Tag Archives: STWM

Thanks for helping Toronto Cat Rescue!

The grand total of donations made BY YOU for queenie’s cards’ Toronto Cat Rescue Fundraiser is $203.00! Thank you to everyone that donated by pledging directly on the charity challenge site or by purchasing a card through our shop!

Special mentions to the lovely ladies and their businesses for caring about the kitties in our city!

And a shout-out to our queenie’s cards customers and supporters!

  • Erin S.
  • Suzie Y.
  • Susy C.
  • Amy W.
  • Sharyn (I forgot your last name! If you’re reading, leave me a message! Thanks for the very generous surprise donation!)

What an amazing event, you can read about my half-marathon race report here. I look forward to fundraising for more worthy causes next year! All of our proceeds will now continue to support Toronto Animal Services :)

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Race Reports!

I know, I know, where have I been? Here are FOUR race reports. Eeep, sorry I’m so behind.

1) August 31: Color Me Rad 5k — Not timed

Karon was a keener and wrote up a summary the day of (with lots of photos), but here’s my take anyway:

  • I wasn’t thrilled about the event to begin with, the thought of having coloured cornstarch thrown in my face during a run isn’t appealing at all, but since little brother was so enthused to sign up with me, I agreed to do it (as long as he paid my entry fee, lol).
  • We got to the race site and it was already a wild, colourful mess since a bunch of legs were already completed. The line up for our kits wasn’t terrible and we got our shirts and sunglasses without any hassle — you NEED to wear the glasses they provide.
  • The run itself is nothing more than a jog, no one takes this event seriously which is cool, I was glad we weren’t dodging runners the whole way. It was chilled with tons of photo ops and everyone enjoyed the scenery. The first colour station was at the 1k mark and that’s when the fun begins! It was a blast, the trick is to not rush through and you could even stop at the end to throw cornstarch on yourself.
  • Karon was smart to put his camera in a ziplock bag with two holes in the back for the straps. It still got dirty but it was better than not being covered.
  • The stations with wet paint were the best, the volunteers don’t spray above your chest so there’s no risk getting anything in your face and the colours stay on much better. My advice for this: wear swim shorts! It was easy to clean and you don’t have to be uncomfortable with a wet bottom the rest of the time.
  • Overall, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad Karon and I got a ton of awesome photos out of it. I don’t know if I’d do it again, I find that this one-time experience is enough.

2) September 8: B&O Yorkville 5k — 27:58

My annual 5k since finding out I was preggers! This was my third year in a row running this race and I’m liking it better and better each time. The sponsors are getting bigger and the crowds are always great.

  • 2011: 26:19 | 2012: 31:24 (first race since having Madeline 4 months before)
  • I love the course, it’s a great loop from Yorkville down to Queens Park and back up Avenue Road, and it’s close to home.
  • The goodies are awesome, what other race hands out EVIAN water and cinnamon buns? There were free t-shirts and water bottles and we got a free jacket in the kit too!
  • The medal is so pretty. This year’s spins! For a short 5k, this is definitely noteworthy.
  • You can stay inside the entrance to the Nike store before gun time to keep warm and stretch, this is definitely a bonus.
  • Hopefully I’ll be able to match or beat my 2011’s record soon. It’s taking a long time to get back to my pre-baby times.
  • Nothing negative to say about this race! Will keep doing it every year!

3) September 21: Running Maniacs Fall Festival Run 15k — 1:29:56

My second long distance race. Newcastle is far! But the good thing about that is it’s a small race and not crowded.

  • This was my training run to prep for STWM. The scenery was great but because it’s such a small race, you’re alone most of the time and there were few spectators along the way, so music is needed to keep you company through those lonely stretches.
  • There weren’t a ton of volunteers and not every turn was marked, so some elites ran too much and others ran too little. I don’t think anyone knows their true time, still. Luckily for me, I ran with a lady going my pace and we didn’t run off course like some of the leaders (including Avery, even though he won his category for the 10k!).
  • They announced the women’s results first by the oldest age groups, then the men’s, and the winners get to choose a prize when their names are called. When it was hubby’s turn, there was barely anything left on the table, boo!
  • I don’t think we’ll do this race again, it took a while to get there and it wasn’t well organized, though we understand because it’s a small event. We received a follow-up email just today from the race director stating she understood everyone’s comments but because it was a small-funded race, and the purpose was to raise money for guide dogs (yay!), she hopes everyone looks at the big picture and not hold any grudges.

4) October 20: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront (Half) Marathon 21k — 2:16:30

THE race of the year! All of my training after the Yonge Street 10k led up to this day. I’m so happy I finished, and with my time!

