Demi marathon de Rimouski

Dimanche dernier avait lieu le demi marathon de Rimouski, il y avait plusieurs années que je n’avais pas participé à ce demi marathon malgré que j’avais adoré le parcours lors de mon dernier passage. Cette année ma blonde Hélène et sa sœur Anny avaient décidées de s’inscrire au demi-marathon, de plus ma fille et son copain s’étaient inscris pour le 4.2 kilomètres. J’ai donc décidé de m’inscrire au demi-marathon aussi de mon côté sans trop savoir à quoi ressemblerait ma performance.

C’est donc sans aucun objectif précis que je me suis présenté à Rimouski samedi dernier. Bien entendu comme à chaque course j’ai toujours la volonté de battre mon temps le plus rapide sur la distance, mais je n’étais pas certain que j’avais les jambes pour le faire lors de cette course la en particulier. Je me disais que je pouvais surement courir un demi dans les 1h30-31 si tout allait bien, mais plus rapide que cela serait surement difficile. De plus, la météo annonçait des vents de 25 kilomètres/heure avec des bourrasques à 40 kilomètres/heure et de la pluie. De loin pas les conditions idéales pour battre mon meilleur temps.
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One year already

Yesterday was the 41th New York city marathon, one year ago I was there sitting at the starting line waiting for 10:20 so I could start my first marathon. It seems like it was yesterday, I can’t believe how fast life goes by.

I hope that everyone who was running the marathon yesterday enjoyed it as much as I did last year. And for all the first timer, keep running, it is such an awesome sport 🙂

Since the marathon I completed my first half Ironman, and then a second one. I qualified for the world championship next year and I ran a couple of half marathon, triathlon, 15k, 10k etc. A year full with awesome races, and I am already looking froward 2011. I love the sport of triathlon so much, and I really hope that I will be able to keep at it for many years still!

Marathon des deux rives – Half marathon

Last Sunday was the Quebec city marathon. I decided to run it as part of my training for Syracuse 70.3 which is in less then three weeks now.

I woke up early on Sunday morning, got my coffee and had a good breakfast, the start was at 8h30 and it was a 20 minutes car ride or so so no stress. My friend Patrick, who was running his first half marathon ever, picked me up in the morning and we headed to the start.

Once there we walked around and chatted with some friends. I saw Genevieve who was also running her first half marathon. I think it is really cool to see people getting into the sport, and I really hope that even more of my friends will get into this wonderful life style 🙂

Twenty minutes or so before the start Patrick had to go to the porta potty, so I told him I would wait for him. But we never had the chance to meet before the start, so I headed to the starting line. At that point I still had no idea how hard I would run that half mary. But I knew it was a training run and that there was no way I would PR since I swam 2.5km and rode 75km the day before.

I was way in the back at the start which was cool, instead of starting with all the speedy I was with the people who were there to enjoy the day. When I, finally, crossed the starting line I decided to push a bit and see how the legs were feeling. For the first 4km or so I had a PR`pace, and it made me wonder “Can I really PR today?”

By the time we crossed the bridge I saw Patrick in front of me. I joined him and we chatted a bit, his pace was ok so I decided to stick with him for a while. Around the 8th km or so Patrick tried to pass behind me to reach the aid station and he kicked me or something. I almost fell and I told him that was the reason why I wouldn’t run a 1h30 half today. We had a laugh about it and kept running. At the 11th km or so Patrick told me he couldn’t keep up with me at that speed and that he would just slow down a bit.

At that point I had a decision to make, pushing hard and try to make a time not too bad even if I knew I wouldn’t beat my east or stay with him and just enjoy a really nice day. I decided to stay with him and try to push him so he would finish with a good time.

For the next 5km or so we had a slower pace by still not too bad. But at the 16th it started to be really tough for him. He told me that if I was not there he would probably just sit and relax a bit. My daughter was at the 5km aid station volunteering, so I stopped to talk with her for a couple of seconds and drink some water. When I looked at Patrick at that point I knew I would have to push him to get the last 5km at a not too bad pace.

By that time the sun was really hot, the wind was not that strong and there was no shade at all on the course. So we had to suffer our way through the last km. His longest run was 18km which was correct to make sure he would complete the run, but still he had a hard time with the last couple of km. I pushed him through them, and tried to push him so he would sprint by the end. But he had nothing left in the tank, he did a mini sprint of maybe 25 feet, and that almost made him puke. At that point I knew I pushed him at his limit 😉

I completed the half with a time of 1:51:30, which was 8 minutes slower than my PR. But I was happy to run it with Patrick for his first!

Overall I had a really good day, and an awesome training run!

