Race Recap – Becel Run for Heart 10K

A run of heart. A run of fun.

Last Sunday, I took part in the first ever Run for Heart along the Gardiner Expressway. This was the 29th year of the Becel Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart in Toronto and for the first time ever they opened it up to walkers and runners. 20,000 people took to the street to ride, walk or run and the vibes were running high!Becel Run for Heart

Bike routes varied from 25, 50 & 75 kilometres, along the Gardiner and up the Don Valley Parkway and those without wheels, were able to opt in for a 5 or 10 kilometre run or 5 kilometre walk along the Gardiner. Chris biked the 25K and I opted in for the 10K run. The rainy weather held out and the spirits were high as we trekked along one of our busiest roadways. It’s amazing how silent the downtown area was early Sunday morning without all the traffic zooming by. I loved this route!Starting LinePost Run

I didn’t set out on this run for a PB (in fact I finished in 1:05:16 – however clocked 11K vs. 10K, haha), but I had set out to have fun and celebrate the prevention of heart disease, saving of lives and recovery of survivors. We were running in support of these reasons + many more! It was a chance to enjoy a part of the city that we all know so well from the inside of our car and take it all in with each stride. Laughter, joy, heartache, love….seriously, all the feels! It’s always so incredible seeing survivors take to the streets and ones who are running for those who they have lost. It definitely makes you count your blessings and run your little heart out!548

Run with Heart. xx



Race Recap – GoodLife Toronto Half Marathon

Not a PB but a Feelings PB  and I’m SO into running again! 🙂

Sunday’s GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon may not have brought a PB in time but it was definitely a Feelings PB. Although… I will give myself credit that it was the fastest 21.1KM I’ve run in over 18 months (finishing at 1:59:18) – so that’s pretty darn awesome!

When I say it was a Feelings PB, it’s because I felt joy, strength and motivation throughout the whole race. Running alongside 14,000 runners in some unfavourable weather and the vibes were still so high. The crew love was absolutely incredible and carried me through most of the race (Huge Thanks Morgan & Lauren!) And even though I grew a tad tired towards the end, I really did enjoy every minute of those 21.1KM! I had no crazy pains, no hoping for it to be over soon, and no question on whether I would finish strong or whether I might die of pain the day after.

Today, my heart is full, my body feels energized and while there will always be some slight disappointment in not beating a previous time, I’m thankful to have been able to run. With coming back from some time off, not fully recovered from an eye illness and running with only one contact in, the fact that I was able to get out and run for 2 hours is something to REALLY appreciate.

We all run our own races for different reasons and it’s not always about the distance or time. For me, running this race was about celebrating the achievements that surrounded me pre, during and post-race. It was about celebrating the end of 16 amazing training weeks with Academy of Lions RunCrew  and its success in helping me grow stronger, faster and find my love for running again (as I had set out to do with joining RunLAB) + I made friends with some pretty rad people along the way! This race was about meeting challenges, putting the last 4 months of ups/downs into perspective and enjoying the final victory lap of  RunLAB; running with our community all set out to smash their own goals.

It may have been dreary, cold, windy and rainy, but we killed it and we did it together! Congrats fellow runners! 🙂5813

Inthis2gether! xx

Week 14 – RunLab

Week 14’s a wrap!

With two weeks to go until we hit the GoodLife Marathon, many are excited and eager to hit their goal that was set 14 weeks ago and I think equally as thrilled that it’s time to taper and training is almost over! That is until the runners high sets in post race and we all start training for the next. 😉

I, on the other hand am excited to be back training with the Academy of Lions RunCrew after being off ill for almost a month. I had a severe eye infection that left me living as a hermit. No social outings, no work, little screen time, and the darker the space the better. My lungs were aching for the taste of air, my skin to feel that warm spring sun and my sanity to socialize and catch up with friends!

Coming back after 4 weeks off didn’t make for the easiest of runs but my heart is happy and it’s great to be back running with the Crew! With my first full week of training and Sunday’s long run of 16.5km, I’m  happy to say that my body hadn’t lost all of the great training it had gone through and I feel as though I’ve bounced back pretty well! I’m pretty happy of where I am at physically and yes, I may be a tad sore but it’s a good sore. A soreness that I’m thankful for because I’m back at it and still able to work towards running GoodLife on May 1.

Unfortunately with being off for so long, I missed the peak weeks of training and am falling short of being able to complete a full marathon, which I finally had set my heart on (I think haha). However, I have high hopes that I’ll be able to finish the half feeling great and ready to cheer on the rest of the Crew as they finish the 42.2!

It’s been incredible to see how far everyone has come in their training and see how they crush kilometre after kilometre after kilometre! I love that social media was able to connect us when I was down and out and allow me to follow their triumphs as each week passed. After all, we are #inthis2gether! I will admit I did have serious RunCrew envy when the sun grew brighter, the days warmer and they were all out crushing 30+ km’s each Sunday, but it made me even more excited to get back at it.

