Ottawa Race Weekend is one of the most energizing weekends in the country’s capital.
With 10’s of thousands of people flooding the downtown core to either participate or watch this incredible races.
Since moving to Ottawa I have participated in the 5km and 10km races every year, except for the year my daughter was born (which was 3 days before the race!). The Race Weekend really is the kickstart to summer in Ottawa. People sign up months before and train for weeks to run their best race. In fact in the days leading up, it is really all people can talk about “Are you running?” “Will you be cheering on the other runners” “What’s your goal?”
My race weekend kick started with a trip to the Shaw Centre Health Expo on Friday night (May 22) to pick up my bib and to check out the cool products for sale. Like every year, I visited my favourite vendor (and local small Canadian business) “Run Girl Run” to snag a killer head band for my daughter and me (my LO’s head band says Run Girl Run and mine says Run Like a Motherand of course matching colors).
It was a hit for the birthday girl later that evening. I also saw John Stanton of the Running Room. Unfortunately, I was not able to speak to him given how many people shared my excitement of seeing him at the book signing, but I admired him from afar.
Saturday morning I enjoyed the day with my little family and my parents. We spent a good part of the morning just walking around the Byward market, a great way of warming up without over doing it. I ate homemade Pasta for lunch (need to fuel your body with carbs).
At 3pm I started preparing my racing gear, which included my new Garmin 10 watch, my little black running skirt (JWalking Designs – more info below), Mizuno sneakers, dri-fit tank top, Nike water belt and my knee brace (and shhh, for all those mamas out there, I included a little extra protection).
At 5:30 (T-1 hour from race time!) I lightly jogged (about 1.5 kms) up to the race area to meet one of my blogging friends Montreal Runner Mom. It was super exciting to finally meet this lady in person considering I am an avid follower of her blog, and what’s cooler than meeting a fellow Sweat Pink ambassador. I was thrilled when I found out she was running the 10km race too! We chatted about blogging, our families and the race. Looking forward to another meet up soon.
The race kick started at 6:30pm! The weather was INCREDIBLE – just perfect!
The crowds, the music and the fact that 13,000 other people are running the same race is what gets my blood pumping. This was my personal best race since beginning to run 4 years ago. I told myself that I needed to run a sub 60 minutes to feel like I could accomplish my half marathon in September.
At 4 kms I realized I had put the knee brace on the wrong leg and my knee was screaming at me by the end. I think I will try to tape both of my knees during my next race (hopefully in June!) I kept telling myself that my knee was not going to slow me down, or be my excuse for not finishing at the time I wanted. While I accomplished my goal by coming in at 58 minutes 50 seconds, if my knee had cooperated I would have likely finished at 55-56 minutes (but there is always another race!).
As always, crossing that finishing line is such an incredible feeling. I feel so accomplished, so motivated to do more. I love to watch the other people cross the finish line and I can’t help but wonder “what’s their story”. Who or why are they running?
Unfortunately, my daughter was sick so my husband was unable to meet me at the finish line. But that’s okay! I was able to connect one more time with Montreal Runner Mom, and a friend of mine texted me to say she saw me run across the finish line! I knew that my loved ones were anxiously awaiting my call to share my time and to give them the details of the race. Crossing that line I felt strong, like I had successfully built up my endurance. Another TORW in the books!
Maybe next year, i will be running the 1/2 marathon instead … who knows!
Side note: Sunday we watched the full and 1/2 marathoners running. Many of whom we didn’t know, but felt like we shared with them their passion and love for the sport. My daughter was so excited and amused by all the people running and as always, my favourite part was the camaraderie of the runners and spectators. People cheering and showing their support with signs. Others running along side some of the runners to motivate them. Amazing! Just a truly amazing way to bring together the city and surrounding areas.
I was thrilled to be officially sporting JWalkings Designs on race day! A great running outfit can make you you feel strong, fashionable and fit throughout your run. Later this week I will be sharing my honest review of this wonderful fitness product. In the meantime, check out the link below!
Have you heard about JWalking Designs?
They make earth-friendly, fit, functional and fashionable active apparel for women and men on-the-go.
Since every running mama needs a little black running skirt, I have been asked to review this sweet little piece during the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Stay tuned for my post race recap and review of this cute new edition to my workout wardrobe!