Race Reports, Running

Race Report: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2019

“THE REMATCH”

This race was one year in the making. It was the REMATCH from my very first full distance marathon at STWM last year, where I totally hit the wall and finished in a death march of 5:17…on October 20, 2019, I got true redemption.

Finish Time – 3:39:36

GOALS 

A – 3:45

B – Sub-3:40

TRAINING

For this Fall Marathon cycle, I used the Stryd Wind footpod with coach Steve Palladino’s “Power Project”. It was a 17 week @ 7runs per week, LR on Sunday program. I thoroughly enjoyed this program as it is based off Power, rather than pace and/or heart rate, which are traditionally used. There are so many variable factors when it comes to HR, that while it is a good indicator of effort, it’s not very consistent. Whereas power is a raw number. Initially I was skeptical, but kept reading more research and good things about it. Power is primarily used in the world of cycling to great outcomes, so why not in running? I decided to give it a shot, and it paid off. 

I did a ton of very easy training runs to build my aerobic base. And two truly hard speed work/interval sessions per week. Within my plan, I also did a much slower paced 50K Ultramarthon follow up a few weeks later with a very fast 10K hilly. My hope is that these two would combine and have an overall positive physiological change in my body and system.  

While not part of the training plan, I was fortunate enough to have the Ironman World Championship in Kona and Eluid Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59:59 Challenge be broadcasted just the week prior. These were definitely the extra motivational fuel I needed for STWM. 

RACE NUTRITION

  4x Endurance Tap 

  • 250mL flat coca cola with 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • Water from every aid station
  • Used 2 GU Energy gels at aid stations after 30K
  • PS Coconut oil makes an easy natural chaffing cream!

GEAR

  • Nike Vaporfly 4%
  • Nike Dri-Fit shirt
  • Nike Flex-Stride shorts
  • Salomon hydration belt
  • Compresport Socks

THE RACE

There were no excuses on this day. The weather was absolutely beautiful at around 13C with mix sun and clouds. I got into the Yellow corral and lined myself up with the 3:40 pacer Jason. And at 8:51AM on Sunday Oct 20, 2019, we were off! I don’t know what it is about marathons, but when I do them, the miles go by really quickly. We went by so many iconic landmarks downtown Toronto. I saw 10K, 15K, 25K, 30K fly by. 

I saw a handful of good friends racing and spectating. my high school friend Zuzanna, who did the 5K race, greeted me at the half way mark, which was so awesome. I saw Joyce from the WeRunNorthYork crew multiple times throughout cheering from the side. 

Steve Palladino of the Power Project prescribed me a power of 215W based on the entire training plan and numerous Critical Power tests. I averaged around 220-225W give or take just to give myself a little buffer incase. I was aerobically fit, breathing comfortably enjoying the spectators cheering on, without breaking a sweat, and with a smile on my face up to around 35K. Breathing began to slightly increase, the temperature outside began to rise to 16C and the sun started to break out. Then the final 5K starting at the 37K mark is when I entered the pain cave. My quads and hamstrings started stiffening. But I dug really deep mentally and pushed on. Looking at my watch I knew I was close, and emptied the tank to do everything I could to break 3:40. I didn’t stop once the entire race. I trusted my training. I had fun. I crossed the finish line. 3:39:36. PB time baby! 

POST-RACE

After I crossed the finish line, I stopped my Apple Watch, and had a big smile on my face. I did it. I slashed my A and B goals. If I can figure out how to hold the pace for the final 5K, I could have possibly gone for 3:30. Next time. I have the entire winter to experiment, build, and improve so much more. 

My recovery smoothie which included a Banana + 1 Date + 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and 1tsp Tumeric powder was consumed within 30 mins. 

THOUGHTS

My May Marathon attempt (3:55) redeemed myself. But I had to slay my STWM demon (5:18) no matter what. I’ve used my CP in a 5K and 10K race, but not a Half-Marathon. So I wasn’t sure if I could hold my race pace for that long. Oh boy, did I surprise myself. I held it pretty much until 37K. I absolutely loved training and racing with power now. And will continue to going forward in road races, and as well as my triathlons. 

A big congrats to all my friends who ran their hearts out. I’m so proud of my good friend Randall Vasquez for completing his first marathon!

WHAT TO DO NEXT TIME 

Now that I i’ve learned that I can hold my race pace up to the 37KM mark, I need to figure how to keep the fire going or at least not let it slip too much in the final 5K. It’s probably still the race nutrition. Maybe some extra calories starting at 35K. Need to do more strength work for hamstrings and quads next time build muscular power. I look forward to indoor training the winter. And you bet that I’m excited for my 2020 season!