On Saturday I ran 60k in 8hrs at Mind the Ducks in Rochester. On Sunday I ran a marathon in 4:40 in Toronto. My total mileage for the weekend was 102km.
MTDs was a 12-hour race made up of a half mile loop that I ran over and over and over. The Toronto Marathon was a road race through the city.
This was probably the best weekend of my life. Here are some general notes, observations, and highlights.
1. MTDs was all about meeting my heroes and making new ones. There were so many strong runners and great people there; I was truly humbled and felt so lucky to be able to share this experience with them.
2. I thought the half-mile loops at MTDs would be incredibly hard psychologically. They were not. They were a psychological comfort, and I missed them during my marathon. I always knew I had it in me to go one more loop, so it was easier to continue. It also didn’t hurt to share the loop with so many of my running idols. I was never bored.
3. After a certain point, it feels more comfortable to run instead of walk. And at MTDs Angie Bee gave me another amazing tip – after a certain point, it’s easier to run fast than to run slow. And she was right.
4. Neither of the races felt worse than my first marathon, so I know I’m in much better shape. Most people imagine that the longer you run, the worst you feel. I found it doesn’t work that way at all. For me, the longer I run, the better I feel. And feeling great comes in waves. I get second, third, fourth, and fifth winds. I felt much better running at 8 hours than I did running at 6.
5. I didn’t stop to walk at any point during my marathon. This wasn’t so much a sign of strength, I just knew that if I stopped it would be a thousand times harder to start running again. I kept my legs and feet relaxed and just shuffled along. My stats weren’t great. I was near the end of my age group. But then again, I’m pretty sure I was the only one in my age group that ran for 8 hours the day before…
6. I strongly believe that it’s not how you begin a race that matters; it’s how you finish it. At my marathon, I passed 112 runners in the final 12k. I was passed by no one.
7. For the first time in my life, I teared up (as in crying tears) during a run. I was doing great and going strong, then in the last marathon stretch one of the volunteers yelled that I only had 5k left until the final loop. I suddenly knew that I had it in me to finish strong and sprint to the finish; I instantly teared. Not because I was hurting, but because I was so freaking proud of myself. And I knew I was gonna own the rest of that race.
8. This was an emotional weekend for me. Although I’m a strong runner, I don’t always feel that other people believe in me. It’s bittersweet because that also makes me push harder. And doing the ultra/marathon combo made me feel vindicated. Like a real runner who actually knows what they’re doing.
9. On Monday morning I woke up and realized – I’m an ultra marathoner. Sweet.
10. I didn’t take a lot of pictures. At first I thought I would, but in the moment it didn’t really feel right. I felt like this was my weekend, these were my races, and this was my time. And most of it I didn’t really want to share. I wanted to experience everything and remember it all and keep it to myself. In my heart and in my head.
11. I learned that hydration and nutrition are key to fuel any activity. And for me, what I was eating wasn’t as important as when. I think I nailed my nutrition this weekend. The key for me was to basically eat constantly in small quantities. I was really able to listen to my body, fuel it when it needed to be fueled, and in return it never let me crash.
12. I am so unbelievable grateful for my legs and feet. I have the most awesome feet ever.
THE BEST PARTS
1. The first few loops around at MTDs when I realized that all my running heroes actually knew my name. Meeting Angie Bee, Jesse, Jason, Shelley and Shelly, and many others.
2. Running MTDs in a tutu. Awesomeness.
3. After the marathon when Shacky peeled the Ink n Burn off his back and gave it to me, and said I deserved it.
4. I wore a shirt during my marathon that said “RUN BABY RUN” – so I was hearing people scream that at me the whole way. Kept me moving and smiling.
5. I was literally beaming the entire marathon. My heart was full. I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to be out running like this, and when it got rough I asked myself if there was anywhere else I’d rather be. There wasn’t.
6. Lou and I had the same mantra for the marathon: “The honey badger don’t give a shit.” Lou passed me early on, but for the first bit we made sure to keep reminding each other of this important fact from nature.
7. I love the Cheesecake Factory. And Starbucks Calm tea. Two great sources of comfort this weekend! Food makes me happy.
8. The day after the marathon we did a cool down barefoot trail run with Shacky, my sister, Lou, and Kat. Shacky filmed it with his GoPro and sprinted the last bit with me. Super fun!
Stopping over at Niagara Falls on the way to Rochester.
Rocking the tutu. I ran 60k in this.
My favourite fellow tutu’d ultra runners.
I don’t have any marathon pictures yet, so I’ll post those when they come.
I was built to run ultras. This is my strength and it’s what I love most. Over the next few months I will start transitioning to more trail runs, more hills, more barefoot, and longer training distances.