Midsummer Night’s Run Race Recap

To run or not to run?  That was the question of the day yesterday.

Despite my hesitations, the answer was a definite “YES”.

My expectations going into this race were low. The goal was to finish. The one month I had to prepare for this race was not enough time to improve anything but the cardio I lost this summer. As well, the week leading into the race I was suffering from some pains due to last weekend’s long run. I know I’ve been pushing my mileage, perhaps a little too much to make up for lost time this summer. I have two half marathons coming up in September, and I really want to do well. Alas, I know from last night’s race, I am far behind my running goals. In fact, due to my injury this summer, I am behind where I was last year, when I wasn’t even working hard.

Mother Nature decided to give us a break from the rain yesterday as it had been raining prior to the start time.  We weren’t really sure what we were going to get. Due to limited parking, we arrived early to find a spot, and then sat in the car for about 20 minutes before making our way to the start area. It was raining at this time, so it was for the best. When we did leave the car, the rain decided to stop, and it remained clear until we arrived home last night. Lucky for us, eh?

The Midsummer Night’s Run is a flat course. It’s a great race to do for those who are ramping up for a half or full marathon in the fall as you can test your training efforts. There is a 15K or 30K race, as well as a 5K family run. The proceeds from the event go to Sick Kids hospital.

I have only run this race once back in 2012. For each race you run, you build up the mileage and receive a pin at packet pick up. Because I did the 15K in 2012 and 15K in 2014, I have a 30K mileage pin. My spouse has done it a few more times, so he is up to 75K on his pin collection.

Once we left the car, we opted to do our pre race pee. There was one long line up for the port-o-potties.
2014 MSNR Washroom pic

Lucky for me, I had my hardcore girl, race survival instincts on. Prior to leaving the car, I packed some tissue for those ‘just in case’ moments. That’s right….port-o-potties lacked TP! I was prepared! 😉

By the time we finished at the P-O-P’s we had about 5 minutes to corral ourselves. We found an adequate place to put ourselves in the midst of the runners, based on the pace bunny signs we saw. I knew Kari would zoom ahead and I’d probably fall back a bit, but it was a fair area to stand.

2014 MSNR Go Time

The race started with a horn to signal the start. The race didn’t put up it’s usual start gate as it was pretty windy outside. I would assume, the wind would have blown it over, as the start gates are usually a ballon (blow up) type material.

Kari took off, as expected, and I began trudging along the road.  I realized I ran my first two miles under 11 minutes, so I knew I was going too fast.  I slowed it down after the third mile, to just under 11:30 however, I was not getting into a running zone.  Somewhere, shortly after the 5K marker, the pain in my left glute area was intensifying, and I knew I was in for an uncomfortable race.  This pain has been an ongoing ailment of mine, and prior to breaking my arm, I had been keeping it in check, however, I suppose with the extra training over the month, it decided to come back full force.  Lucky me!

I dropped my speed for the next few kilometres, and hit the 10K mark at 1:12.  No records here boys and girls!

In the last 5K of the race, it really was just a matter of survival.  The more I ran, the more pain I had.  I broke my intervals between the 11K-13K and started to speed walk.  I seemed to have felt a little better after that, and then I began running again, and finished the race.  I finished just under a 12 minute mile average.  Yeah, not my best effort. (in 2012, I finished this race about 7 minutes faster)

On the upside, Kari did fantastic, with a time of 1:27 and change, beating his 2012 time by over 10 minutes!  WTG!

I learned a few things after reviewing my Garmin upload.  Firstly, going out too fast killed my recovery zones during my intervals.  Although I did not feel winded -In fact, I felt really good in that respect- my Garmin says otherwise.  My heart rate, did not really go down to my regular levels on my walk intervals and my average heart rate overall was way too high than all my recent training runs.  I can only surmise it’s because I went out too fast.  Secondly, I have got to work on my leg strengthening. Bring on the Glute/Hips/Hamstring exercises!  I’m not sure how I am going to fair in the next half marathon which takes place over the Labour Day weekend.  I was hoping to improve over my Niagara time from last year (2:25) but with this time, based on the McMillan race predictor, my half time would be 2:41.  Which basically means, I will have fallen back to pre 2012 times. *Sigh*  Lesson learned here – Don’t fall and break your arm during running season!  hee hee!

Happy Running.

Midnite Run Toronto on New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year!

What a hoot we had last night!  What did we do you might ask?  We ran our first 5K 3.5K race of the year at the Midnite Run Toronto by My Next Race and organized by Good Times Running.  (I’ll get to that part a little later on in the post)

The night started off rather early, as we wanted to have a nice dinner at The Keg.  We arrived around 5pm, and the restaurant was already very busy.  They weren’t taking reservations, so it was first come, first served.  Luckily, we didn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for our table.  The service was excellent.  The staff were really prepared for the NYE business.  I’m sure they had a fantastic night.  Here we are as our meal came to the table. Yum!

