Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

Third time’s the charm!

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After 2 Did Not Starts due to runner’s knee earlier this year I finally, Finally, FINALLY ran my first half marathon.

Going into Sunday I knew that I was under trained.  I had “missed” (um skipped?) some long runs, oh and some shorter runs, and there may have been a few weeks in there where I didn’t run at all. Also started training for this race without a running base (oops) so I am clearly not the person you should be reading if you want to train for a half marathon properly. 

Sunday started out dark, rainy and cold.  Shawn and I were already soaked by the time we made it to my start corral and met up with my friend Amanda and her husband.  We huddled under a building’s overhang to stay as much out of the rain as we could before the 8:30 start of the race.

I only had one goal for this race (ok, maybe 2) – to finish, and to hopefully finish under 2:30. Oh and a 3rd – to have fun.

The race started right on time, but we didn’t cross the start line until about 8:45. Thankfully by the point the rain had stopped, too.

The first few kilometres flew by – running through my favourite city was kind of mind blowing, and the cheering sections and spectators were pretty amazing. 

At about the 10km mark I lost Amanda – she stopped to walk and I was so much in a zone that I didn’t notice.  This is also where the race started to drag a little – the out and back along Lakeshore was long, and watching everyone faster than me already on their way back was a bit disheartening.  But I kept trudging along.  My legs felt pretty good, and my bad knee was holding up really well.

We turned around at about the 12km mark and started heading back towards the downtown core.  As the 16km marker came into view my left knee (also previously known as my GOOD knee) started to hurt just on the outside of my knee cap.   So that was nice. It hurt off and on for the last 5km, so I took it even easier as I didn’t want to blow some tendon or permanently wreck my knee. 

The last 1.1km was up hill (oh c’mon now, who does that??) but the streets were PACKED with spectators.  I have to give thanks to 2 girls who called out my name and told me to keep going just as I turned north onto Bay Street.  They put a smile on my face and helped me to keep pushing.

The last 300m I must have looked like an absolute idiot, I was grinning like a fool as I crossed the finish line.  I never really, truly knew the meaning of runner’s high until then, and I’m still coasting a little on that feeling 2 days later.

I have to say that the race was really well organized. Start corrals were well marked;  it started on time (very important); the water stations were well stocked with drinks and volunteers – and the volunteers were amazing! After the finish line we were funnelled through the medals area (separate sections for the 5km, half and full marathon medals), then the post race food, and finally back to Nathan Phillips Square where we could meet back up with friends and family.  It made figuring out where to go very easy for a directionless person such as myself.

I can’t imagine having a better time than I did on Sunday – well that’s a lie, if my knee didn’t hurt it would have been even better.  I managed to meet all 3 of my non-goals: I finished, under 2:30 (2:28:48 chip time) and I had fun.

Thanks to the Canada Running Series for making my first half marathon so memorable!

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Half Marathon Madness (Or, How I Took A Week Off and Survived)

For the record, I do not like being sick.

It has been a week since I have done any sort of physical activity other then turning NetFlix on to watch Lost (I did have to go to work but that was unavoidable).  This cold took me down hard, and instead of fighting it and pushing through it, I decided to give in to what my body was requesting – rest.

I took the self imposed week off and decided to finally come up with a half marathon training plan (don’t worry, it didn’t really take me a week to figure it all out).  The plan is a lot more complicated now, since it starts midway through July when I’ll still be training for my second triathlon.  

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I plan on running 3 days a week, and using the track day of tri training with the triathlon club as one of these days.  I’m going to use a hybrid CrossFit Endurance plan – I believe I need the distances that long runs will provide, but don’t want to have crazy mileage each week, so my other midweek run will be one of the CFE workouts.  2 shorter, high intensity workouts and 1 LSD.  Experimenting is FUN.

I’m not 100% recovered from the Illness of 2012, but I’m well on my way, so tonight will be my first foray into tri training with the triathlon club.  Bike and run tonight, open water swim on Wednesday. It’s time to get back on the training wagon – August 12 will be here before I know it!

Do you workout when sick? How do you know it’s time to rest instead of pushing through?

Half Marathon Training Help!

Had a nice, busy weekend off!

Had the CrossFit total on Friday, lunch with my dad and brother, then Shawn and I drove around looking at houses we were interested in (didn’t go in to see any but did drive bys – and boy, do the listing photos make them look way better than they do in real life!). I may have had this for dinner:

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Saturday I woke up early to head to CrossFit again.  Did this workout:

AMRAP 20min
5 deadlifts
5 hang power cleans
5 front squats
5 push press
5 back squats
All at 70lbs.  I did 4 rounds + the hang cleans.  Could have done more but I hate push presses.  No excuse, I know, but that’s the truth! I suck at upper body work still.

After the workout I headed (well, after showering) to the west end to hang out with some friends of mine from school.  We spent the afternoon browsing stores and pastry shops, then had a little too much wine and pasta at the most awesomest Italian restaurant ever, Sempre.

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Sunday I bought the cutest pair of boots, went to an antique store, had more ice cream, and looked at more houses.  It was a very full weekend!

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Yesterday was the Toronto Goodlife Marathon (and half and 5km).  I was supposed to run the half, but I didn’t have enough time to train once my knee decided to start co-operating.  So yet another race I had to sit out.  This got me thinking, though – I’d really like to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront half marathon in October, so in the next month or so I have to seriously start training for it if I plan to run a halfway decent race.  Last time I trained with the Running Room, but I think this time I would like to follow a different plan and train on my own.  But this is where I’m stuck – I’m not too sure what training plan to follow.  Some of them are so similar, and yet others are so different.  I want to run 3-4 days a week, with speed work involved.  I’m going to keep searching, but in the meantime if anyone has any favourite training plans they want to share, that would be great!

What are your favourite half marathon training plans? And what is your next big race??