Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
I had a pretty good sleep on Saturday night and woke up feeling excited. I had everything packed up and laid out so all I had to worry about was getting dressed and eating breakfast. I had a hard time getting my bagel down as the nerves settled in, but finished off about three quarters of it.
We hit the road around 5:20 and arrived downtown just after 6. We found parking easily and walked toward the starting area. There were already plenty of people around and we heard the announcer say that they were expecting a record 20,000 runners. Over the next hour, it got extremely chaotic and crowded!
We managed to run into some friends as well as almost everyone from my training group. It was nice to get lots of good luck hugs and pre-race encouragement!
Around 7 hubby wished me good luck and headed off for his warm-up routine. I lined up for bag check with some friends and waited almost 15 minutes. They only had two lines (Bibs 1-7000 and 7000+) and the lines were insane! By the time we got out of there, the lines were even longer and the race was starting in 15 minutes. I have no idea if/how those people made it through in time.
We headed to the starting corrals to line up and it was extremely congested as thousands of runners tried to squeeze through tiny openings in the fences. We could hardly see if we were going in the right corral. This race has not been like this in the past. With so many participants, they’re going to have to work on the starting area logistics.
We could already hear the National Anthem as we wormed our way into the corrals. We all got separated in the sea of runners, but somehow I managed to bump into another lady from my training group. It was nice to have someone to chat with for a couple minutes while we waited for the horn.
And before long, the race had begun! We barely moved at first, but I finally crossed the line after about 7 minutes (it has never taken longer than 1 or 2 minutes in the past).
THE RACE – FIRST HALF
My plan was to maintain my ‘happy pace’ (6:00/KM = 9:39/mi) for at least the first half and take short walk breaks at most water stations. Despite having A, B and C time goals, my primary goal for this race was to feel better than I did last year.
Once we got moving, I realized that it was a much more warm and humid day than anticipated. It’s no secret that I don’t do well with the heat, but I was determined not to let it ruin my race. There was nothing I could do but hydrate, hydrate, hydrate so that’s what I did.
I mentioned previously that I had decided to use my 10-oz Nathan Sprint handheld, which was the best decision. I didn’t have to worry about the nuisance of my fuel belt and the handheld didn’t bother me one bit throughout the entire race. I had a constant source of water (necessary!) and had no issues quickly refilling at water stations when needed. I also wore my new SPI-belt to carry gels. I had 6 crammed into it and I hardly noticed it.
I didn’t have a precise game plan for gels, but I took a total of 5 or 6, taking one every 45 minutes or so and timing them with walk breaks. I also took 2 eload electrolyte capsules every hour.
Coach gave me two pieces of valuable advice last week, which I concentrated on for the initial kilometres: (1) Don’t waste energy weaving around people, and (2) Stay in the present. I used the first few kilometres to relax, settle my nerves and practice staying in the present. It was pretty overwhelming to start running and realize that I had 40K to go, so I constantly reminded myself not to look too far ahead.
Around 3 or 4K I got to see a bunch of people from my training group who had come down just to spectate and support us. They called out my name and it was a pleasant surprise to see them so early in the race. Just minutes later, I spotted coach who snapped my picture and told me I had a “Great start!”
My Garmin had trouble keeping a strong signal (which was expected) early in the race with the skyscrapers of downtown as well as a short leg where we ran beneath a highway overpass. By about 5K, it was already off by ~200m, so I tried not to look at it too much and only used it to monitor my pace occasionally. Mostly I was concerned about getting caught up in the early-race adrenaline and going too fast.
My ‘happy pace’ wasn’t quite as comfortable as I would have liked (I blamed it on the humidity), so I was slightly slower than planned, but didn’t worry about it. I concentrated on feeling good and staying comfortable so if that meant I was slightly behind on pace, so be it. I knew I still had a long way to run.
At about 8K (I think?) we got to see the lead runners heading back in the opposite direction. They would be at about 16K at this point. (Wow!) This always gives me such a rush and is one of my favourite parts of this event. What a thrill to be racing among such amazing athletes from all over the world. [The male and female winners went on to set new course records of 2:08:31 and 2:28:31 respectively, 2:08:31 also being a new record for a marathon run on Canadian soil.]
