Cheerleading at Toronto Women’s Run!

After my workout on Sunday, Cooper and I packed up our cheerleading essentials and walked to the park to cheer for the runner’s at the Toronto Women’s Run event.

I love this little race series, but the only downfall to it is that there aren’t usually a lot of spectators out on the course.  The volunteers are awesome, the Mizuno RunBirds were fantastic, but sometimes you just need a cheerleader, a little pick me up, especially if things are going a little rougher than you’d like, so that’s what Cooper and I did.

We are experienced race cheerleaders and brought most of the essentials – a blanket to sit on, snacks, tea for me, a ball for Cooper, a waterbottle to share and of course: a sign.

View event:

Cheering on Jenna and Lisa! #TeamSkyFit

View event:

Go Runners!

Love that I have official race pictures and didn’t actually run 🙂

I didn’t have a cowbell (must invest in one for future cheerleading endeavors) but I’m pretty loud and did have a singing husky mix who is rather unpredictable in timing, but pretty effective in giving runners a few laughs as she woo’d at them running by.

I had lots of fun cheering on these ladies (and a few gents) on Sunday and stayed for almost the entire thing, seeing practically everyone twice (apologies to the last 10 ladies in the half I missed the second time). I got lots of excited comments on their way back like “I saw you near the beginning!  That means I’m almost there!”  They were all super glad to know that:
a) only 900m left!
b) shade up ahead!
c) ‘You look so strong – you can catch the girl in front of you!’

Lots of happy runners, some frustrated runners, and some who were both proud and bewildered with that they were doing “I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ABOUT TO FINISH A HALF MARATHON!”  Emotions are all over the spectrum in a race, and as a spectator you get to be a part of that journey.  I highly recommend it!

Congratulations on a great day, runners!  So proud to be a part of your day! I can’t wait to be back – either as a runner or a cheerleader.

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A Year of Training – Week 40

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 40 weeks!

I’m tired recapping this.  Coach said that this was going to be a “Big Week”.  He didn’t lie.

Monday –  Gym workout.  It was so busy there!  Then I took a nap.  Long weekends are awesome.

Tuesday – Endurance ladder in a yards, salt water pool.  This made me feel deceptively fast, but I felt great in the water!  Fastest 100y was 1:13, which I felt was not too shabby!

Wednesday – 25 minute recovery run in the morning and 25K on the bike in the afternoon working on skills at high cadence.

Thursday – 60 minute progression run.  I am terrible at running in Zone 2.  Was so excited when I ‘got’ to run in Zone 4.

Friday – AM swim – 2000m continuous which was fine, but got Lindsay Lohan’s Rumours stuck in my head, which was terrible.  Went for a goodbye lunch for a co-worker that is leaving and had probably too much wine so PM 40 minute bike ride ended up on the trainer (don’t drink and ride!).

Saturday – Recovery day!  So excited.

Sunday – Anaerobic Brick workout.  Fast biking on the train followed by fast running.  Repeat multiple time.  Jello legs.  Then took the dog and went to cheer at Toronto Women’s Half and 5K 🙂

Weekly totals:
Swim: 4195m (yards converted)
Bike: 40K
Run: 15K
Gym: 1x

Total Time: 6:14

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A Year of Training – Week 39

Monday –  50s all out in the pool.  Felt sluggish in the pool, but that will change.  Swimmers always feel like they are floundering when they are back in the pool after extended time out of it, no matter what their actual fitness is.  Feel for the water will return!

Tuesday – Swim Foundational Strength at the gym.  Its been a while and it was tough!  My arms were shaking by the end so hard!

Wednesday – 60 minute spin on the trainer.

Thursday – Bike Foundational Strength at the gym.  I HATE THIS ONE.  Lunges are the worst.

Friday – 2500m in the pool with lots of stuff at sub 1:30 pace.  Arms are tired.  So, so tired.

Saturday – Recovery day!  Worked and then took the dog to the beach and then to a friends house.  I love summer.

Sunday – Aerobic brick.  First ‘long’ ride of the season on the new bike.  City riding sucks, but I had a lot of fun.  36K bike followed by 7.5K run.  Run felt great off the bike!

Weekly totals:
Swim: 4200
Bike: 66K
Run: 7.5K
Gym: 2x

Total Time: 6:14

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A Year of Training – Week 38 (or not so much)

Recovery week post marathon.  Nothing scheduled, but took some long walks with the dog, and did 22K on a ride on Saturday that felt rather rough 6 days post marathon going up hills.

