And so I'm doing....

on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 8:27 PM

...Goodlife Toronto.  While checking the weather forecast last Sunday for this upcoming Sunday, I realized that The Weather Network Tablet Android app actually breaks down the forecast by morning, afternoon and evening for the seven day forecast.  It's weird that you can't get this information from the phone app or even the website.  You can get hourly forecast 36 hours out, but more detailed info from 36 hours to 7 days is only available from the tablet app. 

I like the Weather Network app because it gives you the ability to really drill down to a specific location by postal code.  For example, the forecast by the lake is cooler then it would be for up near the start, as it should be. I'm not sure how they are able to do it, but I appreciate the added information. So I've been monitoring the forecast for the Toronto Islands which is pretty close to where most of the 2nd half of the marathon will take place.

Monday 8pm

Tuesday 8am

   
Wednesday 8pm
Thursday 8pm

 I was really only concerned with the Morning forecast. I had to register by Wednesday evening and the Sunday forecast for that looked great on Wednesday evening. Slight wind from the south and a low of 9C and high of 13C in the afternoon meaning that it should stay relatively cool during the morning hours.So basically with the east-west wind taken out of the equation, (or so I thought), I signed up for the course with the bigger net elevation drop, which was Goodlife.

Forecast now is a little worse. Starting out at 11C with a SW wind so they'll be a bit of a headwind for the 15km stretch in the 2nd half, but it might be okay since it's a bit warmer. Not much I can do to control it now. 

So surfing around last night, I almost immediately was having second thoughts.  I've never run the new course and haven't run it since the moved it to May from October so I was surfing around to get an idea of what to expect.  The course seems to have not gotten good organization compliments on Marathon Guide and has gotten poor scores on MyNextRace.  The organizer is the same guy who managed the Sporting Life 10k disaster a few years ago before he was let go. 

Here's to hoping it won't be too bad.  Hopefully, nice weather means more volunteers will show up which means better manned water stations.  In any event, I don't think I'll take any chances and will carry a gatorade bottle with me.

Decisions, Decisions...

on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 9:19 PM

I'm supposed to run a marathon in a weeks time. Which marathon I'm doing however I'm not sure of.  It's either Mississauga or the Goodlife Toronto marathon.  I've done Mississauga before; I first BQ'd there.  I've also done Goodlife before, but haven't done the new course which finishes down by Ontario Place.  However, I'm very familiar with the 2nd half of the Goodlife course since it involves the same route as the 20 miler route that I sometime do down on the waterfront.

So here's my thinking so far.


Both courses are net downhill course, Toronto has a net drop of 112m whereas Mississauga has a 77m drop. Toronto has one killer hill in the first few miles of the race, whereas Mississauga has a bunch of rolling hills towards the end, but is generally flatter.

Mississauga Profile

TO Goodlife Profile

The additional drop in the TO course would give it some extra points for a faster marathon. Additional points go to TO for probably having more marathon participants so there's more people to potentially run with. A caveat to that is that Mississauga actually has more people to run with at the start since they mass start both the half marathon and full runners so you can run with a bunch of half marathons until the split off point. However after the split off point, it can be lonely which I don't want to have to do again like I did at Niagara.

TO course has more aid stations, I think. They are advertising 20 aid stations total whereas Mississauga is advertising every 4 km (or about 10-11). I don't know if I can rely on these numbers. I know that the TO course has run out of cups in the past and an easy way to get around this is to remove aid stations. No one really keeps track of these things on race day so I don't know how realistic the 20 number is.

In terms of race day logistics, TO start line is closer to where I live whereas Mississauga requires me to drive across the city.  Both races start at 7:30 so there's no benefit there though I'd have to get up earlier to do Mississauga due to the travel time.

So having considered all that, it looks like TO has most things going for it, with the one exception of the weather. Up until today, weather forecast for next Sunday was 30km/hr winds from the west which is a tad on the strong side.  Both courses have parts where they run in the westernly direction. It's just that the TO course has more. The TO course is a net west direction route since the finish line is west of where it starts.  On the other hand Mississauga is a net east course since the finish line is east of the start. Also a big chunk of the Mississauga westernly route is at the start, where there's a lot more people (from the half) that one can use to block the wind.  Also in the MIssissauga course, there are no more westernly parts after the 25km mark. The TO course on the other hand is all west from 21 to 35k with only the last 7 km or so with a tail wind. There would in theory be some people to block the wind during this 14k stretch, but not as many people as there would be in Mississauga (at the start).

