(Has it really been a year?)
I ran another marathon on Sunday. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I wasn't in as good shape as last year, and it was really windy, but I finished in 4:03:31.
I would really have liked to get in under 4, but overall it was a good performance. I stopped for the portapotty at about 5 miles in. I shouldn't have waited for it, but there were only 2 people (guys!) in front of me, and I knew my time wasn't going to be great anyway. In the end, that break took 4:16 and was really annoying. (As a comparison I took another pit-stop later in the race, and I was only off the course for 0:46.) I'm not sure that doing something different (bushes?) would have led to a sub 4 finish, but when I ended up missing it by less than that bathroom break it was frustrating.
I crossed the half at 2:03:15. I knew that didn't bode well for a sub 4, but I felt I had more in me. Around mile 15 (I say around - the course was measured in Km which was confusing), I picked up the speed. I was finishing Km's in just under 5:30 and I started doing the math. I could see that I was still going to miss by a minute or two, but I had a fantasy of really burning through the finish.
As it turned out, I couldn't make up the lost time. Even though I wasn't going to make it, I pushed myself to keep running hard, even though my quads were hurting. I slowed a tiny bit, finishing Km's in about 5:40, but for the most part hung on through to the finish. I thought I could get a sub 2 second split, but even missed that - coming in with 2:00:16 for the second half.
I'm still pretty proud of that negative split. (Although if you take away the bathroom stops both splits are pretty even at about 1:59!) I had put in the miles for this race, but not the hard work of speed workouts or enough tempo runs. It was also a tough day to race, although not really a tough course. The mental toughness to keep going is something that I didn't really have earlier on in my racing experience.
Just recovering now, and haven't thought about the next one yet. I have been thinking about moving down to half's and concentrating on speed. But I've said that before...