Might as well cut to the chase: I did not have a good race tonight.
I started ambitiously, hoping that I could pull off a 2:50 finish (equivalent of 4:00 marathon pace) with hubby by my side.
It was still humid to start, but we were right on pace and I was feeling pretty good. This section of the route was rather boring and industrial, but we knew that it would be short-lived.
We arrived at Tommy Thompson Park, also knows as the Leslie Street Spit. I hated this section of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon route, but it was more bearable tonight without the sun pounding down. We enjoyed a beautiful view of the Toronto skyline during this section.
We arrived at the end of the spit (and saw the lighthouse) around 11K and made the turn-around. There was a long section where we were running on loose stones,making footing impossible. I was happy to get back on paved trail again. Shortly thereafter, I got hit with a brutal cramp deep in the lower left side of my abdomen, which hurt so much I could hardly breathe. I rarely get cramps so it was hard to cope with and extremely frustrating. Fortunately, it passed after 10 or 15 minutes and we slowed down only slightly, just a few seconds off pace.
And suddenly I was exhausted! My energy was fading and fast. I did not feel good at all and I knew I was in trouble. I made a deal with myself that I could take a short walk at 15K.
The walk break helped a little, but I found it very difficult to get moving again. At least we were half way there!
The next few kilometres were pure agony. My ears were ringing for some crazy reason, I started feeling dizzy and had goosebumps all over. It didn’t make sense for me to be dehydrated (I’d been drinking plenty, taking gels and eload tabs on my usual schedule), but it certainly felt that way.
We took a walk again at 18K and I had a conversation with hubby in which I very nearly decided to quit. I have never been so close to quitting a race. We were both worried about my health and safety and since this wasn’t my goal race, I had to ask myself ‘Is it worth it?’ I just couldn’t stand the thought of a DNF and decided I would continue on to the next water station to see how I felt. If I hadn’t improved, I would stop and get a lift back to the finish.
We started running again – slowly. I actually felt a little better. Still exhausted, but not dizzy or worried that I could pass out. At 20K, I convinced hubby to run ahead. I knew that my slowing pace was painful for him, and it was only making me feel worse. He resisted, but eventually complied after I promised to get help if I needed it. [He went on to finish in about 2:45 and enjoyed passing people for the remainder of the race.]
I trucked along as we ran along the water in Ashbridge’s Bay Park and then on the boardwalk along the beach (open to public and busy). I tried not to walk until 25K, but I think I sneaked in a short break at a water stop. I was moving slowly and trying not to feel too defeated. I knew I could finish, but I also knew I was way off my target. I was having flashbacks to my first marathon where I fell apart in the second half. How could this be happening again?
Eventually I made it to the final turnaround (woohoo!) and could sense that I was running toward the finish. I felt like I was shuffling along, but only took one short break at the last water station.
With about 500m to go, I spotted hubby on the side of the road. He ran with me for a couple minutes before sending me off on my own to finish this thing. I somehow found a kick to bring it home, running that final kilometre in 5:33. Where did that come from?
Was I ever happy to cross that finish line!
6:10/KM = 9:55/mi
That pretty much sucked.
At least I finished.
Respect the distance – even if it’s “only” 30K.
Based on this performance, I am not capable of a 4-hour marathon right now.
And that’s okay.
Can I blame it on being my first evening long run/race?
Sleeping in this morning was pretty awesome, though.
Didn’t exactly carbo-load over the last few days.
Probably should have if I expected to run as strong as I’d hoped.
I need to start much more conservatively on September 27th.
Better to suck now than then.
Could have been an off day?
But I can admit that I started too fast.
I think I’d run this race again.
Now I need 30K Redemption, too.
I’ve had a few severe, debilitating cramps in my quads/inner thighs since getting home. What does that mean?
I have a few pics on my friend’s camera, which I’ll post when I get them. For now, here’s a quick one that hubby took when we got home: race shirt, mangled bib, medal and stainless steel water bottle handed out at the finish.
And now it’s bed time.