Well, it's over. It didn't go as planned, but I guess sometimes races don't.
We woke up on Sunday to thundershowers and the weather saying that it felt like 24 degrees with the humidity. That was at 5:00 am, it just got hotter and more muggy as the morning went on. At the start line at 7:00 am I was already sweating after a short warm up. I knew this race was going to be trouble!
As I was getting my massage last week, my very smart massage therapist/runner friend told me that if it was going to be hot, the smartest thing to do would be to slow my pace by 10-15 seconds per mile. Now, I have been training for this marathon for 6 months, I really wanted to go under 3:00 hours, do you think I'm going to change my pace now? No way Jose!
Mike was right. I should have slowed my pace. I started off with my 6:45 miles as planned, slowing to 7:00 minute miles by half way, and finally giving up on pace completely and just focussing on finishing for the last 10 miles. Occasionally I checked my watch in the second half and at one point I was going 8:30 miles. Oops, my bad.
It was my slowest marathon to date and there are many possible reasons why.
- it's been a busy year with buying a house and getting married
- I was injured in January with a calf strain
- I have been sick a few time this spring, leading to several breaks in training
- I wasn't smart on race day
Now for the positives...
It was definitely not my best day, but it wasn't a complete waste of time. I did end up finishing 2nd (better than expected). I had family and friends on the course supporting me. I like running the Manitoba Marathon because they treat you like rock stars. Their expo and post-race food are top notch. Kristjan was able to bike around on the course and motivate me to keep pushing and working hard. I am kind of proud of myself for letting go of my watch and expectations and just running the way I felt. Yes, it led to a poor finishing time, but it made feel like I was in charge, not my watch.
It was awesome to see the running community out in Winnipeg, even people who don't consider themselves runners toed the start line. My best friend Megan also ran the race, so it was great celebrating with her and her family afterwards. I have had so many people supporting my running journey this year, I'm just going to name a few. Kristjan, my husband and coach has been consistently patient with me, while still not letting me get away with too much. Erick from City Park Runners, who has continued to support my dreams and my running needs with shoes and whatever else I need. The people at Powered by Chocolate Milk have continued to support me throughout this year. Mike and Kyle from Massage Athletica, helping me get through my bumpy patch with my calf in the winter. My friends for their kind words of encouragement and my family for their awesome Sunday dinners to help refuel me after my long runs. I got the chance to run alongside many great runners while have been training for this one: Megan, Kristjan, Sheldon, Gina, Alex, Tom, Paul and I am sure I'm forgetting a few.
It was not my first Manitoba Marathon event, and it certainly will not be the last one. I look forward to running in it for many years to come.