race recap

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

Race Recap – Nike Women’s 15K

What a whirlwind of a weekend! Job well done, Nike!

Looks like this will be the last race recap for awhile, as I have no major races planned in the summer months (yet lol). I hope I haven’t bored you with these, but it was a full couple months with some super amazing races that I had to share, so I hope you have enjoyed the recaps as much as I have. And what better way to end this race streak, than with a first of its kind in Toronto, the Nike Women’s 15K. This was the perfect kick off to summer, despite the less than favourable weather conditions.

Wow Wow Wow, Nike you sure did put on one hell of a race weekend. It seems to be all any one is talking about. From the excitement building up months in advance to race day weekend, to the final finish line and post race recaps. This was probably the most fun I have had running this year, not to mention in company with my favourite running gals.

Nike had ladies hopeful to participate in the first and only Canadian location in the global Nike Women’s race series, with a lottery registration earlier this year. This race was so highly anticipated, it had many men runners join in on the fun too, with close to 15,000 runners taking part day of.Nike Village

Nike Village took over Toronto Harbourfront with loads of runspiration and all the essentials pre-race. It was a great way to spend a couple hours on Saturday to mentally prepare for Sunday’s race. Followed by some healthy fuel and relaxation, the body and mind were now set for Sunday’s early wake up call of 5 am.

Sunday’s race was incredible. The route was spectacular, so well thought out, and by far the best route I have run so far. It was fast, exciting, and surprising.  From an aerial view it was even the shape of a Nike Swoosh (that Nike, so clever).Course Map

Terrain varied from sand, grass, boardwalk, and pavement which kept things interesting. With each new turn, my body and mind filled with excitement with the unexpectedness of what was up ahead. The real badass moment was running along Billy Bishop’s tarmac. With airplanes in sight and the cityscape behind us, what a view to take in. This was one of those “I need to stop and take a picture” moments. This picture below from Nike is far superior than the one I quickly captured in excitement.Runway Photo 20004325_race_0.9843545996596968.display

Not only was this route perfectly planned, but the course was lined with cheering fans, pumping music, jammin’ bands, and even a choir rocking gospel music in their Nike’s. It was the kind of course that makes your heart happy, a route that fills you with energy and leaves you with the urge to keep on running. It was magical and flew by far too quickly. Finishing at 1:30:45, I wanted to keep on going, it was seriously that much fun (I hope the picture above shows you just how much fun!).

Official Race Results

To top off an amazing event, Nike rewarded participants with a custom Tiffany & Co. necklace. A nice touch compared to your typical finisher’s medal. Talk about a  “silver lining.”

Race bib & blingAnother race to cross off my list and time to start planning the next set of races. I’ll take your reco’s! In a perfect world, I’d be heading to San Fran in October to run the Nike Half Marathon. However, I’m not sure if I am ready for that commitment at this particular moment, but could probably be easily persuaded (hint hint).


Better for it. xx







Race Recap – Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon

Joy. Balance. Gratitude. Empowerment.

All smiles for miles. Both pre and post-race, my smiles come from a place of pure joy. I went into yesterday’s race with a different mindset, an unspoken intention. My intention for this race (as always) was to push limits and surpass previous set goals, but most and foremost to enjoy running for what it is and remember why I love this sport.

Running races isn’t always about fulfilling the need to beat my previous self (although that feeling is unreal), but remembering that there is a balance, a sweet spot, a moment to relish. I wanted to enjoy race day the way I enjoy my weekend long runs; taking in the fresh air, admiring the beauty that surrounds me, getting lost and running because I can. In yesterday’s race, I did just that; with thousands of strong beautiful women around me, minus the getting lost part – thanks to a well-marked course and all the voluncheers! 🙂

Pre-raceThe Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon is one of my favourite races to date. Canada’s largest half marathon catered to women with all the frills. From the organization, to an early morning dance session, pretty porta-potties, chocolate, wine, and empowerment, nothing was overlooked. Everything was perfect.

