Tag Archives: Running

5 Peaks & North Face Endurance Challenge

This was the weekend of trail races. First up was 5 Peaks at Rattlesnake Point on Saturday and then I headed off to Blue Mountain Sunday for North Face Endurance. Saturday started nice and chill, I  met Aubrie downtown at the St. Lawrence market before we headed out to Milton to the conservation area. There must’ve been more people than the last few as we were parking on a grassy hill near the start point or the parking lot was just minimal in size. Aubrie and I took mandatory pre-race, pre-big hill and post race selfies :)

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After a great week of training I felt good. A bit sluggish from a leg workout on Weds that left my legs a bit sore but I had energy. My ankles were a bit tight but loosened up after the 1st km. This course was perfectly technical. Lots of rocks and 3 humbling climbs. We chose to just run this course vs. race since I had another race on Sunday and that was the perfect choice. I didn’t wear my Garmin. I didn’t know what my pace was or really where we were until we saw km markers. It was fun, the course had beautiful views, I loved hopping over all the rocks which made me feel like a mountain goat!

My friend Allegra grab an awesome paparazzi finish photo for us.

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5 Peaks Terra Cotta

I have officially completed my first trail race! I signed up for the 5 Peaks Trail Races this year and couldn’t be more excited to try my hand at a new kind of race. I signed up for the season’s pass so will be doing one race a month until September. I signed up for the Enduro distances (longer) but ended up switching into the shorter Sport distance due to minimal training due to my back injury. I still need to get my endurance level back up. I just love being out in nature. I love how much fun trail running is. The footsteps are never the same. You always have to be looking slightly in front of you for where you’ll be placing your step next. I can’t wait to train for the June race!

Race prep began the night before. The outfit layout happened the night before. I had my Mizuno singlet & shorts laid out with my Lululemon run socks, UnderArmour Armour Bra, Garmin, SunSkis & Mizuno Wave Ascends. I ended up running in Lulu run shorts as I realized I still haven’t run in the Mizuno shorts and didn’t want to wear something new on race day.

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There wasn’t a ton of people at this race so it was nice to have a such a chill race area at the beggining. Everyone milled around the start and we just lined up at each wave announcement. I lined up in Wave 5 after they indicated that was for those who expected to finish in more than 35 minutes.

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Mizuno Wave Ascend Product Review

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received product at no cost.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog or peruse my Instagram from time to time you’ll know that Mizuno has been very generous with gifts over the past few years. The Spring Mizuno fairy came with must have gear for my Spring/Summer training. I wore the purple Harmony Tank for the Toronto Yonge Street 10K and I’ve worn the white Katara Shell a few times for training runs. Bring on the warmer weather and run shorts!!!

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However, the product that I was really excited to get my feet into were the Wave Ascend 8s! I wanted a light weight trail shoe I could train in this Spring and Summer for the crazy amount of trail & obstacle course races that I’ve signed up for.

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2014 Races Update

So it’s the 5th month of the year and I have some updated race goals for the year. I posted the plan for 2014 at the beginning of the year in my 2014 goals post but I thought I would update my race goals specifically due to a new trail race addition mid summer and I wasn’t able to register for SeaWheeze so I’m flipping that out for another obstacle race!

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My 2014 Health & Fitness – Running Races Goals

Ok so the plan this year is to rock 2 10Ks, 6 trail races, 4 instead of 3 obstacle races and I’ve signed up for the Disney Marathon weekend half marathon in January 2015 so I’ll be training at the end of the year for it. Not sure if I’ll add another half marathon to my full summer of training.

COMPLETE – April 13 Toronto Yonge Street 10K: Heather from Tribe Fitness convinced me to add another 10K to my race card for the year. Who could resist a souvenir tech shirt, a cool-max runner’s cap and a goodie bag? This race is done and due to my overtraining injuries I wasn’t able to actually race it but ran it for fun. RECAP

May 11 Sporting Life 10K: I’ve heard this course is great for getting a PB because it’s mainly downhill and it benefits camp Ooch for kid’s diagnosed with cancer. – Update: After being cleared to train this past week (1 week prior to this 10K) I’m still going to attempt a PB. The goal by now would’ve been to get a 55 min 10K but anything under 59:21 will technically be a PB since that is my last recorded chip time from Night Race in 2013. My Nike app had me run it in 58:32 so I’d love for anything less than 58 mins :)

May 31, June 21, July 12, Aug 9, Sept 6 and Sept 20 - 5 Peaks Trail Races: I really am happiest in nature. Being on trails is just an amazing happy place so I’m excited to add these to my goal list. I’ve registered for the Enduro course which can range from 10km to 17km. Update: I think I’ll try the shorter Sport distance for the first race as I really haven’t been able to train. I’ve had a sprained Lumbar spine for two months and just getting back into training.

