Well………just over 12 weeks ago I started my second half marathon training. Sunday morning I stood at the start line of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfron “half” Marathon and realized…..I was ready.
I placed myself near the front of my corral knowing full well I was far ahead of the pace bunnies I expected to be finished with. I ditched a sweatshirt and sweatpants just before the start and about a kilometre in I had thrown away the mittens I had on. The temperature was about 6 degrees Celsius and it didn’t take long to be warm. Even though for most of my training I did 10 and 1 intervals. I decided that I would go out strong and try to make it at least 5k with no walking. I kept to the plan and around 6k took my first walk break. I felt so much better this year. I realize knowing the course for me make a huge difference. What I loved about running this race is that there is never a time you don’t have people running with and around you. ( there were over 13 000 people running the half and full marathon ) plus all along the route there are cheering sections and spectators shouting playing music , shouting your name. ( the bibs are personalized)
My big setback last year was my bladder, I had to stop around the 10k mark and lost 10 minutes on my time last year and I was determined not to have that happen again. I drank less water when I woke up and made sure I made that last minute porta potty stop before the race started.
As the race progressed I knew I was going a decent pace and just wanted to limit my walk intervals. After the 16k mark I could feel that I was tiring and could tell I was slowing considerably. My ipod came through and played a couple of songs that got my butt going and next thing you know I was rounding the Lakeshore Blvd and heading up Bay Street for the last kilometre. I could feel myself smiling, tearing up and saying in my head that I was strong and all my hard work was paying off. As I approached the finish I raised my arms and crossed that line with the biggest smile. I had done it…..again…….2:37………….I was a half marathoner!!!! Oh did I mention that I was 8 minutes faster that last year…….Freaking YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And another thought came to mind whiler I was running…….it was all me out there and through the tough k’s, I did it….
No matter how many running buddies I have (I love you all) in the end you’re on your own out there. Deep down it is one of the toughest mental challenges I have ever been through. Even though it was all me I did have those voices in my head with all those encouraging words and thoughts that came when I needed them
A couple of years ago I never thought I could run 10k and now I’m a 2 time half marathoner. Proof that if you set your mind to it……it can be done.
Post race, I felt pretty good too. Legs were tight of course. Monday and Tuesday I only felt a bit of tightness in my quads which has been great since now I am prepping for a 16k run this coming Sunday……………
What have I gotten myself into……more to follow