This little break was nice for a mental breather.  I moped for a couple days after the marathon debacle, but I’m ready to get training again.  Back to focusing on riding, swims and bricks!

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When you don’t follow the plan, you pay the price

If all had gone according to plan, this would be a race report about the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, but that changed when I didn’t follow the plan to begin with.  I don’t need to recap how the race itself played out, but I do have a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t follow the race plan.

The original plan was to run the first half SUPER slow (6:45-7:00 pace), the next 10 at 6:30 and then give it everything for the last 11.

My first kilometer was 5:56.  And they stayed at or around 6:20 for the next 20K (minus Hoggs Hollow, which was 6:45).  I knew that it was stupid and it was going to blow up in my face and I didn’t do anything about it.

And it did – blow up.  Not long after the marathon/half marathon split things fell apart on an epic scale.  At 32-33K, I walked for a KM had my own little pity party.  Texted The Husband.  Emailed the coach.  Fought (and won) the urge to have a frustrated cry.  Started to run and shuffle along again.  Actually felt ok 35-38K, but then the shuffle came back.  Met up with the 5K walkers – my run wasn’t much faster than their walk speed.  Last kilometer was great – not because it was good, but because I was almost done.  Crossed the finish line, got my big ass medal, and went home.



In sum, my second half of my race was 50 minutes slower than my first, rather than the intended negative split.  Can I say definitively that it would have been better, that I wouldn’t have died a slow and painful death if I had followed the plan?  No, because anything can happen in a run that long, but probably.  I can say that if I hadn’t thrown the plan out the window, I would have felt mentally better about it.  Running a stupid race made the mental pain of it that much worse – because that was something that was in my control and I chose to ignore it and do something that I wasn’t physically prepared to do.  And that is 100% on me.

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A Year of Training – Week 37

Monday –  Recovery day!

Tuesday – Race Pace Practice again.  This felt great, but the weather has gotten significantly warmer – worried about how this may effect me on marathon day after doing all my training in the frigid winter…

Wednesday – 45 minute easy ride on my new bike on the pathways in the park!  I am afraid of cars, traffic lights and potholes. #chicken

Thursday – Short and loose pre race strides with the dog.

Friday – Quality time spent with my foam roller to work out the kinks.

Saturday – Sat on my ass all day at a board meeting.  Had a pre race chat with Coach to finalize the race plan of the marathon tomorrow.  Legs are restless and want to RUN.

Sunday – Marathon implosion because of my own stupidity.  Didn’t follow the plan and paid the price, but learned some valuable lessons.  Not all an waste though – if anything, I got some good base running in over the winter for this summer!

Weekly totals:
Swim: 0
Bike: 15K
Run: 53K
Gym: 0

Total Time: 5:52

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A Year of Training – Week 36

Monday –  Recovery day after the TYS10K, but legs felt great.

Tuesday – Skipped my XSNRG workout.  Got dressed and was about to walk out the door when CRASH BOOM.  I run through snow and rain, but thunderstorms are where I draw the line.

Wednesday – 45 minute spin on the bike with fast legs

Thursday – Marathon race pace practice, working on holding 6:30-6:40.

Friday – Ladders in the pool for 1700m.  Felt flat, but times weren’t bad.  More importantly… BOUGHT A NEW BIKE!

Saturday – Range of motion routine.

Sunday – 6K easy trail run with the dog with swimming, chasing squirrels, digging holes and old dog shenanigans

Weekly totals:
Swim: 1700m
Bike: 20K
Run: 14K
Gym: 1x

Total Time: 3:14

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Race Report – 2015 Toronto Yonge Street 10K

Toronto Yonge Street 10K – the annual tradition of running mostly downhill in Toronto with 6000 of the friendliest runners ever!

I’ve been a little curious about how this race was going to go for awhile.  This is the first race that I’ve done since starting training with Coach Brock for Ironman Muskoka this August and I knew that my training had been pretty solid, but in the end I had no idea how this race was going to turn out.  From looking at SportStats, my prior fastest time for this race was 55:33 from 2008.

Spoiler alert – I destroyed that.