  • This is Toronto’s most famous race and rightfully so. Canada Running Series always does a superb job organizing all of their races. Alan Brookes (the race director) did it again. It’s an awesome feeling being a part of such a big event, the crowds were the most excited groups of people I’ve ever seen, there’s always lots of volunteers, the route was good, corrals were timed correctly and water stations were plentiful.
  • Avery’s office was a block away from the start so we made it our HQ for the morning. We could see the corrals and made our way down with some minutes to spare, I was glad we didn’t have to check our bags or wait outside. Hubby was my coach for this run, he was with me the entire time!
  • Two of our friends are opening up a running store at King and Bathurst called Black Toe Running Inc. so we were honoured to wear their personalized singlets! A couple of people asked us about it on the course so the word is out! They had a huge cheering section in front of the shop and it was awesome seeing my name on their sign! It’s always great to have support along the way.
  • I was feeling good and Avery was pacing me at 6:00/k so it was doable. I was cramping around the 10k mark and was worried but thankfully it went away quickly. Everything was peachy on Lakeshore but it’s quite a ways before the turnaround, the scenery makes it seem longer than it is. I was worried at 15k because I was getting tired… really tired. Then, after the 16k mark, every kilometer seemed like an eternity. 17k is where I hit the wall on my training run and it was tough to keep going this time too. I walked twice for 20 seconds or so, I couldn’t not stop, my legs were dead tired. Avery helped me push through it and I paced 6:20+/k the rest of the way.
  • The last 3-4k was insanely challenging, I knew I was almost at the finish but there’s still 20+ minutes to go, plus I’ve been running for about 2 hours at this point. I hated seeing the markers because I’d think back to the last one I saw and it felt like I’ve run more than a measly kilometer. When we were rounding the last corner, Avery put it in perspective for me and said it’s less than a walk to the subway station from our house which helped a lot, but damn it seemed twice as far! I didn’t want to stop, I pushed myself so hard after passing Union Station.
  • This is where I felt kind of eerie. In 2011, Avery and I witnessed a half-marathoner collapse less than 1k before the finish (he didn’t survive), and this is where I’d be running past to get to the end. You can read about the post here. I didn’t glance at the spot where we saw him but focused on moving my legs and taking big breathes for that last stretch.
  • The 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m signs did not help me at all! I was aching and was so exhausted, passing by each of those markers was grueling! 100m is such a short distance but the signs seemed to be teasing me in slow motion as I was giving everything that I had to get to the end. The crowds were awesome, though, they were shouting and clapping, someone even yelled out my name really loudly a bunch of times but I didn’t see who it was so I’m assuming it was a random spectator.
  • Then, I saw the timer, and the best feeling is knowing you’re seconds away from the finish so you can stop running!!! What a glorious feeling it was, they put the medal around my neck and I was still in shock of what I just did. There is no way I could’ve done this well without Avery running with me and supporting me the whole way, I probably would’ve given up.
  • I waddled my way to grab post-race goodies with the masses ’cause I was starving! Next time I do anything more than a 15k I will try using gels. I needed that energy boost this time, they were handing out PowerGels but I didn’t dare try anything new during a race.
  • I’m over-the-moon thrilled to have completed this mission. What a strenuous one. I’m done with races until next year! I want to chance my luck with Nike’s San Francisco Women’s marathon but I should wait a bit before my runner’s high gets carried away.
  • Gentle reminder that there’s still time to donate to Toronto Cat Rescue fundraiser! :)

Thanks for reading! I know it was a long one… but I won’t have any more reports until next spring at the earliest :)

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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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STWM

The highly anticipated Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon + Half-Marathon & 5k was this past weekend. Avery and I were on the sidelines cheering on our friends running the 5k in support of the Geneva Centre (read more in my previous post here). Look at how much fun everyone’s having! I took this at Bay/Wellington about 200m from the finish.

Team Family Guy in matching red shirts: (L-R) Mike, Braden, Rachel, Angela

It was an exciting day for Braden because not only did he run a PB of 28:30, it was also his seventeenth birthday!

On a darker note, before the 5k-ers started, the half-marathoners were coming in and while waiting for Maya, Avery and I, unfortunately, witnessed the 27-year-old runner collapse on course right in front of us. It was a scary. He passed out on the sidewalk and it took a full 10 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, meanwhile spectators had to cover him with a blanket and perform CPR. He was completely unresponsive and we could tell he was gone before they put him on the stretcher, the paramedics didn’t even put the siren on when they drove through the oncoming runners to take him to the hospital. The crowd was frustrated at the lack of medical attention just short of the finish line, by the time the volunteers took notice, they flagged down some cops but the radio signals were all crossed so they couldn’t get a hold of any medics. Avery emailed Alan Brookes, founder of the Canadian Running Series and the head organizer of the race, but we haven’t received any replies yet. Even though the bag check was a complete nightmare (some people waited over an hour to get their belongings, read about there here), this is much more important issue that I hope will not be overlooked.

UPDATE: October 22, 2011

Here is an article from the Toronto Star about the runner, Kale Garner. Cause of death is still unknown, and despite reports of help being on scene right away being completely false, it’s worth a read. Link HERE. Avery and I found out he’s a friend of someone we know; the entire situation is still a shock to us.

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