The Marathon is Taking Over

I was at a meeting for most of the morning and as I headed back to the office, I couldn’t help but notice a bunch of streets signs that have been posted advising about street closures during the Toronto Marathon in a couple of weeks. Normally, I wouldn’t notice these signs as I spend enough time downtown Monday-Friday and therefore weekend road closures don’t affect me but this year I’ve been noticing the signs because while I’m not running the marathon I am running half of it, and so I’ll be one of those thousands of people running down those closed streets and inconveniencing all those drivers who have to find alternate routes that day.

It’s hard to believe that the (half) marathon is less than two weeks away, and even harder to believe that I’ll be running in it. Hard to believe because earlier this year I wrecked my knee training for the May half marathon and had convinced myself that long distance running was not in the cards for me. Hard to believe because the only other run that I’ve participated in was the 5km Run for the Cure last September and hard to believe because when I first started running, I could barely last 2 minutes without having to stop and rest.

On Saturday morning Tay and I went out for our weekly ‘long’ run and before, I used to joke that our long runs weren’t really long runs, just longer short runs because we hadn’t hit the 10km mark. We took an unwanted but inevitable break from our training during the move and then in early-mid September, we got in a couple of back to back 11km runs. On Saturday, when we went out, we decided to add on a second loop around the marsh area that’s at the end of the biking trail that we’ve started running and since 11.5km was our longest to date, I was hoping to hit at least 13km, if not 14.

We ran slow, we ran steady, I enjoyed the beautiful fall weather and the sun on my face and tried to ignore the fact that I’m wearing out my runners and that my Ipod would likely die less than halfway through the run. I put one foot in front of the other, and tried to ignore my watch and the minutes as they passed. I had mentally prepared myself to run a long, long time and when we made the big round about loop that brought us back to our place, I stopped because I knew I should but at the same time, knew I could have gone longer if I had too. When I checked my watch, it said that we’d been running for an hour and 45 minutes without stopping, and when I plotted the kilometeres on Gmaps, it rewarded me with a distance of 14.5km.

I’ve been monitoring the pace for the past couple of months now, making note of my quicker pace during short, 5km runs and then my slow but steady pace for longer, 10km runs and around the 10km mark I hit what I came to refer to as my marathon pace. It’s not a fast pace, nor will it break any records, but it’s a comfortable, manageable pace, and more importantly, it’s my half-marathon pace and just being able to say that is worth more than anything else.

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