ottawa marathon

2017 Ottawa Marathon

Dear Ottawa Marathoners, You're here. You've made it. We are so happy to have you in town. We know it's a big year for Canada, and that's why this is one of the best years to run Canada's largest marathon weekend. By now you've taken a look at the route, you will see the many sites you'll pass on your 42.2K journey this Sunday.

7:00 am will come quickly and all of a sudden you'll be running up the start chute past the National War Memorial. After a few quick turns, you'll nestle into the first 5K by running along the Rideau Canal. Did you know it's the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America? In fact, in 2007, the Rideau Canal was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As an Ottawa based runner, I've logged a few hundred kilometres along this stretch. It never gets old.

As you carry on along the Rideau Canal towards Dows Lake, you'll have cheers from the Glebe, Preston Street and then Wellington West and Westboro Village! We have the BEST community support. I had a chance to run with Jeff Leiper, the councillor for Kitchissippi Ward, along Wellington Street. It's safe to say they are excited to see you around 8-10K!

You will carry on from Wellington onto Richmond Road, where you will turn onto Athlone Street. This side street always has a great crew out cheering. An unconfirmed rumour is that there is a house who makes pancakes for the cheer squad that is out there bright and early for the marathoners. Regardless, you're likely feeling good at this portion of the race. With the crowds along Wellington, I hope you're on a high (that's why we do this after all).

You will then turn into Tunney's Pasture and head down to Sir John A. Parkway. You'll run a few kilometres out and back along this stretch. This is a good time to put your speed into cruise control. Take in the view of the Ottawa River as you come back towards the city and past Canada's War Museum. Sponge stations will be located at 16K, 25K  and 36K. H2O and nuun hydration stations are set up every 3K for the Marathon.

You will then travel over Chaudiere Bridge into Gatineau, Quebec. I always think it's cool that we get to run a race that crosses two provinces. Fun Canada 150 fact, Ontario and Quebec are two of the four provinces to first join Confederation in 1867. As you run through Gatineau, you will experience some of the best crowd support and catch a glimpse of Gatineau Park. You will also hit the HALFWAY mark.

For those of you from out of town, Gatineau was recently hit with some of the worst flooding in years, with many homes devastated. With 45% of Tamarack Race Weekend participants coming from Quebec, this tragedy is very close to home. We are grateful for all the community support during this time.

As you progress from the halfway point, I find something changes in the race. A sense that this is where the real race begins. You've hung on for 21+ kilometres, and now will begin to test yourself as you make your way through the final 21K. Don't let your mind get ahead of you. Run the kilometre you're in.

Just before the Alexandra Bridge, you will find yourself in the midst of one of the loudest cheering and aid stations. They're cheering for you. To your right will the Canada's Museum of History. Pro-tip: The best photo spot to have Parliament in your backdrop is behind the museum.

As you're crossing the Alexandra Bridge, take a moment to breathe it all in. You are running a marathon today, and OMG look at this view. It really doesn't get any better than this. When things get tough, smile. You're about to head into one of the wildest cheering stations in the entire race. Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

You will pass through the screaming crows at the National Art Gallery and likely get chills. I remember running through this stretch last year and feeling overwhelmed with emotion. It was a hot day out there, but man was I happy to be running 42.2K that day. THANK YOU to every single person who comes out to cheer runners on. Your words of encouragement, your cowbells, your signs, your sticky high fives mean the world.

You will then run along Sussex pass the Royal Canadian Mint, run along the Trans Canada Trail, and past 24 Sussex and Rideau Hall. You will see portions of this stretch again one your way back, but let's not think about that for now. You have 28-36K to run. Put your head down and keep moving (ideally towards the finish). You will have entertainment, water and sponge stations to support you. If the voice in your head gets the best of you, holler at one of the members of the Extra Mile Crew to run with you for a bit. Before you know it, you will be running along Beechwood, back up towards Sussex.

As you head back to the finish, you will start to see the crowds lining the streets grow. Feed off their energy. This is what you've been training for. You will pass the Byward Market, the Shaw Centre and complete your last few kilometres along the Rideau Canal. Does this look familiar? It should. You can see the finish from across the Canal and hear the crowds cheering. In minutes you will be running along Queen Elizabeth towards the finish.

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As for me, this year I will be out volunteering at the start and on the course (literally) all weekend. If you see me, please say hi! If you're running, HAVE A GREAT RACE.

-Jayme

Are you running Ottawa Race Weekend?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. You can find my latest articles on Salty Running here.

Anniversary Giveaway!!