Having just checked the weather now, they are forecasting a 10km/hr wind now from the east. Now this would put TO ahead for sure. The forecast is also showing a low temperature of 9C with a high of 19C and sunny. That's a bit too warm for my liking.  Maybe a nice slow easternly wind wouldn't be too bad towards the later stages of the race to help cool off.

So what this all means is, well I don't know.  If the weather forecast stays the way it is, TO will be a slight favorite. If the wind switches back to from the  west, then I don't know.  I just may have to rely on flipping a coin at some point. 

Backs in Motion 10k Race Report

This race has been on my radar for a few years. It's about 3 miles from my home which is relatively close when you consider I live out in the boonies.  I stumbled across it a few years ago while doing a long run. It's close to the entrance to a trail system I use for some of my longer runs that allows me to run a fairly long distance without having to worry about stopping for traffic lights.  This race never really fit into my schedule though since 10k races on long run Sundays, a few weeks out from a marathon don't generally work for me.  

The Backs in Motion 10k takes place at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic college which is a school for teaching chiropractic care, thus the name of the event. I decided to do this at the last minute to practice marathon pace.  I still don't have a good handle on marathon pace effort and HR. The Around the Bay marathon pace was done with HR spiking. I've thrown in the odd 1 mile at MP effort since then but my HR seems very low for those so it could be I wasn't warmed up enough. I thought if I did 10k at marathon pace effort, I'd get a good handle on where my fitness might be at for the race next week.

The training plan had 12 miles on the schedule. Initially, I thought I'd run the three miles there, do the race and then run three miles back. However, I wasn't sure how much stuff they were going to give out as part of the race kits and I didn't want to have to carry that stuff home on the run back so I ended up driving there.  Arrived there at about 7:30 for a 8:45 start. Had planned to get the bib and then do a 6 mile warmup and then do the race at marathon pace effort. Slight wrinkle was that when I arrived, the late registrants (ala me) didn't have bibs or chips yet and they were still working that out so I decided to just head out for the 6 mile run and hope they figured everything out by the time I got back. 

One thing with the warmup was that I was trying to avoid the HR thing that has plagued me and so as soon as I started the 6 mile warmup, the HR was spiking.

Spiking and then not spiking
I walked for a bit, but it's still high. I then ran for a mile and then tried to walk again and it then finally calmed down.  Then proceeded to run the rest of the warmup without HR incident. I ended up cutting the warmup short to about 5.35 miles since I still needed some time when I got back to pick up my bib and stuff.

Got back and was thankful they had worked out the kinks and had a bib and chip ready for me. I was worried about having to line-up again but most people were doing the 5k race so no line-up to pick up 10k stuff.  I had hoped to try and keep my HR up while picking up the bib and all, but as it would turn out, not good enough.  Line-up at the start where there was no timing mat (only gun time), hopping up and down trying to keep the HR up and then the race starts. 

The goal was to try and run this at 4:35 min/km pace (7:23min/mile) which would put me in just under 3:14 marathon shape. The first 2 kms are in a coned off lane of the road so it's a bit tight. I hit the first km marker at 4:17 and past the first mile mark at 6:47, even though this involves a bit of a descent, this was waaayyy too fast.  Effort doesn't feel too hard though. Come up to the 2nd km and it clicks at 4:15. Also the HR spiked towards the end of the 2nd km. I could feel exactly when it happened as I was easing off the throttle, going down a hill where the HR jumped from 168 to over 190. I just decided I'd run through it and hope that it would come down. The third km is now in the trail system and hit the 3rd km at 4:19, but I think this might have been a bit short since the next km is bit long at 4:46. Together, these two average 4:33/km pace which isn't too far off what I was aiming for.
Damn HR


I ended up missing the 5km marker (not sure if there was one), but there was a bit of a wrinkle in that the turnaround point on the path wasn't really well marked. Apparently, there was a traffic cone on a little foot bridge that was the turnaround point, but there was no sign indicating that and no one there to marshal people. It wasn't exactly weird seeing the cone either because the foot bridges were made of wood planks and the cones could very easily have been there to mark areas of loose wood or holes in the bridge. Anyhow, I run a bit more and a guy in front of me starts to turn around yelling that he thinks we passed the turnaround point. I wasn't sure myself and because the start and finish don't involve the same route, it wasn't strictly an out and back course so I couldn't tell from the GPS. I knew that there were a few people still ahead of us, including the lead woman and since we hadn't seen her yet, I thought that we should keep running which we did for a bit and then sure enough the lead woman with a pack of a few other guys starts running towards us with her arms shrugging. Apparently they had run to the end of the trail and there was no one there so they headed back.  We then turn around and start heading back ourselves. We ended up basically telling everyone that we pass that they should turn around since everyone had seemed to make the same mistake that we did.

