Monday, May 6, 2013

Toronto Marathon - May 5, 2013

This will be a quick race report I think.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this - it's been a long time since I've done any major run on a road!  Some mid-length runs, but nothing that long.  I wasn't sure what I could expect, pace-wise, and I failed to factor in my 50k (Derrick says he's measured the Frontenac Perimeter closer to 50k than 47k) the weekend before the race.

I have been having some digestive issues, as I think I've alluded to, so I decided to drink my nutrition pre-race.  I woke up at 4:45 am to drink a bottle of Infinit (~330cal), to give me time to pee it out before the race start - as I joked to Toby, my A goal for this race was to do the distance without stopping to use the bathroom.

I also had a bit of a Stinger Waffle.  Not all of it, but I'm guessing I approached 400cal pre-race.  We got to the race start (point to point) nice and early and chilled out before the 7:30 am start time.

I wanted to run between a 4:15-4:30, but preferably 4:15, so I lined up accordingly.  The start wasn't too busy - the marathon starts an hour before the half, and it is a small race, though still huge by the standards of most trail races I do.

I kept wanting to look for ribbons blazing the trail.  None.  But always around tonnes of runners, and they use pylons to mark the course!  Fancy!  Man it has been a long time since I've done a road race!

The first 10k were a bit faster than planned, but I felt comfortable - fueling well, heart rate comfortable, running easy.  I saw my mom at about 10k, which was really nice.  By 20k, my legs started to HURT.  I couldn't figure it out - why would my legs hurt so much, after only 20k, and I wasn't running that fast.

I started to slow.

I figured out, after a while, why my legs hurt so damn much.  a)I don't have road legs, for lack of a better term; and b)I ran 50k the weekend before.

Tapers apparently do serve a purpose.  Because running further than a marathon the weekend before is NOT ideal race prep.  Of course, the point wasn't to race this, but to use it as a long training run and practice nutrition etc.

By the time we were getting into downtown (around St. Lawrence Market), a fire engine came blaring up and two firefighters rushed out ahead of me over to a runner on the ground with a crowd around him - I assume heat, or dehydration, because the crowd had poured water on him.  As I was running past, another runner started to collapse but there were three people there catching him and firefighters 2 metres away so I didn't stop as I didn't see what I could do to help.

It was hot, but I'm not sure it was THAT hot.  Maybe 22, 23C?  I think though nobody is acclimatized to the heat.

I saw Toby as I hit the lakeshore path for the out and back that goes past the start, at around 27.5k.  He ran with me a short distance and I told him my legs were really hurting.  It didn't help that my GPS went wonky running through the downtown office towers, so it was measuring long.

Anyways, I took a few walk breaks, but mostly I just ran slow.  A pain, because I'd planned to run non-stop.  However, I kept going.  So I suck, what are you going to do.

Around 36k, I had a resurgence of energy - an ass in a Mercedes on Lakeshore pulled into the runner's lane through the traffic cones, and started arguing with a race volunteer.  He pulled back into the traffic lane, and all of us runners yelled at him as we went past and hit his car.  I love being a jerk, I try not to be lately, but everyone else was so I was like 'YEAH!  I DON'T LIKE YOU JERKFACE ASS!'  It was just the pick-me-up I needed.

There were a few people who I'd seen throughout the race, who eventually I dropped on the final section, which was satisfying.  I knew - had for a while - that 4:15 and a PB was way out the window, but I figured I'd be around 4:30.

In the end, I finished in 4:31:05.  I saw Mom and Toby and a lady from work running to the finish.  And then I got the world's most ridiculously large medal.  Ironman medals aren't that big.  It's hilarious.

Overall, this was a great race.  Wonderful crowd support, pretty good aid stations (one at around 37k had run out of cups, but otherwise), and a really nice course through Toronto from the north end down to and along the lake.  I'd definitely run this one again.

I need to figure out nutrition though.  I took in 450-500cal throughout the race, which is fine for a marathon, but won't cut it for Sulphur and the 50 miler.  I need to up my nutrition, so I am going to figure out how much I am taking in for X sips and then calculate how much I need to be sipping and how often.  (I used my hydration pack again, so I can't SEE what I'm taking in.)


  1. Really enjoyed reading this. Fascinating to me, a non runner to understand what you are doing/going through. Thanks.

  2. Hmm, you know the article on the front page of ST about the guy with the brain injury (he's Chipmunk on the forum)? He had a seizure at 33k while going for a BQ - that may have been who you saw being attended to by the EMTs.

    Good work out there after a 50k a week before! Yeah, road running really beats you up way more than trail; that's why I'll happily run 6hrs at Horror Hill every year but still have almost zero motivation to do another road marathon.

  3. I didn't see the article...but the people I saw down were at 23, 24k, so different people. That is really scary he seized, wow.