Monday, October 30, 2006
To steal an expression that Kristi came up with, it means: Post-Race Letdown Syndrome!!! When I read her post on What to do next? I felt like she was taking thoughts from my head and putting it on paper. When you've trained so hard for months and the race is now over, you realized that there is nothing you HAVE to do because you don't have a running schedule anymore... you pretty much don't know what to do with yourself! I love having some sort of structure and training plans work well for me.... As much as I want to run another marathon soon, still feeling the marathoner high here, the perspective of training like crazy in the middle of winter is not pleasant at all. So, a spring marathon is out of the way for me. I'm hesitating between running the Detroit or Chicago marathon next year... we'll see... until next October, I have to find a race and commit to it!! I'm going crazy here! =)
Sunday, October 29, 2006
The Detroit marathon was this morning and it was a cold and windy one!!! My newfie and I got there at 6:30 AM and were ready to work hard! The water nazi was giving order and we pretty much just followed them! It was great to see all the runners,the wheelers and the walkers. I did my paparazzi at the beginning and took a pic of the first runners (who did not stop for water FYI). The winner of the race, Josephat Ongeri from Kenya is probably one of these 3 runners =) We were at the beginning of the race (mile 6) and everybody was in good form when we saw them. I kept yelling at people: "good job guys", "keep it up" "you're doing awesome". =) I had a lot of fun!! I will definitely volunteer again next year if I'm not running it!
Friday, October 27, 2006
This Sunday will be the Detroit Free Press Marathon, which I believe (I might be wrong here...) is the only marathon to cross an International border (US-CDN). Runners will run on the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor (awesome!!!) and continued their way on our nice Riverfront and finally make their way back to the US using the tunnel... this is definitely a marathon that I want to run in the future!! =)
For this year, I will be volunteering at the water station on the Canadian side. I'm excited to see the elite runners and give some encouragements back to the runners. For me, this is a way to give some payback for the awesome volunteers that cheered me in Toronto. My newfie is volunteering with me, even though we have to be there at 6:45 on a Sunday morning... thank god for the clock going back an hour on Sunday!
Previously, I mentionned having signed up for some spinning classes.... oh well, I just learned that spinning is not my cup of tea, I'm a runner and do not enjoy all that much sweating on a bike in a small room with 10 other people... I paid 75$ for these classes so I will attend them.... anyway can't wait to go on my run this afternoon!!
Have a good week-end fellow runners! =)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I had been waiting a whole week to see the official marathon pictures. And the only one they could come up with, is that one!! I mean, I ran for 5 FULL HOURS and they could only come up with 1 picture!!! This wasn't even close to the finish line!! The more I look at it, the more I get to like it, but still I thought that they were taking pictures of everybody at the finish line! My friend Amanda, has 3 pictures of herself and she ran the half. Where were these photographers anyway?! This shot looks like when we were doing the Spadina loop, as you can see nobody's behind me.... Oh well, I'll survive and will stop complaining right now but still disappointed!!! ;-)
Monday, October 23, 2006
It's been 8 days after the marathon and I couldn't wait anymore to go back on the road and run some more! The weather was nice and cold and I ran 3 miles at a 10:25 min/mile pace. I was really happy to reunite with this running business, it always allows me to think and re-energized which is almost a spiritual experience itself! I think I have find a running buddy!! =) My newfie wants to join me once in while on my short runs! That would be awesome!
To finish, I would like to say a BIG Congrats to all the Chicago marathoners! Yumke who did freakin' great on his first marathon, Arcaner who PR'ed (yay!) and Jelly and Frankie who I'm sure did awesome too =) Take it easy this week guys, you deserve it!!!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
This one was taken about 30 minutes before the race, I'm with my dad
Here are my Number 1 Fans (sharing the title!) Mrs and Mr Flashy
Great picture taken by the Lovely Amanda, me and my dad are running to the finish line! Strong finish for both of us! =)
Amanda and I proudly showing our medals and barely able to stand on our own!!
A great massage for some tired legs, that was truly awesome! I could walk without any problems today!! But stairs are still a challenge!
I'm taking a full week off running! Well deserved :o) I hope that all of you going to Chicago this week-end will have an awesome time and that the weather will be great! Good luck all =)
Monday, October 16, 2006
PART 2: The RACE!
