Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mississauga Marathon 2009

Can you tell spring race season is here? We are way behind in the blogging - sorry for the brevity, but here's a brief recap of the last few weeks.

Mississauga race weekend was amazing. This is the first spring marathon in Ontario 2 weeks after Boston. Here are the highlights - Judika finished 3rd women in the 10k event Saturday night. Josiane finished 3rd female in the half marathon.

(Judika wearing navy haute pink - 3rd female - 10k!)

I love this race - it has a lot of gradual downhill, some rolling hills, but overall it's a really fun and scenic course to run. I'll always have a special sentiment for this race as it was the first (only) marathon I ran with my husband*. I ran in 2004 with Arma in hopes of pacing her to a qualifier. (she had itb problems the last portion and just painfully missed a BQ by less than a minute or so). Her hubby also ran in 2004. This is a separate story with a whole belly busting comedy life of it's own - I'm gonna leave it at that for now*.

I wasn't sure how the legs were going to do just 2 weeks post-boston and mere days post 7 week holiday in Hawaii! After working the expo with weary legs on satuday p.m. I was ready to write off the race on Sunday, when I received a text message from my friend Patric "Are we still running?". Several months ago I had persuaded hin to run & train for missisauga and had completely forgotten. This text message was the little push I needed to get into the mindset for running the half on Sunday. I inquired of his race plan and he responded he wanted to run around 1:35 or so.....perfect!

We agreed to carpool down to Toronto - Missisauga race morning and we picked up Patrick on our way out of Barrie. Much to my surprise, I was informed that this was to be his first half marathon 21k run ever! Wow - a half marathon virgin who planned to run around a 1:35. Normally, I would be seriously doubtful, but I know that he is an amazing hockey player and I've seen him doing speed work on a treadmill before, so I took it in stride as we made our way to Mississauga. We started chatting about our pre-race rituual and race nutrition. When I asked him what he ate/drank before a race, he burrowed into his bag and pulled out a "Red Bull" energy drink and informed me that he never drinks when he runs as it causes him cramps. Uh-oh I thought to myself, this could be bad. Patrick informed me that his longest race was a 10k, double uh oh I thought to myself.

We were lucky to have decent weather for Ontario in May (this race always gets cool sunshine). It was a bit chilly as we lined up at the start (i wore the technical long sleeve with a technical tee over top) and my navy haute pink running skirt. Val and Arma were no where to be seen, so I started off a solo skirt along with Patrick. As the gun went off we made our way down the course. Patrick was outta the gates like a bat out of hell - I could hardly keep him in sight. I looked to the garmin and immediately slowed the ponies down over a 6:00 minute pace back to my 6:30-6:45 that I wanted to run. RJ - a co-worker of Val's and amazing speedy runner passed by me and informed me that Val was about 40 people back. I was feeling the urge to make a quick pitstop at the porta potty between 1k & 2k (full bladder) and figured Val would catch up and we could run together. I made a quick stop - in & out - and didn't see Val anywhere when I emerged. Patrick was also gone. Darn - got some ground to make up. I cruised along on pace wondering what the legs were going to do and tried to relax and enjoy myself. I caught up with Patrick around 7-8k I think -when we were approaching the school. We ran together around the bend of the school and at starting up the hill. As we were climbing the incline up out of the school area toward the next aid station I was singled out by one very large Canadian goose. I'm not sure if it was the haute pink technical tee shirt that I was wearing or what, but he took one look at me and charged toward me - beak wide open in attack mode. I still am a bit dumbfounded at what I did to set him off, but he was obviously on a mission to bit my arse! I squealed and did my best hurdle and whew! thankfully cleared the 20 pound ball of feathery fury. This pleased Patrick and everyone in the crowd and water aid station as there was an eruption of laughter. I took a minute to bow to the water stop peeps and shout out my pleasure to entertain them all and off we went up the hill. I grabbed a cup of water and noticed Patrick didn't take any. I asked him if he had anything to drink yet, and he reminded me that he doesn't drink during cardio as it causes cramping. I strong-armed him into drinking the rest of my water and reminded him that he's never run this far before and that he probably would benefit from a little water. Off we went up the hill. I was still feeling ok at this point and remember a few sizeable hills that I didn't recall from previous years races....funny how we forget or block these out. I do remember getting a nice shout out from Peter of "my next race" as we were almost down to the lakeshore. I had about 8k to go and was starting to feel my boston-weary legs twinge a bit. My goal at this point was to finish without horrible cramping and injury. With about 5k to go I was passed by another female, I questioned whether I should turn up the pace or let her go. I heard my coach in my head (he didn't think I was ready to race again) and didn't want to risk an injury. I pulled ahead a bit and held pace for the next km or so. Legs were screaming at this point, so I eased off and away she went and then 2 more. It was all I could do to finish the last 5k near pace and finish...just didn't have the juice in the tank anymore. I finished in 1:27:55 - a PR for Canada, so I'm happy with that.

Patrick finished in 1:32 - wow - an amazing time for a first half, no water or energy gels, etc.

Here a few more pics from race day.

Arma sporting her Boston singlet with the new "gold/maize" running skirt also PR'd the half marathon course! If that wasnt' enough, she ran back and helped run her hubby Andrew in for a BQ marathon 3:16:47! Nice work you two! Check out the video
& turn up your speakers - it's funny!

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