Monday, August 30, 2010

Toronto Women's 5k Race Recap

What a great day for a Race, Sun was out and not one cloud in the sky, temperature was around 17C but it was a chilly one. 
I have to say I have been really lucky with Race Days when it comes to weather. 
The Toronto Women's Race took place at Sunnybrook Park in Toronto. I had actually never been to this park, it happens to be just behind where Hubby had his surgery in May. 
Love running in a Park setting, maybe because I always run on City streets.

I sort of miss managed my time in the morning. Getting up 2hrs before a race was NOT enough time. I don't know what I was thinking. 
I was up at 6am, making myself a bowl of Oatmeal (which has become my Pre-Race fuel) and a cup of Green Tea. I quickly ate the Oatmeal. Shaved my legs. Brushed my teeth. Got   dressed. Hubby in the mean time was making breakfast for the kids and making sure that everyone was ready by 7am. 
Grabbed Coconut Water, IT Band Wrap (VERY IMPORTANT) and my Green Tea and we were out the door by 7am. 
I didn't like to be rushed like that. I think I need at least 1 1/2 hr before leaving the house on Race morning. Waking up at 5:30am would have worked out better. 

This was certainly a smaller Race compared to the last two races I participated in. 
The 10k had 332 Runners (331 women and 1 man) and the 5k had 267 Runners (263 women and 4 men). 
There was still excitement in the air, but the atmosphere was more relaxed. It was an amazing feeling to be surrounded by all these amazing women runners. 
This was also my running Buddy's First Race and we could not have picked a better event. 
me and my running buddy Ana 
Waiting for the race to start 
our very own personal cheerleaders
The Girls were quite Popular 
As you can tell we had plenty of time before the race, which is just the way I like it.
I had time to sip on my Coconut water and about 10min before we had to line up for our race I hit the port-a-potties.
At 8am runner for the 10k took off and at 8:15am it was finally the 5k runners turn. 
I can't tell you how great it felt to be there waiting for the race to start and finally hearing the race horn. I really missed racing. Crazy! Did I just say that? 
I even managed not to get emotional this time. 
The 1st km went by so quick, I was feeling great, IT Band was feeling great, everything was working out great. 
Ana and I stuck together until about mid way, at around 2.5km Ana took a bit of a walking break and I continued running. I have to say I felt bad about leaving her behind, but we had made a deal that we would run together as long as possible and then I would continue on by myself once Ana couldn't keep up anymore.  I still felt bad. I decided that once I got the the finish line I would run back to get her. 
I was having a great run, I felt great, my legs felt great, I even skipped the last water station. BUT around 3.5km I started to feel my IT Band and at that point realized that perhaps I didn't strap the wrap on tight enough. I decided to stop adjust the strap and take a bit of a walking break. I don't even think I walked for 1min. 
By that time my IT Band was already causing me pain and adjusting the wrap did help a bit but it bothered me for the remainder of the race. It was more then just an awareness of the Pain, it was pain... but not hobbling pain. 
As soon as I saw the Finish line I started telling myself to Finish Strong!! I looked at my Garmin which said 30min and at that time I gave it all I had. 
Love this picture, it's like you can see my determination. FYI the girl beside me is actually from the 10k race!! AMAZING! 
Crossing the Finish line! 

Chip time: 32:20.6
Overall: 125/267
Females: 121/263
F35-39: 37/81

Very happy with my Personal Accomplishment and NEW Personal Record. 
Right after I crossed the finish line and grabbed some water I headed right back for Ana. I was so proud of her when I looked back and saw her crossing the finish line with in 1min of me!! How amazing is that?? Ana finished her first 5k at 33min... the funny part was her first words to me were "I am NEVER doing this again!", but we all know she doesn't mean that! 

This was a great event and I can't wait to do it again next year! 

Oh Yes, I did end up buying a Race shirt for $20.00, but I just could not resist with the phrase "Women set the Pace" can you blame me? 

Happy Running

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Toronto Women's 5k run DONE!!

Chip Time: 32:20min! HA! that's 2minutes faster then my 1st 5k Race.
I guess I have a new PR!! 
Yes that's me crossing the finish line in the picture above, I hope he got a good Race Photo of me.
I'm extremely Happy with how the race went.

