By Cavin McKelvey
2013 Ignition Fitness Athlete Team member
Every May, Its a tradition for me to run the Goodlife Half Marathon. I’ve run this race every year from 2008. Every year, I’ve gotten a little bit faster. This year I set some pretty lofty goals for myself.
Leading up to the race Tommy had me doing quite a bit long tempo runs, as well as speed work so could be in range of my target time. The April weather wasn’t co-operative with the training so although i was confident with my abilities, I still had some doubts.
The day before the race, I got up and did a tune up run which didn’t go so well. My legs just didn’t seem to want to get going. After the run, I went down to the expo, then back home to spend the rest of the day hydrating, and watching movies(The hobbit ain’t bad!).
Race day I got up good and early, and drove down to finish line to take the shuttle bus to the starting line. I got there at 6:45 which i thought would be plenty of time to get me to start line, however the bus didn’t show up til 7:15 which left me in a bit of a panic as bag check closed at 7:45. Got there in just enough time to get my race gear on and check my bag. Did a quick warm up, chatted with some friends and made my way to the start line.
I knew the adrenaline would take over when the gun went off so really tried to budget my effort. My plan was to stick to my race goal pace for the first 11k, then see what I had left for the downhill at rosedale valley road, then the flats through the city.
Gun went off and i was passed by a lot of people. I really tried to stay conscious and confident in my goal time that I would eventually catch all these people later in the race. Coming down yonge street you could really see the people up ahead starting their climb up hogs hollow. there looked to be a good 300-400 people. Again, stuck to race plan. First 5k splits looked like – 4:25, 4:23, 4:18, 4:49(hogs hollow), 4:31. I also went with a plan to get water at every aid station.
About the 9k mark the 1:35 pace bunny was right behind me. So decided to stick with this guy as much as possible.
Running down Rosedale Valley road proved to be a little difficult. We joined up with the marathon crowd and I kept getting ‘squeezed’ out by some of marathon runners as I was trying to pass them.
By the time I hit the St. Lawrence Market I could really feel the pain in my legs. I kept doing the math – 5k left – 22mins of pain…i can do it! I was a pretty hot day out there, and came across a few runners passed out getting medical attention. Pretty scary stuff!
the final 2k was just a matter of getting to the finish. The 1:35 pace bunny sprinted by me about 200m from finish.
My goal was 1:36-1:38(and hoping to place in top 200 overall for the race). I crossed the line at 1:35:48. Good enough for a 5mins PR on that course. I also placed 195 overall… So mission accomplished!
One thing I need to remember – GPS watches aren’t entirely accurate when running through the city!
Time to focus on the first 70.3 of the year – Mont Tremblant 70.3.
Results from sportstats.