The next marker I would pass would be the 6km marker which was 11:15 which was a two km (and change split). GPS measures this split at 1.48 miles which is 2.38 km which was 4:43 pace (7:36 min/mile) but this includes some slow down due to turning around and  some WTF moments. From this point on the finish I manage to have locked down the right pace and finish with 4:36, 4:33, 4:37 and 4:27. I ended up talking a bit with a guy during one of the final km who had just run Boston. He asked me about Around the Bay since I was wearing the race shirt from that. I'm not sure if he was in the race or not. Hopefully not as I ended up passing him.

So in the end, I finished in 47:07
1km: 4:17                    
2km: 4:15                    
3km: 4:19 (short)
4km: 4:46 (long)
5km: unknown
6km: 4:36
8km: 4:33
9km: 4:37
10km:4:27

Further Race stat info.

Ended up getting some chiropractic care from an intern which included some trigger point release on a muscle in my back and a back and neck adjustment. I have no idea if chiropractic stuff works but I suppose it doesn't hurt to try.  So I wander over to the gymnasium after where they are having the post race festivities to get some food (bagels and creme cheese, apples, pairs, yogurt) and check the results list.

7th overall and 1st in my age group! Not bad for a marathon pace run.




I think however that this should have been 8th overall since there was a guy who had run all the way to end of the trail who I ended up passing on the way back and he technically would have finished ahead of me if he had turned around sooner. He wasn't in my AG so my first place ranking for that is correct. I don't think anyone passed me after the turn around fiasco who shouldn't have been ahead of me so there was no being short changed on that.

I ended up wining a tube of biofreeze, a heating/ice gel pack and a gift certificate for "one free pair of running shoes with custom orthotics", from The Orthotic Group.  Orthotics are generally expensive and I have flat feet so this might be actually useful to me. The certificate says "assessment and casting by senior intern only". I'm not sure what that means. I think maybe I can only redeem it at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College where it would be done by an intern as opposed to getting it done by a real licensed chiropractor outside of an academic setting. 

So this was sort of fun. Not bad for $50 entrance fee. We ended up with a long sleeve tech shirt and a bunch of other free samples so it was worth it, especially if the orthotics thing works out.

Of course, the one thing I had wanted to do was to try and get some HR feedback from the MP run which I didn't get so I'm basically still clueless about where my marathon pace effort might be. Oh well.  I need to decide soon which race I'm doing since online registration closes on Tuesday/Wednesday. I'm still not sure. I'll post some thoughts on that in another post.

Updates

on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 9:46 PM

So just to give you some training updates. The weight loss for the month of March was a success. I'm down to around 141 pounds or so which is the lightest I've been in over 5 years.  Going to try and go back to eating normal now so I'm not constantly in a state of calorie deficit.  I think I'm going to try some HR marathon pace work to see where I might be fitness wise.  I had hoped to gain some more information from Around the Bay about that, but the HR spiking precluded that.

I also bought a Polar M400 GPS watch which I've been eying for a while now.  I've been running with the Polar RC3 for a few years ago and some annoying traits for it (no lap pace, no display of HR when paused, no customizable screens) have all been remedied with the new M400.  I noticed the price on the thing was creeping up due to the CDN dollar and a store was trying to clear out the old stock at a discount so I decided to get one. I only bought it a few days before ATB and ran that race with it.  I've only had a handful of runs with it, but while the features lacking from the RC3 have been added, I find the GPS on the M400 to be just terrible.   Looking at the 8km race I did last weekend, it recorded the certified 8km race (4.97 miles) as being 4.84 mile which seems quite a bit off. It had my average pace at 7:01 min/mile which is 10 sec off what it actually was. I can understand being a little off due to cutting corners and the hills probably lost some distance, but that seems like a lot.  Even on my regular routes that I've measured over the years in Google earth and run with other GPS watches, the M400 constantly under measures distance where I'm missing as much as 40m over a first mile.  It appears from the interweb that not everyone is having GPS issues with their M400 so I'm hoping to play around with it a bit more to figure out what it's limitation are or at the very least to get used to its undermeasuring performance.

