We started at the Running Room store in town, but soon found ourselves running along quite country roads. There was some humidity in the air, but the temperature was pretty comfortable. It was a true blessing having the sun behind us the entire way.
We chatted and took in the scenery as the miles ticked by, many of us trying not to think too much about how many more we had to go.
Before long we arrived at our first water stop around 20K, where three of our comrades (tapering for the Montreal Marathon next weekend) were decked out in costumes and playing music. We paused for a moment to indulge in an assortment of fresh fruit, chocolate, candy, water, gatorade and even beer! (I stuck to water, gatorade and fruit.)
And then we were back on the road! The time was passing pretty quickly and I was feeling good. I was taking eload Zone Caps every half hour and Gu Chomps or Gels every hour. (The fresh oranges went down much easier!)
Soon enough we hit our next aid station at 31K, conveniently located at the top of a rather steep climb. I enjoyed more cold water and fruit and decided to ditch my Nathan Intensity Hydration Pack at the van (emptying what was left in the bladder on my head first). I grabbed a bottle of water to carry for the remaining 6K and enjoyed the freedom of not carrying an extra few pounds on my back.
Over the next few kilometres, my legs really started to hurt. My energy level was good and I was still chatting away with the few people I was running with (our pace group of 12 had divided into several small groups by this point), but my legs were trashed. I felt every step through my ankles, knees, quads and hips. I even caught myself doing more of a marathon shuffle than a run at one point. We took a few extra short walk breaks, tried to shake it out and just kept moving.
It certainly didn't help that we faced a veritable mountain to climb around the 20-mile mark. As you can see, the route had not exactly been flat up until that point either! (The Toronto Waterfront Marathon is FLAT!)
It was a battle to keep going, but I knew we were almost there. And finally, we made it.
37K - 23mi
6:19/KM - 10:10/mi
6:19/KM - 10:10/mi
Coach stood at the end of his driveway (the finish line for our destination run) holding an Easy Button which we all got to press as we finished. "That was easy!"
I sprayed my legs with ice cold water from the hose for several minutes (good alternative to an ice bath),
• This was my longest training run ever. Last year I maxed out at 35K.
• With this run I also wrapped up my highest weekly mileage ever, at 81K/50mi. Taking this info consideration, I am thrilled with how well my legs held up.
• I wore my new MPG skirt on the run, and it was perfect: light, comfortable and no issues. I'll definitely be wearing it on race day.
• I also put my new Drymax socks to the ultimate test. Full review coming soon, but it looks like these bad boys will also be joining me on September 27th.
• IT'S TIME TO TAPER!
It was another early morning on Monday as hubby ran the Oakville Half Marathon. I'll let you know how he did and share some photos tomorrow - this post is long enough!
I hope everyone had a great long weekend!