Tag Archives: 5km

Shoppers Run for Women 5km Race Recap

12 May

The Shoppers Drugmart Run for Women was this Sunday, May 11th. It was an event I really wanted to be a part of but for the past few months it didn’t look like one that I would actually be able to make…until this week. Some things changed and all of a sudden I found myself signing up at the last minute for the race!

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I was thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful event. Funds collected went to support the Women’s Mental Health Program at the Royal Ottawa Hospital so it was definitely a worthwhile cause.

The race kit and victory bags were also pretty impressive – full of goodies and samples. Shoppers Drugmart did great filling up the bags for all the runners.

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With this race being a spur of the moment thing, I really wasn’t sure how things would go. I haven’t raced since October 2013 and have not really run a whole lot since then.

Nonetheless, I carefully planned my race day outfit. The weather being forecast looked like it was going to be a perfect day for a run..

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When I woke up on race day I went for my usual pre-race favorite foods…

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The race took place on the Aviation Parkway in Ottawa and started at the Aviation & Space Museum. I have run several races in this location and always enjoyed them.

As forecast, the weather looked fantastic…except for the wind. There was certainly more wind that I would have liked, and when I realized I would be running into the wind during the final 2.5km of the race, I was slightly worried about it.

Race organizers were very enthusiastic and had everyone warm up and get moving together before directing everyone to the start line.

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With that they also announced a few special guests present – local politicians, Shoppers Drugmart representatives, the Royal Ottawa Hospital representatives and perhaps the most exciting, a celebrity who was in town for Comicon – Sean Austin (from Goonies, Rudy and Lord of the Rings). 

Pre-race he spoke with passion about being at this event in support of women’s mental illness and talked about his mother’s struggle with bipolar disorder. He took part in all the race festivities and even ran the 5km with everyone!

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Photo credit: @SeanAstin twitter

Fun to have a celebrity at the race, but I really had to contain myself to not start chanting “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy….” every time I saw him!

At the beginning of the race, I lined myself up near the front because I had a feeling there would be a lot of walkers or slower paced runners and I wanted to get out ahead of that as much as possible.

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I successfully got off the start line and was in about 6th place overall right off the bat. I knew there was at least one faster runner there today so I expected her to catch up to us fairly soon.

Within the first few hundred meters, I spotten my husband on the sideline with the camera so waved and said a quick hello.

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From there, I set out on the out-and-back loop with the intention of placing well. I wasn’t sure what kind of pace I would be able to maintain as I had been out of training for a while, but I knew I had enough in me to place well today.

I ran with the same woman beside me for a while, then slowly pulled away from her at the same time as I passed someone else. By kilometer 2, I was in third place with the first and second place runners a good distance ahead of me.

I maintained my third position at the turn around point and then ran head first into the wind – serious WIND. I was telling my husband yesterday that I would rather run in anything else but wind. I have a slight build and the wind just slowed me right now. No chance of negative splits today and by that point I was just hoping to hold on to my third place position.

I started to really struggle with about 1.5km left but kept moving. As I rounded towards the finish line, my husband was there for another photo op but I was not as keen to wave at that point – very much hurting!

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I ended up with a third place finish overall and am very pleased with it! Finish time was 23:27 – not a personal best time but still one to be proud of for sure. My last 5km race was exactly one year ago today – recap here – and today I finished 12 seconds faster than I did last year, so that’s good news!

I stuck around for a bit afterwards and I am glad I did because they actually announced the top 3 winners and called everyone on stage to receive a medal.

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At the finish line, instead of a medal they provided a finisher’s bracelet, a piece of jewelry designed by Foxy Originals.

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It was a fantastic idea for a women’s race and something unique that I really loved about today’s event.

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So happy that I was able to take part in this run – hope to make it an annual tradition and I strongly encourage people to participate in the Shoppers Drugmart Run for Women if one is taking place in your city! Great race, great cause…and great race goodies!

M.

 

Terry Fox Run 5km Recap

15 Sep

Today was the Terry Fox Run. For those who do not know what it is, the Terry Fox Run is an event that is held every September in communities all across Canada and throughout the world.

