Tag Archives: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

A Midsummer Night’s Run Race Report

As you may know, I’m training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon in October in support of Toronto Cat Rescue (more info here!), and running a continuous long route within the city is impossible with the chaotic traffic and construction. A Midsummer Night’s Run had a 15k option and since hubby was racing the 30k anyway, this was a no-brainer for me. This race is normally held downtown but because of said construction it was moved to Toronto Islands this year. What does this mean for me and Avery? DATE NIGHT! Yes, parenthood has resulted into us signing up for late races together to not feel guilty about leaving our baby daughter overnight. We dropped Madeline off with my parents, took a much needed pre-race nap, and we were off to the ferry docks. It was packed with runners and walkers of the race, in addition to the regular crowds, so boarding was pretty intense. Everyone was pushing and shoving and trying to cut in line, there were a lot of shouting matches. It was fine once we stepped foot on the ferry, however I was starting to get jittery because the longest distance I’ve ever run was 14k. Avery reassured me that I’ll be ok, so I had to take his word, lol. We found HQ and was soon ready to check our bags.

Us looking prim and proper before the race

The 30k start time was 5:30pm and the 15k was 15 minutes after. I get nervous standing in line waiting for the gun to go off, but I was taking this as a training run and I had no previous record to try to beat so I tried to remind myself to not consider this a race per se, my goal was to pace properly. There were lots of pace bunnies for both courses, I really thought they would come in handy but the two ahead of me weren’t running a steady pace so I couldn’t stick with them. I ended up pacing myself at 6:20min/km. That, of course, slowly dwindled to 6:22, 6:25, but I didn’t let it slip past 6:29. The 15k course was a tad loopy, but I knew that going in. Running on the boardwalk to Ward’s Island sucked, it was so narrow and everyone was definitely slower. Being a Saturday there were lots of tourists on those huge 4-seater bikes so we had to dodge some of the folks on the paths. They should make notices to let people know about these events, it was frustrating for the participants and not fair to the tourists who had no idea they’d have to accommodate thousands of runners on their visit to the island.

The water stations were plentiful, there were lots of volunteers but they were inexperienced high school kids and Avery said one stepped out right in front of him and he almost knocked him down. For me, I had to pass on one station because they were handing out cups one at a time and I didn’t want to wait so I held out until the next one. Overall, lots of encouragement from everyone along the course, including the handful of spectators that high-fived me :)

I felt pretty strong up until 12k, I was exhausted from the heat and my legs wanted to stop. The last few kilometers really are the worse, it felt like an eternity before hitting each marker and I had to force myself not to look at my watch inbetween songs. But only having 3k left, I knew I could push through and there’s no way I was going to stop now. When my watch beeped at 14k, I tried to power through to the finish, I used what little ounce of strength I had left and took huge strides to get under my secret goal time of sub 1:40.

I finished at 1:37 :’) It’s shocking that I ran that long continuously, four months ago I never would’ve imagined this was possible. Hard work and lots of training really does prove to show satisfying results. Even though I wasn’t a speedy rocket by any means, my goal was to try my very best and finish (before Avery, lol). Mission accomplished! This bodes well for my first half in just 9 weeks — EEEP!!!

Enough about me… hubby, um, WON THE 30k!!! He placed FIRST with a time of 1:59!!! I am so proud and ever so happy for my baby daddy!!! I saw him pass by the other way once on the course, I wasn’t looking out for him because I didn’t see any 30k-ers run by, I even thought to myself that maybe he was going the wrong way. But soon after, he tapped me on the shoulder from behind and there were two guys with race shirts on bikes guiding him so I rethought, “oh, maybe he’s first!” He asked how I was doing when he passed me and I yelled back “I hate you!” so that got some giggles around us, especially after Avery answered with “love you too, baby!” So yes, he DID loop me!!! Hmph. But that’s ok, he didn’t run twice as fast as me, lol.

With our honkin’ medals! And me looking disheveled and smiling like a dork.

Post-race dinner was pulled pork and chicken sandwiches at Hank Daddy’s BBQ

Getting home was a nightmare, it took over an hour to board the ferry and it was a complete mess. Avery pointed out it was ironic that staying to collect his first place prize put us last in line to get home, lol. It was ok, though, Madeline was sleeping soundly at my parents and my neighbour took care of Bowser so I didn’t feel rushed. My feet, on the other hand, needed some desperate rest so I’m glad we got a seat on the ferry when we finally reached the docks. I liked this race but hopefully it will be back downtown next year, I’m never doing a race on the island again, at least not a late one. We wasted so much time getting there and back, it wasn’t worth the travel. The scenery was great but the paths weren’t closed off, they got super narrow at certain points and the most frustrating part was the start with the masses. It took a good 2k for me to find my pace. Despite all of this, most of which wasn’t under the race’s control, it was a great experience and I’m overjoyed with our results.

Avery’s 1st place trophy

Another addition to our medal wall

A friendly reminder that this race is a work-in-progress for my half-marathon to support the 100,000 homeless kitties in the city! Please consider sponsoring Toronto Cat Rescue in the two following ways:

1) Purchase any queenie’s cards from the online store and a generous portion of all proceeds will go towards this campaign until the end of October!
2) Donate on my official fundraising page!

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Happy World Cat Day!

World Cat Day helps raise awareness of the love and companionship given to pet owners from their feline friends. It is celebrated throughout the world, every year on August 8

Courtesy of Toronto Animal Services, who are honouring this occasion with a 2-for-1 cat adoption special so your new kitty can have a friend for life, AND so you will have two devoted furry friends that will love you forever! Really, our two cats are super sweet and affectionate. My husband and I decided to adopt the second cat after realizing Smithers needed a buddy in the house while we were away on vacation weeks at a time, so that’s when we welcomed Lil’ Cheeto Wonton! (I know it’s an odd name but that’s the best part about having an indoor pet, you never have to call out to them in public!). Now, they’re best friends, along with Bowser (our golden retriever — yea, we have a zoo!).

