Flashback Friday FUN: City Chase!

This Saturday I will be participating in my 5th Toronto City Chase. You can read all about my previous adventures here, here, here and here. My team-mate L has completed City Chase in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. These events are such a good time and clearly we keep going back for more!

After completing the Toronto event together last year [along with 2 of our friends], L and I agreed that we were going to take it a little bit lot more seriously next time – competing as opposed to just participating. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with participating; I have had an absolute blast every single time, and it sure makes for a fun race report when everything is documented on camera.

With the race upon us, we have been doing whatever we can to prepare for a successful day. Of course, there is only so much preparation to be done for an event like this; the general idea stays the same, but we have no idea what could be thrown at us. We’ll get our hands on a clue sheet one way or another, then figure out clues using our knowledge of the city and various resources (internet, phone-a-friend, etc. are allowed and encouraged!) and spend the day running and/or taking public transit all over the city to complete 10 tasks within before the 6 hour deadline. They don’t call it the Urban Adventure Series for nothing, and I have had some crazy experiences.

We’ve been pouring over previous clue sheets, re-familiarizing ourselves with city parks and other locations that are used frequently, marking up maps, lining up our support teams at home who will be ready to Google for us at a moment’s notice and of course getting pumped up!

A truly successful City Chase comes down to luck in a lot of cases. You never know where you’re going to hit line-ups, or a long wait for a Subway or Streetcar ride. Some lucky teams might catch a ride to their next destination if they spot a certain specially marked car (other forms of private transport are prohibited!) and there is also an opportunity to earn “Passing Lane” cards, allowing a team to bypass the line at a Chase Point of their choice.

We’ve raised over $50 [thanks to L] for the featured charity, Right to Play, which will earn us a bonus Chase Point to be collected during the race.

We’ve also entered a contest which could potentially earn us a free Chase Point; we were asked to display the City Chase logo in a creative and original way. Here’s what we came up with:

big thanks to Red for some help on this!

last night’s project :)

Whether or not luck is on our side tomorrow, we’re going to work our butts off and see what we can do. But don’t worry, we’ll still have fun in the process.

Stay tuned!

Three Things Thursday

Better late than never…

1. This time last year I was making my way (after several flight/airport delays) to Seattle where Tall Mom and her family graciously hosted me for a few days. I had the honour of running the Seattle R’n'R Marathon with Tall Mom (as well as Amanda for the first few miles, but she was too fast for us that day!) and got to know a ton of other awesome bloggers in the process. It was an amazing weekend and I wish I could be part of the fun all over again!

I hope everyone has an awesome time this weekend and best wishes especially to Kerrie and Zoe who are running their first marathon! Go get it, girls!

2. I went on a mini shopping spree today to pick up just a few essentials to go along with my new toy. Wow, I can see how this sport could easily get very expensive but I didn’t get carried away! Just the basics to keep me safe and comfortable.

AND I successfully cycled to and from the Running Room for our group run! It gave me a great excuse to show off the new bike too. :) I got caught in the rain on the way home and it was just starting to get dark; I think I need to get myself some lights!?

3. I’m in the middle of a TOP SECRET PROJECT which involves a lot of running shoes. Find out what this is all about tomorrow…

Wednesday Wheels

After my bike incident last week, I was planning to bring it in to our local bike shop to get fixed.

And then I started looking at all the pretty bikes online…

And then we went to see them in person and I test-rode a bunch…

And then I fell in love with one. They only had it in black at the store [boring], so I ordered the green and white.

Specialized Vita

After waiting impatiently for five days, I picked it up tonight!

I took it for a short spin and it feels amazing! What a difference to ride a bike that actually fits and works properly. :)

Let me assure you that my stance on triathlons/duathlons and my fear of riding downhill have not changed yet, but I’m looking forward to some recreational riding on a real set of wheels.

I think I still need to get a bell… but first I need a new helmet! Flower power is just not going to cut it anymore.

Tomorrow is clinic so I am looking forward to commuting to the store (hopefully without incident!), and going out for a bit of a longer ride on Friday. Time to get used to seeing the world from two wheels!

*bring bring!*

Track Tuesday

Juliana and I were up with the sun to hit the track this morning and I was extra excited because I got to try my new shoes!

Saucony Kinvara 2

I wore my usual Saucony Progrid Stabil CS for our warm up run from the park, which meant carrying the new ones in my hands; I’m sure it was quite a sight, not that anyone else was awake to see it.

I sat down and laced up when we got to the track and immediately got started on my 800s.

It was love at first lap! The Kinvaras feel light as air. Two of them actually weigh less than one of my usual klunkers, so the difference was incredible. I felt like I was flying.

Workout: 6 x 800 (400 recoveries)
Goal: 3:10-3:19 per 800
Results: 3:11, 3:12, 3:12, 3:12, 3:10, 3:12

I felt great throughout this workout and managed to run a pace equivalent to my 600s last week (4:00/KM, 6:26/mi).

