Sunday, August 26, 2012

Midsummer Night’s Run - 15K

I shouldn't wait a week before posting a race recap - I'm having troubles remembering things. Eek!


Rocked out in my new pink Team Sparkle skirt.


I also covered my upper body and face with various forms of glitter- body glitter, glitter eye shadow and three different eye liners – hot pink, turquoise and glitter. I don’t normally apply make-up specifically for a race, but I was going for a sparkle theme so why not?

Met up with my co-worker that I convinced to sign up for this race. He was a bit freaked out by the distance, but left me in his dust after 10 minutes and finished 10 minutes a head of me.

The course itself was great – flat and scenic. It started off hot, but got cooler as the race went on. My cousin was running the 30K and we passed each other on the course – he picked me up, spun me around, set me down and ran off. Bit disorientating, but a nice on-course boost.

The whole starting a race at 6:45 didn’t well for me – I didn’t eat properly throughout the day and kind of paid for it during my run with stomach cramps. Slowed me down quite a bit and I was ready for the finish line. 


Finished in 1hr 53 at a pace of 7:35/km. I didn’t make any of my time goals, but this was still a better pace than my last half marathon (barely – 7:39/km) so I’m hopeful that a 2.5 hour half is still in my near future, but we’ll see.

At the finish line, we were giving aluminum water bottles and giant medals.


I think if I had run the 30K, I would have been disappointed that all 3 distances (5K, 15K and 30K) were all given the same medals, but I’m okay with it. It’s a serious piece of bling and the biggest medal I have!

Things I liked about this race:

  • Course – beautiful. Fabulous views of the sky line.
  • Giant medal
  • Post race party seemed good, but I wanted to head home so didn’t get any food or drink
  • Well organized shuttles that brought me to and from the subway
  • Festive atmosphere – loved all of the people dressed up for the fairy theme.

Things not too crazy about:

  • Time – need to prepare better for an evening race
  • That’s about it.


Will definitely do this race again, maybe with lower expectations and a more elaborate costume.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Midsummer Night's Run Goals

This is one for my bucket list - Midsummer Night's Run 15K.

Very excited and this should give me an indication of whether or not I'm on track for a 2.5 hour half marathon in October.

Goals for this evening:

A - 1 hr 46 min (7:07 pace which is what I need for a 2.5 hour half)

B - 1hr 53 min (7:30 which has been my best pace on my long run)

Overall goal - have fun and sparkle!!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Toronto Spartan Sprint – Spectator Recap

My husband and a couple of friends ran the Spartan Sprint a week or two ago. This was the husband’s second Spartan Race and he also ran Warrior Dash last year. Seemed a bit too hard core for me, so I tagged along to take pictures and hold stuff.
They were all in the 2:30 heat and we arrived about an hour early. We had to park about 5 km away from the actual race site and take a shuttle bus over. Getting there wasn’t too big of a deal thankfully – we only had to wait about 15 – 20 minutes. We were warned though by people coming in from the earlier waves that bag check was a disaster so leave everything in the car. We left most of our stuff and I ended up carrying a back pack with water bottles and towels.
Lots of people

Race kit pick up was onsite and everyone got their timing chips as they entered. No race bibs – they were told to write their numbers on their arms and either on their cheeks or forehead.
Before. Everyone is clean.

As a spectator, there was a $15 charge. Pretty steep if you ask me and I had gone back and forth a lot deciding whether or not to come. I did get a $5 voucher for merchandise but I couldn’t find the merchandise tent so that was pretty useless.
At 2:30, the Spartans were off.
Husband is in the light blue shirt

I knew I wouldn’t be able to see much, so went over to catch some of the end of the race. It had started to rain at this point. Waited out in the rain for about 40 minutes or so. It was kind of fun though talking to the other spectators.

Here he comes.

Notice that the mud is up to his chest.

Climbing over the wall.

My husband finished first out of his four friends. The course was supposed to be 5km but ended up being closer to 7.
They were supposed to pick up their shirts at the end of the race but seems that the shirts get held up at the border so they didn’t have the right sizes. The shirt is supposed to be mailed out so we’ll see if it ever arrives (I’m kind of doubtful).
After - covered in mud.

