mickey mouse

mickey mouse

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Beautiful day NOT to run a 1/2 Marathon

I have run this race series twice and I love it. The course through Sunnybrook Park is lovely, the race is super well organized and I loved the necklace bling medal (you can wear it anywhere!).
This year my running buddies forbid me from doing the half marathon, 'cause I'd run Goodlife a couple weeks ago and am scheduled to run Niagara Falls next weekend. So instead I signed up to volunteer at the race. 

My super friend Trishia was registered to run her second half marathon, and not only was she featured as a Pace Setter for the race, she was interviewed by Rogers media too (can't wait to see it). It was a beautiful day NOT to run a half marathon (for me at least). The route had changed this year due to construction, and it took the runners out of the park and onto the street. I got to course marshal at the base of the first (and last) big hill. I've never volunteered on a course before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. My fellow volunteers were awesome (hats off to Chris who rode miles on his bike), and they gave me the lay of the land. I spent about 5 hours in the park, cheering, cajoling, and basically making sure everyone knew that they were awesome. Because I didn't know the new route, I didn't realize they'd stuck a HUGE hill at the 18k mark (mean mean mean). No wonder the women looked relieved that the hill at 20 was down!

After the race we took Trishia out for breakfast, and got to heckle her as she limped to the buffet. I realized partway through my (non) post-race eggs Benedict that I was sitting there in KT Tape and wearing compression socks and I hadn't run a step!

Next stop, this race, for the first time! Let the games begin!

And guess what?
I am a WINNER!

Canadian Running Magazine picked my entry and I won a New Balance prize pack. Not just a shirt, not just shorts, not just shoes, not just a new bra....ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!
I know, right....awesome sauce for sure! The contest was for the best bra story. If you've never heard the one about the Hot Wheels car, ask me on the next long run!

Monday, 13 May 2013

We all live in a yellow (and red and blue and green) submarine

We packed our best white clothes, our oldest shoes, and our passports, and headed to Ypsilanti Michigan for

Four hours in a car, with enough snacks to sustain us in the event of being stranded without access to food....the Goofy Girls were again driving South.

None of us has ever done a Color Run before (off topic, it is VERY hard for me as a Canadian to spell colour this way). We didn't really know what to expect, but the fact that it was fun, messy and not timed was just the break we needed from our training for 'serious' runs.
I was reading Runner's World magazine this month and they focused on 'fun' 5Ks, and I was hoping that I'd emerge from the Color run looking just like the woman on the cover.....
 This was us, before, after a pretty awful night sleep in a very nice hotel room. We scored the most awesome parking spot too, I will post a photo later. Lori's awesome kids (and mine) made us custom shirts to wear, which started out pristine and white, along with our nice new white headbands. 

What a lovely town, very pretty, SO easy to find our way around in. I was loving the EMU Eagles (but I never saw one).

The entire race was among the best organized I've ever run. They said that it was sold out with about 15,000 people running, and it was seamless. We ran in waves of 1000 runners, the course was well marked, people were cheering all over the streets, the volunteers and police and ambulance folks were visible and welcoming and fun.

Each Km marker (we think) had a different colour, with crazy happy people spraying you with huge bottles of powdered colour.  You could tell you were approaching a dye station because the herds of runners and walkers would slow down and bottleneck and the clouds of dye were visible for a block.

We ran along laughing (except when we were trying not to inhale the dye). The course was super wide (whole streets) so there was never an issue with the walkers (who stayed to the right), strollers, groups or runners. The fact that it wasn't timed was brilliant, nothing to worry about except getting as coloured as possible.  Near the finish line we dumped the dye packets we were given on each other....
Needless to say Lori has great aim ;-)

After the race there was a party in the park, which turned into a big dye party, and included awesome snacks (now addicted to Kind bars) and shopping (got us some new socks).
I may have mentioned what great sports the volunteers and police and fire and other folks were? The nice fireman even let us pose on his truck, we were pondering asking him to hose us down!

would I run this again? Totally! Matter of fact we are considering doing the Windsor one in a few months. It's a scream for 'runner's to let their hair down and leave their Garmins at home.
A trip to Michigan isn't complete without a stop at the Joe, to pay homage to my second favourite hockey team. Go Wings Go *unless you end up playing the Leafs.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


I'm so thankful for many things in my life. My family, my health, my ability to run. Almost nothing makes me happier than seeing something go full circle and have as happy as ending as it possibly can.

