Race Recap: Harry Spring Run-Off 8k


I┬ásigned up for the Harry Spring Run-Off way back in the fall, when I was still mapping out my marathon training. 8k seemed manageable for a race distance (especially after Around the Bay) and I’d heard good things about it. So, why not? It threw a bit of a wrench into our Easter weekend plans, but whatevs! I had a race to run! Free swag to claim! It was a lovely day for a race. I learned Jill is a running superstar (I need to find a new sport to dominate!). I ran steadily, but sorely and while I am disappointed I didn’t run sub-48 (my chip time was 49:37), I can’t complain too much. This wasn’t a goal race. I didn’t train with an 8k PB in mind. I was there to have fun.


Jill and I after our races!

The good:

1) It was a beautiful day

Can’t complain with sunny, single degree weather for a race!


2) I ran the whole damn thing

It’s only 8k, but still. Before Harry, I had only been out twice since ATB — one 10k and one 11k effort around the neighbourhood. It doesn’t take much for the swelling in the feet and the bruised toes to start aching. And when you’re trying to run 5:50 kilometres, it only gets worse. It’s a hilly, challenging course, so the fact I hung in there for the entire ride is something to be proud of. It’s the little victories.


3) Jill is a running superstar

This was the first race where my priority was someone else. It was a lot of fun to amp Jill up, calm her down and cheer her on. It took the focus off me and my race, which was good since it was supposed to be for FUN. REMEMBER? RUNNING IS FUN! It was great seeing Jill kill it for her first-ever race. I won’t spoil too much (her race recap is coming later), but I am proud of her. And jealous.

The bad:

1) I went out too fast

The first two kilometres were 5:35s. There are two problems with that: I can’t sustain 5:35s and the first part of the course is the easy part of the course. Eventually, I slowed down to 6:30ish over the rest of the course. (I can probably go faster, I just need to believe in myself. And do more speedwork.)


2) My hip and I are not friends

My left hip has been aching more than usual, and the not-so-nice guy showed up around the 3k mark. It wasn’t anything insurmountable, but it worried me. I think all it really means is that I need new running shoes (my current puppies have nearly 1000k on them), but anything that points to an injury FREAKS ME OUT. I need to learn to stop freaking out. And ice things.


3) The course was boring

I love running in High Park, but the 8k route is a tad repetitive. You loop through the crowds twice before heading out to the 5k route. If I ever run this race again, I’m sticking with the 5k.



The conclusion?

Not every race needs to be about accomplishments and goal setting. Sometimes you can run a race just for the hell of it.

Now I need to go buy new shoes!




The run: 8.0k in 49:37

The route:

Heating up with French Onion Soup


A few weeks ago, my pal Kendal sent me a note:


Le Papillion is cooking up a vat of French Onion Soup at Jonathan Ashbridge’s Bay park on Sunday from 10-3pm. It’s PWYC and also BYOS (bring your own spoon). Would you like to meet at a location like Broadview & Danforth and finish our run at the market?


Running with a friend? Ending with soup? Does Kendal have any idea who she was talking to? (She did.) We agreed to each run solo to Broadview and Danforth — it’s 4k for her, 3k for me — then do the 5k together to the park.

I like running with Kendal because she’s faster than me. A lot faster. What’s an easy pace for her leaves me huffing and puffing. Don’t let that 6:30 pace below fool you. It was probably 7:30 alone, 5:30 with Kendal. I need to get a fancy watch so I can do math like that. One day.

I like the challenge, though, so I’m always glad when she suggests a run together.

The Sunday was cold and dreary, which made French Onion Soup only that much more enticing. We zipped along. The run itself was unremarkable (after all, I run along Queen Street East 3 or 4 times a week), but when we got to our destination we were greeted with this:

That is a giant vat of soup. I want to eat it all. (Thanks to Kendal's husband for the photo!)

So worth it. Kendal and Pierre scooped up some of the take-home jars of soup. I declined, because even though it was Pay-What-You-Can, my $3 contribution didn’t feel like enough for hot coffee, hot soup and leftovers. It’s been over a week, and I still regret this. I may have to visit Kendal and Pierre soon. For soup. And, uh, their delightful company.



The run: 7.6k in 50:00

The route: