Sunday, September 27, 2009

scotiabank toronto waterfront half-marathon recap

first of all - I DID IT! WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!

next up - i beat my goal time! WOOOOOOOHOOOOO!

official stats:

start time:
7:34:22 am
10k time: 58:30
gun time: 2:10:02
chip time: 2:05:41 (my goal was to make it under 2:15)
category place: 252 of 823 (women 25 to 29)
gender place: 1320 out of 4529 total women

i went to bed at 11 pm last night and fell asleep pretty quickly. i put out my running clothes and made sure that my zune and garmin were charged. i also made an awesome 90s-inspired running mix. my boyfriend had a 90s-themed birthday party last week so we bought so many second-hand "big shiny tunes" and "now" compilation CDs to play at the party.

here is my playlist (i put in on shuffle while i ran):

you might need to click on the playlist to actually read what the songs are - ha! it was a good mix. i wanted to put a lot of songs i haven't heard in a while. that way each one would be new and interesting to run to.

i set my alarm for 5:45 am. i made coffee (even though i shouldn't have because i got my teeth professionally whitened yesterday ... but coffee is part of my pre-long run routine hehe), an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana. i stuffed half a package of clif blocks and a package of sharkies into the tiny pouch of my fuel belt.

i went to the race alone (let my bf sleep in). i called a cab around 6:30 am and it came within 10 minutes. speedy! i wore a giant yellow poncho because it was raining ... thankfully the rain stopped as soon as i got out of the cab! there were runners everywhere! i was feeling a bit nervous so i tried to go to the bathroom ... tried being the operative word. i put on my fuel belt, garmin, zune (i wear these on the belt - i HATE wearing the giant wristwatch!) and running hat and headed for the colour corrals.

it was a madhouse. there were so many runners trying to get to the corrals and it was hard to move. i made it to my corral (green) in time and spent a few minutes jumping around, looking for people i knew, looking for the pace bunnies, etc.

the gun went off and it was a few minutes before i crossed the start line (i think it was at minute 7:30 when i finally crossed). i was feeling pretty good. it was very strange for me to be running with all of those other people! i was running pretty fast and knew i should slow down but everyone was passing me and i felt like i should be keeping up. my brain took over and i began running about a 9-minute/mile pace.

i ran for the first 4 miles without stopping and then took a one-minute walking break. i would run for 10 minutes (exactly) then walk for one minute. i did this until the end of the race and it worked really well for me. it's really comforting to know that you only have to go less than ten minutes until it's "break time."

at the beginning of mile six i ate three clif shot blocks. they had water and gatorade stations every 2.5 kms, so i alternated water and gatorade at each one. so many cups on the ground! i tried to throw my cups into the garbage cans. i feel sorry for whoever had to clean up that slop!

the race went by really fast for me. it began to get difficult around the 11th mile - my knees were hurting and it was hard to psyche myself up for running 10 minutes at a time. but i did it. i was telling myself motivating things the whole time like, "you are a machine" and "you can beat your goal time - you are better than the goal dammit!". it worked. i also told myself a little pain never hurt anyone - and it's not like i was going to be running forever and ever. as soon as i finished i could stop!

they had signs for the last 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m and 100m. i looked around for my boyfriend but couldn't see him anywhere. luckily he saw me!

after the race i got a medal and a shiny metal thing. i wasn't cold so i didn't wear it. they removed our race chips and i passed on through to the food station. i ate a banana and a pumpernickel bagel. they also had apples and cookies. mmmmm cookies - my mouth wanted one but my body was not in the mood. here i am taking off my gadgets while holding on to giant shiny. everyone looks so pooped!

we took a cab home and i had the most wonderful hot shower of my life. we ate a big more and then walked over to the clothing show. my legs were so tired so i didn't want to stay long. i won free tickets so i felt like i really should take advantage of it. i did buy a cute sweater so it was worth it, hehe.

i am really proud of myself. i set a goal for myself, worked really hard for months and completed that goal. and i have an awesome medal to show for it!

it's funny - i found myself getting very emo throughout the race. everything made me cry - from seeing little kids holding a "go mom!" sign, to experiencing the community support coming from people who came to cheer everyone on, to getting a better understanding about what being a runner really means. there were runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. i saw a blind runner being led by another who could see. i saw a female runner with no arms! i saw a woman wearing a wedding veil. i saw runners stopping to help those with injuries. i saw runners from kenya ZOOMING along at the speed of light with the longest strides i've ever seen.

when i was about 500m away from the finish line, i knew that as soon as i crossed the tears would start to flow. when my boyfriend called my name (and i knew he was there for my finish) i started to blubber like a whale! (i know whales don't blubber.) he asked me what was wrong and i could only whisper, "emo." hahaha! what a wonderful experience - i am so proud of myself.

now, more food!


Amy said...


woooo hoo!

Waaaay to go Cali!

You are a SUPERSTAR. :)

Keep up the amazing work!


Oh She Glows said...

Oh my gosh I loved this recap!!! Congrats on your awesome time and beating your goal by a landslide!
Thank you for sharing. It was like I was right there with you! I totally hear you about mile 11. Ouch. That one was tough. I think it had something to do with the huge hill??Enjoy your rest! Im off to have an epsom bath!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You did so fantastic! woot woot!

fittingbackin said...

You SHOULD be proud of yourself - congratulations!! Great recap and great playlist - woo!!

Lainey said...

Way to go!

Jaime (Embracing Balance) said...


You totally had me tearing up with your last paragraph. What a fabulous day for you!

Laura said...

Congrats! What a fantastic race you had.
Amazing job! (Plantinum Blonde on your playlist?! awesome....)

Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) said...

Congratulations! Love the playlist too :)

cinemarie said...

eeeeee!!!!! how cool!


That was your first race ever? WOW! You did so well!!


It was indeed crazy the amount of people there!! I thought it was so impressive the amount of people who were there to cheer you up at the finish line (and throughout the course...) It made me emotional too. I wanted to go and hug each person who was smiling at and encouraging runners.

I really enjoyed your recap!:)

So, when's your next race? ;)

Amanda said...

Yay! Congratulations! You're an inspiration!

Sam Made said...

I can't believe it has come and gone. Congrats!

Randi said...

Congratulations! Races make me so teary too. Something about all your hard work just for this one race. Way to go on kicking your goal time's ass!

Angie All The Way said...

CALI!!!!!!!! GREAT JOB GIRLIE!!!!!!!

I'm so IMPRESSED/PROUD of you!!!! Excellent time lady!!!! I CAN'T STOP TYPING IN CAPS!!!! :-D

Anonymous said...

Yah!!! You totally rocked it chickie, congrats. I loved your recap of the race and you've motivated me to get my butt in gear and back into the training. :)

Priscilla, Lil Miss Hungry said...

Congrats on the great finish time!
I'm doing my first marathon in March and I'm already getting emo about it! I'm so worried that I'm going to be a big crybaby at the finish line. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.....and it's still 6 months away. lol

Jen said...

You are absolutely amazing girl!!!!

I love that you pushed through it and completely rocked it!!!

You are so cute being emo!!!

SeaBreeze said...

Congrats! My 1/2 is in 11 days... I'm nervous

Shirls said...

you rock girl!! totally impressive way to go you!

Fatinah said...

way to go missy - what a great time you posted to boot!!