My wonderful friends at iRun magazine helped me with so many goals in the past few years. They chose me to run in the 'So You Want to Run a Marathon, eh' contest, leading me to my first 42.2. They hooked me up with an amazing coach in Rick Hellard. That lead to Rick donating a massive box of medals to the charity I work with.

As I mentioned a while ago, I sent the Boston Marathon medal Rick donated home to Boston, with Rick's blessing, and it arrived safely this week.
Being the amazing ambassadors of running that they are, iRun magazine featured the story of Rick's Boston medal in the 'Running for a Reason' blog on their site. I'm so happy that in a small way I could be part of giving back to the community of runners.

I went to an expo and a race broke out :-)
Way back when, in 2009, I was the mom of a toddler, just living life, when I registered for a Running Room Training Program. Little did I know that you are 'supposed' to start with Learn to Run or the 5K clinic or whatever. Nope, little miss keener went right for the Half Marathon.

It was fun, it was a challenge, and I met some great people. Our goal race was the Goodlife Toronto Half Marathon, run exactly a month after my 40th birthday. My first half, the furthest I'd ever run (in training we never got over 17k).

I was so green. Didn't know it wasn't cool to wear the race shirt, didn't know they lie when they say races are downhill. Didn't know that 100m from the finish line I would have an argument with myself about just copping a squat on the curb for a few seconds.

Flash forward 4 years. I've run 7 half marathons, 2 fulls and Around the Bay. And here I am, back at the start of the Goodlife half. My toddler is 7, I've moved, changed jobs, and gotten older.

This time I know. Knees taped, no race shirt.

I was supposed to be up around 5:30. Someone tell me how I managed to be wide awake at 3:48? Ewwww....trying to tiptoe around quietly so as not to wake the sleeping (smart) members of my family.

I broke at least 3 'never' rules of running long distances. 1) Don't wear new clothes) - Had a new shirt, socks and bra. 2) Tried new fuel that I've never eaten before - Margarita flavoured shot blocks (they're awful, for the record)
 3) Train well. Whoops.

The new shirt was a must. The group Boston, We Run With You created amazing shirts with proceeds going to the Children's Hospital in Boston

The socks were compression, by a company called Dr. Segal's. My running buddy who is also a nurse, swears by these socks. They were at the Expo for the race and we went a bit insane, buying about six pairs between the three of us (mix and match!) They're graduated compression, so unlike my former (much disliked) socks, my feet weren't squooshed into them. Just supported, and my ankles and calves were totally happy! Matter of fact I washed this pair and wore them to work the next day.

 I am madly in love with this new KT Tape skin prep spray kit! I live in KT Tape, and avoid showering like crazy (much to the dismay of my family) to prolong the tape's life on my knees.

I had my left knee taped at the expo by the best taper I've ever met. He used the sticky stuff, and sent me home with instructions. My DH taped my right knee for me at home, using this stuff and the Tapeologist's directions. The tape is STILL ON. That was Saturday, today is Tuesday. I've had a long hot bath, two long showers, and it hasn't budged an inch.
I wonder how long I can stay in the socks and tape? I wore capri pants Monday and I looked like a demented Scottish dancer.
He he he! I took the socks off Monday night and I have argyle legs! I am, however, still wearing the tape!

Ha ha! I took the socks off and had Argyle legs!

Oh wait, there was a race, right? It was a great day for a race, a wee bit too hot for my liking, but clear and sunny. There were tons of water stations, all along the course. We got gels (chocolate, my fave) too. The spectators had great things to say, the volunteers were upbeat and friendly, the police officers were outstanding and even clapped as we passed. 

The best was the lady who yelled 'Sing, Sing to yourself' as I passed her. This year's race was the one where I was dermined to get the monkey off my back. The monkey I carried for the last half KM up University Avenue. I was so tired, not phyisically, but mentally, and I just wanted to sit for a bit and ponder life on the side of the road. I ran, I ran, I waited for University Ave. We ran past it....didn't turn...

I was like, HEY? I realized at that point I'd not consulted the race route and had no clue where we were going to finish.....brilliant!
Turns out we finshed at Ontaro Place....it was awesome! A great friend and fellow Digital Champion was at the finish and yelled 'Crush it' at me! Exactly what I needed to hear and exactly the right time.

I didn't PB, it was hot, I was undertrained, I have excuses for my performance, but they're all my own fault. It was a beautiful day, beautiful course, and the first time I've run that far, by myself, without music. Just my thoughts and my former hometown.

What a great day!
Next stop, Michigan for the Color Run this Saturday!