Friday, October 19, 2012

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon recap

Toronto ON
BIB # 9740
Chip Time 1:56:24
Official Time 2:02:28
Pace 5:32
10K split 53:50
Corral #2 - Yellow
Place 3008/9690
Gender Place 931/5088
Category Place 123/620

Sometimes when I'm racing I think "This is awesome. I love this". Other times I think "This sucks. What the F**k am I even doing out here?". Unfortunately STWM was the latter.

On Friday Sarah and I drove out to the "free" race expo (with $14 parking!) to pick up our kits. Thankfully we got there early and it wasn't overly busy. We got to meet John Stanton (founder of the Running Room) in all his botox glory and hear him speak.
I don't even know what is going on with my head here. Or why John Stanton
looks like one of those carboard cut outs!
He gave a lot of good tips so I'm happy that we sat through his segment. We also sat in on Lanni Marchant & Krista DuChene speak about womens marathon running. It was boring, I've read their same statements in various running magazine articles. Boo. Then we sat in on Reid Coolsaet, Eric Gillis, and two other past marathoners. Sorry dudes, I'm like a kid of today who loves hockey. I'm all about the Sidney Crosby's not the Lanni MacDonald's. I think we lasted about 5 mins here. It was also boring and we were hungry. Sorry Reid, you'll have to meet me another day.
Myself, Sarah, Maggie & Sharon.
Yellow bibs=half Blue = full

Sunday morning rolled around and I woke with a start. At 4am. Guess my mind didn't want me sleeping in again? I lay in bed solving the worlds problems until close to 5am and then got up and got myself together. I took the dog for a walk at about 5:30am and it was very mild out. No rain. No wind. Yay! Suck it weatherman! I guess constantly checking the Weather Network app on my phone this last week finally brought me the weather that I wanted! Things are looking good! At 6:15 I left to go and meet the girls (Sarah, Maggie & Sharon). It was pouring out. *sigh* The rain stayed fairly heavy the whole drive into Toronto. We found a parking garage right by the start and got ourselves together. The girls put on their sexy garbage bags to stay dry. I selected not to put one on. Not sure why but I figured that my throw away sweater (You're welcome homeless person who now owns my old wet stained white Lulu Remix hoodie) would keep me dry enough and would also help me look way better than the bag ladies. On the way to the bag check we popped into a hotel and hit the bathroom. Poor Sarah had the unfortunate luck to get a stall where someone had just had a very stinky BM. I honestly wish that I had a photo of her face as she was closing the door. LOL Eventually we made our way down to University Ave and scoped out where our corrals were ( I was in yellow, the girls in purple) and went and tried to meet some Daily Mile friends in the pouring rain. Unfortunately the only one we were able to find was Richard. He was super nice, or as Maggie described him "lovely". I guess everyone else was hiding from the rain like we were. Before I knew it, it was time to make our way down to the corrals. I gave the girls a hug, wished them luck and slowly made my way to the start all while trying to make sure that I didn't get any umbrellas in the face. My plan was to find the 1:50 pacer and stay with him for as long as I could. To do this I was going to have to sneak into the red corral. Good thing that I had on my trusty white stained throw away hoodie because about 5 different people checked me for a bib! I just unzipped a little to show my number, but not enough to show my corral. Ha. I'm so sneaky. I found the pacer fairly easily, but he wasn't the same person that Scotia had on their website. I never actually spoke to this guy so I have no idea who he was. The gun for our corral finally went off as the man on the loud speaker shouted "Good luck yellow corral!". WTF?! Yellow corral?! I went through all that sneaking around to end up in the yellow corral?!?! Talk about karma! The rain was still going for about 5 minutes into the run but thankfully let up after that! The streets were lined with spectators cheering us on which made things much more fun! The buildings in the downtown area really reaped havoc on my Garmin during the first part of the run. It kept auto pausing which kind of sucked because when I eventually lost the pacer around 8km and was pacing myself (with the pace band that I couldn't read while running ARG) I thought that I was good for time. It never even dawned on me until I saw my chip time versus my Garmin Connect time that the auto pause screwed me. Mental note to self, turn off auto pause next time I race in Toronto! My main goal coming into this race was to get my 1:52 that Oakville's long course burned me for, but I quickly realized that this wasn't going to happen. My arch began hurting right at the start (which has never happened before) and I was wet from the rain and feeling like garbage, so I turned to my second goal; sub 1:55. As we turned onto Lakeshore the elites ran by (obviously going the other way) and we all cheered them on. Of course the usual "where's the white guy" jokes were spoken. Har har. I kept an eye out for Reid Coolsaet to go by and wasn't left waiting long. For some reason I don't think that he saw me though. Too bad Reid. Your loss. Again. As we made our way down Lakeshore I was starting to feel a bit tired and my foot was really starting to bother me so I took a couple of quick walk breaks. Not something that I usually do in a race but I didn't care. I wasn't in the mood to fight with my body and I was ok for time. Along the way I passed some bands which was a nice distraction. I think that I heard someone with a microphone say "Go Sammy" at one of them so I gave a wave and kept going. I gave a "what what" to the guys that were asking for them on a bridge over Lakeshore and stared at the girl running in front of me's VPL for awhile. I don't know how many times I have to say this. Don't wear underwear with yoga/running pants. They have a gusset for a reason! At 18K I heard a girl yelling encouragement to everyone and realized that it was Nicole from DM. I yelled out to her and waved and kept at it. I was frickin exhausted at this point and my foot was screaming and there were just no more distractions to find. I just wanted to finish up. Or sit down for a few minutes. Or cry.  Whichever. It was just me and my mind against my body now. Just three more kilometers, come on you can do it! Don't stop for anything. You're tough, no more walking! Ok, two more kilometers. Don't look at the crowd. The struggle on your face has to be so obvious, you'll only see those same looks of pity on their faces as you saw on that guy in the labour & delivery ward after you gave birth drug free. Shit. Still one more kilometer. Can't stop now. Not in front of all of these people lining the streets cheering everyone on. Just keep it up, don't worry that people are passing you. Just. Keep. Moving. Great. A photographer. Smile. Crap. That was a grimace wasn't it? Oh, what does that sign say? 800 meters to go? Is that supposed to be motivating. I don't want to go another 8 steps let alone 800 meters. Oh great, that one says ONLY another 600 meters to go.. Oh? What's that? 400 meters to go? Who's big idea were these signs? They are as helpful as that person who yelled out "ONLY 1.5 KM TO GO". Shut up! That is not an ONLY. Sure in the grand scheme of things it's an only but I'm tired and my foot is really hurting. I don't even know where I found the energy to pull out my fastest km out of the last 13 but I picked it up and made it to the finish in one piece. I went through the motions of going through the finish area and getting my medal & food and could feel tears threatening. I'm not quite sure why other than I was sore, tired and disappointed (and about to get my period LOL). It wasn't that I didn't meet my goal, they can't all be personal best times and really 1:56 is an awesome time, but I did not enjoy my experience. The course was great, except for that one little hill towards the end. The spectators were amazing, except for the stoners who yelled "Get a life, people" out of their above a store apartment window. The event was well organized, except for the bag check that was too far away for my sore foot at the end. I can't give you a definite reason, just I didn't have much fun. I didn't even want my picture taken with my medal at the end! I think that I will have to come back next year and run this again just so that I can have a better memory. I'm just glad that Sarah & Maggie had a better day with their full marathons! Way to go girls! I'm super proud of you. :o)

