I didn’t want to write this race report. I wasn’t going to write this race report. My husband told me I should. Sometimes I listen to him.
I ran my first marathon, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16. It was a colossal mess. The main reason I didn’t want to re-live it in a race report is because I didn’t want to make excuses. There were a few factors I had no control over and many that I did. So instead of rehashing how this went wrong and that went wrong, I am going to go over what I will change and work on for next time. (Because there will most definitely be a next time.) But before I do that, I just want to mention what I did right. I started and I finished. I didn’t quit, even though I could have easily done so. That in itself is indeed an accomplishment and I really shouldn’t diminish it. So, the next time I toe the line for 42.2 km, here’s what I’ll do to prepare:
- Run more. Well, duh. Truth is, I was under-trained mainly because life got it the way and I missed a large number of my scheduled runs. Long runs are key in marathon preparation but I’ve learned you can’t underestimate the importance of the frequent middle distance training runs. I missed too many.
- If possible, don’t start a new prescription medication one week before a marathon. Don’t do it. NOT GOOD.
- Make sure my old lady bladder is completely empty at the start to avoid frantic searches for non-existent portopotties from the 30 km mark onward (or else take a lesson from Reid Coolsaet and learn how to go anywhere).
- Don’t stop cross training. My true passion is triathlon. When I was training for the marathon, my time in the pool diminished and I did virtually no cycling. I’ve learned that my hips need the variety to stay strong. They complain when I just run. Complain loudly.
- Quit shoving gels down my sports bra.
- Try and do a tune up 10 k or half marathon a few weeks prior instead of running 31 km over the course of the day as part of a 6 person relay team raising money for charity. It was way more physically taxing than I thought it would be. Go figure.
- Put down the butter tarts and try to lose the extra 10 lbs that aren’t doing me any favours. My hips might complain less too.
I will endeavor to remember and adhere to my own sage advice. I’m not sure how useful this information may be to others, take from it what you will. However, it was certainly cathartic to write.