Thursday, 25 August 2011

Race Number 8 - Niagara Falls Half Marathon

I contiunued with my training after the Highland Games 10k to prepare for the Niagara Falls Half Marathon.  This was a big race and a big weekend for me.  I went to Niagara Falls with most of the people who I had taken the clinic with.  We were all spending 2 nights in Niagara Falls.  We met up for the expo and dinner on the Saturday evening before the race and everyone responsibly turning in early for the evening.
We met up early the next morning to catch the bus to the start.  The half and the full marathons start at the same time, but from different locations.  The full marathon starts in Buffalo and finishes in front of the falls.  The half marathon starts in what feels like the middle of nowhere and also finishes in front of the falls.

My goal time for this race was under 2 hours.  My plan was to find the 2 hour pace bunny and stay ahead of them.  At the start I found the bunny. There was the usual crowded start line mayham and anxiety I normally feel.  I started out fast - too fast, and after 4k had to slow my pace down significantly.  By 10k I was hurting and that bunny was long gone.  I think around 16k I got passed my a walker, not just a walker - he had 'Deaf Walker' written on the back of his shirt.  Part of me was quite impressed with the guy - good for him.... but really really crappy for me.

I wallowed in self pity for a bit, but I kept running or perhaps it was shuffling.  The tricky thing about this race is the illusion of the falls.  The course is a good place to attempt a pb because there are very few turns and it is reletively flat.  The relitively flat aspect of the course makes the finish line seem much closer than they actually are.  It could be my mind playing tricks on me, but I think I remember seeing the falls for the last 3k.

At the 19k mark I saw I guy with two young girls about the age of my daughters waiting for his wife.  As I passed them they saw her behind me.  He jumped up and yelled "Girls there's mommy!" I have never missed my kids as much as I did at that point.  I was tired and I knew there was no way I was going to come in under 2 hours. 

At the 20k mark I saw Mike from the running store in the crowd.  I think he was actually on the course.  He was there with his wife, Linda.  They were both cheering for everyone from the clinic.  I remember having to fight back tears becuase I was so happy to see someone I knew and to know that this race was finally going to be over.  Finally, finally I saw the finish line.  I came in, but behind me I could hear this clomp, clomp.  I thought to myself - no freakin way is someone coming up behind me to pass me just before the finish line.  I picked it up but I could not get away from the clomp clomp.  As the person came up beside me, I looked - it was a 10 year old kid.  He wasn;t running the half.  I did let him go.  I'm not quite that pathetic.

I finished the race in 2:04 and change.  It took me a long time to find everyone in my group but we got some awesome shots in front of the falls.  I didn't feel too bad about my time... there was Around the Bay to train for next.

After the race in front of the falls
Tracey running the 5k race

Friday, 12 August 2011

New Shoes!!!

A while ago I wrote about having 9 pairs of running shoes and saying I was due for a new pair.  I was having a debate about whether I would get a new pair of Nike's or try something else.  I decided to completely abandon Nike's at least for the next little while because this happened to my latest pair.

If you look closely at the top shoe - I've been kicking my self.... literally.  Most of my shoes have wear in this spot.  But this is by far the worst it has ever been on a pair of shoes.  I have worn these shoes shoes less than 15 times.  The sad thing is I love these shoes I waited about 6 weeks for these to come in.  Nonetheless the shoes are now going to be used for short runs and step class.

So I went to Grand Riving Running and spent an hour having my gait checked and trying on shoes.  I still pronate so I need stability shoes.  I over analyzed this purchase so much that I went back after I had bought the shoes just to check out my second choice.  I went back and forth between saucony and mizuno shoes.  In the end the mizunos won out.  I've worn these shoes a few times and I love them.  So here's to not kicking myself and just running.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Sunshine and Lemonade

After my run last Saturday I went to our local farmer's market and while I was there I saw people walking around with lemonade that looked amazing.  My hands were full of produce so I couldn't buy a glass.  But I couldn't get the thought of lemonade out of my head.  I mentioned to my girls on the way home that we should make some of our own when we got home.  Of course for kids this spawned into "Let's have a lemonade stand!"

I worked on perfecting the best tasting combination of lemon juice, sugar and cold water while the girls created a sign.  They set the price at a whopping 5 cents per glass.  Business was a little slow on our street - we had to call in the grandparents.  I think its safe to say they made a profit.

The great thing about this recipe is you can make it with splenda.  I'm sure stevia would work too.  I used straight up white sugar - but like the old school packets of kool aid - you control the sugar.  I also added frozen raspberries for pink lemonade.  And as was suggested this morning during my post run coffee by someone in the group you can always add vodka.

So without further ado - I present

Kick Ass Lemonade

1 cup white sugar
1 cup lemon juice (juice of 4-5 lemons)
1 cup water

Heat all three ingredients over medium heat on the stove top until sugar is fully dissolved.  Let cool to room temperature.

Add lemon syrup to 4 cups of cold ice water and stir.  Pour and enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Barriars - Real or Otherwise

This was in my way for a lot of my runs in July...

It was so absurd that someone would put a porta potty in the middle of the sidewalk and leave it there for weeks, that I had to take a picture one morning.  But the symbology of this image pretty much sums up my running and blogging for that matter for the month of July.

I ran a total of 98k in July.  When I was running my peak mileage weeks while training for the Ottawa marathon, I ran 98k in 1 week.  Wow!  I don't think that running less mileage has been a bad thing.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I needed it mentally and physically.

I have been debating what to do to keep inspired and to motivate myself.  I tossed around the idea of competing in a duathalon.  But I'm still not sure.  I think I may do an early fall half and .... oh that's right.... I'm running a marathon in Greece. The original marathon route.  That should inspire anyone.  I will be running the course with Rick and Tracey. Our goal is to run the course and enjoy it. No time expectations.

In the meantime, I think I will train to run a quick half while training for my marathon.   After a slow month of running, I finally felt like adding a bit more to my run this morning.  I'm taking that as a sign from my body that its forgiven me for my last marathon and is ready to run a bit harder.  I just need to find a race and then I'm committed.