The solidarity this group has and the support they give is outstanding. They were able to connect with me while I was off, advise on what my next move should be and encourage me not to fret and that there will always be another race! It was humbling to know that people I’d met only 10 weeks ago were so genuine, concerned and supportive through my whole ordeal. Major crew love here and I’m super grateful!


Get Running. xx

Week 7 – RunLAB

With week 7 of RunLAB under my belt, I think it’s safe to say that training on #theroadtoGoodLife has me in all sorts of feels. Highs and lows and in between. Right now, I feel great! Two weeks ago, not so much. Sometimes our thoughts can be our own worst enemy, especially when we’re feeling tired or sore.

What I am learning as we go or I should say being reminded of is that training the mind is just as important as training our body; more so than we often realize. With RunLAB, I am seeing this come alive each week as we set out on our long runs. I’m feeling stronger physically as each week goes – thanks to a carefully designed program to strengthen our body to be better runners. However, running with a crew has proven to be the biggest support system I’ve known to carry me through the long distances week over week. Their energizing presence continually reinforces the mind to think ‘I can do this’ ‘this is actually awesome’ ‘I so got this-done’ into existence.

This week’s long run of 24KM brought many moments when I was ready to give up because I didn’t think I could get through it. (Even though we just ran this distance last week!) Now, I know not every run is going to be a good run, but when you are at kilometer 17 the last 7 can seem almost unimaginable. With that being said, having a solid crew to run alongside every Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday is pretty awesome! Just knowing they’re there has probably made 95% of our crew runs better than I ever anticipated. It’s the kind support that has you feeling unstoppable during those agonizing mid-run moments and feeling full post-run because we are in this together, we got here together. Their camaraderie and self-motivation has me pushing my limits every week and actually looking forward to the next. 🙂

Now I am not saying, we can depend on a crew for 100% of our training because come race day, I am sure there will be a lot of alone time and we need to know how to manage this. But I do think it can be that extra push we need to get us to that start line in top shape come race day; after that gun fires – the rest will magically fall into place.


Happy Vibes! xx

PS- I am super pumped to let you all know that I’ll be posting my progress on the Academy of Lions RunCrew blog as well to help inspire and encourage other runners in our community!


Spring is just around the corner which means Marathon season is also nearing. Making it time to lace up and hit the streets.

After the Nike’s Womens Run I lost a bit of my passion for running. Time seemed to be hard to come by and everything else took priority. Next thing I knew the winter months were amongst us and naturally I succumbed to hibernation mode. I do admit, a break was welcomed and I hadn’t sworn off running completely. I was still getting out one or twice a week but I had lost that love for running on the daily. I knew I had to spice things up before it began to feel like a fitness chore.

Now to ignite that spark!Nike RunningOne of my running goals last year was to be more social with running. Which unfortunately,  I hadn’t quite accomplished. I definitely was more social with sharing and I did do some runs with friendships, but on the day to day – not so much. So, as the year-end neared, I decided to join a run crew! I was unsettled with nerves, undecided on my level of commitment and uneducated on what each run group was really all about. I found it all a tad intimidating to be honest. However, I was super excited at the challenge and as with many of my running queries, I turned to my trusted friends and my biggest runspirations and that is where Academy of Lions RunCrew came into play. Academy of LionsMy good friend Natalie had always been encouraging me to come out to her crew, so finally I committed myself to doing just that. Once a week, half an hour, running with the community – perfection! I made it out a handful of times before the holidays and started to feel that happy flutter once again. Plus, I got to catch up with some pretty awesome people! I was excited to return in the New Year and with my luck – the launch of their first ever RunLAB. Timing couldn’t have been better!

A 16 week program designed to challenge yourself but not by yourself. Weekly runs led with the best support (3 energizing and experienced coaches) and the motivation of MANY, as we all train towards our own goals and distances (5K, 10K, 21.1K & 42.2K) on #TheRoadtoGoodLife (Toronto’s Good Life Marathon).

I should note, that what is truly incredible about this training program is that it is open to all and free! No matter what your goal is, whether you are new to running or looking to run your 20th marathon, this Run Crew is welcoming to all levels of athletes and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Academy of Lions is truly doing something remarkable to help bring the community together and inspire one another on their running journey. Insert High Five!

We just finished off week 2 and it’s going great so far. I’m already feeling stronger, more confident in my ability and super motivated! I’ve yet to decide whether it’ll be a half or a full marathon for me (I’m leaning towards the half, the full scares me), but I am training towards the Around the Bay 30K again (see last year’s recap here) and will gauge at that point on how I will finish these 16 weeks. I’m excited to see how much stronger I am this time around with a proper program to follow. 🙂 I’ll be sure to keep you all posted! Running Selfie

Find your Strong. xx