Shortly after, I got see hubby run by as he flew through the half marathon. He was easy to spot in his fluorescent yellow but I had to yell out a couple times to get his attention. It was good to see him and make sure he was okay. (He was having a lot of issues with his left leg last week.)
10K split: 1:02
I decided to turn on my iPod at this point and enjoyed listening to many of my favourite songs. One of my biggest regrets from my first marathon was not having music and I found it made a big difference in keeping my spirits up this time around.
At 12K we hit the turn-around and it was a good feeling to be on the ‘other’ side. We were running along the lake shore all the way until the half and full split around 17K. I remember feeling like I was joining a special club when I ran under the big MARATHON arch last year for the first time. This year I was already a part of the ‘club’ but it was still an exhilarating and empowering feeling to veer off with my fellow marathoners as the half’ers headed toward the finish. This is where the real fun begins. I thought to myself, “Here we go!”
The crowd thinned out significantly, with only about 3000 runners in the full marathon. I finally had room to breathe!
The next few kilometres ticked by easily. I knew I would be seeing some smiling faces from my training group around the half way point. Sure enough, I heard my name and saw a line of familiar faces. There must have been 8 or 9 of them and I grabbed some high-fives as they snapped my photo. This gave me a great boost and I felt euphoric as I made my way toward the half-way mark.
21.1K/13.1mi in 2:10 – interestingly, my exact half marathon split from marathon # 1. Only this time, I felt good. Last year, I already knew I was in trouble at this point.
THE RACE – SECOND HALF
Around 22K I got to see hubby for the first time. He hopped in the car after finishing the half in 1:33 and made it to this point with time to spare. I was happy to see him and asked him to get some oranges ready for the next time I would see him, 2K later.
This stretch took us along an out and back where I got to see several people from my training group. It was a welcome distraction because this leg of the route was bor-ing! I saw hubby and got my oranges at 24K before heading along an even more boring stretch of road. It was an industrial area and rather desolate. There wasn’t much to see and it wouldn’t improve for 6K or so.
My memory is a little foggy, but I believe it was during this section when I ran into Kenny from A Whole Lot of Soles. He was out adding on some mileage after his half marathon and kept me company for a little while. This was actually the first time we have had the opportunity to have a conversation in person, after communication back and forth via our blogs and Twitter for well over a year. Kenny shared some encouraging words and sent me on my way.
I finally made it out of this dreadful section of the route and headed toward the famous “Beaches” area of Toronto. This was a significant improvement over last year. We no longer had a 5K out and back along the Leslie Street Spit (which I hated last year) and instead ran along Queen Street through lively neighbourhoods hopping with spectators, the general public out for brunch and some of the best organized cheering sections. There were a few good hills (which we had to go up and down twice, being an out and back) but they didn’t bother me much.
I celebrated at the 30K marker where my time was only one minute slower than the 30K race I completed in August, and I felt much stronger. I saw hubby again at this time and took some more oranges, which I shared with a couple of runners who were nearby.
30K split: 3:06
My pace had slowed gradually, but I still felt pretty good. I resisted the urge to take any unplanned walks and stuck to my brief breaks through the water stations.
I saw many of my friends again during this stretch and sharing some high-fives and smiles made me feel really good. In particular, I was excited to see two girls from my pace group who were running their first marathon, way ahead of me and looking strong. I was so happy for them!
I soon passed the 32K mark (20 miles) and knew it was just 10K to go. I felt good, but didn’t think I could pick up the pace. I just tried to hold it steady and not slow down as my legs got tired. Mentally, I was feeling really strong. I knew I wasn’t going to make my B goal, but I was okay with that. I also knew a PR was well within reach and nothing was going to stop me now.
The final turn-around was at 33K and many volunteers and spectators pointed out that we were “On the way home!” It was a straight stretch back into the city toward the finish line. I saw hubby one more time around 34K where he told me he’d see me at the finish. This was it! Time to leave it all on the road.
I was undoubtedly tired, but not compared to last year. I had completed training runs feeling like this, so I knew I had it in the bag. I just kept running, counting down the kilometres one at a time and knowing that each one was bringing me closer to the big finish.
The sun decided to come out, which was not a welcome surprise, but I wasn’t letting it get to me. It didn’t matter what happened now. I was almost finished!
