Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

Toronto ON
Bib # 10357
Chip time: 1:46:16
Official time none given Weird!
Pace 5:00
Place 1,583/10,093
Gender Place 357/5,371
Category Place 48/652
It's pretty easy to say that this race began where last years ended. I had a terrible time at Scotia last year and I vowed to go back and fix that. I said the same thing about Midsummer too but unfortunately this year was just as sucky as last year. Was the same thing going to happen to me at Scotia?! Two crap years in a row?!?!
Nicole and I have been training for this race ALL. SUMMER. LONG. It was a scary thought, running a 4:58/km pace for 21.1 straight kilometers so when Nicole texted me at work on Thursday night to say that Kenny had agreed to pace us we were over the moon. Then nervous. Holy crap! Were we actually going to pull this off?! It was now looking like we just might!
On Friday I picked Nicole up from work and we headed to the Expo. Once again I handed over $14 for parking for the 'free expo' and we headed inside. We got our bibs (which they really need to jazz up!!) and joined the long line to get our chips activated. The expo was kind of a let down but we did get to talk to John Stanton. He came up to us as Nicole was trying to find the 3:30 marathon pace band. Seeing as I am a fly by the seat of my pants racer I couldn't be bothered to take one, although when John Stanton hands  you something you take it dammit so one ended up in my bag. Nicole didn't notice who was talking to her at first and I could literally read the thought bubble over his head "Look up! It's me! John Stanton!"
We chatted with John for a little bit about the elites and such and he asked us what our goal times were. Nicole said 1:45. I said same, just 2 seconds faster than her. John told me to let Nicole cross the start line ahead of me that way when we crossed the finish line together my chip time would be faster than hers. Brilliant! Now how to casually pull this off without Nicole noticing....
 Sunday morning came and Nicole picked me up. Fifteen minutes early. I kind of figured she might be there early so thankfully I was ready. We drove into Toronto two nervous wrecks. Thankfully the nerves went away somewhat by the time we got there. We parked at the Eaton Centre and made our way to the Sheraton Centre where everyone was meeting (without bothering to pay attention to exactly where we parked in the garage which would spell disaster come time to go home!). We found Emma, Emilie, Cam and Kenny at the meet up point and then stuck to Kenny like glue. Not a chance we were losing him today!! We said goodbye and good luck to everyone, and went to the bag check (bumping into Patty along the way) and then the porta potties and made our way to the red corral. You may remember the red corral as the one that I snuck in to last year, I think this year they may have had my face on a 'corral sneaker' poster because I almost went through a body cavity search to prove that I belonged! We finally got to the corral, dignity intact and Kenny warmed up. Nicole and I are way too cool to warm up so we just stood around trying to stay warm (hello 2*) and people watched. It would seem that when you are in the fast corral you have to dress fast. No frilly skirts in the red corral, no no! Only booty shorts and bra tops were allowed in here. Marina later pointed out to me that this was probably why I was tackled at the corral entrance! I just didn't look the part. Obviously the "guards" hadn't noticed the Kenyans in pink socks like mine! Cam came and joined us while we milled around and eventually the gun sounded! Yay!
The first few kilometers flew by (as did Cam) and I was feeling good! Way better than last year. I was actually beginning to think that we may just be able to pull this off! I quickly warmed up and threw away my gloves and took off my arm warmers. The crowds of people cheering was just as amazing as last year but the congestion of so many runners really made things difficult. While running on the streets with streetcar tracks it was impossible to run three abreast so I stayed behind Kenny and Nicole which unfortunately caused me to run up the back of Kenny a few times. SOOORRRY! I recognized a lot of points from last year and when I ran past the spot where I had lost the 1:50 pacer I had a little bit of a panic. Was I going to lose my pacer again this year? Better to push that away for now. The crowds of spectators were pretty heavy and some people were crowding the streets. At one point we passed a homeless man who was giving high fives with his filthy hands to the runners and when he saw us he put out his fist for Kenny to punch which Kenny veered away from like it was hot fire "NO THANK YOU" he yelled. I burst out laughing, and I still smile when reliving the moment. Some runners around us were commenting that the 1:45 pacer was running way too fast and we pointed out that he was doing 10s and 1s but if they wanted to do continuous to stick with us. One guy actually did although we never spoke, The others didn't seem to trust our 1:45 pacer without any bunny ears on and took off. We eventually made our way out onto Lakeshore and ran right into the headwind. It was a bit tough but at least it was cooling. "Are you even sweating yet?" I asked Kenny as I wiped the sweat from my own face. Of course he wasn't. LOL This is always the best part of the race because you get to watch the elites go by (the other way!). Around the 9k mark I tried to take a gel but walking the water stations and then trying to catch up to Kenny was tough so I only took one mouthful of it and held it in my hand trying to take the rest at the next water stop. We hit the 10K split in 49:56 (HELLO 10K PB even if I've only ever done 2 10ks....one a few years ago and one with Kyle) Unfortunately it was around this point that we heard Nicole say "You guys go on" as she pulled back. I honestly thought that she was going to catch right back up and was starting to feel quite bad when she didn't.
According to my Garmin our first 10k splits were 4:43 4:58 4:53 4:55 4:54 4:51 4:50 5:04 5:01 5:00
Kenny & me! (I usually like to buy the pictures that I post here but at $30 a digital download consider these ripped off!)
For the next couple of kilometers I just focused on the turn around. A) It meant we were heading back! and B) I could watch out for Nicole. We lost our tag along runner around here, hopefully he did well. We hit the turn around and I realized as someone yelled out Kenny's name (like they had been all race long) that John Stanton wasn't the only celeb runner that I'd talk to this weekend! Yep, my personal pacer is kind of a big deal! Heading back with the wind at our backs was great! I had assumed that the wind would be in our faces at this point so it was a welcome relief. I kept an eye out for Nicole's striped socks but never did see them. I hoped she was ok. I heard Phil call out to me along Lakeshore, as well as Pierre so that was nice. Kenny told me that there was a hill coming up so to make my way slowly back to him after the next water station and then we'd tackle the hill. Um, no thanks! Trying to make my way back to him was getting tough, add a hill in there and I'm skipping the water stop. I was 2/3 of the way through this race, I wasn't losing him now! Unfortunately the lid to my water bottle had come loose and was a total pain to open now so I didn't bother drinking anything much at all during the back half of the race. Nor did I take the rest of my gel as this picture that Kenny snapped will show. Insert ominous music here.
Is it over yet?!
I was starting to get pretty tired around 18K and seeing that final hill coming up on Lakeshore was not a welcome sight! Kenny said something about taking it with a little more effort but I kind of tuned him out. I REALLY wanted to walk that hill. Guaranteed if he wasn't with me I would have. I wasn't able to stay beside him on the incline but that was ok, he was my personal beacon. I actually focused on his water belt and wondered to myself if he'd give me a sip of his water, I was pretty thirsty. Then I remembered how he had arched away from the homeless guy trying to give him knuck's and I thought it best to put that thought away! Just a few more kilometers to go, I can forego water. We made our way past the full and half split as Kenny cheered on the marathoners and made the final turn onto Bay St. The crowds were cheering and Kenny looked like he was ready to go so I sent him on his way. My legs felt like I was running through quicksand and I had rocks inside both of my shoes. I felt like I had absolutely nothing left to give and it was all due to my lack of nutrition on the race. Kenny pointed out later that we've really got to figure out the water stops and he's right. I couldn't take in my full gel or any Gatorade on the back half because it was just way to hard to catch back up to Kenny and eventually that caught back up to me. Thankfully I was able to dig deep within myself and sprint to the end, passing a girl who quickly passed me right back and get to the finish line with 1:46 showing on my Garmin.
Garmin splits 4:53 5:09 5:00 5:00 5:07 4:54 5:04 5:00 5:12 4:55 6:20 0:30 *I don't know that I can fully trust these last few splits due to the buildings and bridges.
I'm coming Kenny!
This picture makes me LOL so hard!
At the end of the day I didn't make my 1:45 goal but I'm proud of my time and so thankful to Kenny for agreeing to run with us. He got in at 1:45:45 so he got our 1:45 for us! I truly think that I'm meant to make the 1:45 WITH Nicole, so in two weeks we'll give it the ol' college try again at Road 2 Hope. Wish us luck!

