I’m overwhelmed with emotion and happiness when I think about the Ottawa Marathon.
I did not achieve my sub 4 hour marathon but I can confidently say that this race was the best running experience I have ever had.
“The marathon will humble you.” I never understood or got this “feeling” but after Ottawa, I feel it.
There was an energy at this race that I cant explain. So much pride for our nation, love for the run, excitement for the challenge. It was an incredible day.
I was on track for my goal through the first 28 km, I was even estimated to finish at 3 h 57 minutes. Then things started going wrong.
I passed my family in front of the National Gallery of Canada – you know the place where the huge spider is ! I felt their energy and excitement. I knew I looked strong. But in my head I knew I was fading quick.
I started seeing runners drop out, basically fainting on the grass. Medical officials running up and down the route. I think the heat and just pure exhaustion was getting to people.
This scared me and I know it completely influenced my decisions to slow my pace and take a few walk breaks. It got to me.
The water stations could not come fast enough and I never thought I would need a misting station, but I did ! Ran through every single one.
Canadian weather ! It changes all year long and I had not run in weather that hot since last summer.
I passed my family again around 35 k. Gave Dan, my boyfriend, a high five and knew the rest of the run would feel long.
The last 7 k was all stop and go. And the little kid handing out freezees saved me! I needed that, thank you so much!
Eventually my drive pushed me right to the finish.
The route was crowded. I’ve never ran a race that was this busy the entire way. I do run at a very common & popular pace so I probably felt the worst of it, but I do think this made the finish overwhelming and really congested.
But at the same time, the thousands of runners also made it great !
There truly is no better feeling than completing something that scares you. The marathon is a monster when it comes to running.
One highlight of the race for me, was the big surprise.
The night before the race my mom booked a dinner reservation for us. To be honest I didn’t really want to go out for dinner, did not want to risk eating something that made me feel off ! But becasue she wanted to go, I went.
Little did I know, my uncle, aunt and cousin were sitting at the table waiting to surprise me ! They came to cheer on the marathon. I was so surprised and felt so special. Huge thanks to them ! This made an incredible weekend even better.
Also time with my mom! She is my favourite person in the whole world. So glad we could share this weekend together. I think she gets just as excited about my marathons as I do.
When I look back on my training, I did everything right. I even bought a foam roller and stretched more than ever.
I had incredible support from an amazing runner Jeph Maags (check out his blog www.allinstrides.com) who was gunning for a BQ in Ottawa! My co workers were even counting down the days till my run!
Dr. Doug turned into my impromptu running coach! So grateful for these amazing influences in my life.
I’m very happy to match my pervious PR at 4 h 14 m, but I did expect to run a little faster.
I know the heat played a factor for sure. Also the excitement of travelling, lack of sleep, last minute gel change – there was room for improvement !
When it comes to running, a half marathon is on my weekly to-do list. The full is still a huge challenge. Running this marathon and not reaching my goal only makes me want to do it again.
The positive vibes I’ll take away from the Ottawa marathon will be with me forever.
I feel more encouraged now than I ever have before to keep running and keep enjoying.
And that’s why this will not be my last marathon. Let the googling begin.
I can’t wait to push through 42.2 again and again.
Check out my Ottawa marathon vlog here :