To celebrate one year of The Pacing Life, I wanted to do something to say THANK YOU. Whether our paths crossed on this blog, Instagram, Twitter, I'm inspired daily by your stories and so appreciative to have you following me along on mine. So with that, I am giving away two race entries to the 2017 Ottawa Race Weekend!! That's right, whether it's the 5K or the Marathon, two winners will be entered to participate in the event of your choice! See the Rafflecoptor below for ways to enter.

You all know that Race Weekend is my favourite weekend of the year! In 2016, close to 47,000 people participated in six events over the weekend, including the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. To celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary, you can expect that this year's event will be special. If there is any year to run Canada's biggest running weekend, 2017 is it!

Rules: Enter by tagging a friend @thepacinglife's instagram OR entering via the Rafflecoptor options below! 2 winners will receive race entries to the 2017 Ottawa Race Weekend distance of your choice. Giveaway ends Monday August 29th, 2016, at midnight EST. Winner will be notified via Instagram or email. Winner has 14 days to claim prize before a backup winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What race distance would you run at the 2017 Ottawa Race Weekend?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Achilles update & the Graston technique

My left Achilles has been acting up a bit. It’s not a full blown injury at this point, but like any seasoned runner, I knew it was headed that way. When I couldn’t complete my track workout last Thursday, I was a bit bummed. Well, actually a lot bummed. Full disclosure, I came home and was nearly in tears to George. I gave myself one night to have a pity party. I’m in the midst of training for the Hamilton Marathon and have been seeing some strong results in my performance. Being smart and taking this week to focus on recovery is the best thing I could do for myself right now. Instead of moping around feeling sorry for myself {which could be an easy route to go}, I’ve focused on maintaining my fitness and training routine by hitting the stationary bike and elliptical daily. Like my running plan, some days are easy (e.g., steady state, moderate resistance) and some days are harder (e.g., hill intervals, longer sessions). I’ve been watching my heart rate and have been pleased that these workouts are allowing me to get some max heart rate work in.IMG_6944

As for my leg, it’s doing much better. I haven’t tried to run on it, but I can tell the total rest has paid off. Last night, I visited a chiropractor recommended to me for application of the Graston technique. It quickly became clear that I've let my legs get way to tight and need to do a better job at stretching post-run and rolling! Today (Tuesday) I will run 3K easy and see how it feels. I'm heading back for some Graston on Thursday and will see how I feel for the weekend. For now, I will be sticking to flat surfaces and keeping to my Hoka One One's.

Do you have a post-run stretching routine?

Have you tried the Graston Technique? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Ottawa Marathon 2016 Race Report

I ran my 13th marathon on Sunday. That seems a tiny crazy to type. Each marathon has provided me with different experiences. There was no question that the Ottawa Marathon was for a PR. With a solid half marathon recently on the books, and multiple successful long runs, I knew that my goal of "3:45 or better" was doable. In fact, I had little doubt in my mind that I would finally see a 3:4x. I was at peace with the training I had put into this race and knew that I was truly ready. Thursday was the start of a very exciting weekend. I left work early and went to Rogers TV to film an Ottawa Race Weekend segment with Mark Sutcliffe. Talking with Mark and the other runners about the race got me excited for what would unfold in the coming days. I knew that more than 45 thousand runners and their families were coming to the city to experience the best race weekend in Canada - how awesome to be a part of this, I thought.

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From Rogers TV, I made a beeline to the Shaw Centre where the Expo was being held. As a Run Ottawa member, I was stationed in the Run Ottawa booth and spoke to many runners coming to pick up their race kit. While I had been watching the weather all week, this is where I started to hear whispers that Sunday could turn out to be hotter than planned. Keep your head, I thought. You can run in heat.

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That evening I had the honour of picking up our Canadian Record Holders Lanni Marchant and Natasha Wodak at the airport. My two favourite Rio contenders in my car? Pinch me. They were coming in on a 1:00 am flight from Vancouver, after training there that day. We chatted on the car ride home and I dropped them off at their downtown hotel. They were ready to rock the 10k (which they eventually did).

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Friday was low-key. My parents got into town in the afternoon. We moseyed over to the expo for a perusal, and then met G for dinner. I continued to drink lots of water and nuun. These pesky whispers of heat on race day continued. So much so, there started to be concern of runners safety in the heat. Wait a second, I'm ok to run in some heat, but where did this 33ºC come from? This was not part of my plan.

