Thursday, June 15, 2017

Catching Up: May and the first half of June

I started a post a while back.... like over a month ago.... about Boston and April in general, but still haven't finished it, so I'll put that one on the backburner for now and move on. It will be here at some point, but not today. In the meantime, I don't want this blog to sit idle.

So.... let's pretend April didn't happen for now. I'll give a May and first half of June recap here and then maybe just maybe be a little more regular at writing stuff going forward.

I ran one race in May, but I wasn't actually racing it. I was never planning to race it. I signed up for the Ottawa Marathon maybe two weeks before the event, with plans of running it as a long run leading up to the 50K in June (which is coming up this weekend). It was 3 weeks before race day, so it seemed like an excellent time to jump into a marathon and with family in Ottawa, it would be an inexpensive weekend away. Plus, it's Canada 150 this year, so I figured it would be a good year to take part in the fun that is Race Weekend in Ottawa!

But... let's back it up a bit and talk about all of May.

The first three weeks of May were solid training weeks. I got some decent long runs in, and some solid workouts. Mileage was where I wanted it to be as well. I was feeling good. Actually, that statement is untrue. They were great and I felt good until the second last day of week three.

I was running my long run, which also included a workout component and.. around 9 or 10 miles in, my foot started to hurt a bit. Not so much that I needed to stop, but it was *something* and I didn't like it. I had this dull pain in the side of the ball of my left foot. I had done my run with a large out and back section and this started around the turnaround, so it's not like I could really just stop anyway... I had to get back on foot whether it was running or walking... and well... running is a lot quicker. So, I continued and the pain went away after a while, so I didn't need to take a shortcut back to my car. I finished up my 22 miles and headed home.

The next day (Sunday), I went out to run what was supposed to be 12 miles. It became 4 miserable miles. I had heel pain, foot pain, ball of foot pain. You name it. Not fun. I took Monday and Tuesday off running completely and went to see my chiro on Wednesday (she's fantastic, by the way). She worked on my calf and my foot and gave me some exercises to do at home. I ran a short easy run that day and a short workout the next, and by Saturday I felt great again! I'm continuing to do my exercises to make sure this doesn't happen again!

I drove to Ottawa straight from work on the Friday. Traffic wasn't too bad getting out of Toronto for once, so that was good. I arrived Friday evening around 8pm and my sister had already picked up my number and shirt for me. Thanks Andrea!

Saturday morning, we took a lazy coffee drinking morning for a few hours before I headed out for a run and was pleasantly surprised to see how good I felt. It was great! No pain.

Got back, went out and about with Andrea and the dog, then it was off to watch the 10K! The 10K was the Canadian Championships and is always a fun race to watch. This year, I knew a lot of people with Elite status in the race, so it was even more fun to be able to watch them warming up in front of the line, and starting ahead of the pack. My sis and I watched just around the corner from the start, then headed toward the finish, to watch from the VIP tent. Oh the perks of having a sister who works at City Hall. :) Cheering from the tent with open bar and food was a lot of fun. Andrea sent me some photos that she took:

It was great to not have to be concerned about what I was eating or drinking or the fact that I was on my feet for several hours the night before the marathon! I was already enjoying this not racing the marathon thing and it wasn't even race day yet. :)

Sunday morning, got up at 5, got ready, headed downtown. No warmup before this one, since I was planning to start out nice and easy anyway. The "plan" (which really wasn't much of a plan at all since I hadn't come up with a real one)... so the loose plan, was to run the first half nice and easy and then run around goal 50K pace for the second half.

I started running, and found myself just behind the 3:30 pace group, which was where I kind of wanted to be, but there were too many people and it was frustrating so, I passed them after a bit and planned to just stay a little in front of them where there was more room. I was running along, enjoying the sights and the spectators, giving high fives to kids on the street, etc. I was having fun! Around 8 miles I glanced at my watch and noticed that my average pace was quicker than I intended it to be. Whoops! So at this point any loose plan that I had went out the window. I was still enjoying myself and it still felt easy, so I just kept doing whatever. When I was crossing a bridge a while later, I thought maybe I should back off a bit until I get to 20 miles and then try to pick it up and run the final 10K strong. Well.... that's when the temperature really started to rise. It got hotter and hotter and the sun was beating down in full force. I made full use of aid stations and had fun along the way. I wasn't suffering or anything, but I wasn't going to try to push things too much, either. I had a freezie incident at one point... a very nice person who was handing out freezies happened to cut both ends.... so I was dripping red sticky liquid all over my legs. I actually ended up pulling off to the side to eat my freezie and then start running again! haha. I didn't want to give up my freezie, but I didn't want it to keep dripping on me! :)

I finished the marathon in 3:31, which I was perfectly ok with. I wasn't trying to hit any goal times, I had a solid long run, and an enjoyable one at that!

Afterward, it was back to the VIP tent. :) I spent a few hours there, which was fun.
Ottawa knows how to put on a good race weekend!

After my mini-vacation was over (I took Monday off work to drive back), it was now June and I was having a decent week of running, but.... I ended up getting sick less than a week later, so no workouts and no long run for me. At least it was only 2 weeks from race day, so the timing wasn't horrible. Close enough that I'm not missing out on gaining more fitness before race day, but also far enough out that I'd be fully recovered from the virus going into the race. I figured this would be the last of my "bad luck" heading toward the 50K.... but... I'm me.....

Last weekend, I had a good 12 mile run on Saturday, then Sunday morning met up with some people to run at Chicopee. All was going well until I managed to kick the same little stump that I've kicked in the past (it's maybe 2" tall and not painted or anything, in a section where there may even be some woodchips.... not overly visible, but still my fault for not seeing it).... this time I kicked it harder than I ever have before... I went down, but that wasn't the painful part.. it was my big toe. It's now 4 days later and it's still a bit swollen and still causes discomfort. Fingers crossed that it's 100% better Saturday morning. It's certainly nothing to be concerned about injury wise or anything.. there's no discolouration and movements don't hurt, but I'm guessing there's just some swelling pushing against the nail, that with pressure against my toe when I toe off, there's a bit of pain. I'm just taking it easy this week to hopefully aid in as quick a deswelling as possible. :)

And.... now I'm caught up! (except for missing April)

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