I was really quiet on the way to Mel Lastman Square, I was nervous and trying to concentrate on the run I was about to start. We arrived about 45 mins before gun time. I pinned my number on my shirt, attached 5 gels to my pants and stretched my legs. We were there to see the half-marathoners leaving, there was so many of them! It was like the never ending start line! My dad went outside to cheer them up and look for Amanda. I stayed inside continued stretching as I was not ready to go in the cold out yet....
With 10 mins before the start of the marathon we all went outside and make our way to the starting line. That's when my dad in the excitement of the start of the race lost 1 glove... he was going to go back on his steps and try to find it... but we were getting so close to the start!! I couldn't stay in place and while he was doing that, I walked to the end of the starting line with Flashy. I was really emotional at that moment, I started crying I couldn't believe I was actually there, about to race a marathon, it almost felt unreal even though I have been training for months for that....
Flashy hugged me and she was a little teary helself, she said good luck and then we saw my dad holding the big "Go Sonia" sign so he was there! He made it for the beginning of the race! No time to hug him, the gun went off, but I knew he was going to be there along the way. Garmin was working nicely at the beginning and I pace myself at 10:45-11 min/mile. For the first 10.5 miles (17 km), there was only a few people cheering (during that square around Mel Lastmen Square) but as soon as we hit Yonge there was plenty of people and they were all very supportive. It was awesome! The only thing I remember about that first part of the race is how many small hills we had to clim to then go down just after! I was on the auto pilot, my legs were moving without me having to think about it. I was just smiling and enjoying the race and thinking about what a great achievement this is! About 1h55 minute into the race, I first saw my Dad at Finch and I had time to tell him that I was feeling great and the race was going really well, we clapped hands and I was gone. I saw him just a little after that at York Mills and I was still feeling strong there. He was so cute with his sign and waving at me. I passed the half-marathon mark at 2:22:46 and was ready to tackle the giant hill of the marathon course. I slowly ran it all the way up, no walking! I finished at the top at the same time as a brother and sister from Danmark and we were all happy we made it to the top! Cheering each others =)
I was still feeling great at that half way mark. I was told by one marathoner that after that big hill, it would be all downhill from there.... I don't know if it's because Windsor is so damn flat but I saw and felt hills everywhere even after that! It was like never ending! And the wind was in our face all the way along Yonge, it was hard but I kept smiling and thinking this is awesome! I'm doing this! I was so greatful for all the people cheering for us. I was looking at them along the sidewalk and I said "thanks" to everyone of them for all their encouragements. People were really surprise when I was thanking them and they cheered me even more! Shouting my name and yelling: "keep going", "you're doing great", "looking strong". It was awesome!
I was always on the lookout for my dad and I saw him again at Eglington where I was starting to slow down the pace but I was still in good form. That was just before the 25 km mark (15.5 miles) and we were leaving Yonge to do a loop over on Spadina. It started getting really hard after that when I reached and passed the highest mileage I had done in training (16 miles). Around the 30-31 km (19 miles) mark people were giving pieces of bananas to runners and that was simply great. The gels were working well for me (I forgot to mention I had 1 gel every 50-55 mins) but I was getting a little hungry! Just after that we passed a corner where a bunch of people were doing the wave for runners and shouting your name. It was so great, it really gave me a boost of energy!
After that, we were about to go on our last loop down Rosedale Valley and my dad was waiting for me at the corner of Yonge and I almost didn't see him! He tried taking pictures but it didn't work, I wasn't in the best form anyway at that point! I really hit a big wall when I reached 35 km (22 miles), there was fewer and fewer people cheering and my legs felt like cement. The front of my thighs were burning, I was plain tired. I had been running for more than 4h at that point. I saw the Danmark people again, the girl was running her first marathon and she said she was feeling it in her legs too. We exchanged cheering words and they passed me, I couldn't keep the fast pace anymore. I kept telling myself: "Un pied en avant de l'autre". One feet in front of the other is the only thing you have to do to finish this! I saw my dad for the last time before the finish line at 38 km (24 miles), he was standing at the top of a small hill near Union station. I started crying when I saw him, telling him I was so tired... he said don't give up you're almost there. That gave me a small (but non negligeable!!) boost of what energy was left and the last 4.2 km didn't seem too bad. When I saw a sign that said "LAST MILE!" I started speeding up again. I was so happy and even though I was going uphill, I had found some hidden energy and passed several people along the way too! It took forever to see the finish line! I thought it was just around the corner but there was a sign saying: "Almost there"... Then I saw my dad who looked so happy and proud! And he started running with me, it was great!! We were going to get to the finish line together but when I finally saw it, I told him: "Papa, j'y vais!" and sprinted my way to the finish line as fast as possible! Leaving him running behind me! I saw Amanda first who was there with her friends to cheer me and then Flashy was there too with her boyfriend. I finally passed the finish line at 5:01:51, hugged Flashy before I was told I should keep moving! My dad finally catch up on me and he hold me while they were removing the timing chip from my shoe. Someone put the medal over my shoulder and I thanked her while I started to cry. I was so happy! I did it, me, the once overweight girl, I just ran a 5h marathon! It's awesome! My dad took pictures of me with my medal and the only thing I could think of was getting a massage for my legs who were killing me... so there I went. My dad was still in the picture taking momentum so he took some pics there (blogger is acting funny so I'll post more pictures later!).
