This year’s Ottawa Marathon was my 6th overall and and 4th consecutive Ottawa Marathon. After a strong training cycle and a few shorter tune-up races my plan for today was to go out at a 3:10 pace in an effort to get my BQ.
The weather conditions this morning were ideal. We could not have asked for better conditions to start the marathon. As planned I lined-up with the 3:10 pacer when I got into the corrals.
I felt good as we started and had no issue keeping up with the 3:10 pacer. The only issue I had with pace group was that one of the runners who was following it kept moving from left to right to keep close to the pace bunny completely oblivious to the fact that he was cutting people off and coming close to stepping on feet and knocking other runners over. Then for some reason he developed a habit of getting ahead of the pace bunny. As soon as he would realize how far ahead he was he would slam on the breaks and wait for the pace bunny to catch up. Needless to say I had a few close calls with this runner.
As for my race, I felt great going through the 10 km and half splits and was still on pace for 3:10 through 30 km. unfortunately somewhere around the 32 km point I tweaked my knee and had to slow my pace. Kilometers 32-38 were not much fun. After the the discomfort in my knee seemed to go away or maybe it was just the adrenaline from being back amongst the big crowds as we got back downtown.
I was able to pick-up the pace and have a strong final 3 km to get to the finish line in 3:17 which is a 3 minute pb for me.
My knee is a little stiff right now but not sore anymore. I am not sure what the issue was during the race. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye on it this week and maybe apply some ice. Had it not been for that I am pretty sure sub 3:15 was in the cards. The 3:15 pacer only passed me around the 38 km point.
All in all it was a good day. I’ll take the pb. Not sure yet what my next plans are, but I am looking forward to taking another shot at 3:10.
Of course this result was made easier by the network of support I have. From my neighbour who provided feedback to help me come up with a good approach leading up to this marathon to my friend Greg who has become my official finish line photographer over the past three years, incidentally he made a point of coming to take finish line photos again this year after a late night at a wedding last night. Finally, and most important of all, my family. I am fortunate to have a wife who is supportive of whatever crazy plans I come with and a daughter who enjoys hopping in her Chariot to join me for adventures on my weekend runs.