Thursday, May 15, 2008

My next marathon ....Ottawa

So I am running my seventh marathon on May 25th, the ING Ottawa marathon in less than two weeks. I just ran a marathon two weeks ago, the Nashville Country Music Marathon, but it didn't quite translate to the race I wanted in terms of a personal record (PR), so I am attempting my second marathon this spring in a four week span. I will post about the Nashville race experience later, but for now I will discuss the beast upon me, the Ottawa marathon.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is a beautiful city, and for you American readers, it is the capital of Canada. It is the epitome of a true Canadian marathon. I hold the Ottawa marathon near and dear to my heart as the Ottawa marathon was my very first marathon that I completed and I loved it so much that I came back last year to run it again (even though I hadn't trained AT ALL - not recommended!). So this will be the third time I have will have run the Ottawa marathon, and I have also ran Ottawa as a half marathon in 2005. The Ottawa course is simply beautiful. You run from the province of Ontario into the province of Quebec through the Gatineau area (Hull) before running back to Ottawa Ontario and running by Canadian landmarks such as the Parliment building and the famous Cateau Laurier hotel (I had the priviledge of attending a wedding there last year-nice!).

The race is a real hometown event with lots of spectators and entertainment along the course -even belly dancers! It makes you feel proud to be a Canadian. Last year while running, Hubs and I got to shake the former Canadian Prime Minister's (Jean Cretien) hand while running through the prestigious Rockcliffe area. How many American races can boast such things?

Although I love the Ottawa marathon, it has never been kind to me in terms of having a great race. First of all the race is always held the last week on May and it is notoriously hot. The course is not a hilly course, but there are flatter courses to run. The first time I ran Ottawa was as a half. I had trained really hard and I was sure that I would be able to run a sub 2 hour race and ended up running around 2:08 - I was disappointed even though it was a PR at the time. I also trained really hard for my first marathon, and I was fairly confident that I could run under 4:20, but alas the day was 34 degrees Celsius, and I ended up with a time of 4:37. Although I hadn't met my time goal I still cherished my first marathon experience -it was an amazing accomplishment! In 2006, I entered the race untrained and ended up finishing in an yucky 5 hour+ fashion, but I had a lot of fun during the race.

So needless to say, I want this year to be different. So far, my PB marathon time is a 4:16 (the Philadelphia marathon this past fall), and I know I can better my time. I do have a specific goal in mind, but I will keep that private for now, and I know I can accomplish it under the right conditions. Right now the weather for the 25th looks promising - a high of approximately 14 degrees Celsius - well below average - YES!!

So I am gearing up mentally for the big event. I hope that this will be the year I conquer the Ottawa course. Wish me luck and thanks for reading!


Marlene said...

I have heard great things about Ottawa...I am planning a trip out next May for race weekend with some friends & family. Not sure what event I will tackle, because I want to enjoy the city while I'm there (never been to Ottawa!).

Good luck next weekend...can't wait to hear about it.

Tim Wilson said...

Good luck with your upcoming marathon!

Anonymous said...

geotorelxzp debt consolidation services
credit card interest

Anonymous said...

geotorelxzp consolidation loans
consolidate credit cards