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
wow…………that was kind of my feeling yesterday after I had finished my long run……..19 friggin k!!! Yippeee!!!! I decided on Thursday that I would move my long run from Sunday to Saturday because the weather forecast was heavy rain Sunday morning. I was up at 5, had my coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. BTW I am not a fan of oatmeal but since I am staying at a hotel the night before my race I can’t make my usual cream of wheat for breakfast and need something easy to microwave. I wanted to see how my tummy would handle it too.
I left the house at 7 and off I went south on the Tom Taylor Trail. I felt pretty good the whole run with bits of time I was slower and faster than others and kept my head in the run. I got in a Nuun and some Honey Stinger chews along the run. I finished with that realization that 19k is a crazy long distance to run…..but all was good…..oh and now I had to shower and go to work.
All through my training my longest long runs have fallen on my work weekends. I was feeling pretty tight when I got to work and knew sitting was not going to be a good thing, I needed to keep moving. Being a busy Saturday at Home Depot this wasn’t difficult by I could definitely feel tender and tight especially my left calf and my right glute. When it came to my dinner time I grabbed a bite and sat in my car……..then I had to get up to go back to work…that was not cool. My hip felt like it locked up and it took some time to loosen up.
I am still a bit sore this morning and I’ve put some ice on my hip.
2 weeks from now I will be running the streets of Toronto for my half……the butterflies are starting……………..
3 weeks till the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Today was scheduled as a 13k run but since I missed my 16k last week due to my race I thought I would extend my run today. Left the house around 9am , it was a beautiful morning. Close to 20 degrees and sunny….a perfect day to run. Run was good, usual sluggy first 4k then I started to feel a bit stronger. When I got to the 11k mark I was feeling pretty tired. I turned back early and finished off just under 15k in 2 hours. Happy with my effort and now the peak is about to hit. Next weeks long run is 19k which the longest I will run before my half.
My quads were a bit sore today probably from the exercise class I did yesterday. I went to Simplicity Yoga in Keswick and tried out the sculpted class. It was much like the bootcamps I have done. The funniest part was me on the pilates ball. I’m not real strong in the balance dept and kept rolling off in the plank on the ball and a couple of the moves I couldn’t do at all. Tried not to laugh to much….it was a hard core class and I was dripping sweat through some of it. I signed up for a trial month at this studio just to see what they were like. So far I love it. I did a pilates class and sculpted and now I’m looking forward to a yoga class this week. I’m in the home stretch now…….
Saturday I ran my second Oasis Zoo Run at the Toronto Zoo. It is a 10k race around and through the zoo. This year it rained…..the whole race which marked the first time that I’ve had to do an entire race in non perfect conditions. It was warm and that really helped and didn’t make things too uncomfortable. This year they changed the start a little which gave us the opportunity to see the elite runners start the race. This race acts as the Canadian 10k Championships. Congrats to Reid Coolsaet for winning!!
I realize that running is one of those few sports where you can run/compete ( I use this term loosely especially for me) with / near world class athletes. I finished in 1:15:54 and that was a 30 second improvement over my race last year. I was a stronger runner and felt pretty good, I kept to my 10 and 1 intervals and that gave me the juice to tackle the hills that take up a good portion of the last 3k. I would recommend this race to everyone. We were able to see quite a few animals out during the run and in the walk back to the parking after the race I saw a lot more. A very well organized race.
This race marked a month to go till my second half marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I feel ok about my training, not completely happy but I think I will still be strong enough to finish close to my 2:45 goal time. Training this year has been tougher trying to fit runs in around my work shifts. Life happens…………lets make the next month a rocking one!!! Run hard everyone!!!
So, my friend Becky, ( the one who got me started running) says she’s running the Tom Taylor 10 miler and I should run too. I’d like to I say but I run my half marathon the week before. Becky then mentions that this one is only 16k and would be a good recovery run and a bunch of girls are running too. Next thing you know I’ve signed up….yes I am an adult and could have said no….but the more I thought about it the more I wanted the challenge. It is true that I will be in recovery mode that week and the run is on my usual training trail and won’t pose any surprises. Plus I thought that I like running with Becky because she’s the same pace as me. Oh boy, I really must be a runner eh?!
Training had been ok this week. Not really hitting the mileage I should be but I have been throwing in a bit more cross training. I have the Oasis Zoo Run 10k on Saturday which is also a month out from my half marathon. I feel pretty good and to be honest I am not that concerned about times. It would be nice to improve over last year but I just want to finish strong and happy Any of you guys training for fall races??
This time around the half marathon training and running in general has been a bit rough. I have been getting slower and my endurance seems to be waning a bit as well. I have changed my mind set and I have changed my running to go with the 10 and 1 routine. I run for 10 minutes and walk for 1. Yesterday I did a 15k long run and overall my pace was better by 15 seconds per kilometre. I know that doesn’t seem like much but I know overall it will get me a lot closer to my 2:45 ish finish for the half. I know that I will never be strong enough to run distance with out the walk intervals and you know what …that’s ok. I know there are purists out there that say that isn’t real running but who cares. I am not competing against anyone and what is the point of pushing so hard to the point of possible injury? Running of any kind means your off the couch and getting fit so to me that’s all that counts