Taper Time is Almost Here – #RunOttawa2017

Ottawa Race Weekend is only 3 weeks away! Hooray!

Taper time is officially starting for our marathon-running friends, as they should have completed their last super-long long run yesterday. For the Half Marathon crowd, we might have one more long run scheduled for next weekend before dialling it down. I have completed my 16KM and 2x18KM long runs and will run my 20KM long run next weekend. I am hoping that Race Weekend features no rain as I am rather sick of running my long runs in the pouring rain. Yesterday’s 18KM run was just plain frustrating in terms of weather. It was raining and then it was sunny – therefore it was either bone-chilling cold or too hot. I ended up changing my layers every single time I made it back after a 4.5KM loop. Speaking of running in loops: the main reasons I run in loops is so I don’t have to carry water and to be close to a washroom if I need one. The last few long runs I’ve needed the washroom every single time. Yesterday was the first long run in a LONG time where I didn’t have to use the washroom at all. Progress! I also had an interesting long run. The first two loops sucked and I kept wanting to quit. My legs felt heavy and I just wanted to take a nap rather than run. I don’t know what happened in the last two loops, but suddenly my legs came back and I had a terrific last 9KM. The last two KM were run in 5:35 and 4:57 <—– I have no idea where that came from. I was running downhill and probably just happy to be done the run 😉

Although I’ve run more long runs than I have for any other half marathon, my weekday runs have been a little interesting. As I mentioned in previous posts, my schedule is very busy right now and although I’ve still managed to run at least 4x a week (sometimes 5x), I haven’t been able to make all of those runs at least 6KM+. Last week I managed to run one 6KM run and then two 3KM runs. I strongly believe that 3KM is better than 0KM, but still I wished I had more time for a few more 6-8KM runs. Although I have a busy week ahead of me, I’m really going to try hard to run at least two quality runs this week. This upcoming week is the biggest week for mileage. But because I missed a few runs here and there – I’m probably going to be maxing out at 40KM,  rather than the 50KM I would have liked to have maxed out at. However, for those who have followed for awhile, I’ve never been a high mileage runner. My biggest week for marathon training was about 50KM, so 40KM for a half isn’t that bad at all. I ran 34KM last week and will be at 36KM this week. The good news is that I’ve been consistently up in the 30s for mileage. Usually I only have 1-2 weeks of quality weeks.

I’m not sure what to make my goal for Ottawa Race Weekend. I do not think I am in sub-2:00 shape. From what I’ve heard from so many runners who are trying to have a break-through race, consistency is key and I’m not consistent! I have zero doubts that I will finish the race. I could run a half tomorrow if I wanted to. But for me, holding that 5:40/km for 21.1KM just seems daunting. I’m still going to try but will be perfectly happy just PBing the half. Besides, you all know my real issue – the bathroom breaks. If I can get that under control for race day, than I’m GOLDEN.

Speaking of that – there are a few changes for the next few weeks that I am making to ensure I don’t have GI issues on the day of the race.

  • limiting seeds – because apparently my GI system hates seeds….(cause of my problems last weekend)
  • Staying away from sesame seeds/hummus
  • Drinking lots of Water (and Nuun)
  • Eating more melon-style fruit
  • Trying my best to eat really well for the next 3 weeks
  • NO popcorn (I’m seriously going to devour a whole bag the night after the race)
  • Ensuring that a few days before the race I eat the most boring foods possible. That time I ate a taco before STWM was just a bad idea

The last point is probably going to be crucial. I’m going to be cutting out dairy, seeds, fiber-rich foods 48 hours before the race. Normally I’m not that careful and that one small meal that has one of those items is usually what causes problems on the day of the race. This will be an experiment and hopefully works. My GI system has been a mess lately but I think it has more to do with all the seeds I’ve been eating (yay Run Fast, Eat Slow recipes…..).

I’m also going to my RMT and PT every week for the next 3 weeks. Another thing hard to schedule are those visits! I have some shin splits going on and need some TLC on them before race day. If you haven’t noticed – I’ve also not raced a single race since March. After both the Grimsby and St Patrick’s Day Races, my legs felt off. I’m not risking anything right now and running a fast 5K is not going to do anything for my half marathon PB attempt. I have zero problems running 5:40/km for both the 5K and 10K, so even signing up for “race pace” kind of race just doesn’t interest me. I have the rest of the year to focus on the 5K/10K. I have been attending the Run Ottawa Free 5K series at the Agricultural Museum. But I am not racing those, but treating them as fun tempo runs. I ran on Saturday and managed to hit my tempo pace perfectly for all 5 KM. I’m getting excited for Race Weekend! I’m hoping that everything goes well and a big PB is in my future 🙂


Have a great Monday!

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