The day before the race I was really committed to hydrating and eating on regular intervals. I didn't leave the house much that day. The more I've run, the more I realize how important days before the race really are. Feet up. Water and nuun in hand. I glanced at the weather every so often, but I didn't obsess. I knew that the plans for the day had already been set in motion. My coach and I had planned that I would run a conservative race, listening to my body every step in the way. Whatever was in the cards, I was ready to run 42.2.

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Race morning, I woke up around 4:15 am, before my alarm. The race started at 7:00 am, and as you can imagine, I had a few pre-race routines to tend to. Coffee, banana, nuun, picky bar, glide, and so on. My Mom, who was also running the marathon, and I were out the door by 6:10 am. As we were walking I was giddy looking at the sky. Could this really be? The sky was overcast and the scorching heat was far from our midst. My prayers have been answered. We met Ashley and walked to the start together. We said our goodbyes and just like that I was at the START of the Ottawa Marathon.

This is the moment I've pictured since January. The gun goes off.

Kilometres 1-5 flew by, as you would expect. I kept my headphones off and was focused on taking in the moment and keeping my pace. For the first 5K, the plan was to hover around 5:30 for the start then bring it down gradually to 5:25. I've become a much better pacer this past year and knew that this would be doable. There were a lot of people around me; I tried to keep weaving to a minimum.

1) 5:25 2) 5:33 3) 5:29 4) 5:26 5) 5:24

By 6K, I would work it down to 5:20 and 5:15 by 7K. I would plan to hold it at 5:15 until 30K. I truly did have the best laid plans! By 10K I had warmed right up. Due to the heat, I had decided to bring a frozen hand held along with me. The ice was long gone. I could tell it was getting hotter out, but I was comfortable and felt confident in my hydration and fuelling strategy. First gel at 8.5K.

6) 5:20 7) 5:14 8) 5:16 9) 5:22 10) 5:18

Running through Westboro and Island park was a blast. There were so many people out cheering, spraying water and handing out water. There were a few moments where I thought I was going to cry. This was everything I had been picturing for the past five months. I've done the work and I'm confident this is going to be my day. Keep it together, Jayme. You can't cry during a marathon. 

11) 5:15 12) 5:10 13) 5:15 14) 5:16 15) 5:15

Legs were still feeling very strong in the lead up the half. As I approached 15K, I flashed back to the 2013 Ottawa Marathon where I fell a part early on in the race. Normally I would quash that thought quickly, but I spent a bit of time thinking about how far I've come since 2013. I put my music on for a bit. At 19k I saw one of my sweetest friends at the War Museum. We both live nearby; she's come out to most, if not all, of my races to cheer. Second gel at 19K. I repeated to myself: Lock it in at 5:15. I would visually picture myself buckling a seat belt around this pace. The things I think when I am running.

16) 5:11 17) 5:13 18) 5:11 19) 5:18 20) 5:10

I crossed the half mark in 1:52:49. A tiny bit slower than planned, but I wasn't worried. I reminded myself this was my day. My legs were still feeling strong. As I ran through Gatineau I reflected a lot on my runs with Ashley in these parts. I knew Ashley was up ahead and spent a moment thinking about her. I knew she  had done the work and was going to have a strong race. Selfishly, I wished I spotted her in the crowd so I could run with her!

The crowds in Gatineau were phenomenal. So many residents had come out with hoses to cool down the runners. Throughout the race there were heat notification flags (as pictured above) along the route. They were green up until this point, indicating LOW RISK. I agreed with their assessment (obviously when you are running a marathon you are exercising the best judgement). I continued to hang onto 5:15. Legs still in the game.

21) 5:14 22) 5:13 23) 5:16 24) 5:09 25) 5:15

I crossed the Alexandria Bridge and made my way back into Ottawa. Is it just me, or is it getting hot out here? Let's not dwell on the heat. Let's just run. For the next 5k I am giving you permission to mentally box up the watch and put it aside. Legs are still very much in the game. I used a sponge at 25K and was hydrating like a champ. Third gel at 26K. Just get it down.

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26) 5:15 27) 5:18 28) 5:21 29) 5:33 30) 5:28

I could feel the heat and the sun by this point. It felt warmer than the start (captain obvious statement of the day), but I really wasn't ready to accept the heat. By 30K the plan was to start working my paces down. Instead, I could feel my paces slowing down. Ugh. I hit a few tough moments between 31-37K. Understanding we are running a marathon here, I expected that, but I was fighting hard to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. STAY IN THIS. I was hearing crickets from the bottom half of my body.

