Toronto Goodlife Marathon 2012 – 28th Time’s A Charm

Here’s how Marathon #28 went down…

Goodlife Toronto Marathon Home StretchThe Toronto Goodlife Marathon came only 3 weeks after a fairly disastrous Boston Marathon where we battled 90 degree temperatures. My decision during that race to slow down and save what I could for Goodlife actually paid off somewhat. Was it all worth it? I think so…

We all have our own reasons why our capabilities are not met in full for whatever reasons and instead of excusing myself for not realizing my top performance in the marathon, I will simply say, that on this day, I ran the best race I think I could have.

It’s one race where I am not going to walk away thinking if only I had started out slower, faster, if only I’d gone to bed earlier, ate better pre-race meals, hydrated better or anything like that. I walked away happy and satisfied that I planned my race and raced my plan. When I crossed the finish line, I knew that was the best I could do on this day and a faster marathon will have to wait for another day.

It’s all about the pieces falling into place, the stars aligning and a well planned race executed properly. I have yet to see all these factors in sync but I am motivated to keep trying knowing very well that when they do, something specials is going to happen!

The weather on this day behaved, albeit still a bit warm for my liking. The morning was comfortable and cool but no jacket was required. I wandered around pre-race alone after being dropped off by Anita and I was able to focus and relax. When it was time for the start, I lined up at the porta potty for a last minute bladder emptying and got to the corral just in time. I got off to a slow start due to the crowd of runners at the front and I ended up at kilometre 1 in almost 5 minutes.  I wasn’t feeling great and wondered if it was a sign that I did not have anything in the legs to get me to the finish in less than 3:25:00 in order to re-qualify for the Boston Marathon.

I was able to get on track for sub 3:15 by the 5k mark and held this pace for a while, actually ending up ahead of 3:15 pace with a 1:36 first half. Although I felt like I was working harder than I wanted tobe, I stuck with my plan and tried to relax. Things got better as the race wore on. I saw Cammy and Anita at 23k and pawned my visor off on her as I was too warm for it. Heading out to the west end via the waterfront, I just tried to keep it smooth and hovered around a 4:35 per km pace. I knew though that a shot at 3:09 was out of site as my legs were tiring and not turning over quick enough. Still, I stayed positive that a personal best was within reach. It was a bit distracting to run right by the finish line on the way out. And it was strange to run further west than we ever have on this route that we train on quite often. But, it was nice to turn back toward home and know we only had 5 km left to go with NO uphill climb on University to Queens Park!

By At 40km, I was greeted by Anita and Cam on their bikes and they stayed with me the rest of the way. They were a great motivator to keep going hard and stay ahead of the 3;15 pace bunny. Our friend  Julie was there with a fresh bottle of water for me with half a km to go and I used it to cool me off and it helped me finish. I fought the 3:15 bunny off right to the end and made the final turn with him and his posses, about 10 others only to realize we were a minute behind! No problem, I was spent and happy with the 3:16 showing on the clock. I finished strong without hitting the wall and had only my tired legs holding me back. Overall, it was a good run, a decent result and a gorgeous day. Within minutes of the race I felt great!

Here a mini montage – 3 photos, the one at 25k fighting with a bug in my eye, another at 40k, trying to keep ahead of the 3:15 bunny and one with my lovely Anita,  jamming up the course on her bike ;)  and helping ensure I finished strong!

The event itself when off with only a few glitches. The start line area was well organized. There seemed to be some confusion at race day kit pickup and course route maps. I believe a few delays were experienced with getting bussed runners from parking at the finish – to the start line. And the finish area was struggling with the demand for water. Unfortunately there was only one water outlet in the Ontario Place parking lot to replenish supplies. A slight lack of volunteers meant that some niceties like garbage bins that weren’t overflowing we’re unavailable. As a friend to all runners and race directors, I spent a half hour immediately post race to helping with garbage as I saw one of the race directors himself trying to get garbage in order. People looked at me like I was nuts, medal dangling ’round my neck, hunched over picking up garbage hoping my legs wouldn’t seize. I wish someone, anyone else, would have chipped in with a little effort. Some burly runners did actually help us unload some water jugs from the trucks to the water tables. Then a Goodlife volunteer told us to stop. Weird eh? Perhaps there were liability issues at hand.

This race was a good stepping stone to what I know will lead to some faster marathons. The fact I was able to pull off a personal best only 3 weeks after the heat-fest in Boston left me feeling very positive. My plans for the rest of the summer is to focus on many miles, big weeks and a few ultra marathons , for a big base that will lead back to the drawing board. Then I will put together a solid training program for Boston 2013.

Because we’re going back!

~ D


5k – 22:55
10k – 45:40 (22:45 /5k)
15k – 1:07:52 (22:12 /5k)
20k – 1:30:18 (22:34 /5k)
21.1k – 1:35:40
25k – 1:53:20 (22:58 /5k)
30k – 2:16:40 (23:20 /5k)
35k – 2:40:40 (24:00 /5k)
40k – 2:04:30 (23:50 /5k)
42.2k – 3:16:09

Average Pace – 4:39/km




Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner
Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

  • Ola

    Congrats on the big run! Well done! Don’t you think it’s simply dangerous for other runners and selfish of you to have a person pace for you on the bike for a part of the run?

  • Dave E

    That’s a fluke photo. She was only near us runners for a few seconds. She and my son were on their bikes for a very short time near the end just to say hello then left to meet at the finish.

  • K Moore

    You forgot to mention that your wife and son helped us with the race day pick up which was a huge help as it allowed me to go off and help out at the baggage truck. Please thank them again for me.

  • Mike Hannon

    Dave, the pace bunny, Julian Ho is also running the Muskoka 56km run in July. I train with him on Thursdays. Will try and get him out on Sundays for group runs.