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August 20, 2012

In the week since the Olympic marathon I’ve had time to recover and reflect on the race.  Recovery has actually gone really well, my legs feel great and I feel healthy.  I haven’t run since the race, except for a dash in the airport when I was late for a flight.  I’ll take a few more days off before I begin some easy running.  It will be September before I do any serious training.

I’ve thought about the race a lot in the past seven days and each time I try not to think of what could have been, but it’s pretty hard not to.  One of the positives which I keep thinking about is the great training I had building up to the race.  I feel as though I’ve reached a new level of marathon training even though I wasn’t able to show that in my final result.  Knowing that I’ve stepped up my game is really motivating for the next season and my next marathon.  I’m not sure what exactly I’ll do this fall but I would like to get in a couple of 10k’s and maybe a half marathon.  My plan is to wait until the Spring to race my next marathon, which I haven’t yet figured out which one to run.

People always ask about the athlete’s village at the Olympics and want to know if it’s the crazy party they’ve heard about.  Well in my experience (remember I raced on the last day) it’s pretty quiet and low-key. Apparently many of the athletes who were done competing would do their partying out on the town or at the big mall close to the village (there are bars and a casino at the mall).  It wasn’t until the last night, after the closing ceremonies, when I heard people letting loose.  There was a massive party going down at the bar (which normally served Powerade, Vitamin water, Coke and water) that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.  I’m going to miss the 24/7 free smoothies and Vitamin Water.

The past week has been go go go, here is the quick run-down.  I pretty much just slept in Monday and packed.  Then I met my family in Soho for dinner followed by drinks and a late night with my friends.  It seems like all the hot spots during the Olympics were in a post Olympic hangover, and it was a Monday night as well so we headed to Camden.  On Tuesday my friends and I weren’t organized early enough to make the 11am bike tour so we took a boat tour that afternoon instead.  Then we checked out the Mr. Brainwash exhibit and went across town, where Jack the Ripper used to prey, for a great feast at an Indian restaurant.

On Wednesday my good buddy Seth and I flew to Paris to meet my mom, brother, sister and cousin.  The next morning we went to the Louvre and had a guided tour.  After the guided tour I don’t think I could ever go back to seeing something so expansive on my own.  The guide basically acted as an editor for the more significant pieces and had tons of interesting stories and background.  Since we had a pass for the day Seth and I went back and checked out the Egyptian exhibit in the afternoon.

Friday we all went to Versailles for a bike tour of the Chateau and surrounding area.  That night we went to see Moulin Rouge which our family friend was dancing in.  Finally, on Saturday morning Seth and I went to the Catacombs.  The line ended up being two hours but easily worth the wait because the tunnels under the city were amazing to see.  Of course that put us behind schedule and with the added delay of a train line being out of order we cut it really close for our flight, hence the running.  Then back to London with a late night in Dalston with friends.  Needless to say it’s been the busiest recovery week after a marathon with the most amount of walking.  Now I need a vacation from my vacation.



  1. August 20, 2012 11:15 am


    Congrats on your first Olympics! The McDonoughs were all glued to our computer watching the race. Your wobbly legs were definitely visible as you finished. I’m glad you recognize all the positives in your experience at the Olympics, despite the fact that it wasn’t what you hoped for.

    Can’t wait to watch another one of your races.


  2. Shannon permalink
    August 20, 2012 5:27 pm

    Watching you, Wykes, & Gillis run the Olympic marathon was incredible. I just started running this past March and completed my first 15k on Saturday night. I am training for the Scotiabank Waterfront Half-Marathon this coming October. You and the boys are such an inspiration. You made Canada incredibly proud and showed the world where Canadian marathoners are headed.

    No matter the outcome, just keep running.


  3. Matthew permalink
    August 21, 2012 11:33 am

    You and Wykes, and Gillis, did an amazing job. It was a terrible day for a race. You can’t look at it as not winning the race, but rather, inspiring people of all ages to get out there and run. Canadian marathoners are now household names. For years not a single Canadian could name a national runner besides Drayton. That in itself is an accomplishment. Although, that probably does not make you feel any better, it is quite remarkable.

    Looking forward to seeing you in more marathons.


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