Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Toronto Woman's Half Marathon Recap

I went to bed at my normal time and actually slept well till 4am where I woke up thinking I missed my alarm and then just couldn't fall back fully asleep. Finally at 6am I got up and started getting ready. I had everything laid out the night before so all I had to do was get my water and gaterade out of the fridge, eat and get dressed. I had a hard time eating due to nerves but I knew they would calm once I got to the race site.

The plan was that I would take a taxi in by myself and then all the boys would come by later on so that way they wouldn't get to bored nor would we have to wake them up early and screw with their sleep. I got to the park and wandered around for a while. At 7:30, about 30 mins before the start I hit the bag check and the porta potties. Then I went over and stood in the corrals. I was in corral #2 which would start 2nd at 8:03. Finally my nerves calmed down. I'm always so panicky prior to that point but once I'm in place I'm set.

We listened to the announcers and I chatted a bit with those around me. A couple of us made the same comments about how if you're in the first wave don't wait till the last minute and then have to push through the other packed corrals to get to the front. Then we all added that we didn't see ourselves up in the under 2:00 group any time soon. Finally it was 8:00 and the first wave went off. Once they were gone we got to move up and get ready.

The gun went off again and off we went. It was crowded but nothing to bad. I decided to keep it easy for the first couple K just to warm up and get ready to keep a good pace the rest of the way. As we were coming up a little hill there was a photographer at the top and someone said to smile! I mentioned Marlene and her ability to know how to get great race pics. A couple of the ladies around me asked for her secret. The first water table wasn't until about 5k so with the humidity that we were getting I was happy that I decided to bring my own water. And it was the fireman one, though they were all wearing t-shirts the first time we went by. We turned into the Lower Don and heres where it got interesting since all the rain we had was still on parts of the path, and the path had narrowed. NO one wanted to get wet or muddy if we didn't have to so every so often we'd all have to slow down a bit and get around the huge puddles. The small ones were no big deal and I'd say all of us got mud splats up the backs of our legs. It was around 6k that
Barb saw me and we waved at each other. I tried to keep an eye for her at the turn arounds (there was techically 4 in total) but it was a sea of runners so I didn't spot her again.

Of course we headed back to the fire fighter water station and wohoo some of the younger guys took their shirts off. Yummy! We passed them for the second time on the way into Taylor Creek. And thankfully the race orgainziers had covered up a really muddy part of the route with some stones so no bottle neck at that point. I was feeling good for most of this, other than regretting not wearing shorts rather than capris. I started taking some of my gel and got a 1/3 of it before the 14k mark. We did the turnaround by Vic Park and it was funny that it was the base of the hill where I did my hill training and now that the trees had foilage on them I hardly reconized the spot till I saw the signs around it. Not even thinking when I got to the next water station was that I grabbed some E-load apparently that was in a water cup, and took a huge drink before I realized it wasn't what I thought it was. I should have spit it out but didn't. I've never tried that before and its why I made sure to bring my own gaterade. So now I had a new drink and my gel sitting in my stomach and it didn't feel good. by 16k the nausea had kicked in full force and all I wanted to do was throw up to get it all out but couldn't.I did notice though that more fire fighters had taken their shirts off by my 3rd pass. By 18k I felt like crap and just wanted to be done. I was trying to stop myself from mental kicking myself about what I did and to just focus on finishing. I wanted to be done and even thought of just walking the last 3k. The only reason I didn't was because running slowly would still get me there faster than walking and then I could be done sooner.

Coming to the finish line I saw my boys. I almost cried at seeing them cheer for me. I put on my biggest smile and had Bug not been eating I would have brought him up to run that last bit with me. And then I saw how close I was to the finish and I gave it all I got. I didn't care of I threw up I just wanted through that arch. After getting my necklace I grabbed some water and sat down since I wasn't sure if I wanted to be sick or pass out. Once I was feeling settled I went and hung out with my boys and cheered some more runners in. We saw another family from Beavers who had a family member(the kid's aunt) running and they had come to surprise her. It was great to see her face light up at seeing them. Finally the boys were bored and wanted to head home so we headed to the car after I got my food and my stuff. Of course I had to stop for an offical picture with the back round.

It was great event. I'm kinda kicking myself for it not turning out like I had planned and hoped for. But I've gotten a great lesson in paying more attention to things(Like just because they are annoucning water at the water station and the drink is in a water cup, doesn't mean its water and its ok to go off to the side and spit it out.) and sticking to the plans. I would definitely do this race again and maybe next time with a friend.

I'll post pictures when they post them if theres any I like. :)


  1. That sucks about the bad drink. Sounds like the firefighters were fun though. Can you post pictures of them? ;)

  2. Great job. I seem to have a stomach of steel and the drink didn't bother me, but the plain e-load gel made me want to yak just from the taste alone.

    I realized I left out a whole paragraph about seeing you in my post, so have rectified the situation!

  3. I wish I had a stomach of steel! I can only handle certain brands and even then for gels I had to wean myself on to the them since the texture alone made me want to gag the first training cycle I tried them.