On Sunday, I ran in the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon, and although it didn’t go as well as I would have liked, it was a good day 🙂
Woke up bright and early to doggy whimpers because Cooper just remembered that my mom was visiting and she needed to be licked in the face NOW. Had my bowl of Cheerios, debated about clothing for the 8C temperature and settled on a tank and capris, hoping that my arms didn’t freeze.
Walked to the start (yay, local race!) with my entourage of Husband, Mom and Dog, looked at the long line of cars trying to get into the park and had to wonder how many racers were going to be late for their start, but was hoping that it was mostly 5K runners stuck in the jam because they had a bit of a later start. It’s a great park, but not in a super traffic friendly/parking location.
Arrived at 7:50, with 13 minutes until race start, just enough time to strip down to my racing gear, get into the green corral and hang out with all the great ladies ready to run the race.
My B goal for this race was a 2:10 (6:11 pace) with the A goal being 2:06 (6:00 pace), which from my training would be completely doable. Due to construction on a bridge on the regular race route, there was a detour that added two hills to the course. These were not just bumps. They were huge, particularly the last one at 18K. It was a monster. But it was a monster that I would tackle when I got to it, not fret about the entire time. If all else failed, by C goal was to finish with a smile on my face.
About 4km in, I was glad that I had gone with the tank, and was wishing that I had worn shorts as the sun was balancing out the cooler temps and I was already pretty sweaty, but things were going good – hovering around 6min/km so far.
Everything was going to plan for the first 11km, with me running through 10K right at an hour and through 11 at 1:06 on the dot. And then something happened for no discernible reason – everything just fell apart. I didn’t feel bad – in fact, I felt quite good – but my legs just didn’t want to go in a circle any more. Hips were groaning and I didn’t seem to have any forward momentum. Pushing harder made me actually go slower. I think it probably didn’t help that I didn’t notice any mile markers between 11-14KM so that I could realise how badly I had fallen off pace. Or maybe that was a good time. Not sure now.
I continued to shuffle along until I got to the massive, monster hill and started to push my way up. Until I realised that I could physically walk faster than I was running – I switched to a power walk that would have made my university running coach (who was also a race walking coach) laugh and caught a few runners. There were so many cars stuck in traffic – honking and clearly annoyed with the race blocking them, so I waved at them, surely making them madder.
At the top of the hill, we switched immediately into a steep downhill where I immediately felt the pressure of my toes in my shoes and wondered about the health of my toenails.
Little over a kilometer left to go when my B goal slide officially out of my reach (not that it wasn’t before, but now the clock verified it) so I decided to focus on Goal C – finishing with a smile on my face. So I hammed it up for the cameras:
Final time: 2:17.57
Definitely not the time I was looking for, but I’m choosing to look at it as water bottle half full. I had good marks at 5km (29:40) and 10Km (1:00.01 including a walk through a water station to look at hunky firemen). It didn’t work out much past there, but I had a good day. I had fun running with over a thousand great ladies.
Love the finisher’s necklace this year! Here it is with my bruised toenail. It’s even blacker today – I think I may have an ex-toenail soon. But as the race sign said – toenails are for sissies.
So now what? I’m debating doing another half in the fall (Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront) because I’m sure I can do better, but doing the 5km instead sounds tempting too… I am leaning towards the half, just so I can improve on this result.
Next Up – Huntsville Half 5km
Goal: Under 28 minutes