I look like I'm ready for a nap. Too bad I never got one.

Yay 1 minute 1 second PB!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Looking back at September

So I've really had nothing to say on here lately in case you haven't noticed. Life gets busy and I find a lot of the time I'd rather just blend in with the woodwork in my down time. Right now my boss is away and seeing as a good chunk of my mornings are spent on the phone with him, while he's gone I have time on my hands. I really like when he's gone. I get to catch up on things going on in my own life rather than my work life. Ha.

September was a bit of a rough month for me. Kyle left for university and it has taken me a while to learn to deal with the void it has left. When Kyle is home he takes up a lot of my time. If it were socially acceptable I'm sure I'd still be wiping his butt for him, that's how much I baby him. We both know it and I feel sorry for his future wife for the monster that I have created. Thankfully I realized quickly the error of my ways and Noah doesn't have it quite so easy. Any way, maybe it was post university depression (haha) but I was finding it really hard to get up for my runs in the mornings which is weird because I'd dream about running for the rest of the day. Luckily I've been able to bounce back, just look at my 18k run before 7 am yesterday on 3 hours of sleep! ;o) Monday night football has also returned turning my Monday night shifts into late ones, which has made my Tuesday runs turn my Wednesday runs into sucky ones because I'm so tired. I'll be happy once football is over. Hockey can stay though. I loves me some hockey!

I only ran 211km for September which doesn't seem like much does it? Considering it's the month before my goal race I probably should have run more but like I said, some of those days were tough to get up for. I also decided to give my legs a break from time to time. I like to think that I'm about quality rather than quantity. LOL Give me fresh legs that don't have tight calves or achy hamstrings any day of the week! I'm not going to preform well like that any way so may as well make sure things are in good shape. That's what I'm telling myself any way so don't you dare contradict me! :o) Considering I was able to blast out a 1:47:17 PB half in September so I think that I did alright. Now if I can just keep it up for October I'll be great. Two days after running the Oakville Half I thought that my 1:45 goal at Scotia was definitely doable and of course today I am doubting myself again. I suppose I'll just have to go out there and see where the chips fall. So bring on October! Cooler temps, Run for the Toad relay and Scotia are all in my sights. It's also my baby's 18th birthday and Thanksgiving. I loves me some Thanksgiving.....