Sunday, October 30, 2011

Race Report: Toronto Women's Runs 5k, Take 2

This weekend I ran the 5k race at the final TO Women's Runs event of the season.  It was a great time, as expected - even better than imagined!  

I can't say enough good things about this run series.  I really enjoyed the two events I did with them this summer and I am already considering the half marathon in the spring.  (Who knew I would go from 5k races to signing up for TWO half marathons in 2012 so fast?!)  From the set up to the post race food to the general atmosphere, it's an all around great event.  I do admit that the shirts haven't really impressed me yet, but I know "female fit" shirts are a fine art that no one has really perfected yet.

TO Women's Runs has a great pre- and post-race area.

Prior to the race, I had the chance to meet Lyndsay (follow her on Twitter at @Lynzee).  It was great to see a "familiar" face despite not having any of my girlfriends at the race (yes, I count strangers from the internet as familiar faces, don't you?)  Lynday kicked butt by the way, running her first sub-30 5k!  You can read her race report here.

Lyndsay and I warming up in the sun pre-race.
The rest of the time pre-race was spent trying to keep warm and debating how many layers I really needed to wear.  After scrapping ice off our car on the way to the race site I thought long sleeves plus my running jacket was the answer.  I ended up with just long sleeves, which was a good choice I think.  I just wish I had made the choice before I had poked holes in my running jacket with the safety pins.  I also found Andrea, who I had made plans to meet before the race so we could run together.

The only solo pic of me because the other
one really sucked. Delete. 
Here's a tip: When you make plans to meet other runners prior to a race and it's freezing cold, don't describe the outfit you'll be running in but the outfit you will be hanging around in before the race. Andrea ran in purple and I ran in grey, but before the race she was in black and I was in green. She also didn't have her hat on until after we found each other.  You live, you learn.

The run itself was pretty awesome.  It was the same route as last time so I was ready for landmarks like the parking lot (crappy) and the loop that looks like the turnaround but is really only the 2km mark.  Andrea and I ran the whole thing together, chatting and doing 3/1 run/walk intervals.  Her goal was to finish in under 39 minutes and we both kept an eye on our Garmins to ensure we were going to hit that goal.

Check out those super hot negative splits.

As you can see, we killed Andrea's goal for the race.  I'm glad I was able to get to know a new running buddy and help her meet her goals.  You can read Andrea's race report here.  In meeting her goal, I met my goal for this race.

With Andrea, a stranger from the internet my running buddy.

I felt strong throughout and definitely had some gas left in the tank when it was over.  I'm glad I didn't push harder though because by dinner time my knee was really really sore.  Luckily we were at my brother's for dinner, and they provided me with ice and Advil.

I told The American not to worry too much about taking running pictures of me because I knew the on route photographers at these events were actually kind of awesome.  As usual, I was way too impatient to wait for the photos to be indexed and clicked through 200 pages of pictures to find these beauties:

I don't photograph well when running
unless I know the picture is being taken.
I actually kind of love this picture.

Along with pictures of me, The American likes to take pictures of the winners as well.  Check out these ladies flying along:

I think this is the 5k winner. She finished in 17:55.1.

The 8k winner. She finished in 28:32.4.
And apparently she could fly.

It's amazing to me how far I've come from my first 5k race.  At the beginning of this summer I had no idea how a race worked, didn't own a Garmin, had no idea about pacing, and was ready to fall over at the 4.7km mark of my first 5k race.  Now I am confident and excited and enjoy every minute of something that has already become second nature to me, and I'm sad that the 2011 racing season is pretty much over.  Time to start making plans for 2012!


  1. Great recap and congrats again on a great race! I love the picture of us, we look so pumped!
    Your race photos came out awesome, especially that second one!
    Let me know when you decide on the spring half!

  2. Great pictures and Saturday was so much fun! I'm thinking about the half too in May.

  3. Great recap, great photos and job well done!

  4. i've just rekindled my love for running (now that it's cooled off in el paso) and i have to say, reading your post makes me want to go ahead and accomplish my first ever 5k. it has to start somewhere right?

    i'd loooove to have you in my ornament exchange! thank-you for finding it through ginna (we were paired up in a sparkle swap and now is a lovely blog friend-- this is why swaps are my favorite)


  5. Hey lady! Thanks for stopping by my blog! And good luck in the giveaway :) I'm very excited to catch up on your blog. I recently started my journey to fall "back in love" with running - and I love reading other new runner experiences! And as I just finished my first half marathon...I look forward to following your journey for Feb 2012!