What’s Next?

What’s next? That’s the questions that runners get asked a lot in the days and weeks following a marathon.

Sometimes it’s a question asked by friends, family or running buddies. Other times it’s a question that a runner asks themselves.

So what’s next for me? I don’t know just yet. I had considered running the Niagara Ultra 50km in a few weeks, but after Ottawa I decided to skip that race. I had nothing to prove after my PB in the Ottawa Marathon, and I’ve run the race twice before. Maybe I could improve my time, but it wasn’t something that was important to me.

One thing I won’t be doing later this year is another marathon. I’ve decided to take on one a year and then ease back the training through summer and fall. I’ll be back next winter and spring to take a shot at running sub-3:30 and get that little bit closer to what will be my Boston Marathon qualifying time when I turn 45 next year: 3:25.

I’ll keep running four days a week, with longer runs on Sundays now and then. Running Room founder John Stanton suggests 16km runs on Sundays are plenty to keep your fitness and strength between training cycles.

Perhaps I’ll pick a fall half marathon as well and take a run at my personal best of 1:38:25. I’m pretty sure if I get in some good training over the summer and into the fall that I can drop that down below 1:35.

In short, I’m going to keep on running.

Why the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend Rocks

What is it that makes the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend so special?

That’s what Running Room founder John Stanton asked me as we chatted over the PA at the finish line after I ran the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon on Sunday.

Rideau Canal LocksI told him that what made it special for me was the level of participation. You have over 49,000 people running in the various events that make up the two day Race Weekend.

Add another couple hundred thousand or more who come out to cheer and watch the runners and it seems like the entire city is involved in the event.

Other cities in Canada have big marathons that draw as many runners as Ottawa does for its race. But no other city gets involved in its races like Ottawa.

The spectators

You see it at 7:00 A.M. as you run up Elgin towards the War Memorial. Both sides of the course are lined with people cheering you on. At 7:45 A.M. as I ran through Hintonburg, the streets were filled with residents of the neighbourhood who came out to see the race and cheer the runners on.

There were people at the end of their driveways with hoses misting runners at 36km. I got frozen freezies from two different families who were handing them out by the dozens from cooler bags along the route.

Then there’s the finish. What can I say? There is no better last 2km than Ottawa in any race I’ve ever run. As I told John Stanton, I knew I just needed to get to 40km and make that turn over Pretoria and then the energy of the crowd would carry me home.

The volunteers

Don’t forget the volunteers! Every single water station was filled with excited, helpful volunteers who provided water, gatorade, gels, bananas, oranges and encouragement. Every person I encountered at the Health and Fitness Expo greeted me with a smile and wished me a good race. I felt like a rockstar after the race heading down the chute to collect my medal.

SpectatorsSome of them worked long hours so we could race. Many were up earlier than I was on Sunday morning to setup water stations. Many of those same volunteers were still out on the course working well after I had finished.

Local businesses

Restaurants were in on the act with marathon special pasta plates on Saturday evening, and our hotel (Hotel Indigo) provided towels, water bottles and a special breakfast box for runners. Starbucks added staff and opened at 5:30 A.M. to serve up breakfast to runners and fans.

After the race the staff at the restaurant where we ate asked us about our race and congratulated us on our accomplishments. You could tell they genuinely meant it.

Even VIA Rail, which got us from Toronto to Ottawa and back for the weekend, got involved sending out tweets to participants.

The City of Ottawa

Apart from the races and running, Ottawa is also a beautiful city to visit. After the races, we walked along the Rideau Canal, checked out the locks and strolled past the Parliament Buildings.

There’s no shortage of things to do around the city between areas like Byward Market, and the various museums and attractions like the Museum of History, and the National Gallery.

To sum it up, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is the biggest and best running weekend in Canada (and maybe anywhere), in one of the nicest cities you’ll ever visit, with the best spectators and volunteers you’ll ever encounter.

Mark your calendars — the 2016 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend takes place May 28-29, 2016.

Thanks to Pierre Lachaîne for the race photo above.

Race Report: 2015 Ottawa Marathon

The plan going into this one was to see if I could get my time down below 3:40. That was an ambitious goal, but I had run a sub-2:30 30km at Around the Bay, so it seemed pretty doable.

Race morning weather was a touch warm, but with a heavy overcast. That was a welcome sight as the forecast had called for sunny skies and warm temps starting around 14ºC and climbing to close to 20ºC by the time I expected to finish.

