How I accidentally ran a half marathon

My route on Saturday in Toronto

My route on Saturday in Toronto

On my recent visit home to Canada, I had two long runs to complete in preparation for my upcoming half marathon. The first took place on a treadmill, the second, was in Toronto, the city I lived in for many years before moving to London. I was excited to run in the city again. With a 20K run on the training plan, I knew I could plan a route that went through many of my favourite streets and trails and I was looking forward to the trip down memory lane. I had a rough idea of where I wanted to go and figured it would probably be about 20K so I set off on my somewhat unplanned adventure.

With my trusty Nike+ app, I knew I could track my distance. If my route ended up being too long, I would just stop after 20K and walk the rest of the way back, using the extra time as a nice long cool-down.

Unfortunately, my old iPhone 5 couldn’t last as long as my run. The battery died around 14K so I just carried on. Based on where I was when it died, I knew I would be close to 20K so I just went on feel.

When I finally returned and mapped my route, I realized I actually ran 21.8K! That’s actually more than a half marathon. Whoops. At least I know I will be well prepared for the real thing!

Truthfully, it wasn’t my best run and my pace was a far cry from what I’m actually capable of. Turns out coming home after 6 month absence involves a lot of late nights, eating at restaurants and drinking. I’m also battling what I have now started calling my “devil cough” –  a cold I picked up on the plane to Toronto and have not been able to shake for more almost three weeks.

But despite the slow pace and tickly throat, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all my favourite places. Nothing has changed, and I find that comforting. I also ran into an old coworker so I stopped for a quick catch-up. There’s something that doesn’t happen very often when you move to overseas!

Now, I’m resting up and getting ready for my first half marathon in London. I got some antibiotics from the doctor yesterday and while I was (surprisingly!) given the go ahead to run the half this weekend, he did advise me to not expect my best performance! So much for that sub 2 hour goal!

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