Marathon Training Day #124: Cheering and 25k

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Sunday was the Goodlife Toronto Marathon and I managed to convince a bunch of friends to come out and cheer on runners with me. I went outside at 8am and people slowly started to show up. By 8:30, we were ready for the first runner to come through. The fastest runners started coming after that, in pairs or small groups. By just after 9, it was a steady stream of runners. Taking a break was tough — I always felt bad for the runners who didn’t get a cheer when I needed to stop — and the pack didn’t get spotty again for well over an hour.

It was my first time cheering hard-core and I learned a few things:

If you’re cheering:

1. Bring water. You will need it.

2. Bring noisemakers. That way you can make noise without yelling.

3. Come later rather than earlier. Many elites don’t respond, but most back-of-the-packers do.


If you’re a runner, you will get more cheers if you:

1. Wear something awesome.

2. Have an awesome name.

3. Acknowledge the cheering section.


Overall, it was a good time. I’ll do it again. It was also a lot more tiring than I expected it to be. Cheering was followed by brunching, then napping. It was a hot one and I didn’t want to run 25k in the middle of the afternoon. So I headed out to get my own long run in around 4:30. I wanted to get ‘er done under 3 hours but at the same time didn’t want to push myself too hard. Andie asked that I do the last 5k at 6:15 pace, but I didn’t bring Kate’s Garmin with me and wasn’t sure how to track that other than by effort. So I just did my best.

(Garmin sidenote: I think I hate it. It’s heavy and beeps a lot. Any watches out there that provide pace and distance data without being too in your face? I hate running with my iPhone too, so that’s also out.)

I started out strong and felt really good. I ran my usual long run (up the Don Valley, over to Taylor Creek, down to the Beach, then some variation to get home) and was hitting my regular markers 7-10 minutes faster than I’ve ever hit them. I found this confusing (and even checked my watch a few times to make sure it was working properly). Eventually, the legs came back to earth around the 17k mark and I slowed down to what felt like my usual long run place. Somewhere between there and home, my left knee began to act up. Between that and the fast start, I knew trying to hit 6:15s for the last 5k would be a terrible idea, so I just cruised home, focusing on not forcing anything that felt wrong or painful. It was probably one of my stronger long runs of the cycle (which makes sense, as it was 11k shorter than my last long run!)

It’s now officially taper week. What?!

Did you run Goodlife or Mississauga today? How did you do? Tell all!!!



The run: 25.7k in 3:02:33
The route:

Posted in: Run

5 thoughts on “Marathon Training Day #124: Cheering and 25k

  1. Nancy Francis says:

    I totally saw your cheering section! And that was a few blocks before I fell apart sadly 🙁 I felt really strong until just before the last water station on Bayview and then I got light headed – had my second Guu and made it up on to King, past you guys and to Parliament I think before I had to start walking. I then just played a game of running to one light and walking a bit – it was rough. I think the heat killed me, I trained all winter so 20 something degrees was new. I managed to haul through the finish line just over 2:37 – which means if I had cut out at least half of the damn walking I would have made my goal time. But I’m still ok with it 🙂

    Thanks so much for cheering, everyone on the route was awesome and it totally gives you the push you need!

    Enjoy your taper!

    • Erin says:

      Awww, I wouldn’t worry about it. You finished! And 2:#7 while battling an injury is great! I’m glad you noticed us — cheering was fun!

      Do you have any races planned next?

      • Nancy Francis says:

        Thanks – I need to stop kicking myself. Technically my real goal was just to finish and I did. But I guess I’ll have to do another one if I want to prove that I can run the whole way!

        I’m actually doing the Sporting Life 10k this weekend! and then a bit of a break 🙂

        • Erin says:

          Oooh, have fun at Sporting Life!! I really wanted to do it, but it’s a tad too close to the big race. It’s a fun one.

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