Harry's Spring Run-Off 8k Race Report

on Monday, April 6, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Pfitz wanted up a tune-up race this past weekend and Harry's Spring Run-off in High Park fit into the schedule which is an 8k race on a hilly course. I did this race back in 2008 in the prelude to my first (and only) 3:10:xx marathon. Back then, I wasn't sure what to expect from the race and I was thoroughly psyched out by the hills and I ended up finishing in 33:57.  I honestly didn't think that I'm in 3:10 marathon shape so I went into this thinking that I would be unable to come close to that time.  I've been doing my LT runs this past winter no faster than about 7 min/miles so I thought that pace might be doable during this race with the hills. I signed up for this a few weeks ago, but only realized today that the race was probably having difficulty selling entries so that had a whole bunch of discount codes that were floating around on social media to get $10 off the price.  Lesson learned. Always check social media before signing up for a race.

Fueling for this consisted of much of what I did to prepare for Around The Bay which consisted of excessive carbo loading leading into the race. I was on a weight loss kick for the month of March which left me feeling spent during most of my runs so going into ATB, I decided I would just pig out on carbs and any little weight gained would be offset by the increase in energy I would have which worked out well. Tried to do the same thing. Race was at 10am. Woke up at 7:00am, ate two packets of instant oatmeal (maple and brown sugar) and about half a bottle of gatorade. Left shortly after 8am as I had to get down to pick up my race kit which was opening at 8:30am. Arrived down there at about 8:45 found some good parking and made the short walk to pick up my kit then walked back to the car to drop off the crap promotional material that was included in the race kit and make a final call on race outfit which consisted of knee length shorts, a single long sleeved t-shirt and a singlet over top of that. Dollar store gloves and running cap. Headed back to the race start and stopped off at the high park running room to use their facilities and moisten the HR monitor strap (no line-ups). Arrived back at site and lined-up for one last portapotty usage.

So the HR issue I encountered during ATB was and has always been a bit troublesome going into races. Pops up at inopportune times. At marathon pace effort levels it's managable, but during short intense races if can mean all the difference in the world.  I had wanted to prevent this from happening this time. I've had some success in the past with doing a warm-up that gets the Hr to spike and then giving it a couple of minutes to calm itself and the problem doesn't pop up during the race.  The key I've found is to get the HR to spike, and then having sufficient time to let it "reset", but doing it late enough that I don't cool down too much before the race starts.  With about 15 minutes to go, I ate a gel and started the warm-up and could tell right away that the Hr was spiking, did two hard strides or so and then proceeded to try and get it to calm down which consisted of about 10 minutes of walking around and taking deep breathes. Eventually, the HR returned to normal. Then did some light jogging just to make sure and then made my way to the start line with about 5 minutes to go till race start. I was in the first corral, but was stuck near the back.  I was jumping around and jogging in place for the 5 minutes to try and keep the HR up over 100 so I wouldn't cool down too much and then we are off.

1 km: 4:14

The first corral was supposed to be reserved for quicker folk, but they considered quicker folk to be anyone that could do the 8k in under 39 minutes which is still a pretty wide range of paces. Took me 14 seconds to cross the start line. Needless to say, first km was crowded and I found myself weaving in and around people. I hit the first km at 4:14 (6:47 min/mile pace). Back in 2008 I did this first km in 4:00 so pacing was good so far, though I wonder if I would have gone faster if I didn't have to weave around so many people. They also had a timing mat at the 1 mile mark which triggered at 6:48 so my pace for the first little while seemed fairly consistent.

2 km: 4:03

After the 1 mile mark, the route plunges down a hill.  This is the dreaded hill that we end up having to climb in the last 200m of the race, but it was nice to enjoy it while it lasted.  Speedy.

3 km: 4:12

The third km still has some gently declines and is mostly flat except for the last little bit which is on the first half of the first uphill of the race. At this point, I've settled into a fairly good breathing pattern and the crowd has thinned out enough that I've got some room.

