Tamarack Ottawa Marathon RR
Last Sunday, the day had arrived. My first marathon since knee surgery! I have been patiently waiting and training for the day, but I also scared to see if my knee could do it. To the point that I waited 16 weeks to run it, even though I could have run it earlier. But I wanted to be as prepared as possible.
This is how I looked on February 1, 2017, the day after the surgery:
Six weeks of PT post surgery got me to the place of being able to run 50mpw every week again. My surgeon did an excellent job fixing what a car accident broke. Glad I went through surgery right after.
The training went well. I was doing some speedwork, but I knew I would most likely not be able to run it at anything close to that MP since the training took only 11 weeks and coming out of knee surgery, but I wanted to do some speed workouts just to see how my knee would feel. I also started going to Orange Theory once a week and, although I started on the bike for the first few weeks, I managed some hill and speedworks there on the TM. Intense stuff. So, with that, I felt like I was in the best shape I could be post knee surgery to do my first marathon since. I averaged 50mpw for the 11 weeks of training. Not bad.
We arrived in Montreal on Friday afternoon, and drove to Ottawa. It was a nice drive and the area is very pretty. We arrived at our hotel after dark and found a beer bar to have dinner. I had not slept much in the last week so I was looking forward to sleeping in.
Saturday morning took us to the expo, where I met my friend Deb again (she was able to take the weekend off work and run the HM):
We said goodbye to Deb and her husband, Kari, and headed to take a tour of the city. So much fun!
Headed back to the hotel, had a nice dinner and went to bed. My race was starting at 7am, while the Half Marathon would start at 9am. It was to be a very warm and sunny day, so I was glad I was not starting at 9am!
Sunday arrived and I was still not feeling much except a bit of nervousness about the knee. No excitement about the race, but getting there. I was ready.
The race started and I started at easy pace. It was still OK weatherwise, 57F but sunny and shadeless. I know the second half of the race was going to be hard, but for now I felt fine. Of course, the knee took around 5 miles to warmup, and was achy until then. But otherwise, that's all I heard from the knee at all.
The first 13 miles were uneventful, the course is somewhat flat but with some elevation (I would call them hills, but I am sure anybody not from Miami flat would say they were not). I high fived around 50 kids during this time, enjoyed the course entertainment and the cheers. The areas we were through were nice. Ottawa is very pretty.
By Mile 13, the heat had started and I started seeing people walking the course. At this point, I had to decide, do I want to continue running and risking a walk of dread later because of the heat, or should I just start adjusting. Then I saw one of many hoses ready for runners to get cool and I stopped. I saw the kids handing candy and I stopped. Walked a water station and didn't care. I had made my decision. I ran the rest of the race like that, stopping for whatever was on the course that was worth a stop. High fived another 50 kids or so, dance a merengue somewhere on the course, and yelled at my friend Julie on the course as she headed back to finish (loved that part!)
It was 78F when I finished. Not my hottest marathon, but I felt the heat throughout. Even though I stopped for water, hoses, kids, etc., I was able to catch up with the people that were around me all the time, as they were struggling. Heading back to downtown and the finish was the best part of the course, ha. I was hoping to finish at around 5 hours, but that was a wish I knew might not happen. Finished in 5:31:30 and I was OK with that. Had tons of fun on the second half and best part? My knee was completely silent. Not even a peep. Even this week, it's like nothing happen. So happy about that.
Here are some pictures of me on the course:
Next? Seattle in a couple of weeks. Let's see how much I can improve in that short of a time (probably nothing, ha).