The usual opening ceremonies happened including a nice shout out from John Stanton for the Team Awesome runners on course in the marathon.

I was with the 3:35 pace bunny in the yellow corral and planned to stick just ahead of him for as long as I could in the race.

The start

The horn sounded and we were off. The course starts with a decent climb up Elgin to the War Memorial which kept things reasonable early on. It was a bit congested, but not too bad.

1kmGinny was waiting around 1km so I stuck to the right side and saw her there. A mere 41.2km to go.

The first few kilometres are along the east side of the canal and you get to run this stretch again near the end of the course. We passed the 39km banner here and I wondered how I’d be feeling more than three hours later when we ran this stretch again.

Next we ran across the Pretoria Bridge and then the left turn onto Queen Elizabeth Drive on the west side of the canal. I was running well here and had bridged up to the 3:30 pace bunny who was just a few metres ahead at the start.

His pace felt a bit more comfortable to me but I wondered if it might be a bit too fast. Perhaps I’d pay the price later? I knew I could run 30km at that pace based on my Around the Bay run, and I’d put in a ton of training since then.

  • 1km – 4:56
  • 2km – 5:05
  • 3km – 4:56
  • 4km – 4:55
  • 5km – 4:53 (25:24 at 5km)
  • 6km – 4:53

The kilometres were clicking by quickly and the skies were staying overcast. We had a bit of sun around Dow’s Lake that illustrated what it would be like without the cloud cover and it wasn’t something I was looking forward to experiencing for a few hours.

Hintonburg and Lebreton Flats

Through Hintonburg the crowds swelled and provided some energy to the runners. There’s lots to look at on this stretch with shops and some new construction as well.

We made the turn around Westboro to head back east for a bit and I struck up a conversation with a guy in an Around the Bay hat. We chatted about the 3:30 bunny (who was pacing perfectly) and about our past races.

Crowd support was decent along this stretch with some good signs and lots of encouragement. The water stations were well run and the volunteers did a great job.

  • 7km – 4:49
  • 8km – 4:49
  • 9km – 4:48
  • 10km – 4:48 (49:41 at 10km)
  • 11km – 4:49
  • 12km – 4:45
  • 13km – 4:54
  • 14km – 4:52

Next up was the section I was looking forward to the least – the out-and-back along Sir John A Macdonald Parkway. This stretch lacks any real cheering and the camber of the road takes a bit of a toll. At least the Ottawa River provided a nice view to the north.

Gatineau’s hills

Finally the turn north into Gatineau came into view just around the Canadian War Museum. The crowds were big here again as it wasn’t far from downtown and the start area. We crossed over the bridge into Quebec, ran the short steep climb onto Boul. Alexandre Taché and Rue Montcalm.

  • 15km – 4:53 (1:14:19 at 15km)
  • 16km – 4:49
  • 17km – 4:53
  • 18km – 4:51
  • 19km – 4:58
  • 20km – 4:46
  • 21km – 4:55 (1:44:21 at 21.1km)

My half marathon split was 1:44:21.

I looked for @RebeccaRuns at the 22km water station she was running with the students from CW but missed her. No time to stop for a chat anyways.

I was still with the 3:30 group here which meant for some consistent splits. I was feeling really, really good.

The hills of Gatineau are a constant companion, so making the left turn to head past the Museum of History was nice as it meant we were shortly heading over the Alexandra Bridge back to Ottawa.

Back to Ottawa

That bridge is flat, but you have to climb to get on it, and then there’s a steady climb up to Sussex to contend with. The crowds are great here, providing energy and encouragement all the way up the hill.

sportstatsIt was left onto Sussex Drive now and north to the far end of the course. I was still with the 3:30 group and at 24km I realized I had about 18 minutes in the bank on my personal best. The kilometres were still clicking off around the 4:55/km range. Good stuff.

  • 22km – 4:58
  • 23km – 4:55
  • 24km – 4:56
  • 25km – 4:59 (2:03:19 at 25km)
  • 26km – 4:48
  • 27km – 5:10
  • 28km – 4:47

I ran out past the Prime Minister’s place (couldn’t be bothered to come out to cheer again this year) and then into Rockcliffe Park.

This section is tough. The sun came out and brought the heat for a bit here and the crowds were gone. I crossed the 30km mat a couple of seconds off my Around the Bay PB. By that point in Hamilton my pace was dropping, but today I was still running 5:00/km.