June 7 Spartan Sprint: This will be my first time running Spartan. I’m excited to see what they have in store. Update: I’ll be running with Alpha Obstacle and they have a massive group heading up so if you’re still interested in joining check out the event.

July 13: New Race: You may have seen me post that I’ll be tackling the 10K trail race at the North Face Endurance Challenge. This will be tough because I’ll have raced 5 Peaks the day before!

July 19 Warrior Dash: This will be my third year running WD. I’ll be running it with 2 girls from last year but the core group who have done it annually have chosen not to this year due to fear of injury. This is such a fun and easy race for me now so I’m excited to set a time goal this year for it.

Aug 16 Tough Mudder: I have something to prove. For me the goal isn’t a timed race but will be an obstacle completion challenge since I wasn’t able to do 6 obstacles last year. However, I would like to finish ahead of the 3 hour 20 minutes mark that I completed it in, in 2013. Update: My social media friend Alan is coming all the way to Toronto to run it with me and our trainer Amer. I’m so excited!

Aug 23: New Race: I wasn’t able to register for SeaWheeze so I’ll be running Mud Hero on the same day instead. That gives my total obstacle course race count all the way up to 4 this year. I’m excited, I’m definitely going to attempt to beat my time from last year!

What are your race goals for the year?

Tribe Fitness Ugly Christmas Sweater Run

I’ve had the pleasure of having Heather in my life due to cheerleading and now because of a love for the fitness community. We met in 2004 as Hamilton Ticat Cheerleaders (cue embarrassing photo). We called these outfits our snowsuits :)

20131219-105857.jpg  A few years ago we reconnected when she moved to Toronto as well and she started leading the run club at the Lululemon Queen St W location. Her mission is to open a home base for Tribe Fitness in 2014. I couldn’t be more happy or excited for her. She is an amazing leader, motivator and has a great passion for fitness. Join the tribe movement all winter as hibernation is not an option and run club will be happening every Weds at 7pm. The events are posted on the fb page which I link to above. The tribe meets at the fishing lure art display at canoe landing amongst the city place condos.

Tribe Fitness

Last night we had a treat though and paired up with Oakley Active for an Ugly Christmas Sweater run through the streets of Toronto. We started at Queen & University, got outfitted in safety vests and was asked to introduce ourselves to at least 2 other people we didn’t know. This always fixes the cliques that happen from comfort of knowing a few others only and loosens everyone up. We then took off running up University and ran up to the ROM, then over to Holt Renfrew to see their store windows, down Yonge (we got the best looks & hoots and hollers) to Yonge & Dundas where we had to take advantage of the 4 way pedestrian walk to pose for a picture.

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We finished up by looking at the Christmas windows at the Bay and then over to Nathan Phillips to see the big tree and the skaters. The night was full of laughs, I could barely take a serious picture and my heart was full of love for this community.

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We finished off in Starbucks for some treats and pictures. Tribe had the newest Clif Bars out for us. I grabbed a bar and headed back to the gym nearby where I had left my suitcase & 6 pack bag. On the way, I passed a homeless man and stopped hard in my run (this is something I never do, stopping during a run or giving money to the homeless) and gave him the bar. He needed it much more than I did and I had food readily in my hand vs. change. Needless to say this season (all year) should always fill our hearts with community and giving. Selfless acts will instantly warm any cold heart.

To change gears, I’ve been very blessed with all the love I receive from Mizuno Canada. I recently was gifted with a pair of the new Wave Riders! I got to try out the new 17s on my run and I’m in love! I trained all last winter in the last version of the shoes and ran my first half marathon in them. I love love them. They are white, purple with yellow laces. Great for night running and hopefully they won’t get too dirty from the winter slush in Toronto.

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Thank you Tribe Fitness for being a bright spot in the lives you touch. It’s not just a run club it’s a Tribe.

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Leaves R’ Down Trail Run

Saturday morning was miserable and amazing all at once. I woke up to ugly weather. 3 degrees Celsius and rain. A lot of rain. But that didn’t stop me from doing a “fun” trail run. I quote fun because that’s what was promised to us but it ended up being a gruelling intense 3 hour trail run that was definitely a first for me.

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My running partners Michael & Clifton had invited me to the run hosted by the Toronto Salomon store at the Shops at Don Mills. The run was to take place in Sunnybrook park. So I got up, dressed up in my cold weather running gear and showed up. Half the battle complete.

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The store was gracious enough to provide trail runners to everyone that showed up. Which I think is super awesome to actually be able to try them out on real trails. I luckily was well prepared with the Salomon SpeedCross that I purchased last Spring :) they performed amazingly. While many were slip sliding down and up the trails I was pretty proud to easily walk up some sections. And looking quite snazzy in them too. Several people mentioned shoe jealousy.

