Sunday Runs

Thank You!

I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment having run this 52cnd marathon and I am so thankful to all my family and friends who have supported me this past year and who have given so generously to the Snowsuit Fund.  With their help almost $8,000 was raised which means close to 200 kids in our region will have warm clothes this winter. 

I would like to thank my Sunday Run Group for always being there at 8:00 on Sunday mornings…….although I enjoyed running the first 20 odd km on my own, I always looked forward to meeting up with you at the Arboretum. What I loved about our run group was that while we are all serious about our goals, we were never so serious that we couldn’t have a bit of fun on the runs. For instance there were many times we’d stop and take pictures of something cool along the way, or there was the time we ran a different route and all stopped for a quick coffee enroute….those are very special memories!

The party was a huge success and Laurie thank you for suggesting we have a party and wanting to organize it. You did an awesome job as “Master of Ceremonies” and thank you too to Kim, Jenn, Ingrid and everyone else who helped out for all of your work putting such a fun event together. I will always treasure the medal you had made for me and I will proudly display the award from the run club. I love the running tops too!

Paula and Dave your speeches were so touching. Thank you so much for your kind words. Paula, sorry but you probably won’t see too much of me as I plan to stay healthy and pain free….but I will keep sending you the wounded from my office :)

Cheers!

Marathon 52 – December 8

I woke up knowing that the goal I had set out for myself was about to be accomplished in a few hours. What a fantastic feeling that was!
 
The day started as did most of my runs, with a trip to Tim Hortons.  Rather than just ordering my coffee and two timbits, I decided to buy a box of them for any of the runners who were coming out.  I also had water, gatorade, bananas and granola bars for the runners.
 
As I drove up to the window to pay, the girl said my order had already been paid?  Really?  By whom and why?  She didn’t know.  I have no idea who did this, but it was most unexpected and just so very nice and a great way to get the day started.  A random act kindness I suppose. 
 
The day was a mixed bag of snow, rain, wind…..but it didn’t matter.  I had friends and family running with me for every loop and I just felt amazing the whole time.  In fact, I think this was probably my fastest run this year….likely it was just all that adrenaline knowing I was accomplishing the goal I had set out a year ago. 
                    
At the 36km mark, CBC did an interview and then they were taking footage of us running the last 5km.  I think that was my fastest loop because of course you want to look good for the cameras :)
                    
I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment having run this 52cnd marathon and I am so thankful to all my family and friends who have supported me this past year and who have given so generously to the Snowsuit Fund.  With their help over $8,000 was raised.             
 
more pictures to come.         
 

Marathon 51 – December 2

This was an amazing run! My youngest brother Jim wanted to be here for the final run, but due to other committments wasn’t able to do so.  He decided though to come out for a quick visit (he’s in Vancouver) with the family and to run the marathon with me.  Jim ran the Seattle Marathon last week and two weeks prior to that he ran Boundary Bay Marathon in Vancouver….so I knew he probably wouldn’t mind slowing down on his third marathon this month :)

The temperature was about -5 (-10 with wind) and for the first 35km was just great.  Then the freezing rain came and all of a sudden we noticed the sidewalks getting slippy…..we all slowed way down and even got out on the road for the stretch along Majors Hill Park. By the time we got back on the Canal the footing wasn’t too bad, although we did have to watch our step going down some of the little declines.

It felt amazing to be running about 6:15 – 6:30 pace for most of the run which is what my pace was a year ago when I first started the marathons.  As well, I knew that it was the last run where I had to wake up at 3:30 to start running by 5:00.

The weather was looking very good for the final marathon. I decided to hold the run on Saturday because I wanted to be able to sleep in on Sunday and have a really relaxing day.   This one will be a looped run so friends and family can come out and participate which will make it a lot of fun.  Followed by a party at Pub Italia it is going to be an awesome day.

Cheers!

Marathon 50 – November 25

One of the best things about running is the fact you can do it anywhere, anytime! I was all set to run from the Arboretum as I usually do, but Saturday night as I was getting on the highway I ended up hitting a huge pothole. Even though Val yelled out “mom there’s a huge pothole’ it was too late …the next thing I knew I had a flat tire.

While I was only about 5 minutes from home, I was on the on ramp to the highway. I couldn’t turn around, so with the four ways flashing, I slowly started backing up….stopping every time a car got on. It took about 15 minutes to get back home because I drove the car so very slowly because I didn’t want to risk any further damage. I called CAA and they showed up within 30 minutes. The guy changed the tire in no time. But with that tiny little spare on my car, I didn’t want to drive it unless absolutely necessary.

Truly running is such a flexible sport!  I was able to start from home and still meet up with the run group for 8:00am. Starting out it was about -5 and -10 with the wind so a little chilly, but once I got warmed up and especially when the sun came up it was a beautiful day. I couldn’t believe though how good I felt on the run….it took me about 4:45 which is the fastest I have run in quite a few weeks. I am just so happy that I am getting my stride back!

