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My first marathon! October 9, 2011 in Victoria, BC.

ran the victoria marathon today. all 42.195km of it. i feel pretty good about it. post-race thoughts:

  • i felt physically better than i thought i would. crazy hip pain starting at close to 21km (and continuing for the rest of the race), but otherwise no major complaints. my cold was pretty much a non-issue.
  • the victoria run is amazingly beautiful (obviously i knew this already since it’s my hometown) and very well organized. crowd support was phenomenal. no pace bunnies (bummer). perfect weather. definitely consider victoria if you’re looking for a good destination marathon.
  • kathrine switzer, whose book i read last month, was the first person i met at the finish line. kind of a full-circle moment.
  • my chip time was 4:17:34. was really hoping for under 4 but i’ll take it. i expected headaches and gut issues post-race but apart from extreme muscle fatigue and stiffness, i feel surprisingly normal.

so will i do it again? probably. the hardest part isn’t the race itself; it’s the hours and hours of training beforehand. next time: hill and speed work for sure. in the meantime, i’m ready to trade my running shoes in for a yoga mat for a month or two. okay, maybe a week or two :)

ok so i have a cold. marathon is tomorrow. SO UPSET. it started midweek with nighttime feelings of having razorblades stuck in my throat and gradually progressed to daytime hoarseness. this morning i woke up with a cough. i don’t have a fever or an excessively runny nose, and if nothing changes before tomorrow, i plan to run. good idea? don’t know. but i’ll be heartbroken if i can’t do the marathon.

worst case scenario: i’ll go home to toronto on tuesday and do the waterfront marathon next sunday.

eep.

Leaving tomorrow morning for Victoria. Despite lingering back problems and a super light cold, I’m about as ready as I’m going to be. Countdown is on! Marathon is 3 days away.

Just saw on Twitter that Kathrine Switzer (@KVSwitzer) will be at the Victoria Marathon. Amazing. First woman to officially enter and run the Boston (second woman to unofficially run the Boston before ladies were allowed). Fought tirelessly to have the women’s marathon included in the Olympics. Read her book Marathon Woman last month—highly recommend.

So after a more than a week of excruciating back pain (gardening injury exacerbated by lifting my doggie a few times a day), I popped a few Advils and sucked it up for my last long run before the big race (2 weeks today!). I knew this weekend was my last chance to get some good distance in and managed a solid 30km. Thrilled. Was bordering on heartbroken thinking I might have to pull out of the Victoria Marathon after all this work—fingers crossed that my back is on the mend. Getting pretty excited, I have to say.

That’s it. Officially registered for the Goodlife Victoria Marathon on October 9. Eeep!

So the thought occurred to me tonight that it might be a good time for a new pair of running shoes. I have about 4 long training runs left and close to 6 weeks before my goal race—perfect to break in the new ones. I wondered what the recommended mileage for a distance runner on one pair of shoes is and after some Googling discovered that it could be anywhere from 300 to 350 (about 480 to 500 kilometres). This was, of course, promptly followed by some tallying of how far I’ve run in my current pair (purchased at the end of April). And the total is (drum roll please…) 689.70 kilometres since May 1! Whoa.

Guess it’s time for a shopping trip.

Haven’t done a long run in two weeks since the Midsummer Night’s 30km. The first week following I only ran three times (one 10km and the other two about 6km). I just needed a break! This week I was back to my usual distances and, weather permitting, hope to accomplish 25 to 30km tomorrow or Monday. And when I say “hope to,” I really mean “have to,” if I have any hope of completing the full 42 in Victoria come October 9.

So… Midsummer Night 30km is done. Reflections after the fact:

  • Despite having no issues in my long training runs, I was clinically dehydrated at the end of the race and extremely ill for 5-6 hours after the run. I took my own water and Gu Brew mixes and grabbed more water from several hydration stations along the way but I guess it wasn’t enough. Red flags started to go off at about 20km when I alternatively felt like vomiting and crapping my pants, an awful, awful feeling that continued until the finish line. Gross!
  • I quickly discovered that the east end of Toronto, which I rarely visit, stinks. Literally. Like bus fumes, diesel fuel, and garbage rolled into one. So the air quality may also have been an issue in terms of how yucky I felt after several hours of huffing it in.
  • Still managed to finish in under 3 hours! Was hoping for somewhere around 2:45 but ended up with a 2:55 finish time. Not bad, considering the above. Makes a sub-4 marathon 2 months from now seem possible.
  • Great volunteers and a well organized race.

26km tonight, in preparation for next week’s 30km Midsummer Night’s Run in Toronto. Not awful, but not amazing either. Somehow I need to increase my pace by 10-15 seconds a kilometre if I have any hope of reaching my goal of completing a sub-4 hour marathon in the fall. Tips, anyone?

By about 17km my hips were screaming a bit. Same phenomenon I experienced 2 years ago when training for a full 42 (which never happened). Runner’s yoga might be in order, I fear…and I say fear because lately I find that whatever cross-training I do affects other (non-running) muscles and somehow results in setbacks rather than anything advantageous. Yes, even yoga.

On a more positive note, I’ve been using Clif Shots for energy gels and Gu Brew electrolyte replacement and I’m happy with both. And I pulled out an old marathon training schedule and finally plugged in the weeks counting back from my goal race and discovered I’m pretty much on track (although I was hoping to be able to taper back a bit on the long runs after next week but that won’t be the case). No pain, no gain.