I’m planning to wear these beauties for speed work only for now, and hope to feel comfortable enough to race a 5K in them on July 1st. Look our PR, these shoes make me fast!

Week 2

Monday - rest/xtrain

I opted out of a bike ride on my day off from running this week to give my legs more of a break. I did my strength routine with core and push-ups, which I’ve kept up 3x per week for 3 weeks now – I can tell I’m getting stronger!

Tuesday10K with 3 x 2000 tempo intervals

I was out the door early and at the park for my first tempo intervals (slightly faster than continuous tempo pace) of this cycle. I was a little intimidated by the pace target and caught myself making excuses before I started… “It’s early in the season, so it’s okay to be slower.” 

The plan: 3 x 2000 at 4:30/KM (7:14/mi) with 500 recoveries

It took most of my 3K warm-up to wake up, but my legs felt ready to go when it was time to start the intervals. I felt pretty strong and steady throughout, and remembered how much I love these runs! With the exception of inadvertently sucking back a massive bug during the last set (and the gagging that ensued), they went great.

(4:31, 4:31)
(4:31, 4:31)
(4:30, 4:27)

Can you see me? :)

10.0KM (6.2mi) – 51:51 – 5:11/KM (8:20/mi)

Wednesday10K recovery

I decided to sleep in and join Wednesday Night Run Club and had the best intentions of riding my bike to the store as well. Unfortunately, that did not go as planned… but I did have a nice run with some great company, on a hot evening and a hilly route! Wednesdays are recovery days so we kept it nice and slow.

10.0KM (6.2mi) - 59:49 – 5:58/KM (9:37/mi)
+strength/core

Thursday16K (2 runs) with 6 x 600

I was up early and hit the track for my interval workout, hoping they would go much better than my 400s last week. I had to keep the warm-up short because I didn’t want to run very much overall distance in the morning, knowing that I had a group run after work. After a short warm-up, it was time to start moving fast – and surprisingly, my legs cooperated!
Goal: 6×600 at ~2:24 (4:00/KM) with 400 recoveries

Results: 2:24, 2:24, 2:24, 2:25, 2:23, 2:21

I really wasn’t sure what to expect at clinic that night after a workout in the morning; it’s been a long time since I’ve run 20K on a week day! We were just doing an easy run (don’t worry, group speed work starts soon!), and I actually felt really good. 
I also won a sweet gym bag from the Adidas reps who were at the store to introduce their new line.

AM: 8.0KM (5.0mi) – 41:36 – 5:12/KM (8:22/mi)
PM: 12.0KM (7.5mi) – 1:06:06 – 5:30/KM (8:51/mi)

Friday6K easy 8K Barefoot Bootcamp

8.0KM (5.0mi) - 49:18 – 6:09/KM (9:55/mi)
+push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, jacks

Saturday – 6K easy

Hubs joined me at the park for an easy run, followed by a visit to the farmer’s market. It was the perfect way to start our Saturday!

5.8KM (3.6mi) – 32:35 – 5:37/KM (9:02/mi)

Sunday – 28K with 13K MRP

I opted out of the group run and met up with my friend P (we are planning to run the marathon together in October) for this long run with MRP. I had no idea what to expect, since I don’t feel in shape whatsoever for my ultimate goal race pace at this point – understandably, in Week 2! We decided to aim for something between that goal and my race pace from Mississauga - anything in the 5:00 to 5:10/KM range would be good.

We kept it easy for the first half of the run, and hubs joined us for a while before tackling his own ridiculously fast MRP. Neither P nor myself were really feeling up to it, but we reluctantly picked up the pace when it was time.

By 5K I pretty much wanted to quit and even announced that I was not going to make it 13K. Luckily P reminded me that quitting wasn’t an option, but we could back off the pace. That sounded like a good idea, although we didn’t really slow down at all. We plugged away, one K at a time, and somehow managed to finish the workout within the range we’d planned.

MRP splits: 5:06 – 5:08 – 5:03 – 5:10 – 5:01 – 5:04 – 5:06 – 5:01 - 5:04 – 5:07 – 5:14 – 5:07 – 4:56

I know it’s early in the season and this pace should start to feel a lot more comfortable as the weeks go on… I hope!

It was a warm and sunny morning and I felt like I was melting by the time we hit our 2K cool down. It’s time to start these runs even earlier; finishing at 10AM is a bit late when the sun is already high in the sky.

28.3KM (17.6mi) – 2:33:13 – 5:24/KM (8:42/mi)
13K (8mi) MRP at 5:05/KM (8:10/mi)

Total Week 2 Mileage:  82.1 KM (51.0mi)
Total Time: 7:34:19
Average Pace: 5:32/KM (8:54/mi)
Cross-training: 3x strength/core