Rockcliffe

Around 32km the heat really showed up and I eased back a bit. The bunny and his group of 3:30 runners started slowly pulling away from me now, but I was okay with that. I didn’t expect to run with them through the finish, but I was hoping to keep up the pace for a few more kilometres.

The next few splits were around 5:15/km which made me pretty happy. I felt a lot slower than that now, but I was still running pretty quickly on tired legs.

  • 29km – 4:57
  • 30km – 4:57 (2:29:01 at 30km)
  • 31km – 5:02
  • 32km – 4:49
  • 33km – 5:09
  • 34km – 5:18

I grabbed a blue freezie around 35km (thanks to the family handing those out) and that cooled me off a bit. The overcast had also returned which literally took off some of the heat.

Around 37km I saw Mike Lin heading out on the other side of the course. I still had the 3:30 group in sight but they were slowly but surely pulling away from me. I didn’t care. A huge PB was happening and I was going to finish well under my 3:39:59 ‘A” goal.

Soon the crowds would swell again and they would take me through to the finish along the canal.

Rideau Canal and the finish

At 39km the half marathoners merged onto the route and suddenly I had people passing me on both sides. I stuck to the right side and looked across the canal to the finish on the other side. I could hear the crowd over there cheering runners to the line. Both sides of the course were lined with people cheering us through to the finish.

I saw a girl struggling here who was close to going down. I stopped to make sure it was just her legs. She was talking fine and making complete sense and we were about 50m from the aid station so I pushed on. That cost me a few seconds, but I know others would do the same for me if I ended up in that position.

  • 35km – 5:16 (2:54:50 at 35km)
  • 36km – 5:16
  • 37km – 5:25
  • 38km – 5:40
  • 39km – 5:43
  • 40km – 5:42 (3:23:06 at 40km)

I grabbed another freezie and pushed on towards the Pretoria Bridge and the final turns. I knew it was about 1.3km from the bridge to the finish thanks to the Friendship Run on Saturday so I started doing the math around here to figure out what I could do for a finish time.

The blingThe 3:35 bunny and his group came by and I tried to stick with them but didn’t have enough left in my legs to do it. I figured a 3:35:XX was possible if I kept pushing, but I was also thinking back to the night before when I witnessed a guy drop at the finish line. He needed CPR and a defibrilator to be revived. I had no intention of being that guy, although it was my legs that were slowing me down here, not my cardio.

I have a personal rule that I don’t push it hard at the end so I kept my pace going as much as I could, but not overstressing things. I came across the line and stopped my watch.

  • 41km – 5:54 (my worst kilometre of the race)
  • 42km – 5:42

3:36:01. A personal best by 12:29. Amazing. My best run ever.

Last Minute Ottawa Race Weekend Tips for Marathoners

This will be a short and sweet list, mostly because there’s all sorts of good stuff to do today in Ottawa. Here’s my last minute tips for all you marathon runners:

  • Stay off your feet (as much as possible) – tough, I know. Try to keep the walking to a minimum today. Avoid things like the Parliament Buildings tour, or wandering the Byward Market (been there, done that, paid for it in the 2010 Ottawa Marathon). Your legs and feet will thank you tomorrow.
  • Eat all the carbs – plan out your meals and snacks to be carb-heavy. You don’t have to have pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but don’t shy away from grabbing an extra slice of toast, or that yummy fudge brownie. It’s all good today.
  • Get your race-day stuff together early – do this in the daytime instead of waiting until just before bed. The reason? You might discover you forgot something and it’s far easier to pick up a pair of socks, or you favourite energy drink while the expo is still open.
  • Don’t wear the race shirt in the race – I mean, you can if you want (who am I to judge?). But you never know with a new shirt whether it’ll cause some chafing or other issues. Stick with what you know.
  • Go get some sunscreen – you have some right? If not, go get some because the forecast suggests you’ll need it tomorrow.
  • Study the route some more – grab the course map and memorize some key points (my virtual sightseeing tour might help) to help you break up the marathon into mentally manageable chunks. It could be a museum, or specific intersection, or whatever. Also plan out where your family and friends will be cheering you on so you can be on the right side of the road so as not to miss them.
  • Get out and cheer – the 2k, 5km and 10k races this evening are super exciting and worth checking out. Some of the best runners in the world will be featured in the Ottawa 10k which starts at 6:30pm tonight. Come down to the start and finish and cheer them on.

