Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront {Half} Marathon

I did it!


Okay let’s back up a little…

I got up at 6am yesterday feeling very nervous but excited. I drank lots of water and ate a piece of toast, with peanut butter and a banana. Are you surprised?

Banana pb toast

Mom, Dad and I piled into the car and headed downtown — the route is along the Toronto waterfront, as the name suggests. It was a beautiful but cold day. Sunny but 5 degrees Celsius (40 Fahrenheit). Eek! I dressed warmly: longsleeve, leggings, jacket, gloves and headband… with of course lots of kleenex in my pocket.

Dad parked and Mom walked with me to my race corral (the area of the starting line based on expected finishing time).

Pre race

Waiting in the corral was the worst. I got really cold. It was only about 10 minutes but it felt like forever until my corral was called to start. And then we were off… there were more than 25,000 runners running the marathon and half-marathon — crazy!

The first 2km (1.2 miles) were horrible: I could barely feel my feet and my toes were tingling. Not fun at all but I stayed positive and eventually warmed up. I was doing some weaving and passing and soon enough I was feeling confident. My knee was sore but it was not affecting my stride — I told myself I would stop and walk if that happened. But it didn’t.

I did not to look at my watch very often because I just wanted to run and not focus on my time. But when I glanced at it at the 7km (4.3 miles) mark I was on pace for meeting my original goal of finishing in under two hours. If I could do it, I wanted to do it. I continued to run, think, sing, look at the water, trying not to bump into anyone or step on any cups or gels, and just run. I think I can, I think I can.

At 15km (9.3 miles) I was tired. My legs were heavy but I wasn’t feeling hurt or injured, just tired. Keep going, keep going, you can do this. I drank water but did not end up eating the mini Larabar I packed in my belt. It’s crazy what adrenaline and determination can accomplish.

When I saw the 20km (12.4 miles) sign I knew how close I was. It helped that “Heart of a Champion” started playing too. RUN. And I ran. And I sprinted. And then when I saw Mom and Dad waving and cheering me on with 200 meters to go I ran as fast as I could.

I did it.

Time and medal

In 1 hour, 52 minutes and 19 seconds. (My watch was 6 seconds off from my official time). I think that my Dad said it best: “We are not defined by numbers, but sometimes it’s pretty awesome to have a good number to feel proud of.”

Wow. It was truly an amazing experience.

Amy and dad

After the race we headed out for a celebratory meal — I wish my sister could have been with us. We went to one of my favorite places… and I threw out my food sensitivity rules for the day. I chowed down on a massive veggie omelette and berries. Pizza and beer just doesn’t do it for me…

Post race eats

…sweets are more my thing. I couldn’t decide so I got both: cinnamon raisin roll and a chocolate rugelach cookie.


After I stuffed my face, I stretched, iced my knee and showered (oh yeah I still hadn’t showered… ew). Then Mom and I headed to the spa for facials and massages. Um…. amazing. Could not have timed these appointments better. So relaxing. The rest of my night was spent eating, icing, eating, foam rolling and sleeping. You bet I’m sore.

What a day and an adventure. I am proud of myself and can’t wait for more races. Like I already started looking them up… Well a little break might be good first :)

I cannot thank you all enough for your incredible support and encouragement. Your texts, tweets, emails, Instagram comments, everything… truly means the world. YOU are the best. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Questions of the day…

Did you run a race this weekend?! Tell me about it!

What other fun things did you get up to this weekend?


77 thoughts on “Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront {Half} Marathon

  1. CONGRATS Amy!!!! Wow! What an amazing accomplishment!!! And Your dad is a very wise man!
    That Chocolate rugelach cookie looks insanely divine!
    I crossed a “todo” off my list by going apple picking this weekend – and just a coupe of easy 3 and 4 mile runs.
    Great post!

  2. AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! I am so friggin happy for you! What a race and what a recap, Congratulations once again what an awesome, awesome achievement. So glad to hear that your knee didn’t cause you any pain, hopefully it will recover just as well too.

    I loved that comment by your dad so wise and so true and so on point with all the talk we’ve had lately on numbers ;)

    Drooling at your pizza and again at those treats and glad you got both.

  3. Holy moly, girl!!!! 1:52 on a first half marathon?!? You are truly talented, and your hard work paid off! I’m SO glad the knee hung in there and that you were able to finish strong. Hope you manage to bask in the glory for at least another few days – be proud of yourself! Don’t forget to keep icing that knee, though, as I bet it will be a bit sore. Big veggie omelet + berries + sweets is EXACTLY my idea of perfect post-race food. I always go for veggie scrambles post-race, because they’re so delicious and a good way to get in the protein I need to recover! And then the sweets … well, they’re just delicious. I also think it’s so sweet that your parents supported you so much. I’m going to stop rambling, but I’m SO proud of you! Congrats!!!