Organization is not always my strong suit and Sunday was a clear example of that when I realised that I had left my watch at home.  No biggie, I’ll just turn RunKeeper on on my phone and it can give me audio updates.  Great plan, until the second I hit start when the gun went off and it said “Start. 10 minutes easy” and I realised that I had it set to do a previous workout… Le sigh.  Earlier in the week I had done a race pace workout with the goal of staying at a 5:18 pace for a 53 minute 10K, but without a watch, I was going to have to gauge pace by feel – something that I am pretty terrible at.  Fortunately I spotted the 52 minute pace bunny in the start corral and decided that I would try and stay with/ahead of him for as long as possible.

The race itself ends up being kind of a blur.  It was a cold and windy day, but it was a great day for run.  I passed that bunny in the first km and then never saw him again.  At some point I joined up with some Parkdale Road Runners and unbeknownst to them I tucked behind to hide from the wind.  Tried to keep up the pace on the flat section and tried to push it between 7-8K – my least favourite part of the course.  Powered through the home stretch – legs felt great through the whole race!


Running down Yonge Street

Crossed the line in 51:48!    New adult PB!

Thank you to CRS for another great race!

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A Year of Training – Week 35

Monday –  1500m recovery swim.  Alternated free and back through the entire thing.  Felt better in the water than I expected to considering the disaster that was yesterdays long run.

Tuesday – Optioned out of my optional run and instead went and bought a new bike!  More on this when I actually have it in my possession next week after my fitting, but I’m SUPER EXCITED about it. My current bike, Judy the Giant, has served me well, but she is an old lady and is well overdue for retirement – raced on her since 1998!

Wednesday – Pre Race Bike Activator – 30 minutes with some race pace work thrown in.  Felt great!

Thursday – Race pace practice run workout in prep for TYS10K this weekend, aiming at 5:18 pace (53:00 10 K goal).  Went pretty well on a rainy evening.

Friday – Recovery.  Lots of foam rolling and thinking about running fast on Sunday!

Saturday – Had a busy Saturday!  Went with the Husband to search out some Record Store Day goodies (didn’t get what he was looking for :() and then went to pick up my race kit for #TSY10K and hung out with Jenna and Lanni.  NBD.

I don't always hang out with Canadian Marathon Record Holders, but when I do, its with Lanni Marchant.

I don’t always hang out with Canadian Marathon Record Holder Lanni Marchant, but when I do, its with Jenna Pettinato.

Did all the laundry, put out my patio furniture finally, and cleaned up my little back space.  3K shake out run with the dog.  Hydrated well all day and went to bed early.

SundayTYS10K!  Running down Yonge Street with 6000 of my closest friends!  Actual race report to follow, but in short I had a great run and did an ‘Adult PB’ of 51:48.  Yay! Gave me a little boost after last weeks long run fail 🙂

Weekly totals:
Swim: 1500m
Bike: 13K
Run: 22K
Gym: 0

Total Time: 2:40

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A Year of Training – Week 34

Monday –  Recovery day!  Easter Monday.  Still at work.  Chocolate was eaten though 🙂

Tuesday – XSNRG workout – 4×5 minutes with 2 min recovery on Rykert.  Fast and smooth and faster than when we last did this on February 10th.  Things are looking good 🙂

Wednesday – Skills and Force workout again on the bike. Had to cut it about 5 minutes short to make it to a physio appointment, but it was hard and quality.

Thursday – Workout at the gym – TORSO TORNADO.  My comment to Coach Brock in my TrainingPeaks was simply “UGH”.  Sums it up nicely.

Friday – Jodie’s 30s Workout.  The tempo part at the end is the tough part. Super windy day for speed work, but it just makes us tougher, right?

Saturday – FIRST DAY OFF WORK SINCE MARCH 15! Was supposed to swim… but I didn’t.  I sat on my couch and watched Netflix on Daredevil and ate junk food.

Sunday – This was the day of the terrible, no good, very bad long run. 32K scheduled.  Ran 22 no problem – even pace, relaxed.  22-24 I noticed that I was slowing down but felt ok.  At 25K everything seized up from my waist down and I couldn’t do anything about it.  Had to do the 5K walk of shame home.  Discouraging all round.  Probably related to the nutritional value of my Daredevil and Candy marathon the day before 😦

Weekly totals:
Swim: 0
Bike: 27K
Run: 40K
Gym: 1x

Total Time: 5:52

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