It’s going to be a great weekend and your race is just one part of it. Getting out and checking out the expo, or hitting the evening races will help take your mind off your race tomorrow for a bit. Enjoy the day!

Training by the Numbers

It’s travel day today. We’re on Via Rail Train #40 from Toronto to Ottawa right now. As the train passes through the many cities and towns along the way, it seemed like a good time to reflect on the training journey that got me here.

By the numbers:

  • 956km run
  • 93 training runs
  • Longest run: 33.84km
  • Runs over 20km: 9
  • Runs over 15km: 17

That’s the most training I’ve ever put in for a marathon and over 100km more than the roundtrip distance between Toronto and Ottawa by car! I ran 250km in April which was the most I’ve ever run in a single month. I put in the training for this one, and I’m hoping to see the results on Sunday.

Around the Bay Road Race

I ran one race as part of my training plan. The Around the Bay Road Race (30km) in March went really well for me. I set a goal of running under 2:30:00 and I accomplished that nicely with a 2:28:57.

17785934589_7902bbaf2d_oIf I can run close to that pace deep into the marathon on Sunday, it’ll be a big personal best for me.

Injuries? I’ve had a few

Injury was a theme for this training cycle as well. I started off with bad shin splints on my right leg in January and February. I worked through that with the help of my physiotherapist and altered my stride to take some of the pressure off my lower legs.

Then there was some knee tendonitis in April thanks to a long run in tights that caused some bad kneecap tracking. Back to physio I went for a few weeks while that cleared up.

A mild calf strain on the left side caused some concern recently, but icing and rest cleared it up nicely.

Lastly there was some ankle and foot pain on the left side that I’m still working through. It was never bad enough to impact my training, but in the back of my mind I’m still concerned it will flare up towards the end of the race on Sunday.

Some thank you

All in all, it was a great winter and spring. The weather was cold again this year so a lot of runs were done at Variety Village on the treadmill.

As usual, the gang at the Running Room kept me going on the long Sunday runs in the cold. Special shout out to my long time buddy Nicole who joined me on a few of the super long runs and who ran London earlier this year. We trained for our first marathon together back in 2010 and it was great to run 30+km with her again this year.

My parents also helped out immensly by taking our kids on Sunday mornings so Ginny and I could go run. You can’t imagine how much easier it makes things to be able to run those longer runs in a group and having my parents there to take the kids was great.

Lastly, thanks to my wife Ginny who puts up with all the running I do, and manages to squeeze in her own training as well. This was the first time we both attempted to train for a marathon at the same time. She had to drop back to the half because of some injury issues, but she was there to support me when I was putting in the hours and hours of training.

That’s it. 18 weeks of training is done. Just a 3km Friendship Run with John Stanton awaits on Saturday.

On Sunday it’s marathon number eight.

Scotiabank Ottawa Half Marathon Sightseeing Tour

Running the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon? Your tour is here!

The Scotiabank Ottawa Half Marathon course takes runners on a nice 21.1km tour of the Nation’s Capital including the Rideau Canal, Dow’s Lake, Lebreton Flats, Gatineau and the Alexandra Bridge. Here’s a few spots to look out for along the way.

Elgin Street (0.4km)

From the start, runners head south down Elgin Street and the Rideau Canal. Elgin features some nice shops and restaurants, and the crowds will be out early to cheer you on at the start.

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Rideau Canal (2.5km)

Not long after the start, you’ll hit Queen Elizabeth Drive and the Rideau Canal. Enjoy the views to your left and imagine what it looks like in the winter when the canal is transformed into the world’s longest skating rink.

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Dow’s Lake (5km)

Look to your left as you sweep around the edge of Dow’s Lake, a man-made lake that’s part of the Rideau Canal system. The big building next to the lake is Dow’s Lake Pavilion.

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Wellington St. W. (7.5km)

This quaint village setting is lovely to run through with shops and restaurants lining the street here. Expect good spectator support!

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Scott St. (9.8km)

Look left along Scott St. for the tower of the Ottawa Mosque. Shortly after you pass the mosque, you’ll turn left, crossing over the Transitway and towards Gatineau, Quebec.

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Canadian War Museum (13km)

Look to your left as you pass this spectacular museum dedicated to Canada’s military history. Built in 2005, it’s drawn praise for it’s sustainable design including a green roof and architectural features that are meant to evoke a bunker.

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Chaudière Bridge (13.8km)

Across the bridge into Quebec we go. The Ottawa Half Marathon is unique in that it takes place in two provinces! Make sure to look left over the bridge for a view of the Chaudière (Cauldron) Falls. It’s quite the sight!