I was on a high for the rest of the day, I proudly wore my medal everywhere I went, even to bed!!! We went for lunch/dinner and then immediately hit the road back to Windsor after that. We stopped every chance we got so I could stretch my legs... I took an epsom salt bath and went to bed but I couldn't sleep, I was thinking about the race and all the wonderful things I felt that day. It's such a mental sport and I knew I could do it. I was, I am so proud of myself and I am already thinking about my next marathon! Oh and I forgot a really important thing, my knee didn't hurt me at ALL, it felt great all race long. =) I never felt the need to pee during this 5h race and if you know me this is truly a miracle! So, I only walked at the water stations while drinking gatorade and water. All the rest was pure running! =)
Thanks for everyone who cheered during the training to this marathon. Whether you left a positive comment on my blog or were a supportive friend or family member, I made it to the finish line because of all your help. So, thank you all..... =)
PART 1: Before the race....
I want to start by writing that I had an awesome week-end and a very good time during the race!!!
We arrived in Toronto Friday around 7:45 p.m. as we got stuck in some major traffic entering Mississauga... I had dinner with my dad and a friend from France who was spending the week-end in T.O.!! I dreamed about the race all night and didn't get much sleep. In the middle of the night, we heard this guy shouting in the hallway to call 911 because his friend was dying..... the hotel where we stayed (shall remain nameless...) was cheap and not in the best neiborhood..... oh well, hopefully the guy was allright... we didn't hear what happened
On Saturday morning our task was to find a long sleeve purple shirt to run the race. We ended up going to the Running Room and I chatted with the owner who had race 53 marathons!!! He was the 4h Running Room Rabbit at the Toronto Marathon. He adviced me well as I felt warm enough at the beginning of the race and never too warm during the 5h race. I meet up with Amanda in the afternoon and we picked up our race kits together. It was the first time we seen each other and we had a really great time, trying out some flax seeds and picking up loads of free stuffs at the running exhibit. I also went a little crazy on the Toronto Marathon shopping. I boought myself a really cute purple t-shirt and my friend Flashy bought me a blue fleece as a birthday present. And I got a technical red t-shirt in my race kits... I thought, what the hell, this is my first marathon I'll always remember it!! =)
We went to the Carbo dinner and got to eat some great food and listen to amazing speakers (to name a few: Bill Rodgers, Chris Wollam and Roger Robinson). The speaker that touched me most was Katherine Switzer, the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. She gave a really inspiring speech on her experience running the Boston marathon and how hard she is working now on making running available for women all over the world... she was a great speaker I was a little teary and emotional during her speech (and pretty much all along the week-end!). The carbo dinner finished early and we were back in the hotel room for 8:45 PM. My dad and I planned his "subway trips" for the marathon. Like a true supporter, he wanted to cheer me along the course and we wanted to make sure that he would have enough time to take the subway and ran outside to see me. =) We were off to bed for 9:30 but sleep did not come easy, I turned and turned and turned anxiously awaiting the race. I felt like I was pretty much ready to go and this night of sleep was just too long to wait! I was up during the night several times. I had a banana around 5 A.M., then we woke up at 6:30 and we ate breakfast. We ran up to the hotel of Mr & Mrs Flashy and called a cab... and off we were to the starting line!!! YEAH!
More to come....