Cheeto on the first day he came home with us. He was so tired from his fun-filled adventure, he quickly made himself comfy on the couch and had a great full night’s rest!

Cheeto and Smithers, brotherly love

According to the CBC, the origin of World Cat Day is unclear, but it dates back to 2002. Here is more info from CBC on this meowy day, and for the 2-for-1 details.

Speaking of kitties, this is a friendly reminder to donate to Toronto Cat Rescue by purchasing a queenie’s card (proceeds will go towards the cause) and/or sponsoring my first 21.1k race on my fundraising page! To give you an idea of what a half-marathon looks like, I’ve mapped out my training course from the East End to uptown at Sheppard/Don Mills. Aye carumba!!!

Half-Marathon Training Route

I’m doing this for all the kitties in Toronto that needs a loving home and you can help! Any contribution is needed and much appreciated! (More info from a previous post). We need more success stories! The 100,000 homeless, abandoned, sick or injured kitties in Toronto need your support!

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Please help queenie’s cards raise funds for Toronto Cat Rescue!

This Sunday October 20 at 8:30am, I will be running my first 21.1k in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon to raise money for Toronto Cat Rescue, a “no-kill, not for profit, 100% volunteer, registered charity [with] all donations go directly towards helping cats in need.”

“Toronto Cat Rescue is often the only hope for a homeless, abandoned, sick or injured cat. We help cats escape situations of abuse, neglect, or imminent euthanasia. We see some terribly sad cases, but happily many of them have positive outcomes thanks to all the caring cat lovers who adopt from us.”

There are 100,000 kitties in the city that need our help! Please consider sponsoring in two ways:

1) Purchase any queenie’s cards from the online store and a generous portion of all proceeds will go towards this campaign until the end of October!
2) Donate on my official fundraising page!

Let’s all lend a hand to help these deserving furry ones find a loving family with lots of cuddles and meow mix! Thank you for your support!

Toronto Cat Rescue Team Page — If you’d like to join the team and raise pledges yourself!
* Toronto Cat Rescue’s blog post — Further details about the event
* All pledges will receive an official tax receipt
* I will tally up the card sales from today until October 31st, 2013 and a percentage of all profits will be pledged by me directly to my official fundraising page. An announcement of the total donation amount will be posted on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and on our official site.
* Our campaign to support Toronto Animal Services will resume on November 1st, 2013.
* Proceeds of cards purchased at our retailer LEN will continue to support Toronto Animal Services.

Thanks again :)

EDIT

More info on an updated post here! Included are photos of my kitties and a map of my training route to give you an idea of how far a half-marathon is:

Yikes, that’s a lot of kilometers! But your support by purchasing cards and donating pledges for the cat rescue is what will get me through my first 21.1k race, I’ll be hitting a ton of walls I’m sure.

   

Thanks for helping Cheeto and Smithers’ furry friends!

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I’m 29!

The Drake makes the amazing carrot cakes! Thanks, Andersons and Angela!

Silly Sleepy Bowsie

…and this is what I feel like right now. I’m so tired I can barely hold my head up. Madeline has turned into such a loud sleeper, I was up was ’til 4am this morning. When you’re a mom, your hearing ability heightens to a new level when it comes to your baby. I don’t always hear hubby leaving for work in the morning but if Madeline makes so much as a tiny peep in the middle of the night, I spring up like a jack-in-the-box and dash to her room… only to find her sound asleep, making noises from having a dream. Amazing. But Saturday was my doing, she was forced out of her routine all afternoon because my brother, hubby and I did this:

HOLLAH!!! 351m above ground!!!

The CN Tower Edgewalk!!! It was so much fun! I’d do it again in a heartbeat! The only time I was nervous was right before we walked out (they take you into a room after you come out of the elevator and there’s just a glass door separating you from DEATH before you’re roped into the grigri).  But as soon as you’re outside, you’re in such awe you forget to be scared. It was surreal. If someone told me two decades ago while I was eating at the 360 restaurant with my family that I’d be able to walk the circumference of the roof OUTSIDE in the future, there’s no way I would’ve believed them. Now look at where we are! The cost is a tad pricey but the experience is worth every penny. It was Karon’s second time, he was lucky to go before it opened to the public last year during a media preview. Read his write up for The Grid HERE. Thanks for the wildest birthday gift, little bro and hubby!

Hellooo Toronto! (I’m the short one in the middle)

So, I haven’t ran at all since my race, mainly because baby girl decided I don’t deserve a full night’s rest anymore. I really should try to get out there a few more times before it gets too chilly. I could use the treadmill but it’s not snowing yet so I might as well go out. Hubby placed 4th in his category and 15th overall at the Oakville Half last weekend! He finished with a 1:21:26 despite the crappy, wet and windy weather. STWM is coming up, hubby is crazy and is running the full before the NYC Marathon just 3 weeks after. A bunch of our friends are doing the half and 5k but I won’t be able to watch them at the finish this year. Madeline and I will be watching Avery at the 36k mark (as per usual), and there’s no way I’ll be able to make it downtown in time with all the road closures, and I’m not even going to bother taking TTC.

I’m excited for baby’s first plane ride, only because I’m optimistically thinking she won’t cry or make a scene. This, of course, is wishful thinking but it’s the only way I’ll be able to make it through the reality of what is actually going to happen.

‘Til next time! Hope you all enjoy your week :)

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