Ottawa half marathon

Yesterday was the Ottawa Half Marathon, what a wonderful race it is! If you never did this race please do so, there was around 40k runners there who ran one of the week end race. From the kid marathon, which was so cute to watch, to the Ottawa marathon. Here’s how my race looked like.

Sunday morning I woke up early, walked around the hotel and grabbed a coffee and a sandwich at Tim Horton’s. I then met with some friends who were running the full mary and chatted with them a bit. Then back to the hotel to get ready and headed to the race starting line.

My plan was to stay at 5:00/km or so to finish the race in 1h45. I was pretty sure that I could keep this up if everything went good and that I had good legs that day.

Martine, a friend of mine who is in the tri club, was doing the half too. But with 9-10k people on the starting line there was no way I could have find her.

And there we go, I wave to my wife and daughter and start running, making sure to get into my pace and not too fast and then I hear “BOB” It was Martine just behind me, how funny that she saw me in the middle of all those runners.

So we started running together, that was cool to have someone to chat with instead of being all by myself. Around the 5km she told me to go, she had a knot in her stomach and she didn’t want to slow me down. I stayed with her to see if it would pass and it seemed to so we kept running together. I told her we already had a quarter of the race done so nothing to worry about.

By the 8km or so we were crossing back to Ottawa and while we were on the bridge I saw that the 1:45 rabbit was slowly getting away from me and I didn’t like that. So I pushed a bit while crossing the bridge to try to keep her in sight at least. When we got on the other side of the bridge I realized that I had lost Martine. At that moment I decided to go for my own run and just pushed the pace to get back to the rabbit. I stayed with the 1:45 group for a while, always keeping them close by.

It was weird because my Garmin was giving me the km split earlier than they were on the course. At that point I realized that I couldn’t trust the Garmin on that particular course because it was probably longer. So I started counting my overall time versus the km on the course to make sure I was on pace to PR.

By the 15th km or so I knew I had everything to get a PR, I was faster than my planned pace of 5:00/km and even if the course was a bit longer there was no problem at all beating that score.

At the 16th I decided to lose the rabbit and I started pushing. For the next two km I pushed a 4:48 and a 4:41 km, honestly in my mind and my body it felt more like two 3:00/km split but what can I do 😛 At that point I knew in my mind I was wayyy ahead of the bunny and then I heard someone yell , “lets go 3km to go, we can run that in our sleep”. Yeah you are right, that was her like 0 feet behind me.

I laugh a little bit at that point, I pushed so hard to get away from that pack just to realize that they were behind me the whole time 😛

At that point I just gave what I had left in me to get to the finish line as fast as possible. My friend Patrick told me he would be waiting for me on the left side of the road at the 500 meters mark. So I started checking when I got there, saw him slapped his hand and yelled “PR Baby!!”

I then ran everything I had left to get to the finish line with a really big happy smile on my face 🙂

My wife and daughter were by the finish line but I couldn’t see them sadly. But I got that PR, even if my training for that half mary was far from being perfect.

Now I got to get faster, because I would like to run a half mary at least that fast to finish my half Iron in Sept 😉

I don’t think I could have run faster with the training I had. My injury last winter didn’t help but not much I can do about it. Now I got to train harder in the next month to get faster for the next one in August.

Total – 1:43:50
Age group : 151/574
Overall : 1207/9207

Half marathon – Done :)

I woke up around 5h30 after a really good night of sleep. Had some oatmeals, a yogurt, orange juice and a coffee for breakfast.

We left to the race around 6h45 since we had to be at the start before 7h30. When we arrived me and my wife splited, she was running the 10k and the start lines were in two different places. I had to take a bus to go to the start line so as soon as I arrived at the finish line I jumped into one of the bus and we headed to the start line.

We arrived there 1 hour prior to the start, so we just walked and relax for a while. I took a gel at some point with some water. I went for a warm up around 7h50 or so, during my warm up I heard the start of the 30k race. While warming up I found a gel on the ground, someone would have a bad surprise at some point today, but with over 500 people there no way I would find who lost it 😉 I ran 2-3 km at a pace around 5:00/km (8:02/mile) or so trying to get my HR higher a little bit and warming up my legs.

After my warm up I tried to find the friend with whom I was supposed to run today, her goal was to run it under 1:50:00 so she could qualify for New-York next year. I didn’t tell her yet that I would run it with her, when we talked about it earlier this week I told her that a 5:00/km (8:02/mile) split half mary was probably a bit fast for me. I finally changed my mind yesterday and when I told her that she would have someone to run with today she was really excited. We met around 10 minutes before the start and got ready for the start.

We had a plan to head out at a 5:00/km (8:02/mile) pace and do whatever it would take to stick with it. We knew that this would give us a 5 minutes to play with if needed, since Nicole needed 1:50:00 or less to qualify to New-York and that was the plan to run it in those time.

