Hamilton Road2Hope Half Marathon Race Recap! (Part 1)


So back in October I ran the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Half Marathon, in hopes of running a PR (sub 1:55:36) and in my perfect world, sub 1:55. In typical runner fashion, when I didn’t hit my goal I had 100000 excuses like rain and blisters.ย BUT, I wasn’t too crushed because I still had a great run, and I knew I would have another shot on November 4th in Hamilton.

“They” say that after a race you need 1 day of rest or very light exercise for every mile raced. This would mean I needed 13 days of rest/recovery before gearing up for Hamilton, leaving me 1 week to get ready again. I had generally planned to ignore this rule, but my giant blisters disagreed– as did the days and days of rain that would only make things worse. While I was still teaching boot camps, I only ran three times between the Toronto and Hamilton races. Let’s go through those three runs…

Run 1: It’s pouring rain out. I’ve already put this first run off a million times so I decided to suck it up and run in the rain for a measly 4km, at which point I would arrive at the indoor track and continue my run there, warm and dry. This dream got nipped in the bud when I arrived to a closed track due to a “special event.” Josh picked me up, dreams crushed. NOTE: Usually I love running in the rain but in my new VFFs I get major blisters in the rain which I couldn’t afford a week before the race.

Run 2: The Thursday before race day, November 1st. I figure I better get a run in just to make sure I’m feeling good, just a little 5k. Around 3.5km I got instant, out of the blue, intense, sharp chest pains. I slowed down, took deep breaths and made my way home, finishing the planned 5k. The chest pains were just under my left breast and they were deep, sharp and I could feel them in my back too. Over 24 hours passed and the chest pains remained, so off I went to the hospital on Friday morning. I was pretty sure I just had a strained muscle in my chest but wanted to get it checked out and get cleared to race on Sunday and fly the following Monday.ย When I arrived, I found out that due to a few factors (age, medications), I am technically “at risk” for developing blood clots. I went through a series of tests (ECG, x-rays, blood).

At the end of the day, I tested positive in the d-dimer blood test (indicates potential blood clots), this test actually has a VERY high number of false positives, so the doctor suggested that I go home and just pay attention to how I felt. He said I was free to run on Sunday as long as I felt able, and he said if anything got worse I should come back to the hospital– though he doubted this would happen.

Run 3: The doctor said I should run one more time to make sure I was able and then decide whether or not to race on Sunday. I ran 1 mile and felt great. Everything was fine, physically– I didn’t have any pain while running. Mentally, I was a bit messed up. I was so worried that I would invoke the same pains, I didn’t want to push myself, and this, my friends, is no way to make a PR. I had a decision to make. Race day or no race day?

Quite a few people told me not to bother because a) what if something went wrong? and b) even if something didn’t, I wasn’t going to PR and I would just be disappointed. Why torture my bod for no reason? I kind of agreed. I didn’t pick up my race kit and was leaning towards no race. Saturday night I started to think about all the reasons I WANTED to race:

  • Perfect weather forecast!
  • Last halfie of the season
  • It had already been paid for
  • A sweet course– 6km DOWNHILL, pardon?
  • What’s the big deal if I get chest pains and quit? DNF > DNS.

I talked it over with my sister Jess and I was like EFF IT, I’M RUNNING. She agreed. I chugged water, ate a burger for dinner and some birthday cake for dessert (HBD Dad!). Race fuel of champs. I got all my stuff ready and went to bed wearing my fave bracelet.

I slept somewhere around 4 hours, I had chest pains most of the night– they were always more intense lying down. I felt fine when I got up but continued to feel them all the to the start line. Didn’t matter, the race day excitement is contagious and I was in it (to win it).


To be continued because I don’t want to make you cross-eyed!








  1. But– I’m ready for part 2 now! I hope you’re feeling better!!

  2. Wow, you are so brave, hope everything is ok now!

  3. Part 2, part 2! Can’t wait to see what happened. Given you’re writing I’m assuming you’re all ok, but even still, hope that you’re well ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Okay I ruined it by reading part 2 first…but chest pains suck monkey balls. I’m happy you’re feeling better!


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