Monday, 26 May 2008

Sun burn, blood blister & Port-a-potties ~ oh my!

Well, I’m a Marathoner! WOOOO HOOOO!

You couldn’t have asked for a nicer race to lose your Marathon virginity to!

Let’s start at the beginning of the weekend. Friday afternoon my Woo Hooo running girlfriends and I went to the Sports Expo, which is just getting better every year. Though I must admit, I was disappointed with the Marathon Jacket, I do love the funky new race kit bags they gave out when you picked up your bib number and timing chip . . . tre chic.

We of course tried on everything imaginable, I ate my way through the various booths and of course learned and saw a ton of ‘new’ racing inventions . . . yes Bob, the Tiger Tail was there although I didn't get one! Yet.

After spending a wad of dough and many hours there, we headed off to carb load at a wonderful Italian Restaurant called Capone’s. We laughed and chatted and laughed some more as we ate our dinner and swilled down a glass or two of red wine . . . We always have such a blast when we get together.

Saturday for me was busier than I had anticipated but that was okay, however, I didn’t get the chance to go back downtown to watch my Woo Hooo girlfriends and families run the 10K race Saturday evening. The weather was warm and very windy, but they all had a great run.

Saturday evening I set my alarm clock for 4:15 a.m. and headed off to snooze-ville. Luckily, I woke up at 4:15 automatically because I had forgotten to re-set the volume on the alarm . . . that could have been a disaster! Woo Hooo Anne and Dean were at my place at 5:30 sharp, we loaded up the car and headed downtown.

The downtown area was already teeming with runners and well wishers by the time we parked the car and off we went to meet up with my five hour running friends, Jen and Shirley, Rick and Teena, by the time we were done with the port-a-potties, they had already played the National Anthem and the elites were off and running, which meant we had to haul ass to get to our respective corrals.

We had a chance for a quick high five and hugged all round and the gun went off and away we went.

No, I didn’t take my camera folks, there were just too many other things hanging off my belt as it was, but I do have pictures!

Anne and I headed off at a very comfortable pace, the day was bright, cool and very sunny. We could not have asked for a better race day. Truly the running gods were looking down upon us, in more ways than one!

The course took us past the Parliament Buildings, along Wellington to our War Museum then over the bridge to Quebec. This is the same route I described to you earlier so I won’t take too much time explaining it again. Heading back to Ontario over the bridge was exhilarating because we knew that we would be heading back to the throngs of spectators.

Once back to Ontario we were at the 10K plus mark and we were heading down into Rockcliffe.

As I headed up the hill, I saw my Phoenix Phenom’s standing there with a HUGE run LILY run sign!

How awesome is that?! Thanks so much my friends, you truly made my day!

As we were heading down toward the Prime Minister’s house, the elite runners were on their way back and past the 21K mark, they were flying....and so were their paparazzi, it was incredible to see the leading female fly by as I was trundling along, it was a magical moment for me.

On we went meeting up with runners that we knew along the way. With a quick pit stop, we were heading back toward downtown and the 21K mark.

When we got back to downtown Ottawa we turned left and headed down the canal, amongst a huge throng of spectators, so many so, they were choking up the race route plus the really fast half marathon runners were gaining on us. I headed over to the right-hand side of the road so the flying half’s could zip on by . . . even with doing that we were being jostled a lot by the speedy speedsters . . . one guy commented that why do they let "these old slow runners on the course," to which I replied, I’m doing the marathon chum, "leave a lung on the pavement if you wish, have a great race", aren’t I Ms. Sportsman of the Year?

I was trying to stay out of their way as well has hydrate and take my gels, I opened my pouch to get out a gel and got bumped causing all of my carb-booms to spill out onto the pavement. There were so many runners coming it would have been dangerous to try to retrieve them. Another live and learn while on the run, so to speak. Luckily I had tucked a couple of Vector Bars into my other pouch (told you I looked like a pack horse), so that was my saving grace to keep up my energy.

We finally got down along the canal to where the Half Marathon runners split off to continue along their route and we head down toward Hogs Back Falls. Off to my left I spotted a port-a-pottie tucked underneath one of the over passes, so I crossed over the roadways to, well, the obvious. Much to my surprise Anne was coming out of the pot, just as I reached for the door . . .

Once ensconced I couldn’t get out!

The door latch was stuck, oh crap, pardon the pun, I’m wasting time in the crapper!

Finally I got the freeking thing to open and I’m now looking out to the rest of the Half Marathon group and I can’t get back across the road to my route . . . well, after standing there for what seemed to be an eternity I dodged my way across through the Half runner’s and continued on my merry way. I could see Anne way a head of me at this point, I waved and kept on truck’n. The good thing about running with friends is that we start together but run our own race.

Anne was really settling into her zone and I was so happy for her. We were now heading into no man’s land, there were few to no spectator’s, lots of inclines and a few less water stations. We had to do some strange loop under an overpass and then up a huge hill, I could see quite a few of the runner’s slowing down to a walk. For me, it was perfect time to reflect upon all the training we had done, all the crappy weather we had run in, all the great friends we had made along the way and all the knowledge that was being put to the test. I was enjoying every moment! Sometimes it is just great to have to dig deep and reflect upon how lucky we are.

We were now heading toward the Experimental Farm and the Arboretum. Again we did a little loop through the Arboretum and then back out onto the road past Dow’s Lake and back along the other side of the canal.

You have to understand Ottawa is built around several water systems and is a lovely area with grand old homes with a lot of history, it is a spectacular location for a race with beautiful sights to take in as a runner and a spectator. You should run Ottawa sometime, you won’t be disappointed!

