to what kind of animal it was.  It was a racoon and it looked at me curiously as I walked by.  As soon as I was out of range, I turned bac k and saw it head back out of the bushes and head off down the path.  Then along Sussex I saw the retreating behind of a skunk….glad that’s all I saw :)

I am glad though to have started the run so early because it was a hot, hot day! At Dow’s lake with just under a km to go, I spotted some food vendors setting up in the park.  I ran over and bought an ice cold coke….I sure needed that to get me through that last kilometre.   Good training though for race day should Sunday be just as hot.  But I am hopeful that it won’t be.   In looking at the long range forecast, Sunday looks great with a high of 21 and light rain….this is one time I really do hope the weather folks are right!



Marathon 22 – May 13

The alarm as always went off at 4:00am.  As I started to wake up, I could hear the rain outside and I thought to myself that perhaps it was just lightly raining.  I got up and looked outside and it was pouring!  Yuck!  All I wanted to do was crawl back into my nice warm bed and sleep for a few more hours.

But no, I had to get up and get going.  I packed a second set of clothes because I thought that if it kept raining the whole morning, I would definitely need to change half way through the rain.

As I left home, it seemed to be raining even harder – rain was bouncing off the roads.  I just resigned myself to the fact that it was not going to be a pleasant run .

As I got closer to the Arboretum, the rain started to abate somewhat and by the time I parked the car and got ready to run, it had stopped altogether.

What I thought would be a very wet and dreary run  turned out to be a fantastic run with the sun coming out as we were finishing up.



Marathon 21 – May 5

What an glorious morning it was!  It was amazingly  bright at 5:15am – likely because of the spectacular full moon. 

I had my camera with me, so I took some pictures of the moon, ran a bit and saw all the ducks in Dow’s Lake so paused to take a few shots. Then I noticed how beautiful the tulips were on the other side of the road so ran over and took a few pictures and just paused to take it all in in the quiet of the morning.  



I realized then that I had better get running if I wanted to get in my 22km before meeting the group at 8:00.

As I was running, my thoughts went back to the marathon run in Rome where I stopped numerous times along the way to take pictures and to take in the sights.

I thought why not play tourist in my city – at least for 22km.  That’s what I did.  Ottawa is a beautiful city and sometimes we just need to take a moment just really appreciate it all.  Here are some of the pictures that I took:






While I just got in about 21km in over 2.5 hours, it was well worth it. I felt great when I met up with the group.  We did another part of the marathon route and running an unfamiliar route, made us all take a little more notice of our surroundings.




Marathon 20 – April 29

Having just gotten back from being away for a  three week vacation which included two races and one non race marathon, I was feeling the residual effects of those efforts along with normal tiredness associated with flying and travel.

When the alarm went off at 4:00 am, it took a lot of might to drag myself out of bed and start the run. 

I was so grateful for the group that awaited me at 8:00 and they were just what I needed to get me going for the second half. 

It was a tough run though, but like all the rest I got through it for another week :)



Marathon 19 – April 22

I was now in Rome for marathon 19.  This time though, I was not running a race as the actual marathon was run on March 18th.  I got in touch with the Rome Marathon organizers and they directed me to the map of the race.  In addition, after explaining why I wanted to run the race course, they told me they would send me the official Rome Marathon t-shirt!  Very very nice of them to do this.

As I was reading the map, I was very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find my way because it seemed that every few hundred metres the road changed.  Here is the link to the race course: 

Once in Rome however, I had a larger map and I was able to map out the run, with the exception of the part going to the Basillica di San Paulo as it didn’t show on the map.  It seemed easy enough though, continue south from the start, find the Basillica di San Paulo, cross the river and head back to the historic centre.  Famous last words :)

Before I go further, I have to say that the Marathon route is incredible.  You pass by so many of the famous landmarks that it would be hard not to stop and marvel at the sights if you were doing the real marathon.  I say this, yet I know that in a race, I tend to only focus on the task at hand and don’t take the time to take in my surroundings.  So running the route for fun, was just that – fun!  I really appreciated my surroundings and the breathtaking vistas and amazing historic sites.

Here we are at the start of the race with the collesum in the background.


Christina decided she would run 10km with me.  Now Chris is amazing at finding her way around while I can easily get myself turned around, even with a map.  Well, this time we both got turned around but it wasn’t so much as not having this section on the map, but because we were so engrossed in our conversation we just both naturally headed left, when in fact we should have turned right after crossing that first bridge.  After about 5km we started to pay more attention to our surroundings and noticed that we were definitely not getting close to the historic centre…lucky for us the first person we asked for some help spoke english and confirmed that indeed we were going the wrong way.  This building gave us our first clue that we were perhaps going the wrong way. Like many places in Italy there was lots of Graffitti to be seen in Rome as well.

So, Chris’s plan of running 10km was out the window by now.  Continue reading