Cheers!

Marathon 49 – November 18

Time has a way of curing all ails…..today’s run was absolutely fantastic!! I got a real early start this morning – 4:30 and although it felt like I was running in the middle of the night the temperature was not too cold at all.  The sunrise was beautiful and as the sun started to shine I felt so good to be out there this morning and enjoying the beginning of the day. 

What made me feel even better was the fact that nothing was hurting like it had been these past few weeks.  I still took the first 26km pretty easy, but even those km’s were faster than I had been running lately and then the last 16km I ran with the group and was maintaining a 6:00 – 6:15 km pace! Unheard of for me for a very long time!  I think by the end of the run the group was getting tired of me saying “I know I’ve said this a lot already, but I FEEL FANTASTIC!”  I can only hope that the next 3 marathons feel the same.

A big thankyou to Gilles for the hot chocolate he provided at the 33km mark.  Earlier this week he asked if I preferred coffee or hot chocolate…I wasn’t quite sure if he meant in general or on a run.  So my answer was pretty general in that I said I liked both, but that if I were to drink one of these on the run my preference would be hot chocolate.  That hot chocolate just hit the spot…it was so good!

Cheers!

 

Marathon 47 and 48 – November 4 and 11

These marathons were much like numbers 44 and 45  in that they both very, very slow. 

The routine of the marathons hasn’t changed either…..up at 3:30, out the door by 4:30, starting to run at 5:00am.   Mother Nature for the most part is providing excellent weather for these runs. Although it was a bit rainy and cold on November 11, it could have been a lot worse in that it could have poured the entire time.

My hip, heel and toe issues are starting to feel much better though.  And I know that even if they don’t there are only 4 more marathons to go!

Cheers!

Marathon 46 – October 28

What a great weekend it was….Run Ottawa organized a bus trip down to Washington for the Marine Corps Marathon.  The MCM is known as “The People’s Marathon” because it is open to all runners ages 14 and above and is the largest marathon that does not offer prize money

There were 50 spots available but only 24 got sold. I’n not sure why it didn’t sell out as this year’s marathon sold out in a record two hours and forty-one minutes. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the only marathons without a qualifier, lottery or fundraising minimum. 11,000 participants are first timers. 9,000 are armed forces members. Every aspect of the marathon, from setting up cones to running water stations, is run by 2,000 Marines.

Some interesting facts about this years race:

The marathon may be known for having  Oprah run it in 1994 (4:29) but there are equally interesting happenings this year. Runner’s World magazine will have 300 people participating in the Runners World Challenge. Dr. Travis Taylor, star of the National Geographic Channel’s “Rocket City Rednecks” will run the race in prototype full-body armor. Lauren Lee, a contestant on last season’s “the Biggest Loser” will run her first marathon (5:53). Four men, Will Brown, Mel Williams, PhD., Matthew Jaffe and Al Richmond, make up the Groundpounders. This will be their 37th Marine Corps Marathon (they all finished).

 Well for whatever the reason the bus didn’t fill, it sure was nice that we all had two seats to ourselves because it is a long trip down to Washington.  It took us close to 12 hours due to road construction in one area.  The trip was fun as we chatted with friends, met new runners, read, watched movies, etc. No pressure at all when you don’t have to drive.

 Our hotel was the Grand Hyatt which was really well located (H and 12th street) for what we were doing.  We were withing walking distance of many great restaurants and the “Mall” was about a 10 -15 minute walk away. As well the subway station to get to the race packet pickup/expo as well as to the start line was accessible through the hotel.

On Saturday we all headed to pick up our race kits – even though we were not all going at the same time it was fun bumping into people you knew at the expo.  I went first thing in the morning and even though there were lineups it was pretty smooth sailing to get everything.  Even going through security went very quickly considering all bags went through the xray maching and everyone was checked with metal detectors. I spent a couple of hours wandering around the expo and ended up buying a new pair of shoes. 

There are 19 museums that make up the Smithsonian, but I only had time to visit a couple of them – the American History and Air and Space.  The museums are big and there is lots to see – because I didn’t have a lot of time, I just did a quick walk through all the exhibits.  One of my favorities was Julia Childs Kitchen. 

By now it was getting close to 4:00 and I figured I should head back to the hotel and relax a bit before going out for dinner.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, but we all were watching various weather networks and it seemed that the rain was coming for Sunday.

Sunday morning the sky was overcast, it was about 14 degrees and the forecast did not call for any rain….and this is how it stayed for the entire race.  In the evening though it really got windy and the rain started to come down.