Amongst the presence of close to 4,000 participants, Kathrine Switzer, best known as the first woman (as a numbered entry, 261) to run the Boston Marathon in 1967, was there gracing us with her words of courage and empowerment. Her motivating speech had ladies cheering with excitement and in tears of joy, strangers hugging and encouraging each other on the journey we were all about to endure. As I have said before, this is my favourite part of the race, that meditative moment of self-realization, that puts the whole journey into perspective. Gratitude and joy flowing through the mind, body and heart for this gift; of health, of strength, of wellness, of soul.

Front Wine SelfieAs with any new race, I love the unexpectedness of a new route (partly why I sometimes get lost on my leisure runs), the unknown holds excitement. Each step covering new territory, taking in new scenes. The course for NFWHM was beauteous in its scenery, running along the falls and along the Niagara parkway overlooking the river. The sun was shining, my body felt strong, my mind was clear and my soul was happy. I pushed along with positive vibes and encouraged the women around me to keep on going. There was a tremendous amount of love at this race,  all of us running together as one family. The camaraderie of sisterhood.

Action Shot

For me, pushing through those final moments, I go into sensory overload. It’s hard to explain, but there is A LOT going on, physically and emotionally, it’s almost hard to focus on the finish line. And then, there is this moment, of stillness, when everything blurs together and you see the light beam on  the smiling faces of your biggest supporters in that final stretch, waving and cheering you on. This is the moment your energy skyrockets through to the finish line and it’s over. And you couldn’t be happier. Another goal achieved, the thrill of survival, embracing your cheerleaders and in this case wine country calling your name.

My time 2:08:16 wasn’t on par with what I thought I would finish in, but this race wasn’t about the time and with that, I am all smiles.


I’ll be out again in the next day or so, to keep the legs in gear for Sunday’s Nike Women’s 15K which I am super pumped up about. This time, I’ll be surrounded by so many of my lovely running ladies who inspire me daily to push the limits. Can’t wait!

Be empowered. xx

Race Recap – Sporting Life 10K

“I missed my goal time by light years” and “At least we finished…” are two of the first things I heard, as I crossed the finish line from some fellow runners. Proud of our finishing moments, I was relieved to hear that missed goals happen to all of us and that I wasn’t the only one this time around. I had an ambitious PR sub-50:00 in sight for yesterday’s race, after the fantastic race I had 3 weeks ago at the Toronto Yonge Street 10K, but unfortunately I fell short at 56:58. There are a few factors that I think may have attributed to a less than stellar performance (hydration, focus, lack of rest, heat, etc), but you learn from them and move on. It was beyond wonderful to see thousands of runners out to support Camp Ooch in one of Eastern Canada’s biggest races, raising over $2 million-Nice work! 🙂

My first 3K felt good; I was warm, happy, energized and went hard with my goal in mind, weaving in and out of runners, trying to find my groove amongst the 26,000 around me. However I think I gave too much too soon. Rounding the 6K mark, I felt spent and exhausted and wasn’t sure how I would finish. My mind kept wandering back to how speedy I was 3 weeks prior. I thought this warm heat would be the boost I needed in helping me reach my goal, but I don’t think I have quite acclimatized to these summer temps.  At 8K, it must have been the look on my face or the fact that I was winded and beet red, but thankfully a humble gentleman rallied my spirits and paced me to the 9K mark at which point I was motivated to pull off a strong finish.

race results

That’s the amazing thing about running, everyone has each others back, whether it’s cheering each other on or picking strangers up when they are about to give up. Those simple words “You got this” and “Come on we’re almost there” are sometimes all you need to help get you to that finish line. With every race, I am amazed at the new things I learn to love about this sport.

Now to gear up the training for our next stop, Niagara Falls Womens Half Marathon, who’s with me? Did I mention there is wine?


Run because you can. xx