Race Recap: Goodlife Half Marathon

On May 4th, I ran my second half marathon! The Goodlife Half Marathon may have been somewhat poorly organized, but it did give me a PB!

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Pre-race photo is obviously a must. (Though check out those budget sunglasses… this girl’s in serious need of some Sunskis!)

Geared up in Lululemon, I decided that I would power through and go shorts and tank. I am always too scared of being cold before the race and I always end up regretting wearing too many layers. It was a gorgeous day and I knew it would get warmer, so in the end it was a good decision.

ImageI was also super excited to buy my very first pair of compression socks from 2XU! I had tried to buy some at the Running Room, but they only had pink or blue and I wanted something a little more festive. I was thrilled to find these at the Runner’s Expo! I practiced with them on an easy 4K the day before the run and they felt great.

As shown above, I also exclusively used Vega Sport to prepare, sustain, and recover. The prepare and recover are a powder that you mix with water and the flavours are awesome. I used lemon lime and berry, respectively. I always find them a bit sweet, so I mix them with double the water recommended. The endurance gel is awesome! It features whole food ingredients and is the only gel to feature coconut oil; a non-carbohydrate source of energy.

Now, to the race!

ImageThe start line was the lowest point of the race for me. It was overly crowded, the corrals were pretty much rendered non-existent. Not only could I not get passed the fence to access my corral, there were no staggered starts, so it was pretty much just mayhem. I was looking to run with the 1:50 pacer, but the pacers were all up at the front and it was impossible to get to them. Also, the port-a-potties were all lined up just after the start line. The organizers were pretty much begging the runners waiting to use the bathroom to clear off so they could start the race.

Once I got going, things were good. It was my first half running with my Garmin and it was awesome to pace myself without having the pacer nearby (who I couldn’t find anyway). Last year when I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront (half) Marathon, I did it in 1:54. I was aiming for under 2 hours so I was super pleased with my time. My goal for 2014’s STWM is under 1:45, so I was hoping to split the difference at the Goodlife half and aim for 1:50.

The whole race felt a tad sluggish (that hill at York Mills… ugh) but there were so many people I knew on the route! It was so nice to have people out and cheering.

 I ended up catching up to the 1:50 pacer at around 15K and ran with them for 5 minutes or so before I started to feel myself pulling away. I went with it, and as long as the group didn’t pass me, I knew I’d finish with my goal. When they caught up to me at 17K, I looked down at my Garmin and realized I’d been going too slowly so I kicked it into high gear, which hurt. A lot.

The wind for the last 3K was an absolute nightmare. It was a headwind like I’ve rarely run in before ever, let alone in a race. I also mistakenly thought that the race ended at Fort York so when I was almost there, I felt dead, but knew I was close so gave my speed an extra bump. When I rounded the corner and didn’t see the finish line, I remembered that it ended at Ontario Place and almost stopped. I didn’t, though, and managed to pull out a smile when I caught sight of my boyfriend and good friend with less that 1K to go.

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In the end, I’m thrilled that I finished in 1:48! Can’t wait to tackle the STWM this fall. Only 3-4 minutes to knock off my time… here’s hoping.

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