Hamilton “Road2Hope” Half Marathon

It was a fun race, despite the cold and gloomy day… and my slow performance (I finished in 1:37:05 – my slowest 21.1 since the Goofy).

The weird part was that I felt fast, good and smooth but every kilometre my Garmin would beep and I would glance down to see 4:30-something and think “WFT?!”. So, I would lean forward, check my stride length, pump my arms, take some deep/slow breathes but still, at the next km beep, I would see the same 4:30-something pace. I just couldn’t get my freakin’ speed up (aside from during the ~5ks of down hill where I got up to 4:19/km). You can see all my km splits at Garmin Connect, if you really want to.

I sent Coach Ben a note when I got back to Toronto after the race and this is what he responded with:

Well you were *definitely* not tapered for this one… so this is more of a reflection of the kind of split you can put out in a Half IM race, which is good. I’ll make sure you get to Thailand well ready for the race. You’ll need solid legs for the hills. Make sure you wear your compression pants on the plane…

He’s right, I will need to buy some compression pants (heh) and yes, I was not tapered. I thought sheer grit, tenacity and the net loss in elevation would make up for the lack of taper but I guess that was overly optimistic of me. The fact that I still felt like exhausted crap all day Monday is another indication that I wasn’t rested or ready to put on my a-game-face.

Day Before

At 9:15am I did a 60 minute “Fasted Fat Loss” bike ride on the trainer. I hadn’t eaten since 7:15pm the night before (I had a black cup of coffee when I first woke up and about a litre of water on the bike). I had a 20 minute cold bath after the ride and then ate some good breakfast (protein, oats & banana mush). Later in the day I did 45 minutes of yoga – it felt good.

For dinner I had the usual: tuna, quinoa, spinach, sweet potatoes and beets. For dessert I had a small bowl of dark chocolate and dried cranberries. Delish! We went to be pretty early and I slept quite well.

Morning Of

I woke up at 4:30am (which was kinda 5:30am – thank you daylight savings time) and had about 375ml of Tailwind and a cup of black coffee. Spent some time “alone”… and then ate a bowl of mushed up banana, quinoa, sweet potato and almond butter. I sipped the remaining 375ml of Tailwind in the car on the way to Hamilton.

During the Race

After a couple trips to the porta-potties (and one to the trees) I was ready to go. I had one GU Roctane 10 minutes before the race started and another one about halfway through. I drank a few sips of water at most of the aid stations but it was so cold outside that I wasn’t really worried about hydration and certainly not overheating. My slowness had nothing to do with nutrition or hydration.


We leave for Thailand in 2 weeks from today. The first of the two races is in 18 days from now. Eeek! I am excited and nervous – just the way I should be. I’m all vaccinated and prepared and just have to get a few more key workouts in, maybe drop a little bit of weight to make life easier, and I am good to go!

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