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Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

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Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby WayneC » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:23 pm

What a day! Toronto had been a goal for the past year. It was the Canadian National Championships and having just moved into a new age group I knew I had potential to place well. The problem was that my training was limited after 10 weeks of downtime due to a stress fracture suffered in the Ottawa Marathon. That left 12 weeks training, including taper, to prepare for the big one. My approach would have to be different as I did not have the time to build any significant mileage. I would have to rely on good quality workouts with plenty of rest. Getting to the start line uninjured was the first goal.
I had some doubts for sure, especially in the first few weeks when even 5 minute kms felt tough. Training went well though. I hit a max of 90km on one week. That would have been a recovery week in previous programs. Generally I was more in the 80 Km range and doing 5, rather than 6 or 7 days per week. There was a good focus on speed work and marathon pace runs and definitely a strong focus on strength and core workouts in the gym. I had a few practice races to get me in the right frame of mind for racing as well. The Goodlife 8 Km in Victoria the week prior to Toronto was the final tuneup. It felt good and I knew I was ready to go.
There were four club members traveling to race in TO. Danny, Mike and myself had been regular training partners and Brian, our Edmonton team mate and running buddy joined us. We stayed at the Sheraton downtown. It was an excellent location, only meters from the start and the finish lines. The course looked relatively flat on the profile and was promoted as being flat and fast. One concern was that the 17,000 runners from the Half started with the Full. We managed to get far enough up in the first corral that it wasn't too much problem. A big concern was the weather. Unfortunately there was a cold snap on race weekend with the temperature dropping to minus 3 overnight with a 40% chance of flurries. That would make for an ugly race day. Luckily, we got the cold, but no precipitation. I bundled up in throwaways for the start line, as well as 2 pairs of gloves, sleeves and leggings. The warmth of the bodies packed in the corral soon made the throwaways unnecessary. One last bit of Superstarch for fueling and hydration and I was ready to go.
The cold temperature and the crowd made starting too fast impossible. We weaved up the slight incline leading the masses away from the safety of the start corrals, weaving around the slower runners who were perhaps a little over zealous when taking their positions at the start. The Garmin was going a little crazy, likely due to the tall buildings around us. The first Km clicked off at around 900 meters telling me I could not rely on the watch for pacing. I simply left my watch on timer for the duration of the race. It was a mental exercise to,try and calculate the splits along the way. There were a number of times though when my oxygen deprived brain could not remember the clock time from the previous split so the calculation was suspect. After a 2 km incline the course flattened for a Km before a gradual 3 Km downhill to the Waterfront. At 5 Km I accidentally bumped elbows with another runner. As I apologized, I realized it was Buddy Brian who had started ahead of us in the seeded corral. (He is a bit of a hot shot) he kindly pointed out to me that I was running 4:03 pace at that stage. It felt easy, but our pack of Mike, Danny and myself backed off just a little. As we hit the flats we were still running 4:06-4:07 pace except for he few small changes in elevation. We continued to run as a pack with the odd runner joining in with our little group every once and a while. It was still cool, but I was able to drop one pair of gloves after about 10 Km. There was a light westerly breeze In our face for the first 12 Km, but not enough that I was worried about taking the lead. At 15 Km we were 3 abreast as we passed a photographer, hoping for a team action shot. At 18 Km we were all feeling good as my friend Stephen jumped on the course to run with us as training for Hamilton Marathon in 2 weeks. Everything was great until 21 Km. It had felt pretty easy up to that point. Split was somewhere around 1:26:10. Looking around though, we realized that Mike had disappeared. We later found out that he had started getting hip pain and backed off at 20 Km. Danny and I kept it locked in until about 28 Km when he started gradually pulling away from Stephen and myself. I would have lived to go with him,but my lack of training was telling me to hold back. There was still a lot of racing to do yet. Stephen also put a little space on me. So be it. I was feeling it at this stage and the quads were starting to feel heavy. The second half of the marathon is definitely tougher with lots of small hills, rough roads and construction areas. I held my own, but Danny started slowly pulling away from me. I think I lost focus a little and he pushed hard in the last 2 Km gaining another 40 seconds over that distance. I finished strong and never bonked. But the legs were definitely misbehaving. The calves were tight and the quads were starting to get tweaky. Sub 3:00 was in the bag, and I just wanted to get to the finish safely at the time. The planned surge at the finish was nowhere to be found. Even so, I finished strong and congratulated Brian and Danny waiting in he chute just in front of me. Hugs and high fives all around! :D It was a great day for all of us. (except for Mike who limped in at 3:20 after a rough second half)
Finish time of 2:56:34 was not quite as fast as I had hoped for, but was definitely the B goal. I was happy with the day and relieved I could get it done on just 12 weeks of training. First in my AG and Canadian Champion! Gotta love it! :D
Doc
Last edited by WayneC on Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby BC » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:42 pm

Nice job, and great report Doc! Hope that gives you some confidence going ahead for your next race.
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby Kiwi Keith » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:58 am

Congrats Wayne. Nice to go under 3 hours again. Excellent work getting the Canadian Championship. I remember my first one. It's a special feeling. On that particular day, you are the best marathoner in your AG in the country. Records can be broken, but nobody can take a championship away from you.
"Aint nothin gonna breaka my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, oh no I've got to keep on movin."
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby WayneC » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:32 am

Thanks Kiwi. Are we going to see you out soon?
Doc
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby GeorgeB » Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:00 pm

Congrats Wayne,

Sometimes we become aware of the body's possibilities in the face of adverse conditions. ie. reduced training due to injury. That was a major comeback. It also tells us that maybe we don't need all the mileage we think we need. More is not of necessity better. Finding that magic combination of endurance, speed, intervals, and rest will always be a challenge as time starts playing its tricks on us.
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby Kiwi Keith » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:12 am

"Aint nothin gonna breaka my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, oh no I've got to keep on movin."
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby CGP » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:06 am

You had me going until I scrolled down. :)
Week-ten days-maybe two weeks off for me, something like PF dogging me since last week.
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby WayneC » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:54 am

Here is a video of the race finish. There is footage of Brian Stewart, Danny and me. https://youtu.be/AH1PKUyxDXg
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Re: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015

Postby CGP » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:41 am

Watched the footage online last week. Dramatic finish for the men's race winner and the 2nd place race for the women's.
A great shot of you Wayne, figured they knew you were age gr. winner.
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