I did have some issues with my IT Band at around 3km, I think it could be because the strap was not tight enough, but in the end I finished strong. 
I will post a detailed Race Report Tomorrow and since there was no BLING at this race I leave you with a pictures of me and my Running Buddy Ana taken after the race. What's better then the sense of accomplishment after a race?  

Thank you for all you support and well wishes, hope everyone had great race/run today! 

Happy Running

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Countdown to Toronto Women's 5k Run

Only 1 more day until my 2nd 5k Race the Toronto Women's 5k Run 

I'm really looking forward to this Race. There will be Firefighters at the water stations and also a chocolate station, what else could you ask for in a race? 

Today was Race Kit pick up day! I love Race Kits!! 

I was a little bit disappointed with this one. NO Running shirt just a technical running hat, a Couple of Running Magazines, a new product called Immunity-FX, Clinical Strength Deodorant and pamphlets for races.  
I would have liked a Running shirt, even if just a cotton shirt. 
There is also no finisher medal. 
I do love that the Race Bib has my name on it. 

With the IT Band Wrap, running has been fairly pain free and I hope that Saturday will be another pain free run. I'm feeling confident that I will have a great run. 
So what's my goal for Saturday? 
I plan on going out and having a fun, that has always been the plan with running. 
I'm not going to stress over a PR. 
As Anne @ Asthma and the Gift of Running said so well "Not aiming for a PR just a PA (personal accomplishment)" 

Happy Running

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Two Crumb Cakes One Picnic.

Last Saturday was Hubby's company Picnic at Sherkston Shores, it is located on the shores of Lake Erie and a great way to spend a Saturday. It is about a 2hr drive from Toronto.

"Say What" 

" Papa Smurf, are we there yet?" 

After finally arriving at our destination we spend the day in the pool

on the water slides 
and enjoying the company of good Friends

Since I wasn't quite sure on what to make for dessert for the Picnic I put a call out on Twitter, Nicole @ Making Good Choices and Lisa @ Vegan CookBook Critic  came to the rescue. 
Nicole suggested I make a crumb cake, after all it travels well and doesn't need to be refrigerated. Great Idea!! 
I ended up making 2 Crumb Cakes Nicole's Uncle Tommy's Crumb Cake and a Blueberry Crumb Cake both were a big success. 

Uncle Tommy's Crumb Cake 
adapted from Nicole @ Making Good Choices

1 box yellow cake mix (i used French Vanilla) 
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups water (i used 2%milk) 
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cups sugar 
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
2 sticks of unsalted butter melted 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and Flour a 9x13 baking pan. 

For the Cake:
  1. In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk and beat on medium for 2min.
  2. Once the batter is smooth, pour into the 9x13inch baking pan 
  3. Bake for 30minutes or until golden brown
For the crumb: 
When you have 5-7min left for the cake to bake, start making the crumbs 

Combine 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, Melt 2 sticks of Butter and add to flour mixture.
***Crumbs form best when mixed with your hands!!

Once the cake is done, sprinkle the crumb mixture over the entire surface and place back in the oven for another 7-10min. 
Let it cool and sprinkle the top with powdered sugar!

This cake has an amazing crumb. Everyone really enjoyed this cake especially the crumb. 

I also made this Blueberry Crumb Cake, I used Greek Yogurt instead of the sour cream and  baked in a 9x13inch pan.  

    This crumb is quite different then Uncle Tommy's Crumbs, it is a dryer crumb, but still very good. The cake is very light and not too sweet, just the way I like it. 
    I would almost like Uncle Tommy's Crumb on this cake!! YUM!  

    We spend a lovely day with Hubby's work friends and their families. I really enjoy Company Picnics over formal Christmas Parties. 

    Happy eating 

    It really does work!!