4 km:  4:24

4th km continues up the hill and trying  not to go too hard.  I've been giving the occasional glance down at the watch and see the HR is still acting "normal" which was in my LT HR range of less than 180 or so.  Good so far.

5 km: 4:08
6 km: 4:08

The 5th km was fairly flat I think except for the end which is the start of a downhill plunge which continue on into the start of the 6th km.  This hill is steeper than the one during the 2nd km I think. It's very difficult to just float down the hill and let gravity pull you down cause there's a good chance you'll wipe out. I ended up having to apply some braking effort to maintain control during the decent.

7 km: 4:17
8 km: 4:35

The 7th km is sort of flat with some gentle and mild rollers. I grabbed a cup of water at the start of the 7th km aid station just to get some liquid into my mouth. It was during the 7th km that I get the ammonia feeling  when you can start tasting ammonia in your mouth which suggests one is moving from LT mode into a VO2Max mode and faster.  The end of the 8th km is tackling the big hill and ends up being the slowest of the race.  I tried to charge up the hill, but I think I ended up just doing this by providing a good effort.  Once the hill is over, we make a turn and there's about 20-30 metres to the finish line. I couple of people pass me during this last bit.  I'm not sure why I didn't increase the pace during the last little bit. I wasn't prticularly feeling out of it, but I also had no desire to sprint past the finish line. It'll be interesting to see what the finish line race pics look like for me. hopefully, I won't look too much like I'm suffering.

Final finish time of 34:04 which averaged 4:16 min/km (6:51 min/mile). This isn't too far off the time of 33:57 which I ran back in 2008. It would probably of been a lot closer if not for the weaving during the first mile and if I had bothered to work a bit harder on the last hill. My HR peaked at 182 on the last hill.  I've been using 187 as my max HR which I experienced during a 5k race last fall.  The average HR calculated for the race was only 171 but that included a bunch of drop-outs so I don't lend any credence to that. More detail can be found at  Polar stats.



Fairly happy about the time and effort level.  Still have one more tune-up race to due. Will probably do either an LT run or Yasso's 800's.



Around the Bay 30k Race Report

on Sunday, April 5, 2015 at 10:01 PM

Did Around the Bay Road two weekends ago which is a 30k race around the bay in Hamilton.  I only decided to do this at the beginning of March when I realized that it fell on the same day as an 18 mile long run which was supposed to include 14 miles at marathon pace.  As the race wasn't sold out, there were a bunch of people trying to unload their bibs on kijjiji and the race even allowed bib transfers for a $15 fee so I ended up paying only $65 (includin the transfer fee) for a bib that would have cost me over $100 if I had registered directly.

One problem with doing this was that the cut-off date to sign up for one of the faster corrals had already passed and since you had to actually submit proof of a qualifying time, I thought they were going to be pretty strict about the corrals and not allow people to transfer into them at the last second. Was intending to start off slow, so I hoped it wouldn't be too bad.

Hamilton is just far enough away that it's a bit of a pain to have to drive there the day before to pick up your race kit (no race day pickup) and then travel  there again the next day for the race. Even if you have someone picking up your bib for you, there's the logistics of driving there race morning with a bunch of other out of towners trying to do the same thing so I decided to stay the night before. But of course, by the beginning of March, most hotels in Hamilton are sold out and though there are a few in the outskirts of Hamilton, it would mean you had to drive in on race morning anyways. Basically, I ended up checking every hotel several times a day in downtown Hamilton hoping that there would be some cancellations, so a couple of rooms popped up. Unfortunatley, with scarcity comes cost so ended up with a room for $200 a night in downtown friggin Hamilton.  I gave some serious thought to AirBNB (Uber equivalent for overnight stays), but the closest place was still about a km away from the start line. Since there was no bag check and they weren't handing out nice warm ponchos or mylar blankets like they do in NY, it was going to be a chilly walk back, so I thought. So in the end, I ended with my $200 room about 200 m away from the start line.

The perks of a $200 suite room is that it comes with free breakfast which started at 7am which was just about enough time before the 9:30 start time to get stuff digested. One toasted bagel with peanut butter and jam and one bowl of instant oatmeal with some brown sugar.

