Last weekend I completed the Ottawa half-marathon in (personal) record time: 2hrs 7mins!! If you remember reading about my first half-marathon in Toronto, I mentioned I’d be heading to our Nation’s Capital to once again run the 21.1K trek.
On Saturday morning I ventured to Ottawa all by my lonesome, staying at the Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel. Let me repeat, I STAYED IN A JAIL HOSTEL!
Despite it once being a maximum security institution from 1862 to 1972 and known for its public executions and inhumane conditions, the hostel offered free wi-fi and breakfast so like, who can complain.
The night before my race I felt extremely nervous. I paced back and forth in the hostel hallways and walked around the block a few times to calm my nerves. I found it impossible to sit still. When you watch my vlog I’m peppy and excited but to be completely honest, I was terrified. I felt anxious being in Ottawa by myself, sharing a room with 5 strangers (that were supposed to be all girls but, ended up being co-ed..LOL) and I didn’t feel trained enough to confidently run an entire half-marathon in the morning. I was uptight, had no one there to talk about how I was feeling and pretty sure I called my mom a dozen times in the span of 24 hours to chill the eff out.
The day of my race wasn’t any better. When I was on the phone with my mom (..again) before my race she asked, “are you nervous?” I could’ve cried if I let myself because DUH, OF COURSE I WAS! For a slight second that morning I thought of quitting and going home, that’s how anxious I felt. Then I reminded myself (as cheesy as it sounds) we are defined by how you come back from a set back. I knew my nerves were natural and was certain once the race started I’d feel familiar and everything will be fine. I was right.
Ottawa was beautiful on race day. Warm, but still a slight morning breeze to cool you down. The bustle on the streets were indescribable; energy was lively, music was blaring and cheering can be heard for miles.
The best part of any marathon are the hilarious handmade signs people held along the race. Special shout-outs to the ones holding “you run better than the government,” “pain is just french for bread” and “this is the worst parade ever.”
Want to see me run the Ottawa half-marathon? Watch my vlog below!
If you’ve been debating whether you should run a marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K or a 2K – DO IT! You don’t NEED to have someone run with you, go by yourself! Do it for yourself! This is me telling you that you can.
You’ll feel a 100 different emotions (scared, excited, anxious, motivated, contemplating why on earth you paid to do this, etc), but once you cross that finish line you can say, and rub in all the faces of your doubters, “I did it.” Or, “I think I’m going to throw up,” which is what I said to a first-aid woman once I crossed the finish line, but then someone handed me a cold chocolate milkshake and all was well in the world.