Toronto! What a great course and race!!!
My friend & roommate KINO an awesome guy who recruited friends to run with him in Toronto, it was his 150th marathon, asked me to do it….. I didn’t have anything lined up in the fall so why not, and why not try and pr. #kinosfault
We arrived in Toronto a couple days before the marathon. Weather was CRAP. Cold, windy, rainy not marathon weather. We met up with the #STWM Digital Champs, ran the shake out run (Friendship Run) Saturday morning, saw the start and met lots of friendly Canadians.
I stayed loose and relaxed and spent a lot of time resting in the hotel room. The night before the power & water went out in our hotel (#kinosfault) . Oh well a few us were back in the room and decided to go to bed early, well they did, I couldn’t sleep. Filled with anxiety to begin. My training had gone well and I was nailing all the workouts my coach gave me. I wasn’t confident I was going to pr BUT I was confident in my training and knew if I ran smart things would fall into place. I was hoping the stars would align for me…….. I felt rested and really good when I woke up. and what do you know, weather kitty was nice to us, THE SUN WAS SHINING woooohoooooo but it was still cold. 30’s but it was suppose to warm up and as everyone says this is ‘pr weather’. all right maybe its true but its still cold. I had my garbage bag to keep me warm.
We walked/jogged to the start and I said good bye to my friends and went off to do my warm up. I jogged 20 mins and made it back to my corral right before the gun went off. I quickly ripped off the garbage bag, spotted the 3:40 pace bunny, told myself to have fun and next thing I knew I started……….. WOW I was sooooooo excited with tons of energy that I dropped the cap to my heed bottle. I had planned to run with it at least 7-8 miles then toss it…… somehow in my excitement the cap wasn’t screwed on and I lost it. I did my best not to spill a full bottle of heed. Didn’t really work and my legs were getting cold from the heed spilling on me so i ended up drinking it faster than i wanted……cap falling off happened in the first mile………. two miles later my hammer gels were falling out of my sports bra. eeeep! I had two hammer gels & endurolytes in my tiny waist pack and 2 gels in my sports bra. I tucked my shirt into my shorts to catch the gels but then they fell into my underwear…… LADIES– Make sure you get a sports bra that fits!!! Even if you have small boobs like me you still need a tight sports bra ..(.)(.) ….. I spent a couple minutes trying to adjust, readjust, thought about moving them to my waist pack but then I had to take off my gloves and I didn’t want to lose my other gels or my endurolyte pills which I had neatly arranged in a small pack. arg!! Finally I got them to stick higher up on my chest….. OK back to the race. Chasing the pace bunny was easier than I thought. He was running a solid pace, about 8:15 and kept me in check. I wanted to run ahead of him so many times but knew if I wanted to negative split I had to hold back– at least the first half. I was so focused on the pace bunny head I didn’t see much else around me. We had about 20 runners following the pace bunny and I couldn’t tell you what anyone looked like….I couldn’t tell you what we ran by either! We were 10k into the race when I realized we had been running by the water. Duh it is called the WATERFRONT Marathon. I glanced over and it was really pretty with the sun shining down. When we hit the half way mark the race got really fun. The half marathoners left us (20,000 ran the half and 5,000 ran the full) and we had the road all to ourselves.
I felt GOOD. REALLY good but was a little scared to pick up the pace here. I told myself I would go a few more miles and at the latest I would make a push at 30k….. Miles 14, 15, 16 got quiet, no fans and just the sound of our steps. I moved up right behind the pace bunny and let him block the wind for me. I had forgotten how cold I was and expected to throw my gloves away but never did. I was comfortable with my gloves and arm sleeves. Mile 17, 18, 19 had fans and some annoying u-turns but otherwise all good. I was still feeling strong and knew the 30k was coming up and I would need to try and push… THEN a stupid rock got in my shoe. at first I thought it would pop right out but somehow it was stuck. I didn’t want to stop this late in the game. the rock was right on the edge of my heel, barely digging in and every time I hit the ground it was just enough to cause pain and left me with a bad blood blister at the finish. who cares tho! worry about it later…..
