If all had gone according to plan, this would be a race report about the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, but that changed when I didn’t follow the plan to begin with. I don’t need to recap how the race itself played out, but I do have a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t follow the race plan.
The original plan was to run the first half SUPER slow (6:45-7:00 pace), the next 10 at 6:30 and then give it everything for the last 11.
My first kilometer was 5:56. And they stayed at or around 6:20 for the next 20K (minus Hoggs Hollow, which was 6:45). I knew that it was stupid and it was going to blow up in my face and I didn’t do anything about it.
And it did – blow up. Not long after the marathon/half marathon split things fell apart on an epic scale. At 32-33K, I walked for a KM had my own little pity party. Texted The Husband. Emailed the coach. Fought (and won) the urge to have a frustrated cry. Started to run and shuffle along again. Actually felt ok 35-38K, but then the shuffle came back. Met up with the 5K walkers – my run wasn’t much faster than their walk speed. Last kilometer was great – not because it was good, but because I was almost done. Crossed the finish line, got my big ass medal, and went home.
In sum, my second half of my race was 50 minutes slower than my first, rather than the intended negative split. Can I say definitively that it would have been better, that I wouldn’t have died a slow and painful death if I had followed the plan? No, because anything can happen in a run that long, but probably. I can say that if I hadn’t thrown the plan out the window, I would have felt mentally better about it. Running a stupid race made the mental pain of it that much worse – because that was something that was in my control and I chose to ignore it and do something that I wasn’t physically prepared to do. And that is 100% on me.