Thursday, May 30, 2019

2019 Ottawa Race Weekend

Race Weekend Timeline


I decided to book off the Friday of Race Weekend and I had thought about going to pick up my race kit on the Thursday (which I probably should have) and get in on all the goodies, but seeing as though I carpool and had to go all the way to Stittsvegas and then I would have to fight rush hour traffic to get back. Anyhow I opted out and decided to put my feet up and do nothing. So I get home and was ready to watch the telly and then I see the phone ring. It's the Heart Institute. It's Guy-Anne! She has my stress test results. (Heart goes flutter in anticpation) She told me that the report isn't up on the system yet, but she managed to get a copy from them and wanted to share the news since she knew I was running in the race weekend.
Guy-Anne reviewed the results and said that everything looked normal. I was in normal sinus rhythm and there didn't see any signs of the Ventricular Tachycardia that was present. So during exercise when I had the Holter may have been a blip, but I was on the treadmill for 12 minutes and there were signs of PVC's but that was normal during recovery as she said they expect that after a workout. My fitness improved from 9 METS to 10 as well during the test my HR peaked at 179 and was steady. She was happy which made me ecstatic.
So she gave me some leeway in case I wanted to "race" this weekend so she upped my steady pace HR to max 160 and for interval to target between 150-170ish, but I need to recover back down to 125 which could be tricky when it comes to speedwork, but definitely will look at this as a positive recovery milestone.
We chatted some more as we always do and I mentioned that one of my gym rat buddies saw a photo I had posted and she said that they worked together. Small world. So Mina (?) was another PT that works with Guy-Anne so as always we got off topic. So basically I went into euphoria and was happy to hear the good news and literally running into the weekend.

Note: I'll be just cutting and pasting from my FB post since it's just as long on race weekend. I will add some stuff I didn't post on FB. (We shall see how if you actually read this ha!)


I took the Friday off to "rest", but I ended up running a bunch of errands. I went to Service Ontario with Kiera to finally transfer over the SUV (Plates) to my name and then I get a call from the DD15 that she needs a ride home so I had to head out to the high school to pick her up. I attended the President’s reception and met several of my Team Awesome teammates that could make the trip on Friday. We enjoyed chatting, drinks and snacks. On my way out of the Shaw Centre I somehow crossed the road, made my way up the spiral staircase and tripped on my own clown feet and bashed my knee. Perfect! Just right before race day. 😑 In any event I iced it and applied some Voltaren that night and all day Friday ( morning and pre/post race).
Team Awesome
Team this is why we're awesome
Race Kit

Flat Dan

Official 2019 Race Gear by Surge Activewear 

Social Media Champions

Dan Pak Fan Club πŸ˜„

Team Heart, but Shirt was too small 😞


I met up with Team Nuun at Noon and met other ambassadors. Learned about when some products may or may not make it up from the states all depends on Health Canada. 
Then Jennifer Tuthill and I hung out as she was taking over the IG for Ottawa Marathon. Also ML was my usual valet/Sherpa/Pak Mule to hold my gear. 
ML and I went to the Rideau Centre and had lunch. So of course I had Asian. πŸ˜‰πŸ€ͺ
Then we went back and found Jenn and relaxed while we waited for the 5K to start so we could head to the VIP area and cheer on the speedy 5K folks. 
Then I went off to stretch with Team Heart and loosen up for the 10K. Then it was off to the yellow corral where two of my teammates Chantal and Sonia found me. We all started together but soon Sonia peeled away. 
The highlight was the RCAF flybys. Definitely deafening and awesome. Thebrain held off until about 3K and then it rained. I never saw Sonia but did find Leanne and ran with her until her walk break. I continued and saw Jamie and Rebecca and gave them πŸ‘‹πŸΌ. The next cheer section was the OCRC gang and they were loud and saw Suzanne and Brianna I had a comfortable 1st 5K and then I increased my speed along the way for the back half thanks to the community of support and finished in a respectable 1:08 for my 5th race of 2019. Oh and thanks Γ‰veric for the finish line vid merci beaucoup! Tu es formidable! 
We finished off the evening by cheering on the last of the 10K runners still on the course. 

Nuun at Noon

The dreaded spiral staircase to the start corral of the new course

Yellow Corral
My TA crew

RCAF fighter flyby

10 K race - 5th Road race of 2019

Negative split

Earned the bling


I traded my Team Awesome shirt for Xtra Mile Crew Ottawa as well I went downtown early with my fellow 37K crew members Cathy and Deena and we wanted to see the elites as they went by. We all went to the 37K point and saw the lead groups again and then just began cheering all the runners of different paces. 
I saw several run friends (too many to tag) but definitely inspired by your perseverance in the drastic weather that is HOttawa aka Race Weekend. I ran with several runners and ran at least two in all the way. Oh and thanksNicole for the water πŸ’§ One was Mei Ling who I saw as I dropped off someone at the medic table and then who I found later on just past Rideau and ran her all the way in but had to make a stop with the Bad Ass lady gang where she did a burpee πŸ˜‚
We stuck together and then I went back out to help others. 
One of which was my GP who had a hunch and sent me on my journey with the Heart Institute. So we chatted and I left him to walk himself to the end. It was his 30 something straight Ottawa Marathon streak. πŸ˜² 
I have to say wearing the Orange shirt was an honour. There are runners afraid to ask for help but definitely some that just said run with me. Very gratifying. 
When the last of the remaining Marathoners were coming in the rest of the crew all ran together to the finish and we posed for a group photo. It was definitely an amazing weekend. Congratulations to everyone that had many firsts and for running in temperatures that we have not seen very often. Wear that bling proud! You’ve earned it. 