32k — we headed up a small hill, I didn’t think much of it. like what hill?! The Williamsburg bridge has a much steeper incline where I do all my hill repeats. at this point you could hear the finish but we had to go out and back, before coming back downtown. this is when I decided to leave the pace bunny. I had 10k left, felt strong, no cramping, stayed relaxed, managed my nutrition & hydration well AND had a smile on my face. My coach had drilled it into my head – run 20 miles and race the last 6. This last 10k was a bit of a blur. I was running consistent 8:15 pace with the bunny and dropped to sub 8’s…….. Somewhere around this time I passed Ed Whitlock, the 83 yr old beast. He ran sub 3 hours at 70 and had planned to run a 3:20 this day but i heard he wasnt feeling good. I only beat him by 3 mins… THREE MINS!! Almost got schooled by someone 83. pretty amazing! that is me on right with arrow— Ed to the left
At the 5k mark the course had those annoying u-turns again. We ran on these narrow streets and because of construction we had all these turn arounds and this is when I started to feel tired, but my legs still felt good. I pushed thru, tried to eat the last of my espresso gel — I couldn’t and didn’t want to risk throwing up in my mouth again, then eating it. eeeew i know it but it happens. …I had been pushing as hard as I could and according to my stats I passed 45 people in the last 5k and only 2 people passed me. YAY! I was starting to get confused because the marathon was in kilometers and not miles— it didn’t bother me the whole time until the end when my brain went to mush. I heard them yell only 3 more and I was like whaaaaat 3 miles no way, then i realized they meant 3k NOT miles. phewwwwwwww….. The last mile felt like the longest mile of my life.
It was the longest street everrrrrrrrrr. at this point i knew I had it in the bag. I was going to pr just didn’t know by how much, 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 4 min?!?! finally finally finally i saw the balloons and the countdown began…. 800 (yay 1 yasso) , 700, 600, 500, 400……100…. yah. I loved the countdown and I was pumping as hard as I could. just check out my face in this picture to the right. says it all.
When I crossed that finish line I couldn’t breathe. I was trying to catch my breathe, tears were pouring out my eyes, my glasses fogged up and it was the most unbelievable feeling everrrrrr. I ran a 3:38:34 , top 10% and 149th overall in women…….
My legs started to wobble immediately. I don’t know who those people are that look great after a marathon. I met a lot of them waiting to grab our medals & blankets. I was leaning over, hands on knees, still trying to catch my breathe. A few minutes later some of the runners who were in the pace group came up to say hi to me and I had NO clue who they were. I felt bad cuz i was so focused on the race. We laughed about it cuz you would think after running next to someone for 3 plus hours you would know who they are hahaha. I also found my pace bunny, only knew him by the back of his shirt. I would have never known who he was either if it wasn’t for the bunny ears. I thanked him for keeping me in check.
I highly recommend this marathon to anyone who wants a fast flat course!! We lucked out with sunshine and “pr weather” … I heard in past years its been rain, cooler, wind etc…. in fact a few days after we left I think it snowed… YIKES!
I didn’t sit down until we got to the airport that evening. I was so excited to drink chocolate milk, eat a burger, drink a beer, drink a bloody mary, eat some pickles, hummus, crackers, another bloody mary and finally water on the plane. We got home and I drank another beer and ate 3 slices of Williamsburg Pizza. YUM! Then I woke up the next day and couldn’t walk, and couldn’t walk the next day either… OUCH!! walking backwards down stairs and almost slipping on curbs. oooooooh my quads hurt. It doesn’t help I have THREE sets of stairs in my apt and living in NYC means lots and lots of stairs to the subway. Once I limped to my massage guy I was finally on the road to walking normal. Which I should give a shout out to my massage guy Geeeeeeeno, I could not have done it without him. He has magic hands and put me back together each week. I went for broke and saw Gino once a week during my training. I also couldn’t have done it without my coach. He believed in me and gave me a hard training plan like I wanted. My training was tougher and I focused super hard during all my workouts. ……….. I am back to running after taking 1 week off. I gave myself a mandatory week off which was very hard to do. Everyone knows I have ants in my pants! My next race is San Antonio, I wanna redeem myself from last years heat stroke. This time I am only doing the half. Its coming up soon and hopefully my fitness & speed is still there. It feels great to be running, swimming and bike riding again. And even better that I am not burnt out. My next goal will be to run a 3:35 and just maaaaaaybe I can aim for 3:30…. can it be done?!