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The rain did not let up the entire time. My UA mock turtleneck, layer under another UA T-shirt, Lululemon SeaWheeze shell & winter run tights were definitely not waterproof. I only own cold and hot gear. No rain gear (definitely going to be my next purchase in my future). However, my gear kept me warm. I fuelled up in the am with two eggs on gluten free bread and chicken bacon. I brought my water pack with me and threw in a Roctane Gu Enerygy Gel in one of the zippered pouches. I tried the Island Nectar flavour and loved it. We were told that one lap was 12K. My usually 7K trail runs usually take a little over an hour. Well three hours later I was one tired cookie. I definitely could’ve used more gels.

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My proudest moment of the run was continuously being the first girl running slightly behind the lead pack. They would stop and wait on occasion for people to catch up and I kept climbing over the ridge right after they stopped. My run partners looked slightly proud. Were a tad competitive and I definitely got some high fives for showing up and being strong.

I got to chat with one gentleman about doing Tough Mudder and the training and how the actual day went back in May. We joked that if we did more runs like this we’d have been better prepared last May. Especially at one point when we had to cross a river up to thigh high freezing water. I of course yelled “at least my shoes are clean now” after crossing.

Overall it was an amazing challenge. I felt strong, overwhelmed, smiled like a kid the majority of the time and loved being in a group of other “crazy” people.

The Facebook event announced it was only an annual run. I of course wrote on the post “What? This doesn’t happen weekly?” You know for sure my run partners and I are going to try and find the trails again next week :)

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Love me some trail running! Anybody else run trails this weekend?

GoodLife 5K Race

I’m getting so excited for my first race of the year on Sunday!

I’m running in the GoodLife Toronto Marathon – 5K race for my first race of the year and couldn’t be more excited.

GoodLife Marathon

I set a goal of running it within 25 mins so I’m excited to see what my body can do. My PB so far is 26.10 (no stoplights) and 27.06 (with stoplights – see picture below) and that was with my running partner pushing me to be faster than normal.

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To help me with my race time goal I’ve become a running app person!

Running Apps

 

I tried out Run Faster on Weds during my Lululemon run club. You can play your running playlist then head over to the app and set your target pace and it will tell you to speed up or slow down to hit that target pace! Love love. So I’ll be using this bad boy on Sunday. Now to buy an arm band to house my iPhone since I usually put it in my running leggings leg pocket. Pretty sure it will be too warm for long pants. I also want to rock blue pants and a yellow top for Boston.

Run Faster

What’s even more exciting than running is getting to spend some quality time with my FitFluential friends. We are having an epic carb up on Saturday night at the Spaghetti Factory. I am not carbing up, lol, but will be partaking in sharing a steak with the lovely Jess and then chowing down on a shrimp spinach salad myself which is perfect for a night out with friends and keeps me on track with my meal plan. I’m so excited to meet Pavement Runner in person! I’m excited to chat more with Angela Simpson from Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat! Of course my lovely Krysten & Morgan will be there. There is a big long list of other bloggers I’m excited to see again or see for the first time so you’ll have to wait for my weekend recap!!

Happy Race Weekend!

How I Got Into Running…(Sorta Kinda)

I am by no means a runner. I get these spurts of energy and then they go away. So sometimes I get it in my head to set goals for myself that involve running.

In 2009 I trained and ran my very first 5k. I simply used MapMyRun.com. I ran around my neighbourhood and did it.

In 2001 I decided to run my first 10k. I joined a lululemon run club at my local store and ran a 5k with them every Wednesday. I’d try for longer runs on the weekend but only ever built up to about a 7 or 8k. So I ran the 10k on the day of the race really for the first time truly.

This year I’ve gone a step further and decided to run my very first Adventure Race the Warrior Dash. It does involve a full 5k so I’ve gotta keep my running legs tuned up. My first run of the season was this past Tuesday with my friend Krysten. Please note that I have no idea how to dress for cold weather running. I grabbed my cold Under Armour top that I’d bought previously for my foray into Ultimate Frisbee, my new New Balance running t shirt that I got at my last shoot for Best Health and a random pair of leggings that truth be told were really too thin for the cold weather we’re having. So priority number one is to head off and buy proper running tights! I also had nothing on my ears so thankfully my girl Krysten lent me a toque. It sadly had an Arsenal crest on the front and when I sent my fiancee this picture…

he said he would no longer marry me. His team is Man U so I clearly messed up :( lol

Our run outside went amazing. I was tremendously sore from a hamstring workout on Monday but got an amazing runners high and wasn’t cold!

What I need to do to succeed this year.

1. Get better running shoes

2. Get run tights

3. Invest in a heart rate monitor

4. Get a Man U toque

5. Get excited for my Warrior Dash goal!

Here’s to happy training for our Warrior Dash!