Terry Fox, an iconic Canadian, developed bone cancer at the age of 18 and in 1977 had his leg amputated because of it. He decided he wanted to do something to fight this terrible disease and began his preparations to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He called this journey the “Marathon of Hope.”

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Terry started on the far eastern side of Canada in Newfoundland and over the course of a year and half ran his way, a marathon a day, across Canada. Along the way, he began to gain support for his cause and money for cancer research.

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Unfortunately, Terry never did make it all the way across Canada and in Thunder Bay, Ontario, he passed away at the very young age of 22.

A nation was saddened with the loss of Terry but his legacy was just beginning…

Terry wanted Canadians to join him in this fight against cancer and so the annual Terry Fox Run was born and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in cancer research.

Personally, I am proud to support this cause, and have been a proud runner in the Terry Fox Run since the age of 5. Today marks my 26th Terry Fox Run, and I still get emotional thinking of Terry Fox, the impact he has made on Canadians and the contribution his legacy has made to cancer research.

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The Terry Fox run connects Canadians from coast to coast, and running in it is truly something every Canadian should take part in.

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I participated today’s Terry Fox Run with my friend and her 4 year old daughter. It has become a new tradition for the past 3 or 4 years that I have run/walked/jogged the Terry Fox Run with her, and I hope we can continue to for many years to come.

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Terry Fox said, ““Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me” – as Canadians, we will continue for you Terry!

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M.

Day Before Mother’s Day 5km Race Recap

13 May

Saturday I ran my second race of the year – the “Day Before Mother’s Day 5km.” I didn’t sign up for this race until a couple weeks ago when a few friends asked if I was running it, and am happy that I did.

It was a good to get a race in before my 10km race on May 25th and I ended up having a great time (and even coming home with some prizes!)

Pre-Race

Saturday started out rainy but after intensely studying the weather radar and changing my race outfit a couple time, I am happy to report, race conditions were pretty good. Cloudy and a little windy but luckily the rain had stopped. The race was held on a parkway so it was pretty dry by the time the race began.

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Just before my race started was the kids 1km. One of my good friends had her 2 daughters run the race so I gave them a quick wave and headed up as close to the front of the start line as I could.

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The race start was crowded as all the 3km, 5km, 10km and Half Marathon runners were starting together, but after figuring out what races the different colour bibs referred to, I knew who would be running in my race.

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Race

As expected, the first few hundred meters of the race was very crowded so finding a comfortable place took some time. My husband was waiting a few hundred meters from the start line to take some photos but because of the crowds, didn’t get much of a photo of me – more of just the side of my head (white hat, blue shirt).

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And then a photo after I had run by…

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I started out the race at a good pace and felt confident I could maintain it. I knew this was a small race, and I set my sights at winning an age group award or maybe even a gender placing award.

After the first kilometer, there were still a lot of runners and I couldn’t tell who was part of the 3km, 5km, 10km or Half. Once we reached the first turnaround point at 1.5km (for the 3km race), what seemed like most of the runners turned around.

I couldn’t see far enough ahead to know where I stood amongst the competition so I tried to settle into a groove until our 2.5km turn around point.

The scenery was nice as it was along the Ottawa River and although it wasn’t a sunny day, I still enjoyed that part of the route.

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At our turn around point, I was able to count how many women were ahead of me and how many were in what looked like my age group. At smaller races like this, I like to know where I stand and get extra motivation from trying to catch those ahead of me.

To my pleasant surprise, I only counted 1 female ahead of me in the 5km race, and she was well ahead. Happy about that, I felt if I maintained my pace, I could hold on to second place and maybe even a first in my age group (wasn’t quite sure how old the female ahead of me was).

When I got around the turn around point, I heard someone yell to me that I was their pace bunny…I didn’t know who they were, but it put a smile on my face that someone would be using me as a pace bunny (later I found out someone I did know had told that person my pace and that she wanted to use me as her pacer).

Also, after the turnaround point I saw Rebecca from Running.Food.Baby who was also running the 5km – gave a quick wave and hello as we passed each other.