I was so tired my face was melting! EEK!

The guy beside me makes me laugh. And feel like maybe my
pain wasn't near that bad.....


  1. There's nothing harder then completing a race where you are not feeling it. I think that's the biggest acommplishment, we as runners, can have. It'd be so easy to just stop and DNF. I've contemplated it a couple of times and am always thankful that I didn't. Scotiabank kicks my butt every year, including this year, but every year I go back. Not sure what it is. We never know how we're going to feel on race day until we start running! Congrats to you for pulling of a great time in what was clearly a tough day for you. That's awesome! Well done.

  2. I'm sorry it wasn't the day you planned, but you're right - it was a great time for a hard effort! I'm wondering if the size of the event also made it difficult. You probably weaved like crazy just due to the sheer volume of people. What was with the arch? A blister or just pain.

    Great photos. The dude beside you is a reality check for sure. And funny. HA.

  3. Was laughing from the mention of the sexy garbage bags. I think you and I had the same mental discussion! *lol*

    Well done!

    - know, the seriously moody one over on DM.

  4. Look at the guy next to you at the finish!

    1. LOL I'd say that guy left it ALL out there!

  5. I love John Stanton! Your recaps make me giggle even when you're upset. I am sorry it wasn't what you wanted but you did way better than I ever could!

  6. No matter how bad, your race reports will always make me laugh. I was one of the sexy garbage bags, come'on, I know how to rock the plastic! Sad that we didn't meet. Are we gonna have that lunch or what?

    1. No for the garbage bag, yes for the lunch. I'll FB you for details. :o)