Again, life has been busier and I’ve missed more runs with my running group than I had hoped for. Still getting my runs in but more and more on my own. I started hills and felt like a pro while doing them.
Being a part of the amazing Digital Champion Team (DC’s) for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon means that there are a variety of events happening in Toronto. There are a handful of us DC’s who do not live in Toronto therefore we must travel if we want to participate in these events. The event I chose to travel for was the Beaches Jazz Run 20K Training Run.
I managed to get 3 others to join me and our travel plans were set! We’d leave on the Saturday morning, drive to Toronto, relax Saturday night and be up early for a 7:45am meet and greet with other DC’s before the run began.
Travelling with others that you do not know well can be risky, but when you have health and fitness as a common denominator there is always lots to chat about! Turned out to be a great group to travel with! We happened upon an amazing restaurant for dinner, relaxed and managed to get to bed at a reasonable time. We had three alarms set and were all awake for 5:20am, because we needed time for coffee and of course proper fuelling for our run. Everything went smoothly and we were off to the Beaches.
I enjoyed meeting other DC’s who I’m getting to know through our connections online. It’s so nice to meet in person the people that you are cheering for and believing with to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. Also, knowing that others were not there as they have had to put their plans on hold. Knowing all to well, how very difficult it is to be “forced” to post-pone your dream because of life’s circumstances or injury. When you are passionately driven to go after your dreams, it’s hard to have to sit back or change and adjust your goals so that you remain healthy. It’s making sure you have balance and that the timetable will work with what is going on in your life. I admire and respect these people for picking the hard choice and doing what is best for them!
It turned out to be a HOT day! The humidity was ridiculous and there did not seem to be much of a breeze, even though we ran along the water for a time. There were pacers for the training run but as far as I could tell only for continuous runners. I choose to do 10/1’s for my long training runs. So I lined up near the back, also noticing the slowest pacer was for a 4hr. 10min. marathon. Realizing that I’d be slower than that, my position in the back seemed to be appropriate.
I had the awesome privilege of travelling with two new friends who were both running their first official 10K’s. They were there to see me off (10K race started 45min. after the 20K). They took pictures and cheered me on when I headed out. I kept up with the 4:10 pacer for the first 2-3K and then gave myself permission to pull back and commence my run/walk plan. This was clearly going to be my own run.
I was not alone at the back but we were not many! This surprised me as I really believe I’m an “average” runner, so where were the other average runners?! It was a fantastic route, having met a number of people earlier on, it was so nice to pass each other on the out and backs and give high fives or simply yell “you’ve got this!” I think the hardest part of the run for me was when we turned off to do a 5K out and back towards Tommy Thompson Park! The air felt dead with little or no breeze and the sun just beat down on us!
Because this was a training run and not a race we were sharing the path and road with other runners and bikers. There were less people in front of me and I unknowingly followed a random runner across Lakeshore Blvd! This seemed very odd to me and didn’t feel right. There was a lot of construction and I realized seeing the Loblaws parking lot that I had made a wrong turn! There was a volunteer at Lakeshore and Leslie St. directing runners to turn down Lakeshore–not across it–BUT with my luck they must have momentarily stepped away and I just followed the runner ahead of me!
No big deal, right? That’s not what I thought when I added almost 0.5km to my run. Once back across Lakeshore I was on my way again to get this thing done! Heading back towards the beaches, I welcomed what little shade there was along the route. It was a lot busier now with people enjoying a family day and watching all us crazy runners actually running on an exceptionally humid day!
The end was in sight, once hitting the boardwalk my main goal was to not fall! Legs were tired, heck I was tired, so watching my footing was my priority. Oh, and hitting my Garmin when I crossed!
Met up with others, chatted about the experience, celebrated with everyone and then signed up for a quick massage!
During the trip home our two friends who ran their first official 10K’s had decided that they would go for it and signed up for their first half marathons!!
All in all, it was a fun 34hr road trip!