The final 2.5km of the race naturally was tougher than the first half of the race, and with a bit of an added headwind, my pace slowed slightly.

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With the 1st place woman out of sight and no other females close behind me, I tried to just keep up my pace until the finish.

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Spotting my husband with only a few hundred meters to go gave me an added push and I smiled for the camera as I ran by.

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I finished the race in 23:39. Not a personal best time but with not as much training as I would have liked, I am definitely pleased with it.

Post-Race

After the race, I met up with some friends, including Rebecca from Running.Food.Baby who had a great race and even scored a PR!

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Curious to see if a prize was given out for the Top 3 Females as had been done in previous races, I headed out in search of the results tent. To my surprise, the results list didn’t have me listed at all, nor did it have the 1st place female either. When I heard all the chatter around the tent, I realized, it was a slightly bigger problem than just me not being on the results list.

After a bit of a wait trying to get things figured out, an updated results list appeared and I was finally listed with these finishing places:

Age group: 1/9
Female: 2/101
Overall: 18/176

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There was still a problem, my finish time was off by about a minute, but again, there was lots of chatter and many others seemed to notice that same problem. The good news is that the timing company finally resolved everything and have updated my time to one that is much closer to my Garmin finish time: 23:39.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to have placed so well and to have gone home with some prize loot (Brooks backpack for my 2nd female overall).

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M.

St. Patrick’s Day 5km Race Recap

18 Mar

Well, it was certainly a chilly one. The coldest race I have ever run. I think it hit -20C with the windchill. But despite that, it felt great to be racing again….and festive racing on top of it!

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I haven’t run a hard race since October. Both my November and December 2012 races were more like “runs” than “races”, so I was looking forward to going all out in a race. My excitement waned a little though when I saw what the forecast had in store for race day (cold, very cold).

Pre-Race Day

Preparing for a race in this cold was key for me and so I took the time Friday night to chose the right race gear:

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Here’s the breakdown of what I wore race day (for a race that hit -20C with windchill and needed to include some more festive items for St. Patrick’s Day):

Layer 1: Reebok tights, Lululemon short sleeve tshirt

Layer 2: Second pair of tights (Adidas), long sleeve Nike Pro Combat mock neck long sleeve

Layer 3: Green socks!! Under Armour 1/4 zip thermal, NB running touque and Lululemon running gloves

Layer 4: Green Ireland jacket

Race Day

Once Saturday morning came around, I was glad to have planned out my race gear but wasn’t sure there was much else I could have done to keep warm when it was so cold. I was, however, excited that the sun was out and I was hoping that it would provide at least a little bit of extra warmth.

My husband came out to the race with me, which was great to have someone there to cheer me on, to take some photos and of course to hold my stuff.

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The race took place along a beautiful stretch of road along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Everyone was able to gather at a local high school near the canal both pre and post-race, which was fantastic for keeping warm.

The 5km race started at 9:15am and after keeping warm as long as possible in the gym, we headed outside to start the race.

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There was a good crowd in the race – maybe a little surprising for the weather,but  final results say 457 participants.

I like to try to start near the front in a race this size so that I don’t have to do much weaving and passing during the first kilometer. I was able to find a spot a few rows in with a few minutes to go before the gun went off.

As expected, the beginning of the race was cold, especially on my face. Slowly, as the race progressed, my core seemed to warm up a bit but my face never did warm up  much.

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I was happy to see my husband within the first 500m and gave him a quick smile for the camera.

Almost immediately I noticed how this race, albeit only a 5km, was going to be a little more painful and difficult that most of the 5km races I had done. The cold was slowing me down and the lack of consistent running didn’t help matters either.

At the half way, turn around point, I noticed someone I knew. She was maybe 50m ahead of me and I made it my goal to catch her. At about 3.5km in I had slowly caught up to her and remained ahead of her until there was about 500m of the race left, when she inched passed me again.

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I didn’t want to make my final push too soon because I was feeling the pain, so I held close until I had about 200m to go. That’s when I also spotted my trusty photographer-husband and managed to squeeze out another smile for the camera (below).

