Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Toronto Women's Half Marathon race report

This race was in Sunnybrook Park in east Toronto.  My fabulous niece Rebecca came with me to run her first ever 5k and she rocked it.

Looks good on ya, Becca.  Keep it up!

The park is lovely this time of year.  Finally green, too early for bugs.  It  drizzled as we drove, but happily the rain held off for the race.

I put myself in the second wave (2:00-2:20) and positioned myself at the back of that pack.  My PR to beat was 2:22:24 from September 2010 at the Scotiabank Waterfront.   I tried to pace myself, since I usually go out too fast and bonk.  I was aiming for 10:30 minute miles to get me in closer to 2:17. 

The overnight rain had left many large puddles, in some areas leaving only a narrow strip of high ground on a path that was already too narrow for the number of women in the race. I understand the whole women-only race thing.  Solidarity, strength, inclusion, firemen, blah, blah, blah, but I was running in the pack that clearly would have dissolved if their feet got wet, since they would stop running and get in line to tiptoe along the dry strip. Give me a break. I'm trying to imagine that happening in any other kind of half. I was polite for the first time, but then just splashed right through and got around the sissies. 

The first 5 miles were great and I kept on pace, but I just couldn't keep it up.  I wasn't expecting all the hills -- none of them too bad, but they just seemed to keep coming.  I ended up doing more walking (speaking of sissies) than I had hoped and finished with 2:22:15 (a 9 second PR for anyone who's still paying attention) for a 10:52 average pace.  

Transitioned from all out sprint to slow walk
in the space between the timing mats.
I was definitely ready to stop running. 

I'm disappointed as I've been putting in the miles lately and really wanted to be under 2:20.  However, trying to look on the brighter side, as my ever-optimistic husband does, I certainly couldn't have run this race in 2:22 last year.  I only managed at the Waterfront half because it was very flat and I coasted downhill the first few miles.

So it is what it is.  Lots of room for improvement.   The race was fun because of Rebecca coming with me and Phil showing up unexpectedly at the finish line (still a thrill to see him after 17 married years).  It was very well organized and the finisher necklace is cool even as it gets lost among the big medals.  All the same, I'm pretty sure I'll be passing on this one next year.  

Next up:  the Bread and Honey 15k in Mississauga next Sunday.  This was the first officially timed race Phil and I did, so it will be a real demonstration of improvement (or not) in my running over last year.

I've also discovered the fix for making comments, no thanks to Blogger itself.  If you're having problems too, just un-check the "keep me signed in" box on the log in page and it works like it should.

Edit:  I was cutting and pasting so much trying to make this post interesting, but forgot to paste in the best part -- I had a 2.5 second blogger meet-up at one of the turn-arounds!  Jessica over at Mommy Running Through was just ahead of me and I yelled to her, then she was really far ahead of me when I finished.  In fact, I think she was at home drinking coffee by that time.  Wish I could have actually had a conversation with her.  I'm planning to be better next weekend when I'll hunt down Andrew from Running Man Wannabe.  Just try to hide, buddy.


  1. Great Job on the PR! 9 seconds is still something to be proud of.

    LOL I had the same issues at the puddles. Thankfully there was others around me who all thought screw it too. I did realize that was you around 6k but it was so quick I couldn't get more than "Hey" out before you were gone.

  2. Congrats on busting out a PR! The Women's Half is not a fast course - lots of hills, narrow and winding paths. You pulled off a great time!

  3. Great race report. Had me sitting on the edge of my seat. 9 second PR counts as a PR BTW! It was all those sissies!

    Barb. I'm running the 15k in 1:50. It's a training running right now - a fat-burn - long slow distance run. If you want to catch me, you have to slow down and look over your shoulder!