Today’s marathon was number seven for me. I signed up for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon after running a 3:17 in Ottawa, hoping to at least get myself closer to my BQ of 3:10.
My training went well over the summer and into September. That was until I sprained my ankle playing soccer just over four weeks ago. The injury forced me to miss a pacing gig in the Army Run half-marathon. My ability to run yesterday’s marathon was not guaranteed at that point either. Fortunately, with the help of physio, I was able to slowly start running again a couple of weeks ago.
I decided to line-up with the 3:15 pacer at the start in order to see if I could come close to or beat my time from Ottawa in May. The conditions to start the race were not ideal with steady rain falling as everyone made their way into the start corrals.
The rain continued after the start but stopped around the time I hit the 7 km mark. I was feeling good through the half and still with the 3:15 group at that point. However, by the time I hit the 30 km mark my hamstrings and quads had had enough and I could feel a blister developing on one of my big toes.
At this point the only thing that mattered was getting myself to the finish line. I slowed my pace and took some walk breaks from there to the finish.
Ed Whitlock, a holder of several world records for masters runners, passed me with about 4-5 km to go. He ended up finishing just ahead of me. Apparently he was also recovering from an injury that cut into his training time. Seeing him on the course yesterday was inspiring. I hope I can still run when I am his age.
I crossed the finish line in 3:30, my slowest time in 4 or 5 marathons. However, I can’t say that I am disappointed with the result.
In the short span of four weeks I went from this…
While things did not go the way I planned when I originally signed up for the race I am happy that I was able to run a good time in a marathon just four weeks after spraining my ankle and, the most important thing about yesterday, my ankle felt fine after running a marathon.