Thursday, 9 May 2013

Goodlife Toronto Half Marathon - A PB for me!

I had not planned on running this half marathon especially since I had just gotten back from running the Nike Womens Half Marathon the week before. When I ran the NWM I had hoped for a better time, but got stuck behind the large crowds of runners and was never really able to break free from the crowds. It just so happened that the Toronto marathon was scheduled for this weekend and I decided to try to better my time.

My hubby and friends had already registered to run the 5K as this was their anniversary run. I double checked with hubby that we would be able to work it out logistically as we would need to meet up for me to take the kids from him and for me to nurse baby. All distances finished at the same place and their 5K started in the same area as the finish. This race was PERFECT for us.

We headed down to the expo on Saturday to pick up all the bibs. The expo had a good number of vendors. We didn't have much time to shop around as the kiddies were getting restless. But, I was happy to get my knees taped at the KT Tape booth.

Beautiful Toronto/Expo/Bibs all picked up

The half marathon is listed as a "downhill, fast and scenic" course. It runs through the heart of Toronto. This was my first time running this race and I was definitely not disappointed. The race started at a reasonable 8:30 which gave me time to nurse baby before I left the house. Hubby's 5k was starting at 12:00 pm which gave me plenty of to finish. It was a beautiful morning with picture perfect weather.

I ran this race with my run buddy Karen, who also ran Nike with me the week before. We started out with a pretty good pace. She has been nursing some injuries and was battling a cold.. she's a trooper. I had told her that I wanted to better my time from the week before and she was pretty understanding. We placed ourselves between the 2:05 and 2:10 pace bunnies. I was hoping for at least a 2:10 finish.

The first few km's were great and then we headed towards the big hill at around 4km. I had meet up with another running friend at the expo who had told me to walk to hill as I would be able to catch up on the downhill afterwards and I'm glad for his advice. We tried to run up most of it but halfway up I was starting to lose steam. We ended up slowing down to a walk and fuelled as we walked. It was around this point that the 2:10 walk/run pace bunny came up behind me and I decided to stick with him for as much as I could. I was reminded by my friend that I would have to finish ahead of him if I wanted my 2:10 finish as we had started before him. I have run my last few races continuous, so having the walk breaks were nice.

At around the 9km mark I must have turned off my Garmin as my strap had broken and I was holding onto it while running and trying to grab water from my fuel belt. I didn't realize this until 3 km's later as I was checking my time with the 12K marker and was thinking how AWESOME I was doing (watch said 50 mins). I was enjoying the scenery as the route went into a lovely tree lined road. This was probably my favourite part of the course. Luckily I ran with my phone so I could keep in touch with hubby and also I had turned on my Nike+ app. I got messages as I was coming up to the end of the race around the 16K mark to tell me that they were parking and would be waiting. All I could think about was running faster to get to my son because I could just picture him screaming for milk. I guess it's good incentive to run faster.

The last few kilometres were flat and through the downtown core of Toronto. The sun was shining and I was feeling pretty good. The crowds were fantastic and I was ready to see my family. So, I pushed it for the end and got my PB!!! WOHOO... Overall it was a great race and I look forward to running it again.

Results : Division Place 157/321
               5K -   30:11
               10K - 1:00:02
               15K - 1:29:56
               20K - 2:05:29
           FINISH - 2:08:58
             Pace 6:07

Family shot. Hubby after his 5K

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