Scotiabank Waterfront 1/2 Marathon
I’m sitting with a beer, reminiscing about how quickly this race was planned and over with. I scheduled this 1/2 one-week before the event, by actually getting lucky enough to win a last minute entry. Thank you Brooks Running Canada and IRun of course. I thought, “hey the Army 1/2 was just a few weeks ago, maybe I can crush that time!” On a side note: My out of town racing record isn’t great.
I woke up to ominous weather at 6AM in Toronto, as expected. Though, it was not as ugly as the evening before, which made me feel positive. I organized my transportation and after some breakfast, I made way to Nathan Philips square via taxi and cable car. After getting near the start line I grabbed my bag and ran towards bag check. I was supposed to run with my training partner, but he didn’t sleep much the night prior and decided to take it easy. Unfortunate, but it worked out, because I was late meeting him already. I checked my stuff and ran to the start line with 20 minutes to go. It had been a stressful morning with traffic, and my stomach was not happy with me. Likely my large bowl of oatmeal. I was starting to think that I ate slightly too much.
The start line was crammed. I had run this race a few years ago, and forgotten that they began the 1/2 and the full at the same time. Insanity! The fence that I arrived at from bag check looked to be about 10 feet high. I couldn’t find an entrance to my corral that was straight in front of me, right near the starting line. I looked left and saw that there was none on this side of the road until 500-800 meters up the road – “awwww man!” By the time I (and what felt like 1000 other runners reached the entrance) we had to move through crowds to get to our corrals. I snuck through that back as far as I could get. Aiming for a 1:20 or better, the best I could get was a 10 feet from a 1:30 pace bunny. At this point, I was nothing but flustered. The anthem starts, and here we go!
That’s the race folks….. That’s it.
Okay…That’s not it. I actually had a hard time writing this blog. Of course, it’s easy to write about a great race. Though it’s extremely tough to write about a bad one, because it sucks, and a lot of us as runner’s have experienced that. I think you can relate to that feeling of wanting to give up and fighting your body for an entire race. That’s basically what happened. I raced 8KM efficiently and fought cramps and side stitches the remaining 13KM. I aimed for 1:20 or better and got 1:25:15. Not a bad time, but a bad race, because I was in pain mentally and physically for the majority of it.
I like to study what happened and go over it, so hopefully it doesn’t happen again. I highly suggest doing this to alleviate any succeeding guilt or emotions, and to get more efficient. Here’s what I’ve taken from this race:
1) BRING YOUR OWN PILLOW: Women are so smart. My wife suggested this awesome idea. I woke up thinking I was at home a few times.
2) BRING YOUR OWN FOOD: Not completely necessary. I drove up to Toronto from Ottawa on Saturday, and made dinner prior to leaving. I knew what was in my food and felt comfortable that it would help me get a good finish. I just ate too much of it!
3) LAY YOUR GEAR OUT: I never forget to lay my stuff on the floor from the order that I wear it. I’ve had friends who have forgotten race gear and only found out the day of. It must be a horrible feeling, and the last thing you want to worry about. Because of the rain in Toronto, I laid out two outfits. It works like a charm.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
1) TOO MUCH FOOD: I ate dinner and breakfast for a full not a half. This likely helped lead to my stomach cramps and bloating.
2) ATE TOO LATE: I usually plan ahead and eat at about 5AM. Out of town run, woke up at 6AM, ate about 6:30AM. Race start: 8:30AM. Usually, I like a little more time.
3) LEFT TOO LATE: Left for the start line at 7:15, should have left around 6:15-6:30AM to escape traffic. I was way too rushed and uneasy by race time.
4) TOO FAST, TOO LONG: In attempts to make up time, I pushed my body too fast for too long and ended up doing more harm than good. Doesn’t matter how many races I run, I still can get too excited sometimes.
I can’t complain too much. I was beginning to think I was unstoppable with my last few races going so smoothly. It’s nice to knock myself down a few notches, and I’m extremely glad I got the opportunity to run it. Next Stittsville, Ontario’s 9 Run Run. I’ve never run any race a week apart like this, but Stittsville is my hometown, so I’m very pumped to represent and run this for the third consecutive time in it’s 3rd year!
Here’s to you and road trips!