After dinner we had time to go home and relax for a couple of hours. Kari had a brief nap and I opted to read Facebook postings and blogs. At 9:45pm we got in our car and drove to the race location which was in the west end of the city.  We live in the east end, so we had to allow for driving time.

By the time we found parking and collected our gear, it was close to 10:30pm.  We were one of the first to arrive at the Market Bistro on Liberty street to pick up our race kits. Racers did have the option to pick up their race kit earlier in the afternoon at the same location.  Had we lived closer, we would have gotten it then.

The race kit did not fail to disappoint.  It was packed with various goodies.

After we collected our race kits, we went back to the car to store them away. There was a coat/bag check at the race location but at that particular moment, we didn’t know where it was located. Since our car was so close, this also alleviated any bag check lines later on. By the time we got back to the Bistro, it was getting really busy with several runners picking up their race kits. The Market Bistro isn’t that large, so it was pretty much wall-to-wall runners. I found a little seat by the door and tried to stay warm. Kari was beginning to get overheated, so he went outside a few times. We then found out about the other side of the complex, which is connected to Danceology (after party location). Also where the food was to be served post-race and where the baggage check was located. We opted to move to the other side of the complex, which supplied the necessary warmth.

Shortly before midnight, a race volunteer ushered us out to the -18 C weather of Toronto to corral ourselves for the start of the race. Luckily, it was no more than 10 minutes that we had to stand waiting.

We hopped and we bopped on the spot to keep our warmth going!

There was a short countdown, and then we were off running. Kari and I gave each other a New Year’s kiss (over our scarves), and we began our race. Given the very cold temperatures, icy conditions, and darkness, we opted for a very slow run so we knew where our footing was at all times. The race course had dry areas, but there were many icy patches covered with recent snow. Unfortunately, we did see one racer have a really bad wipe out. She said she was ok, but it sure looked like her fall took the wind out of her.

The race course had various volunteers steering us along the course in the proper direction. As with most races, runner’s follow each other, and you assume you will get to the finish line. I’m just glad we aren’t lemmings and cliffs aren’t involved.  We did get to the finish line, however, many of us, got there a wee bit sooner than we thought we would. Unfortunately, one of the volunteers who was ushering us runners along told us to zig, when we should have zagged. This cut off our distance by about 1.5K. By the time we realized what was going on (as did the runners around us), we were near the end of the race. Crossing the finish line somewhere around 25 minutes. HA! We were starting to run a little faster in the back half so had we actually run a 5K, we would have finished around 35 minutes. Once we crossed the finish line and received our medal, there were several of us talking about the incident. I really don’t know how many this affected overall, but I would suspect a really good portion of the racers. Unless you really knew the course, and where to run, you most likely would have followed the runner in front of you.

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1st running medal of 2014

A few minutes passed after finishing, and we walked into the building to keep warm, received our New Year’s champagne, beer, sandwiches and soup. They had both meat or vegetarian options. I had the buffalo chicken sandwich which was pretty darn good. I didn’t have the soup, but someone beside me had it, and it smelled awesome. Once we got our food, we found a table to eat. There were more runner’s than table/chairs, so some ate standing, or sitting in the long hallway.

After the post race food, the after party was inside Danceology. We stayed for the 50/50 ticket draw, however, we left shortly after. I’m sure many runner’s had a great time as there was a cash bar, and a great DJ on hand to celebrate into the night.

Despite the shortened race course, we had a fun time. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Just wishing Mother Nature would be a little kinder on us next time!

How did you celebrate New Year’s? Did you Run?

Ringing? No. RUNNING in the New Year!

Last week in my Santa 5K race kit I received this…

Midnite Run TO postcard

Midnite Run TO postcard

Midnite Run TO postcard

It took a bit of convincing, but my other half said “yes” last night.  Woot!

Now, the thought of running at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is nothing new.  The idea of wanting to do so came to me when I heard about NYC’s midnight run some year’s ago.  (something on my bucket list)  However, since I’m not in NYC, running in my own city is just as fantastic.

Here’s what the running registration gets you :

$145 coupon for Danceology, good for a dance lesson!

$10 winter gloves

Post race food – HOT food – Not a bagel or a banana

Fireworks

Did someone say “Swag?” – A $30 swag bag!

Finisher’s medal

And of course, what New Year’s celebration isn’t complete without a glass of bubbly.  It’s offered too!

Check out 2012’s video highlights :

 Your partner or friend doesn’t run?  No problem.  They can register as a party only guest.  How great is that?

If you are interested in something a little different, check out Midnite Run Toronto

Do you have any New Year’s Plans that involve Running in the New Year?

Happy Running!

 

Run For The Cure

Who did you Run for?

Sunday October 6th, 2013.  Toronto, Ontario.

