Monday, May 27, 2013

Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon Recap: the time I lost my fuel flask

It's Monday morning and I'm feeling pretty good, quads and foot a bit sore but certainly not doing the "marathon walk," I feel for those that ran the full yesterday.

Saturday night Ryan and I went to the movies, my plan was to keep my mind off the race and relax.  We watched 'Fast and the Furious 6" I still can't tell who has a thicker neck Vin or the Rock? lol.  We even had our nuun and pretzels, my pre race ritual, while watching the movie.

Sunday morning I was up before my alarm, eager and ready to go.  I was dressed, packed and ready really early.  I had filled up all my bottles, carefully double checked and triple checked my supplies. (this is important!).

Ryan and I headed to the race with our friend Jenn who was also running the half.  The weather was better then I thought it would be, not to cold and not to windy yet.  We parted ways and I headed to my corral.  The corral was PACKED..not even at Disney was it this packed.  I had no elbow room.  The good thing was that it created a blanket of people to keep me warm, since I had ditched my throw away long sleeve.  I had about 15 min to wait...nerves running high...and then.....GO!

Only my garmin didn't start properly, I crossed the start line and it hadn't picked up satellite (Garmin Forerunner 210 is really giving me grief!)  It felt like I fiddled with it in panic for the first 5 was actually only a minute give or take.  But it was enough to lose an accurate capture of what my time was, enough so that coming into the finish line I had no idea if I was a seconds off or minutes off my time. (insert major grrr).

My plan for this race was to REFRAIN, SUSTAIN, and HERE COMES THE TRAIN!  I had a plan for pace for the first 3 miles, 7 miles, and last 3 miles.

The actual theme for the race was more like this:


Just like the Manotick Road Race I started off too fast, I was running my sustain pace in the refrain portion.  I was nervous and put off by my garmin troubles.   But I felt great so I thought just go with it you'll be fine.  At the 4 mile point I reached for my Gel Flask for my first of two fuels and it was gone! I LOST MY FUEL FLASK!  I was in did that happen.  (sadly I had packed two extra gels in my bag in the CAR, I should have had them in my belt).  I panicked, I did, and then I calmed down. I told myself you can run 16km without fuel no problem.  You can do this!  You have lots of flub Katie, it better break down and fuel you! (too bad I was going to fast for fatty acid oxidation lol).  Time to see how hard you trained and go for it! Give it what you have. 

I was doing ok with maintaining my sustain pace. I hit the 10km split at 52:04.  But by 12km I was losing speed, I was still anxious and worried about the fuel.  The second half of the race I struggled mentally and then physically I hit an energy wall.  My legs were heavy and I didn't feel like I had ummph to turn my legs over at the pace I wanted.  It was a push to keep my 'slower' pace.  The last push home, the last 3 miles where I was supposed to be A TRAIN...felt much more like a broken down old car.  I saw the 750 meters sign and tried to sprint...thinking of all my sprint training...and my legs would not turn over...I was struggling.  

This is where I get mad at hurt.  I didn't push past the hurt.  In my mind I had resigned to not meeting my sub 1:50 goal...I thought I was a couple minutes off it (garmin trouble remember) if I had known I had 37 sec! I would have pushed.  I know me...I would have given it my all.  Full disclosure here...I gave up!  I was running hard, and hurting...but I wasn't giving it every last inch because I thought I failed.  

This isn't a new thing, this is the mindset that holds me back and where I self sabotage myself.  Regardless of Garmin troubles and Fuel issues I let myself give up.  I crossed the finish line and instead of being happy that I just ran my fastest half marathon ever! and PR'd I was defeated and sad.  I felt flat.  
I sat on the grass, shivering and shaking in my foil blanket, just flat.  Thankfully, I have amazing support and my friends online told me to shake it off and be proud.  Even though I was still beating myself up they cheered me up.  

Official Sports Stats time 1:50:36! 

37 stinking seconds away from sub 1:50! Later I realized my garmin had me at 1:49:44 for 13.19 miles...thanks to zig zagging I had hit 13.1 before the finish line so technically I did get it.  Yes this makes me feel better, sad to say it's the way I am hard wired.  Now to get a sub 1:50 on the all mighty Sports Stats! WINK :) 

I waited on the grass for Jenn and Ryan, shivering and cramping up.  I took a picture of the crazy muscle cramps in my calfs.  Yep I'm a doorknob :) But yeah they are kind of bad cool? no?

I saw Jenn come in and she rocked it pushing hard right to the end, she told me Ryan had hurt his knee.  I forgot all about my own silly troubles and focused on waiting for him.  Poor guy's knee went out 12km in and had to walk/run the rest.  I'm so proud of him for finishing and not giving up. Funny how we are more proud of those moments then we are off sailing into a great finish.  

I love this guy so much :) 
After fighting stairs and locked doors and crazy traffic we finally made it to the BIG RIG to meet our friends Rob and Laura. KUDOS to them for entertaining their kids for an hour waiting for us and having beer ready.  Laura is the bestest friend you can have after a race, she always has beer waiting for me :)  Jenn, Darryl, Laura, Rob, Ryan and I celebrated the morning with good food and cheers.  Right then it was all worth it. My favourite part of the race is the celebration with your friends after.  

I've had the night to digest the day's race.  This morning I saw a friend's picture on Facebook of her at the finish line getting her medal, with a huge smile and look of pride on her face.  It struck me then how silly I am.  That's how I should have felt.  I'm ridiculously hard on myself.  It's the way I'm built, I don't think I can change it.  It's also why I push hard and keep on pushing to try harder next time.  But I am learning after my initial "woes" to let it go, be proud and carry on.  

