Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront (Half) Marathon

Heading into the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon weekend, things hadn’t been going my way. Training hadn’t been great, I was working through a shoulder/neck injury and I was debating even going ahead with the half marathon.  After a lot of thinking and whining about it, I decided on Friday night that I was going to go ahead with it.  Weather was looking promising, and at minimum it was a good opportunity to get a long run in with 25000 of my closest friends, even if I knew that it wasn’t going to go well.

Got up at 6, had my breakfast, and headed downtown around 7:00 with The Husband, parking at the Eaton’s Centre, which was great – close to the start yet far enough away that it wasn’t blocked off by the race route.  Also got the exclusive use of an actual bathroom by visiting The Husband’s office, which was a definite plus.  Wandered around the Party area and looked at the vendor’s displays.  Watched the first 5km finishers come in.

Then it was time to head to the start area.  I stripped down to my running gear (long sleeve shirt, capri tights) and handed them over to The Husband (in his role as Official Stuff Holder), got a good luck kiss, told him I’d see him in about two and a half hours and away I went to hang out with the good folks of the green corral.

The Race

The race essentially went as well as you would imagine an undertrained half marathon would go – started out fine and the imploded on impact once I passed my training limitations.  Shoulder injury was annoying, but fortunately (or unfortunately), my arm just went numb after the 4km mark, so it didn’t hurt, just tingled the rest of the way.

Do I regret that I ran?  No.  I was fine through 10km – I felt great and was having fun going through at 1:03.  Not super fast, but solid.  In fact, I felt good until 15km, which made sense since my longest runs in training had been 14km.  16 is where everything just stopped working.  The wheels officially fell off and I struggled.  Hips seized up and I stopped moving forward.  I kept ‘running’ but I’m fairly certain that I could have walked faster.  It literally took me 28 minutes to run that last 3.5 kilometers.  Shamble is probably a better description of my movement than a run.  The fast 28 Days Later zombies would have definitely caught me.  Heck, I’m pretty sure that the slow moving Walking Dead zombies would have had me for lunch.

Finished in a slow 2:28.03.  Lanni Marchant beat me by 4 seconds and ran twice the distance (CONGRATS ON THE NEW CANADIAN RECORD!).

Nothing on the day went wrong.  It was my own lead up and preparation where this went poorly, and I knew it going in.  To be honest, my biggest ‘problem’ on the day arose after I crossed the finish line and trying to get to my meeting point with The Husband.  We were meeting at Bay and Dundas and I couldn’t physically get there because of the fence corralling all the athletes through the food line and into the party zone.  I understand why fences are there, but at that point in time, I was just tired and cranky and all I wanted to do was put on my clothes and go home and walking an extra kilometer to get around a fence back to where I already was, was not making me happy.  Though the peachy yogurty popsicle I got in the party zone made me feel better.  This wasn’t a race issue – it was a me issue. 🙂

So whats ahead? I don’t have anything officially scheduled, but I think that I’m going to take a step back from longer distance races next year and focus more on 5 and 10k races.  I really do like the half marathon distance, but I have consistently been having the problem of getting the necessary training in a run one well.  I admire everyone I know who can juggle work and family and running so optimally, but I just haven’t been able to find that balance yet, and I’d rather focus on what I can train for, instead of struggling with what I can’t manage.  I have Harry’s Spring Run Off and the Toronto Yonge Street 10k pencilled in for the spring and I’m looking forward to seeing how much faster I can get on that downhill course.  2014 will be year of the 10K, I think.

Onwards and upwards!  Just shorter.

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