The line ups to wash off were pretty ridiculous so they decided to skip it and we headed to the shuttle bus line up. AN HOUR LATER – we got on a bus. Bit ridiculous especially since it was pouring rain.
My husband had a great time but was a bit disappointed in some of the organizational issues of the race. Since I’ve done more races than him, he asked for my opinion on Spartan Race. Here’s my list of things that need serious improvement:
  • Shuttle bus situation needed big improvements. Took way too long to get back to the parking lot.
  • $15 spectator fee was pretty lame. I don’t think I would pay it again. At the same time though, it was good that I went and took photos because….
  • Not having bibs ended up not being great. The race photos came out this week and because no one was wearing a bib and they were covered in mud, there’s a ton of pics in the “lost and found pile”. I looked for pics of all 4 guys and could find one photo that was labelled with their bib number and it was of two girls so not the right person. We’ve done some hunting through the pics and found a couple, but wearing bibs would probably have helped matters. Or writing their number on their forehead but who wants to do that? The only pics they have are the ones I took.
  • There was no post race food included. You could purchase tickets for fries and hot dogs, but the runners didn’t get anything, not even a banana. I’ve never done a race that didn’t have something for the runners.
  • Whole issue with the shirts. I hope my husband gets his eventually but who knows.
  • Husband got an e-mail saying results are ready! Yay! However – here’s a bit from the e-mail: “For some participants you will find the Letters TBA by you name, some of the Data stored on the timing box suffered damage there was a small electrical fire (!!!!) by the finish line, we have sent the drive off to see if we can extract the information in the meantime we will keep you posted.” So far, no data so husband’s time is TBA. Sucks. I did check my water when he came in so we think his time was about 48 minutes.
Things that were good:
  • Nice medal
  • Everyone had a lot of fun.
  • I can use the “I paid $15 to stand in the rain for 4 hours” line against my husband to come to the rest of my races for the year!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

GTAA Runway Run

Last Saturday, I ran the GTAA Runway 5K. I signed up for it with two of my co-workers. It was a first race for both of them.

As the name implies, the run took place out on the Runway by the planes.
There were quite a few people and lots of families out (there was also a 2K walk).
The race started a bit late and it was super hot.
Being on a runway, the course was completely flat. It was an out and back and honestly, a bit boring. I need scenery. I so like the map from my Garmin:

I had a goal of 35 minutes in mind and I managed to come in at 34:57 so super happy with that. My previous 5K PR was 36:23 so I met my spring goal of setting new PR’s for half marathon, 10K and 5K. Yay!
I’m super proud of my co-worker David. He quite smoking last August (after smoking for many many years), started running in March and ran his first 5K in 30 minutes.
Overall, I enjoyed the Runway Run but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. I’d rather save my money for longer races.
Things I liked:
  • Flat course!
  • Lots of food at the finish area
  • Great shirt and medal

Things I didn’t like:
  • No water on course and it was super hot
  • Started late
  • Flat course= bit dull.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Toronto Women's Half 2012

This past Sunday, I ran the Toronto Women's Half Marathon. My 3rd half marathon and my 6th event in this series.

I arrived at the Park about an hour before the start time. I mostly hung around the bag check area trying to find Jennie. Gave up as there were too many people there and got into the start corral. Managed to find Jennie and Lyndsay right before we started.

We ran 5/1's together for the first part of the race. It was fun having people to talk to and made the time go by.  We split off around the 9km mark or so. I needed to slow down my pace a bit. I threw in my earphones and turned on my nano and continued on.

I had set my garmin for 8 repeats of 5/1's which wasn't really going to work for 21km. I ended up resetting it about an hour into the race and again about 10 minutes later. So I was kind of running blind for the last hour and a half. I had no idea how long I had been running or where my overall pace was at. I only had the route markers to tell me how far I'd run. It was kind of refreshing. I just ran at a pace that felt good, walked when I needed to and hoped for the best.

While I really enjoy the park setting of all of the TO Women's races, the narrow paths are a bit bothersome. Often got stuck behind other slower runners because the path wasn't wide enough to go by them.

I started struggling a bit around kilometre 13. Just felt very tired both mentally and physically. I ate a bunch of chomps and drank as much water as possible and struggled on.

Around 19km, I passed the chocolate station where volunteers were handing out cadbury thins. The thought of chocolate at that point was disgusting. I took one and managed to fold it up small enough to stuff into my fuel belt. Was much more enjoyable later in the day.

I was very happy to get to the last leg of this race. I saw Jennie near the end and she cheered me on to the finish and I managed to pick my pace up for the last bit and finish strong. My chip time was 2:40:27 so I met my goal of a 2:40 half and beat my PR by 3 minutes.Yay!

Overall, very happy to finish my third half marathon and three races in a month.

