Thursday, May 10, 2012

Toronto Marathon Race Report

Goodlife Toronto Marathon
Sunday May 6, 2012
86/128 Age Category
461/665 Women

Pace 10:49 officially. 10:42 by my garmin since it logged me at 26.5 miles...ahhh, tangents...;)

At the start
I love Toronto. Not just because it is a beautiful city to run in (though it is...the lakeshore & High Park are places I hit every single time I'm there) but also because I have the best family & friends there. So to be able to combine the two seemed like a dream come true. The only thing missing this weekend was Thing 1.... He had an AP World History review class Saturday morning (he was thrilled, you can imagine) & a track meet in the afternoon/ he stayed with a friend and rocked out a 10:30 in the 2 mile! So after school on Friday, we picked up Thing 2 and headed north of the border. We made good time and were settled into my Brother-in-law's house with a glass of wine in my hand by 8pm. Of course we had to stop on the way there for my favourite Canadian fast food. Maybe a Harvey's cheeseburger with extra pickles & poutine ranks right up there with Chick fi-la in terms of race eve eve food, but I called it delicious and was ok with that!

Nephew beating up a polyp
Saturday, SD & I were up early to head to the expo & pick up our race packets. It was held at the Direct Energy Center which was easy to find and only about 10 minutes from the house by car. There was plenty of parking, which cost $10 but I expect to pay for that kind of thing in a big city. I suppose we could have driven around looking for street parking but I didn't feel like dealing with that kind of hassle. The signage was good and there were plenty of people inside and outside giving directions into the expo hall. I thought it was pretty big. Lots of booths for clothing, races, health products and THIS:What is that, you ask????? Why it's just what you'd expect to see at a race expo.....don't they all have giant inflatable colon tunnels to teach you about the importance of colonoscopy??????? On the upside, our 5 year old nephew insisted on coming with us & he thought it was great fun.....he traversed the colon, beating up polyps the whole way through...3 times!Packet picket was fast and easy for both the marathon for me and the half marathon for SD. The one thing you did have to do was make sure you activated the timing chip on your bib. To do this involved going to another booth adjacent to the packet pickup. They just swiped it by a computer and you verified that your information was correct. Super easy and didn't take more than a few seconds plus it gave us the peace of mind that our timing chips were functioning properly. They had some tri gear so SD indulged in a Team Canada tri top and I got a hat. Could have spent a fortune, but reigned myself in...for a change ;-D

Ready to go!
Me & my awesome sister in law!
We spent about an hour there and headed back to the house. We spent a couple hours in the afternoon watching our other nephew play baseball then it was time for a nap and then out to dinner. We had a spectacular dinner at Dr Generosity's on Bloor St. Great portions and great food! Super kid friendly too! Then it was back to the house where we made an attempt at going to bed early. In bed early. Check. Falling asleep. Not so much. Oh well, I think that's fairly normal. The alarm went off at 5:30 & my sister in law was awesome and drove us to the starting line in North York. The starting line setup was great. You could wait inside and use actual indoor plumbing! If you are a slave to tradition, there were still a million portapotties outside too ;). The bag check truck was easy to find and SD had no trouble collecting our stuff at the end of the half.

