So I missed the ride to Goodwood this morning because my friend convinced me earlier this year that it would be fun to enter the Toronto Women's Half Marathon. Being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects (and the fact that they had mentioned the presence of both Firefighters AND Chocolate stations) I figured what the hell, and signed up. Good thing that I did, the 2000 spaces filled up rather quickly, as you can imagine.
I have had a love-hate relationship with running over the years - I love it, and various body parts have hated it. For some reason, it finally came together over the past year, and I started to be able to go on runs without the shin/knee/and other pains that tended to accompany it. Nothing like getting up on a winter morning, throwing on running gear, strapping on the iPod and zoning out for an hour. Many benefits to it, I've found, beyond the physical fitness aspects.
Anyways, kept up on the running, did my first long run a couple of weeks ago, and felt pretty good going into today's event. This is officially the longest I've ever run, and I live to tell. It was a great course that consisted of a bunch of out and backs through Sunnybrook Park, and was for the most part flat, with the exception of a few rolling hills thrown in for good measure. My girlfriend Michelle and I started out together and did the run/walk thing for the first hour. At around the 9k mark she told me to go on ahead, as the heat was getting to her, and she was taking it slow. She assured me that she was good to finish it up, so I reluctantly left her and ran on. I had some good advice going into the event - to not pay attention to the clock, and to just take it all in, and so I did. Many different people of all shapes and sizes were out today - lots of different running styles, and I have to say the running fashions are second only to bike kits.
The firefighters and chocolate were there, as promised (and yes, some of the firemen were shirtless), but the best part of the whole event was the running down the final stretch, knowing that holy crap, I'd done it, and close to the 2 hour time I had in mind. Managed to pull out a 2:07 which I am feeling pretty good about. Next year will be under the 2 hour mark, provided my body doesn't have something to say about it.
Thanks to everyone who sent me good wishes and support - means a lot!