Toronto Marathon Race Report
Okay so this race report is going to be shorter then my long drawn out usual reports. I am calling it a shorter report for a shorter race.... HA. Sunday May 15th was the Toronto Marathon. This race used to held in the fall until former mayor David Miller and his socialist cronies on the Toronto City Council decided to make the organizers bend over and grab there ankles in a disgusting display of attempted social engineering and the political favouritism. The Toronto Marathon had to move or more then likely it was going to be eliminated.
Crap, starting to rant and I don't want to get too into this issue at this time. I promise to do a much bigger post just on how these guys got screwed over in the next few weeks. That said they were put into a near impossible situation and handled it very well.
Okay so originally I was planning on running this marathon as hard as possible (racing it) to put up a good time. Those plans changed however when I decided to run Bear Mountain. Just a word of advice, don't run a 50k race and a 50 miler during your taper time, you will be tired during the marathon.
So my new plan was to run hardish for 21km and then assess but with the plan to most likely slow it down some in the second half. I had been having an issue with my knee all week. Now this is a chronic structural injury so I know exactly what the deal is. In my early 30's I suffered a complete tear of my ACL. That means I no longer have the ligament that goes from the top of the shin area to under the knee cap (think the middle of your knee). There is no fixing it outside of major reconstructive surgery. Usually this is not a problem and running doesn't aggravate it but every now and then it rears its ugly head unexpectedly. The last time was at Dirty Girls in 2010. I would wear a protective sleeve and hoped for the best.
I woke up Sunday morning to crappy weather with more crappy weather forecasted for the rest of the morning. It was rain with 25 - 30 km winds and it was going to stay that way. I thought about staying in bed but I was going to have to run on Sunday anyway so might as well do it in the race.
I had planned to meet JD at the start line well before the race. Unfortunately I was traveling to the start line using the TTC (city transit) so the 45 minutes it should have took ended up taking more then an hour and a half. No I am not bitter about that at all. Seriously.
Got to the race with a whole 5 minutes to spare, lined up and we were off.
I really like the course for the most part. Its a fast course with little uphill and a good amount of downhill in the first half of the race. I got off to a good start, fell into a sub 5 minute pace early and cruised along. It rained, it drizzled, it rained but we were mostly sheltered from the wind and it was not to cold so all was good.
I crossed the 21km mat in 1:43 and was in really good shape, not tired, not bonking and I was surprised that my legs didn't feel heavy given my 50 miler a week before. My quads felt good, my glutes were a little sore and my HR was good and controlled. I though maybe I would keep up this pace for another 10km and then slow it down a little. That way I don't torch my legs completely and might still end up with a PB.
This idea was very short lived and by 22k I started to feel some knee pain. Within the next km or 2 my knee was hurting really badly. It was so bad in fact that I actually began to think I was going to have to drop out of the race. I just could not run on it. GRRRR.
I continued to hobble along. I was suddenly really slow.We were now on the Lakeshore a place where I have run many times. It was miserable with cold rain and wind. Somewhere around 28km JD caught up to me. He was running with the 3:40 bunny. I chatted with him a bit and told him to tell Kim that I would be later to the finish then projected. I honestly thought that I would have to start walking soon because of my knee.
Soon I was at the turn and headed back along the Lakeshore in the opposite direction. The wind and rain was in my face again. How is that possible, how can the wind be in your face going east and then going west. Stupid Lakeshore.
At 33km my knee started to feel less painful (maybe it went numb) and I was able to pick it back up. It was very frustrating, I felt good but could not run due to the knee. As the knee pain lessened I picked it up to a 5:30 pace and then just held it there. I could very easily go faster but I was really worried that if I did the knee would start to get really bad again. More important then any time I might put up in this race was getting healthy for my upcoming 100 milers so I kept it slow and steady.
Soon we were off the Lakeshore and tackling the slight uphill all the way to the finish. I started to pass a lot of people along here and soon saw Kim near the finish line.
Then I was done.
Saw a lot of people that I knew just after the finish line who had come in just before me or just after. Lots of Longboaters and a number of runners that were taking my Running Room clinic. It is so cool to see people finish that you helped to train.
I wanted to wait around for the other clinic finishers but was starting to get cold and that can be trouble after a long race so Kim and I headed home. I got changed and then we headed over to Coach Rogers place for a little Longboat post race get together. Thanks for the burgers Roger! They went great with my giant beer.
Final time 3:47:23
Next up Sulphur Springs