Tag Archives: running

Race Report: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

On October 19th I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I ran my first full marathon in 2012 (San Francisco), and decided that full marathons are not for me. I’m not a fast runner and so a 20 mile training run takes me a LONG time (not to mention recovery). Half marathons seem to fit into my life a lot more easily.

Fast forward to 2014. It was spring and it was time to register to run Scotiabank on the Toronto Cat Rescue team. Typically I register for the half marathon, but at the time of registration my long runs were already 13+ miles. I wanted to challenge myself and so I made the decision to register for the full.

My training went pretty well. I modified Hal Higdon’s Marathon Novice 2 plan by adding in more mileage during the week so that the long run isn’t such a high percentage of your overall weekly total mileage.



As you can see above, there were two weeks (#8 and #14) where my training was off, the backpacking trip to Algonquin and then another backpacking trip to Bruce Peninsula. So although I wasn’t building running fitness per se, it’s not like I was sitting on the couch watching Netflix.

The morning of the race was pretty cold and it was difficult to know what to wear. I ended up going with shorts and a t-shirt (with a throwaway jacket I bought at Salvation Army for $2), but long sleeves would have been a better choice. A lot of the course was down by the lake and it was pretty chilly at times. Also, check out my TOFU socks.


I hung out in the lobby of the Sheraton hotel for an hour or so, eating my banana, drinking water, and taking advantage of having a real bathroom at my disposal, as opposed to portapotties. It was really cold standing around in the corrals but I wasn’t out there for long.

The thing I don’t like about this race is that the first half (where full marathon and half marathon people are running together) is way too crowded. As in wow I’m actually tripping over people crowded. Some people love it, I hate it. If it wasn’t for the opportunity to raise money for Toronto Cat Rescue I would pick a different (smaller) race.

At the very first aid station I drank some Gatorade, which normally doesn’t bother me at ALL, but on that day it wasn’t sitting right. I don’t know if it was the cold, the adrenaline, or whatever else, but it made me feel kind of queasy. I didn’t think much of it and kept going. The nauseous feeling never left me after that, and it messed up my ability to fuel. By mile 18 I hadn’t been eating/drinking as much as I had planned (because every time I tried I felt like I was going to be sick) and so I hit the wall HARD.

Around mile 20 I knew I was so far away from the finish but running hurt SO MUCH and I didn’t know if I could make it. I made a deal with myself that I would run for 3 minutes, walk for 1 minute. The last half mile or so I had a surge of adrenaline and kicked it to the finish line. My time was 5:02:XX. An entire 18 minutes slower than my first marathon in 2012. Even though I was in much better shape and my training went much more smoothly and I was aiming for a 4:30:XX.

At first I was really disappointed in my time. I was embarrassed by it. I didn’t want to tell people my time. But in the past week and a half, not one person has said, wow, you were slow. Everyone has said, wow, you finished when you felt so awful, that’s amazing! AND I raised $500 for a local cat rescue. So although I didn’t hit my time goal, I’ve been trying really hard to put things into perspective and feel good about my accomplishment.

After the marathon my husband helped me hobble into a cab to go home, where I spent the rest of the day eating pizza, drinking beer, and doing this:




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Next Challenge: Running a Marathon for Cats!

Wow, this site has been dead lately. Rather than write a long explanation of what I’ve been up to since my last post I’m going to dive right in.

Lately a lot of my energy has been poured into training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which I’ll be running to fund raise for Toronto Cat Rescue. I ran my first marathon in 2012 in San Francisco. I swore I would never do that again. While I enjoy running, I didn’t particularly enjoy marathon training and I thought that I would stick to half marathons for the foreseeable future. But here I am, doing it all over again. At least this time I have the thought of helping Toronto Cat Rescue to push me when I don’t particularly feel like training.


Last marathon I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 program. This time around I’m using Novice 2. The two programs are very similar, although Novice 2 has slightly higher mileage and some pace runs. I just finished Week 5 of the 18 week plan and things have been progressing pretty well, although I’m reaching the point in my training where I’m constantly hungry. Note to self: quit filling up on junk and incorporate more whole grains, healthy fats, and quality protein.

marathontrainingupdateOnly 2.5 more months to go – yikes!

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Back at it!

Guess what I did this morning?! I’ll give you a hint…

I went running for the first time post-surgery! To summarize, I severed my EHL tendon in my right foot in August, and had to have it surgically repaired. I was cleared for exercise about 2 months ago, but I was told not to run until the end of January. Well, today felt like the day so I gave it a go.

I kept things pretty simple, truth be told I didn’t even break a sweat. I did a 5 minute warm-up (walking), then did 5 intervals of 2 minutes of running (at a very slow pace) followed by 3 minutes walking. Afterwards I didn’t feel ANY pain – which is great news! I am really fighting the urge to do too much too soon, but the last thing I want to deal with is another injury.

I missed you, running shoes!