Toronto Marathon: May (5km #5)

Friday night I drove into Toronto to pick up my 5km race bib/shirt as well as Keenan’s for the marathon. The reason being…we had a bunch of fun and adventure piled into Saturday and I didn’t want to add picking up race kits to that adventure!

I decided to run the 5km race at the Toronto Marathon–instead of the MEC Race Series 5km race the following weekend for two reasons.  The first one being that next weekend I was in Haliburton for my sister-in-law’s fundraising dinner on the Friday night and going to a cousin’s Jack and Jill on the Sunday night—then it was Mother’s Day and wanted to celebrate with my mum… and not have to rush back to Toronto to do a 5km race.  The other BIG reason was my friend from Colorado was coming to run the Toronto Marathon…and I decided it would be really cool to also run a race in that event! (since I was going to be there to drop him off…and stick around ’til he crossed the finish line!) But that meant I had to ditch Josefina for May’s race.. (sorry Fina… I’ll be there for every other race though… I promise!)
It was an early start on Sunday morning… I had to drop off Keenan for his bus to pick him up and take him to the start line by 6:15am…and it was a 45 min drive into Toronto…thank goodness it was a Sunday morning and there wasn’t any traffic.  (My race didn’t start until 8 something)…However, the night before I had insomnia and couldn’t sleep… I think I fell asleep at some point around 3:30am and woke up just before 5am.  (I knew in my heart of hearts this wouldn’t be the day to beat a PR…I just had to put one step in front of the other..and finish this thing!) 

I finished.. with an ‘ok’ time… must admit did more walking intervals than running.  But it was cold and I was going on little sleep… so was pretty excited that I finished this thing! Was able to catch Keenan about 1/2 way through the marathon… the last leg was along the lake…he had a horrible head wind that he was running into!

Keenan finished marathon #89…you can read about his run here.  After he crossed the finish line we posed for a photo with the Toronto Skyline behind us… I must admit I had a bit of medal envy.  I guess I hadn’t really looked at the different medals for races in the same event before…but seriously can you see the SIZE of that marathon medal? Makes me want to get one of those… some day I’ll do a marathon…but probably not tomorrow.

It was awesome to run a race in the same event as you Keenan as your running and marathon streak of over 3 years… has been pretty inspiring and has made me want to join that club! 

Next Month: MEC Race Series Race #4… at Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto

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2017 quest…13 Races in 2017… (1per month and 2 in September) a baker’s dozen:

Exploring Niagara Falls…

Friday night I was at the airport…waiting for an International Arrival.  Keenan was coming to Toronto to run the Toronto Marathon (#3 in Canada and #89 overall!) His flights were delayed but then returned to scheduled time… it was a late pick up… around midnight, but I was happy to see him walk out the doors!

After we found my car… I surprised him and said we weren’t heading to my place in Georgetown…but instead Niagara Falls! We arrived just after 2am… and headed to sleep.  The next morning Keenan got up for his daily run beside the falls… then came back and got ready to take on the day’s adventures. 

I had never been on the Hornblower (the Maid of the Mist only now runs on the American side of the falls).  So our first thing we did was grab tickets and head out towards the falls.  SO MUCH FUN! It was a cloudy kind of day… and there was some additional mist from the falls made it a wet trip!
We got to all put on our ‘pinkish-red’ ponchos and enjoy the ride… 

My camera may have gotten a bit wet… and after this shot put it away for a bit.   The falls are so spectacular. Such a fun place to visit. I must admit it’s probably my only 3rd or 4th visit.  

We did catch two people zip-lining down to the water… what a view!
The flowers were out…and so pretty… 

We stopped along the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) for an impromptu pull off… Keenan wanted to see Lake Ontario… and then we passed this boat. Thanks Keenan for doing the research about this boat because I had no clue what it was…or why it was there!

The Grounded Ship was a replica of the Grand Hermie used by Jacques Cartier in 1535-1536 and 1541-1542 to explore Canada. This ship was built in 1967 for Expo 67 [in Montreal] as part of the nautical theme as Expo 67 which was on islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway.  The ship was taken to Quebec City and abandoned in 2001. 

After a stop and a nap at my apartment in Georgetown…we got dressed up for dinner at the CN Tower in Toronto! 

