About Me

My photo
Milton, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Toronto Women's 5k Race Report


I did not meet any goal I set out with this morning.

I got to Sunnybrook park nice and early at 7 am or so. I saw Marlene walking up to the race site as I was driving into park and made a mental note not to be too shy to say hello to her if I saw her again. When I got to the race HQ, I looked around for my friend Joy and we eventually met up. She was with her husband and daughter and we got to hang out and let Sofie distract us from the fact that we were going to run in a bit.

After I picked up my timing chip, I did manage to say hello to Marlene and her group (major aside - I've "known" Marlene since 2005ish when we were both wedding planning and members of a chat board. I never met her, but always liked her posts. I left that board after my wedding and when I found her blog again, I began to read regularly as I always enjoyed what she's had to say. Her path to major running is one of my biggest sources of inspiration in my journey. Plus, I think she's just as neat now as in 2005 - girl had a candy bar at her wedding). Then I hit the port-o-potties for the second of three pre-race trips and met up with Joy's friend Jenn (who, based on twitter and facebook, I think knows Marlene - small world, eh) as she was there to pace Joy through her first 5k run.

We lined up and the gun went. It was crowded and the paths were narrow with larger puddles due to the rain. I told myself to keep on pace (I pace to music due to lack of any kind of watch other than one with a second hand) and began to pass, pass, pass. The rain held off, but the humidity was crazy. I was wet, like soaked, before the 1km sign.

At 1km, I was on the 6ish minute pace I knew I needed for my sub-30 minute finish goal. I kept on running, settling in, knowing I had this in the bag. Just after 2km, I started to see the finishers come back and took the opportunity to give them applause as they raced on by.

Around 2.5-3.5 km there was a huge loop which allowed for my favorite part of the race. As women would loop by their teammates or training partners or friends, there were high-fives, photos and woo-hoos! Non-sappy me felt some real warmth in my heart as I saw the awesome encouragement from the field.

I got to the water station, took a glass and rinsed out my mouth and drank a swallow and I was away again. I didn't do anything badly here. I kept running. Just before 4km, I started to have the internal walk or not walk conversation and once I saw the 4km mark, my decision was made. I kept running.

The only thing that I could have done, is to give into my adrenaline once I saw the finish. The wave that went over me was immense (I knew I'd be close, I had no idea where I was though).

For once in my life, I controlled myself and kept my steady pace

This, as far as I can see, was my only error.

I crossed the line at like 31:14 and knew it was a lost cause. I did take the chance to confirm via the postings that my offical time was 30:39. I'm unhappy, but not discouraged. The only thing I'm going to do differently for the next race (which may, uh, be next week - stay tuned), is buy a digital watch with timer.

Joy finished in 36:32 and is happy to have her first 5k under her belt.

It was a good morning and I'm happy to have signed up for this race.

After 12 hours of contemplation, I can't see that I would have done anything differently (except, you know... run 40 seconds faster).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bib 1266

I'm bib #1266 for tomorrow's inaugural Toronto Women's 5k Race,

This is my third race since May and also my third race ever.

For my first 5k, my goal was to finish.


For the second one, my goal was to beat my 31:06 time/run the whole thing without walking.


This time, the goal is to run the race in under 30 minutes. Reaching this goal will also allow me to tick off my first (of two) 2009 resolutions: To run 5k in 30 minutes.

I've done well with getting runs in leading up to this event. While I haven't done speed or hill work, I have run longer distances with my friend Sarah, I've run after nachos and beer, I've run at lunch time while at work (twice now!). I am prepared! I CAN do this!

But I'm afraid of failing.

I'm afraid I'll get over eager and caught up at the start and go out too fast and die on the second half.

I'm afraid that my adrenaline will rush too strong and make my heart rate boom!

I'm afraid that my plan to rely on the one water station is going to leave me dry mouthed and gasping for water.

I'm afraid of the rain predicted.

I'm afraid I'm setting a goal unattainable.


But... I'm going to do my best to keep my positive attitude! I KNOW I can do this! I almost did it in June. I want to be happy and carefree and encourage my friend Joy who is running her first ever 5k (and planning on stopping for firefighter photos!), I want to smile if I run into Marlene and wish her luck without looking like a nervous Nancy, I want to suck it up and shake it off if that final time reads over 30 minutes.

This, I can do as well.

No matter what, there will always be another race.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lunch Time Runner

You and me

(sing to the tune of part time lover).

I did it! I ran 5k at lunch today (okay from 11:40-12:10), then took the opportunity to shower at the Curves I go to which is from here to there to my work (it IS that close). I ran from King and Yonge, south to Queen's Quay, east to Parliament, north to Queen, west to Yonge (never again, too much construction right now) and south to King. According to MapMyRun, this route is just under 5k (like 600m less), but I wouldn't run it again because there is too much stopping due to lights. Last spring when I attempted the couch to 5k program (on my own), I would run along Queens Quay west and it was a much nicer run (as I recall). I'm going to map that one (likely an out and back) for Thursday.

I feel awesome! I can do anything.

Uh, my lunch bag is almost empty though. Sigh.

This braggy, braggart post brought to you by your Stevie Wonder smooth hits retrospective now available from K-Tel*

*not really, I'm making this shit up.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gah! GAH!

In less than six days I suppose to run 5k and PB it in under 30 minutes.


I know I can do it (I did run this distance in 30:11 at the Bread and Honey race).

But! BUT!

I’m feeling a bit queasy because there is little to no opportunity for runs this week.


