My 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon Report
Woke up around 5:45am. Thankfully most of my stuff was all together, because I don't think clearly in the morning. My friends Irina & Zindine picked me up and we drove into Toronto. I'm glad they picked me up early (6:30) because there was long a line getting onto Spadina, mostly hampered by rain & construction on Spadina. I actually heard some people didn't make it to the start on time and didn't run the race. Most always get there early people!
During this time there was some heavy rain. I had an extra layer of clothing that I was going to dump at the beginning of the race, but the clothes would have been drenched. Thankfully Zin had a spare plastic garbage bag for me, so I popped that on and we stopped at TIm Horton's. I don't normally drink coffee before a run, but I got a extra small coffee and only drank 1/2 of it. Thankfully I got it all out before the race started.
Got to the corral entrance and parted with friends. They were in the blue & green corrals, so we had to break up there. I was in the yellow corral. When signing up I wrote down 2 hours for my finish. /facepalm What was I thinking!
It was pouring rain while we all waited in the corrals. When it got closer to the start times I dropped my jacket & pants. Had that last minute "I have to go pee" feeling again, but once we started it didn't bother me again.
Since I was in the yellow corral, everybody was going fast. I made sure to start at the back though and I was near the 2:00 continuous pacer bunny, but I lost him within 30 seconds. I don't think he was that far away from me, it's just that there felt like there were too many people. I felt like I was going slow, but my Polar watch said 8:49. Runkeeper was already a little off within the 1st kilometre. There weren't too many people on the streets until we got to Bathurst, where the crowds were great!
My 1st 5k I was at about 27-28 minutes. Quite pleased with that time. I had about 1/2 of my Espresso Hammer gel. It had stopped raining by that point, but the ground was nice & wet. At 10k I was at 58 minutes & something so again, I was quite pleased. I could make 2 hours. About 1 hr & 10 minutes I had the rest of the Espress Hammer. I had brought 1 water bottle & 1 bottle with Hammer Fizz Mango Electrolytes. So I was going through those pretty good. No digestive problems either, this was a great run.
When pre-planning the run that morning, I figured I’d go fast down Bathurst, slow down when going west and then boot it back down Lake Shore. That's pretty much what I did. Somewhere between 10k - 16km I slowed right down. I was in la la land. I looked down at my watch at 16k and I was at 1hr 33min. Was 2 hrs even possible any more? Maybe not sub 2 hrs, which could have been devestating to me, but not really, I was just interested in being close to the 2 hr then 2hr & 5minute mark.
This is when I pushed it. I did the last 5km as a sprint. It wasn't as if I had to do a full marathon, where I couldn't keep up that speed the whole time. I had lots of energy left and I thought I had it in me. Push, push, push, started passing people. Made that turn onto Bay & was still under 2hrs. Could I do it?
With 500m left, I heard someone say to their group "nice slow pace we can do this". Screw that... I’m going for it. Heart rate was 180, just like the triathlon. Didn’t feel too out of breath, but I was really reaching for it. I wanted to give it my all.
Did it. 2 hrs & 42 seconds. Not less than 2hr, but a 5 min 54 sec PR. Next year, sub 2hr.
Got my medal at the end and lots of food, but because of the narrow area after that, I started to get a little impatient and just decided to leave. I didn't get a picture at the end. Oops. There were tonnes of people waiting for their family members. Too many people hovering around the runners, especially when there was so much space on the west side of City Hall, next year they should force people to stay out of that area. There was a “family” area with markers for “A-C”, “D-F” or what have you but there wasn’t many people there, they were all huddled where we were entering the Nathan Phillip’s Square area and it made it really uncomfortable for me. I get claustrophobic especially after sweating so much. Once I left the area I went straight to the St. Patrick subway station and got out, but walked by the baggage area which didn’t have long line ups. They certainly learned their lesson from last year.
Thanks to the volunteers, it was a great run!
Also thank you to my coach PRS Fit! There's no way I would have been able to get that time without him. I owe him a lot.
Also thanks to Irina & Zin for getting me there. :)