With Fires burning near Opal, Redwater and near Lac St. Anne they contributed to poor air quality in the Edmonton region. I flew into Edmonton on Friday afternoon once I stepped off the plane I could smell the strong smell of smoke. The visibility was bad almost like a fog in the air. The weather was calling for showers Saturday afternoon/evening so I was convinced this would clear the air for Sundays race. The race director Brian Torrence had put Marilyn and I in a room together at the Sutton Place Hotel. A big Thank You to Brian for taking such good care of us in Edmonton ( he even put up with our stupid safety pin request the night before the race we are dumb dumbs) Marilyn arrived around 11:30 pm that evening I was already sleeping but was excited to see her so got up to have a small chat.
The next morning we both slept till 9 am which was such a treat. We had breakfast in bed Thanks to Marilyn who travelled with her Bodum French Press/Toaster/honey/almond butter/squirrelly bread. She really cracks me up! Around 10 am Jonathan Withey picked us up and took us out on the Edmonton trails with Mark Armstrong for a 30′ shakeout and some strides. I felt fine I wore my HR monitor my legs were a bit stiff from the travel the day before but after 15′ I was feeling good with normal pre race excitement.
We had lunch a short walk through a mall not very exciting and went back to the hotel. Marilyn and I slipped into our hotel robes and lounged in our room from 2-6pm. My good friend Emma had just arrived from Calgary for the race so she came over to the hotel to join the good times in our room.
For dinner we headed to Pazzo Pazzo a really great Italian Restaurant that happened to be right next to our hotel. The pasta portions were a little bit too much but extremely tasty!
Race morning we woke up early, really early. Race morning routine: oatmeal,banana, small coffee lots of bathroom time! Mark and Jonathan aka Alias Basil were so kind to come and pick us up at our hotel. It is so nice to be chauffeured to the starting line. Thanks Guys!! During our warmup I got a bit worried as my hr was 10 beats higher than usual. I asked Marilyn and she said her’s was the same. I tried not to think about it to much but my body felt tired as well and my breathing felt different. The race started and from the gun I felt I was using more effort than usual. I relaxed and tried not to look to much at my watch. At 3k I knew something was wrong I decided to look at my hr it was 163. I decided to not look at it again and keep my legs moving. At 5k my time was 19:40 and I knew I was way off and wanted to drop out. I could not take a deep breath and was wheezing really bad at this point. I felt a bit panicked as this is not normal for me until usually the end of a race. I got to 10k and saw Marilyn and by the look on her face I knew she was having a bad day as well. I decided to keep moving and thought that this is going to be a good for me mentally! I managed to find a few guys to pace with through to the finish. I was a bit shaken up at the finish as I have never struggled so bad for that long with my breathing. I spoke with a few of the girls at the finish and they all seemed to have a tough day on the course.
I quickly changed and cooled down with Marilyn and rushed back to the finish line to see Amazing Ellie Greenwood win the Marathon for the women in 2:49:54 a big PB for her! Way to Go Ellie! You are such a inspiration! I also saw Mike P come through with a strong finish! It was so nice to see them right at the finish in their Marathon High!
Another Amazing Athlete over the weekend Kirsten Sweetland placing second at Nationals in Kelowna this weekend! Check out her blog
I don’t know if it was a combination of pre race jitters too much pasta or too much time in a Hotel Room in Edmonton but Marilyn and I laughed just a little bit at this….this is posted for you Marilyn……….