October 18th, 2016
Congratulations to everyone that raced STWM on Sunday. It was a day full of amazing results and many inspirational moments despite the conditions.
This Marathon build went relatively smooth, but was very difficult for a few reason. First off, something that I am sure affected everyone, the heat. The heat really slowed down all of my workouts and the overall quality of them suffered.
Second, (I know I may get some flak for calling this difficult) I made the transition to full time work and really committed to starting my career. I work in Film/Television production and our work days (if we don’t go over) are 12 hrs. I am really happy that I was able to balance my work, training and my personal life. It is something that I didn’t think was possible in my field of work so I had passed on a lot of opportunities in the past. I am really happy to have found this balance.
This was the first Marathon cycle that I have done where I followed a program under the guidance of a coach. It really made a HUGE difference. Last cycle I did a lot more intensity training than I really needed, many useless miles and I ended up very exhausted.
This cycle I never got to a point where I was lethargic or worn down. I was able to go hard in my workouts and didn’t do more work than I had to. I was 100% committed to the program that was given to me and that meant that I wouldn’t compromise or change my workouts to accommodate and train with others. This was probably the hardest part of this cycle.
The week leading up to the race I was unsure of what my goal time and pace was. I knew what I WANTED it to be… But I wasn’t sure what it SHOULD be. I thought I could run between 2:27-2:28 and that if it was a really special day, I could run just under 2:27. I had my doubts tho. This would mean holding at least a 3:30/km pace, a pace that I had not been able to run at all over the summer. But based on my 10km time from the Toronto Island 10k, my interval/tempo sessions toward the end of my cycle and my coaches reassuring words “ It’s not Summer anymore” I felt that 3:30/km was a good goal pace.
Race day conditions weren’t ideal, with it being a little warm, very humid and a little windy. When the gun went off I settled in with a large pack of ½ marathoners and elite women. The pace was a little bit faster than my goal pace but I figured that I could, a) spend extra energy keeping pace with them or, b) spend extra energy fighting the wind alone out on Lakeshore. With the thought that I would be in no-man's-land the second half and fighting the wind alone the last 8km I figured keeping pace with them for the first 10km and building a bit of a time cushion would be good.
As predicted, after the first half I was completely alone. It was around the 24km mark that I started to see runners on the side line that had dropped out. It seemed every few km I would pass someone sitting on the side of the road or pass someone that was falling way off pace. The thought that that could be me was very concerning. I kept telling myself that I was running within my capabilities, I was not in pursuit of anything more than I was capable of.
My muscles were fine, I was still feeling strong at 34km but my energy was slipping away. I felt like I was driving a car and my eyelids were heavy with sleep. Every chance I got I threw water on myself to help me stay alert and focused.
It wasn’t until 39km that my watch slipped from 3:30/km to 3:31/km. The crowd was amazing and they cheered me on. I literally got goose bumps the energy was electric. My legs had the strength to fight back down to a 3:30/km. Unfortunately, once again I ran terrible tangents and there I was, 1 second discrepancy between my watches average pace and my actual average pace. Realizing this as I came down the home stretch was tough.
I finished in 2:28:29, I was 13th overall. My parents told me that I was the 4th Canadian to finish.
When I line up on a start line I am racing for time, placing is never the main objective and going into this race, the Canadian Marathon Championships placing most certainly never even crossed my mind and it wasn’t something I cared about … until that moment. GIVE ME THE PUDDING! Who knows if I will ever come this close to the pudding again! But at last, to quote Amy Poehler:
"You think you really want it. You're just like, 'Give me that pudding!' You just want to taste it. Then you realize, like everything else, it's nice to be included at the table, but if you get the pudding, it doesn't matter either way."
I know where I stand and how I stack up against my competition (I can’t even call them my competition really they are so much faster). I am well aware that there were many talented athletes that for one reason or another had to pull-the-plug on their race, many others that weren’t on the start line and even more that have yet to attempt this distance. My placing is just the result of situational/circumstances. It’s my overall time and the way that I ran in adverse conditions that I am most proud of. I was only 29 seconds off of my goal on a tough day. I know that I could’ve done better had the conditions been better or even if I had had someone to push me over the last few kilometers, but I did the absolute very best I could on this day and for that I am happy.
Thank you to EVERYONE that came out and cheered. You made my heart race fast and gave me energy. Toronto’s running community is full of love and I really felt it.
Mom, Dad & Jessy, your love and support are behind everything I ever accomplish.
Jessy from biking beside me as I ran in the heat to always making sure I ate proper meals and everything else in between thank you for everything you do.