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With the final 200m to go,and the red finish line banners in sight, I sprinted for the finish and easily passed my friend (who was dressed very similarly to me in black tights, green striped socks, green jacket, black touque and sunglasses – on the far right inthe photo above).

To my dismay, my final glance down at my Garmin upon crossing the finish line revealed that the course was a 100m longer than 5km…something I somewhat saw coming as all the distance markers appeared to be off (and this same thing happened at this 10km race last year).

In any case, I didn’t hit a PR, and still wouldn’t have even if it was 5km, but certainly did not expect to. I finished in 24:38, good for the following finishing positions:

Age group: 8/93

Gender: 19/320

Overall: 56/457

I’m happy with this first race of the season, it was fun even with the cold!

M.

 

2012 Running Year in Review

7 Jan

With my final race of 2012 in the books on December 31st, I thought a recap of my year of running was due.

As I only started this blog in October of 2012, the majority of my running this year was not captured anywhere. Hopefully this recap does it justice.

St. Patty's Day Run March 17, 2012

A very foggy St. Patrick’s Day 10km race

2012 Goals

On this blog, I had two goals listed for 2012. I decided at the beginning of the year that training for any long distances was not in the cards for me in 2012, so I settled on shorter races and tried my best to work towards these two goals:

1. Average one race per month

2. PR in 5km and 10km

Having only really decided on these goals in February after my first race of the year, I missed out on running a January race so I had to make up for it at some other point throughout the year. I am happy to say I was successful in both of these goals! I ran a total of 13 races in 2012, one every month, and two in both September and October, and set new PR’s in the 5km, 8km, and 10km – every race distance I ran this year!

I had a third running goal that I had not put up on the blog – potentially for fear that I could not do it. I told a few people about it, but didn’t go fully public (i.e. on the blog) with it.

Not to leave you hanging, this third running goal of the year was to win my age group prize at a small, local running series called Somersault Run Series, in their Champions Challenge event.

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I knew I had a shot at it if I ran my best and entered the correct number of races in 2012 – not many other runners in my age group even qualified for it (you had to enter a minimum number of races).

To my delight, I found in October after the Ottawa Fall Colours 10km that I had won my age group and was invited to an Awards Banquet the following month. The banquet itself was nice, but I was most pleased with the accomplishment of working at and completing this elusive third goal.

Stats from my 2012 running year:

  • Number of 5km races: 8 
  • Number of 8km races: 1
  • Number of 10km races: 4
  • New 5km PR: 22:32
  • New 8km PR: 37:09
  • New 10km PR: 48:06
  • Number of kilometers total: Over 1000

Running in Transit:

I didn’t do as much travel this year as I have in past years, but I was still fortunate enough to get some travel in. I was lucky to also be able to find time to run on the road whenever possible – here are some of the places I was able to “run in transit”.

  • San Francisco, California – A run along the water  from the Embarcadero, through Fisherman’s Wharf and on into the Marina (February).
  • Edmonton, Alberta – Snuck in a run on a business trip and took in some of the Edmonton sites (March).
  • Toronto, Ontario – Amazing 10km run along the city’s lakeshore (April).
  • Montreal, Quebec – A sunny, fall run through gorgeous Mount Royal (November).
  • London, Ontario – The 5km Resolution Run on New Years Eve in a foot of snow (December).

2012 Running Q&As:

A lot of other bloggers out there have recapped their year this way and so I thought I would join in as well by answering a few questions to show the highlights of my running year:

What was your favorite run of the year?

I had so many amazing runs this year that it was hard to choose. I have narrowed it down to two runs that I would have to name as my favorites:

1) While on vacation in San Francisco in February, I completed an amazing morning run through some picturesque parts of the city. My recap of that run is here. I loved the water front pathway, the amazing views of the city and the Golden Gate bridge and the perfect running weather!