Ready to cheer on the marathon crew at 37K

A few more showed up
Choose wisely
Cathy and I
Deena and I


It's a tad hot on this stretch

Found Mei and brought her to the Bad Assery

Bad Ass Lady Gang

Not having any fun at all

Best finish line run in

Run/Walk the equivalent of a 1/2 marathon and some

That's it for us!
Finish line group photo

Race Photos

So I wasn't going to buy the photos, but I did anyways as I wanted to show the Cardiac Athletes gear and of course the weather and how quick it changed. Thanks Marathon-Photos!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Countdown to Race Weekend but wait...

But First Stress Test #3

This past Monday I was booked in for my, hopefully, last stress test. My last stress test was done when I was in Atrial flutter so the results were skewed and based on my activity it was hard to give me some solid foundation to build to work on in my recovery.
Usually I give myself plenty of time to get to the Heart Institute, but Monday must have been a major appointment day since I circled the lot and streets trying to find a spot. In fact I can't fathom why they don't let patients park on the side streets. Oh wait the residents don't like cars in front of their home in front of a major medical institution that could save lives <insert eye roll> I ended up going to the Civic parking garage and getting Valet parking. Which really means leave the keys and when a spot opens up we'll pull it in. No extra charge. It's just insanity. I had five minutes to spare to make it to my appointment so I briskly walked form the Civic hospital to the Heart institute and made it up the stairs and overshot by a floor and had to double back and go back down to check in. I was definitely warmed up.
Registration took forever as some person was taking their time asking questions upon questions. I finally got registered and sat down. I'm sure I got the looks of me in my running gear especially a guy in compression calf sleeves were pretty sight! I bet!
I got called in right away and headed to the room. I met Bonnie the tech. and pretty much we got set up right away.
Oh and amidst all this I was doing an Instagram takeover of the Ottawa Marathon story so I shared A LOT of my day in that feed.
Similar to my test back in February it was a steady pace and incline every couple of minutes. My BP was like 154/100 when I started. I think that brisk walk and stair climbing gave me the white coat syndrome of high blood pressure! Oh wait I do have high blood pressure! 😲
Seriously it may have helped as I was pumped up to get going. I kept an eye on the screen and saw my time on the treadmill and notice my rhythm seemed steady so it was pretty good IMO.
I pushed myself as I wanted to know if I could hit the high heart rate to trigger any signs of V-tach. Of course I can't tell, but there may be some, but I'm not someone who can read that sort of thing. I did push as far as my legs could go to about 12 mins. I know the incline was pretty high as my arms were pumping pretty good. By the time I called no joy I slowly came down and walked off and then limped my way to the bed to get rid of all the fun electrodes and belt off my body.

Once I finished sweating on the sheets I towelled off and headed back up to the Cardiac rehab to see my Physiotherapist Guy-Anne. This would be my last visit with her as my brief program is now up. I can say that she has been on my team right from day 1 to let my heart heal and take it easy. As well, I'm not one of her normal patients so I definitely challenged her. So the last visit I had to answer a few survey questions and then rate a score on the care. Also I had my stats taken, weight, BP, waist measurement. Once that was done I was given my blood work requisition and headed on my back to the parking garage where I had to go an pay but didn't want to be one of those guys holding up the line when you forgot to pay before the exit.
Just a few pasties

Ready to roll!

My tech Bonnie!

Survey says!

My PT Guy-Anne


After leaving the Heart Institute I decided to head over to the Arboretum and do a quick run to see the Dow's lake tulips and see a portion of the race course. I started out from the Arboretum and headed down from there along the canal to Dow's lake. Then from there I was off to see what tulips were actually blooming. Not very many from what I saw and then I turned up to see if any others and it seems anything getting some sunlight were showing off, but others not so much. This is probably the latest the tulips must be blooming. Which means that for the runners of race weekend should be able to see some spectacular blooms still.
I did an out and back and detoured for an ahem Beavertail mid run. You know because the necessity for carb loading!
I headed back to where I left the car and then headed home.
Probably the better variety of tulips at the moment

Greening up in the Arboretum

there may have been a few stops along the way

Ottawa ComicCon

After not going last year I decided to go just one day because Tom Welling of Smallville and Lucifer fame was making an appearance.
I won't bore you with my geekdom, but it was the best 7 sec of the day!

Always geeking out!

Tom Welling

Custom made case

Orienteering 101

Well let me begin by saying that orienteering is not exactly easy. I'm not exactly used to using a map since technology has taken over so heading out with a map, compass and a whistle was definitely different. So I connected with the Orienteering Ottawa crew at South March Highlands to give it a try. I met up with the Raz fam and Mike gave me and a few others a 15 min intro. But before that lesson I have to say the registration progress was intense, but pretty organised. Of course I didn't realize that there was a fee attached...oops. Anyhow Mike loaned me $15 SO I owe him.
I decided to start out and Mike was going to come with me, but then he sent his boys with me to get started. So while I grilled Evan and Luke on the finer points of orienteering I set out on my way. It's almost like a game of Amazing Race mixed with trail running/hiking.
It took me about 20 minutes to find the first control. It could have been longer, but lucky Kristi came and rescued me for the 1st couple and then she was gone like a bat out of hell. So much for lesson 101 in orienteering it was every man and woman for themselves. I had help with 5/13 so I was on my own for the rest. I took a moment and decided to try and stick to the path and hope I can figure out the symbols and compass. However, there was a lot of bushwhacking off the trails so trying to figure out where one was and the next was pretty tricky, but by the end I think I figured out some, but sadly I missed one as by the end of the session (two hours later from the start) I found the last and made it back to the finish. Of course I missed the turn so it was tricky to figure the scaling to the map to where the control was.
That is a control that I'm supposed to tag!

Trilliums are blooming


The lake effect

the map and the control stick

Final tally and an MP for my first outing. Oh well.