As you may know, I’m training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon in October in support of Toronto Cat Rescue (more info here!), and running a continuous long route within the city is impossible with the chaotic traffic and construction. A Midsummer Night’s Run had a 15k option and since hubby was racing the 30k anyway, this was a no-brainer for me. This race is normally held downtown but because of said construction it was moved to Toronto Islands this year. What does this mean for me and Avery? DATE NIGHT! Yes, parenthood has resulted into us signing up for late races together to not feel guilty about leaving our baby daughter overnight. We dropped Madeline off with my parents, took a much needed pre-race nap, and we were off to the ferry docks. It was packed with runners and walkers of the race, in addition to the regular crowds, so boarding was pretty intense. Everyone was pushing and shoving and trying to cut in line, there were a lot of shouting matches. It was fine once we stepped foot on the ferry, however I was starting to get jittery because the longest distance I’ve ever run was 14k. Avery reassured me that I’ll be ok, so I had to take his word, lol. We found HQ and was soon ready to check our bags.
The 30k start time was 5:30pm and the 15k was 15 minutes after. I get nervous standing in line waiting for the gun to go off, but I was taking this as a training run and I had no previous record to try to beat so I tried to remind myself to not consider this a race per se, my goal was to pace properly. There were lots of pace bunnies for both courses, I really thought they would come in handy but the two ahead of me weren’t running a steady pace so I couldn’t stick with them. I ended up pacing myself at 6:20min/km. That, of course, slowly dwindled to 6:22, 6:25, but I didn’t let it slip past 6:29. The 15k course was a tad loopy, but I knew that going in. Running on the boardwalk to Ward’s Island sucked, it was so narrow and everyone was definitely slower. Being a Saturday there were lots of tourists on those huge 4-seater bikes so we had to dodge some of the folks on the paths. They should make notices to let people know about these events, it was frustrating for the participants and not fair to the tourists who had no idea they’d have to accommodate thousands of runners on their visit to the island.
The water stations were plentiful, there were lots of volunteers but they were inexperienced high school kids and Avery said one stepped out right in front of him and he almost knocked him down. For me, I had to pass on one station because they were handing out cups one at a time and I didn’t want to wait so I held out until the next one. Overall, lots of encouragement from everyone along the course, including the handful of spectators that high-fived me :)
I felt pretty strong up until 12k, I was exhausted from the heat and my legs wanted to stop. The last few kilometers really are the worse, it felt like an eternity before hitting each marker and I had to force myself not to look at my watch inbetween songs. But only having 3k left, I knew I could push through and there’s no way I was going to stop now. When my watch beeped at 14k, I tried to power through to the finish, I used what little ounce of strength I had left and took huge strides to get under my secret goal time of sub 1:40.
I finished at 1:37 :’) It’s shocking that I ran that long continuously, four months ago I never would’ve imagined this was possible. Hard work and lots of training really does prove to show satisfying results. Even though I wasn’t a speedy rocket by any means, my goal was to try my very best and finish (before Avery, lol). Mission accomplished! This bodes well for my first half in just 9 weeks — EEEP!!!
Enough about me… hubby, um, WON THE 30k!!! He placed FIRST with a time of 1:59!!! I am so proud and ever so happy for my baby daddy!!! I saw him pass by the other way once on the course, I wasn’t looking out for him because I didn’t see any 30k-ers run by, I even thought to myself that maybe he was going the wrong way. But soon after, he tapped me on the shoulder from behind and there were two guys with race shirts on bikes guiding him so I rethought, “oh, maybe he’s first!” He asked how I was doing when he passed me and I yelled back “I hate you!” so that got some giggles around us, especially after Avery answered with “love you too, baby!” So yes, he DID loop me!!! Hmph. But that’s ok, he didn’t run twice as fast as me, lol.
Getting home was a nightmare, it took over an hour to board the ferry and it was a complete mess. Avery pointed out it was ironic that staying to collect his first place prize put us last in line to get home, lol. It was ok, though, Madeline was sleeping soundly at my parents and my neighbour took care of Bowser so I didn’t feel rushed. My feet, on the other hand, needed some desperate rest so I’m glad we got a seat on the ferry when we finally reached the docks. I liked this race but hopefully it will be back downtown next year, I’m never doing a race on the island again, at least not a late one. We wasted so much time getting there and back, it wasn’t worth the travel. The scenery was great but the paths weren’t closed off, they got super narrow at certain points and the most frustrating part was the start with the masses. It took a good 2k for me to find my pace. Despite all of this, most of which wasn’t under the race’s control, it was a great experience and I’m overjoyed with our results.
A friendly reminder that this race is a work-in-progress for my half-marathon to support the 100,000 homeless kitties in the city! Please consider sponsoring Toronto Cat Rescue in the two following ways: