Monday, May 28, 2012


(disclaimer this is a long, indulgent post, with lots of pictures....dude life long dream here! )

Today was the day...Marathon Day, and it was the most amazing day!  If your not already totally tired of hearing me talk about running and the race today grab a coffee or heck a beer and join me in a recap. 

My alarm went off at 5am this morning and I was ready and anxious to get going.  I loaded up on a hardy breaky of PB, honey and banana toast and coffee.  At 6 AM I was ready to go, and had a car waiting for me. I decided to take a cab and save myself the stress of driving downtown.  Once down at the race the nerves started to flutter and I am thankful for my BB and being able to tweet my nerves away.  It was lonely not having my race buddy and hubs Ryan with me (he was doing the half later that morning).  I found my corral which was my goal time of 4.5 hrs.
Green Coral: Goal time 4:30 
I wanted to find the 4:30 pace bunny to take his pic for good luck but he was no where to be found...but I did find this charming 4:15 bunny....mmmmm
He just happens to be the pace bunny I had my pic taken with at the Army was a sign...
I have a confession, that 4:15 pace bunny got me fired up and I headed into the race with a new goal to try if I could to keep up.  Not to push so hard that I risked emptying the tank, but if I felt good and was able to I wanted to try.  I was excited and fired up.  When they sang O CANADA right before the gun went off I cried (first cry of the run).  
Nervous, excited, teary, and ready to go!
The gun went off and I was off...well about a few minutes later I was off LOL.  My goal was not to get carried away in the start, and to try and keep my pace around 9:30-9:40 min/mile.  I started off well and kept that rasky rabbit in sight.  I had a hard time keeping a steady was all over the place.  I was checking my watch constantly to try and keep it in check.  I had imagined running the race today and it being like a long slow run, where I have always been by myself and I have time to reflect and think and settle in.  It was NOT LIKE THAT.  I was engaged the whole time, checking my watch trying to get my pace to settle into a steady one.  I was trying to gage how I felt and make sure my plan was a good one.  I felt great though, and I was having fun.  I love being in a race.  I love watching the people around me.  I love the music.  I was in my happy place.

I hit the 10km point at 1:00:42 at an avg pace of 9:46 min/mile or 6:04 min/km.  I was going strong, feeling good, but wasn't able to keep that damn bunny in sight...he was drifting further away.  So I made a new goal and that was to stay under the 10:00 min/mile pace.  I was pushing it and kept paying attention to my watch.  I found if I settled into a song and didn't check, my pace would drift over the 10:00 so I was a watch checking maniac.  

I hit the half marathon check point at 2:08:02 and a message from the kids came on my ipod.  Ryan had the girls record a number of messages that played throughout the race.  I started my second ugly cry of the race, but was filled with motivation and happiness.  Then to really get the water works going, Liz's song (Nicki Minaj's FLY) came on and I thought to its real Katie...half way in...time to FLY!!!  I was booting it, giving it my all.  

In the third split of the race I started to tire out, the dreaded pain was settling in my knees and legs.  I poped an Advil that I brought in my fuel belt (which I think later saved me a lot of pain).  In the Third Split of the race my pace slowed and I slipped into that meditative zone thinking about the road to this day. 

2 years of transforming from an obese woman that was mostly happy but hiding something "GREAT" inside.  2 Years of sweating and pushing myself, of not listening to the self doubt, and believing that I could do it!  Lots of races and training, and getting up at an early arse hour to get my long runs in.  I was doing it! I was no longer driving by the runners and feeling that sick sinking feeling in my tummy, that I was missing out, that I was unable to or incapable of doing what they were doing.  

Training for my first 5km August 2010, running while on vacation!
first training 5km where I got to run with Ryan at my parents, loved staring at his bum  up those hills! LOL
Our first 5KM, at the Army Run and where we got BITTEN HARD BY THE RUNNING BUG!

Next stop....10km...
Rattle Me Bones 10km...first 10km was tough-ISH :) 
Celebrating a year of health and fitness together New Year's Eve, 10km Resolution Run

Father's Day Run,Walk and Roll with the Family, truly making this healthy lifestyle a Family one...I remember being so proud that I was able to run along Kay's side on her bike while she GAVE 'ER...that I could keep up with her and not hold her back, that she got to experience the excitement of the race

Fun run...Ottawa City Chase...urban adventure...ran about 18-19km that day!  Thought of it was practice for our first half marathon coming up in Sept!

Huge accomplishment today...half of a life long dream...back where it all started the ARMY RUN, half marathon
Back at Rattle Me Bones for the 10km, ran my best 10km in 53min!  PS. what's that in my pocket..looks like I am happy to see my friend Rob! Also running his first race and kicking it!

Celebrating another year of healthy living and happiness, this time with our very good friends Rob and Laura, a shot of  fireball whisky and then off for a 5km Resolution Run

Training for the Marathon, a "recovery week" ran a PR for the half :)  OOPS

Yep that 3rd Split of the Run was pretty much an emotional mess, I cried as certain songs came on, I sped up when my messages from the girls came on saying GO MOMMY GO...MOMMY YOU ARE STRONG...MOMMY YOU ARE AWESOME....oh dear crying again as I write this.  

But back to the race....

When I headed into Rockcliff the Elite Runner's were looping by us and they were a joy to watch.  I hollered and hooted at them!  OMG their bodies were machines!  Beautiful to watch.  It gave me a boost. 

The spectators were amazing, the signs were hilarious...I particularly enjoyed the I FARTED SIGN! and am so thankful for the people with hoses and sprinklers and ran through every one with arms out yelling EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.  

