Monday, May 2, 2016

Goodlife Toronto Marathon 2016 Race Recap!!


Ok, let's start back at the beginning! Saturday night I slept horribly as I always do before a race. I estimate I got 1-2 hours sleep. Not an exaggeration. I could not get my adrenaline down. I got up at 5:00am and got ready with my usual green tea and PB on bagel. I dressed in black capris (which I had only bought on Saturday!), a grey technical shirt, and navy arm warmers I made out of knee high socks from the dollar store that I planned to ditch once I warmed up. I also had a grey hat and a black Buff on. It was the most boring outfit ever, but it was exactly the right one for the weather- which was COLD and RAINY and WINDY! The worst!!

I left my place around 6:00am to catch the shuttle bus, which was only a 15 minute walk from my place. No issues getting to the start. I wore some warm clothes from Value Village (that all got donated to charity at the start) and a dollar store poncho as it was pouring rain and cold out. Lovely. Got to the start, used a port-a-potty, and then hung out inside where it was warm. At 7:25 we all went out and lined up for the 7:30am start. There were only 1800 marathoners so the start was super organized and fast! Off we go!

We ran down Yonge for the first 9km or so. I saw Michelle at km 8! I was feeling pretty good. Just trying to ease into a 6:00 minute per kilometer pace, which was my goal for the first half. There was a huge hill at km 5, which was plain evil- but it meant lots of downhills to come! We headed west into a nice residential area, which was enjoyable. Lots of light rolling hills, but nothing remarkable. There were some nice downhills, which I took with short, light steps to conserve energy and save my quads (downhills can be hard). Around km 12 I had a horrible shooting pain in my left big toe but it thankfully disappeared.

After this we ran along Davenport (where I missed a friend who came to see me- sad) and then Rosedale Valley- which is a very scenic road. I was feeling amazing. I was flying and banking some time. I finished the first half in 2:06.

I was still feeling great going into the 2nd half so I didn't slow down. We ran across downtown and I missed another friend at km 24 because I was going too fast and she didn't get there in time! I did see Cam in front of our condo at km 25 and blew him a kiss! Still felt great! I saw another friend at km 27!

The last part of the race is an out and back along lakeshore. I was still feeling good, but Lakeshore is notoriously windy because there is no shelter. I think I started to tire around km 29/30, but I had made it that far without stopping so I just kept trucking because I am a stubborn fool :). I spent the next 5km just begging for the turnaround point to show up. I thought it never would! I finished my Gatorade and worried about needing to stop for water- but then another friend showed up- DRESSED AS A BANANA! It was fantastic and she had made me two signs! AND most importantly, she brought me water and brought her bike.

She changed out of the banana outfit, refilled my water bottle, and biked up to meet me down the road. For most of the last 5K she was able to bike nearby me on a public trail, which was so amazing. I was so tired and there was a horrible headwind and she just kept pushing me (and those around me!) on. Nothing particularly hurt at this point, but I was so tired and my legs were lead. But I knew if I stopped I might not be able to start again so I just concentrated on every step. Finally I got near the finish and Steph rode up to watch me come in!

My mom was waiting at the finish and she took a video of me coming in. She then put down her umbrella and ran the last 0.2km into the chute with me! I told her it probably wasn't allowed, but she is a rebel and it was so great running in with her. I started getting all teary!!

I crossed that finish line in 4:21:17, having completed the last half in 2:15!!

After the race we walked back to my place and I took an extremely long shower to try and get my core temperature up, and reduce the crazy swelling in my hands- yikes. It rained the ENTIRE race and I was soaked to the bone. My outfit was perfect for the race, but I was cold as an iceberg once I stopped running. I never even removed my arm warmers like I had planned! Thankfully mom had brought me a warm sweater to wear after I finished. And she brought me cookies!

I am so proud of my race, especially given the weather I ran it in!! I still can't believe I ran the whole thing and I definitely will do another full one day- I think I could even manage a sub-4 hour time if I had better training!! I never really hit "the wall" that people talk about- sure I got tired, but I seemed to be laser-focused on my goal. I didn't even listen to music or anything the whole race!

All in all a great day. My knee never hurt and all I am dealing with now are some very stiff legs! :D

Now onto my next race- a 10K with my mom and stepdad next weekend! I hope my legs work by then!


  1. SO AMAZING!!! What an awesome friend to bike with you a bit and for your mom to be at the end! Such a huge accomplishment!!! Way to go Casey!

  2. Congratulations! Amazing! Also, you look just like your mom!

  3. Amazing job!!!! Super congratulations to you! You are a machine, honestly. That is so awesome of your banana friend! And aww your mom, that part made me a little teary :)

  4. I am reading this in the Bahamas airport and kept reading parts out loud to my friend - YOU ARE AMAZING! You made it sound easy, and I can't believe the weather you got. Congratulations!! Hell of an accomplishment! Let's celebrate over brunch soon!

  5. Way to go Casey! I'm in awe of you :)
    Your mom is my hero - cookies are the perfect post-run snack ;)
    That medal is HUGE!

  6. CONGRATS!!! xo Sheila


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