Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Toronto Marathon

On May 15 (my birthday), I arrived at the race with my shorts and Runner’s Life singlet on. The pouring rain had eased up to a drizzle at the start, but there were some 60km/h wind gusts and the thermometer was reading 8°C. That was ok because I decided that my mantra for this race would be “Honey badger don’t give a shit!”

I was cold and shaky but that all went away as the race started at 9am. I forced myself to start out slow for the first 12k. I was waving at the crowd and smiling for the cameras until at 12k after I passed by a few cameras I noticed I was on a steep wet hill. I didn’t want to try to hold back my speed and have that friction on my wet feet so I relaxed my legs and tore down the hill. I slowed at the bottom and tried to fall into a pace I could hold for a long time. I kept reminding myself to constantly sip at the energy drink and to take an energy chew every 8 to 10k. The scenery on Rosedale valley road (from 14 to 17k) was very calming. It wasn’t until Lake Shore Blvd. (26 to 30k) that the wet rough asphalt was starting to make my feet sore. After 30k I was just trying to maintain my pace and get away from the wind gusts blowing drizzly rain in my face. I was noticing at this point that there were more people walking and even some that looked like they had given up. After 37k I was in uncharted territory as far as my running distance goes. I was starting to push a little harder with the thought that I only had a 5k race to run.

Once I got to 40k on University Ave. I was feeling good and wanted to finish strong. I was getting a lot of support from onlookers and it was getting harder to hold back the urge to sprint for the finish. I held off the sprint until 42k, when I knew I wouldn’t burn out before the end, but I had already increased my pace to sub 5min/k by 41k. After I crossed the finish line I took a couple of sips of my energy drink and thought “Wow! I feel a lot better than I did at the Around the Bay finish.”

Looking at my stats I see I finished with a time of 4:17 and that I was able to negatively split this race by 1:09. I ran the first half in 2:09 and the last half I 2:08. I thought it was interesting that my time at 30k in the marathon was exactly the same time I finished the Around the Bay 30k race. One of my favorite stats is that in the last 12k of the race I passed 114 people and nobody passed me. I was very happy with this race overall. Run :)

After the race I noticed that my knees were quite sore under the knee caps. The left knee is especially sore and feels worse each day. I am hoping that some rest and anti-inflammatory pills will fix it up. I’ve read most of Ken Bob’s book and I am going to re-assess my running form. I believe that I need to bend my knees more and get more cross training in by riding my bike. I am hoping this will fix my knee issues permanently. I will also go back to the sharp gravely trail to help improve my form. Thanks Ken Bob!


  1. You have a honey badger shirt!! I don't know you, but that makes you awesome.

    Congrats on the race :-).

  2. Great job. I had some tendonitis in my knee. This is something I wrote for someone else that I am just going to repost here:

    Lay on the stomach. Use help or a belt to pull your ankle toward the back of your head. Hold it for 15 seconds, loosen up for 5 seconds and do it again only a little further.

    A dynamic version of this is to stand and swing your knee while bent high, then swing it back while trying to touch your foot to your lower back.

    For strengthening, do some quarter squats, scissors, donkey kicks, and donkey whips. Maybe some one legged quarter squats to help with stabalization.

    I had some knee tendinitis. This plus rest got me back on the road.

    Best of luck and if you have any questions message me.