Things I liked about the Toronto Women's Half:
  • Size - running a smaller race was nice after the 20,000 people at Sporting Life
  • Finishers necklace - while I love a giant medal, I like being able to wear my necklace around.
  • Park Setting
  • Lots of inspiring women runners
  • Running with friends
  • The friendliest volunteers that I've encountered at any race
Things that could be improved:
  • More water stations. I think there were 5 stations. I think at least 2 more would be good. Thankfully ran with 4 bottles on my fuel belt.
  • Narrow pathways that are open to the public

Saturday, May 26, 2012

TO Women’s Half Goals

3 races in 4 weeks ends tomorrow and I’m ready for a break.

Super excited though for tomorrow. I think that the Toronto Women’s races will also be special for me, cause it’s where I ran my first 5K in August 2010. Tomorrow’s half marathon will be my 6th race in the series.


I’m not expecting huge improvements on my time from the Goodlife Half as it’s only been 4 weeks and I think that the course is going to be a bit tougher (ie. not downhill) and the weather is probably not going to be as perfect as it was for Goodlife.


A – 2:40 finish. This would be a bit of a push, but if I pick up the pace during the second half of the race, might be manageable.

B – 2:43 finish (same as Goodlife). Based on my 10K time from two weeks ago, various running calculators put me at 2:43.

C- Finish with a smile.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 Races - Update

Taking July off from racing

  • A Midsummer Night's Run (15K) -August 18th registered for this at the Goodlife expo. Very excited about this race as it's been on my list of must-runs for a year or two.
  • Toronto Women's 10K - August 25th. Haven't registered for this yet, but I'm sure I will.

Nothing planned yet for September but I really want to do Run for Your Lives!! Just trying to get the husband to join me.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Near Gear!

After running two races in my Nikes, I decided that I needed some new shoes. I’ve only been running in my Nikes since February but I needed a slightly wider shoe with a bit more cushioning.



I decided on Brooks Ghost 4. Very comfy and bonus points for the pink.


In June, I’m running the Toronto Pearson Runway Run with a couple of co-workers. I’ve been concerned about hydrating as there’s no water along the course, only at the end. Also, being on a runway, there’s no trees or shade of any kind. I don’t want to wear my fuel belt so I’ve been looking for a hand held water bottle.


I found this one at Winners the other day for $10 so figured I would give it a try.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Sporting Life 10K cntd.

Forgot to do my usual what I liked/didn't like about yesterday's race so here it is.

Things I liked:

  • The shirt. Nike dri fit shirt that fits. Even okay with it being bright yellow.
  • Well organized start line with proper corrals. 
  • Lots of people!
  • The course down Yonge Street is fun.
Things I didn't like:
  • Finish area was very spread out and there was no flow into it.
  • Took a long time to get a medal.
  • Not enough water stations. One more would have made a big difference in my opinion.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sporting Life 10K 2012 Recap

This morning was my second time running the Sporting Life 10K.
I was up super early to get ready and arrived at the start line without any issue. The morning was a bit cool and it started to rain lightly. The start line of this event is always a bit crowded as there’s 20,000 runners! But it was well organized and everyone is broken into corrals. The line ups for the porta potties were very long but isn’t it always?
I met up with a co-worker (unplanned, I just happened to find him) who was running with a friend. I started off with them but they were doing 10/1’s and I wanted to stick with the same 4/1’s that I did last week so I lost track of them around 2K in.
I felt pretty good for most of the run. My sore toe from last week was bugging me a bit and I made the decision that I need new shoes. I had my fuel belt on which I was very happy about as there were only two water stations at 4K and 7K.
Coming to the end, I realized that I was really close to my goal of 1hr13 but needed to push it a bit to get there so I picked up the pace for the last 500m. Crossing the finish, my garmin said 1:12:59 which I was happy about as I had just made it under my goal time. My official chip time is 1:12:55 so even better! That’s 8 minutes off my first 10K on the same course and 7 minutes off my previous 10K PR. 7 minutes seems to be my magic number these days.

The finishing area was pretty spread out and I had to walk awhile (seemed like a long while) to get there. Medal distribution seemed disorganized but I finally got my medal about 10 minutes after I finished. I couldn’t find the food/water stations, but luckily I still had water in my fuel belt. Transit was a bit of a nightmare and it took me about and hour and a half to get home (should have been closer to 40 minutes). Generally though, pleased with the race and my time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sporting Life 10K Goals

Tomorrow’s race has been completely overshadowed by last week’s half marathon. I actually pretty much haven’t given it any thought until a couple of days ago.