Thursday, October 12, 2006
WOW! I can't believe the marathon is in less than 60 hours!! Flashy, her boyfriend and I are leaving Windsor tomorrow right after lunch.We'll be in Toronto for dinner time! I think I'm going to go and pick-up my race kit on that night.... I'm too excited to wait until Saturday!! The only thing that's not exciting me right now, is the weather! Can it get any colder?? Seriously, it was SNOWING in Windsor today! Global warming... my a$$!! ;-) If it was as cold as today on Sunday, I would consider running with long sleeve, gloves and a headband! I will have to bring a truck load of clothes! Hopefully, it will warm up a little... the weather network now predicts a maximum of 13oC with isolated showers, I can handle that!
As for the running, I stayed on plan this week, Tuesday's 4 miler was done on the elliptical, Wednesday's 3 miler finished in 29:03 on the treadmill and a slow 2 miler tonight in 22:50 (there was some pretty intense winds..).
Ok, Wish me good luck!! I don't think I'll have a chance to check in until after the marathon!! =)
Have a good week-end everybody!
Monday, October 09, 2006
I was wide awake around 3:30 AM yesterday morning and couldn't get myself back to sleep!! It was so frustrating, I kept turning and turning and turning..... thinking and thinking about marathon day: all the smallest details inimaginable.... what time to wake up, what to eat, when to leave the hotel room, what to wear to go to the starting line, trying to imagine the feeling before the race starts then pacing myself during the marathon to do a great race, crossing the finish line with this amazing smile on my face and tears in my eyes.... well you get the picture! Hopefully, the worrying will go away and the great-resting sleep will come!!
I opened the tv during this insomia period and watch the end of a movie called Without limits which is about Steve Prefontaine's life. I got hooked and finally went to bed around 5 AM.... This guy also inspired me with what he said:
Saturday, October 07, 2006
It was already the time for my last "long" run before the marathon! I still can't believe how far I've come with my running! And next week-end is the marathon!! YAY!
Nothing really interesting happened this morning, I went to the gym and I did 5 miles on the elliptical and 3 miles on the treadmill (10 min/mile pace). I was running in front of a window that's like a mirror and became totally obsessed with my colar bones.... they look really weird when you're running :o) Besides that a pretty boring Saturday morning ;-) At least next week-end will be full of excitement!!!
I was really disappointed for my friend Amanda who gotten sick in the last 2 weeks and might not be in shape to run her half. Hopefully, a miracle will happen and she'll be running =) Hang in there dude ;-)
Happy running everybody!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I ran my 6 miler after work at a 10:44 min/mile pace which was really comfortable. My chose of clothes however didn't make me feel too comfortable! I was a little cold.... t-shirt and capris, note to self: "next time wear the long sleeve..."
9 DAYS... 9 DAYS... until the marathon!!! I'm getting really excited but also really nervous... It's some weird mixed feelings....
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Not the one you're probably thinking of! ....I ended not being able to get up this morning, so I had to fit a run after work and before tonight's pot luck dinner (I should leave now but I want to share my PR!). I ran 4 miles at an average pace of 9:38 min/mile! My fastest pace ever! It felt so great! I am so proud! The next runs will be done at a much reasonable pace but I wanted to push one last time before the marathon! You have a proud runner here =)
Monday, October 02, 2006
I just made up my mind on what I'm going to wear for the "Big Day" as I like to call it! I HAD to go with my favorite color: PURPLE! So, people look out for the crazy purple girl running in Toronto! =) I did limit myself and didn't go for purple capris.... I thought that was pushing it a little too much!
As for running, I was up and ready for my 12 miler on Saturday but the weather had to come in my way... rain is not my friend as I don't want to catch a cold with 2 weeks before the Big Day. So, I went to the gym, stayed for an hour (even though the limit is 30 mins!) on the treadmill and ran 5.8 miles. I was pretty pleased with my pace doing 9:40 min/mile for the last mile! Yay for negative splits! Bra hold on great, I was pretty amazed, so it was worth 70$ =) I did the remaining 6 miles on the bike and went for an hour of aquafitness...
Tomorrow's a 6 miler and I have to fit it before work as I have something plan for the night.... I hate running in the dark... might go to the gym... oh and I've already selected a post-marathon activity to keep me fit and busy: spinning 2 classes a week! I'm excited!
Happe running everyone!