The day has come and gone and admittedly I had plans of posting this the very next day after STWM, (Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon) but a little something called stairs got in my way. All joking aside (that wasn’t really a joke) my latest half marathon has been my favourite- as the countless seasoned runners told me, the race is flat, fast and pretty freakin’ awesome.
While a cold snap came and hit the 6 just a day before the run, I was well prepped with a Nike Therma Sphere vest and running tights to keep things limber. Thankfully, the cold lifted that morning and I layered down and enjoyed the scenic 21.1 km with sights set on negative splits and a goal time of under two hours.
Packed in the back corrals made me feel like I was one loose shoelace away from being trampled, but after a few km’s I was able to weave through the packs of people, and after turning south on Bathurst, I was settled into my pace and looking forward to having a bit more elbow room. Remembering my training courtesy of the awesome Nike Run Club Coach Rejean Chiasson, I clocked my pace and shifted into gear, settling into a heady playlist of mostly swear words and a pretty bumpin’ bpm. Like the good coach told me, I kept in control, didn’t let the crowd get me going too fast, chose my anchor and let them pull me forward. I successfully conquered negative splits (!) and happily clocked my best time ever, and only 41 seconds shy of my goal (wah!). I ran strong through the run, all the while building speed and sprinting across the finish line. The crowd was positively buzzing, this was the first race I had a small cheer squad show up (literally, my kids are short) and sadly I blew right by them (they missed me too).
All in all, if you’ve never tackled the mean streets of TO, this is the race to do it. While the Goodlife in May certainly has it’s merits, the Scotiabank route just seems shorter, and because of it’s downtown location, the fans are dotted throughout the entire course, and well, a stunning lake-view vista to keep you company never hurt either!
Stay tuned for more, just because winter is coming doesn’t mean you can’t keep running! Next up, a guide to winter running gear and how to stay motivated through the cold weather.