Hung out in the hotel room with until about 15 minutes to go so didn't have to do the portapotty lineup and found the ability to just veg out to be relaxing. The night before I wasn't sure what to wear and so was weighing the options. I had brought running pants and two different pairs of shorts (knee length and Race Ready). For tops, I had brought conventional long sleeve, a slightly thicker thermal long sleeve and then a thick quarter zip and a thin quarter zip, both long sleeves. I had also brought a singlet, but wasn't sure what I was thinking with that.  The weather forecaset was predicting a start around freezing, but they were predicting it would warm up to 5C by the end of the race.  They were also predicting some potentially gusty winds in the later portion of the race.

Weighing the options, I decided on the thicker thermal long sleeve together with the thin quarter zip outer later.  I also decided to wear the race ready shorts. Wasn't really a weather decision to go with the shorts, but more so because it had more pockets to carry stuff.  I had to bring my gels and carry around my hotel key card and car keys (no baggage check available) and my running pants only have one pocket in the back.

So walk to the corrals and down a gel with some water. Was able to wiggle my way to the front of the open corral which was just behind the seeded corals. Only had to wait around for a few minutes before the race started and off we went. The plan was to start off a slow controlled pace for a few miles and then gradually ramp up to marathon pace. Was planning on running the marathon portion by feel and to judge by HR.

1 km: 5:13

First km was fairly well paced. Lots of room, not too many people in the way. Feeling pretty good. Trying to stay nice and relaxed and keep the HR in check.

2 km: 4:44
3 km: 4:34

The 2nd and 3rd kms are on a bit of a downhill (the first km is downhill also) as you run towards the lake. So these were a bit faster than I would liked. Effort level still felt sort of easy.

4 km: 4:49

At the start of the 4th km, there are these railway tracks that cross the street and there was the ominous sound of a train ringing its bell. It looked like there were a few rail cars that were slowly inching their way backwards towards the road.  There was a cop there monitoring the situation. I'm not sure what happened and if runners had to stop. I would think they could have waited about 15 minutes and all the runners would have cleared through. I haven't read anything about runners getting held up, so i"m assuming that's what happened. Half way through the 4th km, I decide to start the marathon pace portion to get a good feel for it by the time I hit mile 4 (at about 6.4 km) which would allow me to get a good solid 14+ miles in at marathon pace and to also possibly stop and slow down if I ran into HR issues.

5 km: 4:35

5th km was on target and pace.  Ideally 4:35 pace is the marathon pace I'd like to be able to run as that would put me in sub 3:14 marathon range and a possible BQ.

6 and 7th km: 9:40 (4:50 avg)

Up until this point, I hadn't had any HR issues and things were going well. Breathing was under control, HR was fairly low and controlled. Km 6 has the first little bit of a hill which is actually a bit of an overpass that crosses over a road.  Try to maintain pace going up that. As it's an overpass, there's an immediate downhill on the other side, however when I ease off on the throttle going down the hill, I feel the HR skip a beat, look down at the watch and it's spiking. Damn. I continue to run on trying to figure out if I should stop to let it calm down or if I should keep going. I was so distracted at this point, that I missed the 6th km marker.  I continue on for a little bit, then we move onto a ramp going up onto an elevated expressway/road. I decided to walk up the overpass hoping the HR will settle down. Nope, it doesn't.  I continue on.

8 km:  6:40

So now approaching the 5mile mark, I had to make a decision to either get the HR under control so I could get the 14 miles in at marathon pace or to just try and ride through it. I try for the former coming to a complete standstill to try and do crouch and Vagal maneuver thing to get the HR under control. I try for about 30 seconds and nothing, I walk for a bit and then try again. Nope, HR is still racing. At this point, I feel silly being at a complete stop with people running by me, including one guy dressed as a hot dog.  Once the hot dog guy passes me, I decide that I'll just continue on at marathon pace effort level and now worry too much what actual pace I was doing.

9 km: 4:46
10km: 4:11

So I quickly catch up to and pass the hot dog guy. These two kms are lumped together because I think I was late hitting the lap split on 9 and therefore a quick 10th km. Together, these were a 4:29 average. The 10km timing mat had me at 48:49 (4:53 pace) which I think was actually pretty good considering that included the walking and not moving bit.  The 10 km includes the decent from the elevated expressway and then a climb onto an overpass.