My goals for tomorrows 10K:

A – Finish under 1hr15min. Possible, but we’ll see. If I can repeat the first 10K of last week’s race, this could happen.
B – Finish in 1hr 15m. Based on recent times, I think this is do-able.
C – Break current PR of 1:19:50.
Have my usual pre-race dinner of pasta and garlic bread all set to go. Bagel, juice and banana set for the morning.
(again, I kind of love the shirt)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Toronto Goodlife Half Marathon

Finally getting to my recap of last Sunday's half marathon. Figure I need to get on it as I just picked up my race kit tomorrow for this Sunday's 10K!

Sunday's weather was absolutely perfect and I woke up feeling excited and ready to run. And it was my birthday! As a birthday present, my husband drove me up to the start line at Mel Lastman square. The marathon started an hour before the half, and it was just started as we arrived. Made me a bit emotional watching them start.

The North York civic centre was open (including the washrooms) which was great. It wasn't cold out, but it was nice to get inside for a bit.

I made my way out to the start line and found the 2:40 pace bunny. There weren't any corrals which could have been annoying, but it seemed to work out alright. considering there was about 5000 runners.

I quickly lost the pace bunny and kept at 4-1 run/walk intervals. Yonge street was a bit hilly but it was fun running under the 401, by all the stores, along some of the route that I'll be on again at the Sporting Life 10K.

I was moving at a decent pace for the first half of the race. My garmin was a bit off, but I hit the 5K marker around 36 minutes in (my 5K PR is 36:23) and the 10K marker at 1:13 (my 10K PR is around an 1:19:50) so I knew that I was en track to beating my previous half marathon time of 2hrs 50 minutes.

We stayed on Yonge Street until just north of Bloor and turned down Rosedale Valley Road which was beautiful! No spectators, but tree lined sstretch of road.

I started getting tired around 14K and my 4/1's turned more into 3/1's, then 2/1's, then 1/1's, but I kept going. Turning onto the last stretch onto Lakeshore Blvd, I got a second (maybe 4th) wind and was able to come in strong.

My parents and husband were on the sidelines. I saw them a ways out and was waving my arms in the air. They almost missed me, but may have gotten a picture or two (they did! Just added them to this post).

I finished with the official time of 2:43:40 which was a full 7 minutes off last October's half. I'm very happy with this, especially considering that I didn't run at all between March 28th and April 18th due to my stress fracture.

Met my parents and my husband who were all "Happy Birthday". I was like "oh yeah, it's my birthday!" Completely forgot about that while I was out on the course.

Things I liked about the Goodlife Half:
  • Start at the civic centre - being able to go inside
  • The shirt - I think it's my new favourite
  • The course - I loved the course. Largely downhill which probably helped with my time and through some great areas of the city.
  • The finish line - I really liked finishing by Ontario Pace (rather than on Bay street like at the Waterfront Half). More room to meet people, stretch. Prettier being out by the water. No stupid little hill right at the end. This was a change from the usual course (normally finishes at Queen's Park) but I hope they keep it the same next year.
  • Giant medal
Things I didn't like or could be improved:
  • The Waterfront marathon seemed to have more spectators and music along the course.
  • Could have used more water stations. They seemed to be spaced out quite a bit at the later parts of the course so I was happy to have my fuel belt on.
  • Start corrals. They weren't necessarily needed, but I always think they're a good idea.
  • The bib was really big. I've compared it to my other bibs and it's an inch bigger top to bottom which was annoying. I have a short torso and with my fuel belt on, pinning it took a couple of tries.
Overall, it was a great first race of the year and I'm looking forward to the next one which is in two days!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Big Medal

 Finished in 2:43:40 so met my goal of finishing anywhere in the 2:40's. 7 minutes off my previous half marathon PR. Recap to come soon.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ready… (I hope)

Despite a few set backs (stress fracture, cold, chest cough), I’m super excited for tomorrow.

Half marathon day and it’s my birthday! And I kind of love this shirt.*

I don’t have huge expectations for tomorrow. With my lack of training for most of April, the distance is going to be tough. I’m definitely a stronger runner than I was for my first half last October, so I’m hoping that carries me through. I’m thinking of this race as more of a rehearsal for the next half at the end of the month.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a goal in mind. Here are my A, B and C goals.
A – Anywhere under 2hrs 50 minutes for a new PR
B – Similar time as last October – 2 hrs 50 minutes.
C – Just finish.

Off to bed soon to rest up.

*Not wearing this shirt tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Taper Week

Taper week so far...

