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