What a fun way to see the city…and enjoy some pretty awesome food.  We lucked out and the view was pretty clear—the clouds didn’t stop us for seeing things.  

After dinner we headed downstairs for a quick walk on the glass floor… then it was time to head home to get to bed! We had to be up early for the marathon on Sunday. Whirl-wind weekend visits have to come to an end…but there was still one more day!  If you want to see Keenan’s blog and story from the day you can check it out here. 

MEC Race Series: April (5km #4)

This month I was ready… I had done a few more training runs in the weeks since my last race.  I was pumped to be running.  Again, not sure of today’s  early morning start (I’m so not a morning person)…but luckily I stayed over in Toronto so the drive wasn’t too far from Josefina’s house.  Josefina had also been doing a lot of running…so when we started this race…we started with a faster pace…I stuck with her to just before the 1km marker, then couldn’t keep up with that pace.  I was so surprised when my tracker announced in my ear that my pace for the 1st km was 7:32 (that’s the fastest I’ve been in awhile…)

The really cool thing about this race… is I had a guy that I was able to keep pace with.  We basically played leap frog a bunch of times over the course of the race.  He’d be ahead…I’d pass him, then he’d pass me…and we’d go on that way forever.  Thing I learned today that running with another person…can help you maintain a consistent pace (this guy was so consistent).  I was more of a super fast–then have to recover and slow it down for a bit—super fast… kind of person. I need to work on my endurance before picking up the pace.  I was stoked to finish this race..but I missed my PR by 25 seconds… there’s always next race to beat that time!

Next Month: Toronto Marathon–doing the 5km while my friend Keenan does the marathon!

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2017 quest…13 Races in 2017… (1per month and 2 in September) a baker’s dozen:

 

 

A Toronto Raptors Game

This year for my friends son I gave him a ticket to go see the Toronto Raptors play for his 8th Birthday.  Last night it was time for us to head downtown Toronto to the Air Canada Centre to see the game.  Our trip started off taking the bus, and then the subway to Union Station.  We got to the ACC really early…but it was nice not to have to battle the lines of people! We got some snacks and played a few games.  L got a basket on his first try! The game began…lots of music, excitement and dancers.  L sat for most of the game…just LOOKING and taking it all in, not saying much to me.  At one point I wondered if he was really having a blast.  (but the next day my friends assured me he just took it all in and told them how much fun it was!) 

It was a close game…but in the end the Raptors pulled out a win! Even though basketball isn’t really my sport…it was pretty awesome to be a part of the crowd at this game.

And because the Raptors got over 100 points in their game… every ticket was able to get a free slice of pepperoni pizza at Pizza Pizza the next day!

This face told me all I needed to know that he enjoyed his time at the game.  Oh and that ball he is holding… he “caught” it with help from 2 guys that saw it was his first game and yelled at the Cheer/Squad to send L’s way… there are some good people in this world! 

Around the Bay (Hamilton): March (5km #3)

So with March’s run it brought NEW shoes… decided that my old shoes just didn’t have enough support left in them.  I did the thing most runners will tell you NOT to do…run in a brand new pair of shoes.  (I did and didn’t actually suffer.) My foot held out…but still is randomly swelling…and not fitting into my regular work shoes…so been stuck wearing sneakers, and other options that aren’t as fashionable! 

This race Josefina wasn’t able to join me… but my boss/friend Cathy was running the 30km around the Bay… so it was nice to see her at the beginning of the race and see her cross the starting line.  

Here go the runners that were doing the 30km…some were doing the race in a relay team…but others did the full 30km on their own.  Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race is older than the Boston Marathon… it’s been happening for a long time!  Always minutes before a starting line…I often stop to think… what the heck did I get myself into. But I always enjoy myself…and can’t wait to do the next one…but in those first moments, I stop to wonder what the heck!  After my 5km finish I waited to see Cathy cross the line.  It’s fun to be part of this running community.  Even though my times aren’t the best… for me they are awesome, and I’m actually out there doing something.  I have realized this month that I need to do some more training runs in order to keep up my times…and improve on them.  Really would love to beat my PR from my race at Downsview Airport in the Fall of 2015.

Next month: MEC Race Series– for their Race #2… back on Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto.

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2017 quest…13 Races in 2017… (1per month and 2 in September) a baker’s dozen:

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