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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Edmonton Recap

Sorry everyone.  I have been so bagged, and running around so much, that I just haven't had/made the time to sit down and write.  And maybe because I don't have such good things to say about this marathon, I was stalling till some happy thoughts came into my head.  You know what they say about having nothing nice to say...
I knew I was in for a challenge when at 5:30am, it was already +15C (59F).  The forecast for the day was +30 (86F) but with the humidex, that number jumped to +33C (91F).  I was not looking forward to running 42.2km in that kind of heat.  I ate a breakfast of a whole wheat bagel, peanut butter, banana, a bit of coffee and some chocolate milk.  Mixed up my OJ, sea salt and water concoction and I was off to find the train.  Met up with L. (who was running her first marathon) in the lobby of the hotel, and together we walked to the station.  She was nervous and excited...I was filled with dread.  There was not a single cloud in the sky...not one.  Thankfully there was a bit of a breeze, but not one cloud.  I was in for a long day!

We arrived at Northlands Park about 6:15, in time to watch the marathon walkers leave at 6:30.  I hate this part...sit around and around and around, waiting to start.  Finally, after a quick potty break, and L's multiple breaks, we went out and queued up.  Sadly, despite reports otherwise, there was not a 5:30 or "to finish" bunny, so I just placed myself at the back of the pack and reset Mr. Garmin to 10:1's, for L.  We started off, at a pace that I felt was too quick.  By the first water station, L. was taking off (she usually trained with the 4:30 pace group) and I was left to my own devices.  I took water at each station, as well as Gatorade, because I knew I was going to sweat it out in no time.  I was right.  I don't know Edmonton very well, but we ran from Northlands, weaved our way through downtown, through some nice, older neighbourhoods, across the river, through some more neighbourhoods, bobbing and weaving the whole way.  Suddenly people were shooting past me, and the front runners for the Half were passing as if I was standing still!  They started a half hour after we did!!!  Sadly, I got sucked up in the draft of the halfers, and found myself once again running a pace that my body just did not like.  Finally, we reached their turn-around point (and "only" 10km for us!) and I could slow myself down again.  However, the heat got to me.  As did my shoes...I could feel the blister forming on my insole and knew it was going to be nasty (it was HUGE).  I kept trying to push myself forward, but as the day wore on, the more discouraged and less like a runner I felt.  There was that naggy little voice wondering why I was doing this again, and that I should have started at 6:30, and if I were only doing the Half, I'd be done by now...blah, blah, blah!  Did my best to talk around it, counted from 300, challenged myself to just run one more block, etc. but I was toast by the halfway mark.  However, I am a very stubborn person and refuse to say quit.  So I walked on...the volunteers were all great, very enthusiastic, filling my water bottle repeatedly for me, and one guy even dumped a whole bucket of water over my head!!  Yes, as per my request!!  The more I tried to run, the more my legs cramped up...I just could not do it anymore, and it became a game of wills...left, right, repeat to the end.  Ended up catching up to a couple of ladies, who also suffered from the heat, and we ended up walking in together.  Official time was 6:26.  Grabbed some water (hot from sitting in the sun), totally missed out on the `brunch` that was offered, went back to the hotel via a Shopper`s Drug Mart for a very large bottle of COLD water and some food from the food court, before crashing in my room for a couple of hours.  Iced my feet and had a cold shower, still trying to cool down, before finally heading downstairs for some dinner.  Grilled chicken breast, a half rack of baby back ribs, brown rice (I ignored the carb rule) and steamed veggies.  And a beer...a delicious, cold glass of beer!

Spent one more night in my heavenly soft hotel bed, before the drive home to Calgary.  Managed to get out of Edmonton unscathed (simply back-tracked and it was much easier by the light of day), and made it home with time to unpack, cuddle George and head off to boot camp.  Yes, I went to boot camp!  I actually wasn`t that stiff from the race, and I just wanted to wipe it from my mind, so I thought getting my sweat on would be a good thing.  Trainer Josh was kind, as I didn`t have to run the hill, but just walk my way up the back way to meet the group.  Then we did our usual drills.  It was all good.

After boot camp, I stopped at Safeway to grab some vegetables and protein (in this case, light Babybel and some hummus) before I went to the Epicure Selections fall launch.  Oohed and awed over the new and returning stuff, had some nibbles (oops...there`s those dang carbs again) before heading home and crashing.

Today was spent with Mom - I am on vacay all week - off to the Dr`s for a follow-up, then groceries, lunch, Purdy`s, the vets and home again.  I did manage to squeeze in a quick nap (I am on holidays, after all) before boot camp again.  I arrived a little late (TRAFFIC SUCKS!) to which Trainer Josh said  ``I though maybe you finally decided to take a deserved night off``...Um...nope!  Sprints up Weaslehead, with my favourite (OMG, can`t believe I just said that) was when we walked up it backwards, stopping and doing squats every 10 steps.  The quads and butt felt it HARD tonight.  Boo-yah!

Dinner was BBQ salmon salad (Maple BBQ salmon, roasted in my oven, greens, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, goat cheese, balsamic dressing) and some fresh blackberries and blueberries for dessert.  Going to lay low the rest of the night, and decide how to spend the rest of my week off.


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