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Alexandra Bridge (16.5km)

Some of the most spectacular views of the entire race are here. To your right before you get on the bridge is the Canadian Museum of History. Then once you cross the bridge, look to your right and up the river bank for a stunning view of the Library of Parliament and the Peace Tower.

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US Embassy and Major’s Hill Park (17.4km)

As you climb up from the Alexandra Bridge towards Wellington St., the US Embassy will be on your left, with Major’s Hill Park on your right. The park is home to events year round, including Canada Day festivities and was named for Major Daniel Bolton who was the Superintending Engineer of the Rideau Canal and lived on-site in a residence that was destroyed by fire in 1848.

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Shaw Centre and Marathoners (18km)

On your left is the gleaming glass facade of the Shaw Centre which is the home to the Ottawa Race Weekend Expo where you picked up your race kit. This is also the point on the course where the marathon and half marathon routes come together so be sure to give some words of encourage to the marathoners that you’ll be running alongside.

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Pretoria Bridge (19.9km)

The turn for home! Heading over the Rideau now and you make the u-turn over the Pretoria Bridge and the north towards the finish. Expect the crowd to start to swell here. Look to your right for views across the canal at all the runners on the other side that you are ahead of.

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The Finish (21km)

The crowds here will be nuts, pushing you to the finish. It’s the greatest finish line anywhere in Canada. Draw energy from the crowd as you push through the last 200m to collect your half marathon medal!

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Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon Sightseeing Tour

Running the Scotiabank Ottawa Half Marathon? Your tour is here!

The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon course is 42.2km of scenic running. There’s so much history in the City of Ottawa and runners get to see a lot of it as they take on the challenge of the marathon. Here’s a few spots to look out for along the way. There’s everything from nice neighbourhoods to museums and government buildings to see.

War Memorial (0.3km)

Right off the start you’ll pass the National War Memorial on your left. Originally dedicated in 1939, it commemorates the Canadians who died in World War I. Later it was re-dedicated to include World War II and the Korean War. In 2000, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added in front.

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Pretoria Bridge (2.8km)

This bridge brings you back over the Rideau Canal for the trip south to Dow’s Lake. You’ll cross this twice on the marathon route. Once at 2.8km and then again with just 1.3km to go.

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Dow’s Lake (6.8km)

Look to your left as you sweep around the edge of Dow’s Lake, a man-made lake that’s part of the Rideau Canal system. The big building next to the lake is Dow’s Lake Pavilion.

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Wellington St. W. (9km)

This quaint village setting is lovely to run through with shops and restaurants lining the street here. Expect good spectator support!

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Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (16km)

This out and back section along the Ottawa River can be tough, but there’s lots to look at with the river off to your right on the way out, and your left on the way back. Look for your running friends here going out as you come back (or vice versa).

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Canadian War Museum (19.5km)

Look to your left as you pass this spectacular museum dedicated to Canada’s military history. Built in 2005, it’s drawn praise for it’s sustainable design including a green roof and architectural features that are meant to evoke a bunker.

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Chaudière Bridge (20.5km)

Across the bridge into Quebec we go. The Ottawa Marathon is unique in that it takes place in two provinces! Make sure to look left over the bridge for a view of the Chaudière (Cauldron) Falls. It’s quite the sight!

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Montcalm Bridge (23.9km)

This beautiful bridge takes you over Brewery Creek before you make your way south to the Ottawa River again, and then towards the bridge that will take you back to Ontario.

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Alexandra Bridge (26.5km)

Some of the most spectacular views of the entire race are here. To your right before you get on the bridge is the Canadian Museum of History. Then once you cross the bridge, look to your right and up the river bank for a stunning view of the Library of Parliament and the Peace Tower.

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24 Sussex Drive (29km)

Who knows? Maybe Prime Minister Harper will come out to cheer you on. He’d only have to walk to the end of his driveway to cheer.

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Sir George Étienne Cartier Parkway (32.3km)

This part of the course is a bit desolate in terms of spectators, but still beautiful to run. The right turn to Birch means you’re heading back south and also just 10km from the finish.

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Rideau Falls (36.8km)

Over the Rideau River and the falls are to your right here. You can’t see them, but you might be able to hear the water flowing over the edge down to the Ottawa River below. Almost home! The crowds along the Canal await just a couple of kilometres ahead.

