I took the subway up to the starting area of next week's Toronto Goodlife Marathon to do my 12 miler today, wanting to remind myself what the first half of the course is like. I did the same thing a year ago and it helped a little to remember where the course changes elevation and how you adjust.
Not much to report on the road conditions, only a little construction here and there on the southbound lanes. As I remember, it is a fast first half, I was trying to run it slower but the uphills and downhills got my changing up my pace.
Toronto Goodlife is a FAST course, no doubt about it. What it actually means is it is a really fast first half, with only a few hard uphills (one big one at 4K) but with quite a few downhill bits. Because most of the downhill nature of the course is in the first half, it takes a little bit of patience to not go out too fast, because the second half is flat, potentially windy and the last few miles is up a gentle uphill grade. I tend to take the downhills at pace or a little faster, using them to save up on your effort level (ie. cardio) so you have a little more left in the tank for the second half.
I enjoy the course a lot, especially when you get to wind your way through some of Toronto's neighbourhoods, and the fall colours are just turning, should be awesome by next week.
My temptation to go out fast will be tempered by the next month. 3:30 will be the fastest first half pace I'll go out at. It may feel slow, but I think i'll thank myself in the late miles and also a week later when I'll be forced to be a little pace bunny.