11 km: 4:35
12 km: 4:31
13 km: 4:31
14 km: 4:41
15 km: 4:25  (1:11:36, 4:46 min/km pace (7:41 min/mile)

I don't actually remember much about these 5 km. Timing mat has these at 22:47 for a 4:33 pace which would be excellent if I could maintain that during an actual marathon. Remember this is being done with my HR pumping away in the mid 180's when it should normally be in the mid-160s.

16 km: 4:29

The start of km 16 has us going over a metal grate bridge. You have to be a bit more careful at this point. I think I was consciously trying to land flat footed at this point. I'm not sure the holes were big enough to actually cause people to trip and fall, but you never know. Ideally, if they put some mats on it like they do in Chicago, it would be better.

17 km: 4:36
18 km: 4:42
19 km: 4:35
20 km: 4:39 (5km split, 23:04, 4:36min/km)

18 km is when I think we started hitting the wind since this is where it appears the pace started to slow a bit. I also seem to remember a lot of rolling hills in this part.  4:36 pace would put me at a 3:14 marathon which is borderline BQ territory.

21 km: 4:50
22 km: 4:38
23 km: 4:42
24-27 km: 18:17 (4km average, 4:34)

The next few km are again into the wind and I continue on. I missed a whole bunch of markers from 24 to 27. I think the wind may have blown them over as a couple of times there were some signs face down on the ground, but I wasn't sure if they were construction signs or km markers so I just passed them by.  We pass by the grim reaper at about the 25 km mark (I'm guessing) as we run by a cemetery.  I suppose it's a tradition, but I think it's morbid to have a guy at the 25 km mark dressed as a grim reaper telling people they aren't going to make it.  Enough people have died during races that it won't be particularly humorous if it happens one of the years at ATB.  

28 km: 4:32
29 km: 4:41
30+ km: around 5:27

The runners had particularly thinned out quite a bit at this point. The race heads south which is still into a bit of a wind.  The last km seemed excessively long. I didn't quite stop the watch at the finish line. But it was still probably around 5:20 for the last km which included about 200m of a tempo pace and downright sprinting at the end while trying to race some guy that was booking it to the finish line (He beat me, damn).

Chip time was 2:21:41 for average pace of 4:43 min/km (7:36 min/mile).



Staring from km 9, I ended up doing 22 continuous km (13.7 miles) at about 4:37 min/km (7:26 min/mile) pace.  Including the couple of early marathon pace km, I did over the 14 miles I set out to do, most of which was at the spiking HR. Polar stats available here. HR spiking starts at about 24 minute mark.

The course was apparently long as is evident from this news article. I find the race directors attitude towards the inaccurate course to be a bit poor. He says:

"The only people that are affected are members of Athletics Canada, who have age records and Athletics Canada is more than welcome to get (the course) measured if they want but I'm not doing it," "I've had no complaints from average runners. I just don't think it's a problem."

I don't care that the course was longer than 30km. I've certainly run enough races where distances were short or long, but I find this attitude to be poor.  If you're going to advertise it's a certified course, then the course should be certified.  Yes, they made a change at the last minute because of construction, but they knew about this for weeks ahead of time.  They should have made arrangements to have the new course re-certified, even if they weren't going to use it.

To be honest, I also dislike the fact that there was no bag check.  The website states, "Due to recent events and security precautions, baggage check will no longer be available." To me this is a cop out for trying to be cheap. If races like Boston and New York can offer a bag check, so can this race.

On the way out of FirstOntario Centre (where the race finishes), I heard my name being yelled. I looked up and saw my running Prof from my masters degree.  I had  "run" into him at a 5km race before. I had introduced myself to him at the time, but I don't think he remembered me as it was two years since I had taken his class where over a period of 4 months, I saw him once a week for a couple of hours. Anyhow we traded war stories and actually there's a race picture of us together.

Please pardon the watermarks.

This is a few km from the finish. I had no idea I had passed him at this point or he could be in the process of passing me.  He actually finished ahead of me by about 7 seconds going by gun time, but since I hadn't started up near the front, my chip time was quicker.

So my reward for finishing was some frozen yogurt. There was a grocery store that were selling serve yourself soft ice cream/yogurt and toppings for a flat price. Normally serve yourself ice cream ala Menchies is sold by weight so the more you put in your cup, the more you pay, but these guys were just selling it by cup. In hindsight, I should have put a lot more in there.  Rookie mistake, I guess.



temp