35K split: 3:39
It was getting more and more tempting to walk, but I stuck to the 36, 38 and 40K aid stations where I was guzzling water and Gatorade, and dumping water on my head.
At about 39K, I spotted coach up ahead running with one of the guys from my group. They were probably 100 metres ahead of me and it took everything in me to catch up. I definitely didn’t have much of a sprint in me, so I called his name a couple times until he heard me and slowed so I could catch up. I was so happy to find some familiar faces. Coach chatted away and kept me distracted, encouraging me to just keep going. As we passed the 40K marker, he reminded me to pose for a photographer and we celebrated being “into the 40’s!”
Moments later I spotted some others from my group, and one of the ladies jumped in to run with me. She offered to carry my handheld and did a great job of distracting me from how exhausted I was. She stuck with me until the final turn toward the finish line where she sent me on my way for the big finish.
They had signs from 800m to go. It’s amazing how long 800 metres can seem! The crowds were crazy and I was flooded with emotions as it finally sunk in that I was seriously almost there. I got to see Kenny again as well as Marky Mark, which was awesome.
Pretty soon I saw hubby as well as Sarah and her hubby who screamed my name. I waved to everyone and tried to look good as I crossed the line. I found out later that there was a live feed of the finish available online and many people got to see my cross the line. Apparently, it did look good. :)
Chip time: 4:26:02
6:18/KM = 10:08/mi
In many ways, completing my second marathon was even more satisfying than my first. I achieved a 16 minute PR and felt way stronger from beginning to end. There was never a moment where I felt like I hit the wall. Yes, I gradually tired, which is to be expected after 4+ hours of running. But this time, I kept running and didn’t once consider stopping.
Since my half marathon split was identical to my first marathon, I ran the second half 16 minutes faster than I did last time AND felt better doing it. This is ultimately what I was hoping to achieve with my Marathon Redemption.
It was amazing to meet up with all of my friends and family after the race, many who had run themselves and others who had just come out for support. There are no words to describe how good it felt to have so many people rooting for me, both in person and from afar.
After hobbling to the washroom to change into fresh clothes, we took some photos and headed out for a yummy lunch. Last year all I wanted to do was go home and crash after my race and could barely eat all day. I think this is another testament to how much better I was able to handle the distance this time around.
I’m definitely stiff today and pretty much everything hurts, but I embrace the pain as a constant reminder of what I accomplished yesterday.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
We hit the expo this morning and everything is ready to go.
They stamped the back of my baggage tag to indicate that I had paid for bag check. Take a look at this stamp.
Somebody has an interesting sense of humour. I hope it's not an omen!
All that's left to do now is eat, relax and eat some more. Go figure, I have zero appetite today. Must be nerves. Fortunately, hubs is following me around
There's no question that I'm nervous, but I'm also very excited. Tomorrow is the victory lap after several months of training. It's still a long way to the finish line, but I'm ready to enjoy it. 26.2 miles of celebration.
This is it. Hopefully I'll be posting some good news around this time tomorrow.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I'm wearing my trusty red shirt that I wore for Marathon # 1. (Hopefully this isn't bad luck?) I tried finding something new, but I really love this one. It's super light and comfortably, especially the all mesh back! And I think it'll make me pretty easy to spot.
My MPG skirt! Sooo comfy and passed the test of a 23-miler.
My girlfriend loaned me this "ActiveHold" hair elastic when we were going for a run from her place about 6 months ago. I have worn it for every single run since then and it has held up remarkably well. This thing is griptastic. Sure, I could probably go buy my own pack for about $3.99, but what's the fun in that? (Now that I think of it, I'm amazed that I haven't lost this thing yet!)
My snazzy new SPI-belt with turquoise zip. Love it!
Speaking of weddings... good friends of ours are getting married tonight! It may not be ideal to attend a wedding two nights before a marathon, but don't worry - I'll be wearing flats and drinking water! Wedding cake has carbs, right?!
We had our last pre-marathon session at clinic last night and got a great pep talk from coach. This is it. Expo tomorrow. Just 2 more sleeps. Time to get excited!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Please tell me... do these not look like oranges?!