Lots of security again – we were all searched as we entered the race start area.  There was lots of space and lots and lots of porta-potties.  I checked in my bag which was a two second process and headed for a line.  I met up with George and then later as I stood in another porta-pottie line I ran into Dennis and Dave.  When I have gone away to do races, I typically know no-one so it was a good feeling knowing that you had friends out on the course and especially so when you saw them during the day.

I was almost at the start line when I heard the starting gun go off…no point rushing because people were just walking very slowly to the start.  So slow in fact I decided to make yet another stop at the porta-pottie.  It took me 20 minutes to get to the start of the race. Even once I got to the start, running was very slow.  With so many people there was a lot of weaving around folks. In fact it was like this for pretty much the whole race other than the odd nice and wide road.

I think that if you want a PB you have to be up near the front as it is very difficult to get into a rhythm in this race.

My pace for the first half wasn’t too bad, all things considering. But around 30km my orthodics really started to hurt (turns out there were a few big blisters on my foot) and all my issues were flaring up too. 

At the very end of the course there is a hill! That was hard to do!  Marines were handing out the medals and they saluted and shook every participants hand…very nice touch!  Then we had to go through the photographers and that kinda slowed things down….from there it was a jacket and some food and then the long trek – at least to me it seemed long as I was walking ever so slowly – to the baggage pickup.  Again, it took two seconds to get my bag. Then it was into the extremely long line-up for the metro, but luckily as soon as I finally got through the minute I was on the platform, the train came by.  All in all it took two hours from the time I finished to get back to my hotel.

That evening Dave and Dennis hosted the after party where we went for a drink and to recount the days events. Chris placed first in his age (70-74) category with a 3:32 time – amazing! George had a PB and some others had great races and others not so much.

 I had a great time and I am very happy to have finally run the Marine Corps Marathon!

 

Marathon 44 and 45 – October 14 and 21

Marathons 44 and 45 were pretty much the same in that they were oh so slow!  I can’t believe how slow I am running, but if that is what it’s going to take to get me through the next 7 weeks then so be it.  Funny but walking acutally is harder to do than running. 

For the next 7 weeks, I will only run the marathon…during the week I will spin, water run and do some weights.  Oh and I will certainly keep on stretching and icing.  Paula my massage therapist and Pierre my physiotherapist have both been amazing….the work they have done has certainly helped. While I know what would really help is to not run at all for a week or so, at least I know that I won’t permanently damange anything :)

Next week I am off to Washington for the Marine Corps Marathon.  The Run Ottawa Club (www.runottawaclub.ca) has organized a bus trip for this event.  It is going to be so much fun!

Cheers.

Marathon 43 – October 7

Happy Thanksgiving!

Unfortunately I have developed some issues with my left leg.  Likely caused by the fact my gait has changed to compensate for the issues I have with my big toe.  So my hip, calf and heel are all hurting me. As a result I didn’t run at all during the week, in fact I did no training at all!

The run started out not to bad but I could feel things start to tighten up as time went on.  By kilometer 37 I had to walk….even walking hurt as I couldn’t get into any kind of comfortable stride.

Again I decided not to train this week and to ensure I did lots of icing, stretching and have some rest.

Hopefully by Sunday I can run…….only 9 more to go!

Cheers

Marathon 42 – September 30

Fall has definitely arrived.  Not only is it taking a long time to brighten up in the morning, but the leaves are in full colour. 

I started my run from Tunney’s Pasture because I was participating in the Run for the Cure….one of my work colleagues is going through treatments at the moment so her manager decided to put together a team to support the run.   Although we were 9 on the team, I don’t think any of us thought it would be difficult to find each other, but it was.  We had a meeting spot, but wow the numbers of people – close to 9,000  made it almost impossible to find anyone…as it turned out 3 team members were no where to be found.

While I really don’t tire of running the same route every Sunday, it is nice to change it up once in a while.  I started from Tunney’s Pasture and when it finally brightened up at around 7:00 am, I was along the canal and that is when I really noticed the leaves were turning all kinds of wonderful shades of yellow, orange and red.

I timed it so that by around 9:00 I had run 29km ….the waiting at the start and then the very long time it took us to pass all the walkers, it ended up taking about 1.5 hours to get those 5km in.  Next time we will all know better and head to the front with all the other runners.  It was very touching to be amongst the sea of pink walkers and runners….many of whom were running for someone they know who is either going through treatment or who has gone through treatment.  It’s very sad too – the number of times you see someone running for a loved one who has died from the illness.

Team “Chantal”

  

After the run, I headed back out for the remaining 8 km.  As I ran along scott and then richmond road I past people who had been in the run going for breakfast or coffee and I sure wished I was with them.  By this time it had started to rain – well more like a fine mist so it was more refreshing than anything else.  But, I was tired and my poor hip, heel and toe were not happy campers at all!

To ensure that I make it another 10 runs I will seek help from all my health care professionals and I will do the necessary stretching, icing and most of all rest!

Cheers!