Sunday: 12ish km
This run was a bit of a mess, both physically and mentally.
I dressed too warmly for the weather so I was too hot. I started running out of water. I didn't fuel properly before hand.
I started thinking "I can't do this!! I'm a lame runner!" which led to thinking about my cousin who passed away in January and is my inspiration  - she would pick herself up and keep going. Start crying a bit.
Yeah, it was all over the place.

Monday: Strength training

Tuesday: 5km run
Felt better, stronger. Regained confidence in myself.

Wednesday: Strength training.

Thursday will be some sort of run, probably 5km. Friday I will do some yoga, Saturday will be a rest day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Thing After Another

Foot seems to be healed. Now I have a cold and a chest cough.

I was hoping to get 10k's in today, but I don't want to do that until the cough is gone.

I'm beginning to get worried about the half marathon on May 6th. My last long run was 18.3 km on March 25th, pretty much a month ago. Since than, I've done 3 runs. Talk about super long taper.

I'm hoping that if I rest all day today, my cough will be gone soon and I can do 10km sometime during the week and 15km on Sunday. Providing that nothing else goes wrong, I'm feeling like 21km will be do-able, but I don't have high hopes for any kind of time goals.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I'm supposed to be lining up soon for the Yonge Street 10K. Instead, I'm sitting at my computer in my pyjamas.

After 3 weeks with a stress fracture in my left foot, I did a pretty good 5K run on Friday morning so it was looking like a possibility that I could run today. But I figured that running 10K on pavement might not be the best thing right now. Then I woke up with a cold yesterday so I think that my body was saying "sit this one out".

Ah well. I'm bummed, but if I ran the race today, made my foot worse and couldn't run the half marathon in two weeks, I would have been very sad.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Back on Track

After a few weeks lacking motivation, I’m feeling like I’m back on track.

Last week’s workouts:


Spent 40 minutes in the condo gym. Started with 10 minutes of elliptical trainer then moved onto weights.

I also went to a 90 minute Intro to Moksha Yoga class with my Passport to Prana. I say this after every yoga class – I need to do more yoga! I feel so good afterwards.

Monday – Family Day

My long run from the previous week. This was supposed to be 10km, but I didn’t really map out a route so ended up being just over 11km. This round of half marathon training I’m trying to incorporate more hills (and running up them, not walking). I’m also making a point to run more on pavement. Last fall I did all of my long runs on a trail and I was limping by kilometre 7 – I’m pretty sure it was the change from soft packed dirt to unforgiving concrete.


More condo gym time.


Treadmill. I was going for 5km but the treadmill doesn’t do metric so I stopped at 3.1 miles which turned out to be 4.99km. So close.

Thursday & Friday

Rest days.


LSR – 12.05 km. This run felt really good.


On tap for this week – 14km LSR, maybe another yoga class.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spring 2012 – Race Plans

My current plan for the spring is 4 races in 6 weeks. I am registered for all of these so I’m committed.

Toronto Yonge Street 10K on April 22nd.
This is the former Sporting Life 10K, but Canada Running Series and Sporting Life are no longer working together on the race. I registered for this way back in May when the registration was pretty cheap.

Goodlife Fitness Half Marathon on May 6th.
I went back and forth a lot on this race. I wasn’t going to do it because I didn’t want to do 10K, 12K etc in the cold and snow. However, I set a goal last month to take every possible opportunity to enrich my life and decided that this fell into that category. I don’t have high expectations, but I’ll be able to finish. Also, it’s on my 32nd birthday!
Sporting Life 10K on May 13th.
Again, another race I wasn’t going to do, but they were offering a $50 gift card to Sporting Life and registering was $45 so I pretty much made $5! Also, it will be interesting to compare the two 10K’s. They’re both following the same route so the organization will be different.
And finally Toronto Women's Half Marathon on May 27th.
Running Jennie convinced me. I love the Toronto Women’s Runs and will already be through half marathon training so why not?

So that’s the plan for the spring. I was thinking of adding Harry's Spring Run Off into the mix, but maybe not.
Very much looking forward to being done with the cold!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

First Post of 2012???

This is pretty lame that my first post of 2012 is up on February 18th!!

So what have I been up to?

Spent a great week in Puerto Plata
Experienced a death in the family that made me think a lot about how I live my life.

Signed up for a bunch of races (more on that later).
Started half marathon training.
Completely lost all motivation.
So I’m recommitting. Made a meal plan for next week, did some healthy grocery shopping. And back to the blog.