Well, most of it. Getting up before the sun can hurt sometimes. 😉
But overall, I love all of the excitement the night before and the morning of a race. At home I may experience a few pre-race jitters on my own, but social media also adds a whole different perspective on the community and the excitement. Fellow runners posts blogs, tweets, updates, etc. and there is always great support from friends and followers. I love the feeling of everyone rallying around a runner and the race. Sure, it feels good when people support me, but I also have a fabulous time encouraging and cheering on others.
Maybe that’s what I like so much about the sport of running. The community. Everyone shares successes and battles, tips and training ideas, as well as nutrition and even psychological tips to keep going. Runners come together and rally around an event no matter the distance or location. You just can’t beat that feeling.
So, yesterday morning when my alarm went off as the sun was coming up, I felt the excitement. I went on Twitter and my fellow GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon runners of every distance were already awake and cheering each other on as their pre-race rituals were just beginning. This only enhanced the energy I was trying to build up, which definitely helped as I rarely get up that early!
It turned out to be a beautiful morning for the race. Partly cloudy, light breeze, and cool air. Perfect because I run much better in cooler weather anyway. We didn’t encounter any issues arriving and parking, which definitely helped with the nerves. But once I got there and saw the others runners, my energy was getting fully pumped up! Everyone in their running gear, and even a few silly outfits out there – the runners were ready for a good time and personal bests. The scenery on the shore of Lake Ontario was definitely a plus as well, but let me tell you, the spring flies that were out were not. I couldn’t believe the swarm that was already out that early, but eating a few flies wasn’t going to slow us down!
I felt pretty good during the race and ended up achieving a personal best of 28:41. I was pretty excited about my time because I was aiming to finish within the 28 minute mark. Today though, I feel like I could have gone a little faster. I’m not feeling any stiffness, so I know I could have pushed myself a little harder to achieve a faster time. I don’t want to be disappointed in myself, but this was a learning experience. I have some kind of mental block that is preventing me from pushing myself too hard. Which is good, but to a point. Either way, I know this for the next race.
Now that I am reflecting on it, I really enjoyed the morning and the race. It was a fun, fast, and flat course that I wouldn’t mind running again. But, I’ve got the urge to take my running to longer distances now, so you never know what I might run next year at GoodLife. Maybe the Half? 😉
Did you run the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon? How did it go?