31) 5:30 32) 5:28 33) 5:42 34) 5:53 35) 5:38

At 36K I passed a young gal handing out freezies. This was quite seriously one of the best moments in the race. The cold felt so good in my mouth and on my hands. I held onto the freezie until 37K. By this point I noticed the heat notification flags had turned red and indicated HIGH RISK. As I approached the stretch along the canal (a portion of the race that I have used repeatedly for mental training), I remembered that we would be merging with the half-marathoners. The course was thick with people, with lots of crowds lining the sides. Even though I was feeling burnt out, I was filled with so much joy in this moment. This is why I run marathons.

36) 5:51 37) 7:27 38) 5:57 39) 6:04 40) 5:57

I stopped to fill up my water bottle at 39-40K. The sun was beaming down on my face and my commitment to my watch had all but disappeared. Thankfully, mind over matter prevailed and I picked it up at tiny by 42K. I am PR'ing today, I told myself. I was doing the math in my head and knew I would shave a few minutes off from my 3:57 from Hamilton.

41) 6:45 42) 6:03

As I ran the last 200 metres, I wish I could say I had more emotion in me. I was empty by that point and just focused on the finishing line. Once I crossed the mat, I smiled. Despite that race getting hard, I ran a marathon today. 3:55:08.

.2) 6:03

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Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend!! A huge thank you to the Ottawa Marathon race organizers, volunteers, and to the communities of Ottawa and Gatineau!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running MagazineHave a suggestion for a runner profileLet me know!

Weekend in MTL

We all arrived at my sister and brother-in-law's house on Friday night. My parents are here for the weekend as well. We are here celebrating my Mom's birthday and Mother's Day, and have tickets for Cirque de Soliel! This also meant an early start to my 27k long run. I planned a straightforward route for Saturday morning, that would take me from their place, through downtown, getting me back here before 10:00 am. Overall, I'd say the run went well. Admittedly, I wasn't sure how it was going to go. My legs were feeling pretty good by the time I went to bed on Friday night, so I knew I was going to get'er done the next morning. As planned, I woke up early, drank my coffee, ate my Picky Bar, strapped on my compression socks, and hit the road.

I'll admit, I have been experiencing some tight calves this week. At this point, I'm not overly worried about this. I'm chalking it up to peak marathon training, and have committed myself to adjusting runs as needed. I'm also icing and rolling lots.

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The route was primarily on sidewalks. I left the house before 7:00 am, so the streets were pretty quiet. I ran 13.5km out to the Olympic Stadium then turned around. I had one Hammer espresso gel around the turn around, and carried water in my handheld. Throughout this training cycle, I'm pleased to have pretty much nailed my fuel plan (this did not happen overnight).

I focused on keeping this run easy. With four weeks out from the Ottawa Marathon, I knew there was no need to be a hero.  The plan was to pick it up a bit in the last 10km with strides in the last 5km. I was pleased with the 27km I put in the bank. I was grateful for the change in landscapes and, after warming up, the distance seemed to pass pretty quickly. This throwback was on repeat throughout.

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In the afternoon, we went to check out the Atwater Market! There was a Beer Festival on, and lots of local vendors. Obviously I had to get some authentic Quebec maple butter. Yum. As I mentioned, tonight we're heading to Cirque de Soliel! One of their shows has recently come to Old Montreal.

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What's your favourite city to explore while running? 

Have you been to Montreal? The Atwater Market? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine.

 

Half way

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This past week marked week 11 of my Ottawa Marathon training. That means, we're more than half way there. 57 per cent, to be exact. With 10 weeks to go (!), I'm feel like all I'm doing right now is run. eat. (work). sleep. I hit my highest mileage week last week, with 89 kilometres. There was a good mix of  easy, moderate, and hard effort runs. I'll be honest, my legs felt like lead during my long run on Saturday. This was disappointing, but not overly surprising.

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Taking a look back on my training logs, I see that I'm running a bit more now than I was in Hamilton Marathon training. I also see that my legs felt like lead around Week 10 and 11 back then too (end of August 2015). This is the point in the plan where training really feels like a grind, but it's oh so important to keep going.

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It's easy to feel fired up at the beginning of the marathon training cycle, when you're feeling fresh. It's also easy to keep going with only a few weeks until race day. What's harder, is keeping the momentum going in the middle of the cycle. This is what makes the marathon so appealing to me. Just getting to the start line of 42.2 is a victory in itself.

This week will be a bit of a rest week. I have 69 kilometres planned, mostly at easy effort. This week will also be a busy one for work and life. The trick is balance. While I don't love doing my runs in the evening, I know that a couple late nights will leave me needing to readjust the timing of my runs.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine.