iRunner Madeover

Tania, me and Aleks - immediately after I crossed the finish line. Photo by Sheena Denscombe

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be part of the Ottawa Race Weekend through my involvement with Team in Training. I was the on-course coach for the Prairie Region (Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon).

I love being on-course support. Not only do I get to meet a lot of wonderful runners, walkers and other TNT coaches and staff from around the country but I also get to help anyone on the race course who needs it. As an added bonus we coaches are given free access to the marathon course for the entirety of the race. This is akin to an “all-you-can-run buffet” for some of us.

I put on 50.15km during the race on Sunday at an average pace of 7:54/km. At the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco last year I put on 57km. That’s how it goes for some of us… but I digress.

I took advantage of my own presence in Ottawa for race weekend and cajoled Coach Tania into scrounging me a 10k race entry (forgoing a Team in Training event to run it… sorry ducklings). So, leaving immediately from the TNT Coach’s Meeting, I made my way down to the start line, downed a gel, limbered up (by jumping up and down trying to get Tania’s attention way up there in the elite corral) and be darned if I didn’t make another PB!

41:28 was my finishing time. That’s 93 seconds faster than my 10k in April (43:01) and over 4 minutes faster than the one I ran in March (45:19). Woo!

Truth be told, I was aiming for under 40 minutes and I was on track too… until about 6kms in. The humidity hanging in the hot/still air was just too much for this prairie boy. From 750 metres onward I was pretty much as sweaty and hot as I could possibly be and I paid the price in the last half of the race.

But, what the heck? Who cares? I was in Ottawa for another important reason and this race was just the “electrolytes in a very busy sports drink” so to speak. I had been up since 4am on a bus then a plane, I had walked around the race expo for 2 hours, ate pancakes and eggs with Tania for lunch and arrived at the start line directly from a meeting. What was I expecting? A world’s record? No. Just a PB – and I got one. Wait… let me rephrase that. I got ANOTHER one.

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