Nope, they're GRAPEFRUITS. The worst part is, I'm pretty sure I bought the exact same "grapefruits" that I did on Saturday. These are some orange grapefruits.
Until I cut it open...
When I went back to the grocery store today in the hopes or purchasing actual oranges, I decided to pick up a normal-looking grapefruit for comparison.
One of these things is not like the other...
What do you think that strange fruit in the middle looks like? Yeah. Me too.
Oh boy, the taper madness must be setting in... clearly I have too much time on my hands.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This will be the 20th anniversary of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and my third consecutive year participating.
In 2007 hubby and I ran our very first race at the Toronto Waterfront and crossed the half marathon finish line hand in hand. You can read all about it here.
One year later, I returned to the Waterfront to complete my first marathon, something I never imagined I could do. If you missed it, you can read my race report here.
This race beat the crap out of me last year, but I've come a long way since then and I'm going back for redemption.
In June 2008 I ran 156 KM / 97 mi
In June 2009 I ran 223 KM / 138 mi
In July 2008 I ran 156 KM / 97 mi
In July 2009 I ran 285 KM / 177 mi
In August 2008 I ran 222 KM / 138 mi
In August 2009 I ran 294 KM / 183 mi
Looking at those numbers, I feel like I have something to prove. But the truth is, there's a lot more to it than numbers. I feel better equipped - both physically and mentally - to handle this distance.
Let's talk goals.
C Goal: <4:42
Ultimately, as with any race, it will be an accomplishment just to finish. However, I would be admittedly disappointed if I don't come out of this with a PR at the very least.
B Goal: <4:15
I've done a lot of thinking in recent weeks to determine my "B" Goal, which I also consider my true goal. Achieving this time would involve running at my happy pace, the pace at which I feel most comfortable and relaxed (6:00/KM). I believe it is attainable (although certainly not easy) on a good day and plan to pace myself accordingly.
A Goal: <4:00
I believe this goal is
4 more sleeps!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Scott Lerner sent me a generous sampling of these sparkling botanical beverages to sample. Available in Awaken: Orange Maté, Restore: Pomegranate Ginger and Relax: Blackberry Chamomile, Solixir is all natural, sugar-free and caffeine-free.
I have a bad habit of cracking open a diet coke every day around 3pm when I need a little break from good old h2o. Solixir seems like a great alternative, promising to hydrate and nourish both body and soul without unnecessary additives. With a nutritionist and herbalist on the team behind Solixir, I'm confident that this product is good for me.
I enjoyed a can in lieu of my usual diet coke yesterday afternoon and it hit the spot. I didn't even miss my caffeine and aspartame fix!
And how do they taste? I'm having a very difficult time describing the actual flavours in each beverage (I'm not the kind of person who can identify the fruity, nutty or woody taste in a good glass of wine - sorry!), but they are all light and refreshing with a distinct taste to tickle your tongue.
My personal favourite is Pomegranate Ginger.
See what Frayed Laces and The Happy Runner had to say about Solixir.
I recently ordered a SPI-belt in the hopes that I could use it to carry gels and other essentials during the marathon. (I have decided to carry my 10-oz handheld water bottle and not wear my fuel belt because it drives me crazy.)
The "small personal item" belt promises sleek appearance, expandability and most importantly, not to bounce.
With an enormous colour selection, it took me a while to decide on black w/ turquoise zip.
I love how the pouch is itty-bitty when empty.
And here it is full of stuff. The fabric is super expandable and the zipper is sturdy.
I've had the opportunity to take my SPI-belt out for a few spins (crammed full of gels to simulate its use at the marathon) and it did not disappoint! It sits comfortably on my hip and does not bounce.
While I have read some mixed reviews (and Chic Runner prefers the iFitness Belt*), it seems to do the trick for me.
*Moments before publishing this post I received an email from iFitness in response to a request I sent a few weeks ago. I'll be picking mine up at the marathon expo this weekend, so I'll be sure to post a comparison review ASAP.
I've been on a mission for the perfect running bra for a while now. Moving Comfort recently sent me one of theirs to test out. The enclosed note and even the tag said it was a Dori, but in fact they sent me a Fiona. Oops! (I only noticed this when I wanted to include a link in this post and didn't recognize the bra shown.)
