OK - so before you really get your hopes up, I did not get a PR. It wasn't my day - but it is all good and I will give you all the details so you can really appreciate how it all went down. :)
First of all, it was our first trip to Montreal and it was so cool! We were definitely surrounded by French speaking folks, but all we had to do was say, "Sorry, English?" and everyone spoke English. So it is an easy trip for someone who wants to experience being surrounded by a foreign language, but low maintenance. :D hahaha.
Roscoe came with us, because we found a hotel that was pet-friendly. We thought about boarding him anyway, so that we would find it easier to do things we wanted to, but we figured - how often will we have a pet-friendly hotel??? Let's just do it! Well...
Roscoe was stressed by the drive, and stressed by the city. He was one stressed out panicked pooch. We're not taking him to any city trips ever again. Probably not almost any trip in the future, except maybe if we rent a cabin somewhere quiet or something. He doesn't LOVE the doggie daycare experience like some dogs, cause he just doesn't care too much about other dogs and "play" seems like a foreign concept for him... but being blase and being totally stressed out are two different things. He's definitely being boarded for the big trip to Vegas!
Here is a cute picture of him when we stopped on the way out for DH to go get some cash - waiting for him to come back from the ATM:
So in any case, we get to Montreal. We pay the hotel to park in a garage (very nice not to have to worry about street parking or anything). We get settled and then head to the expo.... which we missed. OOPS! But we were JUST BARELY late, so they let me pick up my packet, I just couldn't go shopping. (This is probably a good thing...)
NEON GREEN SHIRT! And the first time I have a bib with my name on it:
We head out to meet a friend from Runners World Online Forums for dinner - he is a speedster but also a native Montrealer, so it was pretty fun to meet up with him in person. We've been internet pals for a while, and he's actually nicer in person I think... a little more sarcastic online. :) hahaha. John!
This is DH, me, and John!
The food was GREAT. The waitress was adorable and had a cute French accent, and we had a great time, great conversation and all. We would totally go back to eat there on future Montreal trips.
So we head home and since we have a metro stop suuuper close to our place, John walks with us and before departing we discuss his time goal - we joked before about him running 1:23:45 (I told you he's fast) and me running 2:34:56. HAHA. He says, no way, I'm going for maybe sub 1:27, anything there I'll be happy.
And of course, I'm hoping for a new PR - sub 2:27, and goal time 2:25ish.
So come a night of some sleep, it's alright...
I wake up and get ready - I barely force one bite of the marathon bar I brought for morning fuel. I dunno what was going on - I've eaten them plenty of times before and after runs, but this morning - no dice. Lately I've been doing PB&Honey or Nutella&Fluff once or twice before LR or Half marathons... this potentially comes into play later.
But in any case, I'm feeling pretty good, I get dressed and take a moment laughing at how huge my butt pocket is bulging - I took a picture but not sure if you can make it out:
It's in the black strip of fabric with print on it back there... hahaha.
ANYWAY - I had to walk to a metro station, buy a ticket, take it one stop and VOILA!
Oh except the metro is on the opposite side of the little island practically from the start... so another walk....
and then I'm in corral SIXTEEN, which meant going almost all the way across the bridge (I thought I'd never see my corral...). And then the race didn't start on time.
My corral crossed the start over 30 min after the race actually started, and that was late. So I was standing around on that bridge basically forever.
Picture of the start, still some people moving back to corrals, not me... :P I kinda wish I had gotten there really late and just hung around near the start and ducked under when my corral was moving through. HAHA
I did get to chat with a few racers and have some guy try to sing a Vermont song to me that I have never heard before. HAHA.
The start is crowded as we funnel off the bridge and into a realllly narrow section. But things spread out a bit and I have plenty of breathing room, although I'm still dodging and passing people for a while.
My goal pace is 11mm, 10:55 tops:
Mile 1: 11:00 (perfect!)
Mile 2: 10:49
Mile 3: 10:51
Mile 4: 10:52
Mile 5: 10:52
Mile 6: 10:48
All this is on the little island in the river next to the big island of Montreal proper - everything is pretty flat, there is some wind but very mild at this point. I'm wondering about my pace being a bit quick...
Here's me on the course somewhere before the 10K mark probably, since I'm feeling so FANTASTIC! hahaha
Mile 7: 11:26 - up the bridge leading back to Montreal, and INTO a wicked headwind. EEK!
Mile 8: 11:03 - holding strong into some more wind, Montreal side but along the river.
Mile 9: 12:06 - my right big toe feels really weird and I'm worried about just pressing forward. I've got the marathon to think about and don't want to be stupid - so I stop, and take off my shoe, mess with the sock - nothing hurts to press on and I don't feel anything out of the ordinary so I decide it's obviously not important so let's go. I lost about a minute futzing around. so run pace still good.
Mile 10: 11:19 - thing started to feel really off toward the end of this mile but I pushed it thinking, just 3 more miles after this!
Look at me lookin like I'm about to cry and looking for the finish line, foot baaarely off the ground:
Mile 11: 13:09
Mile 12: 13:04 (I think it was somewhere in this mile that the Quebecois that was singing to me at the beginning came up behind and was like GO VERMONT!!!)
Mile 13: 13:44 (just get me to the end)
final .28 - 12:20 avg, my wimpy attempt to surge got to about a 10:30 supposedly but I'm not sure even that...
Here's me trying to bring it in as strong as possible, running on determination alone:
Finally I finish....
Yeah, I was not happy. Goal race, good temps (only like 50), sunny, only negative on the weather was the wind... and I just totally died at the end.
I am not sure if it was the slightly too fast pace, or the fuel issues (also my gu schedule was OFF... I did NOT make a good strategy with the aid stations, should've just carried my handheld...), the missing breakfast, the fact that I was just finishing TTOM, or some combination of the above factors... Also since analyzing this some more, some people have suggested that it might also be because it's one week after the first 20miler of my training cycle... oh yeah.
Then since the race started late + how long it took me to start + not finishing as fast as I had hoped (less of a factor)... I made it back to the hotel AT NOON (checkouttime) luckily, the hotel people were flexible and nice and we were able to get out ok.
But in any case - my official time is 2:34:30
Here I am PRETENDING to be THRILLED post race, when I really feel like crap and have like no time to get to my hotel...
I'm a good actress! :D
That is almost 10 min off my goal time (2:25), and 7:14 off of my PR time. UGH! But considering a had a massive bonk.... that's really not so bad. I had some near PR races this year on challenging courses, so I am super happy overall with my racing and training this year, this race just wasn't the race.
My first half was 2:44+ two years ago, and it's not even my worst time this year (2:36+) so.... all things considered. It's ok. And the goal is really the marathon coming up, so time to refocus and buckle down!!!
I want to run in Montreal again, maybe even this race, but I don't think I would make THIS race a goal PR race again just because of the disadvantage I feel the corral gave me.
ALSO - my friend (had to add cause FITGIRL asked) finished in less than 1:23:45 (I think 1:23:3x??) and I finished just under my joke time of 2:34:56. :D hahaha. So that's kinda funny...
And the medal is really beautiful: