Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

Bib # 12299
Chip time2:08:32
Pace6:06
Category place370/778
Gender place – 2,495/5,376
Overall place5,872/10,074

I decided to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon just short of 2 months before race day.  I had been following the half marathon training program found in John Stanton’s book.  Things were going really well. I was getting faster and feeling stronger and I adjusted my goals accordingly.  When I decided to run the half my first goal was to complete it in 2:30.  That quickly changed to 2:15.  I got to even thinking that I could finish in close to 2 hours.  Then at the end of September I had an off tempo run and the next day I started to experience pain in my knee when I went down stairs.  I thought I had twisted my knee.  The pain never went away and after talking to people and reading and a visit to my chiropractor I found out the pain was actually caused by my IT band.  It was really really tight.  It really threw a wrench in my training. It stopped me from doing runs including a long run and speed work and I was feeling really upset that after all the work I put in I might not be able to run the race.  I spent the next month getting A.R.T., acupuncture and physiotherapy.  Along with this I tried to do my training runs and foam rolled, stretched and iced often.  I did everything I could and did everything right so I just prayed that I could make it through the race.

Race kits were not available for pick up on race day, you had to get your kit at the Runner’s Expo held at the Direct Energy Centre.  Pick up was pretty smooth and I was also picking up my friends kit which I did without issues.  After picking up the kits I spent some time looking through the expo.  Things were mostly regular prices, not too many deals to be had.  I was able to pick up a sports bra for almost half price.  I also grabbed some KT Tape because if you bought the tape then they would tape you up at the booth (with their tape, not yours) and I really wanted to get my IT band taped.  When I left the expo I was taped up, bought a few things and got a bunch of free samples of various protein bars.  At home I was sure to get everything ready the night before.  I got everything for the race together. My fuel belt, bottles filled with water, gels, gloves, headband, arm warmers. I got my clothes out and ready to go.  I did not want to risk forgetting anything.

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Capri tights and a t-shirt to wear.

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Gear and bib ready to go.

I was running this race with my friend and training partner and she was feeling under the weather.  She was just getting over a sickness but still felt like she couldn’t push herself too hard.  We left with our supporters – my husband and 2 kids, her husband and another friend of ours (good thing we drive a van).  We had wanted to take the subway but found out the first train didn’t run until almost 9am so had to drive instead.  That was a big disappointment.  Driving in Toronto without all the road closures is bad enough, now we have to drive in to where all the roads are closed. The exit ramps were backed up for miles and miles.  We finally get off the highway and park.  We make a stop at the washrooms and start heading to the start line.  We see all the other runners heading there too.  The excitement is building.  This is a big race!  25,000 people.  We soon realize that we need to get our layers off and run to our corrals so we could get ourselves warmed up and make it before the race started.  I grabbed some leg warmers from the dollar store for us (after a fellow runner mentioned she got them) to use as arm warmers as I decided to go with capri tights and a t-shirt for the race.  I also had a headband and gloves that I could throw away when it got warmer.  It was a chilly morning so I was glad with my choice in wardrobe and felt pretty comfortable.

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Everyone except my hubby.

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Ready for our first half marathon.

We got to our corral just as the gun went off.  There were multiple corrals though so ours was not leaving yet.  We were able to weave up toward the front as we were trying to find the 2:15 pace bunny. Our plan was to stick with the 2:15 pace bunny for 16km and then run ahead.  At the expo I heard John Stanton talking and he had actually said look at the half marathon as a 16km training run and a 5km race. So perfect, that was our plan already.  The gun went off and away we went. Like I said, this race was huge and you could see the people ahead filling the streets, it was amazing.  We knew we wanted to stick to an average pace of about 6:20 for the first 16km.  That was an easy pace to keep.  We past the first water station where they were handing out water and Gatorade.  We ran on with tons of people on the streets cheering for everyone. It was nice reading everyone’s signs.  I started to take off my gloves around the 5km mark and slowly started to lose my headband and arm warmers too. The sun was shining and I was feeling strong.  I grabbed some Gatorade at one of the water stations but kept running.  We were doing this race continuous.  We decided to stop and take gels around the 9km mark ( I also took a couple before the race). I was using the Clif Shot Blocks.  I really like these ones but I have to slow down and walk to eat them as I have a hard time to chew them while running. I  quickly chew them up and we start running again.  We started to see all the super fast runners heading back (I think the elites were already gone by this point).  I was enjoying all the entertainment along the course. There were bands, dancers, cheer sections. It was truly really nice.  We crossed the timing mats at the 10km mark at 1:03:50.

