So we passed the first big test with last weeks 21.1 Km Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. I came in at 1hr42min for 593rd place of 5364 runners in this event ... I was quite pleased in being able to maintain my pace from the Midsummer's run, especially as I was slow out the blocks from not exactly doing the greatest job at pre race bathroom management! That'll definitely change for next Sunday ... we're somewhat sandwiched between two big races these days with the Toronto International approaching quickly on 14 October. They say two weeks really isn't enough time to improve much on a time - but with better race morning eating habits plus more downhill on the the course, I'll take a shot at breaking into the 1hr30's.
What was nice about the Scotia run though was that it was a relatively flat course, much like what the Reggae will be like in December. I have come to quickly respect the value of incorporating hill training into one's workouts. I've been running up quite a bit of hills this summer, and though it pisses one off how slowly it takes to finish a run with proper uphill sections - it preps you real well for those flat/paved runs so that come race day you feel like you're flying! Now that is not to say I'll be going nearly as fast come Jamaica - 42.2Km is bloody long!! I used to think that these half's would help me think of a realistic time goal for the long one, but after Sunday I'm not so sure ... a couple buds I've run with this summer who are generally much stronger than me at the 21K distance ran the full marathon and clocked in around 3hr49min. Sure it's not feasible to expect to keep the half pace over a proper 42K, but it's tough to judge just how much slower you're actually gonna be when doing it ... I've got a couple mths yet and I'm only now getting into the really longer training distances, but for the moment I think I might be shooting for 3hr45 - we'll see how that changes!