Race Recap: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

Julie and Jill, it's race time!

Julie and Jill, it’s race time!


We did it, Julie!!

Julie and I were victorious in our half marathon together. Not only did we finish with huge smiles on our faces, we ran in excellent time despite all the factors convincing us we weren’t going to make it. But the best (and bit surprising) part was that we ran the entire race together! Oh, and I should add we may have talked the entire time. I kid you not. But for those I’ve had the pleasure of running with before should see this as no surprise. I’m now convinced this was the reason we didn’t go sub 2 hours, as Julie optimistically gave us the benefit of the doubt when we originally signed up. For Julie this was before Berlin, all the beers and chocolate, and for me I was living in France training and dreaming about Paris. If we zipped our lips sub 2 was ours I know it. But that wasn’t our goal going in, although it would have been awesome. Before I even set foot on a plane to Toronto Julie and I made a pack to run the half together. We both had our doubts about the race, but we stuck to the plan and agreed not take it seriously. And knowing STWM was a training run for Surf City took the pressure off to preform well. I wouldn’t of had it any other way because this race was a whole lot of fun from start to finish. And I have Julie to thank for that.

This wasn’t my first race running with someone. Erin and I ran together during my first 10k and 30k races, and we tried for my first 15k too but that didn’t go quite as planned. Running with someone else gives you a completely different perspective of running. First off, it makes running fun! Like really fun! Like I said Julie and I talked the entire time, we didn’t care about all the technical things like pacing and distance, and hydrating on schedule we just ran. Instead of thinking about it we talked about these things. When you stop thinking about the race that’s when you enjoy the race.

You actually notice things. And people notice you. Julie and I had so many shout outs I lost count. One guy in particular called me out “Come on! Jill’s making it look easy!” If I new who this guy was I would find a way to thank him. I was able to look at the crowds cheering and the nicer parts of the route – like running through my old neighbourhood! Oh Bloor and Bathurst how I’ve missed you.


Official race photo at SWTM. The look on my face says it all- having a scary amount of fun Julie seems to agree!

Official race photo from SWTM. The look on my face says it all- having a scary amount of fun. Julie seems to agree!

While STWM was my first half since Semi Marathon de Paris it was also my first major race in Toronto. Erin has ran Scotia and Goodlife having a good time both times, but for some reason while I was living there I didn’t see the excitement behind running a full or a half in my home city. Running all ends, both east and west, I’ve covered a lot of ground in Toronto. How wrong I was. Although spending so much time away SWTM felt like a huge welcome back party. Originally it was going to be the mark of my grand return, but life has a funny way of doing things we don’t plan for. I’m still living at home, with a new job, and teaching lots of yoga so it’s all good. But I’ll be back Toronto, I promise!

The only bummer is that the race had to end. Erin also arranged the mega Cheer Station for Julie and I in Corktown, which sadly we didn’t even run past during the half. How sad is that? But for all the marathoners I hope they got an ear full of cheers on our behalf.

Next up for Julie and I is our full in Cali then after that we’re open to suggestions. Perhaps another Toronto race is in order? After Scotiabank, I’d be down. But first I must survive winter training in Nova Scotia!


STWM weekend is coming

Here we are, together again!

Here we are, together again!

Toronto, I am coming back! Sadly it’s only for another visit and not a permanent visit. I haven’t moved back (not yet anyway) But! I am making my comeback to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. Because why not?

When Julie and I decided long ago we’d head to California to run a marathon together (her fourth marathon and my third) we chose to run SWTM as our training run for Surf City. It made sense at the time, I thought I’d be back living in Toronto at this point and a year away from the city I love is a long time. But life has a funny way of not doing what you think it should. For instance the full time job I landed in Digby. That wasn’t planned for by any means but here I am locked into a 6 month contract living and working in Digby. Things could be a lot worse. Like my half marathon this Sunday.

This race will be interesting. Of all the years I’ve lived in Toronto I’ve never participated in either Scotia or Goodlife. Ever. Erin has and we cheered one year (little did I know that Julie was running) For some reason I thought a race in the city I run everyday wouldn’t be exciting, I know that’s not true, I guess I wasn’t interested. I’d rather travel somewhere to run a race! But the time has come for me to run Toronto. After my travels away running at home will be a nice welcome. It’ll be like a brand new city to me. I do like the half distance and there’s a cheer station dedicated to me and Julie, thanks to Erin and the great people of Corktown. And of course I’ll be running with Julie again! It’ll be great.

Other then the fact that Julie is still running off the beers, chocolate, and sausages from Berlin, and I have yet to run more than 15k, we’ve got this. But in terms of how the race will go, we’re not too concerned. We’re going to run the race together, shoot for a sub 2 hour time, and enjoy each others company. Words that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Come cheer for us! We’re going to need it.

My Fall 2012 racing schedule


It’s time to start running again.

It’s amazing how quickly one can become complacent. As little as two weeks ago, I was doing yoga every single day. Since then? I’ve worked out maybe 3 times. I know I can blame a hectic life right now (the book deadline is LOOMING. I probably shouldn’t be writing anything that isn’t about Revenge right now! But, here I am), but the one thing the yoga challenge taught me was that excuses are lame. Do it or don’t do it. If it matters, you’ll make time for it.

So with that in mind — and after a lot of thought about where I want to take my fitness routine generally — this week I decided to get specific.

And by specific, I mean pick races.

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of American Ninja Warrior. It is one of the best summer shows I’ve seen in a while (at least when it comes to empty entertainment featuring feats of strength) but I’ve always been a sucker for ridiculous competition shows. American Gladiator? Check. Global Guts? Uh, can you say best show ever? Mike O’Malley had hair! Canada was considered international! It was the most epic obstacle course I had seen in a long time. Proof:



American Ninja Warrior is the grown-up version of Global Guts. Proof:



I, of course, want to do it.

This need, combined with my wish to go faster, has defined my fall race schedule. I chose 4 races, cumulating in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon. Jill is going to do three of them with me.

Midsummer’s Night Run, August 18, 2012

I ran this race last year. It went poorly. I learned a lot from it: bout how much to train, about the importance of stretching and about how fun nighttime races are. I want to crush last year’s time. Jill is running with with me, and our record of running side-bye-side so far is pretty good. (I know, it’s only one race, but I’ll take it!) If I fill my July with speedwork, I’m confident my goal time is within reach.

Goal: sub 1:30

Urban Warrior Race, September 8, 2012

This is the closest thing in the city to American Ninja Warrior that doesn’t have mud! (I am not getting dirty on purpose. Or driving in a car to a race that’s designed to cloak me in mud. I’m crazy, but I’m not that crazy.) I’m going to need to improve my upper body strength a TON if I’m going to make it through this race. I’m hoping it can be another side-by-side help-each-other-out race with Jill. RIGHT, JILL?

Goal: to finish without crying

Island Girl Half-Marathon relay, September 23, 2012

I really wanted to do the Island 10k race, but this year it’s the day after the Urban Warrior race. So that was a no-go. But this HM relay is the next best thing! It’s on the island! Jill will run it will me (Jill will do anything I say!). It’s a different way to run a race together. It will also be a unique challenge: how much faster will Jill be than me? We’ll find out!

Team goal: sub 2:00

Personal goal: not let Jill totally kick my ass

Scotiabank Half Marathon, October 14, 2012

This is the goal race for the year. I need to do a lot of speed work and get mentally tough to make this goal a reality. I know I can do it. I just need to run faster. How hard can that be?

Goal: sub 2:00