Splits (overall time is a bit off from chip time as it started a bit early)

1
6:00 6’00″/km
2
11:54 - 0:06 (1%) 5’53″/km
3
18:10 + 0:22 (-7%) 6’16″/km
4
24:18 - 0:08 (2%) 6’07″/km
5
30:28 + 0:02 (-1%) 6’10″/km
6
36:35 - 0:03 (1%) 6’06″/km
7
42:24 - 0:17 (4%) 5’49″/km
8
48:29 + 0:15 (-5%) 6’04″/km
9
54:43 + 0:09 (-3%) 6’14″/km
10
1:01:24 + 0:26 (-8%) 6’40″/km
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Borrowed race photo

Around the 12km mark my friend had to stop and walk. I was going to slow down with her but she insisted I go ahead.  My leg and knee were feeling good, no pain (besides being taped I also had my IT Band Strap on and I had taken an advil before the race) so I picked up the pace a bit (or so I thought) and carried on.

11
1:07:26 - 0:38 (9%) 6’02″/km
12
1:13:37 + 0:09 (-3%) 6’11″/km
13
1:19:17 - 0:31 (8%) 5’40″/km
14
1:24:49 - 0:08 (2%) 5’31″/km
15
1:30:41 + 0:19 (-6%) 5’51″/km
16
1:36:47 + 0:15 (-5%) 6’06″/km
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Crossing the finish.

When I saw the 16km marker I knew the end was near and I said to myself just a 5km race now.  I started to pick it up a bit more.  I came up to 18km and remember thinking 18km, only 3km left to go.  I followed that thought with oh man 3km is so far!  On top of that it was up a hill.  The hill seemed to be huge although I am sure it wasn’t really as big as I thought it was.  I had to walk up half of it. I started to feel tired.  I started running again and passed the 19km marker.  I saw the split where the marathoners went to continue on and the half marathoners headed into the chute.  20km.  Only 1.1km more to go. The last km is always the longest.  I heard a lady on the sides yelling only 500m to go.  Meanwhile I could see the 500m sign a ways ahead so, not quite. I actually stopped and walked for a quick water break then told myself, you can not stop and walk at the end. Out of nowhere I picked up the pace and finished strong.

17
1:42:00 - 0:53 (14%) 5’12″/km
18
1:47:37 + 0:24 (-8%) 5’37″/km
19
1:53:07 - 0:07 (2%) 5’30″/km
20
1:58:55 + 0:17 (-6%) 5’47″/km
21
*Fastest
2:03:34 - 1:08 (19%) 4’38″/km

I did it!!! I ran a half marathon and it wasn’t that bad.  I knew my time was under 2:10. I grabbed my phone and quickly looked up my chip time.  2:03:32.  You have to love our technology. I am so happy with this result.  I went in to this race with a plan and I stuck to it.  After going through the food lines I was able to meet up with my family and friends.  My husband was so proud and so was I.

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Nice medal

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Post race.

My overall impression of this race is broken down like this.  The race kit pick up and the expo was good.  They had a lot of great vendors at the expo and pick up was quick and smooth.  The course was great. It was a flat course (except the hill at 18km) with plenty of water and Gatorade stations.  They also had gels to give out around the 10km mark.  There was great entertainment along the course, bands, dancers… and there were spectators everywhere.  I don’t remember any part of the race where there were no spectators. and the chute to the finish was great too.  There were so many spectators at the end cheering, it was very motivating.  The food after the race was not too impressive.  A banana, a bagel and a yogurt.   They did have massages but you had to pay for them and you had to prepay for them during registration so you couldn’t go and get one if you didn’t sign up ahead of time. I have been to other races where they had massages and they were free.  The shirt in the race kit is nice.  A Brooks tech tee.  Besides the shirt though there was nothing in the race kit except a juice box.  Disappointing because this is an expensive race.  Overall I really enjoyed this race and it was a great choice for my first half but I don’t think I would do it again.

Map

Course map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is the Niagara Falls International Marathon 10km this weekend.  After that the Resolution Run on New Years Eve -we will be doing this race with the whole family.  I will also begin training for Around the Bay and possibly the Chilly Half Marathon as well.

I-Did-It

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you made it all the way through, thank you so much for reading.  Happy running!

About MSB

A wife and mother to 2 wonderful little boys. Trying to find enough time in the day to run, sew, cook and have fun.

Posted on October 25, 2013, in All Things Running and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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