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2) Although I wasn’t training for any longer races this year, I still enjoyed getting out for some long runs on weekends. One late summer day, I had an 16km run scheduled and decided to drive to a spot along the scenic Ottawa River and hop on a trail by the water that would bring me all the way into downtown Ottawa. Along the way, I hit some construction and a small detour. The detour turned into a much bigger one that I expected but I was enjoying the gorgeous views so didn’t mind.

Once I looped back towards where my car was parked, I realized I would be doing more than 16km; it would actually be closer to 19-20km. With the wind at my back, I was feeling great so I decided right then and there that I was going to extend the run even further and officially make it a half marathon…what’s an extra kilometer or two once I have already done 19 or 20, right?!

And that is just what I did. I could not have been more pleased with my running that day. Even though I didn’t complete any half-marathons or marathons in 2012, I am proud I can still say I ran 21.1km once this year!

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What was your favorite race of the year/best race experience?

My favorite race was the Bay Breeze 5km in San Leandro, California – it wasn’t my fastest 5km of the year, but it was my best race experience. It was a destination race for me, albeit only a short race. When my husband and I decided to go to San Francisco for a week’s vacation, I immediately looked up races in the general area and settled on this one.

It was put on by Brazen Racing, who did a fantastic job with everything. I hadn’t raced a 5km race in years so didn’t have any expectations of myself. The weather was perfect for running and for my first race of the year, and my first race since 2010, I gave it all I had.

To my surprise, I finished in 23:05, which was good enough for 2nd in my age group (and a nifty silver medal!)

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Also, this race had by far the best looking participant’s medal!

What has been your biggest inspiration in 2012?

2012 is the year I really got into reading, following and eventually writing a running blog, and I would have to say that this has been my biggest inspiration. The virtual running community accessible through social media, be it blogs, twitter or Daily Mile motivates me each and every day to stay active and to push myself to be a better runner.

Best running advice I’ve received in 2012?

I can’t say I have received a lot of running advice this year, but one thing that has certainly stuck with me, sort of as a piece of advice, is Saucony’s slogan “Find Your Strong”. I used it more as a mantra in 2012, and I know it has helped me push through some tough runs this year.

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My “Find Your Strong” reminder right in front of my treadmill

What was your favorite piece of new running gear in 2012?

Hands-down, my Garmin Forerunner 405CX is my favorite piece of new running gear this year. I got it in January 2012 and I have barely taken it off since.

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I love being able to see my pace, time and distance as I run, all in one glance. It has helped me in training and during races, and the post-workout analysis that is available online is a great tool. I don’t know how I ever ran without it!

2012 Running Photos:

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FEBRUARY – Bay Breeze 5km in San Leandro, California

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MARCH – Decked out in green for St. Patrick’s Day 10km race

10km PR Race - The Bear Run (April 2012) - 48:06

APRIL – 10km PR Race – The Bear Run (48:06)

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MAY – After the Mother’s Day 10km Race with some prize winnings

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JUNE – Leading the pack (not really…there are still another 60 runners ahead of me in the Emilie’s Run 5km but this is my favorite photo of the year)

JULY - Canada Day 5km PR race (22:31) - my friend set a PR of her own too!

JULY – Canada Day 5km PR race (22:31) – my friend set a PR of her own too!

AUGUST - Hottest race of the year!

AUGUST – Hottest race of the year at the National Capital 5km!

The Canadians 8km Run September 2012

SEPTEMBER – My sprint to the finish at the Canadian 8km

OCTOBER - Rattle Me Bones 5km Race

OCTOBER – Rattle Me Bones 5km Race

NOVEMBER - The run that I got Girl Guide Cookies at the finish line!

NOVEMBER – The run that I got Girl Guide Cookies at the finish line!

DECEMBER - Last race of the year!

DECEMBER – Last race of the year – the Resolution Run!

Stay tuned for my 2013 Running Goals – to be revealed in my next post.

M.

Resolution Run Race Recap

5 Jan

On December 31st, 2012, I ran my 13th race of the year – a race that finally marked the completion of my “race a month” goal. To be fair, it was more of an “average one race a month” goal since I missed a January race (only having come up with this goal in February) and ran two races a month in both September and October.

I ran the Resolution Run 5km  in London, Ontario, an event put on my the Running Room in various locations across Canada.