    Yes, Yes it does really work. 
    The IT Band Wrap really works!!
    I know, I was the first to be skeptical how a simple band around your leg could make all the pain go away. 
    But after yesterdays pain free 5k run I am a believer, this was my second pain free run with the IT Band wrap. 
    I have been running on the treadmill, my PT told me to keep my running surface fairly flat and even, and around where I live it's just not possible. I live in a fairly hilly area of Toronto and the pavement is not even at all. 
    I actually don't mind running on the treadmill, it's where I started off and I'm sure once the winter months come around it's where I will be doing most of my running. 
    I had a GREAT 40min run yesterday, I actually could not believe it and was waiting for the pain to start after 30min but it never came. I could have run for another 10min I'm sure, but wanted to play it safe and didn't want to push it. 
    With the race only 5 days away I'm feeling really confident and excited to be racing on Saturday. 
    I really haven't followed any training plans for this race since I have been running injured since May, not sure if that is a good thing or not. I will try to get 3 more runs in before Thursday, giving myself 2 rest days before the race and hope for the best come Saturday. 
    I know I already said this... but I'm super excited for Saturday!! 
    The plan for this week is to eat really clean, get plenty of sleep, lots of IT Band stretching, using the Foam roller everyday and my strengthening exercises for my Abs and Hip. 
    I'm seeing my PT tomorrow for our weekly appointment, I'm not sure if I should tell her I'm using the IT Band Wrap... I almost feel like I'm cheating on her. 

    Happy Running 

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    This Run has been brought to you by IT Band Wrap

    Thanks to Marlene and Emz for suggesting the IT Band Wrap!! !! 

    What is a IT Band Wrap you ask? 

    It is a wrap with a compression pad that goes around your leg and helps stabilize the IT Band and reduce rubbing on the femoral. It also absorbs stress, reducing the stress on outside of the knee. 
    I picked the IT Band Wrap at the Running Room on Monday for $21.99 and after todays run I think this was money well spent. 

    I was able to have an Amazing 30min Pain Free Run... not a hint of the IT Band at all, not even at the 30min mark. I kept waiting for the pain but it never came. 
    I didn't want to push my luck, so after 30min I stopped running and finished my work out with a 10minute walk (still pain free). I'm VERY happy !! 
    I'm not planing on stoping any of the things I have been doing so far to help with the IT Band ... but I do think this is a great addition to help me get over it while still being able to run. 
    Thanks again for all your input and suggestions.

    Happy Running 

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    IT Band you suck!!

    My IT Band troubles continue ... and I'm getting really frustrated. Yesterday I got on the treadmill and was having a great run, 25minutes into the run I felt like I could go forever. I can't remember the last time I had such a great run... and then at the 30min mark I could feel the twitch starting. Within 3mins I was in PAIN, sharp Pain the kind you can't run with. 
    I'm at wits end. 
    Today will be my 5week with my Physical Therapist. 
    I've used the Foam Roller everyday, for the past 5weeks. Yesterday after my run I actually felt NO PAIN while using it... well a lot less pain then usual. 
    I've been stretching everyday. 
    I've been strengthening my hip abductors (everyday) on my right leg where I have the IT Band problem
    I've been strengthening my lower abs everyday.
    I switched running shoes, which have been working out really well for me. 
    I've been running on straight surfaces. 
    I run every other day pushing it as far as I can go without pain.
    I was really hoping that by now I would be doing much better, but I'm still only able to run for 30min pain free. 
    My next 5k race is only 12 days away, I was really looking forward to improving my race time of 34:17min, but right now I don't think that's going to happen. 
    I'm really lost... Do I focus on being able to finish the race running intervals of maybe 10/1 or do I try to run as much as I can and then once the IT Band pain is too much to handle I walk the rest? 

    Do you have any suggestions for me?

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Celebrating 13

    Yesterday, Hubby and I Celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary 

    August 9th, 1997 

    I remember the day like  it was yesterday, I can't believe 13 years have come and gone!!

    June 2010

    We had dinner at Spuntini an Italian Restaurant centrally located in Yorkville Village in Toronto. Yorkville is know for it's upscale shopping, restaurants and Five Star Hotels, it is also an excellent place to go for celebrity-spotting... no such luck last night :( 

    Spuntini servers homemade pasta and fresh seafood, I couldn't not think of a better place to Celebrate. I love Italian food and so does Hubby. 
    From the outside it looks like a Restaurant you would see in Europe, very inviting and comforting... almost out of the pages of Eat, Pray, Love.