What I like:
-super soft fabric
What I don't like:
-velcro adjustable straps
-straps slipping off my shoulder (I prefer racer back)
Unfortunately, Fiona is not the bra for me. It's designed for C-DD cup, which I am not. It was really comfortable, but the straps were constantly slipping off my shoulder, which is why I prefer racer back sports bras. I think the Dori would be a suitable replacement, so I'll have to try that one next.
See what Runner Leana had to say about Moving Comfort.
Thanks for reading this LONG-WINDED post!
One more thing: drop by Tall Mom on the Run and Busy Running Mama to win some Thorlo Socks!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Our wagon. Yes, we were excited!
Some of the goodies!
This is the embankment that the runners had to climb at the 29K point. We posted a sign at the top that said "You call that a hill?" along with some encouraging words.
We also made this sign pointing toward the embankment.
We had a great morning. Everyone was so excited to see us at each of the locations and we had a blast playing music, dancing, cheering and offering whatever support we could. It was fun to give back after being spoiled by others who have volunteered their time at these aid stations all summer.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
• We’re having a bit of a cold snap and I’m loving every minute of it. It was a frosty 3C (37F) when I got up this morning.
• Is it too early to start watching the forecast for next Sunday?? I’m trying not to get excited, but at the moment it looks like a high around 15C (59F). It's still a week away, but my fingers are crossed.
• Thursday night was our last LT run of this training cycle. My 6K at LT averaged 5:06/KM (8:12/mi) and felt good.
• I ran my last long run of 16K/10mi this morning. Felt great with the cool weather and finished in 1:30.
• I have 4-5 more short runs before the marathon (eeek!) and will keep them slow and easy with just a few pick-ups.
• After lengthy discussions with hubby and coach, I finally have a race plan/goal. Watch for that next week.
• Tomorrow myself and a couple of others are hosting aid stations along the 21-mile route for the members of our clinic who are running the Toronto Marathon on October 18th. After taking advantage of these aid stations all summer, I'm looking forward to giving back. We have signs and costumes... I'll be sure to take photos!
• Speaking of which, I picked up 6 lbs of oranges yesterday.... only to discover that I actually bought grapefruit. Imagine biting into one of those around 15 miles! I admitted my mistake at customer service and made the switcheroo. The runners must have oranges!
• I have some new products to review this week: Solixir botanical beverages and a Moving Comfort sports bra. (Love both!)
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
1. After a two week search, I finally found a new pair of my trusty Saucony ProGrid™ Stabil CS. I was sure that the new pair I bought in July would carry me through the marathon, but recently discovered that they're a little too worn out already.
2. Hubby is sick and I am trying my hardest not to catch it. I can't afford to get sick 10 days before my marathon. PLEASE send healthy vibes our way!
3. Chic Runner is hosting a Zensah giveaway. Check it out here! And you still have some time to enter Tall Mom on the Run's Lift Your Sole Giveaway!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Halo's sweat-block technology is FOR REAL. They really work and they're cute and comfy. Don't believe me? Just ask Tall Mom on the Run and CAUTION: Redhead Running.
I have good news for those who sweat. Halo sent me TWO of their Headband II Pullover (one blue and one red) to give away.
1. Leave a comment. [one entry]
2. Become a follower (or let me know that you already are). [one entry]
3. Check out the Halo website and tell me about at least one other product you might like to try. [one entry]
4. Link this giveaway on your blog. [one entry]
Entries will be accepted until Sunday, September 20th.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Our coach recently sent out a great email after many of us reported a strong run at the track.
Besides the good conditions, I think the other thing at work here is the cumulative affect of the last 3 months+ of training. There is no doubt whatsoever that we are all a lot stronger and faster than we were back in June and July. I think its important to step-back for a moment to reflect on this and take satisfaction from what we have achieved. As I've mentioned before, it's about the journey, not the destination. What happens on race day is usually just a logical extension of what has transpired in the months leading up to that day. There are no guarantees on race day. Things can happen: untimely illness, unfavourable weather conditions, etc., BUT it is not a random event. Every time you have good training sessions, you increase the likelihood of having a strong run on race day. In the final analysis, that is what we can control: how well prepared we are and how likely we are to reach our goals. So, enjoy the satisfaction that you felt from last night's workout and remember what I told you last week: your strongest runs/workouts are the true indications of your potential as a runner!