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National Gallery (38km)

Look for the giant spider out front of the National Gallery, called Maman. If you are afraid of spiders, use this as motivation for the last 4km.

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The Finish (42km)

The crowds here will be nuts, pushing you to the finish. It’s the greatest finish line anywhere in Canada. Draw energy from the crowd as you push through the last 200m to collect your marathon medal!

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One Week

Seven days. Less than that actually, since it’s Sunday afternoon already.

We’re a week away from the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and that means you’ve now probably run over 10km for the last time in your training. My schedule shows only two runs left: a 6km tempo on Tuesday, and a 10km at race pace on Wednesday.

IMG_3467After 18 weeks and over 900km of training, it’s down to the last 16km to run and then we race.

Rest, Run, Stretch

As with last week, the focus this week is to maintain fitness by continuing to run. Make sure to deal with any soreness, aches and pains with rest and maybe some physio treatment if things aren’t getting better.

Keep in mind that as you dial back the training, your legs will naturally stiffen up. To counteract this, make daily stretching part of your routine this week to avoid any issues.

Pay special attention to your calves. It’s my experience that they tighten up the most in the last week. For me, it’s as simple as doing a few stair stands to stretch them out a few times a day.

Plan ahead

You should also start planning out the weekend, especially if you are travelling to Ottawa. We’re heading down by train from Toronto on Friday, so I’ve already started putting together a checklist of stuff to bring. I’ve also hit up my local Running Room to grab enough of my favourite gels for race day. Don’t count on buying any of this at the expo! Bring it with you and you won’t have to worry.

Enjoy the week, rest up, eat and sleep well and get ready for 42.2km on Sunday.

Thanks to Derek Hatfield for the photo of the start line

Obsessing About Marathon Day Weather

In the week or two leading up to race day, weather watching becomes every runner’s new hobby. Seems every minute spent not running is spent obsessing over the forecast.

The weather for Ottawa Race Weekend is looking pretty good right now. In fact, if I could, I’d “lock it in” right now. That said, even when a runner knows exactly what the weather will be like, they often imagine it to be worse than reality. Light rain becomes a monsoon, some wind becomes a gale, warm temps become a furnace.

Ottawa? More like Hottawa!

My big concern for Ottawa is always heat. We don’t call it the Hottawa Marathon in my running club for nothing. So far it’s looking pretty decent on the temperature front with a forecast high of 21ºC. Of course that doesn’t stop me from imagining that forecast to be worse than it is.

What I imagine the temperature graph will be like:
HOT
What I wish the temperature graph would be like:
PERFECT
What the temperature graph will probably be like:
REALITY

Advice from the Medical Director

Whatever the weather ends up being, make sure you adjust your running to fit the forecast. Dr. Jon Hooper, Medical Director for the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend has some great advice for you to ensure you have a safe, successful run.

Good luck, and stay safe!

Two Weeks

Two weeks to go and that means it’s time to taper.

It’s been a long few months of training but now it’s time to ease back and get some rest before race day. Your goals in the taper should be to stay loose, heal up any little nagging injuries and mentally prepare yourself to run 42.2km.

OttawaIf you ran the full Running Room marathon training plan starting in January, you probably be ready to ease back a little bit. The last few weeks featured a few big runs and quite a bit of intensity if you did the speed work or fartlek runs. Overall you’ve probably run something between 750-850km since the beginning of the year. Amazing!

Resist the temptation to keep the pedal to the metal here. Rest in the last two weeks before the race is so very important. Take the opportunity to enjoy these last runs while your legs are strong and your cardio is solid. Think back to the early days of your training and compare how you felt on these weekday 10km runs in February to how you feel this week. It’s amazing what three months of consistent running can do!

Here’s a few dos and don’ts for these last two weeks:

  • 👍 Do continue to run. Keep it going and don’t quit now.
  • 👍 Do take care of yourself by sleeping well. Lots of healing happens overnight. Don’t shortchange that by staying up late.
  • 👎 Don’t run too hard or too fast. The work of training is done. There’s nothing to gain anymore by pushing hard in training. Ease back and run smart, not hard.
  • 👎 Don’t worry! If you’ve done the hard work of training, then you’re setup for success on race day.

Over the next two weeks I’ll provide an in-depth look at the route and a bit of a strategy guide. Along with that, I’ll give you some tips for making the most of the Ottawa Race Weekend, and help you make sure you know what to do and where to go on race day morning.

Almost there!