Monday, 21 October 2013

Race Recap: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

Yesterday I woke up bright and early to Run (not Race) the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Half Marathon. It was absolutely freezing, but it did make for perfect racing conditions. Both hubby and I were running. Jamie was going for an ambitious time, while I was just planning to practice my Marathon Goal Pace. We huddled together in the cold, but eventually parted ways to line up in our respective corals.

I promised coach I would keep my eyes on the prize and use today as training for my Marathon in 2 weeks. So despite all of the excitement of race day, that is exactly what I planned to do. Yesterday was about practicing everything from Pacing, to Fuel, to Clothing, to Hydration - all to make sure I had a good plan in place for November 3rd.

I started out on pace. My marathon goal pace is 6:24km/pace with the hopes of a 4:30 finish or better, so I kept all of that in mind as I set out. It was hard not to get swept up in everyone's excitement and everyone's pace. But I kept a close eye on my watch and made sure I was hitting my numbers. I planned to stay on Marathon Pace for the first 15km and then potentially drop my pace if I was feeling comfortable and strong.
I found Michelle and Christina at kilometer 6. I knew they were planning to be around there, so I kept my eyes peeled for them. Michelle was frantically searching the crowd and looking panicked, until she found me (<--- such an adorable coach). They screamed with excitement and jumped on the course with me for a little while. Michelle was happy with how I looked and how I was running, and she gave me permission to push the pace after kilometer 15. I promised her I would follow the plan and stay on point.

At kilometer 15 I slowly started to drop my pace, and fell comfortably into a 5:50 km/pace. I started to pull ahead of the people around me, and felt good. I finished my finial 6km at this pace and crossed the finish line at 2:10:43. Which ended up being an accidental PR for me. I wasn't racing, I ran comfortably, and I ended up running stronger than I ever had. This race was the perfect confidence booster. It was exactly how I hope to run my Marathon. It was a negative split. And I finished feeling great. Fingers crossed this is how I feel crossing the finish line in 2 weeks.

I have been training in both the Wave Sayonara and my trusty Wave Elixirs. I have done most of my racing in the Elixirs, but I have been really loving the light paired-down feeling of the Sayonaras during my training. So I opted to run this half in the Sayonaras and I loved it. I will definitely be wearing these for my marathon as well. They were light, comfortable, and fast - aka the perfect racing shoes.

It was freakin chilly out, and I expect it may be even colder by Marathon Day. But it was also quite sunny out, so I knew I would warm up once I started running. I opted for my Mizuno BioGear BG 3000 Tights, which are a new edition to my running wardrobe. I actually saw my amazing Mizuno Fairy at the Scotiabank Race expo, and she gave me these cute light weight tights to make sure I was comfortable on race day. (<--- seriously the best fairy EVER! Love you Barb!). And then I wore my DryLite Creation Singlet with my Breath Thermal Hat and Arm Warmers. I was definitely cold when the race started, but as predicted warmed up once we started moving. I am not 100% sure this will be what I wear on Marathon day, but it gave me a pretty good idea, it will just depend how the conditions change between now and then.

I had been experimenting with a few different Clif Bar Products during my training runs. I had been using a combo of the Blocks and the Gels, but lately I had been finding the gels easier to digest. So for Scotia I opted to just fuel with gels. I packed 2 Razz Shots. I took one kilometer 7 and I took my second on kilometer 15, and I finished strong. I plan to use all gels for Marathon day as well, but also including a couple from my secret Mocha +caffeine stash (you can't get these in Canada, so I only have a limited supply, dang it!) as well.

I have always run my long runs and raced with my Camelbak. But I have been toying with the idea of just using the hydration on the course and taking brief walk breaks through the water stations. I had always used my camelbak because I found fussing with the cups difficult and I was always stressed they wouldn't have water when I needed it. I usually spilled on myself, lost my pace, and then carried on slightly wet and frustrated. But this time I took my time through the water stations, accepted that a short walk break was okay, and raced comfortably without my camelbak. So I think I will leave my camelbak at home on race day.

I met up with my family following the race. They were apparently standing about the 100m mark, but they didn't see me finish (I thought the green arm warmer would be a dead giveaway). It took us a little while to meet up, because they kept looking for me. Meanwhile I was in the friends and family zone for 30 minutes! Eventually someone decided to check their phone and they realized I had been texting them for a while...oops! Jamie finished his Half in 1:45:27, and was really happy with his race as well. All of my race day questions were answered, and I ended up a new PR to boot. Not a bad day of racing, right?!

It is 2 weeks til marathon day, but I think I can finally say I am ready.
Let's Do This.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,