Tag Archives: Athens Marathon

Control the Course

17 Aug
I’m the first to admit it: I am a bit of a control freak. I don’t hide the fact that I like things in order and to go according to the plan that I, have more often than not, made.  I know, not cool. But I think I’ve made big improvements on my controlling habits – ask Mark.

But in that need to control also comes the need to control a race course as much as possible. I need to know every turn, where every aid station will be located, and the elevations and undulations. I know some people just show up race day and come what may will race whatever route is before them. I so could not do that. Whenever I can, I drive the route the day before a race.

This is why I’ve scanned the interwebs for bloggers passed who have run the Athens Marathon. I’ve read their race reports and review of the course. The race reports that I’ve read have strengthened what I already knew. From kilometre 17 to 32 the race is all uphill and it’s not fun. One blogger gave particularly good advice by saying to be conservative the first 10km despite the ideal running course conditions (flat). She said that this allowed her legs to stay somewhat fresh during the climbs and breeze through the final 10km into the finish chute.

I know these bloggers are just repeating what the website has in its course description but I don’t like surprises. I was looking for a little window to confirm the difficulty of the course. It’s also nice to have a runner’s perspective and tips instead of the race organizers’ description of the course.

In light of the realization of the difficulty of the course (not that I didn’t know it was going to be hard), this week’s 21km long run will be along a route with lots of hills.  In my attempt to control this course I’ve mapped it out with the elevation details.

HH

The first part of this route climbs quite a bit but there’s a nice break by the middle with just a bit of a climb by the end. I know those small hills will seem like mountains by that point though.   I know this route very well.  I drive half of it to get to work every day so nothing will be a surprise.  I think a new beer will be in order after I finish that run tomorrow.

Do you prefer to go into a race blind or preview the course before the start? Do you like to prep yourself mentally with the course map?

Epic Ride, Epic Run

16 Jul

I spent the last six days doing nothing, or resting. After the Peterborough Half Iron I was exhausted. Surprisingly my muscles were sore for only two days. While I was no longer sore, it took me the rest of the week to actually feel rested. I was so tired! Luckily I mostly work half days which gave me the opportunity to take many naps. Jeff the cat approved and supported me by napping with me. Although I enjoyed my rest days, I felt as though I was not accomplishing anything – and of course I was not. I spent my time coming up with my training schedule for my last two events of the year.

The first event is a tour called Epic Tour and it is in the Halton Region. The starting line and the after party is only minutes from my house. I think I may ask Mark to drive and pick me up though. My bottom may be a little sore after 140km. The tour is my first ever bike tour. It’s not a race and drafting is definitely allowed and encouraged – yay!

EpicTour
The last event is the Athens Marathon in Athens, Greece. I can’t wait to run in Greece! As much as this word is over used, I think it is appropriate in this case. The run in Greece will be epic! All the runners are bused out to Marathon where we proceed to run back to Athens. We finish in the Panathenaic Stadium to a crowd of cheering spectators. The run will be tough but Mark has promised to run the entire 42km with me. From 10km onwards, the race course is mostly uphill. Luckily the marathon is in November so hopefully the weather will be hovering anywhere between 15C – 20C.

Today was the first day of marathon training. It’s a new style of training that I’m hoping will be successful. The training is based on time instead of distance – although, the long runs on Saturday will still be measured in distance. The thirty minute run today was awful with the humidity and heat. With another stinking hot day I might spend my day at the outdoor pool – I think I deserve it!

I’m obsessed with races!

8 Aug

Ever since I put my competitive nature aside for the 2013 season, I keep discovering all these races that I want to do. My list is ever growing!  My 2012 season had initially only been about getting the top spot of my age group in the sprint triathlon distance. After that was accomplished twice early in the season and an unexpected move brought us far from Ottawa (where there are triathlons monthly), I had to set my sights on new goals.  That is where the marathon came in. I am really looking forward to October 21!

But now that I’m back to solely running-until next summer, that is.  After a really good training session and achieving a distance I’ve never run before, I head to the internet in search of nearby races. My calendar for 2013 is quickly filling up and I better start saving for those registrations!

1) Chilly Half-Marathon: March 3 – Burlington, ON
*all participants receive a technical running jacket!
White Violet

2) Around the Bay: March 24 – Hamilton, ON
*Older than the Boston Marathon and a runner’s staple

3) Double Mussel: July 12-14 – Geneva, NY
* Sprint triathlon on Saturday and half ironman on Sunday for 88.7 miles of fun!

4) Athens Marathon – November – Athens, Greece
* That’s right, Mark and I are going to Greece next year to run the original marathon: From Marathon to Athens!

As you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me for the next fifteen months. After all that, I may need to take a break from long distance.