Race Recap – Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Faith. Magic. Transcendence.

Well where do I begin, first I’m sorry (but not sorry) as STWM Half Marathon seems to be all that I can talk about, so abort now if you wish. 🙂   And for the rest of you, I hope you find muse in what I am about to share.

Sunday’s Half Marathon was a moment that I still can’t find the perfect words to describe. It was filled with excitement, nerves, pain, and pure ecstasy. I would do it all over again in an instance, if I wasn’t so sore. Don’t fret, it’s a good sore, a soreness that you know you just kicked butt! A pain that you know you worked your body hard, but in a good way. As quoted from the running documentary Transcend, (which I highly recommend watching, runner or not)  “Relish the hurt, we never promised it would be a rose garden.” It is so true, no one said it was going to be easy and it was FAR from easy, but it is amazing what your body is capable of and every agonizing moment in this journey, was solidified yesterday in the whole 1:54:45 minutes of running STWM. 26,000 runners all out to accomplish their own goals on their own journey. Being amongst elite athletes who make running their profession, but also alongside those who do it for pure fun- it was simply magical.

Sure it was hard on my body and there were moments I wanted to give up, but I dug deep and chased something that wasn’t visible. After months of training, my body was more than ready to run 21.1 km, it was my mind that needed to be in sync. As suggested in the film Transcend   “Be dumb and run, just let your body move…Stay in the moment.” And I did just that. It was me, the sound of thousands of feet hitting the pavement and some killer music to clear the mind.  I  kept on running without much other thought. I let the feelings flow through as I passed each kilometer and time flew as if I were in a trance.

I mean there were some thoughts that crossed my mind-

  • like Ryan Gosling – when I saw the BEST signs of him with the speech bubbles  “Hey Girl, you’ve got a beautiful pace” & “Hey Girl, you’ve been running through my mind all day” – I legit laughed out loud
  • after 6 km running on pure adrenaline, I thought of the time when 6 km seemed impossible
  • at 10 km I thought wow that was much easier than the Women’s 10 km only 8 weeks ago
  • at 15 km I started to feel some serious hip pain, but I thought of my mom who had severe hip pain due to osteoarthritis + a degenerate ball that slipped due to destruction. Her pain got so intense that it was hard to do simple things like put socks on- this put things into perspecitve and I knew I could definitely power through the next 30 minutes (I may have fought back tears here)
  • at 16 km that it was time to pick it up and dig deep to get through the remaining kilometers
  • at 17 km it felt like my feet were sticking to the pavement- “how do I shake this?” I thought
  • at 20 km I knew I had this done and as the countdown began I couldn’t help but smile the rest of the way

It was amazing being able to start the race with Vanessa and see her finish seconds ahead of me. Her goals and determination pushed me to my max. I really had no idea where I was all race in terms of hitting my goal, because my Nike+ GPS watch was so out of whack (not sure what happened there!) So when I saw Vanessa pass me at 19 km, my heart jumped with joy, knowing that I was definitely going to far surpass my goal of 2:00. I just had to keep her in sight.photo(3)I set out on yesterday’s race with the thought that I wanted to finish strong. If that meant over the STWM 2013 average half marathon time of 2:03:48, I was more than okay with that, because for me it was about accomplishing 21.1 km and feeling good, feeling strong. Of course I knew I’d be super thrilled if I finished around the 2:00 mark (I was literally figuring out pace/km 15 minutes prior to the gun going off). So when I finished at 1:54:45 – I couldn’t shake that high. All day I had a grin on my face ear to ear.photo(4)Crossing that finish line with 10’s of thousands of spectators cheering you on, is an experience fully worth training for. The pain, sweat, tears completely forgotten in a second when your bests are there to hug you and congratulate you. I can’t thank you guys enough. That was a moment of complete rapture. XO!

photo(5)All in all, I am glad to cross another goal off of my 2014 list, and yes I will be doing it again! I am not sure when and how soon, but there is no doubt that I WANT to do that again.photo(6)

Thank you again to all of you for support and encouragement along the way! xx


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