Monday, September 27, 2010

Toronto 1/2 Marathon - Success!!

What a terrific weekend...being with your best friend as she completes her first half marathon, hanging with your Running Room buds as they complete their first marathons and getting a PB! 

Our trip to Toronto began with Lindsay, Megan and me driving to Toronto and hitting the expo.  It was small but great.  Lindsay and I even found our Chicago shirts - funny ones - stay tuned to see them.  We then drive to the hotel, had a pasta dinner and walked around the start/finish of the race to get use to the sights.  We all went to bed and woke up excited.

As we headed to the start line we saw all our running friends and were able to wish everyone good luck.  I even saw a friend that I use to teach with - imagine that - in a crowd of almost 20,000 runners I see my bud. 

I really wanted to get a PB so I set my sights on 2:49 - I wanted a 2:4??? So what would it be?  I hadn't run all week as I was very burned out from last weekends 35km so in my mind I had a few doubts.  Megan, our friend Madeline and I started out running together and the weather was perfect.  I chose not to run with my water belt and I had on a new gel belt that I always wanted.  It was holding my chews, Kleenex, camera and Tylenol.  We crossed the start line 7 minutes after the gun.

We ran quick and I felt good.  The crowd spread out so there were no problems with crashing or having to pass a lot of people.  I knew from my pace band that I needed to hit the 10k mark at 1:18.  We hit the marker and the clock said 1:24 - perfect even 1 extra minute to spare.  I decided that I would move ahead as Megan and Madeline were chatting and I was in the zone. 

All of a sudden I was at 13km, then 16km then 20km and running up Bay street - holly smokes - I feel great and I see signs along the street saying 500m to finish, 400m to finish etc.  I hear lots of people cheering and calling my name (my name was on my bib but I didn't care).  I see the finish line and the clock is at 2:50 - are you kidding me??? That means my time is great - I throw my arms up in the air like Rudd at the Running Room taught us and hit my watch - 2:43:01 - holly smokes - I, of course start crying but realize Megan is behind me so I have to turn around to see where they are.  I wait a couple of minutes and there she is smiling and crossing the line at 2:46 - fantastic.

Megan and I got our blankets, medals and photo taken and I spot my cousin Laird and his wife with signs cheering for us.  We snap a few photos, find Lindsay who had a great race, and head back to the hotel room to shower. 

We came back to the finish line a while later so we can see our friends complete their marathons.  I was crying the whole time as they all passed us to complete.  Everyone finished, looked great and we are so proud.  I can only imagine in 13 days what it will feel like.