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My husband and I were in that area visiting family during the Christmas holidays and I thought it would be a great way to ring in the New Year. I had encouraged a few other friends to sign up too and had my husband and mother-in-law come out to cheer me on, so it made for a fun race with lots of company (…lots compared to what I usually have at races!)

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Pre-race:

London usually doesn’t have much snow, but this year, five days before the race, they got a pretty good snowstorm and the snow was still sticking around by New Year’s Eve. I decided to prepare my race outfit accordingly and settled on all of this:

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The blue jacket was part of the race kit – a Running Room jacket with lots of reflective properties. I typically don’t like to wear my race kit gear for races, but since this was much nicer and more appropriate for a night race than my actual winter running jacket, I decided to wear it for the race…along with 90% of the other runners there.

I had just purchased new winter running tights from the Running Room, and was eager to test them out in a race, along with my other favorite winter running pieces (New Balance touque with ponytail hole, Lululemon Brisk Run gloves, and thermal Nike long sleeve).

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The day prior to the race, I went out for a quick 5km around my mother-in-law’s neighborhood in St. Thomas, Ontario (close to London) to loosen up my legs after not much exercise over the holidays.

Much to my dismay, the sidewalks had not been fully cleared of snow and I could not generate any speed. It felt like I was running in sand! My only consolation was that the race the next day would be much better…or so I thought.

The Race

My “crew” and I got to the race site in plenty of time to check everything out and get settled. When we got to the start line, the 10km racers had just taken off and we noticed that they appeared to be running in almost single file…and on the sidewalks.

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We were certainly surprised to see this, especially as the sidewalks in London did not appear to have been cleared of the snow either. Cars were still driving down the roads we were racing on and there was no sign that any road closures had been made for this race.

We knew then we’d be in for a slow race.

As we approached the start line, we also learnt that there was no official start or timing, so we set out in almost single file as we  crossed the start line.

My friends and I had determined that we’d start together but each run at our own pace. As we crawled through the start line, I quickly wished my friends well and said I wanted to try to speed up…if I could get by anyone on the sidewalk in the snow.

This proved to be a HUGE feat; passing people on the snow covered sidewalks, correction – snow FILLED sidewalks, was nearly impossible.

I did somehow managed to dart past people when there were openings and when we crossed streets and all in all must have passed well over 100 over the course of the 5km.

Despite that however, there were just too many slow downs to generate any sort of steady, fast pace so I finished with a much slower time than I would have liked, but still got to enjoy a winter run with some friends and with the support of family.

AND the $80 Running Room jacket pretty much made up for everything….given that my race entry fee was only $50!

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M.

Resolution Run Sign Up

16 Nov

I’ve decided my last race of the year will be on the last day of the year! I just signed up for the 2012 Resolution Run 5km.

It will be held on December 31st at 5:15 pm and my options for where to run it were abundant. The race is organized through the Running Room and is held in over 50 cities across Canada on either December 31st or January 1st.

In deciding where to do this race, my husband and I planned out our Christmas holiday schedule and decided we would be visiting his family near London, Ontario after Christmas and through until New Years Day. I love to opportunity to run while traveling…and I REALLY love the opportunity to race while traveling.

With that decided, I registered for the London, Ontario Resolution Run and will be able to include a new city on my list of places that I have raced in come December 31st.

This race will mark my 13th race of 2012 and the completion of my 1 race per month goal, so I am looking forward to it. A 2012 Race Year in Review to come in January.

I am also looking forward to what hopes to me the best race kit I will have ever received as it comes with a technical running jacket.

I have been on the hunt for a new running jacket for a little while now, and I am hoping that this is my answer. Sizing for the jacket is unisex, and since I am on the small side, I am hoping the smallest size they have fits me well enough.

This will also be the first night race I do in the dark. I have run one other evening race, but it was in the month of May so was still light out by race time. This race will be starting shortly after sunset, so I may need to get some practice night runs in before race day.

All that’s left now is to hope for decent weather and running conditions for New Year’s Eve!

M.