Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ottawa Marathon


Today I ran the Ottawa Marathon. People sometimes ask how far was the marathon and all marathons are 42.2 Kilometers (26.2 miles) or they are not called marathons, they are just races.
This picture shows me after the race with the space blanket they give you to keep warm. People ask me how I feel after teh marathon - I would respond "Like a super hero (after all I have the cape)."
It was the perfect day for a race. It started at 7 AM. The weather was cool (but not cold). I wore a throw away tshirt over my singlet that I discarded in about a kilometer.
It took me 2 minutes and 6 seconds to cross the start line. They use RFID chips on the shoe to make it fair so the real time to track is the chip time. The first two Kilometers were the normal jostling. So much so that I did not even see the first K marker. The first 1/2 K was uphill which I thought was great. Get it over with so we could come gently down I thought. But we lost the uphill and went steeply down for the next K so lost any height we would have gained.
The first few K, I asked fellow runners my times because I was not wearing a watch. I was tracking at about 5:30/K which I knew was a bit fast so deliberately slowed down. By 6 or 7 K, I was in a rythm and the crowd had thinned a bit.
By about 12 K, we went into a beautiful residential section of town. At about 15 K, I saw former Prime Minister Jean Cretian waving to the crowd from his front porch (although I do not know for sure it was his house, he could have been visting someone).
At about the halfway point (21K), it started to mist a bit and over the second half, it drizzled and rained a bit. I like this, it helps with cooling. I run much better in the cool than the heat.
At 30K I felt good so decided to speed up a bit. This went well until 35K when I got a calf cramp. I have had this before and treat it with respect. I walked for about 200M. I changed my gait and for the rest of the race, ran at the brink of pain.
Throughout the race, I had walked at the water/gateraid stops which were about every 3 K. I walk long enough to drink which is usually about 30-40 paces but late in the race, I was stretching this to 60.
By 40K, I thought 2.2 more K were almost too many but harkened to the slogan "Pain is temporary, pride is forever". And some of the runners had shirts that said "Compete to complete". One slogan at one of the water stops was "Spirit is worth 50 times as much as muscle or brawn".
So I persisted and finished in 4:10:37. Not as good as 3:59 but still OK. One of my 3 goals was to finish and I did that. In every race, I set 3 goals - one I know I can do, one I need to work at and a real stretch. I do this in other things in life also.
This is not a great marathon time but considering that I do not train as much as many, and many people cannot even run a marathon, it is OK. Part of running is solitary - against yourself.
Elizabeth did 3:19:02. We spent much of the weekend with our good friends the Spitz's. Warren did a respectable 3:40:10. Maureen even ran the 10K.
Of course after the race, I was wet through so got cold and almost had hypothermia set in until I got some tea and a shower. I was impressed with the kindness of strangers on the course and after the run. High comraderie. Good weekend although for some reason, I am a bit sore.

4 Comments:

At 12:01 AM, Anonymous zoom said...

Good for you! I was at the 37k mark from 8:45 to 1:00, and my hat goes off to every last one of you.

 
At 1:54 AM, Blogger David said...

Congrats Jim! What a feat. Its encouraging to see all the support from the fans on the sidelines, especially during the last half, the adrenaline gets going and theres no looking back.

 
At 6:50 AM, Blogger Vivek Chadha said...

A beautiful short story on Time Management
http://ceoooh.blogspot.com/2007/05/time-management.html

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Jason Peatz said...

Thanks for letting us know your story. I am feeling a little overwhelmed recently and decided to find blogs of people who had completed marathons before so I could get a handle on what is to come. I will be running the Regina (Queen City) Marathon this Sept. It will be my first.
Thanks again for your story it helped me more than you will know.
All the best,
Jason

 

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