I am so lucky to be able to do what I love, to be physically able, uninjured, and have the support that I do.  Number one being my amazing husband and friends. 

So today I set up the Run Less Run Faster app on my phone for:

YEAH BABY! July 1st, first official day of training for the Toronto Marathon!  The second part of this year's plan.  YAHOOOO!!!!! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who's excited for Ottawa Race Weekend?

I remember years and years ago hearing about Ottawa Race Weekend and my friend Marlene going to take pictures.  I remember thinking what a cool event that would be and thinking that it was something that just wasn't part of my world.  That was before I was reunited with my love of running.  Now I am prepping for my second Ottawa Race Weekend and I am vibrating with excitement and nerves. 

Last year I ran my first MARATHON! It was the best race I have ever run.  I was the most prepared, all my training came into play just as it should, the emotions of a life long dream were flowing through me.  I ran to the sounds of my children's cheers on my ipod.  After that race I was ADDICTED!  I then chased down that same high in two more Marathons...but they just couldn't compare to that day.  Injury and toll to the body slowed me down and all though they were good races they just weren't like that magical first. 

This Sunday I will be going back to Ottawa Race Weekend to run a half marathon.  My husband is running again this year too, as are a number of good friends.  I may be just as excited for the post race beer and race rehash with friends as I am for the race itself!  I'm using a new training plan that I have high hopes for.  I feel good.  I feel ready.  I've learned so much in the last year about my body and how to best take care of it.  I also feel lucky and thankful to not be suffering any injuries right now.  This Taper, is so different from the Marathon ones.  Its only one week, I don't feel crazy.  I have a plan to follow that tells me exactly what I should run this week so  I don't have to second guess myself.  My body is not beat up the way it is when tapering from the Marathon training (except a couple black toe nails).  I'm not doing any strength training this week, to avoid soreness and tightness.  My plan is to sleep, eat well, and rest.  Exercise wise I did my last speed workout this am, and have an easy 3 mile run planned Thursday (hopefully with my fav red headed ponytail girl).  I also plan on some biking and yoga.  

I have a race plan, for the big day...for once in my life I am not going to arrive at the race and not change plans! I'm going to stick to it!  

Anything can happen.  Who know's what the weather will be like, will I get some crazy cramp, will I SHART my pants again?  LOL.  I can't predict the outcome of the race.  I have high hopes, but I know I have trained harder for this race with more intensity then any other.  I am praying for a good race.  I am praying that all my friends and fellow runners run their best races that day.  

I am hoping that this race will be part of the journey to running a personal best at the Toronto Marathon in October.  That's my end goal.  I can't tell you how my heart flutters when I think about it. 

This is my passion, my love.  I love the whole process, even the really hard moments.  I love how all my hard work (668 km to be exact this year) come into fruition on race day.  

I'm waiting for my power play list and the last 2 miles....I'm coming to get you! :) 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Summer Loving Confidence

Seriously it feels like SUMMER...we skipped spring and went right into Summer and I for one am loving it.

It's like I have a renewed sense of self confidence in myself now that the sun is beating down her warm rays.  I feel happy, healthy, fit and ready to conquer!  The sun and warmth is my prozac and I am medicated!

I had my first run in a tank top last week, a 7 mile tempo run that was tough, but somehow the warmth enveloping me and the cool breeze filled me with gusto to give it my all.

My Happy Farmer Tanned Self :) 
I have lounged in the park reading my smutty vampire books while the kids play and get their exercise.  I've put my pasty white legs up for display in my short shorts and let the sun warm them, not caring that when I sit down the white flesh spreads (more tanning surface). 

I've broken out my summer dresses, and love that I am wearing something other then my "clean" workout clothes.  I feel pretty and girly and twirl worthy.  

love this dress on sale at Mark's Work Warehouse, with BUILT IN BOOB HOLDER!

Last weekend I wore a dress to wine club and thankfully it was just my girlfriend's there because my underwear and dress were having a static relationship and every time I got up my dress was stuck up high and my bum and unders fully exposed.  I of course had on my unders with holes! Sigh.  But made for some good giggles :) 

I've been hinting to the girls for a week or so that I really want a LULU gift card for mother's day.  On Saturday I took matters into my own hands and told the family I was off to shop for my own Mother's Day pressie :) LOL  I enjoyed a wonderful hour shopping in Westboro all to myself without kids in tow.  That in itself was an awesome present!  You see I had told myself during the Manotick Road Race that if I held strong I would reward myself with a new pacesetter skirt for Race Weekend.  I love the feel of running in skirt, it makes me feel "fast".  Things went pretty well at Lulu except for that one tank I tried on that made my back look like it was a "BUM"! I really wish I had taken pictures now, it was amusing to say the least.  I couldn't find a tank that I felt comfortable in, in the pretty pale or bright colours.  They all showed the flubby tummy too much.  So I went for my tried and true basic black bubble top.  I have to say I don't care if it's black I LOVE IT!  I once saw this poster that said I wear black to workout, because it's a funeral for my fat.  Paired with a bright orange and pink pacesetter skirt I am ready to rock that Half Marathon!  

I ADORE the pleats in the back :)  Like really love them and want to run in them all the time. 

Took the skirt for a test run this am doing sprints and despite a few tugs to pull the shorts back down,  it was a dream to run in.  I don't care that my thighs look jiggly in it when running, I figure if I run fast enough no one will see. 

I feel like I have turned the corner, gone from my sweat shirt and sweat pant, trying to stay warm, slump and frump to feeling good about myself again.  I missed feeling good.  I'm embracing this body right now in all its AWESOMENESS and it's sweet imperfections and I am going to twirl in pretty skirts.