There were only about 6K to go when I, along with everyone else start to make their plan for the finish. Mine was to conserve a little energy so I could run in looking strong, upright and smiling. I met two very nice gentlemen who had the same plan, so we walked and ran together up to and over the Finish Line. Thank you so much for the wonderful company!

Upon crossing the finish line and having my chip removed, I headed into the recovery area, where I came upon several of the Running Room runners that I know quite well, we had our pictures taken and exchanged stories. Then I headed off to get some oranges and a recovery drink. Once I left the food tent I headed off to find my Woo Hooo friends, but found one of the gentlemen I ran the last 6K with.

We sat on the park bench and had a really nice conversation, he was headed off to get his medal engraved and I went on to meet my friends. Thanks Henk, hope we can run together again some time soon!!

When I came out of the recovery area, there they were, patiently waiting for me, all of my Woo Hooo friends with my tiara, a lovely bouquet of flowers and several congratulatory hugs, kisses and cards. What an outstanding day!

(Anne, me and Nancy (who ran the 1/2 marathon), just a few of the Woo Hoo Friends

The afternoon concluded with a big brunch at D’Arcy McGee’s with several BEvERages and of course a ton of laughs . . . tall tales, great renditions of the races and just being happy with a great group of friends.

I walked away with wonderful memories, great friends, old and new, a fantastic sunburn, a blood blister on one of my toes and a really funny port-a-pottie story. Does it get any better than this?

ING Marathon 2008 Memories!!!

Life’s fun if you don’t weaken,



Nat said...

I am so totally proud of you! Well done!

Did you wear your super hero cape to work?

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Nice report. Sounds like you were on cloud nine the whole time...well, except for when you were trapped in the portapotty. :)

bluecolnago said...

nice race report! sounds like you had a blast! woohoo!

Marcy said...

WHOOOO HOOOOOOOO!! AWESOME JOB CHICA!! YAYYY!! Ok, seriously . .some dude had the cajones to say that outloud?!? What an ass! Good for you, giving the sass right back ;-)

OMG about the potty. You know, that's a big fear of mine. Not just during races but anywhere in public. ROFLMAO! I'm glad you got out in one piece ;D

A most excellent job!! I'm so proud of you ;D ;D Soooo when is the next one? :P

Marci said...

Great race report! Ottawa is a great race to run and even though my day sucked the big one, I'm glad your day was top notch. Congrats again. Can't wait to read whats next!

Kim said...

You are AWESOME! Congrats!
We both have the same type title for our races-Oh My!

So...what's your next marathon? :)

Chris said...

That sounds like a day that you will remember forever. Great race report! I honestly don't think I will ever run a marathon. Not many people do. Now you are one of the elite that have. Great job, Lily.

Groover said...

Great report and I feel like I was there. I can't believe the idiot being so rude. Who let him on the course?

As for your invitation to come and run Ottawa ... maybe I'll come and ride those roads one day. :-)

Anonymous said...

well done girlfriend. SOunds like you ha a great run and great dayall way around!
Very very nice. AS for getting stuck in a port o pottie, Can I use that in my next book? It's too funny, and not a bit stressful when you're on the clock ! What a nightmare!

Relax this week and indeed I'll be on the phone at some point! (-:


jahowie said...

Awesome job!! Your race reports are always so good that I feel like I was actually there. :-) Congratulations!!

bill carter said...

Hi Lily

I don't even know what to say... I am so proud of you and welcome to the club!! You are a marathoner (and a damn fine time I might add) and no one can ever take that away from you. Isn't it just the most empowering thing?? Truly if you can do a marathon, you can do anything in life. Please don't ever change.

I love your attitude and your "can do" way of approaching things.

Congratulations! Congratulations!

Marlene said...

CONGRATULATIONS! What an accomplishment.

I loved your story...thanks for sharing.

triguyjt said...

When some yahoo yells something like that to you..just say..
"us average runners have you outnumbered, it"


fun race report lily..

enjoy some days of leisure...

Vickie said...

Sounds like you had an awesome day! Congrats!

Nitmos said...

Congratulations and welcome to the marathoners club! It's a lifetime membership. Sounds like you had a great time!

Pokey said...

I can only hope that my first marathon (somewhere in the distant future) is half as much fun as you had this weekend....AWESOME!!

Congrats on a great accomplishment!!!

Doug said...

Congratulations. It looks like you had a blast.

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Awesome job, Lily the Marathoner!! With the training that you did, I never had a doubt that you would do it and do it well. Enjoy your have earned it!

teacherwoman said...

Great race report! I would have definitely panicked, being stuck in the Potty!


Mel said...

GOOD JOB LILY...Marathons are not a easy goal to be proud and celebrate your finish :)

Thank you for your kind comment on my "Lost" post :)

Amy said...

Congratulations Lily!!!
It sounds like you had a great race - I loved reading your report, it felt like I was there! You can really be proud of yourself for your accomplishment - great job!

Amy said...

And P.S.: Happy Birthday!!!!

Tom@RunnersLounge said...


We're so proud of you!

What a great first marathon!

You and your friends have a way of making your times seem so fun and memorable. Capturing the details in your story here is priceless.

Recover well, friend.

Wes said...

Congratulations on a fantastic marathon! I love it that you put that guy in his place... Just.hate.that :-) and oh to get stuck in the crapper!?!? OMG!! LOL!! Did you scream for help :-D

Ottawa sounds like a beautiful place to run!! Congrats again, marathoner! You are AWESOME :-)

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Oh my goodness, you sounded like you were in awesome shape, no horribly painful stories. You are my hero!! I wish my feet could do it. I'd so be there.


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