    1. I like your rambling so keep it coming :) the post-race eats were so satisfying! I think my family is so sick of me talking about running but they are troopers. Icing as I type too… it’s definitely sore but taking care of it. Thank you lovely!

  4. Congratulations Amy! Your ability to stay positive throughout training and the race has seriously been an inspiration. You should be so proud :) That omelet looks delicious too!!

  5. CONGRATS GIRL!!!! You killed it! 1:52 for a finishing time is flipping incredible. :D I’m so glad your knee didn’t give you any problems – I hope it continues to feel ok over the next few days. Love your choice of post-race treats! They both look so good! And a spa day too? That sounds amazing. What a perfect way to celebrate!

    This weekend was pretty low key for me. I just met up with a blog reader at Kindfood, went to the mall, and did some cooking and baking!

  6. Congratulations again lovely. You are so amazing, and I totally agree with your dad! You should be proud regardless, but you can be extra proud of having such a rockin’ number. I would have celebrated with sweets too (they look amazing), and massages and facials? Holy perfection. Happy Monday and happy recovering <3

  7. wooooohooooo major congrats!!! that’s a fantastic first half marathon time and you are so right about race day adrenaline!! it’s why we always say you don’t need to run more than 10 miles in training, something special kicks in!!

  8. EeeeEEE!! HUGE congrats, Amy! Not only for finishing, but for completely SQUASHING your goal! I know I’ve probably mentioned this point to death, but the fact that you went from not being a runner to already running your first half has been a huge inspiration for me, and I’m currently taking baby steps in my own running journey and excited to see where it goes :)

    1. And please continue to mention it… it makes me so happy. I am so proud of your steps and I know you can do anything you set your mind too. So excited to read about your running journey too.

  9. Ah congrats girl!! So exciting! Makes me wish I was well enough to run mine in September. And you had such a great time! I know what you mean about finishing a race and immediately looking for a new one. They are so addictive! I say we go to Van next year so Seawheeze… :)!

  10. I’ve been waiting to read this post all night!! I am so proud of you! Under two hours?!?! You are AMAZING!! I’m so glad your knee cooperated and you met your goals. That’s what all of the training and hard work that you put in will get you!! P.S. You look so cute in the first picture right before you’re about to start! :)

    P.P.S Can’t wait to see you in a few days! (Pretty sure I’m going to tell you this at the end of every post this week ;)

  11. You are so speedy! Congrats! What a fantastic accomplishment – loved reading your recap. And what a perfect way to end the day at the spa.

  12. Wow, you smoked that race!! Great job Amy! I’m glad your knee didn’t slow you down. And I’m pretty sure you ended the day in the most awesome way ever! If I ever convinced myself to run a half, a massage would be a necessity.

    Congrats again!! :)

  13. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaang girl awesome time!!! You should be so proud of yourself! I love what you dad said about the numbers, don’t let it define you but it’s got to feel good with a number that you worked hard for. Congrats again!!!

  14. AMAZING!!!! You blew the roof off of your goal! I was watching the live feed on yesterday and may have cried once or twice watching people come in.

    Love your choice of post-race meal, looks delish! And a facial and massage later in the day? Jealous!

  15. Congrats on getting under the time you wanted! It is always such a great accomplishment :) I was in the same race! I agree it was very cold at the start, it warmed up though! I was really happy that it didn’t rain and that there was no wind. It can be very windy along the waterfront!

    1. Ah you were?! How cool! Totally agree on the rain… that would have been no fun at all. Hope you had a successful race and a fun time too. I checked over at your blog but didn’t see a recap (just delicious pancakes!)

  16. so proud of you buddy- what an incredible running story! I’m jealous of the running scenery you had- would have been amazing to do it. I’m looking forward to seeing where the fitness journey takes you next- your a champion!

  17. Could you have done any more amaziing?! Congratulations, speedy little bee! I’m so glad the troubles you had before didn’t affect your race at all. Just look at your time – incredible! You know I’ll hire you as my personal running coach, right?!

  18. Congratulations! I was so happy to see this instagram picture posted. Can I eat both of those desserts even if I don’t complete a half marathon? Maybe they’ll be my post-exam treat! Great work! Adrenaline and endorphins are amazing. I definitely need to get a foam roller for my knees and calves they work magic. The spa sounds like the perfect (and extremely deserving) ending to an already exciting day! Hooray great work Amy!!

  19. Congrats Amy!!! I’ve never even come close to running a half, so I have no idea what it’s like, but I can only imagine it’s a huge mental challenge as well as physical. Congrats on finishing so far ahead of your goal time — awesome job! Love the desserts too, sometimes you just gotta go for both :)

    1. Without a doubt, I was going for both! Thank you Steph — you are right about the mental challenge. And today I am feeling the physical DOMS. Oh my! Hoping things are well.

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