Good morning! It’s time for another summary of what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks.
I got a few long runs in since the army run just to keep my endurance up for my upcoming races. I tried working in some hills and also did a run in Gatineau again to really feel the burn.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I went to my parents house to celebrate. I packed my running stuff on Friday with anticipation of fall running conditions. Well it turns out we ended up with summer temperatures instead. So needless to say I was a little bit warm on my runs.
I decides to run down the trans Canada trail to try and get some nice pictures of the leaves changing colors. I think I went a little early because they were mostly green but here are some of them.
My dad and I headed to Gatineau the next day and I was worried that I would feel the same way. Unfortunately, I did feel pretty terrible but I still got a 7 mile run up to pink lake and back down in. I had to walk on the steep parts though because I just didn’t have the energy.
The past week was pretty normal, I didn’t run too much because I still wasn’t feeling well. My next race was on Saturday and I decided my best strategy was just to sleep as much as possible and hope I felt better. My boyfriend and I bussed out to Stittsville on Friday and then went to a wedding reception. I left pretty early to make it home at a reasonable time so I could get some sleep.
Talk about a turn around in weather, on Monday it was 23 degrees and race morning (Saturday) it was 2 degrees. My dad and I headed to the race about 20 minutes before the start. It’s very close to the house and it’s a residential area so there is no worries about not finding parking.
I will also mention that it was probably the windiest day of the year for this race. The winds were easily gusting to 30km/h which meant everyone at the start line was freezing. Unfortunately, the start of the race was delayed. We didn’t know why at the time, but we started over 5 minutes late which just made us colder. There was a bear on the course. If that doesn’t make a race a little more Canadian, I don’t know what does.
In due time, we started and we finally warmed up. Normally in this temperature I probably wouldn’t have worn gloves or a headband but I knew the wind was going to be brutal and I’m glad I did.
I ran with my dad for the first 9km. I’m glad I did because he was running slightly faster than I wanted to but I tried to keep up. We split up because I had to walk to eat my chews. I didn’t wear my fuel belt this year so I wanted to finish them slightly before a water station so I could drink some water after. I’m glad I didn’t wear my belt; I felt so much lighter when I was running.
Just after the 10km mark, we turned directly into the wind and had to face it for about 4km. This was the hardest part of the race and it was really hard to try and keep the same pace. A lot of people were walking when it started gusting.
At around the 14km mark, I realized I was still feeling pretty good so I started to speed up. I saw my dad a bit ahead of me where there was an out and back stretch on the course. We made the turn onto the trans Canada trail and I realized that I might have a chance at beating my fastest time if I could hold on.
At this point, the only thing I was thinking was “2:11:37…2:11:37…” This was my PR that I achieved in my training run for the marathon earlier this year. The stretch on the trail is slightly uphill and then downhill right to the end of the course. I stopped trying to do any sort of calculations and just tried to keep my pace somewhere between 9:10 and 9:35. My watch gets wonky when there are trees around so I knew if it was jumping around a lot, I was probably still doing the right speed.
I knew I was still feeling pretty good when I started passing people on my way to the finish line. With 3km left I promised myself I wasn’t going to stop until I crossed the line. I almost did because I was starting to feel tired but I kept going knowing I was going to beat my time at this point.
The worst part of this course is getting off the trail and going to the line. The street has a slight hill on it which just feels like garbage at the end of a race. I pushed through and really tried my best. I crossed at 2:10:46 which is almost 50 seconds better than my best time!!
I was really hoping to come in under 2:10 but I didn’t do enough to save time out on the course. The wind didn’t help either but I’m still pretty impressed with myself. I was expecting to be closer to 2:20 based on the army run and the amount of training I had done.
My dad absolutely smoked me. He finished under 2:06. He must have been running pretty fast in that last stretch because I was not that far behind him when I saw him on the course!
Here we are at the end of the race with our medals!
It’s two days after the race now and I’m still recovering. I feel pretty good though. My knee that hurt during the army run feels fine now. I just have some muscle soreness.
I have one more big race this year, which is the half marathon in Gatineau. Obviously this won’t be a place to PR but I’m hoping to beat my time from last year! It’s coming up on Halloween.
That’s all the updates I have for now!