Run for the Cure 3

Thousands of people made their way to downtown Toronto today to take part in one of the many Run For The Cure events being held across Canada.  It was a rainy day in our parts but nothing was going to stop the courageous runners and walkers of this annual event. Here I am making my way into the start corral.  Aside from the many Disney events I’ve run, this by far was one of the more crowded events I’ve been too.  (or so it seemed).  And for good reason, of course.  Way to go participants!  And thanks to all the volunteers and spectators.  Could not have done it without your support!

Electro Dash 5K

About a week ago, a friend of mine forwarded an email from one of those group buy-in sites that was advertising the Electro Dash 5K at Canada’s Wonderland for half the price.  It was $30!  So we opted in and registered.  We thought it would be fun to run around an amusement park decked out in our Sparkle skirts and Glow necklaces.

The staging area was well organized in front of the parking lot.  They also had packet pickup for those that could not get their kit on Thursday.  I had picked up our kit at the Metro Convention Centre in downtown Toronto.  It also was well organized.

This is what we got : T-Shirt, Light up bracelet, bibs and Glow Glasses

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There were 3 waves advertised for the runners-although, I think they did more.  We had opted to take the first wave.  The organizers were above us at the start line, along with the DJ who played music.  They kept us entertained, even throwing handfuls of glow sticks to the crowd.  The Go-Go dancers standing on a platform just outside the corral were a nice touch to set the ‘dance’ mood.

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Once we were off, we hit the pavement and within minutes we were running through the park. It was fun going through the park at night, however, I felt there were a few dark patches that could have used some lighting or a glowing pylon to indicate ‘danger’.  At this time of year, the park is closed during the week, however, the Electro Dash organizers had a few areas on course that were pretty eye catching by way of lighting and special FX.

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We finished the race by going through large blown up arches, and hearing loud dance music to energize the crowd during the finish.

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We had fun.  It wasn’t a serious race.  I went to support a friend and try something new.  However, hmmm.  I do have one little complaint about the course.  It was only 3.5K long!  To confirm this, as we walked back to the car, we saw a woman who also wore a Garmin.  She was running towards the start line to run the race again in a later wave.  So, I guess, the upside was, if you were up to it, you could run a 7K course!

We didn’t go to the after party, however, I’m sure those that did had a blast.

Happy Running!

Gorgeous Monday

What a beautiful Fall day!  The weather forecast was predicting some wonderful temperatures so I went out to enjoy a leisurely run today.  I say ‘leisurely’ as I decided to take some pics to share on this blog as the Fall colours were out to enjoy, so it was more of a run, walk, stop to take pictures type of excursion.

I am fortunate to live just steps away from a park called Taylor Creek.  I do most of my running through this park.  I definitely prefer nature over the concrete jungle.  It’s definitely my ‘happy place’ to enjoy a run, walk or occasional bike ride.  It leads into other running/bike paths, so I can definitely run for miles without the bother of cars or traffic lights.  It’s great for my lsds.

Where is your ‘Happy Place’ to run?

Yorkville 5K Race

Race – B&O Yorkville 5K
Date – September 9th, 2012
Benefits YWCA Women’s Shelters
Perks-Black Tech Shirt, Duffel bag, Get Out There Magazine, pamphlets, samples in bag for Lakota, Deep Relief, Florida’s Natural Nugget fruit treats, Water bottle, post race snacks and medal for all finishers
I was definitely spoiled today during today’s race.  It’s been a long time that I’ve received so many goodies in a race kit.

The race itself was held in the elegant & exclusive shopping area of Yorkville in Toronto.  The temperature today was excellent for running, and I couldn’t be happier with the 9am start.

The race course is pretty fast and I was hoping for a better time today, however, my stomach didn’t agree halfway through the race, so I ended up with a chip time of 32:45.  I’m ok with this as these are just the trials and tribulations of racing.  Sometimes it’s your day, and sometimes you just have to get it done, and work on the next race.

After the race, participants were rewarded with a very colourful medal.  I’m not certain of the significance of the tree on the medal.  Perhaps it just has something to do with the landscaping of the area, as I believe Yorkville is known for their mature trees and gardens.

Participants were also treated to local food fare from neighbourhood establishments.  I don’t think I can recall eating more calories at a race then I had burned.  From bagels with cheese, lettuce & tomato, to huge cinnamon buns, breakfast cookies, cheesecake, frozen yogurt & crepe samples, Red Bull, water and gum-it was definitely a lot of food.

Elite runner Wesley Korir and his wife Tarah also raced in today’s event.  Korir is the 2012 winner of the Boston marathon.  Today he ran a new record for the Yorkville 5K at 14:05 chip time.  Tarah ran 16:56 to place second in the female category.  It was awesome seeing these two athletes at this local event.

Over $52,000 was raised during this event.  All in all, a fabulous day to run a 5K!