Sunday, October 14, 2012

Going with Gutsy.

Running Moms (Mary Davies 1st and Krista DuChene 4th overall)
Photo: Todd Duncan, CNW.
It's 1:10 a.m. and true to post marathon form, I am wide awake (as is Lanni who just replied to my, "Are you still awake?"). The last time this happened was after we ran in Rotterdam, going after the Olympic standard in April. I sure hope this doesn't last until past 3 a.m. like it did then! I've got mommy duty in the morning!
Anyway, today was the big, going-after-the-Canadian-record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) day.
Short story = With my 2:32:15 time, I did not make a new record BUT placed fourth overall!
Everything going into the race was ideal. I was fit, properly tapered and rested, well fueled and hydrated, and mentally and physically ready. Like going after the Olympic standard in April, I knew conditions would have to be ideal to reach my time goal.  In Rotterdam, it was 2:29:54. Today, it was 2:28:35.
We had a drizzly rain during our warm up and in the beginning part of the race but it was not pouring. Temperature was great and wind wasn't as bad as predicted. But humidity was on its way.
Lanni Marchant, Mary Davies and I had our plan set. We wanted to run 3:30-3:31/km with a 1:14 half split. Our pacers, Rejean Chiasson and Brandon Laan did a great job to keep us on track. We knew Mary would likely pull away because of her tip-top form (click for article) but she wanted to play it safe for the first half to secure her spot on the New Zealand team for 2013 Worlds in Moscow. Around the 25 km mark, Mary made her move. Lanni and Brandon had moved back a bit previously and unfortunately this is where Lanni dropped out due to a previous injury that affected her training. So, it was Rejean and I. That guy was amazing. We kept on pace until about 35 km then the effects of the humidity started to kick in. I was still mentally in the game but the cramping and hip pain started to take those precious few seconds per km away, bit by bit. I really gutted it out and persevered. It was tough. But I hung on. I remember thinking that I likely looked pretty rough. Reid Coolsaet had me prepared for the hill and wind at 39 km. It was exactly as he described it.
I finished with 2:32:15 just a few seconds slower than my PB, which I learned later was a pretty big accomplishment. Never had I not run a PB in a marathon so once I discovered that many dropped out and the times were slow overall, I started to realize it wasn't too shabby. And I set a PB at the 21.1 km (1:13:39) and 30 km (1:45:24) marks!
I was able to celebrate with Mary Davies WHO WON THE RACE! I was thrilled to hug a fellow running mom who set a 9 minute PB of 2:28:56.
I didn't set that record but still hugged Alan and Rick right away at the finish (my family later).
Jonathan, Rick and I traveled back to Brantford together and we enjoyed a lovely evening at our house, celebrating with family and friends (thanks to my sister-in-law, Jenn who put it on).
So, what is next? Well, for 2 weeks I am going with nothing. I will eat as I please (have already enjoyed some yummy apple crisp, chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies), and rest and relax. The hip is pretty tight so I will let it heal with time. Might ride the bike and swim a bit. We'll see.

1st and 4th overall. Photo: Rick Mannen.

1st Canadian. Photo: The Star, Steve Russell.

All smiles. Photo: Scotiabank.

Kids loving mom. Photo: Rick Mannen.

Proud Coach.

Amazing husband.