I think it's really important to acknowledge what has already been achieved by completing the training. With that in mind, I will go into this marathon reminding myself of some great advice that my buddy Greg has often shared: the marathon is a reward for your training.
Whatever happens on race day, I am proud of what I have already accomplished. I have put in significantly more training this time around and I've learned a lot along the way. I'm ready for this.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Tall Mom on the Run won a 5K!
Mel at 2nd Chances rode 100K to celebrate 8 years post brain surgery.
Marci at Ramblings of a Running Addict completed her first half-iron triathlon!
Sneaker Sister set a huge half marathon PR in brutally hot conditions.
Shore Turtle set a 5K PR.
Aron at Runners Rambles clocked an awesome time on her first 10-mile race.
Jocelyn Running With High Heels On set a 4 mile PR.
I hope I didn't miss anyone. Congratulations all around!
Hubby had quite the week himself. I don't often mention his training, but he has been putting in a lot of miles over the last several weeks in preparation for his first marathon coming up on November 1st. Yesterday he ran 39 KM (24mi) in 3:19 (!!!) to wrap up a 125.4 KM (78mi) week. Amazing! I'm proud of you, honey!
As for me, my first long run of taper was a nice little 25K/15.5mi. Amazing how short that seems now, although I still had a bit of a hard time. I wasn't feeling great as we faced many ups and downs on the trail portions of our route. I plugged along and got it done to wrap up week one of taper. Two weeks to go!
Heather at Run Faster, Mommy is hosting a sweet nutrition giveaway for her 100th post. Check it out!
Mel at Mel Tries to Run is hosting an inspirational book giveaway. Don't miss it!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Speaking of which...
My training group hit the local college track again last night for a ladder workout.
The plan: 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 (quarter-distance recovery jogs).
The goal: Because I'm tapering, I decided to aim for something close to 2:00/400 and possibly faster on the last few intervals. I wanted to see how I felt.
400m - 1:51
800m - 3:50
1200m - 5:53
1600m - 8:01
1200m - 5:54
800m - 3:34
400m - 1:32
I felt strong throughout and definitely could have worked harder on the first four intervals if I wanted to push it. On that last 400, I decided to JUST GIV'ER! I was flying and still felt like I could keep going (although, not that that pace)!
Drymax recently sent me a couple pairs of socks to try out.
These are not just ordinary running socks. Drymax offers:
Dual Layer Sweat Removal
Advanced 3-D Fit
Active Odor Control
Friction Free Blister Guard
I was able to try the Running and Running Lite Mesh varieties. The "Running" socks are a little too thick and warm for summer use, but super comfortable! I can't wait to add these to my fall and winter sock circulation. The "Running Lite Mesh" socks, however, are PERFECT for summer (or indoor) use. They're light and breathable, with just enough cushion where you need it on the heel and ball of the foot.
I took these for a 23-mile spin on the weekend and don't have a single complaint. No chafing, no blisters, no sliding. These socks will definitely be joining me on September 27th.
My feet are happy in Drymax Socks!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
1. Today hubby and I are celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary!
We're both going to physio after work for a little maintenance/ check-up... it's kind of like a couples spa, right? (Or not.) After that I have a ladder track workout with my clinic (800-1200-1600-1600-1200-800) and then hubby and I will go out for a late dinner at our favourite restraurant.
2. My shins have been bothering me a little bit lately. No pain, just an occasional 'twinge'. It's not something I have ever experienced before, but I'm not taking any chances.
3. Tall Mom is hosting another fabulous giveaway. Drop by for your chance to win beautiful handstamped jewelry (and more!) from Lift Your Sole. Click here!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
His result: 1:39:57
And he's off
A quick glimpse at 16K
Finishing strong (and not looking very tired!)
Having a stretch while I watched for Marky Mark to finish
(Yes, hubby also loves Recovery Sock!)
I started my taper with a short recovery run yesterday. I felt pretty slow, stiff and somewhat sore. It's amazing what 23 miles will do to you! Fortunately, I "only" have about 60K/37mi to run this week. 18 days to go!
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
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.
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!