Sunday's weather was absolutely perfect and I woke up feeling excited and ready to run. And it was my birthday! As a birthday present, my husband drove me up to the start line at Mel Lastman square. The marathon started an hour before the half, and it was just started as we arrived. Made me a bit emotional watching them start.
The North York civic centre was open (including the washrooms) which was great. It wasn't cold out, but it was nice to get inside for a bit.
I made my way out to the start line and found the 2:40 pace bunny. There weren't any corrals which could have been annoying, but it seemed to work out alright. considering there was about 5000 runners.
I quickly lost the pace bunny and kept at 4-1 run/walk intervals. Yonge street was a bit hilly but it was fun running under the 401, by all the stores, along some of the route that I'll be on again at the Sporting Life 10K.
I was moving at a decent pace for the first half of the race. My garmin was a bit off, but I hit the 5K marker around 36 minutes in (my 5K PR is 36:23) and the 10K marker at 1:13 (my 10K PR is around an 1:19:50) so I knew that I was en track to beating my previous half marathon time of 2hrs 50 minutes.
We stayed on Yonge Street until just north of Bloor and turned down Rosedale Valley Road which was beautiful! No spectators, but tree lined sstretch of road.
I started getting tired around 14K and my 4/1's turned more into 3/1's, then 2/1's, then 1/1's, but I kept going. Turning onto the last stretch onto Lakeshore Blvd, I got a second (maybe 4th) wind and was able to come in strong.
My parents and husband were on the sidelines. I saw them a ways out and was waving my arms in the air. They almost missed me, but may have gotten a picture or two (they did! Just added them to this post).
I finished with the official time of 2:43:40 which was a full 7 minutes off last October's half. I'm very happy with this, especially considering that I didn't run at all between March 28th and April 18th due to my stress fracture.
Met my parents and my husband who were all "Happy Birthday". I was like "oh yeah, it's my birthday!" Completely forgot about that while I was out on the course.
Things I liked about the Goodlife Half:
- Start at the civic centre - being able to go inside
- The shirt - I think it's my new favourite
- The course - I loved the course. Largely downhill which probably helped with my time and through some great areas of the city.
- The finish line - I really liked finishing by Ontario Pace (rather than on Bay street like at the Waterfront Half). More room to meet people, stretch. Prettier being out by the water. No stupid little hill right at the end. This was a change from the usual course (normally finishes at Queen's Park) but I hope they keep it the same next year.
- Giant medal
- The Waterfront marathon seemed to have more spectators and music along the course.
- Could have used more water stations. They seemed to be spaced out quite a bit at the later parts of the course so I was happy to have my fuel belt on.
- Start corrals. They weren't necessarily needed, but I always think they're a good idea.
- The bib was really big. I've compared it to my other bibs and it's an inch bigger top to bottom which was annoying. I have a short torso and with my fuel belt on, pinning it took a couple of tries.