Pretty soon, I hit the 32km mark....and here it was the last 10 km of the race.  Time to see if my training had prepared me...was I going to crawl to the finish line or run strong?

notice the last split?  
Those last 10km where....ok I am crying while I write this...INCREDIBLE...all the emotion welled up inside me poured out.  I pushed it with everything I had.  I truly felt all the love and support that got me to this race.  All my family and friends, and my amazing support network online. I thought of all the messages and cheers I had received.  I ran hard!  I thought "KATIE LEAVE IT ALL ON THE ROAD."  Part of me thought this is were you BURRY the OLD YOU...this where you shed that insecure girl of your youth, and the girl that hid behind fat jokes....I ran hard.

I think at about 2-3km we met up with the half marathon, and the road was flooded with people gunning for the finish line.  It fueled me forward, it was amazing running in a thick pack of people giving it everything they had.  

2km to go...I put Tracy's power song on for the 3rd time...cried again and kept pushing.  750 meters out I ran out of gas, I hit the wall of pain hard, every muscle was screaming, my knees were crying, I was empty!  And I thought KATIE YOU CAN NOT QUIT NOW...but oh my my body wanted to, it needed too.  I switched my songs to the kids messages and listened over and over to GO MOMMY GO...GO MOMMY GO...MOMMY YOU ARE STRONG...I ran to the end crying, lips quivering, legs wanting to give out....and crossed the finish line. 


Goal time 4:30 hrs

Finished in 4:17: 28!!! Didn't catch that damn pace bunny though (next time lol)

As soon as I slowed to a walk after crossing, my legs felt foreign, and wobbly.  I thought I was going to hit the ground.  I have never felt like that before, the walk down the recovery line was surreal and I wasn't sure I would stay on my feet.  I kept thinking stay on your feet Katie, don't embarrass yourself :) I texted Ryan that I was done and got a message back that he was at 20km (running the half).  My heart swelled.  I was missing him so much.  While I ran I was sending him thoughts of love and strength and speed.  I waited scanning the crowd for the bald red head! Oh what a happy sight when I saw him coming down the line, I wobbled over and hugged him.  The water works hit! BEST MOMENT OF THE DAY WAS THAT HUG!  
My "Flower" so proud of him...ran his PR for the Half in 2:12: 27
Now the fun started! We met up with our friends Jenn and Rob who also ran the Half Marathon, first timers that kicked it!
I stole this photo from Laura who by the way also ran in Race Weekend with her daughter Cate (3yrs old)
We met up at a pub after and I enjoyed the best tasting beer EVER, and we shared our race stories.  Including my awful gas that was so loud that I could here it over my music and how no word of lie every time one "escaped" a person would pass from behind me and NOT BE WEARING HEADPHONES!  Maybe that was my secret to the last 10km, a little turbo boost help.

So that's it folks...typical Katie post full of emotion, lots of CHEESE, and a side gas :)

My favorite pic of the day, Laura took it, she's awesome with a camera...HAPPY DAY!

**huge thank-you for all the comments and cheers on Facebook, to my head cheerleader Rachel and for the gift of re living the race when I got home last night! Best Gift Ever Girls. 


  1. BAWLING HERE ARSEWIPE! This was the post I was excited to read ... to see how you experienced it and what was going on in your head! This has to be the most amazing blog post ever! YOU DID IT! You didn't just cross off a bucket list item .. you buried that fat girl ... took the bull by the horns and CRUSHED IT!


  2. Awe, what a fantastic post and what a fantastic time for your first marathon!! What an awesome experience. And what a neat thing your hubby did with getting the recordings from your girls.

    BTW, how large was the marathon? Sounds like it was a pretty big one?

    1. not sure how big, biggest in Ottawa I think....seemed huge to me :) SO FUN :)

  3. Congrats Katie! What an accomplishment!

  4. :D So very very VERY proud of you, Katie! Wow... wow... WOW!

    1. Barb thank-you for everything :)

  5. SO INSPIRING!!! I was downtown in the crowd for my daughter and am completely hooked - thank you for this wonderful post that just re-affirms my desire to achieve something as wonderful as you have. WAY TO GO!!!

    1. JUMP :) :) You can do it, what ever it is you dream can totally do it!

  6. Loved reading about it - was almost like I was there with you! Inspires me to get ready for mine. Congratulations Katie!!!

    1. CAn't wait to hear about your race day :)

  7. Like Rachel i couldn't wait to read this post of what you were feeling inside, your emotions, your thoughts, absolutely raw and all you, just the way i love you. You are a go getter and you will get r done. I am so so proud of you and honoured to call you my friend. big hugs katie, love suzane

    1. Thank-you...your comments on FB cracked me up :)

  8. I have been waiting for this post and to my surprise when you wrote about burying your old self, I started to cry! And your fastest pace was for the last 10 kms!? Guess that was her wake! So happy for you!

    1. HER WAKE!!!!! I love love love that :)

  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE - so very inspired and encouraged by you - this is an amazing goal and I am so happy to get to share a little part of it. As I work towards my half marathon goal in the fall - youwill be on my mind and on my screen to keep me motivated ! Way to go!!!

  10. I'm so proud of you!! This post is the most awesome & encouraging post I've read in a while. You have been my motivator since I started running earlier this year & I appreciate it so much :)

  11. oh... my... GOSH!!! you freaking DID IT! (I knew you would)
    I wanna give you a hug right now. Will virtual hugs be okay? I'm totally ((hugging)) you right now!!! xo