Guest Post: Toronto Waterfront Marathon Review

Thursday: 20 mins elliptical +Barbell blast class

Friday: Spin class

To Run or Not to Run


Toronto was a blast in hindsight. We arrived Saturday afternoon and checked out the expo. The expo was good but not enough to buy anything. I bought a hat! (Laura) Lots of fun goodies to taste. The race shirts were great and the bibs were awesome, large print with your name and number. Good swag overall. (Laura) Best idea ever to put your name on your bib when running a marathon, you really need those random shouts of your name throughout the course.

We ventured out that night to find pasta for dinner which proved harder than expected, we walked block after block, ending up at a little walk in pizza place that sold pasta. With our pasta in tow we headed back to the hotel to crawl into bed and watch the TIGERS! And paint our nails and find a good spot for the candy corn supply. (Laura)

Comfortable beds at the Holiday Inn, so my night of sleep was alright, slightly restless because of the pending race. I woke up to Laura snoring and when her alarm went off, she shot up in bed and was moving around in seconds. I don’t know if I have ever seen someone wake up and be so alert. Another reason why that girl is my hero. Dress and ready to go with ponchos on we ventured out in the rain to find the start. And then reality hit. We had work to do! (Laura)

We were only a few blocks away but as we walked in the rain Laura and I were already doubting why we were doing this. When you walk to a marathon start, you are nervous and worried already but add in rain and it crushes your dreams of a good race with each drop. (Laura) We found shelter under a building, yet the port-a- potty was calling my name and I stood in line and waited, not even sure if I needed to or not but it didn’t feel right to start the race without one last stop. 🙂

We jumped in a random corral and before we knew it , we had crossed the start line, Laura’s Garmin without a signal and wearing our ponchos. Then all of a sudden, the rain stopped and about mile 3 we took off our ponchos. At this point my right foot was on fire, my feet were wet enough to start rubbing the wrong way in my shoes. And I had to use a potty on the course at this point, but I swear I didn’t have to go at the start! (Laura) I kept fighting it and at mile 10, I confessed I didn’t know if I would finish. Coach Laura told me to keep pushing and re-assess at the Half Marathon split. I kept fighting and as we passed the shoot for the half runners, I envied them, every single one. Me too! (Laura) By mile 14, we were heading out of downtown and I threw the towel in. Laura encouraged me but also felt my pain, as she wasn’t enjoying the run either. I told Laura to go on without me and I would see her at the finish line but I wasn’t going to make it running anymore. I took the next mile to decide what to do…..I had options :

1.      Walk of shame back to town, while all the other marathon runners headed out on the course

2.      Step off the course and just stand there and cheer for runners

3.      Try to dodge up a side street so no one would see me quit

4.      Keep walking and trying to run

I chose to keep pushing through, I had told people I was running a marathon, I wanted to wear my shirt with pride and I wanted that medal. I decided not to care about my time and just going. I saw Laura a few miles later and she encouraged me as we passed, I kept going. I was so impressed and happy that she kept going! (Laura) I started to enjoy the race a little more, the walking took pressure off my blister. The rain has stopped and things were looking up. About mile 19, I found a friend who was also run/walking, Elizabeth. She took had missed her PR and was just trying to finish. It was great to have another buddy to help take my mind off of what we were doing and we pushed out the last miles together.

When we finally crossed the finish line at 5 hours and 18 minutes, I saw Laura standing there.  I just started crying saying I never ever wanted to do another marathon ever! We awkwardly walked back to our hotel, jumped in the pool, showered and got the heck out of Toronto. We trashed Toronto, then we praised it , we analyzed it and then I swore off marathons for life.

Total Race Review:

1.      Decent Expo

2.      Great Shirts

3.      Course was nice along the water

4.      More inclines than I expected

5.      Really difficult to watch the half marathons head home and you are heading out of town

6.      Not many spectators along 2nd half.

7.      Course was open, not very crowded with runners

8.      Water stations every 1.5 miles was awesome

9.      KM markers sucked, kept thinking at 12 km, I was at 12 miles.


Today as I sit here and write this review, I contemplate running Indianapolis Marathon on 11/3/12. Do it! (Laura) Now that the pain is gone from Sunday, my determination returns to make my goal of finishing under 5 hours.

We have good runs and bad runs, we hate it and we love it and somehow we all end up going back to it. 🙂

Thanks Laura for all your help in surviving Toronto!!!


My race looked pretty similar. I usually get sore through my hips and knees during miles in the late teens. But this race I could feel tightness around mile 6! Not good but I knew a lot of that was from running Chicago the weekend before. Miles 15-18 plain sucked and I hated each step. But then I too met a running buddy, Oscar. He was running his first marathon and lived in Toronto. It was great to have someone to keep pace with, to tell me about the streets of the course, and to help battle the mental part of running. We split with about a 5k to go because he stopped to chat with his wife.  The last 5k was about the slowest jog you have ever seen but for me walking hurts too much. I finished at 4:51 and was so thankful to be done. Candy corn, chatting with Melissa, and compression socks made the rest of the day better 🙂

Have you ever struggled mentally with a race or workout?

If you want to see Melissa’s disgusting blister scroll down…










2 responses to “Guest Post: Toronto Waterfront Marathon Review

  1. Great Review ladies! Although now I am sure I never want to run a marathon…you guys are so impressive! I will do a 5K one day. hehe. Sick (as in cool) Blister Melissa…that is a blister of a champ! xoxo

  2. Thanks Colleen, didn’t take much to make that beauty!

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