Today’s (my 15th half!) is an exciting one because I’m pretty sure it’s my first official PR for the year (aside from 1st distances). I knew going into this year that I wouldn’t be training & trying for many PRs with an ultra on the goal list. I’ve been wanting to run Toronto for a long time, it’s one of my favorite cities, but it usually falls right on/after Detroit. .
I wasn’t trained for this race. I scrambled to build my miles back up last minute. I’ve always wanted to hit or break 2 hours in the half, but I don’t usually race halfs. It’s my favorite distance but I generally treat them as an experience or training run. So...I really had no clue what I am capable of right now. I considered going out with the 2 hour pacer just to see how long I could hang on. But it was a very crowded race and I gave up trying to make my way to them when I realized I was burning through energy just trying to get out of the mess. .
It was freezing...bitter cold. Real feel in the 20s with cutting winds on the walk there. But it was dry for once! Thank God. My watch was off from the city, and I decided I just wanted to ignore my watch and have a good race, run by effort, enjoy myself, not kill myself with pace, and see what happened. I had fun on the out and back portion looking for Allie Kieffer (who won!) & my friends. I only slowed down to eat my gu/drink water. I felt pretty comfortable until the last mile or so, when I was suddenly very done 💀. I didn’t stop to walk or hit the last aid station, even when I was exhausted and hit the tough uphill finish. I finished with a 9 minute PR, negative splits, and a finish time of 2:00:54. I was so happy to have that result without struggling and bargaining the entire time. This was the race I needed after this tough year. It makes me happy to know that a sub 2 is a possibility for me when I decide to train for it. I was thrilled to be so close, I thought I’d be rolling in closer to 2:05 (Garmin has me at 13.5 and an 8:58 pace so I’m not sure how much is city interference vs a long course). .
To make it even better, I got to spend a weekend having a blast with great friends in a a city I absolutely adore.