    Inside tables are lit with Candles in a intimate atmosphere, I have to say it was quite a challenge to take pictures of our meals since the lighting was so low. 
    To start we had the Cozze Marinara (sauteed P.E.I cultivated Mussels with roasted garlic in a fresh herb tomato broth with a splash of white wine), sorry no pictures of the Mussels as the picture came out to dark but just take my word that they looked as good as they tasted. YUM!!

    For the main course Hubby had Linguine Frutti Di Mare (Linguine tossed with sauteed mussels, calamari, shrimp and baby clams in a white wine and fresh garlic sauce with green onions & cherry tomatoes) 

    No surprise here, the seafood in this dish was very fresh and the sauce was light. I liked that it wasn't in a cream sauce like you see in so many other restaurants. 

    I had the Ravioli Di Soraia (Square ravioli pasta stuffed with lobster and crab in a cognac lobster bisque with shallots) 

    I liked the ravioli, but I wasn't crazy about them... maybe because the sauce reminded me of Chef Boyardee. It was good, but it's wasn't OMG I died and gone to heave good. 
    Hubby wins choice of the night! 

    For Dessert I had Mango Creme Brule (Traditional French custard with Caramelized sugar with a scoop of mango sorbet) 

    I LOVE Creme Brule... if it's on the menu I will have it every time. I've never had Creme Brule with ice cream/sorbet on top and I was skeptical, why mess with tradition? why mess with something that's already good. 
    I have to say that it was very good, the sorbet was slowly melting on top of the caramelized sugar and it all came together very nicely. I can see endless possibilities with this.

    Hubby had the Dulce De Leche Cheesecake (An Argentinean recipe, infused cheesecake with a layer of reduced sweet condensed milk), which happens to be Spuntinis most request dessert. 

    Hello!! YUMMYLICIOUS! I'm so glad Hubby likes to share!! 
    I would say Hubby probably had the better dessert as well. 

    We had a lovely dinner at Spuntini's, the service was great and the staff was very friendly. Certainly will be back!! 

    Happy Running! 

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Out with the Old in with the NEW!!

     After having another terrible week with my IT Band I finally decided that it was time to replace my running shoes. 
    I have been running the same running shoes since starting my running journey in December 09. 
    'They' say that you should be replace your running shoes 300-500 miles or 6 months whichever comes first. I'm not sure who "They" are but I'm sure they would know better then a newbie runner such as myself.
    My NewBalance740 have served me well over the past 8 months but I most definitely was past due for a new pair.  Don't you think? 
    I have a mild pronation and my feet are on the flat side. I also need a shoe with a wider toe box as my feet are bit wide.
    After some research I narrowed it down to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS10 and the Brooks Ravenna. 
    Turns out the Ravenna's are hard to find here in Toronto, no one seemed to carry them. BOO!! 
    I did end up trying the NewBalance 760 which are the newer model of my current running shoe, and found that they were fine.
    I have to say I really liked the feel of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS9 and GTS10. I didn't really find a big difference in both shoes, they felt very much like the same shoe. 
    I did however LOVE the price difference and in the end the cheaper shoe won. You can't beat Brooks Adrenaline GTS9 on sale for $79.99 cdn compared to the GTS10 at $149.99cdn regular price. 
    Say Hello to my New Running Partner
    I love the smell of new shoes in a box... 
    Brooks Adrenaline GTS9 is also environmentally responsible with it's biodegradble midsole and recycled Shoes laces. Traditional midsoles can last up to 1,000 years in a landfill, however once a pair of Brookes with BioMoGo hits an active enclosed landfill, the midsole is converted by common soil microbes into useful humus and nutrients 50 times faster. 
    Which makes this a more eco-friendly shoe. 
    Now lets hope it will help me get over my IT Band issues and the next 300miles will be fairly pain free 'fingers crossed' 
    Ah yes and the IT Band... what can I say, I've seen my PT twice now in the past two weeks and I was getting better, but as of Tuesday I've been in pain. 
    I have been very good with doing my IT Band Stretches and Strengthening exercises everyday, EXCEPT Tuesday where I skipped... and that's when the pain started!! I Suck!! 
    I know I only have myself to blame. 
    I have 25 days until my next 5k Race, it's time to get serious and say goodbye to this IT Band issue!

    Happy Running