Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mississauga Half Marathon and Visit to South March Public School

Mississauga Half Marathon May 16th

Two weeks after the sporting life 10km I decided to run a half marathon for training to prepare for the Ottawa Marathon on 30 May. The Mississauga half was only 2 weeks before Ottawa and I was not sure if it was too close to the marathon however I wanted to run this half marathon for two reasons. The first was to have my last long tempo run and get pushed by other people. The second reason was to practice my fluid and nutrition intake during the race and also make sure what food the day before and morning of the race digests well and also gave me enough energy. I wanted to change from using GU as I found in the Montreal half marathon that my stomach was not comfortable during the race. I needed to take in some more nutrition but did not want another GU as I was worried what might happen to my stomach. In the Montreal half I really lacked energy near the finish. For the Mississauga half I decided to try using the jellybeans and energy chews as I had heard these were easier for the stomach to digest.

It was a beautiful morning for the race. The conditions were perfect for running: Overcast, no wind and cool. 15 minutes before the start I had the jellybeans. It felt strange to be eating jellybeans while warming up but much easier to eat that GU. On the start line I saw some familiar faces from previous races here in Canada and was hoping to get out to a good start. I was aiming for a pace 3:30 per km like for my other tempo runs. I have been having trouble in training to keep the pace at 3:30 so I was hoping in a race situation that this pace would feel easier.

The gun went off and my focus was on getting the pace right. For the first 2km I ran with the first group of guys which was good however I knew at some point they would probably speed up. At exactly the 3km mark the guys took off as if the start gun had gone off again. I looked behind hoping to see another group that could push me but to my disappointment I could see nobody. However my body felt really good and was looking forward to running strong. The course was really beautiful winding through neighborhoods, parks, gardens and the water. I passed the 5km mark in 16:50 and the 10km mark in 35:10 and felt very relaxed. I was trying to focus on my breathing, stride length and energy levels. At 15km I took the energy chews and was hoping they would be okay on my stomach and give me energy. They worked really well. By about 16km I was feeling really good and ready to run strong the last 5km. I won the race and crossed the finish in 1:14:04 a new personal best during training, and a new course record :-).

I was hoping to run 1:13 to be on 3.30 pace but I think if I had had people to push me I would have been able to achieve this. I was happy with the training run and my pace was 3.31. I am now comfortable with my nutrition and fluid intake before and during the race. I am very excited for the Ottawa Marathon and to have the chance to run against some very good athletes. A great opportunity to run a personal best :-)

The elite list for the Ottawa Marathon and an article about the top elite contenders is outlined in the links below:

Visit to South March Public School May 20th

On Thursday 20 May I was asked by South March Public School in Ottawa to give a talk to kick off their schools first track and field day. I was happy to have the opportunity to go and encourage the kids about running and get them excited for their day. There were around 250 kids in the school’s gymnasium. It was great to see the kids sing the Canadian national anthem before I gave the talk. My speech to the kids covered a little about my history, what the marathon is, nutrition, benefits of running, importance of encouraging each other and to remember that winning is not the most important thing as long as you try your hardest. After the speech I took the kids on a warm-up run around their school field. The kids then gave me a nice bunch of flowers and 3 cheers for encouragement and good luck for the Ottawa Marathon. It was a great experience and I hope that the kids were encouraged and got excited about running and being active. I hope through running I have many more opportunities to encourage the community to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Below is the link to a video that was posted on the Ottawa Citizens website about the talk to South March Public School:

Video: Elite runner talks about marathon

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