Thursday, 14 April 2011

Catching Up -- 2 Race Reports

Harry's Spring Run-Off 8k

I was hoping to spot and meet fellow running bloggers Aneta and Cynthia, who were running this one, but no luck.  We've never been in a race so close to home before, so we lolly-gagged our way through our morning prep and didn't get there until 15 minutes before the gun.

We chose to take the subway as it was only a few stops away and the High Park area is notoriously bad for parking.   The TTC (public transit) was really happy to see us, after all these years of not-so-much-taking-the-bus.  Apparently, the fare collector at the station slept in this Sunday morning, instead of catching his usual nap at work, so there was another TTC employee standing at the turnstyle telling people to "Go on through since there's no Collector."  Hmmm.   Are union rules really that stringent that he's allowed to spend his time telling people their rides are free rather than taking over collection duties?  Who cares?  Score $6.00 for Phil and Barb!  Oddly, on the way home, there was a collector, but the woman ahead of us bought 5 tokens and forgot to take them with her.  Score again!  Not really.  Phil tracked her down, getting on the subway going the wrong way for one stop, and returned them to her.  He's a swell guy that way.

I kinda hated this race.  Nice scenery, crisp and sunny weather, well organized, but I think there was just too many people for my liking.  I won't even comment on the hill at the end -- I think that's what the race is known for.  It would have been nice to have a little more room at the top of the hill before the finish line to get a bit of a sprint on, but them's the breaks.  Finished in 52:10 and Phil was about 40 minutes.  I call PR on an 8k (never raced one before).

Cadillac Fairview 10k

This small race was held in Sunnybrook Park.  This is the same park I'll be running the Toronto Women's Half Marathon at the end of May, so I thought it was a good training.  There were about 150 10k participants and many more 5k walkers. The 5k started 15 minutes after the 10k, so there was no dodging walkers at the start.  Unfortunately, I caught up with them in the last 2k, when it had started raining and the were taking up the whole path AND carrying umbrellas.  But it was all for a good cause -- paediatric oncology -- so what are you going to say to the people, who are in your way, but are also wearing t-shirts with pictures of little kids with cancer on them?

Regardless -- I got a for real PR!  My previous 10k race PR was 1:07 something.  I was shooting for 1:05 and came in (Garmin time) at 1:04:58.  Woot!  I'm feeling good that I will smash my under 60-minute goal by the end of the summer.  Phil came within 9 seconds of breaking his land-speed 10k record.

Nice bonus of this race was the spicy chili at the end.  So good -- from famed chef Oliver Bonacini's Luma restaurant -- with fixings of shredded cheese, sour cream and crushed up crackers.  Yum.  I will definitely go back next year.

Hurray!  I just found out I won a give-away over at Marlene's!  I think April is my lucky month -- first a free subway ride, now this!  Thanks, Marlene.

Off to Florida for 4 days as soon as the boys are off from school today.  If any burglars are reading this though, I have people coming to my house to cat-sit.  Big, burly men who are, um,  policemen.  Yeah.  Policemen.  So don't bother robbing us.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Game of Life 10k Race Recap

I'm a little behind here.  I ran the inaugural Game of Life 10k in The Beaches on March 20 with Phil and Tim.  It was small -- not sure how many people, maybe 500.  I'd never run over on the other end of the Waterfront Trail before, so it was nice to try it out and get a medal for doing so.  The race kit included a red tech tee and samples of Dextro Energy tablets, which I have since used on a couple of long runs and think they should be renamed "instant-kick-in-the-pants" because they work like a dream.

The race ran out and back along the boardwalk, then out and back on some roads, then back to the boardwalk.  Being a west-end girl all my life, I get all disoriented when I'm east of Yonge Street, so that's as specific as I can be.  The first turn-around proved to be a bit of a problem, seing as it was half a kilometre early, thereby creating the inaugural Game of Life 9k.  I could smell a PR coming since I'd never run a 9k before.

Oh well.  Stuff happens.  It was fun but I didn't do so well -- went out a bit too quick and bonked later.  As I was coming in to the home stretch, I gave it everything I had to sprint to the finish, then a lady pushing a stroller crossed the course right in front of me.  She had been talking to a bunch of spectators, so was clearly aware there was a race happening and that she was AT THE FINISH LINE. I did manage not to trip over her baby or swear at her, but wish a photographer had been there to capture that fail.

Phil ran an amazing time and came in 4th in his age group -- so close!  You'll get 'em next time, Tiger!  Tim did really well too, even though he should really have been on the injured list as his back is giving him trouble.

We stayed for the awards and festivities at the end -- who knew we were again going to be dazzled by celebrity?  You may remember my most favourite race last year, the Audi Best Buddies 10k resulting in these relationships:

Me and my boyfriend Reid Coolsaet and my new friends the Olympians

Me and my BFF Joannie Rochette and Phil's thumb

Well at this race, there was none other than Heather Moyse!  Don't recall?  Can't quite place the name?  You'll all recognize her instantly when you see her doing her thing in the picture on the right.  She's tucked down behind the person wearing the black helmet.  I knew you'd remember!

Seriously, she and her teammate won Gold in 2010 and she gave an eloquent speech promoting the charity they were raising money for (again, that's about as specific as I can be).

And I won an award!  Not for running fast, but for remembering Heather's name in the random trivia prize handout.  It was an extra large men's Adidas running jacket.  Excellent!  So I managed to get my picture taken with Heather and the President of Mizuno (never mind the prize was from Adidas). 


Fun day over all.