This past Sunday was the 7th Toronto Women’s 5km and Half Marathon in Sunnybrook Park. As I stated in my last post my friend Cory Freedman is the founder and race director of the series. There are 3 races of various distances in May, August and October. My husband and daughter have also volunteered through the years and my daughter and I have run the 5km’s both together and sometimes separately. This race we decided to run separately. In her words after this last race she said “I run better when I have no one to whine to”. At least the sentiments were shared!
As part of the Mizuno Ambassador team, I proudly sported my new spring/summer gear and got to hang out a bit with fellow ambassadors. Because I had two different volunteer gigs for the morning my visits were short! Part of the race environment is support of your fellow women during the race. A great newish tradition is to have Mizuno Run Birds on course. These Birds are Mizuno Ambassadods sprinkled along the course route to cheer, encourage, run alongside and support their fellow runners. I was not an official run bird but did join in after my jobs were completed. What an awesome experience. Running and walking alongside women who needed and appreciated the company and encouragement was so rewarding. One woman in particular was a 61 year old from India. She was in Toronto for 6 months for the birth of her grandchild. When I asked her if this was her first half marathon she said “no it’s my 18th and I’m 61!” We were all so impressed by her. She said she was slow and one of my fellow ambassadors said ” but you are out doing something not everyone would do and you have done more today than most people who may still be in bed!”. How true. The look on this woman’s face when she saw her son and spotted the finish banner was amazing. I had so much fun going back along the last km or so of the course to help others in. I hope to do this again at the coming races!
Now on to my race. This time around as compared to March at ATB I didn’t have any fears of a stress fracture. I still feel like I’m holding back a gear but I definitely worked harder this go around. I started out a bit quick I think as my pace dropped significantly through the last 2 km. My left leg is still considerably weaker than my right and as a result my leg starts to tire and drag a bit. As much as I’m trying to strengthen a few times a week with yoga and gym work I think I need to up this at home too. I tried hard to pick up my pace towards the end but just had nothing left in my legs or lungs maybe? I didn’t once glance at my watch as I wanted to run by feel again. I finished in 22:11, which is almost exactly a minute faster than March so I was pretty pleased at that and pleased that again I was able to race and not hurt myself. I think with each race I will gain that confidence back. It was fun to see my daughter on the out and back and high five each other. I had asked her if she wanted me to double back after and do the rest with her and she said nope. So I waited about 50 m from the finish and watched her sprint in. A friend of hers from school and her mom also ran their first TO Women’s run and really enjoyed it. The best thing too about the race is the great Awake chocolate at the end! Oh and the free photo downloads from Zoom Photo!
My second job of the morning is giving out awards. For the first time in this race when I’ve raced and not run with my daughter I didn’t give myself an award. I was 4th in my category. A couple fast girls have aged up! And I’ve slowed down but it seemed less stressful to podium in some ways. It was the first time in a few years I didn’t receive an award and it actually felt good!!! I’ve come so far mentally it still blows me away:)
I’m really looking forwards to the next TO Women’s Run in August. There is a 10km and a 5km and I’ll race the 5km again then hopefully do some run bird duties! It was very rewarding and a fun way to give back other than my usual volunteer gigs.
My daughter and I took some fun photos too. She is more into photo bombing than smiling it seems lately:)