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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mississauga Half Marathon Race Report!

When I decided to race the Marathon at Ottawa this year, I knew that meant that I wouldn't be able to race at Mississauga. I was sad because this would have been my fifth year in a row. It was my first half marathon in 2011; my first full marathon in 2012; and I had also run the marathon in 2013 and 2014. Then, I started thinking about it and figured I could still run the half and "just" run 10k before it for my last 32k long run before the taper for Ottawa. I convinced Sam that the plan was a good idea and so we signed up. Then, Coach Phaedra wrote a 36k final long run into the plan.


We ran a 15k "warm up."

Sam picked me up at 0510 and we drove to the start line at Square One and started our run at 0537. Right away, I knew that the final carb load meal of Burrito Boyz was likely not the best idea. The food was a perfect solution when Sam and I headed out to cheer on Phaedra and Emma the night before in the 10k race, but that morning, I wasn't so impressed. We stopped 1k in at the start line port-o-potties and made use of them and then continued around in a big loop to get the first part of the run in with little problem. I was... gassy and had to stop a few times and take a gamble to pass wind, but it all worked out. HAHA. We finished the run in great time and went back to Sam's car to change out tops before hitting the port-o-potties again. Let's just say the 15k loosened up anything that was left and I apologize for the next person who had to go into that one. We got into the corrals with 10 minutes to spare and managed to get a pre-race photo with Patty who was pacing the full marathon!

The Race: 1-10k (16-25k)

The race started as it always does... with a bit of a stall and a huge amount of people pushing around each other. Right away, I felt good. I was worried that the break between the two runs would have me feeling like a tin man, but I felt great. I had taken a GU right before the gun and I wonder if that could have been why. Anyway, Sam always seems to follow me as I find the holes and we did, finally settling in around the 2k mark. Around this time we were with two men, in their late 40s, early 50s and a group of people younger than us (so it seemed). Someone's watch kept beeping. It was seriously annoying as the watch was going off every 5-10 seconds. At one point one of the men accused me of the beeping watch and I was like, "Hell no! I barely know how to turn this thing on!!!" We chatted with these guys a bit and of course let them know that we were already over 17k in on the day and accepted the general, "Girlz be Krazy" looks and comments from the crowd. Things were light and easy.

Before we knew it, we were making the turn into UofT and I told Sam that things just seemed to be going by so fast. The splits weren't coming as good as they should and I was a gassy delight, but I felt good. A few days prior, I had lost a lot of hope on being able to string together a good marathon and Robin had sent me a great email, reminding me that there will be moments when things are hard. When my legs feel heavy and when basically everything just sucks. And she reminded me that all I had to do was to push through that because the suck won't last forever. Every time I started to feel poorly, I thought of that and pushed through and of course, Robin was right. I moved on and felt good again. I took a GU around 7 or 8k and we were walking through the water stations even though we each had a handheld. It was the first hot day so that was smart.

I'm clearly having a good run.
When we got out of UofT, my next milestone was getting to my friend Deirdre. She stands at Dundas and Mississauga Road and would again, for this, my fifth year of running and high fiving her. What a boost seeing Dee always is! After that, it was time for the one and only hill on this course. It seemed that we were running along For-Ev-Err getting to this hill and once it came, I pulled the chute. "Sam, let's walk." "Yep," said Sam, "Just a training run." No worries at all. Gave me a chance to fart a bit more and we did run up the very top where the people were cheering. HAHA.

5:19-5:16-5:15-5:03-5:13-5:29-5:09-5:50-5:09-5:19. Total time: 53:03. We had no pace bands for this race. The goal was to run it around race pace (5:08-5:10, but that didn't quite workout)

The work: 11-21.1k (26-36.35k)

After the hill, we hit the nice homes of Mississauga Road and settled in again. The water stations were every 4k this year and we went through all of them. I took my gels on schedule and went through 3 in total. We continued to tell ANYONE around us that we had pre-run 15k before the race. Yes, yes, we ARE badass. I continued to be gassy. I had some burps that would make a grown man proud. I held on to my mental game, repeating the advice that Robin had given to me and feeling slightly threatened by the fact that Phaedra said she'd be out biking the course. LOL.

Before we knew it, it was time to split from the full marathon. I told Sam that I was so, so happy not to be making the turn onto Indian Road. She agreed. The day was hot and it was already long. Did you know that we ran 15k before the race? Its true. We did. I had forgotten a lot of the kilometers between about 14-17k of the half route and they are actually all a blur for me. I remember that I walked through a station and refilled my handheld with two cups of water. I was feeling good about my water and gel intake if not the best from my pre-race dinner. HAHA. Before we knew it, we were about to cross Lakeshore and head into the park system and we saw Phaedra. WHAT a boost! I ran right over to her to give her a high-five, "Burrito Boyz. NOT a good idea!!!" "Nooooo!!!!" said Phaedra, but it was all smiles and laughs and good times. 5k left in this race, in this day!

Stolen from PK
Its into the park system and Sam and I are doing the count down. We are both not out of it enough so as NOT to grab the free gel at the gel station. HA. We run for a bit with a trio of ladies and chat with them about mutual admiration of outfits (Well, I started with a different top, because we ran 15k before the race). They passed us and ran along. Sam declared: "The novelty of this day has worn right off" and while I agreed, there were still race photographers to pimp to.

Finally, the 20k sign was coming up and I was making a detour to it (despite the confusion of the high school volunteers at that spot). I hit the sign and Sam did what Sam does and started to up the pace, "I just want to be done. 35k... so close." And so we ran in and earlier thoughts of jumping in the air of the finish line vanished as it was spied. Look at the focus on the end.

Dude in the yellow beat us by 0.3 seconds
And so we did what we do. We celebrated each other and a great race. A great training season. Great running friends and finally, the start of the taper.

Race done (did you know we ran 15k before the race?)!

Splits: 6:38-5:10-5:37-5:10-6:34-5:18-6:02-5:35-5:17-6:18-5:17-5:01 (350m). Total time: 1:57:46

Gun: 1:58:57
Chip: 1:57:42
Place: 676/2067
Gender: 214/1090
F30-39: 71/298

This is a 16:08 course record. I think I could do a whole lot better on this course and may have to pick it as a goal race in the near future. Now, its onwards with the taper and to Ottawa. Do I think the BQ will happen? Honestly, no. I think, with my mind in the perfect place, it will be close. Very close. And I may surprise myself. In the end though, I suspect there will be a PB and a big one at that.

But, you never know what will happen on race day.


  1. I heard a crazy rumour you guys ran 15k before this race? lol

    I think you are going to surprise yourself in Ottawa. Fingers crossed for good weather!

  2. Great race recap as usual. Again, always amazed at the level of detail you remember! You are trained and now all that's left is the race! My fingers are also crossed for perfect weather (for you and me). Nice work in Mississauga...now kick butt in Ottawa.

  3. LOLOLOLOL. OMG. Please DO NOT EAT ANYTHING NEW BEFORE RACE DAY IN OTTAWA!!! And you're 100% right, get your head in the right space and you will have a GREAT DAY! Now, let's hope the weather gods play nice!

  4. By the way, did you hear that Nicole and Sam ran 15km before the race! ;)

    All that gas must have been like jet propulsion!

    But seriously, seems you did really well! Good luck in Ottawa!!!

  5. Great race and race report. I am sure you are going to kill Ottawa. Finger crossed. Best of Luck


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