SD killing it!!! 1:31!!!
The weather seemed ideal. Partly sunny & about 48 at the start. The start went off right on time at 7:30. It took me a little over a minute to cross the starting line and I was off. I started out well, trying to control my pace and not go out too fast. My first mile was 10:17 and felt comfortable. The first 4 miles cruised by & I was even able to get up the long slow hill of mile 4 in 10:56. I lost time in 5 with a potty break. I'm glad I stopped when I did because they ended up being few and far between. It killed me to loose a good 2 minutes waiting when i felt so strong but I know it was the right thing to do. 12:19 for that mile. We went down Young St and then wound through some beautiful neighbourhoods, passing Upper Canada College & the stunning Casa Loma. Miles 6-10 I was on cruise and continued to feel great. I made my 10K split goal of 1:06...i am on track! One of the best race moments was just after mile 10 when the marathon and half marathon came together from 2 different directions and merged. The energy was A-MA-ZING!!! The marathoners could see it happening from a couple blocks away as we were coming down a hill...all of a sudden all the half marathoners came swooping around the corner and joined us! The music was blaring, the crowd was huge and cheering like crazy! There was a crazy large group with signs that made you laugh out loud "Wow, you've got great stamina! Call Me..." we were all laughing and cheering and it felt buoyant like the start of a race! I did a little research and found out this was the Lululemon Cheer Team....they were incredible! Thanks!!!!! I felt reenergized and ran a 9:54 that mile. After all the hoopla died down I dialed it back into that 10:35-10:50 range I was aiming for and made my half split goal of 2:19. The half split again at Ontario place for the finish line. I never did see SD but that's because he was rocking out a 1:31 for 138th place overall out of 5880 runners!!!! He is such an incredible runner & i am so proud of him!!! I held on to that pace up though mile 17 and that is when it all fell apart. 

There were water stations that had RAN OUT OF CUPS!!! It broke my spirit a little bit when I could see the station coming up, looked forward to it & then the volunteers were apologizing and doing their best to hose down anyone who wanted it, refill bottles or pour water in your hands.  Since I had no desire to run another marathon in soggy shoes I just plodded on. Did not walk through it...though in hindsight I should have anyway...and kept going.  So now I know I have at least 2 km before there is more water.  I don't think I can relay how it felt....just awful mentally and physically.  Even worse was that there were 2 more stops without cups!  I almost cried, my splits were crapola....hitting over 11's...way over & I knew my chance of finishing in the 4:30's was rapidly slipping away.  7 miles before I could make myself suck it up and accept that this was still a good race, I was going to PR & I still loved where I was running. So I am proud to say that I rocked the last mile and a half with 9:51 & 9:03 splits!  In the half mile, my brother in law ran with me for a bit & when he dropped off, I looked up to find my sister in law and Thing 2 beside me!  It was a fantastic way to finish the race!!!!!

Crossed the mat officially @ 4:43:29!!!!!!

Check out the bling!!!!! It is almost as big as my head and probably weighs at least a pound!!!!!
My medal crushing SD's ;)
I couldn't figure out how to flip this in a hurry...sorry.


brg said...

my - what a big medal you have! great job finishing strong!!! that sucks about no cups at the water stops...that no water thing happened to me at a mtn bike race where I was racing for 1st and I knew 2nd place was breathing down my neck so I suffered with no water for over an hour to the finish. definitely no fun. be proud of yourself for hanging tough!

Rachelle Q said...

Awesome job! I can't believe they didn't have cups, that 's crazy! Way to rock the mental game in the end:)

abbi said...

Congrats on your latest marathon! That sucks about the running out of cups, that would be rough.

Coy Martinez said...

Oh my gosh!!! WAY TO GO!!! Look at that medal!!!

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

That medal is awesome. I'd love to run that marathon in the future. Great job! Not liking the cup situation but I do run with a bottle.

Jose said...

Wow! Way to go! You are very inspiring. The big medal is fricken sweet!! I'm so looking forward to my marathon after reading this!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Terrible about the cups, but congrats on finishing the marathon and a really fast finish!

Jamie said...

Congratulations!! I'm so sorry about the cups, but you still did great!

Nelly said...

Wow, congrats to Thing 1, 10:30 2 mile is nuts! He really is a tremendous athlete.

And the colon display at the expo sounds hilarious, lol

Congrats on the PR! Bummer about the cups running out, that would be tough to take - because at that point all you want to do is get to the finish line as fast as possible. I probably would have had them spray the hose in my mouth or something, haha

And this a a general comment - but you always seem so positive. I wish all of us were as positive as you seem to be in life.

Suz and Allan said...

Congratulations!!! Sorry I'm so late. That stinks about them running out of cups. I always hate to see that at a race.