Oh, Ottawa. Marathon #2 is done.

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Well, that wasn’t fun.

The good: The first 18k and last 400 metres.

The bad: Everything in between.

A combination of factors came together to make this race the toughest one I’ve ever run. First, it got hot in the second half. It was cooler than forecasts called for, but hot enough I could feel it. Second, my lungs felt full – but not full of air. I had bronchitis in December, which resulted in a hacking cough after every long run. I got sick again in April and I haven’t fully recovered from it. I’ve been in denial about this, but it was evident today. And, finally, knee pain decided to show up and not go away. In order to manage the pain, I had to slow my pace and walk a lot in the second half. It was so frustrating because I felt like I could run faster, that my muscles could do more. And they probably could. But I got frustrated. And that made me run slower and walk more.

I think if it had been two out of the three, I wouldn’t have let myself get so defeated. I still PBed – by one entire minute – but this was a wholly different marathon experience than my first one. I crossed the finish line of the Blue Nose knowing I left everything out on that course. I crossed the finish line in Ottawa knowing I can do better. That was held me back today is manageable. That I beat myself today. The amount of energy I had during the last 400 metres proved it.

I probably learned more about myself and about running today than if I had had an amazing race. I need to get mentally tougher. I need to foam roll my IT bands more. I need to push harder in training. Important lessons.

I can only get better from here.



8 thoughts on “Oh, Ottawa. Marathon #2 is done.

  1. John M. says:

    A personal best and important life lessons: congratulations!

    Whenever I set a personal best, I have mixed emotions. There’s the happiness of the accomplishment but also the realization that I could run faster.

    When is marathon #3? As a friend told me, no one only runs two marathons.

    • Erin says:

      Thanks John!!

      Oh yeah, I can DEFINITELY do better. I know my goal of 4:00 was unrealistic, but I went into the day thinking 4:08-4:14 would be where I’d land. But, it’s all good.

      Oh well.

      I got into the the NYC Marathon this year. I applied for the lottery on a whim, thinking it would take 4 or 5 times, but nope! FIRST TIME! I’m really looking forward to it, but want to better assess what went wrong this training cycle and how I can improve on it for next time. It’ll also be my first marathon training cycle in the fall, which will be an interesting experience.

  2. Kristi@Blog for an Average Runner says:

    Great post Erin. And you are right – we can learn so much from the tough runs.

    I am still laughing about your comment on my blog about spectators, so glad to know I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. I felt so guilty, normally I love the spectators and I felt like such a bitch not even responding to them much less high fiving everyone. First time ever for me that the excited crowds did nothing for my motivation. Maybe next time…

    Any races planned next?

    • Erin says:

      I got into the NYC marathon. I applied for the lottery on a whim, thinking it would NEVER happen. Ir did. Uh-oh….

        • Erin says:

          haha! I’ve heard good things about Mississauga! It was my friend Kate’s first marathon and my boyfriend’s mom BQ-ed there a few years back. I’m starting to gear up mentally for a third marathon (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!) but I am trying to figure out how to approach it to make the day fun and special.

  3. AM says:

    I think the most important thing to remember is that you DID finish even when you weren’t feeling it. That takes guts. 🙂

    Too bad that we couldn’t connect but it shall happen one day! Happy training for NYC!

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