The start was a little bit crowded so we knew it would be a pain to get up to our speed right at the beginning. We tried to pass as many people as we possibly can, while I was looking at my Garmin all the time to make sure we were not going out too fast.

The course was nice, from the start line we had around 4k to run to the finish line, then we had a loop of around 17k to run to come back to the finish line. I was happy to see that when we got by the finish line I didn’t want to stop and cross it already, that means I was not too tired yet 😉

According to the weather we were supposed to have a head wind to start with. But finally the wind was not too fast and it didn’t really bothered us for the first 4k, which was good. After that we passed the finish line and started the loop we had a downwind and I was starting to regret those long sleeves. But it was a bit too late to change my mind on clothing, so I just HTFU and kept going.

When we reach the 10k point I realized that I just PRed for a 10k and it made me really happy. I then wondered if I PRed the 5k too. Now that I looked at the splits I know I did 🙂

My initial plan was to stick with Nicole at a 5:00/km (8:02/mile) pace as long as I would be able to and then let her go. I didn’t want her to miss her qualification because she would have wait on me.

But the more we were going the more I knew that I would be able to finish in 1:45:00 or so. I knew I had it in me. My HR was good, I was around 90-95% LT for the entire race and I figured I could keep that pace for under 2 hours without too much problems.

When we crossed the 10k starting line we knew that we were about to turn around and head to the finish line. We did with 9km to go or so, but at this point the wind was hmm, lets just say stronger than before.

It was not that bad of a wind, around 12 MPH maybe, but after 12 kilometers we could have done without it to be honest. So we started to run with that head wind, at some point I thought that it would show in our splits but it didn’t changed them that much.

I was starting to be a little bit tired, but I kept telling to myself that I wanted to be there to see her face when she would finally qualify for New-York. So far she has done Boston, London, Moscow and Berlin and she always said that she needed New-York to finish her top five marathons.

So I told myself to HTFU and she keep that pace. My left knee was hurting and I knew it was probably not the brightest idea of all to keep pushing through it but I had to. We kept going at that 4:58/km-5:02/km (8:00/mile-8:06/mile) pace that we had since the beginning, When I saw the sign 8km I told to myself to just keep going, only 40 minutes to go it was not that bad. And I kept going, after a while I realized that we were at the 4km sign which made me really happy because I knew that we just did half of what we had to do when we saw that 8km sign. And honestly it seems like it went really fast from the 8 to the 4km sign.

4 kilometers to go, only 20 minutes. I am starting to be really tired. I never pushed that fast for that long. My best time for a 10k as 52:14 and I did it not that long ago during a training run to test my speed.

I wanted to slow down a little bit, but I knew I couldn’t do that and miss Nicole’s finish and my 1:45:00 time that was really reachable. I never even dreamed about doing 1:45 for that half before three or four days ago. But now it was there, I only had to keep going and I would reach it.

So I did, I kept running with her, she was pulling me at that point. I didn’t want to let her take any advance on me or I knew I would let her go. When we finally reach the 2km sign she told me that if I wanted to slow down she didn’t mind, she knew that even if we ran the last two kilometers at a 6:00/km (9:39/mile) pace we would finish in time for her to qualify anyway.

But deep in my mind I knew that I would be really pissed at me if I slowed down with 2km to go and miss that 1:45:00 mark because of that. So I told her I was ok, I knew it was not true and she knew too, but we kept going at the same pace.

When we finally reach the park where the finish line was she had taken maybe 25 feet on me, so I sprint a little bit to reach her. When she saw me arrived a little bit faster she told me she nothing left in the tank and there was no way she could sprint the last 200 meters. I was happy about it, first because I didn’t want to sprint that much and secondly because I knew we had done a hell of a race and we both reached deep to find the energy to finish it in that time.

That was her best half marathon lifetime, and same for me. From 2:14:20 to 1:45:20, which means a PR by 29 minutes, I am really happy about this 🙂 I also got my 5k time faster by 30 seconds or so and my 10k time by over 2 minutes. All that during the same race!

Three days to go

Three more days to go before the half marathon on Sunday, three mode days of taper. Three more days of wondering if I am losing too much fitness. This morning I went for a little 30 minutes run, just to keep the legs moving while tapering for Sunday. Only problem since I don’t want to push too hard I ran slower that I usually do, and it made me wonder. Will I be ok on Sunday? Or will I be slower since I am running slower since a week or so.

I think I am starting to get nervous as the race approach, I know it’s nowmal and I am pretty sure I will be fine on Sunday, but still I am nervous. As of now the weather should be perfect to run, a nice sunny 50 degree. There should have some winds though, nothing too much but still I would have prefer no wind at all, but I am not the one making those decisions.

Now I will go back into my head to think about how much fitness I am losing with that taper, see you all later. 😉