Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Recap 

Going into this race I was confident that I was going to do well. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that was hesitant that it could all go wrong.

For 7 months I pushed my training to the limits. I was incorporating strong interval training, picking up the pace on shorter runs and feeling my best after long runs. I was confident that I would break 2 hours in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. My ultimate goal was to finish in 1:50.

3 weeks before race day, I came down with a cold that lasted 2 weeks. I didn’t run. I listened to my body and knew it was time to shut down until I felt back to my strong self. I did one easy run during those two weeks. Then it was taper week. I did a yoga session on the Thursday, an easy 5K on the Saturday and Sunday was race day.

I got to the starting line wearing layer after layer to stay warm. I love having my cheer squad with me because not only do they help me cross the finish line but they hold all of my clothing that I take off at the start and they hand it back to me at the finish. So greatful.

I started strong. I was feeling great and a part of me thought, this will be my best race and the other part thought it could be my worst with a 3 week taper.

I started at the finish line with my sister. We took our usual pre-race selfie and we were off. It’s crazy to think that this was only my 3rd half marathon when I ran my first half in 2010 at the inaugural Disney Wine and Dine Half. Also, with my sister. I would have continued to run half marathons more frequently but with a competitive cheerleading schedule, going back to school and that whole life balance thing, priorities shifted. So, we were off and I was flying. I didn’t want to go out too strong but I didn’t want to go out too weak either. I had to break 2 hours that plan b so I ran under 9:00/mile to make sure I reached that goal. I was feeling great and didn’t want stop. When I got to water stations, I got something everything single time. I wanted to something to just swish in my mouth. I didn’t stop. It was a quick grab and go. I’m a rebel and I took Gatorade at the occasional stops even though I’ve never done that at a race. I’ve had NUUN on runs but not Gatorade. Again, it was a quick sip and go so I knew I would be fine. Once I reached 5.5 miles, I needed electrolytes. I was hungry and felt like I was fading. I took half a razzberry CLIF shot followed by some water at the water station and then it was money. I felt my energy perk up and I was ready to take on the rest of the race as strong as I took the first half.

When I got to the turn around I felt like I was on cruise control and I wasn’t slowing down. There were a few hills but I just kept giving them the same amount of energy up the hills as I did down. When I hit the 15K mark, I felt a PR coming on. This was my strongest race yet. With a smile on my face and my legs feeling strong, I knew I was going to be happy with my results.

I could see the tunnel to the end of the finish line and I could see friends and pacers who I have been training with for the last 7 months cheering me to the end. This was it. I was going to be really happy crossing the finish line. My official time was 1:52:34.

It wasn’t a 1:50 or in the 1:40’s but it felt like it.

IMG_9687For the first time, I felt strong after the race. I didn’t feel sick, weak or nauseous. The best feeling at the end of the season is reaching your goals that you’ve been putting in the work to achieve.

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Marathon Monday

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday:  3 miles @ 8:22/mile

Thursday: OFF

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 3.2 miles @ 8:17/mile

Sunday: 9.33 miles @8:56/mile

Total miles: 15.53 miles

Last week was a hot one. Running in spicy heat is extremely hard and so important for fall race season. On humid hot days, depending how I’m feeling and if I’m very hydrated, I push myself to run as hard as my training plans tells me. If I can still maintain around an 8 minute/mile pace in the scorching heat, running a race in October  will feel like a breeze! But it’s also important to know when you are pushing yourself too hard.

STWM

Some important reminders that I live by when running in the summer:

  1. Stay hydrated before you run. Drinking water is important to hydration but you can also get your water intake through fruits and vegetables. I like to drink NUUN throughout the day to keep my electrolytes balanced.
  2. Plan routes that run past water stations. If you don’t have water stations, you can plant your own water bottles on your route or stop at restaurants along the way that offer free water.
  3. Know when to stop. I’m all about pushing yourself past your comfort zone but in the hot heat, it’s important to check in with yourself. If you are experiencing hot and cold flashes, stop sweating or feel dizzy, it’s time to stop and seek medical help.
  4. Slow down and take frequent walk breaks. When you run on hot days, you risk heat illness. Everyone’s body reacts differently to heat so you really have to listen to your body and know when to slow down. Nothing is worse than being sick after a run.
  5. Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is so important, especially for runners. When you are exposing yourself to the sun for a long period of time, you will can sun damage. Just because you have tanned skin doesn’t mean that you won’t get burnt or worse develop skin cancer. Throw on some SPF before heading out the door.

This week, instead of focusing on craming in runs, I focused on quality heat runs. On Wednesday’s run, I was ready to stop a few times but instead, I slowed down and kept a steady pace to catch my breath. For the first time in a long time, I hoped for lights to turn red so that I could stop and get a break. Water was my best friend after that run.

Saturday’s run started out cool and progressively got hotter. I did have to take two water breaks during my run. At 3.2 miles, I stopped at Starbucks for some free water and then at 6 miles, I stopped at home. After 9.33 miles and feeling great I decided it was time to officially register for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.

scotibank toronto waterfront marathon

My goal is to break 2 hours to get a new PR.

My ultimate goal: cross the finish line in 1:50:00.