Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2011

All right, lets get something posted here. Guess we'll randomly start with my thoughts going into the race. Despite not posting on here much, which I've tended to do in the past when things weren't going well, my confidence heading into STWM actually very high, blogging is tougher than workouts. The past 14 weeks have been the best stretch of training I've ever had, was feeling like I was in the shape of my life. Thought to myself, ok, on a good day you can attack, attack standard, and if feeling good off back end, even run a lot faster then it. Second thought was, if weather's not perfect I'm strong enough to attack 2:11:29 with confidence my fitness will allow me to hold on and get under. Third thought was, if weather is really bad, what the heck do I do? And it was this last scenario that I was facing a few days out with 40k/h+ winds projected. Luckily there was no panic, rather I listened to the people around me whom I most trusted. We didn't come out with anything complicated, simply keep an eye on the prize and get after it! Most difficult part by far was keeping mind off the wind! Great thing about racing in Canada is you get treated like a someone. Alan Brookes, meet director of STWM has been fantastic. The race brought in eight pacers total, pretty much each Canadian had an individual assigned to them. This came in very handy the first 13k, much of that into a stiff headwind. I was running in a pack with Dylan Wykes and Kip Kangogo, plus our 2 & a half rabbits, I say half because we had three total but one left early and another would take off up ahead for spells, only coming back after getting told he wasn't doing his job. Gotta say I was pleasantly surprised at how I felt whole first half, and much of the second. Goal was to split 65 at half and came through in 64:53, though did think it said 64:41 which had me thinking, "we're well under standard pace, this is great"! Not sure in the end if that helped or hurt me? The race for me was pretty uneventfull for about the first 3/4, a good uneventfull that is. I remember thinking before 30k that I wanted to get into the Beaches, "because thats were the race really starts". A brief moment of zen happened in that 5k stretch of rolling street, just after shedding my 'RunningWorks' (thats for you Catts;), Trent Stellingwerf yelled "gotta stay on it now", having not seen a split in a while I thought, maybe he knows something I don't, maybe I'm slowing down? Clicked my watch at 34k aiming to what I was running. 35k along, looked down, 3:01, though BOO YEAH, one of my fastest K's into the wind, RACE ON! Let the watch run to k 36, look down, 6:16.... just ran a 3:15 kilometre and no hill to blame it on. Remember thinking, well now the race is REALLY on, and it aint going to be pretty! Yep, the following 6.2k was tough, very very tough! Energy was there to fight but with that head wind it felt like a loosing battle every step shortening to a point going up the DVP overpass I felt like I could technically be race walking?!?! Seeing the 40k split gave me some life that I hadn't totally lost it the last few k. With some rudimentary math figured standard was still within reach but it might be close, bit of foreshadowing there eh. Can't say I really knew how close it was going to be until 300m to go when Trent was there again screaming "YOU HAVE TO GO NOWWWWW!!!!!! Checked my watch to confirm, yep, he was right, I REALLY GOTTA GO!! haha.. If you've seen the video of my final 100m I check my watch again, yes with less then 100m and the finishing clock in sight I look down at my wrist with no hope in hell of it helping me in the slightest. Though I've told people after it was because I wanted know if 2:11:29 had passed already so I could slow down and stop torturing myself ;) The crowd started a countdown with 10seconds to go, maybe after seeing the watch check? It was pretty cool, add more in next day or two...... till then.

12 comments:

Mike Shanks PSP said...

Great job Eric!!

Derrick said...

Wow. Just amazing. Congratulations on a great race!

Dan Way said...

I remember looking down at my own watch around km 33 (just when the hurt was beginning) and seeing 2:12 and wondering whether you guys (Reid et al) had done it. The first question I had when I finished my own race was did the guys qualify and someone just laughed. I've watched the CBC broadcast a couple times and to see your finish and Reid's fist pump when you came in under 2:11:28 was truly amazing. It will be among the mental images I will never forget. Well done Eric. Can't wait to see you and Reid in 2012.

Kim Maser said...

Great run Eric. DST said you guys were ready to go and he was right.
that last 30 seconds of watching you run was pretty tense. It was great to see you get the standard.
Given the weather conditions that was a real gritty run.
Looking forward to see you and Reid run in London 2012.

Cheers

Kim

Marlene said...

I was nearly an hour and a half behind you, but can relate to a lot of what you are syaing here. Hitting that wind and losing time from 35K on wards... realizing there was still a shot at the 40K mark, staring at the watch ALL along Bay Street. (I made my goal of sub-3:35 with 6 seconds to spare)

ANYWAY huge congrats.... so many of us were rooting for you and you made Canada proud! LONDON 2012!

Robin said...

I ran the marathon (way behind you) and went home to watch the race on TV (PVR'd it). I saw you all out on Lakeshore and cheered you on! But to watch the race on tv and see you at the end was nail biting (and I knew you made it by then). It was amazing to watch....truly! Congratulations! Woo Hoo London 2012!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I've watched and ran in a lot of races and Scotiabank on Sunday was the most exciting one I have ever seen. To watch all the Canadians run so bloody well was incredible. Thank you for all the effort you put into your training and for all the inspiration that you give others. Your last 100m was legend. It was one of the best moments of the race and it is completely thrilling to know we have TWO runners now heading to London. Fantastic effort Eric - amazing job. Well done you. Thanks for the inspiration.

Catts said...

Let me know if you need some new arm warmers ;)

Serge said...

Congrats Eric! Seeing you running to that finish line like that was incredible.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,

I will never say "just a second" again!

Joan

Anonymous said...

Great race, Eric. Enjoy London.


Eric Gillis spotlight, almost same spots as last year: Youtube - 2011 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon - Eric Gillis spotlight

Rick Ball said...

Good job staying focused on achieving your goal Eric. Your months of hard work have paid off and you have proved that you have the guts to push through the pain. Congrats!!!