Yesterday I wrote about the upcoming racing season. In that post I indicated that I had signed up to run the Hamilton 30km Around the Bay, and the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in March and May, respectively. There was also talk of running the Chocolate Race in Port Dalhousie, and the Yonge Street 10km. I finished the post by suggesting that I might join my friend Carolyn when she runs the Niagara Ultra Marathon – a 50km run – in June.
Well, after checking my schedule and making sure I wasn’t away for a conference or anything of that sort, I took the plunge. And by took the plunge I mean that I officially registered. That’s right – I’ve decided to finally attempt a 50km (approximately 31.07 mile) run. For those keeping count, that’s 7.8km longer than the standard 42.2km marathon. EEP!
Anyway, I clearly have a lot of training to do between now and then. Fortunately I know that Carolyn will keep me on my toes and on task, because she’s just as insane when it comes to running as I am. She’s also a giant slice of awesome; which is exactly what I’ll need to keep myself motivated and fighting to crush 50km. It’s not going to be pretty, it’s going to require a lot of work, but I have no doubt that Carolyn and I will do it.
Today is the big day! Today I run 42.2 kilometres in the Toronto Goodlife Marathon. In fact, if it’s after 7:30am when you’re reading this, I’m already running. Eep!
This marathon marks the first of three that I have planned to complete this year. To say that I’m nervous and excited and just a little bit throw-uppy would be a huge understatement. But the anticipation and nervousness and throw-uppy feelings are all a part of the experience. Perhaps one day, after running so many marathons, I won’t feel this way anymore. Or perhaps this will always be a part of my morning routine before attempting to run a ridiculously long distance.
All I know right now is that I have 42.2 kilometres ahead of me, and I’m going to try to enjoy every single one of them. I’m going to remember that I’ve trained for this. I’m going to remember that I’ve done this before. I’m going to remember that I’m strong enough. And I’m going to remember there are a lot of people cheering me on.
I’m also going to remember not to shit myself, because that would just be embarrassing. ;)
As was the case for my previous races, and if you are interested in following along, here is a link to the live race. The marathon starts at 7:30am. My goal is a 5 minute 35 second pace (or better). That means I should be at the 10km point by 8:26am, the half way point (21.1km) by 9:28am, the 30km point by 10:18am, and finished by 11:24am.
I’ve got this.
P.S. Good luck to Rick, Shari, Sanjay, and Carolyn – who are all running the half marathon today (Carolyn in Toronto, the rest in Vancouver). You guys are going to crush the half. Crush it I says.
P.S.S. Good luck to anyone else running today. Crush it! Crush it I says.
As you are likely all aware, today was the day that I ran my first ever 30K Around the Bay in Hamilton. Not my longest run ever, but still a significant distance.
The run was fantastic, despite the fact that I am apparently really stupid when it comes to fuel. How so? Let me explain by first telling you what I learned today – which is, of course, a lesson that is filed under obvious to probably everyone1.
I learned that one should probably eat more than a granola bar and a coffee before they attempt to run 30 kilometres.
Profound, no? Clearly I wasn’t thinking this morning because that is how I chose to fuel my body for the run. I’m what you’d call not so smart. I’d like to blame this on a mixture of nerves and excitement, but this wasn’t my first ever long run. Clearly I should know better.
Anyway, the lack of fuel didn’t catch up to me until later in the race. Probably around the 25 or 26 kilometer point. And it happened really quickly. It was as if all the energy and life in my body and legs was zapped. Perhaps it was a Dementor? The last several kilometres were quite a challenge. It was also around this point that I lost Carolyn. See – she’s actually smart and had consumed appropriate levels of fuel before the run. And she royally kicked ass. Her chip time was 2:47:50. Freaking amazing!
Based on how I felt though, I thought for sure I had blown my 3 hour dream. Fortunately, right when I needed it I got a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth,…) wind. And as if predestined, Edge of Glory by Lady GaGa came on. I realize that not everyone is a fan of Lady GaGa, but I have to tell you, for running – her music is freaking fantastic. Combine the second wind, Edge of Glory, and the screaming crowds, you can imagine the runner’s high that I was experiencing. And if you can’t, I’ll tell you this – it was AMAZING. I couldn’t help but smile ear to ear. At that moment, I think I could have done anything. And this was all I needed to propel myself to the finish line. As I rounded the last turn – turning into Copps Coliseum – I could hear the cheers of the people in the stadium. I knew they weren’t cheering specifically for me, but that didn’t change the way they made me feel. What an incredible experience.
And the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?
The gun-time was still at 2:58. Despite everything I’d still managed to finish in under 3 hours. Holy crap I felt amazeballs and awesomesauce. Better than that even. Words can’t describe how great I felt. I had mentioned to Carolyn afterwards that I am not one to normally get emotional at the end of a race – but this was definitely an exception given how crappy I had felt. Don’t worry folks – I didn’t break down into some blubbering mess, but I did feel an intense wave of satisfaction, and euphoria, and gratitude, and I don’t even know what else. All I know is that the moment was perfect. Abso-freaking-lutely perfect.
And the cherry on top of the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?
My splits were fantastic. I ended up running the first 10 kilometres in 1 hour 21 seconds2, the second 10 kilometres in 56 minutes 8 seconds, and the last 10 kilometres in 56 minutes and 43 seconds. That’s right – despite my craptacular loss of energy and despite the fact that the last 10 kilometres was quite hilly- my last split was only 35 seconds off the second, and still better than my first. Crazy freaking awesome.
And the chocolate sauce on top of the cherry on top of the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?
My chip time was 2:53:12. Holy freaking crapshark! Talk about a huge bonus!
Anyway, today was a lot of fun, a little bit of pain, and a lot of awesome. Thanks so much Carolyn for sharing this run with me. You are a huge slice of awesome pie and I’m looking forward to our next races. Also, thank you to everyone for your comments on the blog, on Facebook, on RunKeeper, on Twitter, on Instagram, and via text message. Your support helped me get past the ugliness of the last few kilometres. And an extra special thanks to Jamie & Nigel who came out to support all the runners. Seeing your faces gave me such a huge boost. You two rock!
At this point, I figure we should be at least halfway through the course. If you look at the map below1 – we’re probably somewhere around the 15km point. Of course, I’m not really sure where we are. It will all depend on how we feel. Both of us have been a bit nervous about this race – which is weird because we’ve both been training for this, and because we’ve both run longer distances before. I mean, the marathon is an extra 12.2km, so what do we have to worry about?
We’ve got this.
Anyway, if we are halfway – w00t! If we’re more than halfway, even better. If we’re less than halfway – well who cares? We’re running 30km.
If I’m pacing as I did during my last long run – 5 minutes 20 seconds per kilometre – then I may actually be closer to 17km. And that would be awesome.
But that’s not good enough Dan. I want to know exactly where you are right now! You say.
Well fine. Just because I spoil you, and assuming that I know how to use the interwebs correctly, if you click here you should find yourself instantly transported via the intertubes to a map that should indicate exactly where I am right now2. Seriously. It’s all through the magic and wonder of RunKeeper. And, dear readers, if this actually works I’ll be able to check off items #75 and #250 from my Not-So-Bucket-List list.
Wherever I am, so long as I’m not in agony, twitching on the ground, being carried off the course because I collapsed into a quivering mass of suck-bag, or have lost all control over my bodily functions, I will be a happy man.
See you at 30k!
1 You know what makes me feel a little throw-uppy? Check out the elevation chart underneath the map. That’s right, after running a half marathon, we finish the race by running uphill. A lot.
2 Oh the interwebs. Is there nothing you can’t do?