What a day, what a race! In my final race of the 2022 season, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon always lives up to the hype, and this year was off the charts. This race will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first marathon back in 2018.
The level of spectator and cheering stations truly made this a world class premiere event! So how’d it go? I ran a new personal best with 3:34:01! I smashed my previous PB of 3:39:36 and That’s a 5:35 mins PB! After my crazy season of triathlons I had doubts this was going to happen. With three 70.3s and a full IRONMAN triathlon just a few months prior, I kept lowering my expectation for this race. Even my Stryd race calculator said it wasn’t going to happen.
But I followed the philosophy of trying to negative split and trust the process of coach Miranda Tomenson, and you know what? It all worked out! Nostril comfortable breathing and chatting pace for the first 30K, then really pushed it in the last stretch even though it was uphill. I GOT IT DONE TODAY! My 2022 race season is officially over, and I PBed EVERY. SINGLE. RACE. Unreal. I can’t believe I actually did all that. Wow.
OFFICIAL RACE TIME: 03:34:01 hours at 5:04/km
I’d actually like to show you what trying to negative split or at least even split an entire marathon looks like using my previous Strava data.
2018 – Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (1st Marathon, where I bonked hard halfway)
2019: Goodlife Toronto Marathon (Finally sub4)
2019 – Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2nd time)
2022 – TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon (3rd time, this year)
As you can see from above, the first 3 marathons I did, I started started out too fast and too hard. I tried to “bank time”, and the second half usually really was brutal.
However, this year, I did not go out fast. Even though I had the goal to PB and finish faster than 3:39:36, I listened to my coach, and started further back. I started off with the 3:45hr pace and hung out with them for the first half. Then I gradually increased my pace and caught up with the 3:35 pacer. And then once that happened, everything else was gravy. I did run out of real estate to catch the 3:30 pacer, but I’ll save that for next time.
I’m really proud and happy of my splits. It was pretty even throughout. But in the last 7km, that’s when I really had to dig deep. And I believe that section is uphill as well, so everyone slows down a bit at the 37km mark.
What makes me even more happy than this PB is that after three long pandemic years, 25,000 runners from 60 countries around the world came to Toronto to race! The event also had the most cheering stations ever as well. This course I cherish and Sunday reminded me exactly why I love running so much, so very much.
I’d like to thank my coach Miranda for working with me and my busy work schedule and busy & tight race calendar. She made it all work out, and I PB’ed it all. But most importantly, she somehow got me through it injury free! When I started working with her, I came with a pre-existing left ankle niggle/stiffness. But with proper physio exercises and correct training load, I was able to perform well and actually this ankle issue is pretty subsided. I did have one bike crash before IMMT, but that wasn’t training or bike handling skill related. It was due to severe heat weather, along with that my AC was out for a week, leading to a heat blackout. But even from that, I was lucky to just have some scratches. And she adjusted my training plan accordingly. This is what makes a great coach!
All in all, what a tremendous 2022 race calendar. It’s the most amount of physical activities I’ve ever done in my entire life. And yet, here I am, stronger and better than ever. I can’t wait for 2023!
Many thanks to all the athletes, race organizers, sponsors, volunteers, spectators for making this the premiere running event in Canada.
For those interested, here was my nutrition plan:
- Sipped on 1 scoop Skratch Labs in 500ml bottle on way downtown
- 2x watermelon Clif chew blok sodium 20min before race
- Belt fuel 500mL flat coke with 4x saltstick 215mg (860mg sodium)
- 2x Endurance tap flask (filled up to 4 Taps line) with Kirkland maple syrup + 3x saltstick 645mg sodium
- 2 GU gels from aid station at 30k
- at 35k I made a Maurten Move and used my 1 Maurten gel I still had from IMMT here for the final push
- water from every aid station
- Nike AlphaFly Next% 2 (much more stable than the first gen)
- Apple Watch Ultra (my second run with it, so GPS was 1km off actually, my bad I should have calibrated it better)
- Lululemon tech shirt and socks
- Nike dri-fit shorts
- Salomon Sensibelt