Monday: Baseball
Tuesday: Baseball
Now, if one of these gets rained out, then the treadmill will be hit, for sure
Wednesday: Dinner out with mat leave friends
Thursday: Dinner out with awesome gals met through work
Friday: No run as the race is the next day at 8am

What’s a gal to do?

I guess I can run at lunch like Marlene, or before work.

There are pros and cons to both.

Pros: I’ll get the runs in.

Cons (lunch): Sweat + lack of shower means I’ll have to do a crazy sponge bath job in the accessible bathroom post run, of course Marlene proves it can be done.

Cons (before work): 4:45am wake up.

Well, seeing it written out like that, there is no contest. I’m off to map a 5/6k route from the office.

I have run twice since I last wrote: 5k in the humidity on a stomach full of grilled steak a-top mixed greens with roasted red and yellow Hungarian peppers, blue cheese and walnuts. This was not a good run. I also did 5k in 34:29 on the treadmill while watching the Jays suck-it against the Angels on Saturday afternoon. That 34:29 is scaring me. How I’m going to shave 4:29 off a 5k run is beyond me. I must really kick it up during races!

Pre-race post to come Friday. I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself, but maybe it’ll be a good thing

Monday, August 17, 2009


Yesterday morning at 9am, I met up with my friend Sarah and we ran 8.5k.

This is the longest distance I have ever run.


We ran the entire thing (minimal stops for water -like less than 30 seconds, don’t count right?) and chatted the entire way. It took us about 52 minutes, give or take (still dealing with my second hand watch!).

I do have a couple of observations to share, but first I’d like to tell you what we saw just as we were starting out.

We run along Lakeshore in Oakville (Ontario) starting off near Appleby College. Just as we were getting started, a crowd of cyclist came up the street on the north side (we run on the south side) and began to pass us. Then, one caught something and crashed and skidded! I stopped. I couldn’t help it. I have first aid training (which I’m sure their clinic leader does as well), but I felt that I had to help if need be. A second cyclist crashed into the first, but he managed to stop himself before real damage was done. Once we saw the group heading back to help them, we continued on and less than three minutes afterwards, the crash victims were back on their bikes at the back of the pack. That’s dedication. I hope that the road rash wasn’t too bad for that lady and man.

And so.

My first distance (can 8.5k be considered distance?) run observations:

1) I will so be able to run the 5k in <30min in two weeks.
2) I can run 10k

Sarah wants to do a 10k in October (her first foray back into racing post baby). If neither of us has killed any rabbits by Sep 1st, we will begin looking for one, unless anyone has any suggestions of good October 10k races in the GTA.

Friday, August 14, 2009

PSA - Never run with heartburn

You know I never, ever experienced heartburn until I was pregnant. And when I was pregnant, for a long time I didn't realize that the burning in my throat was the much discussed heartburn. It wasn't until I described it in detail to my long suffering husband, that I was diagnosed. By my 41st week (oh yes, The Kid was late), I couldn't even drink water without suffering the burn.

Once I gave birth (or, if you prefer - once I had the surgery to remove The Kid from my uterus and body) and lost the 50 odd pounds gained over 10 months, I went back to my non-suffering ways and in the past 31 months have only experienced heartburn a handful of times.

Tonight was one of those times.

I met my husband at the local pub after picking up The Kid and we decided to stay there for dinner. After a craptastic accident from my potty-training 2.5 year old, I drowned my sorrow in a lovely pint of Harp and a plateful of nachos (thanks to small favours, we did have a change of underwear for The Kid - no wipes, but the husband did what he could).

After the first two sips of his third pint of the afternoon, my husband turned to me and said

I can't drive home!

No problem! I declared.

I would run back (3.5k) and pick up his car. A very good plan that 1) stopped me from having a second pint (sob), 2) ensured I got some kind of run in tonight (I DID go to Curves at lunch).

So, I headed out 45 minutes after we left the pub. 45 minutes after I got the most out of my $13 plate of nachos (jalapenos and all) and drained every last sip from my pint glass.

I ran outside wearing shorts for the first time because it was hot.


I set a great pace and knew that I'd have no problem with the distance. I was only really worried about the heat. I took a different route than my normal 5k run which lead me through mature neighbourhoods and allowed my mind to drift and sing along with the tunes on my run list as my feet hit the sidewalk. I noticed that younger men also seem to smile and wave at runners (must wear shorts more often). I scared the crap out of an older couple walking a dog and taking up the entire sidewalk by yelling "LEFT" at them as I passed. Things were good.


Oh then.

Probably around 2.5k I started to have this BURNING feeling in my throat. I couldn't fathom what it was. I figured it was some toothpaste stuck in my throat so I took a swig of water and swallowed hard.

Nope, still burning.


I did the same again, but this time I spit.



Its bloody heartburn!

From that point on, I used all my mental power just to make it through the last km. As I have never run this particular route, I wasn't sure where I was or how long I had to go before I got to the car, so when I rounded the corner and saw the main streets leading to the plaza with the pub, I was never more grateful.

The husband is quite happy not to have his car left in a pub parking lot all night either.

Lesson learned: Save the pubs for post sports like all normal people.

3.5k, 22 mins.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This is after all, my last day of vacation.

I did not run while camping. Too much rain coupled with not enough toddler sleep meant there was no real opportunity to do so.

I did get 5k in this morning in the MUGGY mists of Milton after my normal Sunday running partner came down with a strange gastro bug and called off our planned 8.5k run in Oakville.

Thank God for small favours as the saying goes. The 5k was hard. I had very sore legs. I managed to run the whole thing (with pauses for water/red lights) but I had to do some major internal pep talking to do so.

The headwind on the way back didn't help either. Ha!

5k, 32 mins - give or take (I have a watch with a second hand; timing is difficult).