Total Miles This Week: 32.25
Total Miles Overall: 253.75 Miles
Wednesday: 5.75 Miles (5 miles slow- 10:02 avg pace, with faster intervals for last 0.75 miles- 9:15 avg pace)
Thursday: 8.5 Miles (9:57 avg pace)
Saturday: 5 Miles (9:45 avg pace)
Sunday: 13.1 Miles (9:13 avg pace)
I ran the MEC Toronto Half Marathon this weekend! As part of my training, I am running a lot of 13 and 14 milers leading up to my big race on October 18. This is because my training plan is for time, not just to finish, so it is getting me comfortable with the distance. A few weeks ago I was chatting on twitter with Jeanette from This Dusty House and she said she was running the MEC half marathon on Sept 13th and I should join. I had to run 13 miles that day anyway, so why not! The fee to enter was only $20.
I think entering this race was very smart as I made a few mistakes that I will be sure to rectify before Oct 18th:
1) Do not sleep in, then take a nap, then down a giant bottle of coke with dinner the day before your race. You will be up until 2am
2) Do not ride your bike 8km to and from a half marathon unless you've packed extra legs.
Actually, other than those two things, it all went pretty smoothly. I got up around 6:30am, too excited to sleep any later. I had a bagel and peanut butter with some green tea and packed up all my stuff and was out the door at 7:45. It was a really cold, windy, and rainy morning, but I biked on over to the starting line at Tommy Thompson Park. Thankfully the rain let up before the race started! I wore pants, but left my sweater and raincoat in my bike bag and locked everything up. I was a little worried about running in long pants as I hadn't trained in them, but other than being a little too warm it was all good!
I met Jeanette and her family around 8:30am at the start of the race. The two of us had never met in person before, but she is awesome. I ate a Clif Bar while we waited to keep my energy up during the long run. I had also packed a Gatorade, that thanks to the cool weather lasted the whole run. Thank god it wasn't a hot and humid day!
At 9:00am we were off! Jeanette and I soon drifted apart and I put on an audio book to keep me company. The race was an in-and-out run to the end of the Leslie Spit, repeated twice, so I actually saw Jeanette 3 more times as we passed each other, which was fun!
I was doing really well, keeping around a 9:00 min/mile pace, which is REALLY fast for me and would mean a sub-2 hour finish. I was worried I was going out too strong, but surprisingly half way through I was still keeping it up! The course was really windy at times, but relatively flat so not too tough. Then at the 1 hour mark disaster struck- my phone just turned off and wouldn't turn back on! I have been having battery issues, but it was 100% fully charged! ARGH! I have never run without music or a book before and now I had nothing to keep pace with too :( I found the 2nd half really hard because of this- I didn't know when to take walking breaks or if I was going too fast or too slow. Plus most of the km markers had blown over in the wind.
Finally the finish line came into sight and I gunned it and finished in 2:00:38!!!!! They actually had the chip times printed off right there soon after you finished so that is indeed my official time :). I actually also think I ran farther than 13.1 miles too. It was a very muddy/puddly course and you had to do a lot of weaving to keep your feet dry.
All in all, I really enjoyed the race (moreso the first half, when I still had my running app and audiobook). For $20, the course was well marked, had lots of water stations, and had only a few hundred runners so it never felt crowded. There were no medals or technical shirts, but I was fine with that. And I am SOOO happy with a 2 hour finish! That knocks 11 minutes off my 1/2 time from 2 weeks ago! I am definitely going to aim for a sub 2-hr time for my half in October!