|Thrilled and blessed with P.B. 72:27 and 2013 CDN Half Marathon Champion.
What a great weekend!
The Banque Scotia de Montreal Half Marathon, which also serves as the CDN Half Marathon Championship was my first race of the season with a proper taper after completing 150 km last week. I did two workouts on the track but they weren’t terribly demanding, and it was nice to have a bit of a decrease in the km’s to feel fresh in the week leading up to the race.
Friday morning, after getting the kids’ lunches and backpacks loaded, my husband took the boys to school and Leah to my good friend Britanie’s for the day. Fortunately my husband is often able to adjust his work schedule to meet my racing needs when given the time ahead to plan. I drove to the gotrain in Burlington then boarded the train at Union for Montreal. I sat with Rejean Chiasson, which was great because we got to chat about running, nutrition, and his recent training trip to Ethiopia and also get some work done. I’ve been getting a lot of interview and presentation requests lately, which has been great but require time to complete. I knew I’d have long periods of time in my traveling for races this spring so planned to use the time wisely. Thankfully via had wifi so I could go between my phone and laptop.
Friday evening I had dinner with Rachel Hannah and her boyfriend/coach Dave. It was great that they let me tag along as third wheel to a lovely Indian restaurant. Yes, Indian but we chose wisely, ate small portions and took the leftovers with us! A few others were going out later but we didn’t connect. Saturday, Rachel and I went for an easy 35 min run, which included a few strides. Felt good. Then I got myself a Starbucks and headed back to the hotel for a bit more work, rest and relaxation. For lunch, Erin Burrett, Marilyn Arsenault and I enjoyed wraps at a local cafe downtown then I grabbed another Starbucks before going back to the room. I had my quick 20 min power nap then did a bit more work. The technical meeting was at 4 pm, which went well then a group of us headed out for a lovely dinner. Great pick, Kerri! I enjoyed a salad and some pizza (yes, I ate gluten and all was well). Marilyn and I were back in our hotel and in our pj’s by 7:00 pm. Had a great sleep again that night.
Race day was bright and sunny with great temperatures. After relaxing on the cots for a while, Erin, Marilyn and I did a 20 min warmup together then got to the line for the 10am start. I was feeling good and ready to go. There was a 1 minute moment of silence in honor of the Boston Marathon events, which was very meaningful. Starting out, Dayna and I were together for a few km. I wasn’t sure what she was going for, due to a nagging knee issue, but knew my plan and stuck to it. The first 2 km were 3:20/km exactly and I was 17:00 at 5km and 34:00 at 10 km. New PB for the 10 km! Shortly after that, I hooked up with a few guys, including fellow Saucony teammate, Terry Gehl. Then around the 15 km mark, I was ahead of them and on my own. A few times I wasn’t sure where to go – I’ve had directional problems my entire life, and there were some fairly sharp turns but for the most part, the course was pretty good with just a bit of wind because of its location on the Ste-Helene Island & Notre-Dame Island. I faded perhaps a bit around 15-18 km but got another (3rd) gel going to fuel the tank. Coming through the finish was again, very special, like every other win. I just love hearing the people cheer and come together as a community. When asked about Tara Quinn-Smith’s 72:09 Cdn record, I knew it was something that could possibly happen but to be honest, I am glad it didn’t happen today. Rick and I are being very cautious with my training and racing after returning from injury, and know that there’s still a lot of work to be done before Moscow, when I want to ultimately peak.
After a quick celebration, hug to Alan Brooks, a few photos, a 20 min cool down, and straightforward pee for doping before the awards we were back to the hotel for a quick shower and check out. My great roomie, Marilyn had to leave at 2pm for her flight and a group of us went for lunch on the way to the train. I got myself a large coffee, then got the laptop and phone going again once in my seat.
Rick was super pleased with my performance and has emailed me my plan for the week. We’ll have a few heavy weeks then take it down again before the Ottawa Race Weekend 10 km. I’m already looking forward to it, especially because I’ve been asked do the colour commentating for the Marathon. I think I know what I’ll be spending my time on when travelling by train in a few weeks. My pronunciation of Africa names is certainly not up to par.
We’re getting close to home and I look forward to seeing my husband and kids.